Politics As Usual: The Curious Case Of Troy Davis

Two of HipHopDX's writers--Slava Kuperstein and Omar Burgess--offer a running dialogue to try and make some sense out of Hip Hop and social media's coverage of Troy Davis' execution.

“Imagine a mother strugglin’ / Dealing with a system that don’t give a fuck about who shot her son / Imagine life where you can’t win / When you get out the ghetto and go right to the pen / When you get out the pen you go right to the gin / So if you get back to the streets you go right back in…” —Dr. Dre, “Imagine” feat. Snoop Dogg & D’Angelo.

Omar: If you follow Hip Hop music and culture on even the most casual level, then you’ve probably heard Troy Davis’ name at some point over the last few weeks. Davis isn’t a rapper, producer or a blogger, but many in the Hip Hop community were championing the cause of keeping him alive. By now the particulars of the Davis’ case have been repeated ad naseum (if you aren’t familiar, a more thorough breakdown is available via Time), so we’ll offer a shortened version for brevity’s sake.

Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of Police officer Mark MacPhail. In the 22 years since MacPhail was murdered and Davis was sentenced to the death penalty, two additional witnesses implicated Davis’ former friend, Sylvester “Redd” Coles as the man who shot MacPhail. Authorities never searched for a .38 caliber revolver Coles admitted to carrying on the night MacPhail was murdered, and Coles himself—who accused Davis of being the shooter—has been treated as an innocent bystander. Additionally, a 2010 DNA analysis of a pair of Davis’ shorts found days after the murder revealed an earlier blood sample submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations didn’t link Davis to the murder of MacPhail.

Slava: Ultimately, none of this mattered to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles or the Georgia Supreme Court. A final appeal for a stay of execution from the Supreme Court of the United States fell on deaf ears, and Troy Davis was executed on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 11:08 PM, having spent half of his life on death row.

A History Of Unjust Legislation

“Didn’t listen so prison is what they did to him / Accountant unscathed millions is what they hid through him / Same principles you must adhere / Lohans get the breaks the T.I.’s we just stare through ‘em…” –Pusha T, “Open Your Eyes.”

Slava: The news, sadly, isn’t surprising. Former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., said the following in his dissent in McCleskey v. Kemp, a case addressing the death penalty in—you guessed it—Georgia: “The [Supreme] Court's evaluation of the significance of [the accused’s] evidence is fundamentally at odds with our consistent concern for rationality in capital sentencing, and the considerations that the majority invokes to discount that evidence cannot justify ignoring its force.”

Does that obstinacy sound familiar? Sadly, both the Supreme Court and Georgia have a sordid history regarding this matter. “[M]urder defendants in Georgia with white victims are more than four times as likely to receive the death sentence as are defendants with black victims,” says Brennan in the aforementioned opinion. And DeathPenaltyInfo.org offers shocking figures. Since 1976, Georgia ranks seventh in the United States with 52 executions, four of which came this year. Nationally, the number of white defendant/black victim combinations resulting in execution was 16. But black defendants and white victims? 253.

The following probably doesn’t provide any answers; nor does it suppose Troy Davis’ innocence or guilt. But it does offer food for thought.

Hip Hop And Prison Culture

“Unfortunately we have a culture where an unprecedented number of black people are being incarcerated. An unprecedented number of black people are being run through the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system becomes essential text. The experience of being in jail, the experience of being a part of the system—even if you’re not directly involved, you’re connected to it through having a cousin, nephew or a sister involved. It’s not surprising that people who come out of that milieu have a great deal of credibility in the community, if only because a large percentage of the community can relate to those experiences.” –Nelson George

Omar: In T.I. and Lil Wayne, we have two of the best-selling rappers of the past decade cycling in and out of the industrial prison complex within the same year. That doesn’t take people like G-Dep, Gucci Mane, Shyne and Ja Rule into account. You can easily dismiss those six as anecdotal cases, especially since their sentences were the byproduct of legal transgressions they admitted to. But what about the other 82,371 black men in federal prisons? Hip Hop is still by and large performed by black men. If the Bureau of Prisons supplies data stating 82,371 of their total 217,582 inmates are black, then you begin to see an obvious overlap.

