Monday, December 10, 2007

Benton Harbor struggle update

ACTION ALERT: Please mark your calendars and stand with Rev. Pinkney in his heroic struggle against racism and oppression in Benton Harbor - July 19, 2008: Mass Demonstration in support of justice for the earth and it's people.

UPDATE: Pinkney is still on House Arrest wearing an electronic tether. Despite lack of evidence or credible witnesses for the prosecution, on March 21, 2007 an all-white jury found Rev. Pinkney guilty of election fraud. One of the jurors lied and stated that Rev. Pinkney's attorney was in the parking lot making a drug deal. She was not removed. On May 14, 2007 six motions for retrial were put forward. On August 24, 2007 all were denied. The reason? Rev. Pinkney failed to object on ALL the motions--corruption just keeps rollin'.

On Nov. 21, 2007 Pinkney filed in the State Appeal Court for a new trial demanding justice. Rev. Pinkney is bankrupt and funds are urgently needed. He must reimburse Berrien County for the first transcript of $2800., court costs of $6,405.00, probation fee of $4,000., and transcript fee of $5,000.

Fascism is Rule by Corporation

As this truism becomes more and more applicable to our nation we see the silent drama of this reshaping of governing institutions to suit corporate power being played out in our own small communities, townships and moderate sized cities all across the country.
Nowhere is the gut wrenching human cost of these practices more palpable than in Benton Harbor, a once thriving community of African American businesses and vibrant neighborhoods. Whirlpool, the corporate giant whose headquarters are located here, is relentlessly engaged in grinding the residents here into the dirt with no regard to their legal rights, the historical integrity of the community, or for modern ethics of any sort.
This gigantic corporation has, through blatantly fraudulent means, placed their pawns into key positions to ensure procurement of the public land held in trust for the Benton Harbor citizens. They plan to use this land to establish exclusive private parks, fenced golf courses and gated compounds for their highly paid executives and management personnel.
After devouring all the valuable park and lakefront realty here for a pittance of their true value, Whirlpool then plans to "give back to the community" in the form of the most menial and hopeless employment opportunities--janitorial and landscape maintenance. This "new jobs success story" will then allow Whirlpool to take the poverty stricken state of Michigan's tax breaks as a reward for having "created" the new jobs. The tax payers in Michigan will thus supply corporate welfare to an entity that is destroying their communities, usurping their treasured public lands and parks, and racially oppressing the people in them.
Racism, fascism and corporate greed have traditionally gone hand in hand worldwide.
Nowhere is this more evident than here in our very own state of Michigan in Berrien County.
Let the horrifying statistics speak for themselves:

Race breakdown
Benton Harbor 94% black
St. Joseph 99% white

Average income
Benton Harbor $8,000
St. Joseph $65,000

Unemployment rate
Benton Harbor 70%
St. Joseph 3%

These two communities are adjacent to opposite sides of the same river; the stark numbers tell a story and the story includes the grinding poverty, the systematic dehumanization most often associated with the world's most notorious fascist dictatorships such as Nazi Germany, with its walled compounds, economic enslavement and ultimately -- death camps.
How is this happening here in our United States, the onetime beacon of freedom and liberty to a weary world?

Ask Rev. Pinkney this question -- a man who has waged a David and Goliath struggle against the giant Whirlpool for years here in Benton Harbor--and you will hear a tale of-out-of-control law officers and the senseless killing of a young black man, ensuing riots and the beginning of an intense monitoring of courtroom proceedings at the Berrien County Courthouse. Pinkney and his loyal band, BANCO among them, also picketed the local papers (including The Herald Palladium owned by a wealthy Paxton, KY family) demanding that they supply objective news reporting and coverage of those involved in these racist and corrupt proceedings.
BANCO and Pinkney were successful in obtaining the recall of a corrupt city commissioner named Glen Yarbrough who was in the pay of Whirlpool. This recall was overturned by the power elite and they attempted retribution against Pinkney in the form of charges of election fraud and vote tampering, saying that Pinkney paid for votes and had absentee ballots in his pocket, both of which charges were completely unfounded.
The first trial, with a jury which included two blacks, resulted in a hung jury. A new trial was ordered and the residents of Benton Harbor came out in support of Pinkney both inside the courthouse and in the surrounding parking area.
The residents of Benton Harbor are united in their opposition to the usurpation of their community by Whirlpool and they are demanding a full investigation into this affair by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

