The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia
The state of Georgia murdered Troy Davis. It employed its monopolization of force and authority to kill a human being whose guilt was clearly in question. This was done, so it was claimed, in the interest of justice and in so doing impugned the very notion of justice. The seasoned wickedness of the Deep South easily uses great and meaningful terms like justice to cloak narrow, mean spirited, petty pleasure in cruel and wicked revenge. Terms like justice are used to place a moral cloak over the perverted indulgence of the desire to be gods. What is more some of us have gotten so used to it being done and spun that way that we quietly go along with it; with nothing more than an impotent passing judgment like, “that was a shame.” This is the same sad response we often gave to lynching in the era of Jim Crow. I am not sure what to call this era; but I am sure the lynching hasn’t stopped.
Whenever Christians refer to Justice or any of the other great universals such as Love, Mercy, Beauty or Truth, God is implied. To call the murder of Troy Davis justice, in any sense, to allow such a blasphemy (!), is to call God and God’s moral will into question. And I ask “Who is left to judge man, when the judge himself is brought before the bar!”
Something in all of us died when the state was allowed to go forward with the murder of Troy Davis. Something permanent was done to our soul when they killed that man publicly and in the name of the public; something that cannot and will not be undone. Our trust was damaged. Our hope as African Americans for a new day of justice was set back 100 years; or merely put back into proper perspective. Our belief that the presence of Black faces in positions of power and influence will bring greater justice and dignity to our race as a whole was obviously wrong and openly put to the lie. There were Blacks on the board of corrections, a sitting African American President and a Black Attorney General, head of the Justice department, and they murdered that man with impunity. Yep, “That’s the night the lights went out in Georgia.” And they may never come back on again.
That’s the night the lights went out in Georgia
That’s the night that they hung an innocent man
Don’t trust your soul to no back woods Southern lawyer
Cause the judge in the town’s got bloodstains on his hand
A Friend of the Crucified,