Back in the 1930s the NAACP office in New York would hang a banner on the day after a lynching that said: “A man was lynched yesterday”. Their landlords put a stop to it, but it is a practice worth continuing here on this blog.
I wish I could say something profound about the death of Troy Davis, but my mind is too messed up right now. Of all the stuff written about it that I have seen so far, Karnythia on Tumblr put it best:
I have a lot of black men in my life that I love. My husband, my sons, my nephews, my friends…I’m crying right now so this may be scattered. Any of the men I love could be Troy Davis. My husband’s first brush with the law was at 13 when a cop beat him up. Didn’t arrest him. Didn’t even tell him why he hit him. He was playing with friends one minute & being beaten the next. Think about that for a minute. No crime was committed. The cop didn’t explain, and nothing happened to that cop for that incident. Sit with that for a moment. Now, let us consider that 7 of the 9 witnesses that originally testified against Troy Davis have reported police coercion as a factor. Let that sink into your soul for a second. Any of them could be alone, dying in pain, for a crime that no will ever be sure they committed. I look at my sons and I try to imagine the pain of knowing that they are hurting and I will not even be allowed to comfort them as they go into the dark and then I get hysterical. If you are feeling any kind of urge to claim race was not a factor in this? Don’t. Really, I need you to kindly shut the fuck up and let black people mourn this lynching. Let us come to terms once more with just how dangerous it is to be black in America. You won’t give us justice, so how about you give us some silence?
In some ways America has made huge progress on race, but in some ways not. The election of Barack Obama is an example of the former, Troy Davis, the latter. So hope and despair mix together.
I was reading “The Red Record” last night. About the only difference between a lynching and this is that white people did not get to keep any body parts to take home with them. Oh, and that this was carried out by the authorities themselves rather than a mob, all clean and professional and by the book, but personally I do not count that as progress.
I am not a baby, I know that life is not fair, that the world is profoundly screwed up. So stuff like this and Katrina does not surprise me or shock me. But it is still upsetting all the same and leaves me with a sickening feeling.