The headlines in the case were sadly familiar. An angry adult armed with a gun used it to shoot and kill an unarmed black teenager he thought seemed "bad" -- this time, because the teenager and his friends were sitting in a car listening to music the grownup didn't like. In this outrageous Florida case, a middle-aged white man, Michael Dunn, was convicted of three counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting a gun into an occupied car. Jurors agreed he faced no threat after he was annoyed by loud music -- coming from a car he had deliberately chosen to park next to -- and then started an argument, pulled a gun on the car's black teens, and fired three shots at the young men inside the car as they tried to drive away from him.
The facts of the case really don't matter anymore, just the feelings and beliefs of the defendant. And when you add the race of the victims into the mix, the disparities in how the law is applied are clear. Basically, if a white man feels or believes he is threatened, regardless of the facts of the case, he can be justified in shooting and killing a black man. The reality of Stand Your Ground laws in Florida and 24 more states is that racial fear and hatred is now legally justified. Black men are always at risk -- as every black parent in this country has told their young boys and as the statistics now bear out.