July 10, 2008 - Issue 285
Rev. Pinkney, Activist, Sent to Prison!
Class Warfare in the U.S. of Amerikkka!
Represent Our Resistance
By Dr. Lenore J. Daniels, PhD
lackCommentator.com Editorial Board

America is false to the past, to the present, and solemnly binds itself to be false to the future.

-Frederick Douglas

For the black man with the attaché case, or for the black boy on the needle, it has always been the intention of the Republic to promulgate and guarantee his dependence on this Republic.

-James Baldwin

...numb silent/rider
bent to poverty/my blackness covers me like the
american flag over the coffin of some hero killed in action
unlike him i have remained unrecognized, unrewarded
eyes cloaked in the shroud of hopelessness
search advancing avenues for a noisy haven
billboards press against my face
reminders of what I can’t afford to buy...

-Wanda Coleman, “Today I Am a Homicide in the North of the City”

We are experiencing the deterioration of the human spirit here in America.

Our children are being taught by corporate media to be successful consumers, indulging their desires to want more and more goods, at all cost, thereby empowering the corporations themselves - not the children. Our children, in turn, wear the symbols of corporate power. Children watch teachers and parents scrabbling to maintain the symbols that identify them as consumer conscious citizens - distinctly different from those “less fortunate” or who opt out of the consumer circus.

And surely, educational institutions in America have done their part to numb the minds of these children, teachers, and parents with repetitive chants containing trite facts of sheer irrelevance while tests scores in basic and critical thinking skills sink to an all-time low.

Activism today is flaunting fashionable clothes, cars, homes, shoes, art, furniture, tans, hair styles, and electronic gadgets.

The collective American spirit is consumerism. The human spirit is dying - if not dead. But the spirit of the corporate world grows stronger and stronger everyday as it feeds of the dead human spirit in America.

Americans shake their heads at news or video revealing more and more about the conduct of its military involved with torturing other human beings. But off to work they march because work enables them to go shopping, to purchase more to maintain the charade of being more than those they pass on the streets. And the spirit of the corporate world grows stronger and stronger everyday, thanks to an absence of the human spirit in this America.

More will watch the video featuring the now deceased woman, Esmin Green, who waited 24 hours for a hospital in a mental care unit. The Black woman died. She died while people, fellow patients, staffers, even a nurse looked on before moving away. She died. Fell to her knees and no one cared.

Colored folks passed Ms. Green too!

Unfortunately for Ms. Green, she didn’t have anything anyone wanted, and the human spirit, the spirit that would have seen she had a room long before she died - well that had long been bought. In the era of the corporate spirit, Ms. Green was without value.

Not just children, but grown adults are quick learners in this devaluation of the human spirit. They have been taught to practice on their own spirits and then expand the “goodwill” of the corporate spirit to others. That’s exactly what Ms. Green experienced - the “goodwill” of the corporate spirit.

Consumers are corporate world’s biggest partner. Politicians, law enforcement, and judges are the other collective partner in the equation, empowering the corporate world with deregulation, tax breaks, and the necessary kick-backs here and there. Take the story you haven’t heard narrated by Benton Harbor, Michigan’s judiciary system.

Rev. Edward Pinkney, minister, activist, organizer, has “too much influence.”

Rev. Pinkney “threatened” the judiciary with a quote from the Bible! Rev. Pinkney cited a verse from Deuteronomy. At the sentencing, Judge Dennis Wiley listened to another minister and theologian scholar explained the meaning of the quote! The minister and scholar stated that the meaning of the passage was “‘that God would bring down either blessings or curses upon a person based upon their actions’” (Pat Foster, BANCO).

Thursday, June 26, 2008, Rev. Pinkney found himself sentenced to three to ten years in prison for “‘threatening’ the judiciary,” according to Pat Foster’s report (BANCO). He was immediately transferred (render?) to Charles E. Egeler Reception and Guidance Center in Jackson, Michigan!

Mrs. Pinkney told me by phone that she is not allowed to see her husband for thirty days! She, still thinking there’s a human spirit somewhere in America, thought her husband was coming home. “We were prepared for him to come home,” she told me.

But the deciders have other plans for the human rights fighter.

That “Berrien County doesn’t practice law,” as Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney told me on the phone, is an understatement. But then it’s not about practicing law and serving justice. It’s all about the corporate spirit!

Rev. Pinkney didn’t rise up and say to the corporate world in Benton Harbor - halleluiah, I am with you!

You may recall that Rev. Pinkney organized people to protest the privatization of Benton Harbor, a depressed area, where Blacks have suffered lay offs from the auto industry, by Whirlpool Corporation. For Whirlpool executives, politicians, judges, and financial brokers, tackling unemployment and poverty in the predominately Black Benton Harbor meant removing the dispensable people! Did I mention that Benton Harbor has nice beachfront property?

The one billion dollar Harbor Shores project includes a Jack Nicholas Signature golf course, a multimillion dollar resort, condominiums, and control of the water treatment plant.

