11:08PM EST The Time America Lost A Piece of her Soul by Russel Simmons


Feb 10, 2009
The Life And Times Of Troy Davis
11:08PM EST, September 21st, 2011 was the moment that America lost a piece of her soul. Tonight America lost more of her innocence when she injected Troy Davis with a lethal drug cocktail that took his life for the belief that he was the person who murdered police officer, Mark MacPhail. Before I continue with my thoughts, I want to express my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. MacPhail, who not only lost their son, brother, father and husband, but also have been unfairly tortured during the past twenty years.

I have been in Hong Kong for the past week, so I have been watching the Troy Davis situation unfold from a distance. There was a time in our country when the image of America around the world provided a voice to the aspirations of millions. During my lifetime, hip-hop led the way and I was fortunate to be a part of that movement.

Now is it possible that we are known for feeding war machines, lining the pockets of the rich and killing innocent men and women? Is this what our great republic has been reduced to? Murdering with mountains of reasonable doubt? I wish that they would have televised the execution of Troy Davis, so we could watch the barbarianism that we sanctioned. We have spiraled into a "revenge" culture, thinking that the only way to reach closure in our lives is by hurting others. Revenge is a "slow burning" form of hatred and anger that many carry with them throughout their lives, which can weigh heavily on your personal spiritual, physical, mental and emotional growth. Although we might think it is difficult to forgive someone, it is actually much more difficult to hold all that anger and hatred inside of you. As a nation, we must rid ourselves of this mentality of "revenge," for if we do not, I am sad to say that we will continue to kill people like Troy Davis without much remorse.

Tonight as a nation, we lost. We lost our way and we lost a big piece of our moral good standing with the rest of the world. How are we going to defend ourselves against the worst governments on this planet if we can’t commit to justice at home? It is shameful that we allowed state-sponsored murder to destroy our aspirations and our interests around the world. Is this the America we want? Experts, leaders, opinion leaders – all said – DO NOT KILL THIS BLACK MAN. But, we did. We put him to death, knowing full well that this whole thing didn't seem right.

We will have a lot of work to do to get past 11:08PM EST. Although at times it may seem like we won't make it, we must remember that we are resilient nation and we are compassionate people. We will learn from our mistakes and heal the wounds that have been made. We will do this together, for the case of Troy Davis did not divide us, it actually brought us closer. We will make it to 11:09 as a better, united nation. I know we will.

Russell Simmons

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