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Posted by MrScorpio | Sun Feb 16, 2014, 11:22 AM (8 replies)
Mychal Denzel Smith on February 11, 2014 - 2:39 PM ET
“I’m not trying to be racist…”
Last night, a stranger started a “conversation” with me using those exact words. There was nothing positive that could have come out of this exchange.
“I’m not trying to be racist, but do you know where I can score some coke?”
I heard him. It was a pretty noisy bar, but I heard him loud and clear. Still, I wanted him to say it again.
“What?” He repeated himself. My gut reaction? Punch in the face. I didn’t.
“So, what you’re saying is, because I’m black, you picked me to come ask to help you find cocaine?”
“Yes, that’s what I’m saying. I’m not trying to be offensive…”
No need to try. He succeeded without it.
“OK, I’ve lived in New York for five months…”
“I don’t give a fuck where you’re from, I’m just trying to get some coke.” He cut me off before I could finish telling him that in my five months, this was one of most racist things that had happened to me, but still didn’t rank that high on a lifetime scale. He wasn’t worth my time. He could get the fuck out of my face.
After my friends told him to leave, repeatedly, he did so while saying over and over again, “I wasn’t trying to be offensive, I’m sorry if I offended you.” Hollow, drunken apologies. He came back to the table with a friend. Immediately, we told them both to leave. They offered us drinks. We didn’t want them. I didn’t want them. The friend said, “He’s just an asshole, he was trying to be funny.” No, he wasn’t. He was trying to be racist. He made that abundantly clear.
Posted by MrScorpio | Sun Feb 16, 2014, 10:32 AM (7 replies)
They didn't buckle under and make the immediately convenient and subsequently regretful decision to find him not guilty in count one. Those jurors, have served the interests of justice in the long run. By causing that count to mistrial, they have impelled prosecutors to retry Michael Dunn on the charge of First Degree Murder. We are looking for justice, and that he's convicted for his killing of Jordan Davis, an innocent young man.
Good luck with that, Florida. You still have a way to go.
That being said… This thing is not over and yet again, we have a situation that exposes the degree of potential for America to do the right thing in regards to the question of race. Only a fool would claim that race played no part in any of this. Race was all OVER the situation.
Race gave Michael Dunn the legitimacy of his claim, to some, that he essentially had to "defend" himself from the inherent and imminent threat of Jordan Davis' own blackness. Because, we all know, right off the bat, that Dunn could see, without any shadow of a doubt, that Jordan Davis was Black. Dunn didn't know anything else about the young man and simply depended upon his own well-established predisposition to judge Jordan Davis negatively and fearfully, simply because of his Blackness.
There, to Dunn, was the most immediate threat, nothing else… But his prejudicial belief that all young, Black men are inherently violent.
The only problem was, that the only inherently violent person in that situation was the very person who consciously and methodically used a firearm to shoot at and kill another person… Dunn was that violent person.
Which is why his entire "the Black 'sonuva bitch' had a shotgun" argument was total bullshit. If there was a shotgun being brandished by some inherently violent "thug," he wouldn't be playing peek-a-boo with the damn thing, he would be using it thusly and there would be no doubt about it whatsoever:
But we all know that there was no shotgun. We know this because, except in Dunn's imagination, there was no proof whatsoever of any shotgun and he was left with grasping for straws by being the only violent person who brandished and used a firearm and killed an unarmed person that day. His own slightly-induced feelings of guilt drove him to flee and to act in ways that only a guilty person would act. His guilt even drove his argument that he was justified to take Jordan Davis' life. His guilt, arrogance and racist beliefs were all on display and he had to dream up a fantasy world, which one or more of the jurors seemed to swallow in his favor.
So, what else, other than race can account for the lack of basic justice in the case of Jordan Davis' apparent murder? We really don't have a lot of options to choose from here. And it's not like we don't live in a world where some people think that it's OK to shoot young, unarmed men, simply because they are Black. Both HLN's Nancy Grace and Dr. Drew have been running a three-ring circus around one of these disgusting individuals: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024503666 AND through his own written words, Michael Dunn was shown to be one of these people as well. So that's simply the kind of people who are both walking around and who can also end up serving on jury duty at any given time.
