EDITOR'S DESK: Dunn case underscores the need to break down cultural walls

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 05:59 PM.

Similarly, a camera tripod could look remarkably like a gun.

This incident matters because we're all Floridians, so we all should make it a point to give each other the benefit of the doubt. And maybe take a different view.

Soapbox alert, but this needs to be said: How long does someone spend at a gas station? A few minutes? So who cares what kind of music is playing? Why can't someone hear loud music — whether it's rap, classical, Christian or otherwise — and maybe just shake his or her head and think, like Louis Armstrong, "what a wonderful world"?

I don't want to pass judgment, but based on the facts from this case, a teenager would still be alive if no confrontation occurred.

It's easy, and futile, to play the "what if" game, but again, this case sort of hinges on that confrontation, a clash over cultural differences. Thinking "What awful music," but keeping that hidden, while expressing a tip of the hat to the teens likely would have garnered a different response.

The same could be said if a 48-year-old Arkansas man hadn't allegedly shot at a group of teenagers egging his car at 1 a.m. this past weekend. The teens had no weapons; they were committing criminal mischief, but in their minds, were playing a prank, according to the New York Daily News. And a 15-year-old girl died in that incident.

Really? You see teenagers messing with your car, not threatening you, and your first response is to shoot? Really?

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