Letter to the Editor: Fear and Implicit Bias

Letter to the Editor: Fear and Implicit Bias

Dear Editor,

“It’s time to pick up where Dr. King left off”

Michael Dunn, a 45-year-old white man open fired on a van full of African American teenagers. The ten shots punctured and killed Jordan Davis at a gas station. Our killer was reported to say, “I hate that thug music.” The loud rap music played in the van caused the initial problem. It wasn’t until the two began to argue about the music’s volume that Dunn saw a nonexistent weapon in the hands of a black teen. This incident was timed to be approximately 3.5 minutes long. The international attention caused by all racial injustices has caused citizens to have the urge for another civil rights movement. The “Fear of black culture” has shifted the views of all people in america and has shown that progress and justice needs to occur.
In regard to this case, there was a pretrial motion to keep race out of discussion by Dunn’s lawyer, Cory Strolla. Strolla believes this incident didn’t occur because of the color of the teenager’s skin. Strolla made strong points that his client isn’t racist. The media labeled this case as the “Loud Music Trial,” this covered up the racial injustice that is present in our country. Since when was loud music a valid reason to take a man’s life? Mr. Dunn describes the men in the car as gangsters, fatherless and racist.

While in a telephone conversation with his wife he states, “I’m not racist, they’re racist.”

He can say he isn’t racist, but the reason he lashed out on the teenagers is because of fear. He was afraid of what the african american teenagers could have had. The perception of the black man (negative) in society is all he knows because he doesn’t come into contact with them enough.

Mr. Dunn again says, “No wonder people are afraid to tell them to pick up their pants.” His implicit fear of black culture landed him 60 years in prison for second degree attempted murder.

The stereotypes and attitudes that affect our understanding creates our implicit bias. The white man’s implicit bias has become so negative towards african american men that a comb, wallet or a bag of 99 cent skittles can be mistaken for a gun.

The United States of America is becoming more aware of our implicit biases. Unfortunately African Americans now have to keep in mind these biases and act accordingly so we don’t face the consequence Jordan Davis did. Where Doctor King left off will be picked up soon and will be progressive.


Tyra Brooks