If you’re wondering why Troy Davis matters, that’s why. I don’t want to argue his guilt or innocence, because I’m not a lawyer. And the combination of piss-poor investigating, subpar legal representation, and just plain bad luck make it entirely possible that authorities may never know who MacPhail’s murderer was. In a legal system based on getting convictions, that’s one of the few things nobody wants to admit. Add up all the above, and you’re sitting on a potential powder keg. So why is it that most of the information we’ve recently seen about Davis has been in the form of 140-character Tweets?

Mixed Media In The (Mis)Information Age

Omar: One of the common questions lobbied this week is why hasn’t Davis’ story been covered more? The week’s most popular Hip Hop story thus far has been Ray J’s now rescinded homoerotic/homophobic threat against Fabolous. It’s a fair question. In 2010, 46 inmates were executed. Conversely, rappers say and do homophobic shit all the time. Some of them even do it on purpose just so they can later say, “Pause” or “No Homo.” My initial reaction was to laugh at the people getting mad because I’ve never seen a 140-character tweet get someone off of death row or even freed from prison for that matter. How many of the people mad at the over-coverage of Ray J versus Fab actually bothered to sign a petition, call the board of pardons or even learn the particulars of the case?

We’re in an era where the definition of media is continuously changing and evolving. The fact that Outkast’s Big Boi can disseminate info on Davis’ pardon to the 300,000 people who follow him made his Twitter feed an effective medium. But does the Georgia Board of Pardons have a Twitter feed?

Slava: There’s no doubt that the Internet, particularly through social media like Twitter, has increased the public’s access to information in unprecedented ways. Perhaps the most striking examples are China and Libya, where citizens of both countries were able to express not only their thoughts and opinions, but inform people on the outside of the status of their respective countries.

Even to anyone that remembers life before the Internet became a typical household item, it’s difficult to remember how much less efficient the dissemination of information was. Before, we were at the mercy of television and radio for our “breaking news,” two easily-manipulated mediums. Now, that’s all changed. Or has it?

A Disturbing Trend

Slava: Tuesday night, #TroyDavis was a trending topic on Twitter on just about every continent, and suddenly it disappeared in one conspicuous area: Georgia. In its place were trending topics such as Ray J and the iPhone 5. How did this happen? Well, if it looks like shit and it smells like shit, you probably don’t need to eat it to be sure. Minor research all but confirmed the suspicion that Twitter censors trending topics as it sees fit. The company admitted to the practice in early August of this year, saying that they may “edit out any…clearly offensive [trending topics].”

This is just one striking example of a very important fact that we all must keep in mind: no matter the source of information, to some degree we will always be at the mercy of those providing it. So while Twitter and the Internet can provide us the information we so desperately need (you want to know where and when Killer Mike and Big Boi are marching? Twitter’s got it.), we must never forget this simple fact: No matter how lightning-fast our access to information is, the information will always be subject to biases and bottom lines.

Now That’s Entertainment!

Omar: Aside from the Ray J complaint, people have also drawn some easy parallels between Troy Davis and Casey Anthony. The argument has essentially been: white woman kills her kid and walks, while a black man accused of killing a police officer seems innocent but can’t even get a retrial before being executed.

Slava: It’s clear to see why the Casey Anthony case received so much more national attention than Troy Davis: there was a child’s death involved. Anthony was—by many accounts—an attractive but “crazy-looking” woman, and the United States tends to go up in arms over the death of white child much more than a minority one. Sure, you can tell me who Jon Benet Ramsey is, but can you point out Cynteria Phillips?

But an even more interesting analysis is the comparison between Troy Davis and Mumia Abu-Jamal. At first blush, it’s obvious that Mumia is a more captivating figure: he’s an instantly recognizable, physically imposing, dreadlocked figure. He was an activist and radio journalist who became President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, and was a member of the Black Panther Party.

