I have been outraged about this case for so long. The best way to express my anger today is to share this again. The law should not protect racists whose hatred makes them terrified and violent. We are all, individually and as a society, better than that.
Originally posted on joshdavisthinks:
Jordan Russell Davis was shot to death outside a convenience store in Jacksonville, Florida by Michael David Dunn. Davis was 17 and African American. Dunn is 45 and White. Davis was in an SUV listening to loud music with friends. Dunn drove up to the convenience store and complained about Davis’s music while his girlfriend was in the convenience store. The two men argued. Dunn reportedly fired eight shots at Davis. Davis was killed, none of the other young people in the car were injured. Dunn’s lawyer claims Davis saw a shotgun in Dunn’s car. The police have not found the gun. Dunn’s lawyer suggests they are not looking hard enough.
There is no dispute that the music was loud. There is also no room to question whether Dunn could have driven away rather than shoot the young man. In Florida, however, and other states with “stand your ground” laws, people in Dunn’s position are not obligated to retreat. Instead, if they fear for their lives, they are free to “defend” themselves as Dunn seems to think he did here. The cost, in both of the recent Florida cases, is the life of a young man.
I suspect that it is not a coincidence that both of the young men killed were not white. Fear (the motivating factor, it seems, for both Dunn and Zimmerman) is sometimes rooted in stereotype. Admittedly, I do not know enough to call Dunn a racist or to assign such a motive to this killing. I do know, however, that a recent study by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission shows that in a world where only 3.1 percent of homicides are cross-racial, 15.6 percent of claimed “justifiable” homicides are cross-racial. This statistic is suggestive of an underlying race problem and is just one good reason “stand your ground” laws have got to go.