On the streets, in churches and in homes, vigils were held waiting on the slow-motion lynching that was the killing of Troy Anthony Davis by the state of Georgia. After the execution hour had passed we learned of a last appeal to the Supreme Court. Three hours later we were told that the Justices had denied Davis’ appeal, the death warrant was enforced and Troy Davis was executed September 21, 2011 at 11:08pm.
Witnesses said Mr. Davis did not take a sedative and made a final statement while strapped to the gurney. Looking directly at the family of officer MacPhail, the policeman he is accused of killing in 1989, the witness reported that Davis said, “Despite the situation that we’re in, I was not the one who did it.” “He said that he was not personally responsible for what happened that night. That he did not have a gun. He said to the family that he was sorry for their loss. But he also said he ‘did not take their son, father, brother’. He said to them to dig deeper into this case to find out the truth.
He asked his family and friends to keep praying, keep working and keep the faith.” And then speaking to the jailers, the witnesses reported Davis saying, “To the people who are about to take my life, may God have mercy on your souls. And God bless your souls.” “Then he put his head back down, the procedure began, and fifteen minutes later it was over.”
This is more than class-warfare we’re seeing in America. It is the conflict between civilization and barbarism. At the recent CNN/Tea Party debate of Republican presidential candidates, the Tea Party true-believers gave a standing ovation to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s record of 254 executions, and shouted a resounding “Yes!” to the question of whether a 30-year-old, having refused to buy health coverage, should be left to die if he became ill. Do not be shocked by these responses.
After all, these are the descendents of those “good Christians” who used to gather around lynchings as a spectator sport, full of laughter at the torture and suffering they were part of. This mentality did not pass away with those generations. It was passed down and we see it in both the Troy Davis case of coerced testimony, as well as in the Tea Party mantra to cut every social program they can.
What to do now? Robert Rooks, director of the NAACP Criminal Justice Department reported on Democracy Now! That he and his team visited Troy Davis the day before the execution. He said Davis told them that whatever happens, “You have a choice. Either fold up your bags and go home or continue the fight.”
The Tea Partiers, the executioners, the bankers and corporate avarice will not stop, they must face constant opposition or they will win. We have to take Troy’s words to heart and do as we have always done, continue the fight.