I’m so done feeling so powerless in something that I will always statistically and personally be a part of: nothing takes away from me my home, my community, or my rights. This means that even when I heartily and candidly disagree with, and feel open disgust with a decision that something I am a part of makes, I still have a part of the blame and all of the consequences to balance on my shoulders. We all do.
As an American citizen, I am directly tied to the actions and behavior of my leaders. In a less flawed version of our democracy, this wouldn’t be a problem, as those appointed to lead would ideally represent the widest range of our views and accurately represent the real concerns of all (or most) Americans. Ideally, the concerns voiced by my community would be reflected in and addressed by those appointed to power by that same community, but this is rarely the case. I mean don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a government on the face of the earth that can or even tries to address all of the real concerns of its people, that is not the world we have constructed. I don’t even know if we have the capacity for such a place. However, you simply cannot hammer into my head for 17 years that I can change the world, that courage rewards revolutionaries, that there is always a place for truth and fairness, and then bow your proud head to the convenience of coercion and vigilante justice for the sake of.. what? What was this for? Did it “close” the case? Was it to prove a point because the victim was an officer? What? I am aching to know what would necessitate a time window to be closed on this man’s life when there is still no clarification of the actual events that day. Dare I ask if it was money? Too costly to reopen the case? Too costly to ACTUALLY investigate instead of forcing false testimonies out of people? Too costly supporting a possibly innocent man on Death Row?
I can’t stop thinking about Troy Davis and the blatant disregard for the humanity in our own flesh, I can’t stop trying to figure out what he was like as a kid and more than anything else, I can’t stop thinking about how it feels when someone doesn’t believe me when I so passionately and earnestly need and want them to. When there is nothing at risk, it is at best a terribly frustrating feeling.
It’s then you realize that you’re nothing more than what people say you are sometimes, that you’re nothing more than your word. If my life depended on my word and no one believed me, I would be devastated, distraught, at a complete loss. Worse, then, when your life does depend on your word and people do believe you, but it doesn’t matter, because the “right” people still believe elsethings. I can’t say who’s innocent or guilty, I don’t know what happened that day. I can’t judge whether or not Troy Davis is innocent or guilty, but then again I don’t have all the facts. So if the court that convicted him didn’t have all the facts either, why can they?
It’s bewildering to me that there is a roiling sea of anger and remorse over this and it somehow never manifested into anything more than angry Facebookers and bloggers bitching about our judicial system (the irony is poignant, don’t think I don’t know). Now, even if we wanted, we can’t take back the kind of decision that was made today. You never make a decision until you are fully capable of handling each and every one of its effects and consequences.
There’s so much to be said but I am honestly baffled. I am still trying to wrap my head around the idea of multiple “competent judges” being confronted with the possibility of allowing a mistake that could cost a life, and having the kind of influence that no one can step up and meaningfully fight against. Think of how many people had influence over this decision, had direct influence over whether this man would live or die. Think of what it means to surrender your free will to an entity that has no personal investment, attachment, or interest in you in any human sense, and then watch that entity literally take your life away from you.
I don’t know the truth, but I do know that there isn’t enough truth to kill a man over.