Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just Who Is Troy Davis?

“They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionists.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Martin Niemöller

We must make noise, we must raise hell, we must do whatever is within our power until Troy Davis is either given a new trial or has his sentence commuted.

I must admit, I don’t know the brother. In fact, I had not even heard and read Troy Davis’ name before several weeks ago. I am even unsure of whether he is actually guilty or innocent, though published reports would suggest the latter. However, there are many things I do know for sure.

First and foremost, a human being now languishes in prison on death row where he has been for the last fifteen years. Not only is he in prison, his life is down to being measured in days and hours, not even months and certainly not years.

Troy Davis has maintained his innocence in the shooting death of a Savannah, Georgia, police officer from the very beginning, and the case against him is far from airtight; it unravels further even as I write. No murder weapon was ever found, and perhaps most importantly, all but a few witnesses have recanted their testimony or contradicted themselves, even as the state’s conduct in obtaining the witnesses' testimonies comes under serious scrutiny.

“But wait,” you say, “Is there a chance Troy Davis is guilty?”. And the answer is decidedly yes. But there also appears to be an even greater chance that he is, in fact, innocent. And to allow him to die in this manner is, in the words of the lone dissenting judge hearing his appeal, “unconscionable and unconstitutional.”

Think about this for a second. If you were entombed in that place, in that man’s shoes, how would you react? How would you want humanity to respond? Would you want them to sit on their hands and keep quiet, or would you want them to beat on the walls, on garbage can lids, stamp on the floor, blow a whistle, scream at the top of their lungs, make noise, any kind of noise, until the world heard and knew your plight and recognized the inhumanity inherent in it all?

Who is Troy Davis? By now you probably know just a little less than I know. But keep in mind; he is an human being in danger of losing his life who may or may not be innocent. And if you remain silent, if you allow this injustice to pass without saying a word, without raising your fist in protest, you are culpable in his death, and run the risk that someday Troy Davis may be you.

Take this time to act. Shout, scream, blow your horn, do whatever you know to do and are able to do for justice. Click here for details as to how to get involved.


RiPPa said...

Brother, this was well said. If anyone who reads this doesn't feel compelled to act, then I just don't know if they themselves have a pulse.

I'm glad to see more people getting involved. This is one bandwagon that is sure worth jumping on.

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