Like millions last night, I waited to see if justice would be served in the case of Troy Davis, instead as we would all learn after a three hour reprieve while the United States Supreme Court met on the matter, we would all learn for Troy there would be no justice. Instead at 11:08 pm Eastern Daylight Time, Troy would pass from this realm to the next one. Where presumably things are just, on this side though there was a collective wailing and gnashing of teeth as many pondered how could this injustice happen?
The truth is we all live with injustice every day, the reality is when our souls are thrust into this realm on planet Earth, it’s a cosmic craps game. Who we are born to greatly determines how just things will be for us in many ways. Sure we eventually grow up and at a certain point can choose to change the narrative of our life but who we are born to, and how we are raised for the first 17-18 years of our lives greatly determines and plays heavily on whether we see more justice or injustice. Born to poor, brown folks in the United States and you happen to be male? You automatically start the race off with a disadvantage that will only grow as you get older. Happen to be born to financially well off white folks? The game favors you.
In my work, I see injustices daily, a world where little kids go to bed hungry but less than 20 miles away, the former leader of the free world lives part of the year with great opulence and all his needs being met. We could call it fucked or as I like to say it seems unjust.
Yet knowing that the world is not just and that all things are not fair as even small kids learn early on, it’s not enough to name an injustice, you have to move on it. No matter who we are, or what our limitations we can work to make this little ball we are all living on a better place until either it blows up or we let our greed destroy the place. I write this piece thinking of my kids especially my 19 year old son, a young man of color hoping that we the big folks can serve as models to make our kids strive to make this place a little less unjust. Make no mistake though when we decide that justice is what we seek, we give up a lot. I live daily knowing at this stage in my life, financial success will probably always be elusive because I choose to work at the grassroots level. Not too many folks pulling in big bucks at that level, but my rewards are many, it’s the talk I had yesterday with a mother who is a recovering addict who just gave birth to her 4th child yet she is clean and sober. It’s staying connected to the folks who were born into far more unjust situations than I yet never losing sight of what that is like and doing my best to be that voice for the voiceless.
Troy Davis’s last words spoke to a man who in 22 years had made peace with his situation and himself, never giving up the fight but knowing he might lose the battle. Yet if one person feels compelled to get involved in a meaningful way than an injustice has been reversed.
Some injustices we have no say in it, but others we can choose to right by our actions.