“When judges abuse their authority, we are all victims,” Mrs. Pinkney told the San Francisco Bay View.

But some “victims” of this ethnic cleanings have been quick to collaborate for personal gain. Dorothy Pinkney, wife of Rev. Pinkney told the San Francisco Bay View (May 21, 2008) that “the project does not include Blacks.” But it does. It includes Blacks covered in imperialist green!

Mrs. Pinkney told me that the Black city officials are “deceiving the people.” Well, yes. They have long forfeited their human spirit for that of the corporate spirit. Like their associate vultures, they imitate the practice of preying on the people. They prey on the “dead” like them with heads bowed in reverence to the gods of consumerism. For these Negro vultures, their first test of loyalty is to lie to the poor and Black about “face lifts,” “urban renewal,” and “a revitalizing project,” - to improve conditions for Blacks in Benton Harbor! Well, yes. It will improve conditions for wealthy Blacks in on the deal! We live now in an era where Blacks collaborate for a piece of the American Pie, American Dream - for imperialist green! For a salary and a position in the “big” house, on a block near Master, they will throw their own people to the wolves.

Will the unemployed Black really benefit from this land-grab? Will they practice a hole-in-one at the Jack Nicholas Signature golf course or move into a condominium on the lakefront? Or do the deciders think employment for Blacks in Benton Harbor means work as a caddy or as a maid at the resort? This, too, we know, follows a familiar pattern: the “good life” for the moneyed at the expense of poor and working class by dividing the “elite” people of color from their own. Pat Foster reports that the hundreds of jobs the Harbor Shores project highlighted for citizens of Benton Harbor by Gov. Granholm “has now narrowed down to nine seasonal jobs that fall in the minimum wage category.”

In the meantime, those Rev. Pinkney dared to represent are in hiding, fearful of retaliation from the deciders if they speak up on behalf of the Reverend.

The high priced condo will only benefit the rich by increasing their property values (this includes U.S. Representative Fred Upton, Whirlpool CEO Jeff Fettig, and Judge Butzbaugh) while the poor will be forced out by high taxes and increased expectations on upkeep of their property - expectations that can lead to condemned property and loss of homes (Foster, June 13, 2008, BANCO).

The fear of losing home and job makes it possible for the corporate spirit to continue to gather strength and grow by leaps and bounds? It feeds on the fear and the apathy of the victims. It makes them dead to their own potential to resist. The corporate spirit maintains that ignorance of collective self- knowledge by insisting to an already overwhelmed population that knowing who has bought what consumer good and who has “made it big” is important - more important than life itself!

Make no mistake - this is class warfare with a racial twist! The operation of the corporate spirit maintains the supremacy of white capitalists. It’s improved and better - now operating in the open with collaborating victims! It’s all about what’s best for business. The punishment of authentic community leadership is good for business!

This travesty against the efforts of the human spirit to resist is conducted is condoned by the same government that participated in slavery and the genocide of Native Americans. It’s the same government now ridding the world of “terrorists.” The terrorist ringleaders connive to destroy and kill the human spirit right there in the White House!

“Election fraud” is not the reason for Rev. Pinkney’s imprisonment. That narrative made it possible to inactivate him, starting with the courts and judges while government representatives went about the business of making deals with the corporate land-grabbers. Two of the four people used to testify against Rev. Pinkney said they were “pressured by the prosecution” (Foster, BANCO). Rev. Pinkney also underwent a lie detector test, and he passed “with flying colors” (Foster, BANCO). No, this travesty of justice has everything to do with assuring the silence and inactivity of a community activist! It has everything to do with stamping out resistance to the corruption of the ruling class.

Go along with this Obama charade and expect more of this shrewd corporate spirit isolating, imprisoning, and killing of the human spirit. They will walk by it and kick it, too, to make sure its dead - and not give a damn.

While Mrs. Pinkney is “trying to stay focused and strong” for Rev. Pinkney, our task must be to disrupt the silence! To insist that this practice of tormenting an activist, a dissenter, must be condemned - not the activist! This is a crime that goes unpunished. Everyday Rev. Pinkney isn’t free, we, the Left, participate in his confinement.

Write a letter on behalf of Rev. Pinkney (ID: 294671) to Charles E. Egeler Reception and Guidance Center, 3855 Cooper Street, Jackson, Michigan 49201-7517.

Organize and act now to free Rev. Pinkney!

BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member, Lenore Jean Daniels, PhD, has been a writer, for over thirty years of commentary, resistance criticism and cultural theory, and short stories with a Marxist sensibility to the impact of cultural narrative violence and its antithesis, resistance narratives. With entrenched dedication to justice and equality, she has served as a coordinator of student and community resistance projects that encourage the Black Feminist idea of an equalitarian community and facilitator of student-teacher communities behind the walls of academia for the last twenty years. Dr. Daniels holds a PhD in Modern American Literatures, with a specialty in Cultural Theory (race, gender, class narratives) from Loyola University, Chicago. Click here to contact Dr. Daniels.


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