Both visually and verbally, Abu-Jamal makes for damn good television. Hell, HipHopDX has covered him far more because he’s had such a large contingent of the Hip Hop community in his corner. He’s also published several books since getting placed on death row, causing his “star prisoner” status to rise. Like I said: damn good television. None of this is a criticism of Abu-Jamal; rather, it serves to highlight what makes him such a compelling figure.

Troy Davis, on the other hand, does not possess that advantage. He is neither the speaker nor physical presence that Abu-Jamal is, and therefore does not get the media attention. The media serves to satisfy the shortest of attention spans and fuel the need for sensationalism and controversy. When was the last time you heard about the tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti, or the genocide in Darfur without actively seeking out coverage on the topic? Except perhaps on the days leading to his execution, Troy Davis just wasn’t compelling enough for the media to warrant the (more) consistent coverage some of his peers have received. Certainly, even Mumia’s case hasn’t received its due attention, but the differences are certainly there, and they highlight the sickening state of media today.

The Aftermath Of Troy Davis

“If we could change the laws / Maybe we could change the wars / And maybe after that we could change the bars / The one thing we can’t do change is the cause / ‘Cause we young black youths getting arraigned in courts…”  –Jim Jones, “Rockerfeller Laws (Lockdown USA).”

Omar: Usually this is the point where we all try to come to a logical conclusion about the situation. But the anger that has been expressed by so many of us since Wednesday night just drives home the fact that you can’t logically reconcile how a system with checks and balances designed to protect us can give the okay to put a man to death for a crime he very well may not have committed. There will be talk of people at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder having their life devalued. And in the face of glaring statistical evidence and deaths like those of Sean Bell, Oscar Grant and now Troy Davis, it feels as if that talk is true.

For now, there are only a few consolatory positives to be taken from the situation. As an emerging social medium, Twitter doesn’t owe you shit. And yet, despite what appeared to be overt efforts to purposely keep Troy Davis’ cause from gaining momentum by preventing it from becoming a trending topic, a large contingent of the Hip Hop community was still able to use Twitter to mobilize and put words and thoughts into action this week. While it was not their intended cause, we probably look at Big Boi, Killer Mike, M-1, Talib Kweli, Jasiri X and the other Hip Hop artists involved in a different light. They heeded and inspired a call to action. Additionally, despite critics that only want to highlight the materialistic, misogynistic and violent moments in Hip Hop, a significant portion of our culture lent their time, energy and celebrity status to something incredibly noble. Hopefully the death of Troy Davis leads to some very uncomfortable but necessary conversations about race, class and America’s justice system. And through those conversations we can see some real change that leads to more than just empty and angry rhetoric until the next unjustified death starts the cycle again.

Slava Kuperstein is an Ellicott City, Maryland native by way of Odessa, Ukraine who has been writing for HipHopDX since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @SlavaHHDX.

Omar Burgess is a Long Beach, California native who has contributed to various magazines, newspapers and has  been an editor at HipHopDX since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @FourFingerRings.


  • Jioxer

    Cover Occupy Wall Street Protest! Please

  • @RadioRebels

    for great underground Hip Hop, news, talk, and interviews with artist check us out on twitter @RadioRebels We are, Live from the Underground!

  • The Azrael

    It's sad that, there are more white people picketing and petitioning for Troy Davis to be set free. While all hear is complaint about how, it's a color issue, but none of them stood up to help the man. Damn shame, no doubt it's a color issue. But you gotta get off twitter and worldstar or whatever, and go out there do something, so shit like this won't ever happen again. Rest in peace to Troy Davis

