What If Jordan Davis’ Killer Were Black?

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

(The Root) –The recent killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis has black folks and social-justice activists up in arms over yet another senseless death of an unarmed black boy at the hands of an armed white man in Florida. I’m still trying to figure out how an argument over the volume of music escalated to the use of deadly force against unarmed teenagers.

I’m also perplexed as to why the shooter, 45-year-old Michael Dunn, allegedly fled the scene if he felt that the shooting was justified and  he was “covered” by Florida’s controversial “Stand your ground” law. If he hadn’t done anything wrong or excessive, then why leave the scene, particularly when there were eyewitnesses?

What I find most perplexing is the national outcry by black folks when a black boy is gunned down by a nonblack person, but there’s a “business as usual” attitude (from some media organizations and political leaders) when black boys and girls are gunned down for sport by other blacks in communities of color throughout the country.

One has only to look at what is happening in the streets of inner-city Chicago as an example. A weekend in August  of this year was one of the deadliest in the city’s history. Six people were killed on Aug. 18, tying the record for killings in a single day in Chicago set on Feb. 19. Four of the victims were teenagers. The record-setting killings were dwarfed by the total number of people wounded during that weekend: 36, to be exact.

To add insult to injury, five people were wounded the following Monday night in a shooting on the city’s South Side, including two teenage girls who were grazed while sitting on a nearby porch. Blood has been running through the streets of Chicago for far too long, yet there is very little being said or done on a national level about what’s happening there.

What about Detroit? In February a 9-month-old died after being hit by bullets from an AK-47 after his house was “sprayed,” allegedly because of a dispute over seating at a baby shower, and a 6-year-old was killed in what appears to have been a carjacking by a pair of 15-year-olds wielding AK-47s — this after a 12-year-old girl was killed in January after getting caught in the crossfire of a man and a woman engaged in an argument that turned violent. Where was the huge national outcry about these killings?

Record numbers of murders are not found just in Midwestern cities. One only has to look at Camden, N.J.; Stockton, Calif.; Oakland, Calif; Memphis, Tenn.; St. Louis, Mo.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Baltimore to find murder rates that are out of control. Statistically speaking, most crimes are committed by people who look like their victims, because crimes occur in neighborhoods that are largely segregated racially and economically.