September 23, 2013, makes 2 years that I sat and penned this open letter to the Georgia Board of Pardon & Parolee in Memorandum of Troy Davis. The words came from my heart. They were words that I believed in and still do. It breaks my heart that they did not listen to a word anyone said.
I am Muslim and in the Islamic faith the death penalty can be employed but in order to do so there must be CREDIBLE witness. By CREDIBLE they must be of good character. There cannot be a doubt that they are telling the truth. Are these steps ignored in Islamic countries? Of course because man is wicked and rather than follow God’s law they are always trying to implement their own law. It is for that reason alone that I cannot support the death penalty. In this country alone, history has shown us that far too often people are imprisoned with sh*tty evidence and spend their whole life incarcerated. Then one day, new evidence emerges and all the judge and the prosecution can say is, “We are sorry.” You’re damn right you are sorry. But guess what sorry doesn’t cut it. Sorry will not bring that the years they lost. The relationships destroyed. The abuse suffered. Sorry does not mean a damn thing in the grand scheme of things.
It is no secret that we are all human. Of course we make mistakes however, knowing that we are not exempt from fallacy how can we employ the death penalty. While I am sympathetic for the family who lost a husband, a son, friend, etc. that does not mean that vigilante justice at the hands of the prosecution should be employed. The fact remains that the evidence showed that there may have been a flaw in Troy’s prosecution. There was a chance that he actually could have been guilty. To murder him still is the greatest travesty of justice. It shows that we are no worse as a country than the country that speak blasphemy about. Indeed, we are hypocrites.
This country is so quick to ensure that justice is meted out for Blacks who kill Whites. Any hint of guilt and the gavel is smashed down with a resounding, GUILTY! Unfortunately, that same practice is not employed when roles are reversed and it is White killing Black people. David J. Leonard talks about this in his recent post, “White Victimhood and the Media Erasure of Black Death”. Troy Davis was yet another injustice rooted in racism. As was the murder of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Darius Simmons, Bo Morrison, James Craig Anderson, etc. All of these men were murdered yet there was no outcry. There was no one screaming Death Penalty except maybe the much ignore Black America.
It has been 2 years, and while I don’t speak of Troy Davis often, I will never forget how America continues to collect blood on its hand. This country was founded with blood on its hands. From the trickery employed to stealing land from its native people to the kidnapping and enslavement of Black people. I will continue to fight for the rights of Black America. I will continue to scream JUSTICE for the INJUSTICE. One day I will be able to say, “Victory is mine.” Until that day my armor is on and my weapon of choice…advocacy is armed and ready to go.
Even with a Black president in Office, equality for Black America still has not arrived. Racism still exist. While there is no question that things have gotten better the fact remains, that the more things change…the more they remain the same. While we do not have “Strange Fruit“, hanging from trees anymore we have bodies being dragged in chains behind cars or run over by trucks. We have police officers employing excessive force citing it was an accident. We have health inequality, education inequality, pay inequality, etc. You name it we have it right along with the few stories of success mired in racial experiences. No racism is not gone from our country it continues to breathe over us quite forcibly. It is because I know and accept this that I will continue the fight for equality that men and women like El-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X), Martin Luther King, Jr. Medgar Evers, Shirley Chisholm, Anna Pauline (Pauli) Murray, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, David Walker, Fannie Lou Hammer, Bertha Gilbert, etc started. I will not be silenced nor will I allow those who wronged the dead and as well as the living forget their part that they played. Their day of reckoning will come be it in this life or the next. Until then I will fight on!
Words of Wisdom: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.