Friday, February 7, 2014

"Fuck that, turn the music up"

Michael Dunn: "Can you turn the music down, I can't hear myself think." Jordan Davis: "Fuck that, turn the music up" On November 23, 2012 Jordan Davis and three friends were planning to spend their day at the mall "girl shopping" much like any other teen aged boy in America. They decided to stop for gum because Jordan commented they couldn't pick up girls with "stank breath". They pull into the gas station and the driver exits leaving the other three in the vehicle with rap music blasting. Within minutes after exchanging words with Michael Dunn about the volume of the music Jordan was dead. When the police arrived Jordan's best friend was crying uncontrollably and sobbing in shock. For the second time within one year I have endured the pain of turning on the television and watching the report of a white man taking the life of a precious young black male for something as simple as loud music. I watched last summer the horror of a neighborhood watch captain hunt down and kill a teenager because he fit the profile of a "thug". This time around a grown man ensues in an argument with a child and no one will ever know what was said because the music was playing and he took matters into his own hands. I sat in on the testimonies today of law enforcement officers, paramedics, and the young men that occupied the car. The defense is trying to persuade the jury that Jordan and his friends were shielding a weapon and that Jordan was attempting to exit the vehicle. Truth is the windows were broken and could only be controlled by the driver and the doors had the child safety locks enabled. Jordan never exited the vehicle or posed imminent threat or danger to Mr. Dunn. After shooting and ultimately killing Jordan he pulled off as if nothing ever happened. In the words of the political director of the Dream Defenders "America never loved us" We send a message to our young people almost daily that they are worthless. Over and over again we tell our young males that statistically they won't make it because there are more of them in prison than there is in college. They turn on the news and see that the standards are lower on standardized testing for children of color and finally that when you walk in a hoodie or have loud music you will be shot and killed and its okay. I was recently told by an audience of all males that they appreciate my efforts in saving the youth but I have no idea what it is like to be a black man in America. After thinking long and hard I realized that I don't exactly know what it's like to be stopped while walking in my neighborhood and asked "Why are you around here"? They simply answer the officer "I'm on my way to school" and the officer asks can he search him so on the sidewalk while traffic passes he spreads his legs and places his hands behind his head to be searched. Afterwards he is thanked and let go. This is a normal occurrence in the life of a young black male in an urban area. We have conditioned them to think less of themselves because society does it. Even on the popular series Scandal Rowan tells Olivia "You've got to work twice as hard as them to get half of what they've got." This attitude of inferiority is deeply ingrained in the psyche of our young men and it's up to us change it. I've said it before but I'll say it again. Black men I believe in you, you are more than what they say you are! P.S. Never Give Up Hope and Rest in Peace Jordan your death was not in vain. I will forever cherish your memory. God's Love- Renata THE HOPE DEALER