Dear Troy Davis,
September 21 is the International Day of Peace. At 11:08pm on that day, the entire world watched the country that birthed you, take you. You might be at peace now but there was nothing peaceful about the poison seeping through your veins and stopping your heart. We collectively cried for justice that never came. The pleas of millions from around the globe fell on deaf ears and for this, I went to bed with bitterness in my heart.
The “Land of the free, home of the brave” strapped you to that gurney (for over 3 hours) without courage. They dangled hope in front of you and took it away in the form of a needle. Not one of those 9 people sitting behind the “Supreme” bench stood up for you, and in turn, they dismissed your humanity.
I’m not here to speak on your guilt in the crime committed over 22 years ago. Whether you’re guilty or innocent of killing that cop is not for me to say, because I truly don’t know. Still… the system failed you. And us.
As Desmond Tutu said, “To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice.” Troy, justice wasn’t what happened to you.
It doesn’t matter if folks knew your name 20 years ago or if they just learned it yesterday. We united in sincere disgust at what was basically premeditated murder by the state of Georgia. We waited with bated breaths as the Supreme Court deliberated on your fate. And did nothing. It’s hard not to lose faith in a system that was meant to protect us when it allows something like this to happen, but you can’t have gone in vain. Your death must come with action from us.
The people making the decisions about our justice system got there because of those we elected to be in office. In your name, I implore others to find out about their officials and potentials. I want people to know who they’re allowing to run the country that said your life wasn’t worth it. I’d like for people to know their rights.
I don’t want there to be any more yous. We can’t afford to have any other Troy Davises. Our sons and daughters can’t be in this system.
The whole world watched, Troy. And we failed. On a global scale. And so epically. I wrote this on my Facebook status and my British friend agreed, saying: “You not only failed, You brought shame to the very thing you claim to uphold. My heart weeps for America. What a damn shame!” And I could do nothing but drop my head because it was true. I was ashamed.
Now that you’re gone, may your name remind us to act against injustice. I send love and light to your family, as well as to the family of Mark MacPhail.
Before you died, you did not think of yourself. You thought of us. And we will always remember your words:
“The struggle for justice doesn’t end with me. This struggle is for all the Troy Davises who came before me and all the ones who will come after me. I’m in good spirits and I’m prayerful and at peace. But I will not stop fighting until I’ve taken my last breath.”
We’ll keep this in mind, remembering that the cause can’t die because you did.
Rest. In Peace.