TROY DAVIS: A TEACHING MOMENT

Out of crisis comes clarity…

The execution of Troy Davis, a New Afrikan man from the state of Georgia caused an international outcry for justice. The execution, i.e. state lynching, left many of our people in a state of shock, dismay, and anger. With so much doubt around the validity of the verdict, many of us are left trying to understand how or why the state could still decide to put Troy Davis to death.  How could they be so blatantly unconcerned with justice and so quick to take life of a Black man?

The answer to that question is written in our history here in America.  Let this serve as a teaching moment for our people.

It is clear that we, New Afrikan people (of African descent) live in a society whose political and economic structures have been built and maintained around the exploitation of our labor, the destabilization of our communities, and the marginalization of all independent thought. Although slavery formally ended many years ago, the deadly and exploitative relationships between our people and this Empire are still intact. The historic and current exploitation of our labor, from slavery to mass incarceration continues to rob us of our dignity, our ability to live freely, and in many cases live at all!

We see the execution, or rather the state murder, of Troy Davis as a direct link to the accepted and calculated killings of our people by institutions of The United States, including corporations who benefit the most from our exploitation.   Our tax dollars are what pays for the murders of Troy Davis, the housing of inmates, death row, and all of what we refer to as the Prison Industrial Complex.

Troy Davis is not an isolated incident of injustice but just the latest individual incident that has captured our attention. We have to think outside the box of accepted political discourse and find long term answers to our problem. Our problem is not only with the prison industrial complex, the market economy and the political system but also with America as a whole and how it uses these systems to control our lives, limit our resources and diminish our capacity to live as free human beings.

That is the lesson of Troy Davis and the lesson of our history in America: the only way that we can survive is for us to organize and win self-determination, so that our destiny and our lives can be in our own hands, and not in the hands of those who oppress us.

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