The cognitive dissonance is breath taking. You can’t bemoan Troy Davis’ impending murder AND blindly support a black President who hasn’t even discussed Davis (for fear of right wing reprisal). The President’s power to pardon was made for this. But, of course, Davis’ questionable offense doesn’t stem from a federal violation, so that’s off the table.
But even if it were possible, we all know that Obama wouldn’t be issuing any pardon on behalf of Davis. Black men helping other black men irritates the right wing, and more and more, it’s apparent that those on the right and center are Obama’s base, not those who voted for him overwhelmingly in 2008. (Just as an aside, Obama did pardon an accused alligator dealer, meth dealer, and an alleged transferer of firearm who didn’t pay the necessary tax in 2008.)
This is an excellent opportunity to clarify the differences between empowered minorities and disenfranchised minorities. Take the Jewish community for example, they support their surrogates and exact payment for that support shortly after the aforementioned surrogate takes office. It’s a given. It’s how politics works.
Politics, however, is only an extension of basic human interactions among individuals. How you interact within the political sphere mirrors your relationship with yourself and with others. Unlike the Jewish community –an empowered minority-African Americans are a disenfranchised minority prone to capitulation.
We don’t approach politics as if we have a stake in it, as if we matter. We’re happy with the scraps that fall from the table because that’s what we’ve grown accustomed to.
The latest piece of scrapple to fall from the buffet was the rejection of Troy Davis’ clemency request. Black people are wringing their hands and hanging their collective heads because, of course, collective suffering is something we do well. Soon enough, we’ll break out in unified chorus of Negro spirituals on behalf of Davis.
What we won’t do well, however, is push our brownish President to take a stand for Davis. We admire Obama’s status too much for that, even if the cost of that status is disavowing and further subduing African Americans in order to prove his obedience to America’s normalized racist structure.
Barack Obama doesn’t care about us and there’s a very good reason why. He doesn’t care because he knows that the justice department he serves is not OUR justice department. It’s not our White House (or his). Yeah, a black man works there, but he doesn’t matter. And by extension, we don’t matter. We should stop pretending that we own something that we certainly do not. And if you can’t join’em, then maybe it’s time we beat ‘em.
- Georgia Death Row Inmate Troy Davis Denied Clemency (VIDEO) (blippitt.com)
- Georgia board denies clemency for Troy Davis (salon.com)
- Campaign to Save Troy Davis From Death Penalty Turns to Social Media (mashable.com)