If you haven’t gotten the good news yet, Michael Dunn, the 47 year old angry white man who shot and killed 17 year old Jordan Davis in September 2012 over loud music he and his friends were blaring from the SUV they were driving, has been convicted of first degree murder in connection with his death. The first trial in February of this year ended with the jury being deadlocked on the murder charge but convicting him of three counts of attempted murder which each carry up to 60 years in prison. While some degree of justice was done in that case, the murder conviction gives a much greater sense of justice. In this day and age when we’re hearing more and more about young black men being killed by sociopathic goons like Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman, it’s good to be reminded once in a while that yes killing black people is a crime. As a father of two young black men, it is especially satisfying. Now let’s see what kind of justice Michael Brown gets.
What is still disturbing goes beyond the crime itself. The minimal value placed on black life by society as a whole is astounding in the year 2014. Even though Trayvon Martin was unarmed and simply walking home after buying snacks when he was profiled and accosted by George Zimmerman, even after being advised not to by a police dispatcher, there are those, especially those who get their information from Fox “News” and proudly call themselves “dittoheads”, who continue to portray Martin as the criminal and Zimmerman as the victim. As if a dead teenager could defend himself, many went to ridiculous lengths to portray him as a violent thug who asked for what he got. Mind you, Zimmerman’s recent past before the shooting showed him to be much more of a menace to society than Martin could have ever been. Shortly after Michael Brown’s murder, yes MURDER, the Ferguson MO police department, not to mention their cheerleading stooges on the far right, went out of their way to suggest that Brown was a strong armed thief who started the whole thing by stealing cigarillos even though it has not been concluded that he did. The police even stated that Darren Wilson knew nothing of it when he confronted Brown. In these, and other instances, the narrative is almost always that the perpetrator is the victim merely protecting himself against a violent black thug (the new N word). Sounds eerily like the film “Birth Of A Nation” in which the KKK were merely protecting white women from black predators. Imagine if Emmett Till were lynched in 2014 like he was in 1955. He would have been portrayed as a Chicago thug who preyed on women and his murderers were simply protecting Mississippi (white) womanhood. Am I wrong? Put Sean Hannity in a time machine and let the rhetoric fly.
But enough about how white people view crimes against black people. We already know that in the eyes of a white bigot, back on white murder is a capital offense, white on black murder is justifiable homicide no matter what and black on black murder is just n—–s killing each other. That leads me to the cold water I’m about to throw on my fellow black American’s regarding how black like if treated. With all of the protests against police brutality, the demands for justice and the talk show appearances by Sabrina Fulton (Trayvon Martin’s mother) and Lucia McBath (Jordan Davis’ mother) the fact remains that our young black men are much more likely to be murdered by one of their own than by the George Zimmermans, Michael Dunns and Derren Wilsons of society. In many cases, it is over a silly beef or a desire for some material item. I am aware of a number of disturbing cases where a young black man was killed either for his shoes, because he had words with a punk, over a woman or even just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not to even mention the little children who have been caught in the crossfire of a drive by shooting. I’m talking about Atlanta GA alone. Our silence when these things happen is disturbingly deafening. As far as getting too many of these prominent black “leaders” involved, don’t hold your breath. The only time it is addressed is when we call for more gun control ad while I’m all for reasonable gun control measures, it’s people control measures that are needed the most. It isn’t convenient or comfortable to deal with t breakdown of the black family, the negative images of black life in America that are often glorified in music and other forms of media but that’s where we have to start.
I don’t have a simple easy answer but we know that the way we do things now aren’t working. As a father, all I can do is learn from what isn’t being done right and to try to raise my sons to be the best black men they can be. It’s unfortunate that they have to know about America’s racist present as well as it’s past but it’s even sadder that they have to know that every brother is not a brother. Like they say though, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I see two strong black men in the future.