On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn

This opt-ed piece was originally posted on TheAtlantic.com.

I wish I had something more to say about the fact that Michael Dunn was not convicted for killing a black boy. Except I said it after George Zimmerman was not convicted of killing a black boy. Except the parents of black boys already know this. Except the parents of black boys have long said this, and they have been answered with mockery.

Jordan Davis had a mother and a father. It did not save him. Trayvon Martin had a mother and a father. They could not save him. My son has a father and mother. We cannot protect him from our country, which is our aegis and our assailant. We cannot protect our children because racism in America is not merely a belief system but a heritage, and the inability of black parents to protect their children is an ancient tradition. 

Henry “Box” Brown, whose family was destroyed and whose children were trafficked, knew:

I stationed myself by the side of the road, along which the slaves, amounting to three hundred and fifty, were to pass. The purchaser of my wife was a Methodist minister, who was about starting for North Carolina. Pretty soon five wagon-loads of little children passed, and looking at the foremost one, what should I see but a little child, pointing its tiny hand towards me,  exclaiming, “There’s my father; I knew he would come and bid me good-bye…” 

Spare us the invocations of “black on black crime.”  I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought insane. The most mendacious phrase in the American language is “black on black crime,” which is uttered as though the same hands that drew red lines around the ghettoes of Chicago are not the same hands that drew red lines around the life of Jordan Davis,  as though black people authored North Lawndale and policy does not exist. That which mandates the murder of our Hadiya Pendletons necessarily mandates the murder of Jordan Davis. I will not respect any difference. I will not respect the lie. I would rather be thought crazy.

I insist that the irrelevance of black life has been drilled into this country since its infancy, and shall not be extricated through the latest innovations in Negro Finishing School. I insist that racism is our heritage, that Thomas Jefferson’s genius is no more important than his plundering of the body of Sally Hemmings, that George Washington’s abdication is no more significant than his wild pursuit of Oney Judge, that the G.I Bill’s accolades are somehow inseparable from its racist heritageI will not respect the lie. I insist that racism must be properly understood as an Intelligence, as a sentience, as a default setting to which, likely until the end of our days, we unerringly return. 

36 Responses to “On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn”

  1. i'mreloaded!

    Slowly but surely as predicted, we ARE coming back into slavery. Watch what I tell ya. You niggas thought it was a joke but White people is about to tighten the leash on us. That’s what happens when we don’t stick together. Sad to hear bout this young man, but 2 deaths of young Black men at the hands of a older White man and the constant incarceration of Black males with minor offenses while these White murderers get off with probation and witness protection and we still don’t get the bigger picture. I knew we were fucced up when they tried to promote that bull$hit DMX boxing match. Face it Black people, we are desperately losing this game of equality when there is no value for Black life and people are looking to profit monetarily off of Black injustice. Sickening.

    • C. Rice

      I agree with a lot of what you said but slavery? Either you dont really know what that is, using it was metaphor for something else, or youre mocking it. Too many people throw that word out there not realizing how horrible it actually was.

      • i'mreloaded!

        Exactly, and who do people think make a majority of the laws in this country? People need to wise up.

      • i'mreloaded!

        No one is mocking slavery my dude. Slavery in the term I meant is how we are being looked at as nothing and the life of Black men is becoming more and more expendable.


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  3. RBG4Life

    Why you think that movie was called “The Purge”? Y’all better start paying attention to the hidden signals being expressed through various forms of media to incite, insult, influence, condemn, and control.

  4. Elayorx El

    Well, as the great KRS once proclaimed: “There can never be justice on stolen land”! Not surprising to me, nor should it be to anyone else. What does never cease to amaze me however, is this “pie in the sky” mentality most “Blacks” seem to engage in regarding the real feelings of the majority populace, here in this country. It is encoded in their genetic DNA to be who, and what they are, and unfortunately for most, the life form must go, in order to get rid of the racist disease. This ain’t nothing new, as it is one in several that have popped off since the beginning of the year, the only difference being obvious in this case. I really feel for the family, because they probably just don’t know, and truly believe, like most, that somehow wanton racists will eventually come around. There is a better chance of us eventually being able to breath under water. The one thing we can point to, in terms of a distinct difference from the way we are now, versus the way we were in times past, is the FEAR factor. We had RESPECT for the unknown, but not fear, and since certain changes have taken place across this globe, we have now been diluted to the point where we now take on the behavioral patterns, response/reaction/thought patterns, of those we have amalgamated with. In order to break this cycle, we MUST leave the nest! Ain’t NOTHIN finna change til this becomes a reality. NOTHING! Love, and light to all of those like Trayvon, and Jordan, who remain nameless, at the bottom of the Atlantic, Mississippi, etc. We all want this to discontinue? Then a HUGE sacrifice is to be made, and until then, we should expect more of the same. Ironically, it is our “day to day” lifestyles, that allow things like this to continually happen, “everyday”. One L…..

      • Elayorx El

        No doubt. And just for the record, this is about our children being slain in cold blood, by someone of another “race”. It is not about so-called, “black on black”, because that is just another symptom of the exact same disease. Good lookin, Brooklyn. Respect.

    • Black Jay

      For his insensitive comment during this moment of mourning…. A Black person is more likely to put a foot in @SeanTaylor’s ass if they see him…. #FACT

    • Taihair Djehuty

      That’s the misrepresented fact. You want to know why? Yes, a black kid is more likely to die by another Black hand. But you want facts? A White person is more likely to die by the hand of another white person. An Asian person is more likely to die by the hands of another Asian person. A Latino is more likely to die by the hands of another Latino person. So that misrepresent fact, used as an excuse for police, old white men, and whatever Zimmerman is, is not an excuse for people to get away with a crime.

    • Papi Peligro

      But what about interracial violence. Robbery is bad but what about violence for the sake of violence. I don’t negate the fact black people commit allot of crime but it is a reflection of poverty as a it relates to a percentage of poor population. You don’t see a middle age black man shooting white kids cause they are walking on his street or playing loud music.

    • hoeyuno

      Wow Sean that has to be the dumbest comment you have ever wrote. you usually at least show signs of thinking with your own brain…

  5. tyrone yo

    how come black people only care about when black kids are killed by white people? remember when that white kid killed 4 white people because he was driving drunk and crashed into them? he got away with killing 4 human beings, they said he didn’t know his actions could affect others. but you don’t care cuz a black kid didn’t die

    • Brooklyn Stoop

      The question you should be asking is how can a white boy kill 4 white people, get away with it an white people are cool with that

    • Lorenzo Middleton

      How do you know people here didn’t care? Because you didn’t, so that means everyone else must share the same lack of sentiment? Maybe you were looking in the wrong places to find what others thought about it.

    • Maks5709

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  6. baller187

    dumb nigga to throw it all away in one swoop, when u body someone you do it quietly and go home go to bed , know one will know

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