Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. Today’s blog represents a need to respond to recent events concerning the Jordan Davis Verdict. Our Bishop, H. Curtis Douglas has written a response to this verdict and I felt duty bound to disseminate it. While I agree with every painful word, it is not shared as a benchmark for all thought on the matter but as a perspective that needs to be posited. Please read it and consider where we stand in our society.
BISHOP H. CURTIS DOUGLAS
RESPONSE TO THE JORDAN DAVIS VERDICT
This verdict, as the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, clearly states for all the world to see that in these United States of America, under the law, the life of a black person, especially a black man, has less value than that of a white person.
That the inferred threat of blackness justifies the overt violence of whiteness that just because a white person thinks a black person might do something, that white person has the right to use whatever force they deem necessary against that black person, and be exonerated by the legal system for that act. It is interesting to note that this standard is only applied when the victim is black and the perpetrator is white. In our legal system, if one person feels that someone means them no good, they cannot take the law into their own hands. The law is clear that you cannot act violently towards someone simply because you think or feel that they are going to harm you. The most the law will do for you is give you an “order of protection” unless that is, you are white and your victim is black. In that case, you can use your fear of an anticipated act as justification of your violent act even if said act leads to the death of someone who, in the eyes of the law, has done you no wrong or harm. These verdicts remind us that, even in 2014, under the law of this nation, the standard that is applied to people of color, especially Blacks and Latinos, is not the same as that applied to whites. From Trayvon Martin to Jordan Davis to Renisha McBride; the black young woman who was killed with a shotgun blast to her face, at point blank range, because she rang the doorbell of a white person’s house when her car broke down, looking for help. It’s the same rationale. He too claimed that he feared that she was coming to rob his house and that he was justified to shoot her in the face. This verdict, along with many others that can be cited, shows that something can be legal yet not moral. It is wrong that an unarmed 18 year old black young man can be shot and killed by an armed white man and him not be found guilty of murder. The message that this verdict, once again sends to America is that it is reasonable for a white person:
- to assume that a young black man is a criminal
- to suspect that a young black man is up to no good
- to shoot at and kill a young black man with the confidence and tacit assurance that the law will back them up.
With all the advances that we as a people have made in the 150 years since the emancipation proclamation, this mountain still remains to be climbed; this enemy still has to be vanquished. And make no mistake, it will be. How, you ask?
- -the same way our parents’ and grandparents’ generation overcame, slavery and Jim Crow, and blatant racial segregation;
- -the same way our people have overcome whippings, brandings, and lynching’s;
- -the same way we have overcome the malevolent attacks on our psyche and human dignity when they belittled us and minimized us, and attempted to degrade us; calling us boy, and coon, and sambo, and nigger.
How, you ask? I’ll tell you how: through the prayers of the saints, through the spilled blood of our children, through our indomitable spirit that compels us to fight for the right in the face of overwhelming odds.
In the face of laws that are enacted to frustrate us, we will overcome. In the face of injustice that exists to keep us in our place, we will overcome. In the face of racists attitudes designed to deter us and crush our resolve, we will overcome.
+ H. Curtis Douglas