Law Forum : Rev. Edward Pinkney Sentenced: Whirlpool and White Racism Imprison Another Black Leader


Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2009
by Glen Ford
An all-white criminal justice process "has snatched 66 year-old Rev. Edward Pinkney
away to what could become life in prison" for using the ballot to empower Black people
in southwest Michigan. As far as the white authorities and their corporate overlords
are concerned, that makes Pinkey a career criminal.

“In Benton Harbor, the Whirlpool Corporation was always ‘Massa’ – Rev. Pinkney’s nemesis.”

In sentencing Rev. Edward Pinkney to between two and a half and ten years in prison, the State of Michigan has shown that the Old Jim Crow and the New Jim Crow are the same **** thing – bitter fruit of the white supremacist tree. An all-white jury, presided over by a white judge, under the malevolent guidance of a white prosecutor, based on evidence gathered by a white sheriff, found the Benton Harbor, Michigan, activist guilty of five elections-related felonies. It was the same white power structure that, back in 2007, convinced another all white jury to convict Rev. Pinkney of five counts of elections fraud, resulting in five years probation. A year later, when Pinkney, in a newspaper interview, quoted the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy to the effect that those who had persecuted him would be judged by the hand of God, he was sent to prison – the first American known to have been incarcerated for quoting the Bible.

This may seem like an Old Jim Crow story, about a preacher from a small, mostly Black town who wanted only to help his people through the voting process, but is set upon by backward whites determined to maintain their monopoly on political power. And, it is true; Old Man Jim Crow is alive and well on the banks of Lake Michigan. But it is the New Jim Crow, the Mass Black Incarceration State, that has snatched 66 year-old Rev. Pinkney away to what could become life in prison. The judge and prosecutor said that Pinkney’s 12 past and present felony convictions make him a career criminal, even though each count stems from an elections process. The Old Jim Crow would have unapologetically sent Pinkney to the chain gang for being an uppity Black man, but the New Jim Crow simply piled on a bunch of felonies to put him away as a serial criminal, allowing the system to claim that race had nothing to do with it.

“The corporate rulers have Black allies.”

Read/listen here:


Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2001
A group of us went to Benton Harbor a couple of years ago to protest and support this brother. I thought they had dropped everything. Especially considering the powers that be won everything they wanted during the bankruptcy. smdh


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