By attacking and criminalizing Rev. Pinkney--who has done nothing but demand fair court proceedings and truthful news coverage for his community--the power elite hope to stop any further initiatives among the oppressed community to stand up to racism, economic exploitation and the passing of public land and funds into corporate hands.
We can't wait for others to defend us. Corporate fascism and racism MUST STOP. Will our communities and loved ones be the next in line for corporate take over?
Your support is urgently needed both in Rev. Pinkney's heroic struggle for justice and fair courtroom proceedings and the ongoing battle to stop the corporate takeover of public land and community assets.
We must all demand the resignation of corrupt Judge Alfred Butzbaugh and his dishonest prosecutor Gerald Vigansky.

All individuals and organizations are urged to immediately sign up, write letters, etc., in favor of clemency. We already have hundreds and hundreds of letters that we obtained for sentencing. We need updated letters. Benton Harbor and Pinkney need many letters (5000 would be fantastic) sent to:

Hugh Davis Constitutional litigation
450 West Fort St.
Detroit, MI 48226

Gov. Granholm has the ability to pardon Pinkney or commute his sentence.

Governor Jennifer Granholm
P. O. BOX 30013
517-335-7858 (correct)

to email the gov:
(click Contact Gov., then click Share Your Opinion)

Legal Fee Donations (non-profit so it's tax-deductible):
1940 Union St.
Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Herald Palladium Newspaper (letters to the editor)
P.O. Box 128
St. Joseph, Michigan 49085

Whirlpool Corp. (World Headquarters and N. America Region)
2000 N. M-63
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022-2692

Support Rev. Pinkney and Sign Petition:

Boycott Whirlpool and it's subsidiaries: Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Gladiator, GarageWorks, Inglis, Estate, Roper, Magic Chef, Acros, Supermatic. ABROAD - Bauknecht, Brastemp, Consul, Eslabon de Lujo.

Buy NON-Whirlpool brands! - Frigidaire, General Electric, LG, Samsung, Viking, Subzero, Dacor, some Kenmore, etc.


Armin said...

Rev. Pinkney knows he has my support. Who am I? I'm a white American citizen from Berrien County. Why does a white guy post positive comments on BANCO? Because I recognize the existence of a distinctive black culture that must be preserved in all its aspects and not just those parts that are commercially profitable.

Let's move to the reasons for posting tonight. The topic concerns racism. It also includes an economic project, paid for in large respects by taxpayers. Harbor Shores, of course, is what I'm referring to.

The topic of racism is multiple when it comes to HS, but here we shall focus on a specific form of racist practice. This form of racism has two poles. One pole of power is collectivizing, the other, individualizing.

It must be noted that these two poles are not racially operative in HS per say; rather, the HS project is performatively, or functionally racial. That is to say, in practice, HS's operational method is racist even though the techniques of power are racially non-differentiating.

So what are these collective and individualizing modes of power that exert an inherently racist pressure? On the collectivizing side, it is the state power exerted over a predominately black population. The individualizing pole refers to procedures of selection such as those outlined in the "Family Literacy Center" part of the "Community Benefits" package.

On the collective side, HS takes BH land and places in the hands of predominately white capitalists. From example, the HS plan effectively takes water front land owned by BH and gives it to over to HS control – Jean Klock Park. (If you examine the distribution of wealth between races and the racial composition of golfers this cannot be denied).

Why is this operation racist? Because the land being acquired is being done so by white developers at taxpayer’s expense. As such the HS project removes Lake MI water front land from the control of black citizens (BH residents) and transfers the control to Jack Nickalous et al. And that et. al does not include blacks for any effective purpose. It's a state enabled racist operation: taxpayers are facilitating the transfer to land from blacks to whites, and comprises the pole collective power.

(I know you'll object HC, but if the land transfer is functionally defined, the effect is to transfer land from people with dark skin to people with light skin).

From the point of view of individualizing power, HS plan for "life long learning" includes a selective process designed to assure that the selected participants act in accordance to "middle class" modes of behavior. Individuals that exhibit the possibility for success, as defined by HS, will be assigned a life coach. Such participants are labeled "Islands" according to HS. All others are, in practice, relegated to a category that requires brain-death. This process of sorting individuals is what I mean by individualizing power. It is a power differentially exerted on individuals depending on their position in the selection process.

