Dr. David J Leonard

Déjà vu: Jordan Davis and the Danger of American Racism

by David J. Leonard | NewBlackMan (in Exile)

Sadly, as I look back at a piece I wrote about Trayvon Martin, I find myself wondering, if I could simply replace Trayvon with Jordan, Martin with Davis. I don’t say this to mean their lives were interchangeable nor do I want to erase their individuality or uniqueness. Yet, American racism brings them together; the daily realities of violence, stereotypes, demonization and differential values ascribed to different brings them together; they are brought by together by what Imani Perry identifies the “conflict between American ideals and our social reality.”

I grew up in segregated Los Angeles. While often celebrated for its diversity, Los Angeles is an immensely segregated community. Divided by freeways, inequalities, and policing, the Los Angeles I remember was defined by its segregation. For middle-class white kids such as myself…

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