The Real Reason Michael Dunn is going to Jail

By: Eris Zion Venia Dyson
Twitter/IG/Tumblr: @eZvenia


I was devastated last night. I laid in my bed, fighting back tears, to frustrated to eat, watch the All-Star Weekend festivities, or even conjure up enough strength to get an episode of House of Cards in. My fiancé saw that I was inconsolable. I had to sit with the Michael Dunn verdict on my heart.

Today I sat in the car in the parking lot of a grocery store with my sister after church. She told me that she was waiting to hear about my reaction to the Michael Dunn verdict last night. She wasn’t sure if I had heard the word or not… until she saw my post that said:

  1. I’m angry.
  1. I’ll probably never participate in a march again. They’ve out-stayed their welcome, are ineffective, and rarely solve anything in the 21st century.
  1. I just had a conversation with my womb about ‘Y’ chromosomes. And to think twice about bearing black boys on this soil.
  1. It’s been a long time since I’ve tried to scrub the blackness off my flesh. I may try tonight.
  1. I rarely approach things I fear.
  1. I’m not changing my profile pic. (Refer to #3)
  1. White people should talk to white people about how they as a community innately fear blackness.

We spoke candidly about our confusion, about our fear for my nephew (her son) who was sleeping soundly in the back seat. We rolled through the verdict out loud to see if we had missed something. Dunn had been convicted in three counts of attempted murder, but when it came to Murder in the First Degree, the jury could not come to a consensus.

So my sister, Eriane Dyson, said, “he’s going to jail, not because he killed Jordan Davis, but because he DIDN’T kill the other three boys in the car.”

Well I’ll be damned. It makes perfect sense. Michael Dunn is going to jail for doing a half assed job of executing Black youth. Had the other three died, Dunn would be a free man right now!

Dunn said…  “My intent was to stop the attack, not necessarily end a life, it just worked out that way.” I keep staring at that phrase “ not necessarily.” Some of the synonyms for necessarily being:  unavoidably, inevitably, certainly. But when you pick up a gun, decide to fire it, the inevitable indeed happens.

Dunn didn’t shoot warning shots into the ground, or into the air. Dunn didn’t engage in fisticuffs. He sprayed a vehicle with bullets, gingerly left the scene all the while patting his self on the back for teaching those Black boys a lesson.

The lesson “worked out that way” because the American curriculum states that Black bodies have no value.

Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams makes it plain by saying “[Black men are] victims of a fantasy. This fantasy of what the Black body does and can do has become more importantly than the reality and we pay for it with our lives.” He goes on to say: “The idea of feeling threatened is not the same thing as being threatened. We pretend that it is, but it’s not.” And finally for those who keep saying this isn’t a “race thing” Williams states: “This idea of having to explain why it’s racial, while we’re standing in our own blood is silly. It’s racial because it doesn’t happen to White people.”

And to white people, and maybe some people of color who may be seething at this particular narrative, the solution is not being “color-blind”. I need you to see us. See these young Black boys with their black skin who wear their pants off their asses, blasting their music, freaking their black & mild’s, standing in line for Jordan’s, head phones on, rattling off curse words and “nigga” as they please… I want you to see them. Acknowledge them. Love them. Lift them up. Let them be who they are.

Believe it or not they are not, nor have they ever been the problem.

Imagine the outcome had Michael Dunn walked up to the young men and said, “Hi, excuse me. Could you turn your music down a little bit, I’m having a hard time hearing mine. Thanks so much! Have a great day!”

When you acknowledge the humanity of a person, chances are their humanity acknowledges you as well. And if your idea of humanity doesn’t include a person because of characteristics that you deem “uncomfortable” maybe it’s you that missing the humanity.


