Jordan Davis – a 17-year-old young black man – was shot and killed by Michael Dunn – a 47-year-old white man.
This is not in dispute.
Jordan Davis was shot and killed by Michael Dunn.
And while Michael Dunn was convicted several of the charges against him, he was not convicted of the murder of Jordan Davis.
It happened again.
I think of the many young black men I teach and have taught who could have been Jordan Davis… who could have been Trayvon Martin… and those are the cases that made the New York Times, and be sure, there are too many that did not penetrate mainstream consciousness.
I think of the many conversations I have had with students of color who have talked to me about “Walking While Black” and the many struggles my students face on a daily basis.
I want to write about how Tuesday we will go back to work at SLA at trying to do the work of listening to each other, of trying to make our corner of the world better, of talking explicitly about issues of race and how they affect us all.
I admit that right now it is hard to do that. Right now, I simply feel for Jordan Davis and his family. I simply worry about my kids — the ones I teach and the ones who are mine — who grow up in a world where this can happen.
But that is right now.
Tuesday, I will redouble my efforts to teach the world we live in.
This verdict must serve to remind us that there is no such thing (to quote SLA teacher Pia Martin) as passive anti-racism. This verdict must remind us that institutional racism is the norm in this country and therefore we have to actively work to do better. This verdict must remind us that we are nowhere near being the country we need to be for our citizens of color — and, therefore, for all of us.