Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers are convicted–and that brings hope

Philadelphia reached 500 murders with the death of a 55-year-old woman—a woman whose block captain was a city council member’s grandmother. That matters because it shows that all of us are connected, and each time violence happens, all of us are affected.


But even in all the trauma, there’s hope. Hope that comes with the conviction of the three men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man who was jogging through a Georgia suburb when white strangers chased him, trapped him and killed him with a shotgun.


For some, the conviction is only about Arbery. And that’s fair. The man lost his life for nothing. But for me, the conviction is about all of us. Because this was a case where race was front and center; where a man lost his life for being Black in the wrong neighborhood.


The defense attorneys knew that, so they did all they could to make sure there were no Black people on the jury. In the end, they ended up with one. But that didn’t stop them from trying to use racism to defend Arbery’s killers. One of the lawyers told the judge he didn’t want anymore Black pastors in the courtroom. Another told the jury that Ahmaud Arbery was dirty.


But at the end of the day, a jury that was almost all white voted to convict the defendants. A jury that was almost all white decided to rule on the facts, not racism. A jury that was almost all white decided to do the right thing.


There is hope for America because we all have the ability to look past hate, to look past prejudice, to look past racism, and do what is right.


The men who killed Ahmaud Arbery face life in prison. But the fact that they were convicted means we can face a life where justice is possible for all of us.


Photo: IMG_7553 By. Becker1999

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