Thursday, September 22, 2011

Klansmen Need Love Too

For the first time in my Black-by-way-of-African-Americanism life, I have not stood behind someone because he or she was Black, like me—even if they were wrong or acted inappropriately, or, God forbid, reinforced the horrifically negative stereotypes that cloak the darker-hued African descendents who reside in the U.S.A. I always ‘bet on Black’, but in the peculiar case of Troy Davis, and the seemingly clear-cut jurisprudence associated with the case of Lawrence Russel Brewer, I’m wondering ‘Does the socially constructed, by Anglican-Americans I may add, ‘race card’ exist?’ Apparently, from reading numerous status updates and comments from mainly African-Americans on the social networking behemoth Facebook pertaining to the execution of Troy Davis, the Loch Ness Monster lives amongst us in plain view. There really is a Big Foot/Sasquatch in the remote mountainous areas. Oh, and shooting stars are really UFOs, Elvis, Tupac, and Jimmy Hoffa are alive, and Shakespeare wrote the Bible.

Last night, I read, dissected, and contemplated upon the plethora of posts and comments of undying empathetic compassion and support for the stay of execution of Troy Davis, yet only read one status, from a Black minister, which questioned and protested the death of Lawrence Brewer. Obviously, as I write this editorial piece, both Davis and Brewer are no longer among the living, but I cannot understand why the majority of those protesting the execution of Davis and the totality of the concept of the death penalty did not abhor the execution of Brewer. Then, I realized that the ‘race card’ is a real trump card that Africans Americans utilize when things of sociopolitical relevance are antithetical to their belief system. So, Davis allegedly kills an off-duty white policeman and is sentenced to die and Blacks in America say the death penalty is immoral, but Brewer participates in the 1999 Jasper, Texas lynching of James Byrd along with other Ku Klux Klansmen and it is fine because he killed one of ‘us’. Sure, seven of the nine witnesses who once testified against Troy Davis recanted their testimonies and Davis maintains his innocence, but so does Brewer; He says he participated in the attack on Byrd, but that he was not the one who killed the man (though being in the truck and watching Byrd’s body dragged from the back of a pick-up truck on a gravel road does implicate you as a member of the lynch mob, thus being responsible—if not partially—for Mr. Byrd’s death). So, why no fuss from the African American populace?

If we are not to ‘play God’, as my pastor said in Bible Study last night, then why are Black Americans ‘playing God’ by favoring Davis over Brewer? Is this a Cain and Abel situation? Why are African-Americans so outraged over the death penalty when someone who looks like them is at the receiving end of this punishment, but when the punishment is handed down to a white American, the discussion boards and social networking sites are void of any dissent, and barber and beauty shops, churches, and Negro watering holes are so quiet you can hear a rat piss on cotton?

I am maturing as a man and as a Negro, so I am trying my best to be as objective as possible when it pertains to any human’s unequal treatment, socioeconomic plight, discrimination of any kind, and any –ism that may bombard them during their time here on planet Earth. I guess what needs to be said is that ‘we’ Blacks must begin to exhibit the equality and objectivity we so long for when interacting with and existing among those that are different from us—if only visibly different.

The execution of Troy Davis was no more a tragedy than the execution, on the same night I may add, which reeks of irony, of Lawrence Brewer. The judicial system played God by determining when, how, and who is deserving of murder. The judicial system decided that these two men’s lives were no longer worth living and the punishment should be death. Is the Negroidian American anti-death penalty or only against the death penalty when a Black person is on the receiving end of this kind of terminal punishment? There is no gray area here, folks. It’s either up or down, left or right, or, for lack of a better analogy, Black or white. No pun intended.

-Gee Joyner


  1. Crazy that I spent 30 mins typing a response to this earlier and the page crashed. Maybe it's a sign that you're so blinded by your intellect that not only would you not listen to my words but you will also never reach the people you intend to educate. Please do not speak down nor at the ignorant if you break down the truth it can be digested on every level but you shout your truth sandwich on ignorance bread down at the people EVERYONE will think you're dope. Too bad this trait will also scare away the people with the balls to tell you what they think of you. Because it'll mean more coming from some one that knows you better than me.

  2. ok, I lost my first comment because I am technologically challenged.

    You could be right that many African-Americans who supported Davis but not Brewer were biased because of skin color. I want to add that people who are opposed to the death penalty of a possibly innocent man are not necessary opposed to the death penalty in all cases. The idea of my brother or son being intentionally dragged to death behind a truck is horrendous, unthinkable.
    Your heading, "Klansmen need love too," is a shocking reminder that love heals deep wounds. It is still amazing to see a Christian actually following Christ's teachings! What a concept, huh? The high road you are choosing in your life most certainly comes from a place of great strength, and yet it is a radically tall order for most of us.

  3. I want all Klansmen dead......what am I saying, I actually want all human beings to live a long and prosperous life. Gee has opened up a door most will not walk through. When people are challenged to choose among the teachings of Jesus Christ and then have to look at others doing evil, the question is can one really live up to their own specific Christianity. Humans are not to judge, that is for our saviour Jesus Christ to do. If you believe in the death penalty then just say that, but know like I do that I am helping to judge and I must pray for myself. Black man or white man, racist or not is it truly right for the death penalty to be handed down to the onlooker/follower of the person that was driving the truck with a human behind it. Sounds like a life sentence to me.

  4. WOW! I loved it! Embarrassed me a little bit because, while I am against government funded killing, I didn't feel much anger that the guy in Texas was executed either. Dick Gregory was actually in Texas protesting that execution when it happened. I completely missed the point. It's always wonderful whenever I run across folks like you and Dick Gregory who remind me that execution is wrong for ALL - not just for the ones I personally think deserve it...... Good article!