[title totally lifted from evgeny morozov]
troy anthony davis was executed last night, 22 years after the murder of officer mark macphail, for which davis was convicted. there is an extraordinary amount of opposition to davis’s execution and the death penalty in general. the NAACP launched a fantastic, albeit ultimately unsuccessful, campaign to save davis. because of their efforts, worldwide attention centered on georgia. davis received support from the likes of jimmy carter, al sharpton, pope benedict, desmond tutu, and millions others.
but none of it worked; davis ran out of appeals and was announced dead at 11:08pm.
i haven’t seen facebook or twitter that active since the great casey anthony debacle of early summer 2011; people are furious. and maybe they should be, but the point of this post isn’t to tell you what i think about troy davis, mark macphail, or the appeals process in this country. rather, my point is to ask a question to those of you expressing your moral outrage against this execution all over the internetz: what are you accomplishing? i’m sure it feels good to let everyone know how you feel about an issue, but what tangible impact do you have to show for it? have you done more than send tweets with #toomuchdoubt hashtags? have you done anything other than sign an online petition?
if this upsets you so much, why not actually do something? if you’re anti-death penalty, stand up against it! work with amnesty on their campaign to end the death penalty. stand up in support not only for davis, but also for lawrence russell brewer. stand up for timothy mcveigh. stand up for steven hayes. don’t just argue for the compelling cases, but fight when it’s hardest to do so.
for the record, i am not anti-death penalty. this is a position i arrived at following a great deal of inner strife and careful reflection. this may make me a bad person, but please don’t try to convince me i’m wrong. instead, try to convince your state legislature that they should stop all executions. join the efforts of the national coalition against the death penalty. join the forces of amnesty international.
i don’t care what you do. but jesus h. christ, do something. don’t just sit at your desk and watch the world go by. don’t be a slacktivist. you’re better than that.