20 thoughts on “The Real Reason Michael Dunn is going to Jail

  1. I’m not sure how I feel about this case. On one hand you ask us to be understanding and tolerant of “these black boys,” but when we do just that they gang up on people. It may not be physical, but its intimidating none the less. That being said, I stay around the area the crime was committed and those types of young kids run around quite frequently. On the other hand I do not believe that ending a life is the answer to any problem. A young life was taken; whether he is white, black, brown, yellow, or green doesn’t matter because these crimes do happen to people of every race. Recently to young black kids shot a BABY in the head and killed them. I don’t hear racism being used in that case. Just because you don’t hear it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. You want racism to stop. Stop talking about it. Im sorry to the parents who lost their child, but ultimately I couldn’t send back a guilty to the judge either. There is to much we don’t know

    1. Majority of what you said is a contradiction. The reason “Blacks” or “Africans americans” are seen as a threat is because they hang in groups. But if you think about it, so does every other race. “Whites” or “Caucasians” travel with one another too. ex: “Jersey Shore”, “Jackass” and so on. “Black” reality shows are the same. And I use them as an example because those two races share this country, or at least try to. “Africans”americans” or “Blacks” were forced to be hear and are still treated with, SIMPLY racism. Believe it or not, your comments shows you have a grudge of some sort against “Colored” people. (Notice i use parenthesis when describing the race. Because only USA see a threat in color) In other Countries people don’t have to worry about this dumb stuff. Who says a “Black” is not intimidating to see a group of “Caucasians” approaching. Don’t use your experiences to TRY to prove a insignificant point. Nice try. Now don’t use the “Black” kid shooting the baby as something to defend yourself on. Many and I mean many blacks have killed people. But you know, and Im sure you do, small cases are race related. With “Whites” majority are race related. Or they felt “THREATENED”. That reason maybe formed from fear of “Blacks” being down for so many decades and now them being strong. The reason is from past “White” ancestors doing the evil deed to “Blacks”. So please stop throwing in past murders to defend a current one. Cause lets not forget Rodney Alcala who murdered and raped kids. Let this young boy rest without you second guessing if he deserved it, cause thats what your last comment, “There is to much we don’t know” seems to mean. He played loud music so what. Remember, there’s always two sides to every story and no one’s perfect. Not one race.
      Oh and I’m “Native Indian/Egyptian/African descent”. Just FYI. So yeah. Good day sir……. I said good day.

      1. I guess u didnt get the memo..native american/egyptian/african/guyanese/samoan/cheroke/hatian/blah/blah/blah=BLACK here in the USA

    2. It’s easy to say, “You want racism to stop. Stop talking about it,” if you haven’t ever been on the underside of oppression and privilege. It’s very easy to be blind to privilege as well. Example, I am a male. If I walk down a dark alley and walk past a group of women, I have nothing to be afraid of and no fear that anything will happen to me. I simply walk past them and keep going. But if you’re a woman and walk past a group of men in that dark alley, you may be a little nervous uncomfortable or feel like you’re in some danger. Those thoughts go through the mind as she passes by (more than likely). But that doesn’t happen to me being a man. So there, I have a privilege in being a male, which I can actually be blind to unless I consider the plights of women. For example, the disparity in our respective wage-earning. I’m privileged there too.

      So please consider privilege and whatever privileges in this society you may have before suggesting an ignorant solution to a problem that may not affect you to much depending on who you are.

    3. Only a blind person devoid of any logic and common sense would make a statement like what you said Evan. We are talking about michael dunn killing a teenager. Who was caught and had to stand trial. If you want to talk about all the killings in America as an excuse for what dunn did, then there is a serious problem. What do you mean those kids run around quite frequently. If they want to play their music that is their right, whether you agree with it or not. Their music may not fit into your world, but that just it, it is not your world! it is theirs.

    4. Have you ever told a rape victim “If you want sexual assault to stop in this country then stop talking about what happened to you.” Isn’t that the stupidest thing you’ve ever heard? Same thing goes for racism. I am a white mother to three black children and I am terrified of police. They are treated differently when I am not with them, It makes me ashamed of my country and afraid. And you can’t ever feel that until you are black yourself or have family and see it happen to them. It’s real and it won’t go away by ignoring it.

