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

Arbery Hate Crime Trial Evidence Shows the Case Was Open and Shut

Feb 28, 2022

The federal hate crime trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers ended with the three men, Gregory and Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan, being found guilty. Their conviction provides at least some additional measure of justice, which undoubtedly would never have occurred were it not for the outspoken courage of Arbery’s mother, protests that took place after Arbery’s death both in the U.S. and around the world, and the ongoing, determined protest movement against racism following the death of George Floyd.

The evidence raised in the latest trial included a litany of racist comments by all three of Arbery’s killers, most of which are too ugly and vile to repeat here. A former neighbor of Greg McMichael testified that McMichael shut off the air conditioning of a black tenant who was late with her rent and made racist remarks about her weight. Another witness described Greg McMichael expressing pleasure upon the death of civil rights leader Julian Bond.

A former Coast Guard worker testified the younger Travis McMichael was her supervisor and used a racial slur toward her for dating a black man. An FBI analyst testified McMichael posted multiple videos on Facebook showing a black person being run over by a car.

Prosecutors presented multiple racist text messages sent by Bryan, including one expressing disgust upon discovering his daughter was dating a black man. Others showed Bryan made racist comments about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.

The evidence presented in the federal hate crime trial makes it so obvious that Ahmaud Arbery’s murder was racially motivated that it begs the question, why wasn’t any of this evidence brought up in the earlier state trial?

Keep in mind, both police and prosecutors in Georgia initially refused to even arrest and later to prosecute Arbery’s killers. It was only after the video taken by Bryan came to light, and Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, expressed outrage, that the state trial even happened. During that trial, prosecutors bent over backwards to avoid making the case that Arbery’s murder was motivated by racism, because they figured that if they “made the trial about race,” it would move the local jury to acquit Arbery’s killers.

That simply goes to show that racism still weighs so heavily in this country that prosecutors worry that exposing the disgustingly blatant racist attitudes of perpetrators could compel an all-white jury to let them go free! After a commission of a lynching, in this event. Too rotten, too true.