Saturday, August 15, 2020

Ed Gray, NDG Senior Columnist: The Pandemic of Hate Continues

Ahmaud Arbery’s graduation photo. Courtesy of the Arbery family.

Straight Talk with Ed Gray

The Pandemic of Hate in America continues in 2020 with no signs of mitigation. The words Pandemic and relief are used with regularity to describe the Corona Virus Crisis. We can use these same words to describe the contagion of hate and fear that has consumed America and cost Ahmaud Arbery his life.
  
In Brunswick, Georgia, a town created in the year 1738 serves as a reminder that affairs between the white enslavers and present-day assassins are similar. In the antebellum south, white enslavers chased down black men from the saddle of horses, today they do it from the back of pickup trucks. In the 282 years since the founding of Brunswick, Georgia, this type of behavior has not changed. 
Ahmaud Arbery, a black man, was hunted down from the back of a Georgia pickup because he fit the profile. The profile of a black man in America fits the description. What is the description? A black man was doing something suspicious. Ahmaud was running, a usual occupation for a jogger. However, in a country in which African American citizens are routinely killed for doing random things like playing in the park-like Tamir Rice, eating candy like Trayvon Martin, and now Ahmaud Aubery died while jogging fits the description of suspicion. 
The Pandemic that is the killing of unarmed Black People continues with a lack of any measures that will flatten the curve. Since the advent of the Black Lives Matter movement, there appears no vaccine that will cure this affliction. Soaring numbers of deaths proceed without any mitigation. The seasons change, and yet we know more will be killed regardless of the weather. 
There are the usual calls for social distancing. This appears not to be an effective strategy. Botham Jean was quarantined in his home, eating ice cream when he was gunned down.  Pandemic victims fear for their lives, inside or outside of their home, fulfilling essential tasks.
America apparently has a timing issue in dealing with all types of pandemics. Whether it is the Corona Virus Pandemic or Ammaud Arbery. The date of his murder predates the beginning of the epidemic endangering us today. It is our responsibility as survivors to hold the government as the responsible party in the death of all. Those who have lost their lives through these Pandemics, one of hate, and the other health. 
I am Ed Gray, and this is straight talk.
Ed Gray is a Human Rights doctoral candidate at Southern Methodist University. He is the host of The Commish Radio Show airing Saturdays 2-3 p.m. on FBRN.net, and a contributor to the award-winning “Inside Texas Politics” as seen on WFAA 8 the ABC Dallas television affiliate. Gray can also be heard on: ”The Ed Gray Community Champion Hour” on KHVN Dallas. Gray can be reached at eegray62@att.net. NDG was awarded NNPA’s 2018 Robert S. Abbott Best Editorial for Gray’s “Confederate Statues: The White Man’s Burden” column.

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