These techniques of individualizing power, just as those of collectivizing power, are paid for by taxpayers.

To justify my claim that these poles of power of not racist per say, I direct your attention to the Federal, State, and County involvement into these programs. If you think BH is the first "community transformation" plan on the agenda, I ask you to reconsider in light of recent evidence. For example, the mission of HS is asserted: "where all citizens are prepared and contributing to our interdependent world class communities."

The use of the word 'class' here should be taken seriously.

Should we, as taxpayers, facilitate the establishment of "world class communities?" You'll have to decide for yourself. I know I'll be fighting for classless society (see


WilliamX said...

Herald Palladium Newspaper(letters to the editor)? Have you losted
your mind?, and stop writing information that you know NOTHING about.

It now costs a fee to publish any
thing on the Herald-Palladium's
letter to the editor webpage.
I do not think that the racist
paper should charge a fee, and if one should send a leeter by regular
mail it won't be published.

Especially, if a letter is against
anything that the paper support,
but why are you a Rev Pinkney's
supporter, and kissing the Herald
Pallidium's butt?

Anonymous said...

Here we go with another request for MORE AND MORE money for Mr. Pickney.

Rather than waste time with more self-defeating myths about Harbor Shores or Whirlpool or the latest conspiracy theory, people here need to get turned on to:

These are real, hardworking residents of BH who embrace the opportunity to bring jobs to the area. Let's keep it real.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's do keep it real.

It's real that the Berrien County courthouse has the highest juvenile, innocent, and false convictions in the state. And has more overall convictions that any county in the state. It is the most corrupt courthouse in the state.

There will be no jobs worth having and Whirlpool doesn't care about BH residents. Less than 1% work at WP.

Citzens for Progressive Change is designed to keep residents in the dark and they have failed so far. Most know that CPC is a front for WP, Cornerstone, Gov. G., Fred Upton, etc.

Don't forget that WP Vice Pres. Jeff Noel recently told U. of Mich. Business students that if you need to get land and resources from a community, just give them a few things (like the Habitat houses).
Afterwards, they'll give you whatever you want. Can we say giant land grab and destruction of environment/life of people?

It's the age old story of the ruling class elite trampling over everyone else.

We "work around" the masters, when we should be boycotting WP, recalling the Gov. and Upton, having the FBI investigate Cornerstone Alliance, and exposing every move they make. Courthouse included. (corrupt courthouse and cops make all the other corruption possible)

So, yes, let's keep it real.

rev smith said...

Stand together against police brutility,racial profiling,
harrassment,violations of civil
rights,disparities in sentencing.
The constitution guarantees our
rights to life,liberty and the
pursuit of happiness.Stand together with us,the residents of Benton Harbor to stop the take over and to protect Jean Klock Park from further development in the park.There will be no jobs for the residents of Benton Harbor.


Armin said...

I went to the CPC site. I found these remarks:

"Based on the information contained in the report, the immediate goals of CPC was to implement the recommendations through collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies by leveraging already existing resources on behalf of the residents in the Benton Harbor and Benton Township communities."

"Citizen engagement is a hallmark feature of our work."

It only illustrates the point that tax payers are funding the operation. Moreover the differences in language between the Governors report and the CPC is telling. The Gov. report recommended community participation. The CPC only wishes to engage the HS subjects.

What's the difference? The Gov. report recommends community participation, while CPC is focused on engagement. There was little or no community participation in the community transformation plan. But now, after the establishment of the HS plan, we can be engaged, provided of course any engagement is consistent with the goals of HS.

The stated goal of HS is to create a World CLASS Community.
I surely didn't participate in designing such an absurd plan; nor did the community. That's the problem! It's the difference between participation and engagement.


Armin said...

I should be more clear.

Citizen designates in each person in his or her own participation in the sovereignty of the general will.

A subject designates his or her submission to the laws of the state.

According to the HS plan we can be engaged as subjects, but not as citizens. The Gov. report requires all be citizens before being subjects. This simply didn't happen.

Instead individuals have modes of behavior imposed upon them without participation. We are then engaged as subjects to work towards the goals of HS.

