An Open Statement on Troy Davis
The Black Feminist Working Group believes the execution of Troy Davis by the state of Georgia on September 21st, 2011 was an inhumane act committed within the larger context of a violently racialized prison and criminal justice system. The murder of Davis is not an isolated incident. It reflects the larger issue of corruption and racism that runs rampant in the U.S. legal system.
Troy Davis’s case reveals the extent to which this criminal justice system is invested in perpetuating the stereotype of the dangerous black and brown criminal. Furthermore, it shows how easily the system is willing to sacrifice our lives to maintain the lie of “American justice” – particularly in cases involving the murder of police officers.
There is a history of Black men and women being convicted of trumped up charges and sent to prison based on weak and falsified evidence throughout this country. Mass incarceration continues to be an epidemic within the Black community. Alongside our awareness of the re-enslavement of our Brothas by this system, we are also witnessing a 106% increase of Black female bodies in prison over the last ten years – specifically young Black Women, who make up the fastest growing prison population today. Daily prison conditions subject hundreds and thousands of our Brothas and Sistas to sexual, mental, physical, and emotional abuse. Solitary confinement, in itself, neglects the humanity of our imprisoned community, especially with excessive time served that may span months and even years.
The Black Feminist Working Group believe it is important to support our incarcerated Brothas, Sistas and Youth beyond the days, hours or minutes of their life’s ending. We believe there needs to be an ongoing mass movement fighting this racist prison system and the prison industrial complex. We must fight with the same fervor we fought with in all of our movements and struggles – Civil Rights, Black Power and Women Movements. Millions of Black and Brown people are being held hostage in the U.S. prison system. They are being stripped of their basic human rights. It is the responsibility of anyone involved in the struggle for the freedom and self-determination of Black people to be active participants in bringing down this corrupt prison system.
In Solidarity and With Love,
The Black Feminist working Group
– Iresha Picot, Kimberly Murray, Tiamba Wilkerson, Nuala Cabral, Darasia Selby, & Ladi’Sasha Jones