How About a Mia Culpa?

August 25, 2013

How About a Mia Culpa?

me11Just as blacks in America are trying to come to grips with the pain and misery of one black child being murdered without any consequences suffered by his assailant, a similar death of another black child surfaces. Interestingly enough, that “other murder” which took place around about the same time, or actually a few months prior is getting little to no air time. That would be the murder of Jordan Davis, another black, seventeen year–old kid killed by Michael Dunn, a white man. Why? Because Dunn ordered Davis and his cohorts to turn down their loud, thuggish music and they gave him some lip.

I’ve often wondered why, in this day and age, a new millennium even, years since slavery, years past Jim Crow, and post white supremacy, there is still this principle among a certain race that you can order a black child, who is not your child, to do something; do so in a gruff, demeaning, hateful, contemptible manner and expect that child to obey.

I was not there when it all went down but I just cannot imagine that Dunn rolled up on Davis and his friends and asked them politely to lower their music and caught a bunch of flack behind it. I find it equally inexplicable that a kindly stated request would be met with a response that goes like this, “Uh, ‘Kill that mother (expletive),’ ‘That mother (expletive) is dead,’ ‘You dead (expletive),”! See, whereas the media and George Zimmerman’s defense team has tried their hardest to paint Travon Martin as a menacing thug with a bad attitude and a drug habit to boot, that same faulty logic won’t work when it comes to Jordan Davis because it is an already known fact that Davis was a model kid with a bright future. Any attempts to smear his name are only likely to backfire.

In any case, I also cannot I help but to wonder how Dunn would have instructed his own son about the inappropriateness of the loud music. Moreover, how would he have handled the alleged back talk, whether from his own son or another white kid? Would he have pulled out his pistol and shot them in cold blood, as he did Davis?

Whatever the case may be, you may have heard the whole story. At about 7:40 PM, on November 23, 2012, Davis and three of his friends were sitting in their red, Dodge Durango SUV, at a Jacksonville Florida convenience store and gas station, minding their own business. Dunn, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol, pulled up alongside them, and ordered them to turn down the loud music. Initially, the music was turned down but then words were exchanged between Davis and Dunn. Dunn shot into the Dodge Durango, a total of eight times. Two of those bullets landed in Davis’s body, ending his young life for all time. Meanwhile, Dunn’s own son is alive, well, and no doubt, honeymooning.

Of course, we know that rather than informing the police of the incident, Dunn fled the scene, went back to his hotel, and ate pizza. By the way, a part of the creepy reason they gave for fleeing the scene, at least according to Dunn’s girlfriend, was because they had to rush back to attend to the family pooch. Once again, a dog’s life is more important than a human’s life. That is of course, if the human happens to be black.

I suspect back at the hotel is where Dunn came up with this cockamamie story about the appearance of a shotgun being raised, the fear of losing his life, and the application of the legendary, “Stand Your Ground (SYG)” law. It sounds like George Zimmerman all over again, doesn’t it? Our laws, our justice system, the one that state prosecutor de la Rionda calls, “The best justice system in the world”, allows a white man to go pick a fight, erroneously claim fear for his life, shoot a black kid, and get off scot-free.
That having been said, I will admit that this particular case does appear to be headed in a satisfactory direction. While SYG is resurfacing again, at least Dunn was arrested the next day, and so far, the police appear to be telling the truth about their observations. You may recall that the same proceedings did not occur in the case of George Zimmerman who was accused of killing Travon Martin yet released within hours of being arrested.

Dunn was arrested immediately and has remained in jail since his arrest. Consequently, there was no rioting, no looting, no black people marching, no need for demonstrations, peaceful or otherwise. George Zimmerman was arrested and then immediately released; and so, for that reason, black people were prepared to “burn that mother down”.

The take away message here should be that blacks only resort to such drastic means when the justice system fails to get it right and fails to get it right after so many times of getting it wrong. And to those who would dare judge that this is an atrocious response to the situation, I would dare say it is no more vile than setting a guilty murderer free without any plausible explanation as to why he would racially profile an innocent, unarmed kid, who was on his way home, follow him after repeated instructions to stand down, instigate a fight, shoot him in cold blood, and then fail to render any aid.

What some blacks feel also make such actions justifiable is the fact that as a race, blacks feel marginalized, taken for granted, treated like the scum of the earth and are presented with few options. Without remedies people lash out. Yes, white people do too! What bothers blacks further is this notion of “spitting in our face and calling it rain”. Hearing repeated insistence that, “Justice has been served so we don’t know why you people are so angry” is tantamount to doing just that, spitting in our face. A prime example would be, trivializing crisis situations of seismic proportions that impact blacks yet becoming melodramatic when those same crises impact whites.

All that having been said, this case is a long way from being over. And while things may be moving in a suitable direction, the verdict is still out. To those who would dare view the DA’s handling of the Davis’ murder case thus far as any validation of its propensity for justice and equality, I would caution you by saying, don’t be so easily fooled. The act of “getting it right” this one time is hardly an indication that the Florida Justice System has suddenly become fair and just. But, the Florida Justice System is smart enough to at least cover its tail this time. Isn’t that the reason why Corey is personally prosecuting the case?

So, the more plausible explanation for why it seems to be getting it right this one time out of so many others may very well stem from a reality for which the powers that be are already certain. That this case is a slam dunk. This case is easy because Dunn is as guilty as sin. It is not like they could actually fumble the ball twice in a row and not expect to come under fire. In essence, the Florida Justice System has likely concluded on its own that no other options exist but to throw the book at Michael Dunn. That being the case, it really does not merit any kudos.

If truth be told, a great deal of thought should be given to invoking the death penalty. After all, the maniac shot eight times in a vehicle seemingly unapologetic about the life he had already taken and blasé about the lives he placed at risk. Furthermore, maybe Dunn had already planned that he was going to go out, find some black boys, engage them in a war of words, claim they posed a threat, shoot them and then claim SYG. Isn’t that premeditated? Don’t these actions establish intent? I’m no lawyer, just merely stating an opinion that it sure seems like there is some grist for the grill. Perhaps there really is a foundation for a death penalty case.

A word to the wise, blacks in America might be inclined to view a capital punishment push on the part of the Florida Justice System as an olive branch for Travon Martin and all the other botched cases that were handled recklessly. I don’t portend to be a negotiator for the black community, but do believe such good faith gesture might even be seen as an indication that the Florida Justice System may finally be sincere about righting its wrongs and revamping its entire judicial process so that there is liberty and justice for all.

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