Wednesday, November 24, 2021
THE EMPTY CHAIR AT THANKSGIVING
There will be a sad and tragically empty chair at the dinner table in the Arbery house on Thanksgiving.
But it will not really be empty. It will be filled with the souls of Ahmaud Arbery, and of all those who have been murdered in lynchings, and pogroms, and holocausts, and ethnic cleansing, and hate in the United States, the world, and throughout history.
But in this case it is not really a chair. It is a throne. It is a throne to justice and the unrelenting efforts of Ahmaud's parents who have amassed the power of the American Revolutionary spirit of Truth, Equality, Life and Liberty to triumph now over the power of the lynch mob, the hate mob, the endemic racism in the United States, present even at the beginning, when a slave owner, Jefferson, wrote that "all men are created equal," words whose true meaning rises far above his original understanding.
The hope is that this verdict, "Guilty of Murder," of the killers of Ahmaud, who launched their vigilante attack because "there was a black man running," will be the beginning of the end of vigilante injustice in the US. The hope is that the false pride of the killers, "proudly" documenting these murders with a video recording, will be recognized, throughout the country and the world, as evil. Genuinely evil.
The fact that even bringing the case to trial depended on the existence of a video recording, reminds us that truth prevails. Truth with transparency prevail. Democracy depends upon truth and transparency and equal justice.
In his grief, tempered by the conviction of his son's killers, Ahmaud's father said that "black lives matter" is only part of what we need to remember. He said, "All lives matter."