This Friday morning, during a telephoned-in appearance on Fox & Friends, President Donald Trump addressed the recent murder of Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery, a black man who was jogging when he was hunted down and shot to death by at least two white individuals. Trump called the murder a “very disturbing situation” and claimed that Arbery “looks like” a “really good young guy.” What does he mean that Arbery “looks like” he was a good guy? Is the president engaging in racism while discussing a racist murder? Trump sounds like he is implying that it’s possible for a young black man to “look like” a “bad guy” on the basis of nothing but their looks, since that’s all that the president is going on here.
Trump commented to the Fox & Friends hosts:
‘I looked at a picture of that young man. That looks like a really good young guy, and it’s a very disturbing situation to me. And I just, my heart goes out to the parents, and the family, and the friends. It’s a heartbreaking thing. Very rough stuff.’
Asked a follow-up question about whether there was anything he could do to keep the situation from devolving into a “racial situation,” Trump commented that “justice getting done is the thing that solves that problem,” adding that he apparently trusts Georgia authorities to handle the situation appropriately. To be clear, however, it took them over two months to even bring charges against the individuals responsible for Arbery’s death, and those charges, which include murder and aggravated assault, only followed a national outcry over the attackers being allowed to essentially walk free indefinitely.
These murderers’ completely flimsy, hollow excuse for the murder was that they supposedly thought Arbery was behind burglaries in the area. They had no evidence for this claim. In fact, there was not even a single apparent reported burglary at any point in early 2020 in the neighborhood in which Arbery was murdered. They pulled the burglary excuse completely out of thin air, it seems.
"USA TODAY filed an open public records request…for burglaries and home break-ins in the Satilla Shores neighborhood between Jan. 1 and Feb. 23. The department's records office said in an email Thursday it had no records matching that request." https://t.co/Ul101gr8lc
— kelynsoong (@KelynSoong) May 8, 2020
In stark contrast to Trump’s vapid, implicitly racist remarks, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has spoken out forcefully about the situation.
He commented recently:
‘By now many of us have seen that harrowing footage of Ahmaud Arbery out on a jog on a beautiful day in February in Georgia, shot down in cold blood, essentially lynched before our very eyes, 2020 style. This family and the country deserves justice and they deserve it now. They deserve a transparent investigation of this brutal murder. But our nation deserves it as well. We need to reckon with this, this goes on. These vicious acts call to mind the darkest chapters of our history.’
Trump and the Fox hosts, meanwhile, appear content to remain willfully ignorant about the brazenly racial violence-motivated aspects of Arbery’s murder. Of course, they have a conveniently self-serving reason to ignore the racist aspect of the violence — they themselves are responsible for increasingly egregious affronts against the basic human rights of immigrants who have come to the United States. The Trump administration has kept these individuals in frequently dangerous conditions.