Rev. Edward Pinkney speaks to guests at his home after the sentencing hearing on May 14 in Benton Harbor. Pinkney was given five years probation. (Photo: Abayomi Azikiwe).
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Oct. 28 Event Report
Report on Rev. Pinkney's Speaking Engagement in Kalamazoo
We would like to comment on the inspirational meeting on Western Michigan University's campus last Sunday. Clearly, Kalamazoo and Benton Harbor need to blend in their efforts to establish a voice from the People regarding racism, corporatism, and police brutality. Other cities, too.....
Kalamazoo resident, Mary Watson sadly spoke about the police beating of her son. He received a concussion, broken facial bones, ringing in ears, and no white can be seen in one of his eyes. He has never carried a weapon in his life. He is still in the Kzoo county jail and cannot get medical help. Mary Watson has NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND ANY HELP OF ANY KIND IN KALAMAZOO. Another speaker said people die every week in that county jail and no one knows about it.
Kalamazoo's speakers, particularly Joseph Anderson ( as well as two other excellent speakers), echoed speakers from Lansing and Detroit. The establishment, as witnessed through the police force, the city councils, and the land developers are getting away with practices that diminish the poor, and the people of color of Southwestern Michigan. Benton Harbor is the worst. Kalamazoo needs to reach out to the citizens of Benton Harbor (highest unemployment in the country) who live in a horrifying state of institutional poverty and fear.
Whirlpool is currently working on stealing BH land for a corporate develoment and a multimillion dollar golf course. As identified by the speakers, institutions are getting away with practices of racial profiling, jailings, land acquisitions while deteriorating the cities of Michigan because little ethical behavior can be seen on a federal and state level. Clearly, the passivity of Michigan residents is catching up. WE cannot rely on the judicial system. Corruption has become an acceptable precident as set by the federal government (e.g. Blackwater, etc., etc..etc.).
Why do we turn away from Benton Harbor? Why do we accept what Whirlpool has done to them? Take a drive to Benton Harbor and then look for the parks, the museums and the art centers that Fred Upton's company has so generously built in St. Joe (a quarter of mile down the road).
Drive around the East side of Kalamazoo and the North side of Kalamazoo. Drive around all of inner city Detroit. Drive around Lansing or Division St. in Grand Rapids. Then take a trip to the county jail in Benton Harbor (housed in St. Joe) or watch a court hearing in any one of the these cities. You may be video taped if you are watching in Berrien County (by the police).
Most of us can barely live with the horror of Iraq. Most of us need to barely live with the horror of Benton Harbor. Watch for civil rights fighter, Rev. Pinkney. They have him on house arrest (5 YEARS) for watching over the racial profiling in Benton Harbor and for speaking about the racisim of Whirlpool. They locked him up, then again...... he has black skin.
The Speakers last Sunday made significant connections between our federal and local policies and the resulting behaviors/acts of inhumane treatment of black people. If we care about the humanity abroad, we also must care about the humanity at home.
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