I’m running 2.23 miles today, for Ahmaud Arbery.
You know the story, by now. If you don’t, you should. Arbery — a 25 year old Black man — was running — jogging — through a Georgia suburb in February when he was pursued, shot and killed by two white men (a father and son) with guns. They claim they assumed he was responsible for recent break ins.
Kamala Harris’ tweet — “exercising while Black shouldn’t be a death sentence” — is a meme by now.
During the pandemic, everyone has had to come to terms with the idea that going outside is “dangerous.” For some of us — white people, affluent people, western people — this is a new experience. It’s not new for people of colour, for women fearful of running at night, for people who wear religious symbols that are outside dominant culture. It’s especially not new for Black men in North America.
I’m a white, middle aged, affluent Canadian woman with a lot of privilege. I run when I want to. I even argue for my right to run — carefully, thoughtfully — during a global pandemic. That’s privilege.
My feminism is intersectional. I’m listening when my black friends tell me they need to raise their sons to know that the world is not safe for them. I’m listening when endless, overwhelming numbers are showing us that the pandemic is just re-emphasizing existing health equities, with far more people of colour — especially men — dying in North America. I’m noticing that “zoom bombing” most often takes the form of racist and misogynistic attacks.
I’m a white woman, and I’m a feminist. This story breaks my heart, and it makes me so angry. I’m an ally, and #justiceforahmaud has to be my fight too.
Ahmaud was murdered on 2 – 23 – 30. He was supposed to turn 26 today. Run 2.23 miles today with thousands of others, in solidarity.
Fieldpoppy is Cate Creede, who lives in Toronto.