Racism takes turn for self-defense in Florida trial

weerasingheIn Florida, another mother lost her son because of his skin color.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan Davis was shot and killed outside of a convenience store in Jacksonville, Fla. because Michael Dunn felt threatened by the loud music Davis played in his SUV. The case went to trial last week. Dunn’s lawyer used the defense that he was scared of Davis because Davis used the N-word.

Everyone remembers George Zimmerman. Everyone remembers the shock that filled the nation with his verdict of not guilty. I remember the amount of rage that filled my heart when I heard he was free to go.

 

 

Why is it that racism was excused because it was considered “self defense”? Just because someone feels threatened does not mean they should be able to kill whomever they please. Using the N-word should not cause a man to feel threatened, especially if Dunn pulled the gun because he felt most strongly about the N-word in his initial statement.

When does it stop? When does the stereotyping of Black America stop? When do people realize that it’s no longer the 18th century? We live in America, the land of the free. But it’s tainted by its past, full of racism, hate and, most importantly, ignorance.

This week, it was found that the man who shot him, Michael Dunn, felt threatened because of what Jordan Davis said to him. Jordan used the negative language and basically ignored Mr. Dunn, because he had every right to do so. Who would have ever thought this would be one of the last moments that Jordan would have.

Jordan may have been wrong for using such harsh words against Michael, but the actions that were taken after were beyond wrong; they were just unreasonable.

There’s literally nothing good to come out of this. The only thing that this case once again shows is that racism is alive and well. There just isn’t anything to stop it.

Why use such a harsh actions for kids blasting music? Why shoot a kid countless times because you were annoyed? Some things aren’t meant to happen, and some things I will never understand. While Jordan is just another name in the headlines, I want Jordan’s story to be heard and his memory to live on.

He was just a teenage boy blasting his music. Just like Dunn had the right to carry a gun, Jordan had the right to be blaring his music as loud as he wanted. The one thing Dunn didn’t have a right to do? Shoot Jordan.

Jordan represents many of the black teens that go up against stereotyping and violence. The color of your skin makes you more perceptible to being targeted. The only wrong that Jordan did that night was be black.

Stereotypes rule our world. No matter how many times we have said that we are “free” and this world is “equal,” what we are discovering more and more often is that this world is tainted by what elders refuse to teach their children and that is being able to break the stereotypes that surround us.

Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis: two boys who lost their lives to racist men. No one taught these shooters that the color of your skin does not give anyone reason to shoot to kill.

Reach the columnist at Tishni.Weerasinghe@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @tishnii