Black Twitter and Punditocracy Light up Over Jordan Davis Yet RADIO SILENT over Adrian Broadway - I Wonder Why?
Yep. It's time for one of those inconvenient truth posts y'all hate to read. In light of the furor over the Jordan Davis- Michael Dunn case in Florida, have you heard of Adrian Broadway? If not, you need to ask why.Man Pursues, Shoots Teenage Girl Dead Over a Silly Teenage Prank
Saturday night, my Twitter feed lit up with a bunch of amateur criminal law experts over the verdict in the Jordan Davis - Michael Dunn shooting case down in Florida. Once again, it looks like crack District Attorney Angela Corey charged a killer with the wrong section of the Criminal Code and once again, a jury decided not to fix the mess she made. Melba Pearson offered a view of the verdict from a Black prosecutor's perspective [WARNING: Link goes to essence.com]
Like Melba, I thought about helping all of the amateur criminal law experts in my Twitter timeline by explaining why it is almost always a legal impossibility for a murder that results from a violent altercation between two strangers to qualify under the traditional definition first-degree murder that we all learn in the first semester of CrimLaw. However, I was pretty certain that all of the amateur criminal law experts in my Twitter timeline weren't really interested in hearing about mens rea vs strict liability when determining which section of the law applies to a murder. Black Twitter is about the perpetual airing of grievances, not actual institutional change.
In the middle of all that, WAOD reader Shane forwarded me the story of 15 year old Adrian Broadway. She died under similar circumstances to those of Jordan Davis yet, I don't see Rickey Smiley or Roland Martin dedicating segments to or organizing marches around HER death. Adrian Broadway didn't show up in my timeline. Like Jordan Davis, she was in a car full of teenagers. like Jordan Davis a gun owner unloaded his firearm into a vehicle full of teenagers.
“Apparently Mr. Noble’s teenage son had done a prank on some of the kids that were inside the vehicle on Halloween Night,” Lieutenant Sidney Allen explained. “As a result they were doing a retaliation prank and it ultimately had deadly results.”
After the shooting, the driver attempted to flee the scene to get help.
“It was a joke. We was friends, we was gonna come over there and clean it up,” 16-year-old Kortazha Williams, who was in the car, told KTHV. “It was supposed to be a prank; we were supposed to get up right now, and we were supposed to laugh.” Raw Story
There are two reasons why you probably have not heard of Adrian Broadway:
A) She was shot by a Black male who unloaded his gun into a car full of teenagers after he chased them down; and
B) She's a Black girl and in the Black community, she is viewed as less endangered and less valuable than the lives of a similarly-situated Black boy. She is also held partly responsible for her death because in the Black community there are no perfect Black girl victims. We've got to prove our innocence to get community sympathy or mass mobilization.
Infact many in the community [BLACK community] are split on who is at fault:
Many have commented online, taking a side of the situation. Some have blamed Noble; while others have blamed the parents for allowing their kids to be out so late. KTHV
Classic victim blaming. The person with the gun chasing people down the street firing into a fleeing vehicle is at fault for the bullets buried in Adrian Broadway's head.
And before you get enraged and say I don't care about Black boys, I do, but it isn't lost on me that the value of a Black life lost depends on the race of the person who took it- there is something ghoulish and immoral about how we treat the slaughter of young Black girls and boys. We want to quarantine the Culture of Death - turn a blind eye to Black boys and girls slaughtered on a daily basis in cities all over the world, yet all of sudden start paying attention when an irresponsible White gun owner kills one Black child. And then we get outraged when non-Black people blow off our outrage and say "Well what about Chicago?"
There is a hashtag over on Twitter called #DangerousBlackKids. Black parents are posting pictures of their adorable Black girls and boys doing ordinary things. It might be the most unintentionally savvy response Black Twitter has ever mustered because we are making a PUBLIC affirmative statement that our children are precious to us, we love them and it grieves us mightily that you view them as a threat --- and then in about 48 hours we'll go back to watching the hyper violent Real Hip Hop Wive of Hollywood and blasting the latest Cash Money artist talking 'bout busting caps. If you're anti Culture of Death, then be anti Culture of Death every day, not just when you get a jury verdict you don't like. It means you value the lives of Black children irrespective of their gender or the race of their murderer. And those values are reflected in what you support, defend, underwrite and applaud. No you can't promote the fiction of the hypermasculine impermeable, invincible Black male and then mourn when some idiot reminds you that Black boys are not bullet proof - I don't care what the radio, television, and movie screen depicts.
Good luck trying to repeal Stand Your Ground Laws in Florida Black Twitter!
Irrespective of whether the LAW requires you to retreat, there is a separate MORAL issue. At some point someone is going to have a national conversation about the responsibilities of gun ownership. Not in the context of confiscating people's guns or shipping them off to jail, but in a conversation about the sacred responsibility you have when you control an instrument of death.
With great power comes responsibility. You should not be happy or excited about killing someone - the decision to fire should be a sober and sad one. Two lives are going to change forever - yours and the person on the other end of the gun. The gun should be your last resort, not your first option.
You have a responsibility not to go and chase down a carload of of teenagers because you are angry and fill it with bullets. You have a responsibility to avoid escalating a potentially violent confrontation. You have a responsibility to refrain from displaying and discharging your firearm at a living creature unless your life or the life of someone else is in danger. And where an avenue for escape presents itself, you have an obligation to remove yourself from the threat without executing the perceived threat. But most of all, on the receiving end of the bullet you fire will be someone else's child. Someone who who has a family who loves them and will grieve for them and what they could have become.
George Zimmerman would be a convicted murderer in jail today if Angela Corey had offered him a plea deal for manslaughter - he would have plead out gotten either A) no active time and a super long probation or B) some active time and a superlong probation. In both cases, he would have promptly violated the terms of his super long probation and been sent back to jail. That whole not going to jail for probation violations only works in Los Angeles for Lindsey Lohan and Chris Brown.
Willie Nobel, your pride and anger has ended two lives- your own and Adrian Broadway's. Your son has lost a friend and a father - because of some eggs.