  • @ikenna

    Your post makes sense. People follow stereotypes in music, movies & entertainment and there is a difference in what certin groups of ethnicities do IN THE MEDIA AS A FORM OF SO CALLED ENTERTAINMENT but not in real life. ALL races of people sell drugs or are involved in gang life, are involved with guns etc. ALL races have people who go to school to become teachers or doctors etc, and ALL races have people involved in law enforcement or the gov't. ALL races of people have people who are corrupt and people who are good people. ALL races of people are represented in movies doing all sorts of things. However, when it comes to the music industry, only black artists, except for Eminem, deliver a message of gang life, violence and drugs THROUGH mainstream media outlets. That is the problem. You understand people? There is psyhcotic white people and other races of people who are in gangs or even upper level govt positions involved with drugs and corruption, but you don't see them on channel 2, 4, or 7 or on mtv, fox or msnbc. They don't go on Oprah, they don't have silly shows on mtv, and they are not on news channels or internet news stations like yahoo or aol as mainstream stars. They don't interrupt cnn to tell you about these people as part of the entertainment industry. That is what the difference is. Don't use Charlie Sheen as an example, he is a drug user, he does not life a gang life. Take heavy metal as an example. Those heavy metal white dudes are just as crazy, just as into drugs and all that shit, riding motorcycles, devil signs, biker gangs and all that crazy stuff. But they are hardcore dudes, they don't deal with mainstream media, they are considered outsiders and for a reason. Because their lifestlye DOESN"T BELONG on mainstream media TV. Go back to the 1970's. You think Ozzy Osbourne was on nbc and cbs? Hell no. Because media didn't allow it. And that is how heavy metal like that gained a following becuase it deviated from the norm. Nowadays, its these motherfuckers jay z kanye, lil wayne, eminem, talking about the gang life, getting kids curious about drug use, and describing all kinds of fucked up situations in their rhymes and their styles AND THEN they go on MAINSTREAM MEDIA TV. That is the fucking problem with young people in this country. As an entertainer if you want to talk about that shit you DON"T GO on channel 2, 4, 7 and sign contracts with mainstream media companies through endorsement deals if you continue to spread that message. And that is what these motherfuckers do and that is the problem. And the media allows it, matter fact they promote it, and they only allow black entertainers who promote gang life or drug cultre to cross over into the mainstream, unless its eminem. And that is the problem because THAT SHIT don't belong on maintream tv and that is why these artists are big time sell outs. You wanna act hardcore and carry guns, and get involved with drugs and the gang life go ahead. But let the real motherfuckers who live that life do it. Don't let these mainstream media "cool dude" followers try and live that life when they are pretenders. And that is what the problem is. Mainstream media followin regular dudes who are NOT hardcore, are not cut out for the real deal gang life, see these black artists on mainstream media outlets and then try to emulate the gang life because they see the artists crossing over to the mainstream. And these kids are pussies, they are not cut out for real deal gang life, but they try and emulate the real deal gang life because they see these artists on all these channels and cnn will interrupt a broadcast to tell you how many records they sold. So kids think its cool, but they aren't cut out for it. It is real deal shit, and that is the problem. Heavy metal NEVER crossed over to mainstream. Real hardcore street life hip hop and real rap NEVER crossed over to mainstream. But these stupid artist try and carry that gang life/drug culture message and keep that message while doing channel 2, 4, & 7 shows and sitting with their legs crossed on a couch across from Matt Lauer. That is the problem. You wanna go mainstream? Then change your message and talk that happy days happy go lucky sitcom life because that is what mainstream media is. And it is only black music artists doing that, except of course for eminem,and the media planned it that way. These morons who are selling the most records today they are the most SELF-DESTRUCTIVE to the public, and that is why they get endorsement deals and airplay because the elites controlling the financial process at the top planned it that way. Go talk to young people. Talk to the eminem, jay z, kanye, lil wayne fans. Guarantee they think drugs are cool, guarantee they think gang life is cool, guarantee they think guns and hate and violence and hating your friends and looking down upon people is cool. You want to know why? Because they watched those motherfuckers on the same channels as the happy go lucky bullshit sitcoms and fake news shows are on. That is the problem. And those kids are pussies, they aren't cut out for real deal street life, but they think they are because they saw their favorite artists on the cheesy mainstream media outlets.

  • Azazel's rabbit foot.

