"Forgiving Michael Dunn doesn't negate what I’m feeling."

February 26, 2014

If you don't already read Ta-Nehisi Coates, you should—especially in the aftermath of something like the Michael Dunn verdict.

Yesterday, the Atlantic writer followed up on his earlier interview with Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, who Dunn shot and killed. Coates visited McBath in person, taking his own 13-year-old son along. Here's an excerpt from what he wrote about it:

I told her that I was stunned by her grace after the verdict. I told her the verdict greatly angered me. I told her that the idea that someone on that jury thought it plausible there was a gun in the car baffled me. I told her it was appalling to consider the upshot of the verdict—had Michael Dunn simply stopped shooting and only fired the shots that killed Jordan Davis, he might be free today.

She said, "It baffles our mind too. Don’t think that we aren’t angry. Don’t think that I am not angry. Forgiving Michael Dunn doesn't negate what I’m feeling and my anger. And I am allowed to feel that way. But more than that I have a responsibility to God to walk the path He's laid. In spite of my anger, and my fear that we won’t get the verdict that we want, I am still called by the God I serve to walk this out."

And another:

I told her I wanted the world to see her, and to see Jordan. She said she thinks I want the world to see "him." She was nodding to my son. She added, "And him representing all of us." He was sitting there just as I have taught him—listening, not talking. 

Now she addressed him, "You exist," she told him. "You matter. You have value. You have every right to wear your hoodie, to play your music as loud as you want."

Read it all. As Coates says, McBath's grace in tragedy and injustice is truly stunning. So is the depth of her faith.

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