What If Jordan Davis' Killer Were Black?

Outrage over an incident of gun violence should be equal, no matter the perp's race.

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We still don't know who killed Tupac, Biggie or Jam Master Jay, and there were eyewitnesses to all three of those high-profile murders. What difference does it make if you are considered a pioneer, genius or game changer in the American mainstream and in black popular culture if your life isn't valued enough for someone to reveal, "Who Shot Ya?"

I understand that there are many cultural reasons for this phenomenon of silence (fear of retaliation, police occupation instead of protection, economic inability to leave the community where the perpetrator might also reside). However, at what point do we stop leaning on these factors and start standing up for the black bodies -- many of them teenagers' -- that are lining the streets of our communities?

What happened to Jordan Davis is awful, and we should all be calling for justice at the tops of our lungs. That demand should be just as loud when the alleged killer of one of our children looks like us, because if we don't value our own, then who will?

Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., is editor-at-large for The Root. She is also editor-in-chief of the Burton Wire, a blog dedicated to world news related to the African Diaspora and global culture. Follow her on Twitter.

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Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., is founder and editor-in-chief of the Burton Wire. A media scholar and critic who is an expert on the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality with film, television and new media, Burton is associate professor of communication and media studies at Goucher College in Baltimore. Follow her on Twitter.

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