Eugene Robinson: ‘I’m Black, Don’t Shoot Me’

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson is afraid of getting shot by a white person in the wake of the Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman verdicts:

Sometimes, when I’m in my car, I crank up the music pretty loud. All you Michael Dunns out there, please don’t shoot me.

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.

I know I shouldn’t have to ask, but nothing else has worked. The criminal justice system has a mixed record — Dunn was at least partly held accountable for the burst of mayhem in which he fatally shot Jordan Davis, while George Zimmerman got off scot-free for killing Trayvon Martin. But whatever the final outcome, prosecutors and juries never get involved until after the fact. When mothers have already cried over the caskets of their dead sons. When it’s too late.

[. . .]

I’m not aware of any law that says young black men have to follow orders from every random white man who comes along.

And somebody at the Post took it one step further and added this teaser to Robinson’s piece:

“Out of control”? Hardly. I get the anger over the verdict, but to pretend that a Wild West atmosphere exists where whites are shooting African-Americans willy-nilly fails to account for, well, reality. Here are the actual numbers from the FBI’s 2010 crime statistics:

In summary, in instances where both the race of the offender and victim are known, of the 2,720 blacks killed in 2010, 218 were killed by whites and 2,459 were killed by blacks. That’s 8 percent.

On the other hand, it should be emphasized that there’s not an epidemic of black-on-white murder, either. Of the 3,327 whites killed in 2010, 447 were killed by blacks, or 13.4 percent.

What these numbers do show is that it’s black-on-black violence that is “out of control.” 

I’m all for ending anybody’s wrong-headed opinion that white-Americans are at risk from black-Americans, but Eugene Robinson needs to know it’s a two-way street.