Another Black teen shot down in Florida
On Nov. 23 at a Jacksonville gas station, another racist killing took place in Florida having important parallels to the Trayvon Martin incident in February. In both cases, a middle-aged white man with a gun confronted an unarmed Black youth. Both murderers allege that they gunned down the youth because they feared for their own safety.
Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old white man, parked beside the victim, 17-year-old Jordan Davis, and his three friends, who had just come from the mall in their SUV. He confronted them over the volume of their music. After an exchange of words, Dunn fired between eight and nine shots into the vehicle. Jordan Davis, sitting in the backseat, was struck twice and died.
Although Dunn claims he saw a shotgun, authorities found no weapon. After the shooting, Dunn and his girlfriend fled to their hotel and then back to their home in Brevard County in the morning, where he was apprehended. His attorney will likely invoke Florida's racist "Stand Your Ground" law, a defense asserting that the use of deadly force was justified by Dunn's belief in imminent danger. The racist ruling class and their media have given extraordinary airtime to both Zimmerman and Dunn, further giving the green light to racist thugs.
The killings of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin highlight the continued importance of struggle against capitalism, a system that perpetuates and relies on racism. The national oppression of Black people is an important part of U.S. capitalism because it allows the ruling class to divide the multinational working class. National oppression means Black and other oppressed peoples experience super-exploitative working conditions. Meanwhile the capitalist "justice" system works overtime to use racist laws and policies, such as the "stand your ground" law and "zero tolerance" in schools, as a means of feeding oppressed people into the prison-industrial complex.
Dream Defenders, a rapidly growing multinational activist group in Florida, will be holding candlelight vigils for Jordan Davis across the state. Tampa, Tallahassee and Gainesville are a few cities where the vigils will take place at 6:00 pm on Dec. 1.
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