June 5, 2008 - Issue 279
Why Reverend Edward Pinkney is so Important to Black America
Keeping it Real
By Larry Pinkney
lackCommentator.com Editorial Board

It has been said that nothing worth having comes easy. The ongoing struggle of Black Americans in this nation for real vs. fake democracy and justice attests to this fact. Indeed, the struggle for economic, judicial, political, and social justice and justice has intensified in the 21st Century. The year of 2008, is a year of hypocrisies and increasing injustices for oppressed Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples in the United States of America.

Nevertheless, we still have our unabashed warriors. One such warrior is the Reverend Edward Pinkney (no relation) of Benton Harbor, Michigan. The words of the courageous former Congresswoman and current U.S. Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney in her June 2, 2008, communiqué are exactly correct. She wrote regarding Reverend Pinkney: “I’ve met some wonderful folks along this journey…rallied with Reverend Pinkney of Benton Harbor who is in jail because he fights to protect that city from the greedy clutches of gentrifiers bent on stealing the people’s land.” Indeed.

On December 14, 2007, Reverend Pinkney was wrongfully jailed for having dared to exercise his human right to free speech when he explicitly, boldly, and correctly referred to Judge Alfred Butzbaugh as a “racist and corrupt Judge.” Reverend Pinkney had already been falsely prosecuted in retaliation for having dared to have led a successful effort to unseat one of the City of Benton Harbor’s influential power brokers who supported the selling out of the economic and land rights of the majority Black residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Yet, this was not enough for the racist white power structure and their negrodian surrogates. No. Pinkney had to be discredited and silenced! Reverend Pinkney had “led the fight against official corruption and corporate greed in his impoverished and predominantly Black community of Benton Harbor, Michigan.” This was, and continues to be, all about “the giveaway of Benton Harbor’s prime waterfront property to Whirlpool Corporation.” The majority of Black and other poor people in Benton Harbor, be damned, or so the story goes and has gone thus far.

The nefarious business dealings of Judge Alfred Butzbaugh have been repeatedly exposed by the BANCO blog from Michigan. Moreover, the conflict of interests, coupled with white racism, equals the U.S. in the 21st Century, notwithstanding the (so-called people-of-color) collaborators with the U.S. Empire in this nation.

This is absolutely unacceptable.

Why does Reverend Pinkney matter? Why does any of this matter? It matters because it demonstrates the wanton disregard of this nation for human rights and justice. It matters because even as a certain negrodian surrogate seeks to head the U.S. Empire, the vast majority of Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White peoples of conscience and consciousness are having to struggle against sustained efforts to utterly eliminate them / us. It matters because we are about the building of a NEW PERSON. It matters because Reverend Pinkney’s struggle is our struggle. [Reference: Reverend Pinkney Arrested For Exercising Free Speech, BlackCommentator.com, Issue #258.]

Every single day that Reverend Edward Pinkney languishes in jail is a scourge upon each and every one of us. Where is U.S. Congressman John Conyers of the State of Michigan? Reverend is after all in Michigan. Oh yes, and where is Senator “Respect the Judge” (re the Sean Bell case) Barack Obama? Finally, where is the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus? The answer is that these people and entities are nowhere. They are playing opportunistic and crass political games with the lives of the majority of our peoples, and most importantly with the lives of our freedom fighters.

Time to tell the collaborators to stop pimping the people.

Virtually every form of physical and/or emotional harassment is and continues to be utilized by the state and jail authorities against Reverend Pinkney in an effort to break his spirit. Yet, this is not merely the spirit of Reverend Pinkney that is being sought to be broken. It is the spirit of all justice and freedom loving peoples. We will not allow this to take place. Reverend Pinkney is one of our true freedom fighters.

We must not and cannot turn a blind eye to the struggle of Reverend Edward Pinkney; for, like Assata Shakur, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abul-Jamal, and so very many others; this brother represents our very essence in opposition to the mental and physical chains of the corporate / military / and prison of this nation.

As we organize for a better and more humane world outside of the decadent and politically bankrupt Democratic and Republican Parties [i.e. the Republicrats], let us remember our brothers and sisters. Let us remember Reverend Edward Pinkney, for he represents a part of our heart and soul in this struggle.

Onward…“Forward Ever. Backwards Never!”

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker , by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book). Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.


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