Jordan Davis would have turned 26 years old on Tuesday had the teenager not been robbed of his life in 2012 by a white man who said he felt “threatened” by the volume of the music being played in the car in which the teenager was a passenger. His mother, Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, penned an emotional open letter to Jordan expressing her love for him and recounting all of the milestones he was unable to witness because he was “taken from us far too soon.”
McBath posted the letter on social media in a thread that included rarely seen family photos of the two of them from when he was a baby up until the months before he was killed at age 17 in Florida. He was shot to death at a gas station in Jacksonville when 45-year-old Michael Dunn opened fire into the car he was sitting in with friends after Dunn complained about how loudly music was being played.
Dunn was given a sentence of life in prison without parole and 90 years.
“You were just 85 days short of your 18th birthday,” McBath wrote, adding later that she “always had such big dreams for you. I just knew you would be the one to fight for change in our community.”
Citing the historic elections of Black leaders like President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris and Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, McBath also suggested that Jordan may have even followed in her footsteps and eventually sought public office: “you would be working to change what’s broken in our country.”
She added: “How I wish you were still here to celebrate with us. I know you are with me, watching over me every day.”
McBath’s full Twitter thread of her open letter commemorating what would have been her son’s 26th birthday follows below.
McBath was able to turn her personal tragedy into political triumph when she won her Congressional primary ahead of the historic 2018 midterm elections. She went on to win the general election after running on a gun control platform in a very pro-gun state and credited her son for propelling her political career to the doorsteps of Congress after she won her primary.
Prior to her election, McBath had never held elected office. However, after Jordan’s death, she left her job as a flight attendant and became a gun control activist, working as a spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. She along with too many other Blck women who have lost their sons to preventable violence have become collectively known as the “Mothers of the Movement” for their efforts toward social justice.
McBath stepped onto the national stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, joining eight other mothers whose Black children were killed by cops or gun violence. She originally wanted to run for a seat in Georgia’s state House. However, the shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February prompted McBath to seek a congressional seat.
Sadly, the phenomenon of angry white men killing Black people over loud music has continued. In November, a 47-year-old white man named Robert Paul Keegan fatally shot Aidan Ellison, a 19-year-old Black man, in the chest, while Ellison was sitting in his car in a parking lot in Oregon. The two reportedly got into a confrontation about Ellison’s loud music.