The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Racist Judicial System on View in Arbery Case

Nov 8, 2021

The trial of three white men charged with the murder of Ahmaud Arbery has finally begun in Cobb County, Georgia, over a year and a half after the fact. The trial is once again putting his horrific lynching in front of his family and the general public.

The three men literally got in their trucks and hunted Arbery down while he was out running in his own neighborhood. They attempted to stop him at gunpoint and one of them, Travis McMichael, fatally shot him when he tried to defend himself by wrestling McMichael’s gun away from him.

The defense team is using the same approach as local prosecutors originally employed to defend their two-month delay in charging the defendants, claiming the defendants were carrying out a “citizen’s arrest.” In typical fashion, the defense is trying to put the victim, Ahmaud Arbery, on trial.

These men were only charged in the first place after the release of the video showing Arbery’s killing and outspoken statements by his mother and attorney sparked protests and support around the country and the rest of the world.

So now they are charged. The defense rests on Georgia’s citizen’s-arrest laws which date back to 1863, when the KKK was beginning to form, to round up escaped slaves during the Civil War. During the period of Jim Crow segregation in the South, states also passed laws making vagrancy and loitering criminal acts. Police used these laws to selectively arrest black men and they were used to justify lynchings.

It remains to be seen whether or not any modicum of justice will be served in this case. But the fact that the judge allowed the defense to remove all potential black jurors but one, from serving, doesn’t give much hope that the lynchers will be convicted. Ahmaud Arbery’s killing is yet another in a long line of lynchings that are part and parcel of the racism which forms the foundation of U.S. capitalism.