Ahmaud Arbery Statement
May 8, 2020
Ahmaud Arbery Statement
As anti-sexual violence advocates, we know that the history of sexual violence in this country is inextricably linked with the history of racism and anti-Black violence. We believe in our core that we can not end sexual violence without also ending all forms of oppression and racism, to include structural and systemic racism upheld by legal and cultural norms that are the legacy of white supremacy. We stand with the family of Ahmaud Arbery in demanding justice for the life that was taken from him. We speak his name along with the names of Trayvon Martin, Eric Brown, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Keith Lamont Scott, Jonathan Ferrell, Atatiana Jefferson, Emmett Till, and many others — names of people whose lives have been taken from them and whose stories have been framed by racist violence. We remember them not as pawns in a cultural conversation or as lessons for our consumption and growth, but as children, parents, friends, siblings, and beloved members of their beloved communities.
As white accomplices, we ask other white accomplices to stand in community with Black and Brown people who experience individual and state violence at the hands of traditional white systems everyday. We must be loud and clear that it does not matter whether or not something can be justified legally. The laws that have been constructed in our country were not written to protect Black people, and have always and will continue to make it seem like the killing of unarmed Black people in this country is okay if those who pull the trigger are white and/or hold a position of power, or attempt to justify their actions by searching for details about the victim to hold up as “evidence.” As sexual assault advocates and anti-racist accomplices, we denounce victim-blaming in all its forms. The description of the incident as seen in the police report and observations from the recently released video make it clear that these two men were motivated by racist beliefs and approached this vigilante style of justice as hunters. It is clear that they did not see Ahmaud Arbery as human. This was a lynching, no matter the legal definition.
Senator Kamala Harris stated on Twitter, “Exercising while Black shouldn’t be a death sentence,” and we agree. We join with the family of Ahmaud Arbery and the Georgia NAACP in calling for justice for Ahmaud Arbery, and for his murderers to be held accountable.
Deanna Harrington, Director of Member Services and Technical Assistance
Christy Croft, Prevention Education Program Manager
Courtney Dunkerton, Anti-Human Trafficking Specialist
Anna Wallin, Program Evaluator
Leah Poole, Rural Sexual Assault Specialist
Madison Ferrera, Member Services Assistant
Gabriella Neyman, Communications and Training Specialist
Brynn Fann, Training Support Specialist
Caroline Gill, Financial Specialist