Two convicted murders were put to death in the past day. One, Troy Davis, a black man from Georgia who was convicted of murdering an off duty police officer, Mark MacPhail, back on Aug.19, 1989. The other, a Texas white supremacist, and obviously white, Lawrence Russell Brewer who was convicted of killing James Byrd Jr. in the infamous Texas dragging incident that outraged a nation back on June 7, 1998.
What is striking about both executions is that while there was a torrent of outcry to stop the Davis execution from people such as Pope Benedict XVI, Jimmy carter, Al Sharpton, thousands of Americans and numerous anti death penalty groups, nobody seemed to be the least bit outraged over the Brewer execution. At least, the mainstream news media outlets were silent, or derelict of duty in reporting any such protests to stop his, Brewer’s, execution. Maybe it was only because Brewer was a white supremacist. But then again, where is the consistency in outrage among liberals?
Granted, within the Troy Davis story there is a greater amount of intrigue. No evidence had ever linked him to the murder of MacPhail, (the murder weapon was never recovered) and he had always maintained his innocence up until the end. His only mistake was being at the wrong place at the wrong time, and therefore the most logical of suspects.
With Brewer it was a clear and cut case. He actually murdered James Byrd Jr., along with accomplice. John William King (also on death row and awaiting his own execution in Texas), and another man, Shawn Berry, (he received a life sentence) by dragging Byrd to his death behind their truck. The evidence was overwhelming and Brewer never denied killing Byrd. So again, maybe the lack of outrage over his execution was both his being a white supremacist and clearly guilty. Certainly not the fact that Brewer is white.
And yet, interestingly, there is this fundamental difference, this 180 degree turn, in the level of outrage when it comes to just who is executed in America; in particular, black men, Hispanics and women of any color vs. any white man. Specifically, while liberals decry the death penalty in of itself, they never seem to be present during the execution of a white man. Like wise, liberal news outlets never carry any news about the execution of a white man until after he is executed, and then it is just a side bar. There are, of course, exceptions, especially when a white man is a serial killer or involved in the horrific murder of a black man or woman, because then the race card is always brought up as well as the issue of racism, hate crimes, racial prejudices, etc, as in the case of Brewer. But you still never see Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson outside the prison during the execution of a white man protesting an horrific injustice is being made.
In other words, liberals who say they oppose the death penalty do so on what they deem to be their own version of morality; that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime; that many people who commit murder, or are accused of committing murder are low income blacks and Hispanics who are themselves victims of a system created and controlled by white men; that many of them are falsely accused (scapegoats) or never received a fair trial due to a lack of money. But when do liberals ever apply this same “logic” to white men on death row? There is a clear and troubling double standard.
When a black man is sentenced to death, and executed, in the minds of liberals, even if the black man is clearly guilty and has admitted guilt (another contentious issue as liberals will always make the case there was some kind of coercion or torture involved to obtain confession) the murder was a result of life long white prejudice playing in the background. It’s become a cash cow for all types of race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
With conservatives it is simple. By in large we support the death penalty and have no qualms with seeing any convicted murderer, black or white, man or woman, put to death. That is not to say we are so cold as to dismiss any new evidence that might prove innocence, or provide some doubt as to guilt. Indeed, we, as conservatives, are just as disgusted with finding out an innocent person was put to death as are liberals, and just as vehemently demand there be an investigation to find out why this happened so that it does not occur again. The only difference is that conservatives don’t use the wrongful execution as an excuse to abolish the death penalty entirely. We see the human value, the real morality, in ascribing the ultimate sentence against another human being who has committed offenses beyond redemption, i.e., the murder of another human being.
Maybe Davis was innocent, in which case a gross injustice was made and an investigation ought to be conducted. But if Davis had been white, and accused of killing a black police officer, a black person in general, would there ever have been this outcry from the likes of Al Sharpton or the NAACP, and liberals everywhere, in trying to stay his execution and get a new trial? Would any of them have been on the news protesting and demanding a retrial for Davis if he was white? Or would they keep their mouths shut and be content in letting the execution take place?