Running feels so free to do. It’s just you, your body cleansing itself from heart, muscle to mind. Pumping your legs. It feels like this freedom within the body. It honestly feels so good. And it’s so healthy for you. And Ahmaud couldn’t even have that. He couldn’t even have a nice run in broad daylight on a neighborhood street because 3 racists refused to see his humanity.
In those moments before the murderers crossed his path, he must have felt so free; In the wind, breathing deep. Yet he wasn’t free to run. He wasn’t free to deeply gulp in the fresh wind as he pumped his legs, feet striking the ground of the supposed “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”. Imagine how good he must have felt when he started his jog. The wind in his face, body free and moving forward with his strength burning from inside his muscles, free to breathe. Then imagine his horror when he saw that truck, parked and waiting for him. You can see he is strong as he runs and changes course. You can see it as he is forced to fight for his life. But racism is stronger, disgustingly so. Racism is insidious. It kills with abandon. Racism killed #AhmaudArbery.
Every bullet was filled with hate. It took his breath away forever. No more running with the wind hitting his face, inhaling that fresh sun-filled air deep into his lungs. No more feet striking the pavement, pushing forward to free his own body and mind against the world. His life and body were taken from him by hatred for his life and his body because of the color of his skin. Never mind that his muscles and his bones were born human. He was his “ancestors’ wildest dreams,” as their quote goes…and then the horrifying nightmare of racism reared its ugly head to lynch him.
All he wanted in those moments was to run free in the wind. To run free, alive. Not run for his life, as he was forced to do in the end. But to run and be alive; feel his life, pumping through his legs into his heart, breathing deeply, exhilarated by the joy of being alive. When running, the movements feel like freedom. Fully alive. But racism doesn’t care how he felt running free in the wind. It hates that he’s alive. Racism slaughtered him to the ground, no longer free to live those “wildest dreams” of his ancestors, as the quote goes. There, one moment. Extinguished in the next. Racism kills dreams. Racism killed #AhmaudArbery.
Racism protects his murderers and then condemns the life of Ahmaud; a life running free in the sun and the wind, breathing in deep the freedom to be here now and soar with his own power pumping from his muscles through his feet. Racism stopped his feet. Racism stopped his heart. Racism took his breath and lynched him in broad daylight, slaughtered onto the street, treated like an animal and not as a human being. But he was a human being. Ahmaud’s whole life, as human as you and me! His murderers though, are monsters of humanity. They don’t deserve to be recognized as human “beings”…They don’t belong among us. Though they are…there are others like them among us, for racism is insidious. It hides and lurks in humans, in thoughts and rationalizations, not always buried deep. It’s on the tip of their tongue, waiting to be expressed, exposed, explained., treated as though innocent and innocuous. But racism isn’t innocent nor innocuous. Racism kills. It kills humans, people, friends, neighbors, loved ones, family, children, adults, human beings! It kills without remorse, repentance, reparations. Racism kills with impunity. Racism killed #AhmaudArbery.