Friday, September 23, 2011
Are We Troy Davis?
On September 21st at 11:08PM the United States justice system murdered a man. As stated in his ailing sister's heart felt speech, people all around the world were saying in languages Mr. Davis himself could not speak "I AM TROY DAVIS," a symbol of the realization that if he could be executed under such rickety circumstances (7 of 9 witnesses recanted their testimony and there was no DNA evidence) we all could. But are we really Troy Davis?
Are we Troy Davis? Are we Jena 6? Are we any of these things that we rally up against, pray about, and protest about? His murder should have been a message sent to all Americans, particular Blacks and minorities, that safety is a false veil and the same rules do not apply to everyone. The message his death should have sent is that there is not a standard in the justice system. That a man whose case had more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese could be murdered by our government in cold blood yet a woman like Casey Anthony could be freed by a rickety case.
...but once again Are we Troy Davis? I ask this question to the Black community. Quite often we rally with each other in times when we are being oppressed or when an injustice that is racially charged is being done to one of our own, but after the smoke clears will we still be united in the cause of standing up and for each other or will we go back to doing things that are more destructive to our community than even the worse things done by he highest levels of racism? Will we continue to let our Black men go to jail, sweep the broken Black family unit under the rug, Kanye shrug at the bad education programs in the hood, make and advertising "nigger music" that degrades and reinforces stereotypes that Black women are "Jezebels" while dissing Black conscious music, and berating the opposite sex by saying things like "men and women of other races are the "better" choice? Will we vote and research the politics we follow so that our best interest are being heard and so that miscarriages of the justice system such as the Troy Davis murder no longer occur?
...Or will we let this clear up like a case of herpes, because just like herpes...there may not be an outbreak or flare up...but it is always there. It honestly seems the only time Blacks ban together is when there is a fight to be fought...but wouldn't it be wonderful if this was done under ALL circumstances? Hopeful wishing I guess...
For statistical purposes... the United States has the HIGHEST incarceration rate in the world. While Americans only represent about 5 percent of the world's population, one-quarter of the entire world's inmates are incarcerated in the United States. In addition, 60% of the population in prisons is made up of minorities and mostly all of the persons on death row are minorities. To add insult to injury, we are on the same list as North Korea, Egypt and Iraq, a list of countries with the highest execution rate. Does that list sound like "the cool kids club"? Definitely not a list of countries we should want to share too many things in common with.
So in light of Troy Davis' death...we should all ask ourselves, Are we really Troy Davis? If you said yes, what the hell are you personally going to do about it to make it better?
Sources: International Centre for Prison Studies, U.S Bureau of Justice Statistics