Florida state attorneys have recently released phone transcripts and letters written by Michael Dunn, who in November 2012 shot and murdered Jordan Davis and opened fire on three of Davis’ friends. Like his doppelgänger George Zimmerman, Dunn claims victimhood and insists that he “was being preyed upon.”
“I’m the fucking victim here. I was the one who was victimized,” he told his fiancée Rhonda Roue during one of the phone calls. “I’m the victor, but I was the victim too.”
Convicted last week on three counts of attempted murder, Dunn drew his weapon in a Jacksonville convenience store parking lot and opened fire on Davis and his friends after they failed to turn down what Dunn described as “thug” music. Following the shooting, he and his fiancée drove to a hotel, where they ordered pizza.
In one segment of the audio transcripts, Dunn compares himself to a rape victim:
“I was the one that was being preyed upon and I fought back. It’s not quite the same but it made me think of like the old TV shows and movies where like how the police used to think when a chick got raped going, ‘Oh, it’s her fault because of the way she dressed.’ I’m like, ‘So it’s my fault [laughing] because I asked them to turn their music down. I got attacked and I fought back because I didn’t want to be a victim and now I’m in trouble. I refused to be a victim and now I’m incarcerated.”
No evidence exists that any of the four teens had a weapon when they were assaulted by the middle-aged software developer.
More shocking than his perception of himself as a victim in this case is Dunn’s openly hostile racism toward blacks, which is on full display in letters he wrote while in jail. In one, he disturbingly urges more people to take up arms against African Americans:
“This jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs,” he writes. “This may sound a bit radical, but if more people would arm themselves and kill these fucking idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”
No doubt there are those reading this who disapprove of Dunn’s vile comments being published here. Let’s just ignore him, they might say. On the contrary, it is vital for every American to take serious note of the bigotry and blind hatred that still infect parts of this country, despite right-wing spokespeople Phil Robertson and Ted Nugent’s suggestions that racism is dead in America or never existed here in the first place.
Michael Dunn’s diseased attitudes certainly do not reflect those of all white Americans, but what these released letters and transcripts point to is an alarming and growing risk imposed on young black men in Florida and other such “Stand Your Ground” states. When unhinged racism, concealed firearms, and the pettiest of provocations are conflated in states that condone and indeed encourage firefights to occur, we will continue to see disproportionately more and more innocent young black men die at the hands of those who have been brainwashed by right-wing media and ill-conceived legislation into believing they are in the right.
But Stand Your Ground laws are good for African Americans, according to Sen. Ted Cruz, Fox News, and others. Tell that to Marissa Alexander, a black Floridian woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot, harming no one, to scare away an abusive spouse. Tell that to Michael Giles, an African-American former US airman who, finding himself in a legitimately life-threatening brawl, drew a gun, shot his assailant in the leg, and is now serving a 25-year prison sentence.
By and large, Stand Your Ground laws have only succeeded at permitting white men to play out their Dirty Harry fantasies with relative impunity. Had such laws never been enacted, troubled men like Zimmerman and Dunn might not have felt entitled to orchestrate the altercations that tragically led to two teens’ deaths.
Edited/Published by: SB
Joseph Guyer lives in Texas. An ad man by trade, he firmly agrees with Bill Clinton that there is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured by what is right with America. You can read more of his work at Liberals Unite and DemoNews and follow him on Twitter @joerobguy.