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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Righteous Indignation or Holy Hypocrisy?: Troy Davis and the Death Penalty

Righteous Indignation or Holy Hypocrisy?: Troy Davis and the Death Penalty

Posted: September 22, 2011 by TWH_PhD in Life
Tags: , , , , , ,

Last night the world watched as Troy Davis, a man convicted of killing a police officer, was executed by the state of Georgia. Enough has been said and written about the facts (or lack thereof) in his case. I won’t make a feeble attempt to rehash them in this space. I do, however, wish to address the overwhelming support for the now deceased Mr. Davis. People from all around the world – from the Pope to the street-level pusher – voiced their opinions, and we witnessed an unprecedented display of support in an effort to save Troy Davis’ life.
These efforts reawakened the spirit of social justice and highlighted the overwhelming need to address the inequities that exist within the American “justice” system. However, while we race (pun intended) to address the inequities in our SYSTEM, we must also address the inconsistencies within ourSELVES.
Many in the media and on social networks used the Troy Davis travesty as a referendum against the death penalty. This was especially true in the African-American community. This is certainly understandable because blacks are those most disproportionately affected by the abuses in the system.
However, while I witnessed many African-American leaders, in their support of Troy Davis, speak out against the death penalty itself, I did not hear such clarion calls for clemency for Lawrence Russell Brewer – the self-proclaimed white supremacist convicted of the hate killing of James Byrd, Jr. in Texas. Mr. Brewer was executed by the state of Texas on the same day that Mr. Davis was executed in Georgia.
If we are truly against the death penalty, shouldn’t there have been an outcry to spare Mr. Brewer’s life as well? Or is it that we are only against the death penalty when it’s “one of us” on death row? Whatever your personal position about the death penalty, it is important that we show consistency in our convictions….Otherwise, our cries for justice will ring hollow

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