Jordan Davis's Murder And "Ugly Black Male" Syndrome

Young Jordan Davis -- killed because of his race
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Michael Dunn, a White gun collector shot and killed Jordan Davis, a Black teenager after complaining about loud music coming from the SUV Davis was in on November 23. 

Dunn reportedly fired eight shots into the vehicle outside a convenience store after the 17-year-old Davis and his friends didn't lower the music as Dunn, who is 45, had ordered. Dunn evidently didn't like loud music coming from the vehicle Jordan was in so shot and killed the teen-ager. 

Clearly Dunn hated more than the loud music.

Media accounts say Jordan Davis was one of four teens in the car. They were shopping and had stopped for food when Dunn pulled up next to them and demanded they lower the music and an argument started. Jordan Davis, who had been in the backseat, was hit twice by the barrage from Dunn. 

Even by Florida's standards, Dunn knew this would be a hard sell. In George Zimmerman's case, there were no immediate eye witnesses to his killing of Trayvon Martin. That's why Zimmerman could weave a narrative that he hopes to sell to jurors: that Trayvon had lunged for his gun and that he feared for his life from a dangerous Black male.

On the other hand, there were many witnesses to Davis' murder at the hands of Dunn in Jacksonville, Florida. That, and possibly the uproar, publicity and new focus generated after Trayvon's killing, probably played a role in Dunn being quickly charged with murder and attempted murder. 

Many analysts claim there is a vast difference between the two cases. Really? In fact there are strong similarities between Zimmerman's and Dunn's cases. Dunn now claims he actually feared for his life and thought he saw someone in the SUV brandishing a shotgun even though he fled the scene, not to police but to a hotel, after spraying the car with bullets, hardly the actions of someone who felt he had been defending himself. Both Zimmerman and Dunn are not really banking on the evidence or lack thereof. And the fact that Dunn even dares to invoke the same Florida Stand Your Ground law that Zimmerman plans to employ proves our point. The law allows a person to challenge danger or threats to themselves with deadly force. The person who feels "threatened" is not obligated to retreat even while in public spaces. 

This perhaps is the most critical aspect of the Florida law for both Zimmerman and Dunn. They know that evidence is almost immaterial when it involves confrontations between a Black male and non-Black persons. Both believe all they have to do is play on White fears of Black males to impress a jury that they were justified in their actions. 

Zimmerman and Dunn know that there are many White people who harbor unreasonable fears of Black males; some of this is due to distorted media representations, demonization, and the disproportionate incarceration rates of Black males. 

According to Dunn's lawyer, Robin Lemonidis, the killer will invoke the Stand Your Ground law, even where it appears he is patently at fault in the murder of Davis. So what that no weapon was found? Dunn and his lawyer know all they need to do is effectively create the specter of the ugly Black male. The "birth of a nation" strategy.

It's logic that flows from "collective blame" assigned to young Black males. They are all guilty until proven innocent. Even after they've been killed. 

That's why Zimmerman's lawyers subpoenaed records of Trayvon Martin's Facebook postings. Keep searching until you can find that he was a predicate criminal, or harbored potential criminal inclinations.

Watch for Dunn's lawyers to also go on fishing expeditions. The intent is to demonize the victim and make him fit into the "profile" of the dangerous young Black male. A member of a potential "wolf pack" out "wilding" as some New York media infamously referred to the so-called Central Park 5 years ago.

In the Central Park 5 case, the young Black males were demonized and then convicted of a crime they didn't commit. They served long time and will never recover that part of their lives.

Here the strategy is to hope that the ugly Black male syndrome will be enough to secure acquittal at a murder trial.


"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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