  2. Ok – I do feel sad for you but it is your POV and some things need to be clarified. The monster is going to jail – period – anyone can see he belongs there. However, there must be fundamental rules and they must be abided by or there is no foundation for law. Premeditation seems to be the point here – you and I see it clearly here but it is not out of the realm for other fair minded individuals to not have seen it – the jurors had been instructed on the finer points of the law before deliberating.
    Second – the Zimmerman case laid bare some obvious but very sad facts. There was a clear chance for Tray to go into his house and call the police (the same police Zimmerman was on the line to) when he was out of Zimmerman’s view. He was out of his view for a substantial time. That is where things went wrong. We have to teach our children to look for an “out”. Most people do but the vast majority of us do not – we want to teach them a lesson – Tray did and it led to his death. Then, unfortunately, in our grief we made it a national issue to support a kid that could have ended it non-violently. This sends a terrible message. We have to be willing to take accountability when we make a mistake too.

  3. The reason why us black men are profiled/feared is due to the simple fact that we are more a violent people in general, and act on our impulses. It’s a fact that homicide rates, rape, and domestic violence is highest in black neighborhoods. Until that is changed, until we as a race except that truth, than we will never advance as a society.

    1. So true! I mean we scour the globe, claiming lands in the name of God, commit mass genocide globally, obliterate entire cultures, make others assimilate and denigrate anyone who tries to have a culture of their own . . .
      oh wait . . .

  4. The simple fact of the matter is that Florida and any other state should not have a law on the books that state if I am afraid for my life I have the right to blow some one away because I am uncomfortable with the individual being in my area. Unfortunately there are going to be more cases like Jordan and Trayvon and in each case the shooter will get away literately with murder. There needs to be a grassroots effort to get this law repealed.

  5. As a white man, I too was troubled by this verdict. From my perspective, without following the trial to closely and without seeing the evidence, it seems like a reasonable jury would have found Dunn guilty. But do not be too over-wrath with the verdict. He was not found “Not Guilty” on the murder charge, the jury was hung. Whether by a racist bigot on the jury or someone afraid to possible condemn someone to death or for some other unknown reason, the prosecution can retry this creep and concentrate their efforts on just the single charge of murder; instead of a pot-full of other charges. Perhaps, second time around, they will get it right.

  6. Excellent article. However, Micheal was misspelled a number of places including the headline. I only mention it because I want to share the blog.

  7. ‘Imagine the outcome had Michael Dunn walked up to the young men and said, “Hi, excuse me. Could you turn your music down a little bit, I’m having a hard time hearing mine. Thanks so much! Have a great day!”
    So true! I am white and live in a very diverse community [for 16 years]. I see young men like Jordan Davis every single day and you know, I have always tried to be respectful and kind as I interact with these young men and 99% of the time I have gotten the same response in return. Do I like the music, no. Do I care for the style of dress, no. Do I have any right to judge and mistreat people because of their music and fashion? No.
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I want respect so I give it to others.

  8. The Stand Your Ground Plea
    Shoot an unarmed white woman or girl and go directly to jail
    Shoot an unarmed white man or boy and go directly to jail
    Shoot an unarmed Black woman or girl and possibly go to jail
    Shoot an unarmed N-word and get a mistrial or acquittal
    Society regards a N-word as a violent animal
    The N-word reinforces this view
    It boasts about being extremely brutal
    It ravages its young
    It destroys anything it doesn’t understand
    It lives to die young
    It raids for amusement
    It is easily enraged
    It cannot be reasoned with
    When a dangerous animal gets “put down”
    Society is safer
    Unless a horrible mistake is made
    Every Black man or boy is not a N-word
    He is as human as you
    So hear my plea
    Defend yourself if you must
    Just make absolutely sure
    Beyond a shadow of a doubt
     It’s a rabid animal you’re putting down
    Not my Black father or my son.
    –          B.L.

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