Denise Hunt tears up as she finds out the jury is deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge for Michael Dunn outside of the Duval County Courthouse as jury deliberations enter the fourth day of deliberations, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. Dunn was convicted Saturday of attempted murder in the shooting death of a teenager during an argument over loud music, but jurors could not agree on the most serious charge of first-degree murder. (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Kelly Jordan)
WE’VE CRIED COUNTLESS TEARS concerning our boys. But not even a river of tears can wash away the reality that our sons face each day. Their lives are not valued like those of other children, because while they are precious to us, the larger society sees boys of color as a threat.
That much was clear in the wake of the Michael Dunn verdict–a jury decision in which a killer was found guilty of second degree attempted murder, but was not convicted of first degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.
“Not even a river of tears can wash away the reality that our sons face each day. Their lives are not valued like those of other children, because while they are precious to us, the larger society sees boys of color as a threat.”Seeing that reality was hurtful, because we see our own sons in the face of each black boy who is murdered. We hear the lusty cries that greeted us when they emerged from the womb. We remember their first words, and visualize their first steps, and revisit the dreams we had for them from the moment we looked into their eyes.
Each time a black boy is killed a piece of our collective family dies. In response we bottle up our emotions and guard them from the children who remain. We tuck our tears away and hide them from a world that doesn’t seem to care. In many cases, we even hide our true feelings from ourselves.
But today I want to give our families a chance to speak out about what it means to lose our boys to violence. And after we express the rage, and the hurt, and the pain, I want us to do one thing more. I want us to talk about solutions, because if the killing of our boys is going to stop, it must stop with us.
Tell us what you think. A boy’s life may very well depend on it.Solomon Jones is editor and creator of Solomonjones.com