The New Jim Crow Author, MICHELLE ALEXANDER APPLAUDS THE WORK OF GRAY-HAIRED WITNESSES
P r e s s R e l e a s e
B.J. Janice Peak-Graham / Marpessa Kupendua
1- 866-968-1188, Ext. 2
WASHINGTON, June 9/Gray-Haired Witnesses for Justice News – Author and legal scholar, Michelle Alexander, has taken time from her current national book tour to strongly endorse the June 21, 2010 Gray-Haired Witnesses Fast for Justice in DC and their mission in a statement to their web editor and founding member, Marpessa Kupendua. In her new book this brave and insightful legal scholar and civil rights advocate argues that although Jim Crow laws have been eliminated, the racial caste system it set up was not eradicated. It’s simply been redesigned, and now racial control functions through the criminal justice system. In her support of the Gray-haired Witnesses for Justice movement, Ms. Alexander wrote:
"With extraordinary vision and courage, and in the tradition of Ida B. Wells and countless other women who have stood for justice in the face of severe racial oppression, the Gray Haired Witnesses for Justice are calling attention to the harm caused by America's latest caste system: mass incarceration. Women of color are the fastest growing group of the prison population today and the Gray Haired Witnesses for Justice are shining a bright light on the racial bias and cruelty of our criminal justice system. All Americans who care about justice should join them in their campaign to free the Scott sisters, who have been sentenced to die in prison for an extremely minor, non-violent offense. “
In a February, 2010 article which appeared in the Huffington Post, she wrote, “ The clock has been turned back on racial progress in America, though scarcely anyone seems to notice. All eyes are fixed on people like Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey who have defied the odds and achieved great power, wealth and fame.”
In referencing the focus of the Gray-Haired Witnesses on the case of the Scott Sisters, she had this to say, “The double life sentences imposed on the Scott sisters for an alleged robbery in Mississippi netting little more than $11 is a glaring example of a criminal justice system that is no longer much concerned with justice. No one was hurt or injured, and these women have no prior offenses. No other Western democracy subjects its own people to such draconian punishment for minor crimes. And no other country in the world incarcerates such a large percentage of its racial and ethnic minorities. This is Jim Crow justice, alive and well today. I urge all those of conscience to support the Scott sisters and the thousands of other prisoners who find themselves in similar shoes. Sadly, the Scott sisters are not alone. The Gray Haired Witnesses for Justice are standing up for all those suffering needlessly behind bars and we must join them. If we fail to act, history will judge us harshly."
Michelle Alexander is the author of "The New Jim Crow - Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness". Her book is taking the nation by storm, especially by major news analysts and commentators in examining issues of race bearing upon the era of the Obama administration. Ms. Alexander is a rising legal star who presents a bold and innovative argument that mass incarceration amounts to a devastating system of racial control.
On June 21, 2010, the Gray-Haired Witnesses will commence a Fast at the Department of Justice in a 10:00 a.m. formal appeal to Eric Holder, rejoin at the White House at Noon with a press conference and formal appeal to President Obama, and then continue at Lafayette Square Park from 1PM until 9PM for the duration of the fast with speakers, live performances and artists. They are calling on all people of good will to join them on that day and demand justice for the Scott Sisters and an end to the oversentencing, degradation and dehumanization of Black women in this system and nation as a whole.
Michelle Alexander is the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (The New Press, 2010). The former director of the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU in Northern California, she also served as a law clerk to Justice Harry Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court. Currently, she holds a joint appointment with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.
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SUPPORT THE GRAY-HAIRED WITNESSES FAST FOR JUSTICE!
JUNE 21, 2010 -- WASHINGTON, DC
10 AM - DEPT. OF JUSTICE
12 NOON - WHITE HOUSE PRESS CONFERENCE
1PM-9PM - LAFAYETTE SQUARE PARK
We need your support in bringing national attention to the case of the Scott Sisters and all other women who have been incarcerated wrongly and egregiously over-sentenced, punishing and destroying our families and children, please plan to participate!
PARKING FOR CARS/BUSES:
Thanks so much to Julie Turner for all of her help in organizing support in solidarity with the Gray-Haired Witnesses!
The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church has confirmed the Radcliffe Room for press conference/rally attendees on Monday, June 21, 2010 to rest, use the bathroom and get situated. The times we may use the room are from 8:30a until 9:45 and 11:45a until 1:00. The Church will close at 3 on Monday, but this will give everyone enough time to sort things out. The church is at 1313 New York Ave, NW—2 blocks from the White House and Lafayette Square Park.
Directions to Dept. of Justice from the New York Ave. Presbyterian Church: Come out of the building at 1313 New York Avenue, NW and turn left, cross the street at corner of the church,---you will be in front of the Inter American Bank—which is now H St, NW. Stay on H, cross at 13th, and count the numbers down to 9th—turn right on 9th, now count down the letters until you reach Pennsylvania Ave., NW –the address is 950 Pennsylvania. It’s about 10 city blocks.
There is a public parking lot located 4 blocks from the church and 4 blocks from the Department of Justice. It’s the best deal in town—most other parking is in garages that will not fit a bus. This is the contact information: City Center Parking operated by U Street Parking - 900 9th St., NW—the entrance is on 9th St, which is one way. Cars can park all day for $20 and buses can park all day for $35. Come down H St, NW to 10th, turn right on 10th go up 1 block, turn right, and then right again on 9th—the entrance is mid block on the right. Buses park to the far right of the lot. The telephone number is 202 265-0010.
