People today believe that racism is a thing of past; everyone lives in a harmonious society where the colour of your skin matters no more. This is only but a distant dream. The cases of violence against African-Americans in the USA has had a disturbing history. This became all the more evident when a 25-year old African-American man named Ahmaud Arbery was shot dead by two white skinned, police officers namely Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael, when he was found jogging along a road in Georgia.
Why such a crime was committed has no clarity. It is said that the white men pursued Arbery on a truck and shot him on the claim that he was thought responsible for the burglaries happening in the area. It was, apparently, an act of self-defence. Margaret Burnham, professor at Northeastern University talks about how the case should be brought out and the perpetrators receive the punishment for their act justly. “The white perpetrators in this case got the benefit of the doubt based on their skin colour,” says Burnham. She has founded and currently directs the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at the School of Law, Northeastern University, working towards analysing acts of racial violence that took place between 1930 and 1970 in South America, along with her students.
This is not the first time that racism is being manifested in the locality. In fact, quite the contrary. The police officers did not face any consequences of the incident until two months later when a video came out of the incident as it happened. Jonathan Kahn, professor of law and biology at Northeastern University talks about how cell-phone cameras have started becoming the means of bringing to light the reality. As more of such disturbing incidents come to light, the only ray of hope is the rampant protests that happen as a call for justice.
N Malavika Mohan