The horrific thing about the failure of a jury to find Michael Dunn guilty of murdering Jordan Davis is that it is not surprising.
It may be outrageous, maddening, disgusting, infuriating and racist but unsurprising that a White man could kill an unarmed Black teen and not be held accountable.
It harkens back to an American reality codified into law with the Dred Scott decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857. The court legally sanctioned what was already common, social and economic law in the United States:
A Black male has no rights a White man is bound to respect—not even the right to listen to music.
Mr. Dunn, an unrepentant killer, will face a judge March 24 to hear when a sentence for his attempted murder conviction is scheduled. He fired some 10 shots into the vehicle that contained Jordan and three friends after a dispute over music.
His conviction for firing shots at the fleeing vehicle will likely be appealed, but he faces 60 years in prison after the jury verdict.
Prosecutors say plans are to retry the 47-year-old on charges of murdering Jordan, 17, who was shot to death in a parking lot. A jury announced Feb. 15 that it was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge. Mr. Dunn testified that he saw a gun barrel, or something threatening aimed at him, after words were exchanged. He reached into his glove compartment, unholstered a hand gun and fired shots, killing Jordan. No weapon was found in the vehicle. No videotape showed a weapon. No witness saw Jordan get out of the vehicle. No provable fact showed Mr. Dunn was threatened.
Yet someone in the jury room had to believe the defense team’s fairy tale of a mystery weapon. It was only believable because America sees young Black men as vicious and dangerous thugs. They had to have a weapon. They had to do something; the death had to be justified.
But while legal strategies, Stand Your Ground Laws that allow you to shoot first, and questions about the ability or inability of Florida prosecutors to properly try cases in which young Black males are victims may be interesting discussions, they aren’t enough.
The reality is Black youth, Black males, Black children, Black men, Black women and Black people are besieged in this country.
Gunplay is the ultimate example of how much Black life is devalued in America and the ultimate example of White disdain and hatred. Sugar coating the truth, sharing a few tears with “good” White people and a president who can lecture Blacks about responsibility but can’t lecture Whites about the cancer of racism won’t do.
As Dr. Frances Welsing, the noted author and psychiatrist, explains Black suffering is caused by the system of White Supremacy and racism, with the underlying goal of White survival and fear of White genetic annihilation.
Simply put, Whites are a minority on the planet and know simply breeding with non-Whites can lead to their demise. Dr. Welsing explains that White actions are seen through that prism and survival mechanism—in every area, arena, field or discipline. Their actions and reactions may be conscious or subconscious, but Whites react out of an inherent sense of danger from Black people. The most dangerous are Black men—think young, virile Black males—because males initiate the sex act.
The threat that Mr. Dunn felt was real in his mind, though there was no threat in reality. Jordan was not his enemy, Jordan was not the aggressor, Jordan was not encroaching on his territory.
But the mind of White Supremacy sees and assesses Black actions as threats, no matter what the behavior is. So a Black woman who has a car accident near Detroit can be met with a shotgun blast to the face when she knocks on a door for help. A Black kindergartener can be handcuffed by police for having a temper tantrum. A deaf, elderly Black man, with a sign on his vehicle that says he can’t hear, can be brutally beaten by police. A mother with a vanload of children can be assaulted by state troopers and shots fired over a traffic violation. A teen walking home with iced tea and Skittles in Sanford, Fla., can be unarmed, stalked and shot to death by a neighborhood watcher. At trial, the teen is transformed into an Incredible Black Hulk armed with the sidewalk and his older, bigger gun-toting killer becomes a hapless victim.
We are all threats in the minds of Whites whose internal processor says Black + Male = Criminal, and Black folk are threats to survival.
Denying White Supremacy and deadly racism won’t make things better and won’t make things go away. Trying to find some way to sweeten this bitter truth is fruitless.
Dr. Welsing ably notes that calling out racism, White Supremacy and the White Survival Dynamic is the way to attack the problem. Calling out racism makes Whites begin to confront the root of their actions.
If we are too afraid to offend White sensibilities or too self hating to boldly confront this threat to our very survival, we should not shed tears for Jordan. When we fail to speak, organize and act against America’s racial cancer, we are helping to make his death possible.