Updated: Jun 15, 2020
In the lead up to 8th May 2020, outcry mounted at the mishandling of justice for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a twenty-five year old unarmed black man hunted and gunned down by two white men in Georgia, USA back in February of this year.
Our opening sentence is as pervasive in wording as the sentiment that Blackness is a problem - a sentiment shared by an unfortunately sized fraction of society. While Arbery’s murder is a vivid depiction of societal malfunction, society continues to function while similar crimes are committed - most recently, the murder of George Floyd on 25th May 2020. It is this glaringly occult malfunctioning that the same fraction of society maintains does not exist or worse, exists but is of no import.
Myriad pieces like this are penned in aspirations of reporting the facts with a clarity and consistency so that they may only be seen as supporting evidence to our claims.
Evidence is defined as the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid.
Evidence is everywhere.
We are in a period of generating evidence of ample quantity. Dashcam recordings, mobile phone videos and memorialised tweets force us to acknowledge exactly where we choose to deny evidential validity and value.
On what would have been Arbery's 26th birthday, I found myself wondering: what does the evidence amassed from the mass reporting of his murder - and others just like it - indicate to be true or valid?
Evidence alone is not sufficient for change.
In this case, 74 days and a video leak passed before the two men guilty of his murder were arrested and charged. Both arms of evidence leading to this (as yet, insufficient) act of justice were swept along by the latterly witnessed humanity and emotion present in the outcries and non-acquiescence of the Black community and its allies.
I recently watched Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' on Netflix. In the show, she reflects on the formerly widespread belief that her husband's presidency had ushered in a post-racial era. She theorises that the illusion perhaps served to propel the insidious growth of the pinnacled version of racism we see today.
The circling round and doubling down of acts such as hunting, lynching, scapegoating and other forms of vilification of Black existence renders scenes that bear a blindsidingly uncanny likeness to the Antebellum era. In 2020, black people are seen as guilty in activiousness as well as in leisure.
The Post-racial era is a highly theoretical environment characterised by the absence of discord, discrimination and prejudice on the basis of race. Evidence of racial discord, discrimination and prejudice presents itself in abundance. You only have to glance at socioeconomic cross sections to view the effects of this Pandemic on the marginalised.
Purposeful assignment of racial identifiers is rooted in a history which has failed to depart from over-literalisation, persisting into the present day, and keeping us in the grip of the racial era.
With Society being as mosaic as it is, pushing beyond the clinicalities of binary identifiers (e.g. Black) can encourage racial discourse to expand into the realms of emotion and humanity, and promote relatability and interconnectivity. However, when showing that a person is defined by more than their race, we must caveat not to erase it, as society is still structured in such a way that it matters.
These descriptors exist, and although they are sometimes adversely weaponised, they play a pivotal role in enabling us to highlight the specific social injustices at play at any point in societal time and space. They help to articulate the argument for the resolution of these injustices.
E.g. Black people are being maimed and killed in the street, while other races remain overwhelmingly exempt from such treatment. This is why Black Lives Matter, as opposed to All Lives.
Many black people continue to live at the mercy of societal disequilibrium facilitated by occult complicitness. As a result, they are preoccupied with their proximity to discrimination and death.
The ubiquity of Ahmaud's circumstances force a glaringly necessary analysis of how neglect wilfully seeps not only through presently upheld justice systems, but also through the porosities in our own individual approaches. The delayed ‘inevitability’ of justice for Ahmaud is evidence in itself that the erroneous (only-in-hindsight) allowance for ignorance in the face of cold hard evidence exists by design - design that is borne of and feeds into multiple wider representations of its own sentiment. Our individual actions deceptively appear external to, yet are very much echoic of the system. A system which turns a blind eye to its own hypocrisies, and is dishonest about its intentions. So long as we remain inconsistent in our individual and collective outcries, disharmonies will persist. And for as long as these disparities remain, black people will remain preoccupied, as will the rest of society.
So let us not falsely abate the issue through intermittent ignorance.
Here at Gold Host, we will continue to present evidence through our words, as well as maintain humanity through our actions.
Change must also be everywhere.
So let us imagine a future which comes into being in the present; a future that comes to us
and so that-
we may reach it.
A future in which we don't necessarily need to know
a fight will result in modern day justice
for us to know it is worth fighting.
Let us dance the delicate
and at times, heavy-footed
with the reflections of
our own preoccupation and complicitness
with hope, love, life and evolution.
Malia Obama in Becoming:
“… people really believe in Love and Hope in other people. And also, every time you guys play Stevie Wonder, I don’t know, I cry a little bit. I do.”
Me too, girl.