On November 23, 2012 after his son’s wedding, Michael Dunn pulled into a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida to grab some wine and some chips with his fiancee. In the parking lot next to him was a red Dodge Durango filled with teenage kids, who had also stopped for gum and cigarettes. Dunn didn’t like the rap music the kids had blaring from the car, and it ended in a disagreement over what Dunn called “rap crap” with him firing 10 shots into the car (filled with kids) because he didn’t like the music. One of these bullets left then 17-year-old Jordan Davis dead. Jordan would have celebrated his 19th birthday yesterday.
On Saturday,Â Michael Dunn was found guilty on four charges, including three for attempted second-degree murder.Â Â There was no verdict on the first-degree murder charge tied to the death of Jordan.
I don’t know how parents can respond to this verdict. It seems that logically Dunn should have been charged in the death of Davis, but I think we have all seen where logic gets us from the past, including the Zimmerman verdict in the death ofÂ Trayvon Martin who was also murdered when he was just 17. It’s terrifying, and heartbreaking, and I think some unity and peace can be found with all parents who read about these verdicts, and who see images of strength and courage like this:
These two moms, who lost their sons, for no reason.
I don’t know the type of fear and anger that comes with raising a black child in this country. For those of us who don’t, it’s hard to imagine what it’s like having a black son, especially a teenager, out in this great big world where there are so many people willing to assume the worst, to see him as a criminal , or as a threat, or to want to do him harm just because they don’t like the sort of music he is playing while out with his friends. I don’t know this fear, but Black Twitter does, and they have taken to the Internet to show us these faces of these “DangerousBlackKids”
This is the world we live in, where unarmed black kids are seen as dangerous, where black kids die for playing their music too loud, because someone sees them as a threat.
I hope by the time all the kids in these images are doing what teenagers do, walking to their aunt’s house, blaring loud music, that the world is a hell of a lot less terrifying just because you are black.