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.