Last week, President Obama unveiled his My Brothers Keeper initiative one day after the anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin and as the nation still grapples with the hung jury on the murder charge in the Michael Dunn case, the white male in Florida who killed the unarmed African American teenager Jordon Davis after an argument about loud music.
Mychal Denzel Smith, writing about the Dunn verdict in The Nation, lamented:
“We scream “Murder! Lynching!” We desperately reaffirm for ourselves and our children the value of black life in a country that declares us worthless.
The cynic in me starts to believe this is exactly what white people want. It’s as though our cries of “Murder! Lynching!” only make it easier for white America to accept black death.
I want to believe differently. But it’s hard not to see the same scene play out over and over again and not think that there’s a pleasure derived from seeing black suffering, then being berated by black rage. It starts to feel as if we’re trapped in some sadomasochistic fantasy of white American imagination.”
Dennis Trainor, Jr. (host)