As is the case when black males (particularly teenagers) are murdered, the focus shifts away from the aggressor and instead, focuses on how the victim caused his own demise. Was he listening to hip hop? Was he wearing a hoodie, instead of having the sense to have an umbrella, since it was raining? Or did he mouth off, or “get smart” with the assailant?
It’s as if the murderer is granted leniency, maybe left off the hook a little, if black males don’t “stay in their place,” while being under duress. Just think…a car pulls alongside yours in the parking lot and the driver becomes disgusted by the “crap rap” music that you are blasting. Did you know they can legally kill you if they feel threatened, even if you don’t? Or how about making the mistake of wearing a hoodie in the rain, instead of having an umbrella? This seems to be reason enough to target, follow, start a confrontation, and kill someone when they start losing the fight.
During Michael Dunn’s trial for killing Jordan Davis, some were calling it the “loud music” trial 0_o. I found this to be disrespectful, as if playing loud music was the sole reason Jordan Davis was murdered; they lost sight of the fact that an innocent life had been cut short. I guess focusing on the surrounding events was more important than the actual murder itself. Even the Governor of Florida, tried linking loud music as a source of problems for the inner city and suburbs saying, “that the time had come for Floridians to do some serious soul-searching about the problem of loud music that is plaguing our cities and suburbs.” He went on to say that he would urge legislators to consider “strict volume-control measures that would prohibit car stereos from being played at a setting of five or louder. It’s time to stop the madness.” Others focused on the music that Davis and his friends were listening to, blaming rap music, or “thug music” (just like orange is the new black, thug is the new nigger) for reinforcing a “destructive environment” and “defiant attitudes” that played a part in Davis’ death. As if a teenager mouthing off to an adult is brought on by Lil’ Boosie… I guess obnoxious teenagers can’t even be obnoxious teenagers anymore.
On top of that, we have not even spoke on the jurors. In order for Dunn to have been found not guilty of murder, some of the jurors had to have thought Jordan’s mouth and temper became such a threat. Consequently, Dunn (who was packing a gun) was frightened so much that using deadly force seemed reasonable. The defiance by an African-American male teenager, as opposed to any other American teenager, is seen as dangerous instead of merely being a characteristic of a teenager. Basically, victim-shaming someone who is not able to tell their side of the story.
Some of the jurors chose not to focus on Dunn’s suspicious behavior after the shooting, which included ordering pizza, driving back to his hotel room, and choosing not to call 911. Apparently, they believed a <em>supposed</em> criminal act by Jordan which cannot be proved, like pointing a shotgun at Dunn, was do-able. This neglects the fact that a teenager is dead and someone is to blame, the Davis’ and Trayvon Martin’s of the world didn’t kill themselves.
So I guess the moral of the story is that whenever a young black male’s life is taken, anything that leads up to the incident, whether it’s rap music, wearing a hoodie, playing tag, or simply just being black is the real culprit and not the person who actually pulled the trigger.
So what do you think? When did outside forces become more important than the crime itself? Were you surprised that Michael Dunn was found not guilty? And just like the murder of Trayvon Martin, where do we go from here?