The idea that justice can be served, without regard to the matter of race is still an honorable and wholly achievable goal… Apparently, we as a society, have not yet arrived at that place. I say this, simply because if a jury believes that there was no shotgun and that Davis never left the backseat of the Dodge Durango, then what justifies Dunn shooting him, where they felt that he was NOT justified in any of the other counts? Again, we are left with the powerfully driven concept of the inherent and immediate threat of Blackness in the minds of some White people.
You should understand that both Black people who have witnessed and have been the victims of injustice still generally believe that we can arrive at a place and time where one's race does not predetermine whether or not what kind of justice will be applied. There are people of all creeds and colors working for and waiting for that day. It's seen as an eventuality that the day will come, otherwise any belief in the entire system would be abandoned. The system, however broken, it still a valid work in progress.
To anyone who argues that simply because Dunn was found guilty on the other counts and will apparently spend the rest of his miserable life in prison: I say to you that, in regard of the life taken from Jordan Davis, justice has not yet been served. What we have here is a demonstration that we are not yet ready to go the additional step to afford a completely impartial coverage of justice for everyone in this country. That not all of the jurors, could find Dunn guilty on the count of murder, when they voted unanimously on all the other counts, speaks to fact that the concept of an innocent young victim's Blackness being an immediate and imminent threat is still holding us back.
The picture is incomplete. Simply, the jury is still out on whether or not armed White people retain carte blanche to shoot and kill unarmed and non-threatening Black people at will.
So, don't expect me, or anyone who's working toward and expecting as well that we can have completely impartial justice in America to settle for half-assed impartial justice instead. That's not going to happen. It's not happening because we've had jurors for the Dunn trail declare, from their unyielding stance, say that we CAN potentially go all the way. All we have to do is live up to their example that says that the potential still exists.
Lastly, I need to say that I had two different essays that I was going to write, based on the outcome of the trial. Obviously, this is not the one I wanted to write. It has pained me to do so.
But it's not like I have given up any hope that I will eventually write the other one… I'm sure that I will.
Posted by MrScorpio | Sun Feb 16, 2014, 04:04 AM (40 replies)
TA-NEHISI COATES FEB 15 2014, 10:07 PM ET
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...”
Posted by MrScorpio | Sat Feb 15, 2014, 11:09 PM (3 replies)
“We are saddened and disappointed that the jury in the trial of Jordan Davis’s killer was unable to reach a full verdict. Our hearts are with Jordan’s family as they learn that they will have to bear another trial and more waiting for justice. Jordan and his family deserve closure in the killing of their son, and we will continue to shine a spotlight on our country’s broken Stand Your Ground laws.
Stand Your Ground laws put our children, families, and communities at risk because they give everyday, untrained citizens more leeway to shoot than the United States military gives soldiers in war zones. Children – like Jordan Davis – who may simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time are now more likely to die at the hands of the armed and angry. This is unacceptable.
Jordan’s fate is not an isolated one: He is one of at least 26 children and teens killed in Florida Stand Your Ground cases since 2005. Stand Your Ground laws – also called “shoot first” laws because they empower armed vigilantism – are associated with a clear increase in homicides, resulting in up to 700 more homicides nationwide each year, according to a 2012 study by Texas A&M researchers.
Research indicates that Stand Your Ground laws embolden people to shoot when they could have resolved conflicts by using a lesser degree of force or simply walking away. After Florida passed its Stand Your Ground law, its justifiable homicide rate tripled. Over the same time period, the justifiable homicide rate decreased in states that did not pass Stand Your Ground laws.
This increase in homicides due to Stand Your Ground laws disproportionately affects communities of color. The Urban Institute found that when white shooters kill black victims, the resulting homicides are 11 times more likely to be deemed justifiable than when the shooter is black and the victim is white.
