Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday In Savannah

Courtesy of The Church Lady Blogs
Troy Davis' Funeral - New Life Apostolic Temple

If Troy Davis was laid in his grave today in Savannah Georgia, so too, the death penalty.  In a rousing funeral attended by thousands, punctuated by long and winding lines of attendees, determined chanting demonstrators, and international human rights spokespersons, the movement to change this outdated form of "justice" was appropriately enough born again in the South - where the horrific practice of lynching - seems now revealed to millions of global observers in Mr. Davis' case - as never truly abolished - only transformed into a legally sanctioned and "sanitized" version - with disproportionate numbers of African American men, now faced with overcoming impossible barriers within a deaf judicial system  - and going to their end - to the Kafkaesque extent that, even in a case with enormous factual issues and doubt, a man still unerringly heads on, as surely as a piece of machinery on an assembly line.  No human beings left in the process - whether defendant or decision-makers themselves.  Whatever enormity of facts or plea is placed before the authorities, still, the decision makers feel compelled to continue, unquestioningly.

Hey, didn't I read this guy in high school?

At the funeral, Church Lady described a slide show of Mr. Davis' life and family, and speakers who included Davis’ nephew, Antone’ De’Juan Davis-Correia - who visited Mr. Davis every week in prison - and impressed millions of live stream viewers with his dignity and mature-beyond-years composure during press interviews with Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman the grueling night of Mr. Davis' scheduled execution.  Other highlighted speakers at the funeral included N.A.A.C.P. Director Benjamin Jealous, Amnesty International U.S.A. Director Larry Cox, the Rev. Raphael Warnock of Atlanta, a spiritual adviser to Mr. Davis on death row, and civil rights activist, writer, and comedian, Dick Gregory. 

True to form, Mr. Gregory peppered his speech with long appreciated spicy satire and humor - for example, bringing laughter from the audience when he stated that he "stayed in debt" because he "wanted to stay in step - with the rest of America."  Mr. Gregory went on to describe a conversation with bill collectors phoning to tell him they expected payment.  "You can always expect payment," he told them.  "You can expect payment from me every day."  When the collector asked if he was Dick Gregory, he told him that he was Troy Davis.  "He said I'm sorry I made a mistake.  I won't be calling you no more."

Mr. Gregory made a 365 day call for a fast to end Capital Punishment.

"Troy," Benjamin Jealous stated poignantly, "..told us to keep on fighting until his name is finally cleared and Georgia admits what Georgia has done.. Troy's last words were to keep on fighting until the death penalty is abolished and this can never be done to anyone else."

Troy Davis

"You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea."
- Medgar Evers

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