Sunday, February 16, 2014

Here We Are Again...

Yet another time in the sordid tale of race relations African Americans--males in particular are devalued and dehumanized. Although I didn't follow the trial of Michael Dunn very closely I was displeased to hear the snippets of media coverage that I heard prior to the verdict. Dubbed the 'loud music trial', all I would hear is about how this random white guy parked near/beside some young black guys and asked (probably demanded--because some of us have unreasonable expectations colored by the white privilege we unknowingly or pretend to unknowingly enjoy) them to turn down the music.I don't need to go into all the other ways Dunn could have avoided any conflict, but clearly he was looking to start trouble, at least from my vantage point.

I wasn't there that fateful night, but I do know that it ended with Dunn exiting his vehicle, taking a knee like he's a vigilante from the wild wild west and firing 10 shots into the nice Dodge Durango they were inside. How tragic that a white man's inflated sense of self, superiority, privilege and disdain for difference costed Jordan Davis his short life.

Even more tragic is my lack of surprise at this travesty of justice. To be fair, Dunn was found guilty on like 4 of the charges, but the jury was hung on the main charge of first degree murder. That means that at least one juror had to believe that Dunn was justified in using deadly force against a group of teenagers who didn't tap dance on command. Enough of these weak punks who resort to wielding guns when they cannot have their way. America, God is not pleased.

We cannot continue to ignore the inequities that face people who are minorities. Would Dunn have reached for a gun had it been a group of four white boys? We'll never know...but my claim is no..he absolutely would not have reacted the same way. What is it about the mystique of the black man that scares so many. Is it because others feel that they are powerful beyond measure or at least potentially equal to them? If you believe that then it is in your best interest to feed the media machine with negative images and to keep the playing field uneven so that self actualization will only know a few and not the many.

Coming on the heels of the Trayvon Martin case I was already woefully poised to accept a verdict of not guilty or a mistrial on the charge of murder one. What's different here is that whether Dunn is found guilty or not for the first degree murder charge--and Angela Corey, Florida State District Attorney, has pledged to try the case again, he will serve upwards of 50 years for the charges that he was found guilty for, provided there's not a different decision rendered by an appellate court.

Well that's my two cents on the matter. I could go on and on, but we will respect the justice system, no matter how flawed it may be. NO surprise that a justice system that was never designed for minorities like myself still does not have a good handle on how to divy up equal justice.

One more rant...yeah this piece isn't flowing in an organized manner, but I want to get it all on paper. Why did we spend so much time focusing on the victim's perceived bad boy behavior--you know---listning to music on a Friday night with friends, and not enough time digging into the past of Dunn? I've seen clips and stuff online about perceptions of folks who knew him for for years. None of that was introduced at trial...I guess the prosecution had their reasons, but after losing the Trayvon Martin case, if I were them, I would have brought out all the stops. It almost feels like we just can't get it right to honor our fallen. I would appreciate it if they could've gotten a complete victory. The symbolism..especially during Black History Month would have been refreshing.

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