A nation in fear of itself

After thinking on the Michael Dunn verdict, or non-verdict, I’ve come to the conclusion that some Americans are afraid of almost everything they come in contact with.  What does it say when a jury can convict a person on second degree attempted murder in shooting at three people but not find him guilty of murder for killing the person who died in that same shooting?  I asked the question before, “Should I now be in fear of my life?“, and now the answer is revealing itself in high-resolution color detail.

What kind of society are we encouraging when we allow someone to get away with murder based on their prejudices?  When a person hates a particular culture or group, should they be treated with kid gloves when they claim to be in “fear” of someone within that group or culture and act upon that perceived “fear”?  When our society continues to look the other way within the justice system in these cases, are they encouraging the feared group to become fearful of the others and act out on their fears which further fuels the deadly cycle?

I’ve listened to many people discuss their opinions on how that verdict confused them because Dunn was found guilty of attempted murder but no verdict was returned on the murder charge.  I can clear up that confusion very quickly.  In America, the young Black man is feared as though he is an apex predator that has to be killed on sight in order to be controlled.  Some of that fear is rightfully placed based on the actions of a few, but you cannot paint an entire group based on the actions of some of its members.  Instead of trying to deal with the violent few, it’s becoming the norm to consider them all violent and dangerous until otherwise known.  If the young Black man is killed before it’s known, then the attitude of some is “Oh well, he was probably a gang banger anyway”.

I don’t know what that jury was thinking, nor do I want to know.  If, and that’s a great big if, I ever cross the state line and enter Florida, I will definitely have the necessary equipment to ensure my survival for the length of my stay.  It may not have been the intent of these juries with their non-verdicts, but I’m beginning to think that we will begin to see Black men having a fear of the “Angry Middle-Aged White Man”.  Based on the sensationalized cases over the past few years, there may be some people who will find that fear rational.  Society is already paving the way to make it the norm again.  Seems as history is repeating itself.  Back in the 50s and 60s, a White man could kill a Black man in this country and pretty much get away with it thanks to a jury of his peers.  It seems that we’re headed back into that era once again.

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8 thoughts on “A nation in fear of itself

  1. I haven’t followed this case closely but I think the reason they didn’t get the murder charge is because they overcharged. To my understanding, to be murder one, there’d have to be premeditation. That’s hard to prove in a case like this. A murder two charge or something like that and they’d probably have gotten a conviction.

    As always, I’m not a lawyer, so this is a layman’s take on it.


    • What I haven’t looked at is why they didn’t return a 2nd degree murder charge when they found him guilty of 2nd degree attempted murder. I try to not follow sensational cases like this because I tend to get pissed at lawyers and the whole system.

      It makes me nervous to see how broadly the self defense laws are written. It’s almost like giving a person a free pass to kill without fear of punishment.

      I can tell you that I don’t feel safe nowadays when I’m out and about. I’m always watching my actions to ensure that nothing I’m doing can be perceived as a threatening act.


    • He’s guilty, but the question is of what charge. The issue is one of legal nature, and this is a great example of why many in the Black American community have a distrust of the justice system. The nature of the system is hard to understand and follow.


  2. Georgia has pretty much the same stand-your-ground defense that Florida has; we just haven’t yet seen a high profile case to match this one or the Zimmerman-Martin case. It will come, though.

    With that, I either misunderstood or I need to disagree with something you said on Bookman’s blog tonight about HB 875. Someone characterized it as redneck and you said it had nothing to do with rednecks. I think it does. The house did not pass that bill because they were concerned about Antwan and Quintavious losing their college scholarships when a cop rousts a bar where the two of them are enjoying a quiet beer. They were worried about Jimmy Ray and Bubba, who carry whenever they come to Atlanta because Atlanta is full of potentially dangerous blah people. Why should Jimmy Ray and Bubba have to remember to take their guns out of their pockets and lock them in the car before they go into a place lika a bar or a public building where lord knows who might be lurking? What’s the point of having a gun if you can’t take it with you to the places where people you’re afraid of might very well be?


    • I made that statement because I disagreed with the statement that the Georgia Assembly is full of rednecks. That poster has a tendency to look down his nose at others, and that is something I refuse to tolerate.

      I know that the law is intended to help the melanin deficient good ol’ boys, but that doesn’t make them all rednecks either. Had he used the good ol’ boys instead of rednecks, then I would not have said a word.


      • Ah, then I misunderstood. Okay, I’m all in favor of respectful language. I had to bow out of an argument at Bookman’s earlier today when I caught myself typing the word “predator” in relation to someone who advocates a certain style of business. I erased that word and the whole comment.


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