9.26.2011

Strange Fruit in Georgia & Texas: Moving Forward To Dismantle The Entire "Criminal Justice" System


By Kofi Taharka
National Chairman of The National Black United Front

When the state has the power to commit premeditated murder in the form of executions it reminds us of the famous Last Poets line "The white man got a God complex". On Wednesday, September 21, 2011 the state of Georgia murdered Troy Anthony Davis. This murder took place despite an international out cry for justice with information raising substantial dought of the guilt of Mr. Davis. For activist and organizers in Texas the case drudged up memories of the 2000 murder of Shaka Sankofa (Gary Graham). There are similarities and differences in the two cases, however the outcome is the same two dead African (Black) men. One of the striking similarities was the exhortation of both men in some of there final statements to continue the fight to abolish the wicked, white supremist, classist death penalty. The death penalty is the tip of the spear if you will of an entire "criminal justice" system that is designed to devour people of color and poor people like a monster who can never get enough to eat and we are the food.

Has anything really changed in America from the days of lynch mobs to the days of lethal injection lynching? What lynch mobs did in a matter of minutes, the courts do overs years, find you guilty and murder you. The great egun (ancestor) Ida B. Wells who documented thousands of lynchings in the late 1800's offered this response in her day "The lesson this teaches and which every Afro-America should ponder well, is that a Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give." (Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases)

As we reflect on the murder of Troy Davis we are keenly aware of the fact that this action is a continuation of bloody violence which African (Black) people have been subjected to for centuries. The songstress Billie Holiday captured the terrorism of lynching in her song "Strange Fruit" see video link below. Hearing the challenge of Shaka Sankofa and Troy Davis we move forward to abolish the death penalty and dismantle the entire "criminal justice" system.