The California Coalition for Women Prisoners expresses our strong solidarity with the courageous fast by the Gray-Haired Witnesses for Justice to demand freedom for the Scott Sisters and an inspection of the prison where Jamie Scott is being held. In California, we witness similar inhuman conditions for women in prison on a daily basis, and we condemn the systemic racism and sexism which has caused the population of women in prison to triple in the past twenty-five years. Jamie and Gladys are serving outrageous life sentences which in Jamie’s case could well turn into a death sentence if the criminal health care conditions she is enduring aren’t quickly improved. We deeply appreciate your determination to stand up and expose the grave injustice being perpetrated against the Scott sisters and the tens of thousands of other sisters who are wrongly incarcerated across the United States. -- Diana Block, Founding Member
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children endorses the June 21, 2010 Gray-Haired Witnesses Fast for Justice in DC and your mission to free the Scott sisters. LSPC is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, California, with a 32 year history of advocating for the rights of prisoners, formerly incarcerated persons, and their families. We know that the unique situation of incarcerated women is often overlooked. Prison medical care is notoriously inadequate. Sentences are too long. Justice is often not served in our criminal courts. We support your efforts to free the Scott sisters and call on the Obama administration to help justice be served here. -- Carol Strickman, Staff Attorney
Thank you Bro. Rudolph Lewis of ChickenBones for sharing this critical information on your illustrious pages: Free* Scott Sisters
Thank you also to Rev. Kenneth Glasgow and T.O.P.S. (THE ORDINARY PEOPLE SOCIETY) for writing and sending out a press release in support of this effort. Website: www. tops_splash.gif
ENDORSEMENT LIST IN FORMATION (CLOSES JUNE 15!)
Action Committee for Women in Prison
Agnes Johnson, The 1212 Community in the Bronx
Ahmad Abdulibad, Minister~General, Sons Of Afrika
Bonnie Kerness, AFSC*
Brenda Scott Lowery
Bro. Moorbey, Chairman, Black Unity Movement
Bro. Sauti & Sis. Shiriki, KCBLR.ORG Radio
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Charles E. Campbell, Allen Hydro Energy Corporation (AHEC)
Dick Gregory - Human Rights Activist
Dominique Reed, HRC-Fed Up!
Donna Wallach, Justice for Palestinians
Earl Smith, Executive Director, Order of Kush International
Eddie Griffin (BASG)
Fayemi Shakur, Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign
Florence L. Tate
Harambee Radio and Television Network
Helen Raines Staley, Albany NY
Int'l Concerned Family/Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal
Jacqui C. Williams
Julie Ann Turner
Kermit Eady, Eady Associates
Leonna A. Brandao, S.W.III, New Vision Org., Inc.
Malaika H. Kambon, People's Eye Photography
Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View Newspaper
mesha Monge-Irizarry, Director, Education Not Incarceration, SF Chapter,
Idriss Stelley Foundation, + SF MOOC City Commissioner*
Michael Johnson/Black Student Union (Comm. College of Balt. County/Essex)
Michelle Alexander, Author, "The New Jim Crow - Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness"
Mississippi Prison Watch
Monica Moorehead, Women's Fightback Network, NYC
Nancy Lockhart, M.J., Legal Analyst
Nathan Hare, Black Think Tank
Nkechi Taifa, Esq. - President, Legacy Justice Institute
People's Organization for Progress
Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, T.O.P.S.
Rev. Majadi Baruti, Udja Temple Ministries
Sam Jordan - Advocate for Justice and Prison Abolition
Senghor Jawara Baye, President General UNIA-ACL
Sistah Q, Author of Maintaining Our Temples
The African American Freedom & Reconstruction League
The MOVE Organization
(* For ID purposes only)
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT, THERE IS SOMETHING THAT EVERYONE
CAN DO, NO ACTION IS TOO SMALL!
You can do this by some or all of the following:
- ATTEND THE JUNE 21ST PRESS CONFERENCE AND RALLY AND BRING OTHERS! We need your physical support!
- Post our press release and flyer to your FB and other social networking sites, forward it to your email colleagues and forward it to local and national print, radio and tv media.
Press release: grayhairpr -- Flyer: New Flyer
- Write a blog, article or commentary on our mission and call, post it and pass it on for posting on our website.
- Write and publish an article on the case of the Scott Sisters and the issue of Black incarceration. (Case Summary on the Scott Sisters is at FREE THE SCOTT SISTERS!: Case Summary)
- Volunteer to help us prepare for the day, particularly if you live in the DC, Balt., VA area, we need you however you are able!
- Please donate yourself on that day with your conscious and respectful entertainment performance!
-- SOUND SYSTEM WITH GENERATOR AND RISER FOR USAGE AT LAFAYETTE SQUARE PARK FROM 12 NOON UNTIL 8:30 PM!
-- HELP TO SPONSOR THE BUS FROM MISSISSIPPI WHICH IS VERY MUCH NEEDED TO BRING MRS. RASCO, FAMILY AND MS SUPPORTERS TO DC AND IS VERY EXPENSIVE!
Please mail an M.O. for whatever you can spare (no amount is too small!) ASAP made out to Donnie Finley and mail to:
Donnie Finley c/o Gloria's Kitchen, 2855 Bailey Ave., Jackson, MS 39206. If you need more info please phone Donnie at: 601-454-6507. Thank you in advance for your kind support!
CONTACT US TODAY AND GET INVOLVED!
Contact us at email@example.com, 1- 866-968-1188, Ext. 2, and please link to/follow us at GRAY-HAIRED WITNESSES and support!