Stand Your Ground

After reading the articles that were assigned this week I found myself becoming increasingly mad. I know it is our second amendment right to bare arms, and that it is the person behind the gun that has ill intent not the inanimate object itself. I still tend to find myself in utter disbelief at the sheer ignorance of certain individuals in this country, and their definition of “self defense” against people of color. Certain laws like the stand your ground law that Florida has, leaves a large window open for people like George Zimmerman to use any excuse to pull a trigger.

In the Eberhardt article we read, she hypothesized and tested that Blacks seen as being apes and are directly associated (whether conscious or not) to crime. Even if a person of color is doing something harmless like walking down a street, or listening to music in a car with their friends; fear is still invoked within people from other races. With studies like this that circulate around the web and in distinguished journals, I wonder how is it possible that people still think the Stand Your Ground law is a good idea? It leaves a large window of racial altercations to be defended by whatever someone thinks is self defense.

Stepping aside from George Zimmerman, another notable case would be that of Jordan Davis, a black teen who lost his life over loud music to an irrational (“shockingly racist”) man. In this case, Davis was in a car with his friends playing loud hip-hop music; Michael Dunne asked them to turn the music down, to which they did not listen. Dunne says he then saw one of the boys pull out a shot gun and open the door, so he immediately loaded his handgun, got out of his car and fired the gun into the car with the young teens, killing Jordan Davis. After shooting into the car Dunne proceeded to get back in his vehicle and go get Pizza with his girlfriend. When asked about why Dunne shot the gun into the car he said it was self defense, although no other witnesses saw one of the teens try to get out the car and the police did not find the shot gun.

In cases like these, as long as you think you are right and say you needed to defend yourself, it doesn’t matter what actually happened. When he Dunne finally went to jail he sent out letters to his “baby” and his mother that had “shockingly racist” remarks within them. Instead of staying in his car and driving away Dunne made up a self-defense story to cover his implicit feelings. Just like in the Zimmerman case, because the boy was black he must have known he was up to no good. To me it seems that as long as blacks are associated with crime, and unconsciously thought of not being human, it is going to be acceptable to used laws like Stand Your Ground to defend yourself against them even if you don’t need the defense.

2 thoughts on “Stand Your Ground”

  1. Maria, I also read about and wrote about this case. I would love to do a study on when “stand your ground laws” were invoked as defenses, and what the races of the perpetrator/victim were. It would be interesting to see if how often the perpetrator was White versus a Black, and if the victim was White or Black. It is maddening to see this happening over and over (also in cases like John Spooner and Jonathan Ferrell…. do a google search but only if you’re prepared for more horror).

    • Emily, I do agree with you I would be interested in seeing how the “Stand your ground laws” helped or harmed peoples defenses. I know in one recent story a black lady fired a warning shot near the same area of Florida and was sent to jail. I think you will find this article interesting though, its 21 things you can’t do while being black, each thing has the news story connected to the link (i’m sorry I don’t know how to hyper link things). But I was thinking of writing my next blog on whats in that article and connecting it to what we are talking about now in class. Also thank you! I heard about the John Spooner case but not the other one until now, It’s truly sickening.

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