On Troy Davis
I doubt I’ll say anything that hasn’t been said already, so if you don’t want to read this, feel free to scroll on by. But I had to say something. This had a huge effect on me. I wanted to write this last night, but I was too upset about his execution.
Let me begin by saying that this issue is bigger than politics. I saw conservatives on Twitter calling for Davis’ death, and calling out liberals for supporting him.
A human life is not part of a political debate. It’s disgusting that in many cases, it came down to that last night.
In addition, there was so much reason to doubt that he was guilty. But we all knew that. That’s why there were demonstrators. That’s why there were bloggers. That’s why there was media coverage. That’s why he made a difference. Because he was innocent and he knew it, and he had something to say.
Another man was killed last night, a case that was much less known, because that man was actually guilty. Lawrence Russel Brewer was a white supremacist who killed a black man in a horrific murder. While it as evident that he was guilty, the father of the victim of the crime called for Brewer not to be executed. “You can’t fight murder with murder,” he said.
He has the right idea.
I could go on and on about why Troy Davis was probably executed. How it was essentially a legal lynching. How racial inequality is alive and well in this country. I could throw numbers at you, like the fact that unemployment for African-Americans is double the national average and that a black man from a low-income family is more likely to end up in prison than in college. For Troy Davis, it wasn’t about innocence or guilt - it was about the color of his skin.
Through this case, it’s easy to see that now more than ever we are powerless. Demonstrators around the world supported Troy Davis. He was killed anyway. Despite the protests. Despite the petitions. Despite the lack of evidence.
That’s why this has to stop.
I’m about to depart from my regular news/political commentary and get philosophical, which is one of my favorite pastimes but rarely makes it on my blog. Please, bear with me.
Who are we as human beings to judge who deserves to live and who deserves to die? We don’t have that right. Regardless of what anyone has done, we are not the ones who can make the decision about someone else’s life. Not me, not you, not your neighbor, and not the goddamn president of the United States.
No matter what someone does, we cannot decide that they deserve to die. If you believe murder is wrong and believe the death penalty is right, you are a fucking hypocrite. End of story. You cannot fight murder with murder. Not to mention it’s just a bad idea, After all, what kind of people would give their government permission to kill them based on weak evidence? It’s just not smart.
So please, don’t forget Troy Davis. Don’t forget that feeling of anger. I know that I won’t. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet, but something has to be done. Something has to change, because I can’t stand living in a country like this anymore.
One more thing to note. Another execution is set for tonight, and in this case, even the judge that sentenced the man to death is requesting that he isn’t killed. So far, the state of Alabama is going through with it. In this case, the prisoner is black, and the victim was white.
We have to stop the death penalty. We have to stop allowing the U.S. government to legally kill its citizens. We have to stop sending innocent people to die, because one innocent person dead is too many. We have to realize that we aren’t the ones to judge who lives and who dies.
We have to stop fighting murder with murder.