“Even without overt discussion of race over 10 days of testimony, the overwhelming whiteness (and maleness) of the defendants has been on full display. Consider the defense’s main argument: that the defendants acted in self-defense. It hinges on the jury’s understanding of a series of perceived threats, threats that surfaced only after the defendants attempted to arrest Arbery for trespassing. “I knew that he was on me, I knew that I was losing this. I knew that he was overpowering me,” Travis McMichael said. ‘If he would’ve got the shotgun from me, then it was a life-or-death situation. And I’m gonna have to stop him from doing this, so I shot.’
On the surface, his comments seem race-neutral. But his testimony highlights a commonly used defense of perpetrators of violence against unarmed Black people: fear. Never mind that McMichael and his father ran Arbery down with their truck. Never mind they were the only ones armed. Never mind that Arbery was outnumbered three to one. Never mind that he had been running for miles before the altercation. Never mind that the defendants went looking for a confrontation. Never mind all that. It was McMichael who found himself in a life-or-death situation that required him to make a swift, irrevocable action—despite his testifying that he had been trained in deescalation tactics.”
Emphasis mine. I’ve watched a fair amount of the trial. If I was a juror, I wouldn’t need to deliberate. I can’t begin to wrap my head around the possibility that McMichael is acquitted.