Monthly Archives: October 2008

Elections ’08: Troy Davis & The Death Penalty

(This is written as part of the Youth Media Blog-a-thon, sponsored by Youth Outlook and WireTap.)

Troy Davis was scheduled to be executed on Monday, October 27th, 2008, but today received a stay of execution by the Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution states that: “Davis, 40, sits on death row for the Aug. 19, 1989, murder of 27-year-old Savannah police Officer Mark Allen MacPhail. Since Davis’ trial, seven of nine key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony.” There is no physical evidence in this case implicating Davis. No gun, no bullet, no nothing, just “witness” testimony, the majority of which have since recanted said testimony, saying they were pressured to implicate Davis by the police and others.

For anyone who has been keeping up with this case, it has been a rollercoaster ride, with Davis being granted stays of execution sometimes mere minutes before he is scheduled to die.

I stood out with hundreds of other people last night at a rally for Davis organized by Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (GFADP) on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol. In freezing cold weather, we were fired up by chants of “I am Troy Davis!” It was thus great news that we were greeted with this morning, upon hearing of the Court’s decision. The fight for Troy’s life is not over by any means, but the stay has given Troy more days to live, and has given us more time to strategize, fight and hope.

Sadly, Troy’s story is not unique. He is one of 3,300 people on Death Row in the United States. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund states that of that 3,300:

“…Over 41 percent are African-American—more than three times their representation in the general population. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, since 1973 there have been 130 people exonerated—people wrongly sentenced to death—in 26 different states, including five exonerated on death row in Georgia. Evidence even suggests that at least four innocent people have been executed in recent years.”

This is not an equal system of justice. The Death Penalty is a system that overwhelmingly kills poor people of color, many of whom are found to be innocent of the crimes they are accused of. And with that reality, in the midst of a Presidential election in 2008 America that has constantly thrust race in the spotlight, the two mainstream candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, have both pledged their support to continue this barbaric, disgustingly racist system.

Troy Davis has not escaped being executed by the State due to the significant evidence casting doubt on his guilty conviction alone. Decision makers have had to rethink their rulings in regard to him because of the hundreds and thousands of people who have been taking to the streets and demanding that if there is but one inkling of evidence suggesting his innocence, the man at the very least deserves another trial.

No matter who we choose to vote for in the upcoming election, a vote alone does not bring about progressive social change. It takes organizing our communities to take collective action in demanding the justice that we deserve. It takes educating and informing ourselves and our communities about what’s really going on. It takes passing on to our children and communities lessons that value the lives of human beings, and not violent vengeance.

We will not let the State kill another innocent human being in our names, with our tax dollars. We will not let the State continue to profit off of killing innocent human beings in our names, with our tax dollars. We are Troy Davis. I am Troy Davis.

Please check the GFADP website regularly for updates on the Troy Davis campaign and for info on how you can take action.


Obama Vs. The Zombies

The McCain campaign looks like a burning wagon of shit right now, and it’s being run by a zombie! Don’t vote for zombies, America!

If you caught the last Presidential debate the other night, an interesting thing to note is that the “Joe the Plumber” guy being mentioned actually is named Sam. And he’s not a plumber, at least not a licensed one. And the whole issue he raised about not wanting his taxes to get raised? Turns out he owes $1,200 or more in unpaid taxes. McLame couldn’t stop mentioning this guy. That was your big “game changing” argument, Johnny? Pathetic. Then again, zombies were never known for their smarts (eating brains doesn’t translate to being intelligent).

Also, I first caught this on the homie Jamilah’s blog, but Campbell Brown gets some love for diffusing this whole ridiculous “Obama is an Arab/Muslim” thing that popped up at that McCain rally the other day.

Bambu ~ Exact Change

The homies Tad and Colin have already written reviews on this one, so I don’t want to just repeat what they have already eloquently put forth, but I had to give my own shout out to Bambu and call on everyone to cop his new album, “…Exact Change…

Bam’s always gotten love on The Cheddar Box, and this album is no different. Musically, the production slaps and carries a really cohesive sound. Lyrically, he’s dope as ever, riding the beats well and infusing the songs with an honest, progressive, unapologetic political analysis.

I admire and respect many aspects of a lot of emcees, but I respect and admire Bam as a whole person because with his albums, I always feel that in a sense, he gives you his whole self. This one is no different. It’s available for sale on the Beatrock website or on iTunes later this month.

Also be on the lookout for a new Bambu EP fully produced by Sabzi (Blue Scholars) in early 2009.

State Cap & The Neighborhood Watch

The homie David Scott put me on to some brothers holding it down for the Sacramento, CA hip hop scene. Peep State Cap and the the larger Neighborhood Watch collective they are a part of. I dig it.

The Rebel on DVD

When I found the trailer to Johnny & Charlie Nguyen’s film, The Rebel, last year, I was knocked on my ass. Well, it’s finally been released on DVD here in the states, and it’s doooope.

Again, Vietnamese revolutionaries kicking some French colonizer ass? Automatically in my top action flick list. Netflix/rent/download/buy immediately.

Saturday Night Live – VP Debate

SNL is killing the game right now with the election coverage. I watched their VP debate skit with my cousins last weekend, and it’s fucking hilarious. There’s really no need to try and provide commentary or say some witty shit, Sarah Palin’s ridiculousness just kind of speaks for itself.

Wolverine Trailer

New trailer for the Wolverine movie! This video is bootleg as hell but gets the job done.

Yo, a bad ass Sabertooth? Blob? Deadpool? And finally, Gambit? I’m so ready for this one. It drops May 2009.

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