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‘Want us to Rest In Peace But Don’t Want us to Live in Peace’: Lilly Singh Voices Outrage on Ahmaud Arbery Murder

Black lives matter: YouTube sensation and talk show host Lilly Singh draws fans attention to the brutal murder of Ahmaud Arbery, state bureau of investigation charges the culprits, Gregory McMichael (64) and Travis McMichael (34) after intensified public outrage

Published: May 8, 2020 12:59 PM IST

By Trending Desk | Edited by Zarafshan Shiraz

Ahmaud Arbery and Lilly Singh
Ahmaud Arbery and Lilly Singh (Photo Courtesy: Instagram/@lilly)

In another horrific incident of racial discrimination, a black man, Ahmaud Arbery, was shot dead by Gregory McMichael (64) and Travis McMichael (34) after he went out for jogging on February 23, 2020 morning. While the father-son duo said that they pursued the 25-year-old suspecting him to be the one behind the latest series of break-ins and shot him only when he attacked them, a video that recently went viral shows the real side of the story.

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Unlike the one narrated by the McMichaels, the 36-second clip, shot from a vehicle behind the pick-up truck and said to be involved in the incident, showed Arbery jogging on his usual track reportedly and crossing the stationary pick-up truck in which the McMichaels waited for him. What follows next is Arbery struggling with a man carrying a shotgun while bypassing the truck and muffled sounds of shouting and shotgun shots. Another man is seen standing in the bed of the pick-up with a pistol, standing alongside the other armed man with the jogger no longer in view.

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The white were not initially charged because Gregory McMichael had reportedly worked as a police officer and a detective for over 30 years for the local district attorney. The failure to bring charges against the McMichaels, who are white, in the weeks after the shooting led to a wave of outrage nationwide from figures as diverse as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the basketball star LeBron James and Russell Moore, a prominent leader of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Drawing fans attention towards the same and encouraging them to voice their outrage, Lilly Singh, popular YouTuber and sensational talk show host of NBC, shared a series of Ahmaud Arbery’s pictures urging justice for him and a quote that read, “Exercise while black should not be a death sentence.” Since neither of the killers were charged by the time Lilly shared her post, she elaborated in the caption, “One of the most real and tragic sentiments I’ve ever heard is “people want us to Rest In Peace but don’t want us to live in peace” (I believe it was @russ who said it). That’s unacceptable and selfish and something marginalized groups experience all too often. By now you’ve probably read about Ahmaud Arbery and in case you’re not sure how to voice your outrage at the injustice, you can text 55156 and it’ll prompt you to sign a petition. Furthermore you can go to These issues are more than a hashtag, trending topic or flavour of the month. These are lives. We need to do better. I don’t have all the answers but I know this disrupts me to my core and can’t imagine what it must feel like to his family/community #blacklivesmatter #justiceforahmaud (if I didn’t mention a valuable resource or way to help the cause, plz comment below)” sic.

As public pressure for an arrest intensified with the release of the video, Georgia Bureau of Investigation finally charged the father and son with murder and aggravated assault and booked into a jail in coastal Glynn County, Ga., where the killing took place. The bureau shared a news release a couple of hours ago that stated that it was Travis McMichael who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery on February 23.

In an interview with PBS Newshour, the victim’s father, Marcus Arbery shared, “I don’t know why they racially profile him and done him like that because all he did is work out and ran and just took care of his body, because he had dreams now. Now all his dreams are gone, because they took his life for nothing.”

The three months delay in the case only highlights the racial inequities in the justice system.

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Published Date: May 8, 2020 12:59 PM IST