And despite the assertions of Stand Your Ground supporters, the Texas A&M researchers found no evidence that Stand Your Ground laws deter crime.
Now that the research on Stand Your Ground laws is clear, states are listening. Though at least seven states had Stand Your Ground legislation pending at the time of Trayvon Martin’s shooting death in February 2012, not one of those bills became law. Trayvon’s death served a national wake-up call: No additional states have become Stand Your Ground states since. And legislators in at least 11 states have introduced bills to scale back or repeal their laws, and one such reform bill passed in Louisiana.
During a recent legislative hearing to repeal Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, Davis’s mother Lucia McBath, a national spokesperson for Moms Demand Action, said, “My grief is unbearable at times. I’m here as a face of the countless victims of gun violence.” Lucia has funneled her grief into activism and moms will continue to fight along side her, committed to undoing the damage these ill-conceived laws have created.
American mothers have had enough and we are prepared to go toe-to-toe with our country’s insidious gun lobby. We will stand our ground for children like Jordan Davis and we will not stop until Stand Your Ground laws are rolled back.”
— Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America has issued a statement about the verdict in the trial of Jordan Davis’ murderer, Michael Dunn. Jordan’s mother, Lucia McBath, is National Spokesperson for the group.
Posted by MrScorpio | Sat Feb 15, 2014, 09:49 PM (10 replies)
—By Mariah Blake| Thu Feb. 13, 2014 3:00 AM GMT
During George Zimmerman's trial for the alleged murder of Trayvon Martin, the media relied mostly on one man for pro-Zimmerman commentary: his friend and fellow neighborhood watch volunteer, Frank Taaffe. It has since come to light that Taaffe is an ex-con and fervent white supremacist who believes that whites and blacks have no business mingling and claims that "the only time a black life is validated is when a white person kills them." He also hosts a white-power podcast. On one episode last fall he argued that all women who married black men would probably meet the same fate as Nicole Brown Simpson. ("I always say, you lie down with dogs you're going to get fleas—especially if they're black dogs.")
Nevertheless, the cable news networks have continued to give Taaffe airtime. Most recently, CNN's sister network, HLN, has been tapping him for commentary on the case of Michael Dunn, who, like Zimmerman, stands accused of murdering a black teenager in Florida. In the last few days, Taaffe has appeared on HLN at least six times, and he says on his Facebook page that he's slated to make nightly appearances on two HLN shows, Nancy Grace and Dr. Crew on Call, for the remainder of the week.
Taaffe's task is defending Dunn, who shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis outside of a Jacksonville gas station after arguing with the teen and his friends over loud music. Dunn claims he saw Davis holding what looked like a shotgun and that he fired at the boys in self-defense, but witnesses maintain that Davis was unarmed. On air, Taaffe has argued that the killing was justified, even if Davis wasn't pointing a firearm, because young black men are prone to violence. Here's a snippet from his exchange with an African American guest on Dr. Drew on Call last week:
You talk about the white man being the devil—well, here's a fact…According to the FBI, and the US Department of Justice, African Americans make up 12 percent of the population, yet they commit the most disproportionate amount of violent crimes. Over 60 percent of the murders were convicted by African Americans. And 32 percent were under the age of 18. So, when Michael Dunn pulled into that gas station, you know, you wonder why we have these premonitions…
Posted by MrScorpio | Sat Feb 15, 2014, 07:58 AM (17 replies)
xander is a one year old pug who was adopted by marcie and rodney beedy from an animal shelter in oregon after he had been blinded in an accident. xander, who is calm but outgoing, now works as a certified therapy dog with groups such as klamath lake cares, which helps abused children.
“one girl was crying, so I went and got xander,” rodney said. “the girl’s empathy went to him and she totally forgot about everything else. she started laughing and playing with xander. it was amazing how well he did that.”
Posted by MrScorpio | Sat Feb 15, 2014, 07:46 AM (2 replies)