Troy Davis- Another Reason for Poor Folks to be Scared

“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 judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.” – John Ronald Ruel Tolkien

If you’re poor (and if you are also African American) you’re pretty much like the dudes on Star Trek in the red shirts. Expendable.

Decisions can be made to cut funding for your healthcare. The fact that you haven’t made the connections to pull yourself up by your bootstraps or just can’t seem to get that well-paying job you might even have gotten the education for, and your luck may not have been so good, you qualify for the poor people insurance. And thank God for it!

But then other people who have their health insurance paid for by the government ( legislators) can decide that poor people’s insurance can be cut. You don’t matter. We don’t matter.

Regardless of the sluggish economy, there’s still plenty of cash to fund the wars. If you’re poor, the military targets your communities and schools to drum up people to go fight for millionaires to have the right to not pay their share of taxes. You are expendable. We are expendable.

Nobody tries to be poor. Who would want this?

If you are poor and you get accused of a crime you didn’t commit, there’s a seriously good chance you’re seriously screwed. If you are poor and black you’re really screwed and it’s been that way for a large part of  American history and persists. Yes there are times that execution is probably an appropriate punishment ( I consider the criminal pieces of  dung who raped the two girls and their mother then tied them to beds and set the house on fire execution material).  This concept of punishment and “justice” is something I struggle with as a Buddhist. The concept of heinous crimes is something I struggle with as a human.

Doing good work:

The Innocence Project, a “national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongly convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.”

“The law says ‘reasonable doubt,’ but I think a defendant’s entitled to the shadow of a doubt.” – Atticus Finch

from To Kill A Mockingbird

I can provide facts and figures and links but right now, I am too annoyed and perturbed to be more scholarly in my approach. I’m allowed to respond viscerally to things.

Not to bring up the media feeding frenzy of the Casey Anthony trial, but there was forensic evidence that tied her to the murder of her daughter. It was deemed insufficient so there was a reasonable doubt. Ms. Anthony was not sentenced to death. call me crazy and paranoid but it’s a glaring double standard. Sure she has to live with the hell of her child being dead (isn’t she concerned about justice and  WHO did murder the child if she wasn’t the killer?) and she has to live with the accusations she hurled at her family in order to spare herself blame (probably not spending Thanksgiving at home with the folks). But I digress.

If Mr Davis was my son or brother, I would be devastated. I feel terrible for the family of the police officer that was murdered and believe they should have justice for the injustice of having their loved one murdered. I’m not convinced that killing Mr. Davis was necessarily justice. Om just sayin.

The lesson: pick your parents well. Make sure they are the right color, the right class of people and well-connected. If you can’t do that, continue to bust ass to try and get ahead. Don’t let the way things are arranged unfairly be an excuse to give up hope or stop striving.

“Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


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