New York, NY — Today, we breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Ahmaud Arbery’s killers will face justice. But we are also clear-eyed—Ahmaud Arbery will not be brought back by this decision. Irreparable harm has already been done. White supremacy may have received a slap on the wrist today, but it continues to be the ruling order of American society. Today, in one corner of the country, we find accountability. Yet last week, in another corner, an armed white killer was allowed to act with utter impunity. Our lives remain threatened. True justice remains out of reach.
Ahmaud Arbery’s killers argued that they were innocent because they acted in self-defense, as did Kyle Rittenhouse. We are relieved that, at least in today’s verdict, the jury disagreed. But what about the rest of us? Who deserves to be safe? Does safety only belong to armed supremacists? The clear rot here is white supremacy, and its violence is enabled by the wide proliferation of guns that threaten all Americans. It’s no secret that a long and sordid history of white supremacists and vigilantes haunts our nation. While today’s outcome is welcome, the killer’s actions remind us that this legacy is still alive and well.
As higher courts threaten to once again radically expand the second amendment, lower courts seesaw between letting armed supremacists get away with murder or holding them to account. We are faced with an increasingly dangerous future. Gun violence has reached record highs in the last year, skyrocketing for young people. Police officers and armed vigilantes continue to escape justice. This is the world our generation was born into, but it’s not one we will accept. The work continues.
About March For Our Lives
March For Our Lives is a national youth-led movement to end gun violence in America. Its mission is to harness the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives. Since March 2018, students from all across the United States have called for common-sense reforms that will save the lives of more than 3,000 young people each year, including: implementing universal, comprehensive background checks; creating a searchable database for gun owners; investing in violence intervention programs, specifically in disenfranchised communities; funding the Centers for Disease Control to research gun violence so that reform policies are backed up by data; and banning high-capacity magazines and semi-automatic assault rifles. Concurrently, March For Our Lives has established nearly 300 youth-led chapters across the country, continuously growing this chapter network to give young people a local forum to exercise their activism. For more information, visit marchforourlives.org.