Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troy Davis...a lesson on Empowerment & Hope

Credit: AP Photo/Savannah Morning News
Troy Anthony Davis  in the Chatham County Superior Court during his trial

As I entered my home on the night of September 21, I was approached by an upset daughter. My 15 year old asked to be taken to the Supreme Court to stand in protest against Troy Anthony Davis' execution. My husband and I were tired but ready and willing to support our little girl in her quest for justice and her fight to abolish the death penalty.

Troy Davis was convicted of murdering a Georgia police officer in 1991. The case was plagued with many inconsistencies. Over the years witnesses have recanted their statements, the weapon was never found. Doubt shrouded this case. Yet, Georgia was determined to keep him on death row. Troy Davis was due to be executed at 7:00pm EST. At 7:20 he was still alive while the Supreme Court reviewed documents. My daughter felt hopeful.

While standing with her in front the Supreme Court, I couldn't help but think that we are all Troy Davis. This could have been anyone's story. My daughter does not support the death penalty. Furthermore, she expressed that this is America, the country that's the beacon of hope for the world. At 11:08pm, Troy Davis was executed and my little girl's hope was shattered and she broke down. All I could do was hold her and allow her to express her hurt.

We can't always protect our children from all the pain this world has to offer. However, we can empower them to make a difference. We can encourage them to speak out where there is injustice. We can encourage them to stand firm for their beliefs. Moreover, we have to show them that we have the power to impact change. Help your teenagers connect and get involved there are many organizations like that they can join and make a difference.

I advised my daughter to remain hopeful. There are many injustices in our world...hunger, prejudice, abuse, genocide, lack of healthcare, to name a few. In spite of this, there is also good, so in the face of adversity we should always be hopeful. Alexander Pope said it best in "An Essay on Man"...'hope springs eternal'.  Romans 8:24 states...'For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  It is my hope that she remembers Troy Davis' story and speak up wherever injustice 'rears its ugly head'. Be encouraging, be prayerful, be hopeful and embrace your journey.

Amnesty International

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