I’m not a big poly sci debater. Not because I’m a nonchalant inactivist. But because I’m the type that silently supports causes I believe in. I called my state lawmakers about DADT. I voted in the mid-term elections. And on Monday, I read some updates about the Innocence Project that prompted me to donate. You can do all of these simple civic duties too.
So why don’t you?
Social networking has the unique ability to unite others, regardless of location, ethnic background, or religion. Twitter was set ablaze over the past 48 hours with people from all over the world tweeting about the miscarriage of justice in GA. Troy Davis is a man that represents many men sitting on death row. Little to no evidence, faulty testimony, overzealous DA, and an institutional system designed for him to be oppressed. He needed us to be his voice, to be his support. He needed entertainment personalities and news reporters to continuously get the word out about his case. Sadly and ironically that support came at the 11th hour…literally.
Remember how the Jena 6 mobilized a generation of teenagers and their parents? That basis of a hate crime and consequential erroneous charges was a shock that that very same thing could happen to 1 of our kids. And how did we reward the offenders? They got tickets to the BET hip hop awards and a wikipedia page -_-
Remember how outraged we were about the tragic attack on Chicago teen Derrion Albert that was caught ON FILM? We were concerned for all of about 2 weeks and the case faded to the abyss. (FYI: all of the accused have been convicted and sentence to collectively more than 100 years in prison)
Our attention span to be angry at the system is about as short as 50 Tyson’s rap career
Troy Davis was not the only man executed yesterday. Lawrence Brewer was 1 of 2 men put to death for what is truly 1 of the most hateful and deliberate crimes I’ve ever heard. Yet they were no protests, no tweets, no petitions to spare his life. I’m not going to re-hash that case but it was the dragging death of James Byrd. Google it
So what’s my point? The death penalty is an antiquity that needs to be re-examined by all states. Of course there’s indirect racial undertones in its administration. But because states can apply the death penalty based on how they see fit, the statistics are grossly uneven in terms of race and gender. Take the Troy Davis case as an example. A black man allegedly killed a white cop and it was tried as a capital case. But what if the cop was black or hispanic? Or what if Troy Davis was white and the cop was black, would the DA have tried it as a hate crime? With a punishment that’s so permanent, there should not be such ambiguity. To me, beyond a reasonable doubt should be the uniform standard when someone’s life is at stake.
The executions of Troy Davis and Lawrence Brewers are harbingers of a tragically flawed system. As the voting public, it’s our responsibility to know the laws by which we are governed. And if you don’t support it, show the powers that be that you demand change.