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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Nation

‘But we just never learn, we never change’: UH students think Ahmaud Arbery verdict isn’t enough


A jury found the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery, guilty of committing federal hate crimes in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Feb. 2020. 

All three defendants convicted for the murder of Arbery were served life sentences with the possibility of parole still under consideration. 

To UH students, this verdict wasn’t enough.

“It just feels like we’ve reached this same point, this turning point, a hundred times before in our history,” said philosophy senior Irfan Haider. “But we just never learn, we never change.”

Haider said there needs to be more change rather than just reaching a point where only the bare minimum is being done in these cases.

“Institutional racism is a very real thing in America.” Haider said. “Sure, some people’s attitudes may have changed, but that’s not the kind of change we need. We need real change, from the top down.” 

That sentiment was echoed by business junior Sara Kaddar, the problem isn’t that justice wasn’t served, but that it took public involvement to bring those responsible to justice.

“Hate is still very much so a problem in this country, and I don’t see hate crimes not being an issue here any time soon,” Kaddar said. “I just feel like were it not for the backlash on social media platforms, the killers would still be out there.” 

Yet some students still maintain an optimistic outlook on the situation. 

“The way things are going now; in a hundred years I can picture a very different America,” said management and information systems sophomore Greg Llorence. “One where these issues are, at the very least, not so pervasive.” 

However, Llorence did make clear that he felt legislatures have been focusing too much on discussion, and not action. 

“Words are speaking louder than actions right now,” Llorence said. 

Although many students think this is straightforward, for some students the issue is not so cut and dry. 

“While race is certainly a huge factor here, I think we’re kind of glossing over the role poverty plays in situations like these,” said supply chain logistics sophomore Hammad Kahlon. 

While racism and classism certainly intersect in American politics, one is being discussed at the expense of the other, Khalon said. 

“Look I grew up poor, and it didn’t matter whether you were Black, white or Latino,” Khalon said. “People would treat you a certain way because you were poor. Now it feels like if you aren’t a certain color you aren’t allowed to suffer injustice.”

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