[Excerpted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively through VDARE.com]
We like to think that we make progress from a less fair, less just society to one that is more fair and more just. Indeed, our loudest and most powerful political faction flatters itself with the adjective ”Progressive.”
But on the evidence of last week’s news we are not progressing but regressing, to something coarser, stupider, and more primitive. The phrase ”banana republic” has been given a good airing this week. Yes, that’s where we’re headed. In fact, on this week’s evidence, we’re pretty much there.
The week’s greatest outrage—even more than Merrick Garland’s raid on Mar-A-Lago, because Trump can defend himself—was of course the sentencing on Monday at a federal court in Georgia of the Brunswick Three: Gregory McMichael and his son Travis, and their neighbor William Bryan. The two McMichaels were given life sentences; Bryan, who is 52 years old, was given 35 years.
What federal crimes did they commit? The Brunswick Three, who are all white, allegedly interfered with the civil rights of a black man, Ahmaud Arbery. So judged the court. They were also judged to have attempted to kidnap Arbery; and in the cases of the two McMichaels, to have carried guns during a crime of violence.
These were federal charges, mind. The Brunswick Three were tried on state charges last year. All three were given life sentences then.
So now they effectively have two life sentences apiece: one state, one federal.
This is a monstrous miscarriage of justice: two miscarriages if you count the state and federal trials separately. These were three honest, hard-working citizens, none of whom had any criminal record. Both the McMichaels had in fact served in law enforcement. Their intentions in confronting Arbery were plain: to defend their neighborhood against a likely thief who, whether or not they knew it, did have a criminal record.
Travis McMichael shot Arbery in plain self-defense when Arbery was trying to wrestle away his gun. Gregory McMichael didn’t shoot anybody—he was trying to call the police. Roddie Bryan wasn’t even armed.
Now their lives have been brutally destroyed, along with the lives of Mrs. McMichael (who has cancer), her daughter, Travis’ five-year-old son, and Roddie Bryan’s fiancée and their two children.
Some listeners acquainted with Georgia State statutes have emailed me to say that everything had proceeded properly; that the Brunswick Three were murderers under Georgia law.
All I can say to that is what the Beadle said in Oliver Twist ”If the law supposes that, the law is an ass—a idiot.”
And that Georgia State law does in fact suppose that was not the opinion of the D.A. who first investigated the case. His carefully argued conclusion was that ”there is insufficient probable cause to issue arrest warrants at this time” [Ref: Glynn County , The Shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery , Feb 23rd , 2020].
But for Heaven’s sake: Two life sentences apiece? We don’t treat hardened criminals this way, and these are not hardened criminals.
To add insult to catastrophic injury, both state and federal trials were attended by all the reptilian parasites of the Civil Rights racket, their eyes all aglow with dollar signs: Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Benjamin Crump…
And then, for yet further insult, the court this week denied the three defendants’ request that they serve their time in federal prison.
Why did the Brunswick Three request that? Because in the Georgia state prison system, to quote Monday’s New York Times: ”safety issues are so dire that they are the subject of an investigation by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department.” In the years 2020 and 2021 there were 53 homicides in Georgia’s state prisons [Two in Arbery Case Sentenced Again to Life in Prison; Third Man Gets 35 Years, by Richard Fausset, NYT, August 8, 2022].
So, given that not only must a high proportion of Georgia State inmates be black but also a lot of the corrections officers, you can see why the Brunswick Three would prefer the federal pen.
However, the federal judge presiding this week, Lisa Godbey Wood, a George W. Bush appointee, denied their request, saying, according the Times’s Fausset, that she had ”neither the authority nor the inclination” to accede.
But the sentences don’t actually make sense even in the 1964 context. At the time the Civil Rights Act was passed, it was not unknown for whites who killed blacks in the states of the Old South to be unjustly acquitted by local white juries. I don’t think it was common, and certainly not normal, but it happened—in the Emmett Till case, for example [The Murder of Emmett Till, Library Of Congress].
The remedy established by Civil Rights legislation was that in such a case the accused could be tried again on federal charges.
It made sense as a remedy sixty years ago, notwithstanding its plain offense to the centuries-old common law prohibition against double jeopardy, and provided it was used very judiciously, where the local acquittal had followed on from some flagrant violation of rights.
But federal Civil Rights prosecutions make no sense in the case of the Brunswick Three. They hadn’t been found not guilty by a local jury of grinning whites for crimes they were obviously guilty of. They had been found guilty by a local jury—nine white women, two white men and one black man—and given life sentences.
There was no need for a federal prosecution to rectify an injustice. The federal case was just an act of prosecutorial spite—anti-white spite.
That in fact is what these Civil Rights prosecutions always are nowadays.
Nineteen sixty-four is most of a lifetime ago. Federal Civil Rights prosecutions today remedy no wrongs. The phrase ”Civil Rights” in 2022 is just a euphemism for ”black privilege” and naked, shameless double jeopardy.
The really astonishing thing here—and to me, and surely to anyone else with a sense of fairness, the most depressing thing— is the near-total lack of support the Brunswick Three have received in the media.
I don’t expect anything from the regime outlets of course. Even the New York Post, the nearest thing we have to a counter-regime newspaper, tells us about the death of Arbery only that ”the younger McMichael fired a shotgun into the jogger at close range” [Gunman Travis McMichael gets another life sentence for hate crime in Ahmaud Arbery murder, by Evan Simko-Bednarski, August 8, 2022]
That leaves Post readers with the impression that Travis McMichael squared off, took aim, and deliberately fired at Arbery. In fact Travis was in a struggle for his life, with Arbery’s hands on his weapon.
I’ll admit I don’t watch a whole lot of Fox News, but the bits I did watch this week had nothing to say about the Brunswick Three. Tucker Carlson does, though, have a new show about flying saucers at Fox Nation.
Major media aside, even out here on the Dissident Right nobody’s had much to say. Is everyone so spooked by the Civil Rights racketeers?
It was the same with the state trial and sentencing. I posted on the Brunswick Three back in October, and Jared Taylor covered the case much more professionally with two fine spirited posts in November and January. Jared also alerted us in April to a website to help Mrs. McMichael.
Those posts aside, and my savage indignation at the state sentences in January, I’ve seen surprisingly little on what seems to me a major outrage.
I urge listeners, and readers of the transcript of this podcast, to look up those posts—just do a site search at VDARE.com with search argument ”arbery,” or follow the links in the Radio Derb transcript when it’s posted on the 17th.
Like Aztec sacrifices to the Gods, the Brunswick Three have had their hearts ripped out and their bodies rolled off down the temple steps.
The jurors know that failure to return a guilty verdict will result in them being fired from their jobs, their kids being beaten up at school, and Antifa and BLM showing up to torch their houses while the police, with Derek Chauvin's fate in mind, watch.https://t.co/0YbZ99dogu— VDARE (@vdare) October 23, 2021
But they should not be forgotten.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.
Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire’s writings at VDARE.com can do so here.