When is enough, enough?

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Another senseless killing of a young African American male has been brought to national attention in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, while he was jogging. Again and again, this gruesome scenario plays out over and over—seemingly normalizing its occurrence in our country. Protesting and public outrage seems to be doing little to halt this deadly practice of eliminating the lives of young African Americans.

There seems to be no end to the senseless slaughtering of unarmed people of color, especially Black men by law enforcers or vigilante Whites. Many of us can remember some of the victims that aroused national attention, e.g., Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Stepen Clark, Jordan Edwards, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Jordan Davis, and Edward Minguela just to name a few.

Has American accepted trivializing the lives of African Americans or people of color as commonplace? Isn’t it apparent why the movement of Black Life Lives Matter continues to be a mantra echoed in the streets by so many Americans interested in truth, equality and justice for all? Even the most skeptical opponent denying the extent of blatant racism in this country has to be aware of the ever occurring, senseless killings of Black men. These deadly occurrences are real, not made up. One would have to be delusional to doubt their severity.

The gunning down of unarmed African American men should not become accepted and normalized as an afterthought. What can’t be ignored in many cases is law enforcement agencies’ complicity in covering up too many of these travesties of justice. It shouldn’t have taken 74 days for a full investigation into the death of Ahmaud Arbery. This only came about after public outcry from reviewing the video once it was made public. Just imagine if there was no video! Chances are Ahmaud’s death would be attributed to him breaking the law.

One can only imagine the numerous, unarmed, innocent young men of color gunned downed and murdered whose murders were not caught on video. Their deaths were not given a fair, impartial investigation. Too often we have cases where the murdered victims are maligned and vilified, making the public believe their untimely deaths were warranted. Many share this revelation, because in so many cases involving the gunning down of unarmed Blacks—it is rare the perpetrators are indicted or incarcerated for their malicious executions.

In-house investigations by law enforcing agencies (for the most part) favor their own officers or the White perpetrators of the killings. It often takes a national outcry for an indictment against the alleged killers. It is rare that the culprits are convicted. Even if convicted, they are often given a lenient sentence.

The voices of those maliciously gunned- down cry for justice and vindication from their graves so their deaths will not have been in vain. One of the biggest travesties of injustice concerning these deaths is that too many times authorities try to cover up these deaths—often trying to vilify and defame the integrity of those killed. Videos detailing the occurrences make it evident. Anyone can see the truth of the situation.

When will the practice of killing African Americans going through daily typical routines such as listening to music; selling CDs; talking on cell phones; placing hands in pockets; picnicking in the park; eating out; walking; jogging; or resting in one’s home cease? Make no mistake, there are too many Whites who fear or hate people of color. To them, that justifies doing African Americans bodily harm when possible. All America, White, Black, Red or whatever ethnicity must collectively speak out and demand that truth and justice prevail in these cases.

It is sad to say, but with the constant praying and protesting to bring about changes in our criminal justice system—little, if any, progress is being made to correct or eradicate the problem. This is a systemic, institutional problem warranting an overhaul of existing laws, practices and procedures within our three branches of government (judicial, legislative and executive).

Let’s acknowledge the truth. The system as a whole is corrupt, racist, and broken. It is going to take the American people as a whole (including clergy, communities, community leaders, and elected officials) to demand and legislate changes to correct a practice allowing the execution of innocent, unarmed people of color. People need to be held accountable. Laws, policies, practices, and procedures have to change. The pursuit of truth, justice and equality must be the rule. Enough is enough.

Kudos to those who ran or walked 2.23 miles to commemorate the day Ahmaud Arbery died.