Did White Male Insecurity Kill Jordan Davis? - the Root
Awaiting trial, Dunn wrote several letters to his family and friends complaining about how “jail is full of blacks and they all act like thugs.” In a letter to his daughter, he offered the following solution to the problem of black thuggery: “This may sound a bit radical but if more people would arm themselves and kill these f—king idiots when they’re threatening you, eventually they may take the hint and change their behavior.”
Threatened by growing black economic and political power in the early 20th century, white men calling themselves the Ku Klux Klan used this same portrayal of black men as violent, sexual predators to justify racial terrorism. It’s estimated that from 1880 to 1930, more than 2,400 African Americans were lynched, often for insulting white men or forgetting “their place.” For contemporary angry white men, standing up to “gangsta rap” and “thugs” is akin to night-riding on black men, as portrayed in D.W. Griffith’s classic 1915 film The Birth of a Nation.
Although economic downturns disproportionately affect black unemployment and home ownership, working-class and college-educated whites are now feeling the sting of restricted opportunity. In his book Angry White Men, sociologist Michael Kimmel describes how these men often blame the trifecta of feminism, affirmative action and immigration for their woes.