This morning I am waiting with bated breath the verdict in the Michael Dunn murder trial.
It is day three of this so-called “loud music” trial. I am so afraid the jury will bring back a verdict of “not guilty” or that there will be a hung jury.
I am afraid because in so many cases of black people being shot and killed by white people – police or civilians – the verdict is “not guilty.” And each and every time one of those verdicts come down the pike, my heart sinks.
It seems and feels like that, no matter what, there is seldom justice for black people, especially in cases where a white person has killed or injured a black person.
What in the world is it? I remember feeling optimistic way back when Rodney King was beaten by police. It was caught on video tape…and I thought it was clear as day that that young man had been wronged, beaten cruelly and mercilessly by police who seemed totally out of control. He was treated like a sick and dangerous animal, not a man who had made a bad move.
But not even the video tape helped. The police officers were acquitted …and a city went nuts. I understood why.
America’s lack of willingness to extend justice to African-American families which have been changed forever because of violence waged against their loved ones is a dangerous and troubling thing. American jurists, too many of whom are white when it comes to delivering verdicts in cases like this – seem to subliminally think that if a black person is shot down by a police officer or by a civilian, he or she somehow deserved it. It boggles the mind, or my mind, still, that George Zimmerman is free. It boggles my mind that the police officer who shot Henry Glover was convicted …only to be later acquitted in a new trial.
Michael Dunn shot into an SUV and killed an unarmed teen. He then drove away – miles away – and didn’t even bother to call police. He shot because he got angry with a teen who dared challenge him when he asked the teens to turn their music down. He gave the classic line used in these types of cases, “I was in fear for my life.”
This man was wrong. Jordan Davis, the kid he killed, perhaps should have kept his mouth shut …but being mouthy is NOT a reason to be gunned down like a rabid dog.
I don’t understand why everyone cannot understand that.
I keep thinking of Langston Hughes’ poem, “A Dream Deferred.” He asks what happens when a dream is deferred?:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore, and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
African-Americans keep dreaming for justice in this land, but it really does feel like a dream deferred.
What will happen if Dunn is acquitted? I shudder to think of the brutal slap to African-American souls if that is the reality. Another dream, another moment of hope, dashed …another dream deferred.
It just cannot keep happening. I am afraid of what this jury will decide.
A candid observation .