Troy Davis

and other prisoners are on my mind today. I am too exhausted to go into my usual tirade about the death penalty, but I am so deeply saddened at how all of this has gone down. I hope your thoughts will be with Troy today and in the coming weeks.

I'm constantly reminded of all of the political and religious prisoners around the world who are incarcerated for their beliefs, who sleep on cold concrete floors and go for days without food because someone else does not think they have the right to their beliefs. These prisoners, like soldiers, die every day advocating for a cause that they believe in, and we rarely give them a second thought. We certainly do not elevate them to the same level of heroism that we do members of the armed forces. I guess most of us don't necessarily have a connection to any major detained population, but as someone who does in a pretty intimate way, whose whole life has been shaped by the specter of people who died for the religious values that my parents tried to instill in me, I can't help but feel sad on days like this, on every day.

I also can't help but think about how everything is connected--my cousin who fights another president's and another country's war in Iraq, the land of his birth; my uncle who was tortured in an Iranian prison for years before his family even knew he was alive; the prison architecture that houses him, that housed Troy Davis, and that housed all of the torture survivors I've met; the oil that I use to drive my car; the fossil fuels used to make the electricity that powers prisons; the global coffee trade; the chemicals the state uses to murder those it deems to be murderers; fertilizer; fumigation; the drug war; things that go on in my back yard and all over the world, things that are at once close to my heart and that I push far away.

Anyways, I didn't mean to turn this into a post about political/religious imprisonment instead of Troy Davis. I just see everything surrounding him as inevitably mired in politics and racism, and although he is not in prison for holding a certain belief, he is there because of the beliefs of others and the way that those beliefs have shaped the public and legal view of who he is. In the struggle over Troy Davis, we are all connected, insofar as any of us has ever stood up for what we believe the truth to be and have been egregiously ignored.


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