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From Jordan Davis to Barack Obama: White America's Historic Problem With 'Arrogant' Black People

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There was an ugly epilogue to that strange crime. A drunken Motlow shot and killed a conductor on a passenger train in 1924 and beat the murder charge through a crudely racist, and high-priced, defense strategy...

On March 17, 1924, after a visit here for a brief court appearance, Motlow had drinks with friends before heading to Union Station. He stumbled unsteadily onto the Louisville & Nashville night train for the trip home to Tennessee.

Sleeping-car car porter Ed Wallis asked Motlow for his ticket. He didn’t have one and became irate that Wallis, who was black, dared to challenge him. Conductor Clarence Pullis, who was white, intervened. As the train chuffed through the downtown tunnel toward the Eads Bridge, Motlow pulled a pistol and fired twice, striking Pullis once in the abdomen.

Pullis, of Kirkwood, died in a hospital in East St. Louis. Motlow was charged with murder.

In the era of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and ominous Stand Your Ground laws, the above account is painfully familiar.

Now, consider the following:

Dunn has testified he described the music to his fiancee as "rap crap."

In the parking lot, as the music blared, "his blood started to boil; he didn't like the music that was coming out of the car next to him; he got angrier and angrier," Wolfson said.

Dunn rolled down his window and asked the youths to turn it down, which they did, but then turned it back up, Wolfson said.

"He got angry at the fact that a 17-year-old kid decided not to listen to him," she said, adding that Dunn then pulled a 9 mm gun out of his glove box and shot "systematically and methodically" at the SUV. "Nobody denied that Jordan was talking back. But this defendant took it upon himself to silence Jordan Davis forever."

The jury in the Michael Dunn-Jordan Davis trial has decided that Dunn is "not guilty" of murder.

The matter  should have been a simple one: a man with a gun shoots and kills an unarmed teenager who was sitting in a car and playing loud music. Despite the claims by the shooter that the victim and the other young people he shot were "armed", no evidence of a weapon is found. Dunn then goes back to his hotel, walks his dog, relaxes, and does not inform the police that he shot at a vehicle and its occupants 10 times.

Of course, Stand Your Ground, what is a de facto licence to shoot and kill at will, is invoked by Dunn's attorney. Jordan Davis is a 17-year-old black teenager. Michael Dunn is a 47-year-old white adult. Once more, America's long history of state sanctioned white supremacist violence against black and brown people unfairly shifts the scales of justice.

Michael Dunn was found not guilty of murder: the legal system was not able to hurdle over the added doubt which exists whenever a white person is charged with killing a black person. Of course, somehow the latter had it coming, asked for it, or provoked their own end.

Michael Dunn was found not guilty of murdering Davis because he "felt threatened". Thus, the notorious Stand Your Ground laws offer him protection from the consequences of his actions. Moreover, the jury's decision is very much  in keeping with the American social and legal precedents which have for centuries deemed black life cheap at the hands of white murderers, rapists, terrorists, and other human debris and miscreants.

There is a thread of connective tissue which runs from Trayvon Martin to Jordan Davis, President Obama, and black athletes such as Richard Sherman.