    This explains how/why so many "top selling artists in hip-hop" have brushes with the law and/or end up incarcerated: "That shit over there is death and destruction...The hip-hop conglomerate and the leadership throws niggas out there to get wasted" (Canibus-Conspiracy Worldwide Interview 5-13-11) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVFBpJmEdbc At the 2:12 mark

  • Anonymous

    yall are fuckin ignorant the man was guilty it was obvious seven out of nine witnesses recanted there statements sayin the cops harrased them to speak against him and there was no evidence against him an when jimmy carter and the fuckin pope ask the state to take a second look then that kinda says something

  • DX Staff

    ayo Troy, we was busy slobbin on Game's dick and came up for some air, and realized it was time to write some deep insightful shyt. RIP homie. IAMWORSTNIGGAYOUCOULDPICKTOBE

    • Anonymous

      lmfaooo word! the month leading up to this guys death this site didnt write shit about troy but instead kept writing articles about games weak ass album and even had him has editor....way to go hiphop

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who defends this dudes dumb as fuck..he shot another dude and the face and beat another one to the point of near death with a gun...fry him.

    • Anonymous

      And where you there when that happened? Do you know that for a fact? People who don't try to have empirical and concrete evidence like you and instead vote to "fry" another human being is what's wrong with this world. You're the one who's dumb as fuck, you ignorant cunt.

  • KillaTroyDavis

    Comparing what happened to Sean Bell and Oscar Grant to this murderin ass nigga is just disrepectful. It ain't even close. Second chance? Assaulted a homeless man and shot 2 niggas in the same night? Nah, you out of chances. Death by lethal injection is the only mercy you gettin. Burn in Hell Troy Davis. We'll toss a few IAMTROYDAVIS T-shirts down to keep the fire goin. Oh, and good news. We found the real killa. 20 years ago.

  • KillerTroyDavis

    Comparing what happened to Sean Bell and Oscar Grant to this murderin ass nigga is just disrepectful. It ain't even close. Second chance? Assaulted a homeless man and shot 2 niggas in the same night? Nah, you out of chances. Death by lethal injection is the only mercy you gettin. Burn in Hell Troy Davis. We'll toss a few IAMTROYDAVIS T-shirts down to keep the fire goin. Oh, and good news. We found the real killa. 20 years ago.

  • KillerTroyDavis

    Comparing what happened to Sean Bell and Oscar Grant to this murderin ass nigga is just disrepectful. It ain't even close. Second chance? Assaulted a homeless man and shot 2 niggas in the same night? Nah, you out of chances. Death by lethal injection is the only mercy you gettin. Burn in Hell Troy Davis. We'll toss a few IAMTROYDAVIS T-shirts down to keep the fire goin. Oh, and good news. We found the real killa... 20 years ago.

  • NoSecondChanceTroy

    Comparing what happened to Sean Bell and Oscar Grant to this murderin ass nigga is just disrepectful. It ain't even close. Second chance? Assaulted a homeless man and shot 2 niggas in the same night? Nah, you out of chances. Death by lethal injection is the only mercy you gettin. Burn in Hell Troy Davis. We'll toss a few IAMTROYDAVIS T-shirts down to keep the fire goin. Oh, and good news. We found the real killa.... 20 years ago.

  • se

    fuck troy davis that nigga a murderer deserved to get what he got bitch ass niggas these days

  • Ghetto Profit

    Slava talking about a lack of media coverage is sickening lol This is the same cat that constantly promotes "hip hop beef", but now he has an opinion on the coverage troy Davis has received? Dude, you promote black on black violence, yet you have a "beeling heart" for troy Davis?? Sounds like you are trying to reinstate your hood pass...SMH Dog, if you can report on Troy Davis, I know your bitchass can promote more positive hip hop artists instead of 'who the game is beefin with on twitter this week...' Just saying!

