On Jordan Davis’ Killer and Other Pertinent Matters

Judson L. Jeffries, PhD

What surprised me was not that the majority white jury deadlocked on the first degree murder charge, but that the jurors actually found Dunn guilty of three counts of second-degree attempted murder. Dunn’s demeanor in court and his behavior in the minutes and hours following the shooting mirrored that, which Dr. Bobby E. Wright described in his 1984 work The Psychopathic Racial Personality. According to Wright the white psychopathic racial personality is someone who:

a)    has a total disregard for the rights of others
b)    is completely callous
c)    is unable to experience guilt
d)  takes advantage of Blacks without any hint of guilt, anxiety or threat to their self-esteem and
e)    is bereft of ethical and moral development

Let’s see. On November 2012 a boisterous argument ensues over loud music and the rational response, in the mind of this middle age white guy, is to retrieve a fire arm from his vehicle and fire ten rounds into a car in which sat four fresh-faced teenagers. Afterwards Dunn and his lady friend drove to their hotel where he reportedly ordered pizza and spent the night. According to his companion, Dunn seemed unmoved by what had transpired. Well, why would he be unsettled or shaken by the day’s events? After all, history, recent history at that, was on his side. Hell, Florida history was presumably on his side. All that was required of Dunn was for him to remember to convincingly repeat the all-too familiar refrain “I feared for my life”, “I feared for my life”, “I really feared for my life!” when questioned by the police. Dunn was apparently so unfazed by what he had done that calling the police did not figure into his evening plans. What many might consider an anomalous sequence of events was seemingly normal for Dunn, a psychopath whose world view was undoubtedly tainted by race.

Imagine this. Dunn pulls into a gas station and seconds later a carload of Goth, grunge looking white kids pulls alongside him. Dunn asks them to turn down their radio from which Marilyn Manson is blaring at ungodly (no pun intended) decibels. An argument erupts at which point Dunn reaches into the glove compartment, pulls out a gun and fires ten shots into the car, killing one of the kids. He drives more than an hour away, gets a room, orders pizza and settles in for the night without so much as notifying the authorities. Can you imagine that? No, you can’t, because it’s unthinkable, so unfathomable that it resembles (and this is a stretch) a wicked, demented and perverse iteration of Albert Camus’ theatre of the absurd. In other words, the mere suggestion is ludicrous, because it wouldn’t happen.

Despite the fact that the jury could not come to terms on the first degree murder charge, it is likely that Dunn will spend the remainder of his life behind bars along with scores of other devil incarnates. Sadly, however, Dunn’s imprisonment will probably do little to deter other grown men from snuffing out the lives of Black boys believing that in the end white privilege places them above the rule of law. While Dunn was clearly the culprit in this matter I can’t help but wonder if we bear some responsibility for Jordan Davis’ murder; and Trayvon Martin’s too for that matter. The great Rev. Vernon Johns of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama spoke powerfully to this very matter in a 1949 sermon titled “It’s Safe to Murder Negroes.” Click on the video below to hear Johns’ sermon as delivered by James Earl Jones in the 1994 biopic The Vernon Johns Story. His words are no less poignant and appropriate today than they were sixty five years ago.

3 thoughts on “On Jordan Davis’ Killer and Other Pertinent Matters

  1. While finding Professor Jeffries scathing assessment naturally appropriate; and, in light of the conflicting testimony provided by the perpetrator’s fiancee, a ‘slick’ Attorney could successfully argue the lack of ‘premeditation’ in behalf of the perpetrator – thus escaping a solid caveat in the charge of ‘Murder 1.’

  2. Dr Jeffries
    I’m glad that you ‘went there’.
    It was necessary and right. Also the clip that you attached was ‘apropos’ and to the point. There’s definitely a ‘Message here’.
    Good job….

  3. I watched that movie years ago. I knew there were such Race Men who used religion to inspire and demonstrate courage in their fight against our oppression and racism. Pastor Vernon Johns was right, but too often back then and today, religion is used as a tool to pacify, control and help maintain Black African Americans People in our current conditions, while racists in suits, not robes, create laws and policies that do far more damage than a lynching could ever do. They have proven that the “Pen” is indeed mightier than the “Sword”.

    Anytime Black African Americans try to organize themselves around an emotional issue, watch as the so call religious leaders come out of hiding like roaches, to call for calm, insert themselves at the head of it, become a spokesperson for the group, just to destroy it from within, using the words of the their craft. They are called Samboes! Know them by their inappropriate behavior or their lack of courage to lead when it doesn’t directly profit them or their church. Many of them act as “Agents” for those Whites who control the redistribution of taxes in any city, county, state or federal government. They server at the pleasure of their masters, with specific instructions to never allow the economic empowerment of Black African Americans. For example, you can’t get one religious denomination to pool their collect Sunday Donations together and start a Black Owned and operated Credit Union and for those who have done so, others Black Preachers will not support them out of self hatred, envy and jealousy.

    The sad reality is this. After High School or College, most Black African Americans only go one place each week to allow someone to teach them something and that to church. However, what they are being taught are stories made up long ago as allegories and fables, made up to teach a lesson and then attributed to God, by some man. That theology was given to enslaved Blacks as a tool of control and some of our ancestors accepted it and passed it down from generation to generation. The essence of it to get saved from your sins and you will be rewarded in heaven after you die. To those of us in the know who recognize game, we’ve heard that line used before. It goes like this “Keep selling your body and one day you will earn enough money to retire and live to the good life”. Most Black Men recognize game and their ego, won’t allow them to be pimped by another man. Some go along for the sake of their wife and children, but tune out the programming.

    Ministers like Vernon Johns, who I’m told was followed to Dexter Baptist Church by a young preacher named Dr. Martin Luther King, don’t have that kind of courage today. It’s destroyed in seminary and replaced with prosperity pimping, I mean preaching. Hell No! I meant pimping, because it’s just as abusive and destructive to our community. Don’t take my opinion, just examine the communities, where they exist and see the poverty, lack of hope, lack of economic development and jobs, crime and lack of leadership that’s focused on solving our problems.

    When we stop listening to and looking for leadership from religious leaders and politicians, only then will we come together and support a plan for our own uplift and empowerment. A National Black Empowerment Plan exist today called The Quiet Resolution (TQR, Inc.) at http://wbsinccd.tripod.com/thequietresolutiontqr. I challenge you to demand solutions, not excuses from those who claim to be in positions of leadership in your community, county, state and nation.

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