The defense did all of that in the heart of the Deep South before a nearly all-White jury. On Wednesday, that nearly-all White jury in a case presided over by a White judge found three White men guilty as the murderers we all knew they were long before the gavel was first pounded. That nearly all-White jury shamed the defense for believing anti-Black racism would help secure an acquittal. It’s the kind of decision we should want replicated throughout our system, the kind we should want proclaimed and celebrated, the kind we must hope becomes precedent. If it does, Black jurors would not be continuously discriminated against during jury selection. If it does, racist White men would think twice before arming themselves to take matters into their own hands the way so many White racist mobs did during the height of the lynching era. If it does, I’ll feel less of a need to arm myself to go jogging alone, even in nearly-all-White neighborhoods.
We won’t be able to convince every racist man he doesn’t have the right to act on the racism flowing through his veins. But we can make more of them think twice before picking up a weapon to do so, at least in the most obviously-egregious cases such as this one. That’s the world we should want to create, one we should hope that nearly all-White jury in Georgia has helped make more of a reality. There should have never been a time in this country in which that wasn’t true.