Update on Rev. Pinkney

A while back I wrote a post about the racism and injustice in Benton Harbor, MI. And the attacks on Rev. Edward Pinkney. Rev. Pinkney has been an outspoken leader in this community, and has been targeted becuase of this. Recently,  his probation was revoked for quoting Deuteronomy 28 in a newspaper article. The Rev. Pinkney spent Christmas and welcomed the new year from inside a jail cell.

I have wanted to write more about this, but haven’t found the words, and today I am finding myself all “talkative” but also short on time.   So here is the news as taken directly from the BANCO website: http://bhbanco.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Berrien County “justice”

Rev. Pinkney is sleeping on a small mattress on a cement floor in a 14×12 cell with 6 other men.

There is no hot water in the jail.

Mrs. Pinkney went to the jail on two occasions recently and gave money to the jailers for Rev. P.’s account. Both times the money was taken away from Rev. P. This is now considered money stolen by the jail.

Berrien county jail phone #: 269-983-7111 x7231

Please make as much noise as you can wherever you can about the continuing harassment of this innocent man. This is right up there with the most obvious cases of people imprisoned for political reasons. Meanwhile, Benton Harbor has lost it’s major voice for justice.

In jail, Rev. Pinkney was issued a search warrant for his computer last Friday, Dec. 28.
However, his computer was confiscated by the county sheriff without a warrant 2 weeks earlier on Dec. 14.

6 responses to “Update on Rev. Pinkney

  1. “Judge Butzbaugh, it shall come to pass; if thou continue not to hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God to observe to do all that is right; which I command thee this day, that all these Curses shall come upon you and your family, curses shalt be in the City of St. Joseph and Cursed shalt thou be in the field, cursed shall come upon you and your family and over take thee; cursed shall be the fruit of thy body. The Lord shall smite thee with consumption and with a fever and with an inflammation and with extreme burning. They the demons shall Pursue thee until thou persist.”

    Judge Butzbaugh ruled that Pickney’s curse is not protected as first amendment speech and violates the terms of his probation which specifically prohibits inflamatory remarks.

    What do you think?

    I think this poor guy needs an inpatient stay in a psych unit. Not jail.

  2. Jim, You asked, what do I think? Well…I think Rev. Pinkney is a longtime community leader and outspoken opponent of corporate oppression of the poor. The conviction that lead to his being on probation in the first place was racially motivated and full of constitutional irregularities. I think the targeting of Rev. Pinkney says as much about the racism of society as it does about him. And I think it is the responsibility of each of us to stand in solidarity with him and the work he has been doing.

  3. Interesting. I would “stand in solidarity” or what have you, (actually what does that entail?) but, I wish there were some way to promote community leaders who know to avoid “cursed shall be the fruit of thy body” type talk.

    It’s rude. It’s discriminatory against non-Christians. It’s violent. It sounds crazy and it does not represent.

  4. Jim – Yep, I am not so very comfortable with Rev. Pinkney’s choice of passages. I don’t know, maybe it’s the pacifist in me reacting to the violence it brings to my mind. Maybe it’s because I am not Christian. Maybe it is just that it sounds too similar to the words that many “right wing Christian extreamists” use.

    Maybe I just don’t “get it.”

    Regardless it hardly seems to merit jail! And because I know Rev. Pinkney’s actons have consistantly been to stand up for those who are oppressed and/or disempowered, and under-valued by this society I stand by him. And I honestly do not believe that it would even be an issue if it weren’t for the work he has done to confrot racism, and classism and challenge those with money and power.

    So, I’ll keep trying to learn more about the situation, keep tellin’ others what I know – and see what other support might be asked for down the line.

  5. Do you think there’s any chance at all that he is guilty of election fraud?

  6. Jim – anything is possible… I’d be hesitant to say “no chance at all” about much of anything. That said, I really really think it is most unlikely. It would be so out of sync with his long time work and committments. Plus – framing and scapegoating him is so in sync with what has been going on in that community…

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