Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why I'm Upset

There's something ingrained in you at a very young age that everything will always be okay in The End. The End, The End, is a magically denouement in books where nothing happens to the character after, but is somehow not always death. Even the critical or existential novels lavish in The End for the sake of a conslusion. In The Stranger, death is accepted. In The Great Gatsby, Nick decides he can go elsewhere and find better people. There is a conclusion. There is a happy ending, even if there is no happiness.

This is why I really thought that Troy Davis would not be put to death last night.

An innocent man is innocent, so why would they kill him? In every movie, some firecracker lawyer cuts in through the bullshit bureaucracy and yells a passionate speech about seeing people, seeing people, that brings everyone to their feet with applause. Last night, millions of people on the Internet filled that role, and no one budged. When I came to work this morning, only one or two people had heard what happened. They asked me if I was an American, as if what happens elsewhere in the world has no effect on anyone, as if we have to stay within our arbitrary political bubbles that are called countries.

I'm not as sad that Troy Davis was put to death as I am because I do not think anything will change. Another topic will trend on Twitter, and some other political issue will happen in the news. People make snide remarks about Casey Anthony deserving the chair, not him, and I burn inside screaming YOU ARE WHAT'S WRONG. As long as the death penalty exists anywhere, innocent people will die. Where something is permitted, there is room to do it wrong. There is no 100% success rate, if you can even look at murder as a success.

So prove me wrong, whoever you are. Start a movement, young Americans. I will help you, but right now, my heart is in protecting the liberties that make my country mine. Ensure that next time, no one has to sweep in at the last minute and convince a naive girl refreshing the Huffington Post every second that there is still good in the world. It was just as wrong when he was sentenced as it is when he was killed; one was just more talked about than the other.

Stop tolerating when people say "He just feels guilty" about a black man; you know what they mean. Stop assuming that The End is glorious; all the fairy tales were written, not lived. Stop expecting someone else to come and give that impassioned speech to make it all okay. If there is one thing I have learned from this horrendous act, it is that it is not about what's right as much as what's legal.

As long as this is true, we have all failed.
Stop accepting that.

Update: I forgot to credit this compelling picture. Thank you, and many apologies.

11 comments:

bobb said...

I don't think it's a matter of guilt or innocence here - it's a matter of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I don't know if Troy Davis was guilty or not - he may well have been guilty, but there is enough doubt in this case to have overturned his conviction and retried the case. Due process doesn't seen to have been an issue here, but rather that injustice can result even when proper procedures are followed. It's sad that the system failed so badly.

Anna Elizabeth said...

You've captured so beautifully exactly how I felt watching this unfold last night. As an American, I want to thank you for caring about all of our mistakes more than most Americans do.

Alison said...

We all should be outraged. Even if he did it (I don't think he did, but it's not relevant to my point), killing a second person doesn't bring back the first. Capital punishment is barbaric and never okay. The End.

bobb said...

I agree totally with your statement about capital punishment.

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

"As long as the death penalty exists anywhere, innocent people will die." People really need to open their eyes to this. And, I echo what Anna Elizabeth said. It's infuriating at times that Americans care so little about matters of import, but are outraged over trivial things. Thanks for caring.

infinite said...

amazing picture. so much i could say but i will leave it at, i was in very heavy spirits when i heard about this sentence.

Pomeline said...

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
-J.R.R. Tolkien

I've never understood how there could be ANY justice in the death penalty. How can anyone consider themselves apt to dole out a death sentence? I pray to God that He will help humanity evolve in this matter, that death penalty be history and no long current news.

Shelby said...

this is all so true. i was so very upset when i found out that he had actually been executed. beyond a reasonable doubt really means nothing anymore.

~ Faith said...

We live in a twisted corrupt world where shady politicians go unchecked and innocent people pay for crimes they did not commit. Makes you want to curl up and cry...

~F

Mary D said...

Justice was served. Take a life, pay with your life. That goes for everyone on death row. This is called consequencs folks.

Allison said...

The margin of error was far too high to say that Troy did indeed take a life, even if you believe in the death penalty.