Socially Speaking's Blog
The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

Denying Fear Is Fateful

The weekly socio-political commentary from activist, Perry Redd

The weekly socio-political commentary from activist, Perry Redd

We’re at another epoch in American history.  It’s not one that will be well-documented nor will it rest in the bosom of museums in future decades.  This era will be forever entrenched in the hearts and minds of mothers, black mothers who have had to bury their black sons because white males lived in fear.

Now, this won’t be the first era of burying black boys at the hands of white male fear.  Ever since the inception of “The New World” in North America, white men have been using violence as the chief tool of securing their place at the head of society.  During the period of slavery in America, darker hued men have been the object of subjection and fear.  It’s never been termed that way and the narrative has always been shaped in favor of the oppressive class.

In Jacksonville, Florida, we’re witnessing the trial of a white male named Michael Dunn.  He’s on trial for shooting Jordan Davis, a 17-year old boy who’s sole offense to this white male was playing music in his car too loud for Dunn.  The story goes like this: Dunn testified that he asked the young men in an SUV to turn their music down and they—Jordan Davis—responded abruptly and that he was threatened by the boys.  Dunn said Davis told him. “I should f******g killing this mother f****r” and that “there was no mistake to what he said.”

For the record, I am not on the side of Michael Dunn.  I can find no justifiable reason to pull out a gun, shoot and kill anybody—even when threatened. Now, you might not agree, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t shoot and kill another human being, but what I am saying is there is no justifying committing a murder.  We live and in the process, every day is an exercise in risk management.  For 10 years of my life, I carried a firearm.  I lived through those years…but I’m 50 now.  That means for 40 of those years, I didn’t carry a gun.  Guess what?  I lived.

I watched George Zimmerman get acquitted for causing a confrontation with another teenage black male, Trayvon Martin.  Zimmerman feared for his life—after initiating a confrontation with the boy, and pulled out a gun, shot and killed Martin.  The common thread here is fear.  The culture of the United States has been in a tug-of-war for decades over gun legislation, simply because white men are living with a heavy degree of fear.  Black boys are suffering the consequences because white males have been effective bullying everyone else who may not be scared.

As you can guess, Dunn has pled not guilty to first-degree murder in Davis’ death and three counts of attempted murder related to the three other teens who were in the vehicle with Davis and survived the shooting. If convicted, Dunn faces up to life in prison.  What I have come to learn is that white American males rarely take responsibility for any wrong they inflict upon anyone.

Whether it be wrongful convictions, racially-motivated killings, eugenically-induced inflictions or gentrification, as long as harmful acts serve their purpose, white males are not, nor have not, been compelled to offer apologies, nor make reparations for wrongs inflicted upon peoples of color.  From the landing of Christopher Columbus to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to the institution of slavery to the era of Jim Crow, this country has not apologized—and made whole—the victims of these horrid acts of violence.  As long as their needs were served and their ends were reached, it’s all good.

Well, it’s not all good.  Its time for confrontation; but not by my boys.  The adults in the room have to stand as adults.  Black, white and otherwise have to stop bystanding and armchair quarterbacking and step out of the mainstream economy.  The only way to bring justice to this land steeped in constitutional precepts is to stand in the face of the gatekeepers of injustice.  No more buying products of white men—including stocks, softwares and technologies.

Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin deserve your body.  They deserve my body.  As adults, we had a responsibility to protect them from the fear of white men.  No one else manufacturers guns…no one.  We should be unequivocally against guns, manufacture, distribution, possession, whatever!  Nothing good comes from a gun. Don’t get me wrong, white men fearfully kill white men too, like the 43-year-old man shot dead amid theater seats in West Chapel, Florida by a 71-year-old retired police officer who believed it was the right thing to do over someone texting and getting sick of being badgered. The victim threw a bag of popcorn at the 71-year old and consequently, the scared old white male shot him.

The belief that they are to be listened to—with no backtalk—is a characteristic racist, white privilege in America.  This is a belief system romanticized by Tea Party supporters in their efforts to “take their country back.”  Hip-hop and rap music represent threats to them just as soul music did to their grandfathers decades ago…and jazz before that.  The issue has nothing to do with music, but everything to do with power.  Though I feel full sympathy for the 43-year old white male killed in Florida, my overarching concern is for the Black boys under attack, not only in Florida, but in America by scared white men.

Change the narrative.  Guns are not about self-defense, guns are about white male fear.  Let it not infect you, because it may decide your fate.

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One Response to “Denying Fear Is Fateful”

  1. Thanks for asking. Similar models exist..good luck in your research. Keep reading Other Side of the Tracks. Read. Learn. Empower. Become Active against social injustice.


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