Dunn verdict hot topic on 'Black Twitter'

Some say #dangrousblackkids gets needed conversation started

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Have you heard of Black Twitter? It's a new phenomenon among African-American users of the social media site who use #blacktwitter to discuss issues affecting black Americans.

A trending topic recently has been the Michael Dunn verdict.

The 47-year-old was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder, but the jury was hung on the first-degree murder charge for the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis.

While some black leaders and others gathered in Hemming Plaza on Tuesday to rally for justice for Jordan Davis, others are sharing their opinions on the case on Twitter, specifically using #dangerousblackkids.

Using that hashtag, people are posting adorable photos of kids with sarcastic captions.

"This thug plays her music too loud."

Met. Rhonda A. Lee posted on Twitter:
"His street name's Baby Lou. Like most #DangerousBlackKids he's wearing his baggy clothes, and an intimidating hoodie"

"I like the message. I love the spin on it. I get it. I get it," said Sharon Grant, a parent of a 20-year-old boy.

Grant likes that #dangerousblackkids is an effort to call attention to the issue. She says that the Dunn verdict is a reminder to tell her that even though he's an honor student in college, some in society may still find him threatening.

"I think we need to keep that as a reminder. They are not dangerous. They are not dangerous kids," Grant said.

Bishop Rudolph McKissick Jr., pastor of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, said while #dangerousblackkids makes a dramatic statement, the conversation needs to be outside of social media.

"At the end of the day we have to get beyond the black Twitter piece, behind the marching peace, and we got to sit down and say, 'Listen. White Americans, you need to listen to us. We don't think all of you are racist, because that would be a foolish statement, but there is a racist system in place. Until you can be honest about that, we don't have much to dialog about,'" McKissick said.

Dr. JeffriAnn Wilder, assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Florida, echoes that sentiment.

"We are not past race. Our society has not achieved this post-racial moment that we really believed that has taken," Wilder said. "These kinds of events remind us that there are so many things that we are grappling with in 2014, that the legacy of slavery is still there, the aftermath of Jim Crow is still there and alive in our society."