  • Real Talk

    Again HipHopDx tryin to distort the line between good and evil, right and wrong. Why were Wayne and Ja Rule and TI locked up and I think even Prodigy locked up again? Oh I remember now, it's the DEMOCRAT anti-gun laws. Former DNC chairman Howard Dean once said that its okay to have loose gun laws in rural Vermont, but we need to have stricter gun laws in places like New York City. What does he mean by that do you think? Did you know the first gun laws were by racist DEMOCRATS? Did you know that our Founding Fathers would be appalled by these gun laws? Yet here we have the media including HipHopDx attacking the justice system. First Casey Anthony, now Troy Davis. Why? People the justice system is dependent on YOU, ME, all of us. It is the people we vote in makin these laws, and it is actually REGULAR AMERICANS in the JURY OF YOUR PEERS guaranteed by the Constitution (6th amendment i think). Why is this under attack? I will tell you why, because the LEFT like these dudes up there do not believe in Freedom. Freedom is an easy target, because it is not perfect. Capitalism has booms but it also has recessions. Bad people sometimes shoot people wit guns. The jury sometimes comes up wit the wrong decisions (Casey Anthony). Sometimes people are offended when you express your opinion or your religion. Tyrants and radicals alike LOVE pointing this out because they falsely claim they know how to fix it! If you are against the death penalty, that's fine. If you think Troy Davis should have spent life in prison, fine, that's fair game. But if you think Troy Davis is a victim of some elaborate racist conspiracy, you are kiddin yourself. Point, look at his last statements when he was killed where he declared his innocence. Than compare those wit his last statements of the trial 20 years ago, where he admits guilt, but asks for a second chance. Point, look at how his lawyers tried pinning this on an INNOCENT black man. Point, look at the evidence that was presented against him, both the physical evidence, and the witness testimony, the latter which ALL OF A SUDDEN comes into question wit changes in 2008 two decades later? Does anyone else smell bullshit on this Troy Davis thing, or you gonna willingly stay ignorant to the facts and let the leftist radicals herd you into the angry mob?

    • iss

      racist democrats? republicans = racist....fact republican is the white supremacy party

    • Anonymous

      yeah truthfully I don't know anything about this case, but initially reading into this article you blindly fall into the category of rooting for Troy Davis without knowing much about the facts around the case. But the same is true for many of these types of cases, It's not like your doing research picking apart the case, you don't get paid for that. But as for gun laws, I agree and disagree, maybe they should have better laws your right. BUT at the same time, in the city there are often more gangs and violence. Maybe the gun laws shouldn't be so strict, but if you find a person with a gun you figure that they have it for a reason and that they are willing to use it for it's only purpose. It's like booking someone with drugs, but letting them go cause they didn't use them or they hadn't sold them yet.

    • Mr Flamboyant

      (Jordan shrug) Game. Set. Match. Cut. Print. Dry. I don't know what else to add with what the big homie said above. He spoke it clearly.

    • Jiggity

      Agree with this dude 100%. Let's be real people.

  • Anonymous

    RIP Troy Davis. I AM BIG MEECH

  • Nik Thomas

    R.I.P Troy Davis - I AM TROY DAVIS

  • Nik Thomas

    Ignorance is bliss.. And these days people are getting high off that shit!!!

  • Ikenna Berkley Jones

    The black race/hip hop artist promotes murda/gang life/selling Drugs in ther records and u wonder y the police always target black people.Nikkas luv the hole "Keep it real shit". They carry a gun and they think they real but when they get sent to jail they scream its cuz I'm black.. We black people r the most hypocritical race on earth. I know not all of us support that gang shit but when u have majority of our artist praising the gang culture what do u expect.I admit some cops r bias and crooked but I also admit we as a black race brought it on our self. I know whites also have gangs but u don't c d whites artist promoting it in there records. Wake up man.Stop using d same old excuse is cuz I'm black shit.I c niggas who do postive shit, the white Man did not put d gun in ur hand, he made d gun but we choose to go and buy it. And pls don't even come @ me with all that I was raised in The hood shit.I c niggas from the hood who choose to go to school and do postive..

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, word. Agree with ^ and Ikenna. She/he got real misconstrued, it's not about stereotyping blacks. The opinion was about the culture and society that people choose to live by. And that many people choose to dress, act, LIVE by poor standards and still try to play the race card. People are victims of stereotypes and this proves that stereotyping is unacceptable. However the point being is that because so many individuals are giving into lifestyles drawn out for them in rap or media, they influence the existence of stereotypes themselves and that is a point of discussion folks.

