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So What Now? | Yeah...I said it

So What Now?

Troy Davis rally

Image courtesy of a Google search that ended up on http://feministing.com

The world came together over the past few weeks in an attempt to save Troy Davis, a man on death row despite the fact that recent developments in his case appear to prove his innocence.  On one hand, it really moved me to see so many people come together to stop a tragedy from happening in the name of “justice.” I mean, Pope Benedict XVI and Archbishop Desmond Tutu made pleas on behalf of an inmate in Georgia! Also, Howard University is the arch-rival of my Hampton Pirates, but I must say that it made me proud to see so many of their students march to the White House to save this man’s life.

I mean, Hampton is still going to beat the brakes off of ‘em when we face them on the football field this year, but I love my Bison brothers and sisters all the same! Plus, they have almost as many beautiful ladies as Hampton, so one can never be mad at that!

But yeah, I actually witnessed the process of people being moved to action for Troy Davis. Friends of mine who initially knew nothing about the case literally went from “Troy Davis? Don’t that n*gga play for the Raiders or something?” to taking a stand.

Unfortunately, these efforts failed to save Troy Davis’ life, and that saddens me. I think the worst part was the false hope brought about by the Supreme Court review, only to have the execution proceed a few short hours later. Ever since that moment, I’ve been asking myself “So what now? The global community could not save Troy Davis, but what can we do to make sure that his death was not in vain?”

A lot of people don’t understand this, but being Black in America, you kinda-sorta have to have a healthy sense of paranoia. I’m not saying that race is the main factor in what happened to Troy Davis, because I think it’s much bigger than that. What I am saying is that we still live in a world where I could be the next Troy Davis, just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

For example, about a week ago, I hung out with my old roommate Chris and smoked Cuban cigars on his front porch. Not sure if smoking Cubans is an official crime, but if so, the physical evidence is smoked up, so it really doesn’t matter. Afterward, I decided that that I should walk the three blocks it takes to get home from there. As I was walking, a cop car pulls up to me and asks me if my energy drink was alcohol. Then, an officer asks me if I had any weapons on me and proceeded to pat me down, right there on the street. I was cooperative, mainly because I was walking down Georgia Ave at 2:30 in the morning which in itself is unusual. Well, that, and I didn’t want to take a chance on getting shot by some scared officer who thought I was reaching for a gun while pulling my ID from my wallet.

They left me alone to go home after that, but in the process they let it slip out that they were looking for a suspect in a robbery. I would have eventually been OK if they’d locked me up, since I have an amazing lawyer and my alibi would have been a White person, which in DC totally gives him instant credibility in these type of police scenarios. Still, the fact remains that I could have been arrested for absolutely nothing that night. If that happened and I didn’t have a quality lawyer and a friend with the complexion for the protection on my side, I’d be typing this entry from an illegal cell phone someone smuggled through the jail in his ass. Trust me, I am not THAT dedicated to blogging!

I really hope that the Troy Davis case and ensuing middle finger that the State of Georgia gave to his supporters continues to move folks past being armchair activists and inspires them to continue to take action. Otherwise, you never know who might be the next Troy Davis, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo or Sean Bell. I plan to use my voice here to raise awareness for these type of situations more, but I’m working on some offline ideas, too.

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3 Responses to “So What Now?”

  1. VA 22. Sep, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Good post Leon!

  2. L A Cochran 23. Sep, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    NPR did a related story on how often supposed “eye witness” testimony is just flat wrong–proven wrong–and yet it still carries so much weight. What’s especially sad is that so much of the testimony in this case was recanted and still that wasn’t enough for the powers that be to stop it. Disturbing and disgusting.

  3. Wonderlove 27. Sep, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    “….I’d be typing this entry from an illegal cell phone someone smuggled through the jail in his ass. Trust me, I am not THAT dedicated to blogging!”

    DEAD!!!!

    Besides the Supreme Court tease, it was reported an hour before 7 pm that one of the murderers who dragged James Byrd was executed in Texas. :::side eye:::

    Oh, and it has also been reported that Texas will no longer offer last meals. Byrd’s murderer (whose name I really don’t give a &^%! to mention) ordered a very hearty meal.

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