Monthly Archives: November 2012

From Skittles to Stereos

We’ve all rolled up at a red light or in a parking lot next to someone who seems to have a blatant disregard for his or her long-term ability to hear. We’ve all rolled our eyes and muttered under our breaths, asking if it’s really necessary for that person’s music to be loud enough to make our cars vibrate. We’ve all written it off as a momentary frustration in the course of our days, and maybe sped a little to get away from the jerk with the loud music before the next red light.

Michael Dunn is not like most of us. When Michael Dunn thought that Jordan Davis and his friends were playing their music too loudly when both parties were stopped at a gas station, his solution to this problem was to confront them. He approached the car that contained Davis and his friends, and an argument ensued. Dunn felt “threatened” during this argument, which, remember, came about after he went out of his way to approach and confront these boys, and decided to rectify his feeling threatened by pulling out a gun and firing 8 or 9 shots into the teens’ SUV, collecting his girlfriend from inside the gas station, and driving off. When he was later apprehended by police in his home, he claimed that he “didn’t think he’d hurt anybody” and had just been “trying to scare them off.”

1) Warning shots AREN’T A THING. This isn’t the Wild West. You aren’t a police officer. 2) Even if warning shots were a thing, I believe that by definition, to be a warning shot, you must not be shooting horizontally at a target in front of you. 3) 8 or 9 shots “to scare them off”? Fired INTO THEIR CAR?!? This is actually the worst defense story I have ever heard concocted. This man murdered a 17 year old black boy in cold blood at a gas station in front of three of his friends because their music was too loud. He walked away from his car with a gun in his pocket to confront a car full of minors about loud music and riddled one with bullets because HE felt threatened. 

Maybe this is a horrible thing to say, but I want this to be a bigger deal than Trayvon Martin’s death. Both are absolute tragedies. Both exemplify why so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws have got to go. I firmly believe that George Zimmerman’s decision to leave his house to chase Trayvon in his car and then hunt him on foot to confront him completely and totally eradicates any right he had to defend himself using deadly force, but no one knows what actually happened in their scuffle after George cornered Trayvon. There is a tiny tiny speck of reasonable doubt. There is NONE in this case. How could Jordan threaten Dunn’s life FROM INSIDE HIS CAR?! No sane person in the world can tell me that emptying one’s clip into someone else’s car is an appropriate means by which to “scare someone off.” You just can’t. Dunn started this confrontation and ended Jordan Davis’s life long before it escalated into anything physical breaking out between the two parties. He has shown a bone-chilling level of disregard for this young black man’s life and property. 

It doesn’t lend itself to photos and protests as easily, but Twitter says to turn the music up for Jordan. But beware–like wearing a hoodie makes you suspicious, playing loud music can evidently be construed as justifying homicide. I hope the mass media picks up on this. If not, the country might as well be saying, “Oh well, sorry, we can only rally behind the unjust killing of one dark-skinned boy in a 365-day period. Y’all will just have to wait. Don’t worry, we know it’ll happen again soon.”  


Photo

Reblogged from Tudo Bom(b)

One of my housemates is from Connecticut and upon multiple occasions tells various renditions of the story about how she didn’t learn racism was still “a thing” until college. She also evidently thinks we’re cool enough to have conversations about reparations and affirmative action. She also only cleans up after herself once in a blue moon, which I think is not unrelated to the fact that she had a stay at home mother. 

This is how I want to react to her alllllllll the time.

“Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference; those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older, know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those other identified as outside the structures, in order to define and seek a world in which we can call all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us  temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.  And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”

–Audre Lorde