Four centuries after the first African slaves were brought to what would later be called the United States, it appears that the longest-running year-round open hunting season is still in effect. The quarry is still Black Americans. Less than nine months ago three good ol’ boys thought they had the constitutional right to defend themselves from the all too prevalent and chilling crime of jogging while Black. This time they shot the culprit dead. It appears that lynchings, hunting with dogs and dragging behind pickup trucks have fallen out of fashion in the Deep South these days.
If this were the “exceptional” country that so many of us dogmatically believe it to be, the defendants in the Ahmaud Arbery case would long ago have hung their heads in shame and subjected themselves to the punishment they ought to know they so richly deserve, and would have admitted that their acts were not merely aberrant, but sub-human. Instead, they refuse to concede their guilt as they try to avoid punishment. Meanwhile, their lawyers are forcing every Black family and every white family with an ounce of decency to endure this trial. Millions of like-minded, proudly and militantly ignorant Americans around the country – not merely in the South, as too many of us prefer to believe – look on with outrage that the culprits were even arrested at all. It is these “exceptional” Americans who are embraced and pandered to by what was once the Party of Lincoln.
One day soon the 11 white jurors in this trial will exonerate these three. It would be a surprise if they’re even forced to do community service, nor will they be required to apologize to the parents of their victim. And the “exceptional Americans” who make up the Party of Trump will still not acknowledge that racism in this country is as prevalent and vicious today as it has been for the last 400 years.