Why Black Preachers Must Be Present At The Ahmaud Arbery Trial

The presence of Black men united is a threat to White Supremacy.

Ahmaud Arbery protests. Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

“When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.”

~ Proverbs 21:15

White Supremacy is on trial again (surprise), this time in Georgia with the Ahmaud Arbery trial. And just like I noted in my piece about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, the code of White Supremacy is present and accounted for here in the trials of Travis McMichael and his father Gregory, and William “Roddie” Bryan, the three men responsible for murdering and lying about details leading up to the death of Ahmaud Arbery.

Reasons For the Complaint About Black Clergy

There are several reasons Black clergy have been uninvited from the trial of the father and son murder duo responsible for killing Ahmaud Arbery. I like to break down the code of White Supremacy to help folks get the subliminal messaging White Supremacy is sending to both Black and Whites because so often folks don’t understand Southern Jim Crow Era racism. Allow me to break down the code in this care for you and to compel Black clergy everywhere to disobey White Supremacy’s order and show up during and after the trial.

  1. They don’t want the Black woman/mother to have support. One thing White supremacy does well is alienate Black women from her social support structures. They have us pulled in many different directions and placed in various subgroups which aid in bolstering White Supremacy’s number. Nothing makes a Black woman look weak than being alone or having limited supports in White settings, especially where trials of White Supremacists are taking place. If a lot of strong Black men of faith are surrounding that tiny, beautiful Black mother, again, it leaves White Supremacy unsettled. Just sitting in one space together intimidates White Supremacy.
  2. Black men represent Ahmaud Arbery. The whiter the courtroom, the less White people have to think about Ahmaud Arbery as a decent human being. The disassociation game of White people is unmatched.
  3. Good ole racism. White men don’t want Black men in White power structures. The comment is some Jim Crow shit. Besides, he’s the defense attorney. Gough’s (the Defense Attorney) back is to the onlookers all day. Why does he care if fifty clergymen and women show up to the trial? Racism, that’s why.
  4. It’s a flex. Both the Judge and the Defense Attorney are flexing for their Georgia White power. They want to send a message to Black clergy who have been falling down on the job when it comes to fighting for justice lately. White men need to hide behind the color of the law to control Black people attempting to exercise their rights.
  5. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are White Supremacist whipping boards. White Supremacists will vilify our leaders and clergy until they are dead and gone, then they’ll quote them every time they open their racist mouths. Both Dr. Martin Luther King and Brother Malcolm X were considered radical leaders of the people. The government tried to kill both. The same messages they gave back then are relevant today. Rev. Jesse Jackson was at the side of Dr. King when he was killed. He’s always had a mark on his back. Rev. Al has the same issue. The Alt-Right made the two men villains and they’ve been harassed since. Calling out Rev. Al and Jesse Jackson was an intentional slight. Again, these men have man elders who still answer their calls to mobilize. These racists don’t want the civil rights generation to raise up and come out. Calling out those two clergy members specifically says to other old Black freedom fighters their presence isn’t wanted either.
  6. White men are on code. Like in the Rittenhouse case, White men in the criminal justice system are showing white supremacists everywhere interested in killing Black men what happens after you take the law into your own hands. The Judge and the Defense attorney are showing code works in the courtroom to protect White lives at the expense of Black ones.
  7. America is exporting White Supremacy internationally. Steve Bannon and other White Supremacists are globetrotting the earth teaching White nations and Brown right-leaning countries how to be anti-Black and practice White Supremacy so that they too can subjugate the classes of people they deem inferior. These trials being televised around the globe show White Supremacists what injustice should look and sound like. White Supremacy is a global terror group on nobody’s watch list. Sorry, not sorry.
  8. Overt racism is being normalized (again). Overt racism is being normalized as it was during Jim Crow. White folks love to pretend they have no firm grasp of his history but they can’t seem to let it go. Somehow, generation after generation, we keep going through these phases of extreme overt racism prior to seasons of White mobs and violence, usually directed at Black men attempting to defend themselves or protest violence and oppression peacefully. Sometimes, we’re doing nothing at all. It doesn’t matter to folks engaging in overt racism. Their hate and inability to control their rage must be displayed. In order for them to feel and look big, they must make Black folks look and feel small.

Do Justice or Die Trying

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

Matthew 23:23

If you’re a Black pastor and you’re teaching but not practicing justice faithfully in this hour, you’re out of order. Black pastors have sat on the sidelines concerned about their tax-exempt statuses and finances for far too long while the people have been without adequate local leadership and support from our clergy. Church used to be the cornerstone for social justice after slavery and during Jim Crow which is why White Supremacists always bombed them.

“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.”

~ Zechariah 7:9

Marley K., 2021