Juror No. 8 Is Not The Problem

There is absolutely no need to “go in on” Creshuna Miles, Juror No. 8 in the Jordan Davis trial. It is actually counterproductive and needlessly hurtful to Ms. Miles. The possibility that these critiques might change her mind or alter the horrible legal results is, in my opinion, close to zero.

 

Criticizing her appearance, education, class – none of it matters. She is a child of Fox News. She lives in a nation where bringing up racism is seen by many to be worse than actual racist statements or acts.She is a product of voir dire and (mis)education.

Calling Michael Dunn nice? Sad, but expected. Many women are socialized to believe and say things like this in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Ted Bundy, anyone?

Despite our frustrations, attacking her looks and class and education – Rachel Jaentel, anyone? – only perpetrate the same kinds of hurtful beliefs that contributed to Jordan Davis’s death.

There’s something really wrong with pseudo psychological arguments that simply slander her and put her down. There’s something foul about wanting or hoping or expecting that she experience a racist moment so that she can learn her lesson. How does that help anyone? It certainly won’t bring young Jordan Davis back.

I don’t agree with Miss Miles. I find her argument and observations to be fatally flawed. But I don’t know her or her journey. I refuse to stand in judgment of her when I’m really angry at another young African American (Adrian Broadway and et al.) senselessly dead. When I’m terrified for young black and brown men. When I’m depressed about the rage and fear that puts many African Americans in their graves well before their time. When I don’t know how to help make the micro and macro aggressions stop.

So … leave Creshuna Miles alone. The far bigger, more troubling and more difficult issues are institutional and systemic racism. That’s what we have to attack, unpack and dismantle. For the good of all. Because unjust systems enslave bystanders, perpetrators and victims alike.

Jay Smooth’s take:

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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