On June 7, 1998, most of the nation sat in horror as they saw the country sink back into a time where African Americans were “hunted” on a regular basis. A story came out of Jasper, Tx., revealing the nasty underbelly of America to the world. A lynching had occurred and a black man lost his life being dragged behind a pick-up truck.
But according to MSNBC, as we watched Troy Davis be executed Wednesday, also on that day, white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer, 44, was executed for the horrific dragging death of James Byrd, Jr. Davis maintained his innocence until the very end as reported by MSNBC:
“It’s not my fault; I did not have a gun,” he said while strapped to a gurney, according to witness Rhonda Cook of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I did not personally kill your son, father, brother,” he said, Cook reported.
While Brewer, when asked if he had any final words, replied:
“No. I have no final statement.”
Was he calling himself going out as a soldier for white supremacy? Maybe. But, the atrocity of Davis’ death felt like two white supremacist had put two black men to death. So, where’s the justice against the other?
The Pope and Jimmy Carter called for the Supreme Court to offer a stay of execution for Davis, yet they turned their heads. President Obama cannot award clemency for a state criminal, but surely the Supreme Court would’ve been more than happy to snub him as well.
This is a teaching moment for every person in America and those wanting to become Americans. The judicial system only pretends to be fair. It exhibits an ostensible democracy to the world, at best. Was Troy Davis innocent of the crime of murder? We will never know. But we can be sure that Brewer was guilty and deliberate in the torture and mutilation of James Byrd. Put the two crimes on the scales of justice and let’s see which one is the heavy.
And for African Americans, we should have our eye on every single capital murder case in America. We are already aware that the scales of justice adds extra weight to our crimes, but WE MUST ENSURE OUR FELLOW AMERICANS ARE HELD TO THE SAME STANDARDS. It is our own fault if they are not. Our civil rights were not won by one President in American history, it was on the backs of the people that a difference was made.
Check out the details of the execution for James Byrd’s killer here. Check out the details before and after Troy Davis’ execution below. RIP Troy Davis and God bless the Davis and Byrd families.