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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 11/25/21

A Tale of Three Cities, Ahmaud Arbery and "Angry" Black People

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Men convicted of murder in fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and William Bryan have been convicted for felony murder for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. Subscribe to CTV News to watch ...
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In the seminal literary work A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, the novel is opened by a sentence that has become famous. Dickens, fascinating because of the length and complexity of his sentences wrote: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." Mr. Dickens prescience and timeliness almost 200 years ago in light of the current time warp is rather spectacular.

Literary sacrilege notwithstanding, were I to channel Mr. Dickens' spirit and don my Dickensian hat I would suggest the following edit: "It was the worst of times, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Darkness, it was the winter of despair, we had nothing before us (that was good), we were all going to hell. In short the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only," And so goes my non-fictitious Tale of Three Cities, Ahmaud Arbery and "angry" Black People in the United States. Be forewarned that no matter the context the very nature of blasphemy is that it is blasphemous and, thereby, without limits. I do not relish telling the tale, for I am exhausted by both the tale as well as telling it; variations and timestamps notwithstanding.

Kenosha, Wisconsin has concluded the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. I will not gloat about the fact that weeks before the trial came to a close I predicted the outcome, as it did not take any manner of Herculean intellect to do so. In fact, a mental midget could have predicted the outcome. Kyle Rittenhouse is a budding white supremacist that murdered two people, and seriously wounded another, after being animated by protests surrounding "America's Negro Problem". I will, from this day forward, refer to all of the unique and strange maladies that affect Black People in the United States as "America's Negro Problem" because that's the only name the weird things that happen to only us has ever had. We are not even afforded the luxury of our anomaly being termed genocide, holocaust or apartheid and it is not "racism". It is beyond that.

The Rittenhouse trial was the judicial and prosecutorial version of the Keystone Cops. The prosecution was not only inept and incompetent, it might as well been part of the defense team. The presiding judge at least remembered to wear the right colored robe on the bench and didn't make the mistake of wearing his other one; the white one, with matching hood. Then there was Rittenhouse jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius whose claim to fame is being on the O.J. Simpson legal team as jury consultant (and her fees are more than exorbitant). The whole concept of a jury consultant should disturb anyone involved in the so-called administration of justice. Clearly she is effective, but the silence from the media pertinent to her O.J. Simpson professional lineage is deafening and I know exactly why it has been so.

Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted by an all "white" jury, in fact I have heard the media make the statement he was "found innocent". O.J. Simpson was acquitted, too. Not only has he never been referred to as "innocent" he was tried again, albeit in civil proceedings, until the tag murderer could be hung on him. The "system" found a way to take his money and put his black ass in jail for a long time even though it took a while. But Kyle the Wild Child is now, as predicted, a poster child for white supremacy and is being rewarded accordingly. There are many that audibly scoffed at my stating that Kyle would be acquitted and possibly even enter politics; now all I hear is crickets. Kyle the Wild Child has been fawned over by the media and, most ominously, a myriad of politicians. Kyle has gone from Top Ramen to top sirloin thanks to America's Negro Problem. In the end, no Negro Problem, no death, no Kyle, no trial and Top Ramen is the soup du jour for Kyle and company. The case, truly, had nothing to do with "race".

Kyle was defending himself.

Brunswick, Georgia has concluded the trial of three white supremacist vigilantes that conducted what was essentially a lynching, in the shotgun murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan were all found guilty of murder and, for a vicarious moment, those that perpetrate and perpetuate this "system" congratulate themselves in the self-appeasement that this nation is capable of justice. It is not if you are a Black Person in the United States for the proverbial pimp slap is always coming but, as any boxer knows, the same punch comes from different angles.

