Standing Ground That Isn’t Yours

Trayvon died because of the clothes he wore.  Jordan died because of the music he liked.

Michael Dunn is accused of first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, and three counts of attempted murder related to the three other teens that were in the sports utility vehicle. The 47 year old murderer, has pleaded “not guilty” on all charges.  This case is known off the fact that the cause of the conflict was a complaint of loud music from a vehicle (even though the child he killed was in the back seat).  Michael Dunn will most likely raise the defense that gained notoriety after the death of Trayvon Martin, Stand Your Ground.

This case, unlike Zimmerman’s, has more than one person walking away from it.  Three teens survived the flash murder attempt, and even Dunn’s girlfriend from that night also testified AGAINST him.  His letters from jail are so heavy with racism you can cut it with a chainsaw.  But for some reason the black community is at the grips of their seats.  Why?  Because we honestly do not have faith in the legal system.  We are very aware of the disproportionate sentencing towards blacks.  Even as the victim of a deadly crime we are aware; how the victim is demonized off of trivial boyish behaviors (Trayvon) will forever remain fresh in our minds.  We are constantly looking for a time when things will change, a time when the law will punish everyone equally.  A time when you cannot kill our children and get away with it just because you suffer from afrophobia.

Dunn said he saw a gun.  There’s no evidence of a gun in the teen’s possession, and frankly if there were a gun in the SUV of four (he said shotgun) he would have been shot himself.  A pistol from one doesn’t easily defeat a shotgun with four possible hands on it to return fire close quarters. And furthermore… possession of such a weapon isn’t a crime or means to commit a public execution.  This myth is destroyed further when you factor in the fact that Dunn didn’t tell his girlfriend that night he saw a gun at all.

Dunn went home instead of staying for police to roll up, and he didn’t call the police either.  In fact, he ordered pizza.  He shot multiple rounds into the target even as the survivors attempted to move from the conflict.  He didn’t tell his girlfriend who was there he saw a gun, which makes it likely he just made it up when he went home.  And ultimately, if there was a gun between four people, he would have been shot.  He’s clearly the aggressor.  There’s so many common sense factors in place that would suggest a verdict of Guilty, it’s  mind boggling.  So what’s the big deal?

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law is actually a well intentioned idea, but there’s an inherent problem with how people invoke this on the ground.  You can get a good glimpse of the 120+ people dead due to this law, here.  The issues with Stand Your Ground law are many:

  • Stand Your Ground casts aside the rational duty to retreat. Retreat, as in, deescalate the situation at hand.  The long-held principle that individuals must first attempt escape from a violent situation before using deadly force has been a bedrock of American law for centuries.  The exception to this rule is known as the “Castle Doctrine,” which limits the duty to retreat in the home, on the rationale that one should not have to retreat from their own home.  The law has also asked to minimize bodily harm and death as much as possible.  If it’s unsafe to retreat, nowhere in our history is one required to retreat.  Stand Your Ground laws completely eliminate this duty.  This law, along side with the gun itself, emboldens individuals to escalate the confrontation; we have people now instigating gun fights.  People within this law assume there’s no others options, when there is many.  In fact, the very existence of this law emboldened Mr. Zimmerman to disregard the command of the 911 dispatcher and follow Trayvon Martin, ultimately murdering him… and getting away with it.
  • Is it a moot point that it seems like no one is invoking SYG law without guns?  You don’t hear of any controversy surrounding giving someone a knuckle sandwich by way of SYG law.  It’s ALWAYS deadly force.  Something is clearly wrong with this picture; how easy we accept dealing death to our own fellow Americans.
  • It Destroys Due Diligence of Law Enforcement Investigation.  SYG Law is invoked in two ways: one is by court of law, the other is by police making a field judgement call.  Based on the guidelines of our Constitution, there is a Executive, Judicial and Legislative Branch at all levels of Government in the United States — that’s Federal, State, and Local.  Police?  They are in essence part of the executive branch of local or State government.  The Federal level has the FBI. They are not “politicians”, but they do function as AN ARM of executive government.  They are not judges or juries, that’s the Judicial Branch.  Judge, Jury and Lawyer exist within the Judicial services.  Police are NOT Judicial Services.  Therefore, they are infinitely WRONG to render judicial judgement calls of who’s innocent or who’s guilty in the field. That is not a field call. Whether there was enough evidence or not is irrelevant; they have NO BUSINESS becoming judge and jury at the scene of the crime.  The Sanford Police Department lack of due diligence in the event of the murder of Martin is only an example of police incompetence, and should be studied as of something police services are NOT to do when there’s a slain child on a sidewalk.
  • The law assumes that a murderer’s fear was reasonable.  One absurd standard on Stand Your Ground law is that the killer fears the one he murders.  Afrophobia exists.  There is a specific, irrational fear of black people that exist. Yes, it’s irrational; feelings are NOT facts.  Someone’s irrational fear of another is NOT grounds to murdering them.  It doesn’t matter how one dresses. It doesn’t matter what music they listen to.  My voice is huskier, and deep, booming. I’m tall.  I’m am a black man, completely resolute.  That’s not grounds on taking my life.
  • The law fosters self-perpetuating violence. Promoting vigilantism is one consequence of Stand Your Ground laws. We might not see it now, but destructive behavioral changes may not be limited to those who want the right to Stand Your Ground. Think about this now — young black boys pushed by fear of psychopathic adults like Zimmerman and Dunn may feel compelled to Stand their ground too, in the logic of shoot first, or be shot.

I get it — you think we’re all “thugs”. You think we all “carry heat” ready to “bust a cap”, correct? Therefore, based on this mythology of the black male, you literally carry a sidearm just in case you have to “put a nigga” in his place, right?  Well my deranged, afrophobic gun-hugging Anglo-Saxon friends, what happens when your collective behavior creates a stereotype and irrational fear of you?  What if young black males literally began carrying weapons and begin shooting you first, based off the fear that you have a serious lack of empathy towards those of a darker shade?  Do you really want blacks to fear you, as you irrationally fear blacks?  And then start killing you on gun trigger reflex?  Practically mimic your same sociologically dysfunctional behavior?

This is certainly not a world that I want a son to grow up in.  But if I had a son in a Stand Your Ground state, I would have no choice but to advise my own children: “Hey little Johnny, shoot first and ask questions later if you feel threatened by a stranger.”  Now, I would rather not provide such counseling to a child of mine.  But damn, I certainly prefer my son to live beyond his teenage years, and as the consequentialist I am I will be compelled to arm my children from these deranged men suffering from afrophobia.  That way, Johnny Silvercloud Junior would be the only one left alive to tell the story… rather than to be murdered in cold blood because of his skin color, music or style of dress, and then demonized by the conservative media system as he passes in the afterlife, unable to defend his honor.  My son will not die just to be personified as a stereotypical black male criminal after being slain.

We need to fix this.  Before this gets out of hand.


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