As the national focus continues on high profiled shootings of unarmed young Black men, some say the controversies have caused them to fear attack even when they are doing what is right and normal.
With fallout from the Florida-based Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin cases – and the not so recent, but still relevant, Sean Bell and Oscar Grant cases – all brimming with racial undertones – Black males seem to be in danger of being killed for that reason alone – being Black.
Most recently, Michael Dunn, 43, of Jacksonville, Fla., shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis during an argument at a gas station. Dunn opened fire, shooting toward an SUV carrying Davis and three friends. He claimed he thought he saw a gun during a dispute over the teens’ loud music.
Though convicted by a jury of three counts of attempted murder, the jury could not reach a verdict on the first degree murder charge in relation to Davis’s death. Dun’s sentencing has been delayed until he is retried on the remaining first-degree murder charge May 5.
The case of Jordan Davis is reminiscent of scenarios that civil rights leaders argue the Black community has heard far too often. That scenario is that a young African-American male is unjustly killed and the trial often ends in a disappointing verdict.
As heartbreaking as the verdict had been, many young Black men were not surprised by the Dunn outcome at all, noting a culture of attacks against innocent Black me by those who stereotype or profile them.
Joshua Lanier, 25, a community supervision assistant for the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency in Washington, D.C., notes a common theme among the Jordan Davis case and others like it:
“A Black male’s life seems to be less valuable than anybody else’s in this country,” says Lanier. “Anytime you hear a case involving a young Black male [and] the police, he always seems to get the short end of the stick.”
For many it seems the outcomes of these cases – including the George Zimmerman acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin – have only reaffirmed what many Black men have considered to be true: “The justice system…is not meant for us,” says Christopher Crump, 19- year-old California resident attending Hampton University.
Though law officials pride themselves on objectivity, by nature people are judgmental and often unable to separate their emotions and personal experiences from their decision making as well as their views of others.
“Times haven’t changed,” says Nicholas Taylor, a 19-year-old Texas native attending Howard University. “There’s still an innate fear of African-American males … whether you are [a] law enforcement [official] or an average citizen.”
But when it comes to being a Black male in America, to what extent does race effect their interactions with others?
“I think many of us are unconscious of our personalities around people who are not like us, especially Caucasians,” says Gregory Richards, 24, an accounts receivable representative from The Bronx, N.Y.
Source: Trice Edney Wire | Kelly-Ann Brown, Brelaun Douglas and Jasmine Rennie
Yes, we already know this. It’s been that way for centuries. We shouldn’t even be asking whether or not it happens. Something needs to be done about it. What? Well that I don’t know. Thank sfor the post.