Michael Dunn’s acquittal in the murder of Jordan Davis is nothing but another example of the blatant disregard for Black life in this country. To say that I am disgusted is an understatement. I try my hardest to keep my emotions out of the posts on my blog, but this time I just cannot do it.
I’m sitting here thinking about this young man’s family. I’m thinking about those who were close to him and how they, like Trayvon Martin and Kendrick Johnson’s families, will not receive true justice.
While Dunn was convicted on three counts of attempted second-degree murder and with firing into a vehicle. He stands to be sentenced to as much as 75 years in prison.
But I cannot look past the fact that he was not convicted of the first-degree murder of Jordan Davis. I cannot look past the fact that his attorney’s faulty deficient-at-best defense case actually hung the jury on that first-degree murder charge. I cannot look past the fact that Jordan is one of THREE nationally publicized cases in which the lives of black males are heavily snubbed in almost 2 years. I also cannot look past the fact that all three of these cases occurred in the South.
Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis were murdered in Florida. Kendrick Johnson was murdered in Valdosta, Georgia.
But for right now, I’m going to dissect the Jordan Davis incident.
1. Dunn claims that he saw Jordan Davis wielding a weapon inside the SUV and got threatened; however, investigators found no weapon inside the car or in the surrounding area. The defense’s rebuttal was that “the teens got rid of it during the three minutes they were in an adjacent parking lot after fleeing the gunshots. He said detectives should have immediately gone to the area and searched but failed to do so.”
The ONLY reason Dunn felt as though there was a weapon in the car is because he saw four black males in the vehicle. It’s a well-known fact that black males who listen to hip-hop music are stereotyped as thugs and misfits. It is this image, which is heavily perpetuated by the media, that caused Dunn to manifest the idea in his mind that Davis had a weapon.
Dunn had no viable reasoning for shooting into that vehicle. NONE. When Dunn walked up to the SUV and requested that the music be turned down, those boys brushed him off. As anyone would have. Dunn did not own the gas station. That was not Dunn’s home or private property. He cannot police music in a public place. However, his privilege allowed him to believe that he could. And once his privilege was disregarded, he decided to show those “boys” who was “boss”…or master.
2. Dunn claims to have asked the boys to turn down the music, and they obliged. However, he claims the music was turned up again soon after and that he heard one of the guys “use a derogatory term describing whites in the South.”
Awe. Poor Dunn may or may not have been called a “cracker.” But what Dunn failed to realize is that “nigger,” or just being Black in the South in general, holds centuries of racial implications and weight for Black people.
“Crackers” weren’t hanged from trees and lamp posts for crimes they didn’t commit while being called “niggers.” “Crackers” weren’t brutalized and made to believe that they were lesser than by use of the term “nigger.” “Crackers” were not told that they could not utilize or access certain resources because they were “niggers.” “Crackers” did not feel the sociopolitical and economic effects of Jim Crow like “niggers” did. “Crackers” are not 3/5 of a person like “niggers” still are according to the United States Constitution.
So please, Dunn can save that. As a black woman with black men in her life that she cares about…I do not care that Dunn was offended by a slur that does not hold nearly as much weight as the slurs directed at people of color. I don’t. White people are NEVER racialized whereas blacks are racialized constantly. Race does not affect white people. They do not suffer the consequences of race. They are the normative standard in America. “Cracker” does not affect white people like “nigger” affects black people nor does it carry the same historical and social weight.
Michael Dunn will never have to sit with his child and explain why someone called them a “nigger” as I am sure Jordan Davis’ parents did. Dunn won’t have to explain why that’s wrong or why the word holds centuries of power that continuously marginalize black people. Dunn won’t have to educate his children on other racial slurs and how some black have begun to believe that they are those things. “Nigger,” unlike “cracker,” perpetuates centuries of social hierarchies in which racial slurs against blacks do nothing but cause black people to internalize the myth of their inadequacy. Simply put, “cracker” unlike “nigger” does not hold the ability to tear down one’s sense of self.
Granted, I know that there is no record of Dunn using the N-word. I’m simply utilizing as a juxtaposition to “cracker.”
3. Dunn claims that the men in the SUV had “menacing expressions” and that the confrontation escalated, which led to all the men involved cursing at one another. Dunn testified that he saw a shotgun barrel
Now wait. Dunn said he saw someone waving a weapon. How does one wave a shotgun? Shotguns are huge but the inside of an SUV is not that large. So I don’t believe that. I also find it hard to believe that Jordan Davis and his friends could dump a shotgun and the police not find it—even if it did take several days to search the area.
Another thing is this: if these menacing black males did in fact have a shotgun, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that they would shoot back?
The “menacing expressions” that Dunn claims the men had were most likely due to the fact that this man was policing how loud they were playing their music when he had absolutely no right to do so. And “menacing expressions” are not grounds to shoot up a vehicle full of teenagers.
Instead of considering the cause of those expressions, Dunn simply categorized the boys as angry black men. Thugs who were blasting hip-hop music. He did not think about his role in causing those expressions. The media has perpetuating the image of the black male gangster so profusely that people just automatically assume that a car full of black males is up to no good. And that they are harmful. It’s sickening.
After spraying an SUV full of teenagers with 9 bullets, Dunn and his fiancée returned to their hotel room to eat. They also walked the dog.
That in itself shows the pure disregard for black life.
Florida has yet again shown the nation that it is open-season on unarmed black male youth. And Dunn was armed with both his gun and his white privilege, which indicates that either way Dunn would have emerged from the confrontation victorious. I just hate that a young man lost his life in the process.
RIP Jordan Davis #BlackLivesMatter