Dear White People, 'Please Don't Shoot Me'

Eugene Robinson has to ask out of desperation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2014 1:34 PM CST
Jacob Black holds a sign outside of the Duval County Courthouse during the Michael Dunn trial.   (AP Photo/The Florida Times-Union, Kelly Jordan)

(Newser) – First George Zimmerman. Now Michael Dunn, who escaped a murder charge after killing a black teenager who was playing music loudly. The killing of black men in America doesn't seem to faze the nation, so Eugene Robinson is resorting to this plea: "Please don't shoot me," he writes in the Washington Post: "Please don’t shoot my sons, either, or my brothers-in-law, nephews, nephews-in-law or other male relatives. I have quite a few friends and acquaintances who also happen to be black men, and I’d appreciate your not shooting them as well, even if the value you place on their lives is approximately zero."

Tongue-in-cheek, sure, but it's necessary because "nothing else has worked," Robinson writes. What to do? We can start by getting rid of "stand your ground" laws and similar statutes. But more importantly, we somehow need to stop people from assuming that all young black men are "bad," as Dunn assumed. This thinking played a role in both his case and in the Trayvon Martin shooting. "We don’t just have to change laws," writes Robinson. "We have to change hearts and minds." Click for his full column. (Read more racism stories.)

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