R.I.P Troy Davis, too many of us are in the same boat. We have to keep each other aware and keep fighting. Reggie Clemons’ life is on the line ….
In 1991, two young women went missing after visiting the abandoned Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis Missouri — a popular hang-out with local teens — with their cousin. The cousin told the police an impossible tale: that the girls had been pushed from the bridge, but he was ordered to jump by an unknown assailant and survived the nearly 80-foot fall into strong currents with no injuries and dry hair. The police were naturally skeptical of his account and, within hours, he confessed to killing the girls.
Yet this man, who is white, has never spent a day in jail. Instead, the police arrested four local youths who were also on the bridge that night. Three of the young men, all African-American, received the death sentence. The fourth young man, who is white, received a 30-year sentence and will be eligible for parole soon.
Reggie Clemons is one of the youths that received the death sentence, even though prosecutors conceded that Reggie neither pushed the women nor planned their deaths. The prosecutor simply theorized that Reggie was an “accomplice” even though there is no physical evidence linking Reggie to the crime for which he received the death penalty: no fingerprints, no DNA, no hair or fiber samples.
Many of Reggie’s claims have never been heard in a court of law because of procedural rules that have barred the presentation of important evidence. After reviewing the evidence, two federal judges voted to overturn his death sentence and found that Reggie was denied a fair trial. But Reggie’s sentence of death remains
Another unjust execution, another failure of our so-called justice system. This happens far too often. I didn’t know a lot about Mr. Davis’ case until relatively recently and I was overwhelmed by the efforts of the people to save this brother’s life. Here is his message to the people:
I want to thank all of you for your efforts and dedication to Human Rights and Human Kindness, in the past year I have experienced such emotion, joy, sadness and never ending faith. It is because of all of you that I am alive today, as I look at my sister Martina I am marveled by the love she has for me and of course I worry about her and her health, but as she tells me she is the eldest and she will not back down from this fight to save my life and prove to the world that I am innocent of this terrible crime.
As I look at my mail from across the globe, from places I have never ever dreamed I would know about and people speaking languages and expressing cultures and religions I could only hope to one day see first hand. I am humbled by the emotion that fills my heart with overwhelming, overflowing Joy. I can’t even explain the insurgence of emotion I feel when I try to express the strength I draw from you all, it compounds my faith and it shows me yet again that this is not a case about the death penalty, this is not a case about Troy Davis, this is a case about Justice and the Human Spirit to see Justice prevail.
I cannot answer all of your letters but I do read them all, I cannot see you all but I can imagine your faces, I cannot hear you speak but your letters take me to the far reaches of the world, I cannot touch you physically but I feel your warmth everyday I exist.
So Thank you and remember I am in a place where execution can only destroy your physical form but because of my faith in God, my family and all of you I have been spiritually free for some time and no matter what happens in the days, weeks to come, this Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated. There are so many more Troy Davis’. This fight to end the death penalty is not won or lost through me but through our strength to move forward and save every innocent person in captivity around the globe. We need to dismantle this Unjust system city by city, state by state and country by country.
I can’t wait to Stand with you, no matter if that is in physical or spiritual form, I will one day be announcing,
“So what are the things that we look for? What are the features of African American English? There are three dimensions: a system of grammar and pronunciation, verbal traditions, and a system of semantics. For an example of the system of grammar, I like this story that I heard just a couple of weeks ago at a hair braiding shop. A woman was talking about her significant other and she said “the brother be looking good.” We were just sitting around a hair braiding shop, you know, and she was using “be” here in the way that many languages of West Africa convey meaning. That is, the verbs don’t necessarily have anything to do with whether it’s past, present or future tense but with the quality or essence of something. In fact when she said “the brother be looking good,” she didn’t mean the brother looking good but he be looking good, which is to say, something that’s repeated over time. He looked good last week, he’s looking good today and he’s going to be looking good tomorrow, ’cause he be looking good. Many of the languages of West Africa have this sort of grammatical pattern.”—
African-American English: From The Hood to the Amen Corner Geneva Smitherman (via howtobenoladarling)
and this is a good example as to why dominicans need to stop being ashamed of our spanish too. our spanish has roots as deep as we do. we do not speak white spanish because we’re pretty fucking far from white and that is perfectly fine.