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For Justice. For Freedom. For Ahmaud Arbery

One of my life verses is found in Micah 6:8:

"He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the Lord require of you

but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God?"

During my quiet time this morning, I found my mind spinning around the word justice. If you don't know me very well, I am a person who despises unfairness, injustice, those who are being quiet when they should speak up. I try to remember that not everyone is able to speak loudly, and sometimes they choose to use their voices by serving, campaigning or even sharing.

We are all extremely passionate about something, and there are things each of us are willing to die on hills for. I will die on the hill of speaking up and rising up for justice. For freedom. For people.

I want to start with the story of #ahmaudarbery. I am saying his name. I saw the video after I noticed on social media nearly every person I know and/or followed was posting his picture.

I don't usually post publicly about events or crimes or even political happenings. I tend to spend a great deal of my time watching, reading, listening and then giving my two cents if I feel it will help the cause and the conversation. I am not afraid to speak up, but I am patient to speak up. I had been accused by some in the past of just being too direct and harsh in my opinions, but I actually think that it isn't that I am harsh or too direct....but that you are uncomfortable with what I believe and for some reason, the words I may say may trigger something in you.

Before I go ahead, please note that it is not my responsibility to preface every word or every post so in order not to trigger people or make them react a certain way. That is your responsibility. I will certainly practice kind speech and you won't find me calling people vile names for click bait, and I certainly won't post something controversial or sensational simply for more subscribers. I am opinionated, yes. Sometimes I will write out things you flat out don't agree with. Freedom. I love it. If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. I will make you uncomfortable at times and even downright angry. To that I say, good. Then I have done my job and made you think, even if you disagree.

Back to Ahmaud...who is the important person in this post. I watched the video, and if you are clueless as to what this story is even about, I highly recommend you watch it as well. I have linked it here. The video is short, and I am sure there will be many who say it doesn't tell the whole story. Maybe not, but the questions I want answers to are:

-Why follow him in the first place. He was clearly jogging.

-Even if he did match the description supposedly of a burglary suspect..why were they following him? Why not just call authorities and let authorities question him if need be? And if they did call the authorities, why not just walk away? Why did they follow him?!

-You can see in the video that their white truck was up ahead of him as he was jogging. Which gives the sense that this was predatory and as they followed, they drove up ahead of him in order to confront him.

-Why were they not arrested when this happened? If it had been anyone else, they would have been.

-Why are we just hearing about this in May, when it took place in February of this year?

-These white men followed him, with guns (even if they did have concealed weapon permits), which means they had a belief that he was a dangerous man and the suspect of a crime and they wanted to perform a citizens arrest. If they didn't actually know he was for sure the suspect the authorities were actively searching for, then they were not in the place to make a citizens arrest.

-The video doesn't show how the altercation started, but I think I can safely say that if I had two people who were yelling at me and they had guns, and they did not have badges or were in police uniform, I don't think I would be staying to talk with them. I don't understand why they would expect a black man who was jogging through the neighborhood to submit to their authority and talk to them.

-I read in one of the articles that the father of the shooter said he saw Arbery "hauling ass" on their street and immediately believed he was the burglar. So now, if you run really fast, in a neighborhood, you are a suspect? And if you are black, and you run fast, even more so? Seriously?

-Ahmaud Arbery's past is already being dug up by those who want to defend the shooters, which let me say this, even if he had robbed somebody in the past (I am not saying that he did. I do not know...nor do I really care at this point) what does that have to do with what happened on February 23rd and the murder of a man who was simply out for a jog in a neighborhood. He is now dead. He cannot defend himself in the Court or on social media. These two men acted as though they had the authority and the power to do what they did, and based on their story these men are telling, I believe racism and prejudice was involved in their confrontation.

-Why isn't there a real investigation going on with these men arrested so that the facts can be dug up and figured out? Or is this another case where people in power (specifically white men in the State of Georgia)

I believe in fighting for freedom and fighting for justice. I am a woman who loves Jesus and I just cannot sit by and not write about it or talk about it or ask questions. I am asking a lot of questions lately, in terms of our government and authorities and now this.

I don't know what else to say about this except that I am sick. I was talking with my son this morning and I asked him about his best friend. What he looked like. What his name was. If he lived close by. He saw Ahmaud's picture on my computer screen and asked me "Who is that?"

And I tried to share with him his story, and I realized how hard it was for me to explain that there are literally people out there who hate people because of what they look like and the color of their skin. I can say confidently that we are lucky in my home. My kids have friends of all sizes, races and colors. I know that racism exists and I have tried to do as good of a job as I can to share with them the evils of racism and hatred in our hearts that people have for our fellow man and woman. But I realize that even my conversation with him was woefully inadequate. I am certain that there are black mothers who are showing their own black sons pictures of Ahmaud Arbery and explaining, maybe even pleading and in tears to help them see what evil is and what kind of destruction it can cause, simply because of the color of their skin. And it makes me mad.

That is not freedom. That is not justice. It was not right that a black man could not simply jog in peace and unbeknownst to him be "identified" as being a burglar, because he was "hauling ass" and that was suspicious. Such stupidity. It is wrong. It is evil. Ask the questions. Demand more answers. Demand and fight for justice. Some person will probably have a bunch of "reasons" why this was justifiable. That they were protecting themselves and have a right to stand their ground. Just stop. Stop.

Praying for his mama. For his family. For those who loved him and simply want justice and freedom that is allowed to so many. Why not them? Why not Ahmaud.


In Christ,

Tiffany Rhea

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