    • Mr Flamboyant

      Dude actually has a hell of a point. Read and understand his message in totality before you speak. He's actually saying that we, ie some black people and a lot of members of the black race, perpetuate and fuel the very same stigma that causes us to be under fire and surveillance from such parties. He's not saying that the rappers represent the entire people, he's saying the lost and blind sheep seeking direction and guidance while not having their own minds to do and recognize right and wrong fuel such. Which is indeed true. It's the ones that are left to wander and experiment with such trouble. It's the ones that seek an identity in "what's hot". It's the ones that seek such an identity simply to seem "cool" or because they don't know themselves truly or to mask some insecurities or because they don't know that we are males by birth but men by choice. Same goes for the females as well, obviously females by birth but women by choice. The logic and belief of the ones that fall under this cloud have a misunderstanding of what makes such a man or woman; letting stereotypes, media outlets with agendas and purposes, et al dictate how to be such instead of properly know what it is to be what they wish and aspire. Is the system fair and balanced? No? But neither is life and never has life been. However, God gives us all free will but expects us to do right. Now if you are involved in something wicked one way or another, get caught, and receive messed up sentence...tough break. Don't break the law. If you're truly innocent, then don't plead to ish you didn't do. If you don't stand for something, and that something is the truth and righteousness, then you deserve to fall for anything. When you're right, you'll be vindicated at the end...either here on earth or heaven. But you'll be vindicated. Leave this Troy Davis nonsense alone. Fight for the bigger picture, not something as little as this when it's definitely a more concerning issue at hand.

    • Wow!

      none of you obviously read what dude wrote. he isn't deeming the entire race because of rappers, he's saying that society and police deem black folks because of rappers. Damn stop being so ignorant and just assuming, actually read an entire statement for once.

    • Anonymous

      Uncle Ruckus is that you?? lol

    • BunkerD

      yall remember that case a few years back when the black and white dude committed the same crime with the same criminal record and the same judicial system and the black guy got more time? Just saying.... ikena is a coon if he thinks that somehow the system is fair and balanced and the black man augments his own fate even though that case clearly illustrated a fatal flaw and racism in the system!

    • Intelligent Thought

      @anon: Ignore Ikena I see him frequently trolling the comments with his uncle tom coon shit. At the end of the day his own day of reckoning will come when hes forced to rethink some of the dumb stuff he comes up with. He constantly talks about some cops being crooked when articles are talking about a whole goverment founded on corruption. Dumb peice of shit.

    • Anonymous

      Another racist white loser pretending to be a black person.

    • Anonymous

      You just judged an entire race by a few rappers lol you are an idiot. The fact that you said "black race/hip hop artists" as if every black person is a rapper. And then continued you dumbass rant by that ridiculous logic. Probably the biggest L I've read on this site.

    • Ronald P

      "we as a black race" since when do a few violent rappers represent how an entire race of people deserve to be treated? I went to school and stayed out of trouble my whole life. But if I get unjustly punished are you going refer to gangster rap as a reason why I'm probably guilty and the police were right? Even though I dont have one gangster rap record, I'm black so therefore it somehow applies to me? That's your reasoning? Wow, brother you are an uncle tom.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that some people bring it on themselves.. but that was a serious coon moment brah. The first and biggest folly of your argument is that you judging an entire race based on the actions of few. My cousin got 2 degrees and no record and he was abused by police just 2 years ago. I was a hate crime and he won his day in court. How dare you insinuate that somehow the police are justified for targeting innocent people based on their race? Just look at the police statistics in Arizona and the amount of energy enforced towards targeting black simply because their black vs white people. How dare you sit there an deem an entire race guilty or "having it coming" simply because a few people promote violence in their music. The sad part is you werent trolling you were dead serious and thinking you were kicking knowledge when really all you did was reveal the coon in you.