In the Murder Trial of Ahmaud Arbery, the defense attorney for "Roddie" Bryan (Kevin Gough) repeatedly motioned the court complaining "We don't want any more Black pastors coming in here or other Jesse Jackson, whoever was in here earlier this week, sitting with the victim's family trying to influence a jury in this case." Damn the back of the bus, Mr. Gough says don't even get on the bus. Unlike the presiding judge in the Kyle Rittenhouse Murder Trial the presiding judge, Timothy Walmsley, was/is an admirable figure both on the bench and in terms of his judicial temperament. Judge Walmsley physically resembles what a person would look like if Martin Sheen and Robert Duvall had a baby. And, contrary to the Kyle Rittenhouse Murder Trial prosecution, the prosecutrix (Linda Dunikoski) leading the prosecution team was formidable, dogged and on offense. However, like the Kyle Rittenhouse Murder Trial litigationally inverted, it did not require a mental giant to achieve what appears on the surface to be a successful prosecution.

Concerned with shenanigans on the part of defense counsel(s) during jury selection, Judge Walmsley stated on the record "This court has found that there appears to be intentional discrimination. One of the challenges that I think counsel recognized in this case is the racial overtones in the case.This is sort of the continuation of a conversation that I think will continue for a long time, with respect to this case." There was a single 'person of color 'on the jury. When he uttered those words he set up, wittingly or unwittingly, the appeals to be filed by The Gang of Three. Gough's goofy Forest Gump persona was crazy like a fox. One would have to be an idiot, cubed, to think that the defense was unaware that their clients had committed a murder; and in my mind a premeditated one. The defense's collusive strategy was to set the case up for the appellate process. Those appeals will center around racial bias (odd as that seems) and severability issues. I am willing to bet that the written briefs are being prepared as I write this sentence and there will be at least one new trial; possibly three but the case, truly, had nothing to do with race.

After blowing away much of Ahmaud Arbery's torso and stomach as he lain bleeding out on the street, Travis McMichael stood over him and said "f*cking n-word". I have had those words said to me by a European-American; it's a special thing. In the end, no Negro Problem, no death, no Gang of Three, no trial and the elongated agony that shall ensue.

The Gang of Three in the Ahmaud Arbery case were making a citizens arrest.

In Hennepin County, Minnesota, a week from now, former police officer Kimberly Potter will stand trial on murder charges in the shooting death of 20 year old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. Potter said she "thought" her gun was her Taser. Potter very much resembles Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer that "thought" that there was an intruder in her apartment and opened fire on him. Problem was, Amber Guyger was on the wrong floor, in the wrong apartment, and murdered Botham Jean as he sat in his living room eating ice cream. Botham was 26 years old. Since the Kimberly Potter Murder Trial has yet to occur there are no substantive judicial developments. However, like the previous two cities, like the previous victims, like the previous murderers and the resultant trials the case, truly, has nothing to do with "race." In the end, no Negro Problem, no death, no Kimberly Potter, no trial.

Kimberly "thought" her gun was her Taser.

I find it quite the preoccupation that there are no Breonna Singh's, Trayvon Chow's, Tamir Ludwigs, Oscar Catawnee's, Eula Fujimoto's, George Nguyen's, Walter Ayad's or Sandra Steinberg's and only on occasion does one get a Latasha Sanchez. Infinitely fascinating it is that these horrors all seem to happen, throughout centuries, to people who share a common characteristic; several, in fact.

While testifying in his own defense, Travis McMichael said that Ahmaud Arbery wouldn't stop when he asked him to. That Ahmaud "wouldn't talk to me". That Ahmaud was "bold", "brazen and "angry" despite the fact that the young man never said a word to this inbred idiot and tried to escape interacting with him. When I heard this testimony it impacted me deeply because of my own life experiences. One of which altered the trajectory of my life that involved an Inglewood, California police officer named Arlin Vaselenko. I was about to enter the police academy and I will never forget Officer Vaselenko, for it was he to whom I lost my American idealism virginity and the apartheid state became real in a way it had not been before. I was just a kid then and that was just the beginning.

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Rohn Kenyatta is a contributing columnist for Black Agenda Report, the Los Angeles Sentinel as well as other media outlets international and domestic.

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