Racism’s Tentacles run Deep: Save Troy Davis

Posted on September 20th, 2011 | by A Worker |

The clock is ticking, and I sit here gifted with the time for reflection. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be Troy Anthony Davis whose time may be running out. Tomorrow at this hour he may be dead — executed by the state of Georgia, a black man convicted of killing a white cop in a former slave state.

Racism’s tentacles run deep.

I don’t know Troy — never met him. I’ve seen his picture, heard his sister eloquently plead his case. Seven out of nine witnesses have recanted their story. One of the two remaining witnesses is possibly the real killer, Redd Coles — sounds like a character from an old gangster flick. But I’ve been following the case for years, sending out email blasts, texts and recently Tweets. I know what it like to be wrongly convicted on flimsy evidence from an eye witness. Lucky for me no one died. Lucky for me that I’m a white boy. Now it ain’t just black folks that get railroaded by prosecutors who care more about conviction statistics than justice, but in this country being black — in the eyes of some people — makes you a criminal.

Racism’s tentacles run deep.

A long time ago John Donne, a 16th Century preacher and poet, wrote, “[A]ny man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.” It ain’t right that Officer Mark MacPhail was murdered that night in 1989, and it ain’t right that Troy Davis might be executed when there’s a good chance he didn’t do it. It ain’t right that black folks convicted of murder get the death penalty way more often than whites in the same situation.

Racism’s tentacles run deep.

I’ve signed all the petitions for Troy over the years, including a bunch in the last few days (sign here). I wish I had done more. Maybe I will if he gets a last minute stay of execution.  But the injustice in the world is so damn overwhelming.  Empathy can feel like a curse.   I  don’t know if Troy will be killed tomorrow, but if he is I will be diminished.  We all will be diminished.  John Donne’s writing continues to say, “and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Racism tentacles run deep.

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