Troy Davis Is Executed: Who’s To Blame For The Late Attention To The Case?
As you know, Troy Anthony Davis was executed at 11:08 p.m. last night for a crime he may not have committed. Although he’s been on death row for two decades, this case just exploded in social media and on the news a day before his execution. Twitter and Facebook broke out in messages that protested the pending execution and hope that change will soon come to this country’s judicial system. On the other side of the coin were posts from people wondering why everyone all of a sudden decided to jump on the Troy Davis bandwagon even though he was convicted back in 1991.
It’s an interesting question and one that doesn’t have a simple answer.
On one hand you have a case that is twenty years old and many people were just too young to even know or care about. Mass media hasn’t done much coverage on it until just recently. Had the news kept us informed then perhaps an organized rally could have happened sooner. But the issue with our mainstream news outlets is that a story like this doesn’t matter until the 11th hour. For the other ten hours you get your regular news and a bunch of fluff stories about what kind of shades Snooki wore to the mall and the outrage over who got voted off on The X Factor. It’s sickening if you really think about it. Here is a man who has been stranded on death row for half of his life for a crime there is reasonable doubt he did not commit. You’d think there would be more news coverage. Alas, it wasn’t until those who’ve been organizing for years rallied that the big news teams decided it was noteworthy.
On the other hand you have a generation of people who don’t care much about anything other than whose nude pictures leaked and what kind of butter Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez put on their popcorn when they went to see My Idiot Brother. Even if this case was thrown in their face, they likely wouldn’t have acted until it was too late. Sites like Amnesty.org and DemocracyNow.org both cover issues that could use our attention. Journalists like Davey D are always on top of these types of stories. It’s just a matter of if you want to read them. I wrote a piece on Troy Davis on this very site that posted a week ago but was barely read.
So who’s to blame?
We have to become more proactive in seeking out the very stories that affect our communities. We cannot wait for them to be spoon fed to us by mainstream media because the reality is that it won’t happen. We must force the media to put the spotlight on the faceless cases.
Troy Davis lost his life due to a flawed judicial system. We must take action to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Remember, Mumia Abu Jamal is still on death row and waiting to see if he will end up dying for a crime he may not have committed.