Because the means to reach the HS goals have been paid for by taxpayers without their participation/consent, the way subjects are engaged in the HS plan is NOT LEGITIMATE. Nor does the CPC cover make it so.

Anonymous said...

This is so tiring. The only reason I keep posting is because of the lurkers who believe what is written despite it having little or no basis in reality.

I am not going to go into the Socialism Armin is still promoting, nor in fighting with everyone here. All I am going to do is point out the statistical flaws in the article. There are many things which the higher courts will now deliberate on. It seems Pinkney has exhausted local means and has moved on to the appelate court, bully for him. If he is as blatantly harrassed and innocent as he claims, then he should have no problem convincing the higher court of that.

Meanwhile stop making up numbers. The real numbers show the same thing, but you always have to pump them up to ridiculous levels.

Here are the true numbers of unemployment, race and median income:

Race breakdown
Benton Harbor 94% black
St. Joseph 99% white

Average income
Benton Harbor $8,000
St. Joseph $65,000

Unemployment rate
Benton Harbor 70%
St. Joseph 3%

My numbers are from the 2005 census (the latest available afaik). You can get them yourself at

Race breakdown
Benton Harbor 92.4% black
St. Joseph 89.6% white

Average income
Benton Harbor $17,900
St. Joseph $37,900

Unemployment rate
Benton Harbor 16.3%
St. Joseph 2.6%

As you can see they show the same thing the article was trying to show, but without the obvious fake numbers Banco has been trotting out for the last few years. 16.3% unemployment IS ridiculous and $17,900 median income is poverty level for a family of any size.


mel said...

unemployment is well over 70%;
remember they only count the one who apply for unemployment;
the average income is less than
8,000;today;;95.5% black;; these are the facts.


Anonymous said...

MADE UP FACTS. My facts are not based on those who apply for unemployment, they are based on the census data.

Yours are apparently based on Dr Seuss books or some other fiction. Show me where you got your numbers.

Anonymous said...

It is my opinion based on many years of working with the people of Benton Harbor, that they do not need a racist conspiracy to destroy them. They do it all by themselves. Why don't you all try to burn down the city again? That seemed to work out sooooo well for you last time. If you want you can do it in loving memory of that punk Terry (t-shirt) Shurn Im sure he would appriciate it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just took a look at your silly little petition. All this time and you only have a little over 300 signitures????? What a joke!!!! Good luck getting 1000

Last I checked there were something like 13,500 people in Benton Harbor. Where are they??

If you only knew how foolish you look.

William said...

armin, its cool to know that you
support Rev Pinkney, and believe me
it makes him feel good to know that
the struggle isn't limited to one

The truth is being told openly about these City and County justice
systems tha's full of hate, and is
being paid under the cover by big
companies like Whirlpool and Corner

To the dumbass Anoymous, who is
barking about Rev Pinkney asking for more defense funds. First, of all you are overlooking the facts that YOUR group of Klansmen who
is working within the justice system is draining Rev Pinkney dry.

Secondly, If you was in a all Black City, and you caught hell
financially. There's no way in
the hell that you would not want
financially help.

Especially, if you had to put your house up as an security, or if you
was on house arrest, and could not make ends meet.

You racist ass whites really trip
me out with your offbeat ways of
thinking. However, remember every
dog gotta day coming, and your day is near.

To the anonymous who wrote this bs.

he is as blatantly harrassed and innocent as he claims, then he should have no problem convincing the higher court of that.

You know why the higher court isn't
convinced, and you need to shut
the F*** up, cause you are pissing me off. You know just like I know
that you whites stick together.
(especially when getting paid under the table).

In closing, Rev is catching hell
from you whites, but what are you
going to do when the game turns on you?, and today from what I am
understanding Benton Harbor/
Berrien County has taken another
step to try to weaken Rev Pinkney.

Rev Pinkney has more supporters
that support him then people who
live in Benton Harbor,Berrien
County put together.

Anonymous said...

How do you respond to a racist like Billy calling everyone else racist? There just isn't a proper response.

I do know the reason that the higher courts won't listen to him. He is guilty. He tried to bribe an election to go his way and then cried foul when he was caught. Then he was sentenced to a wrist slap and that annoyed him more. Hard to be a martyr when you are sitting in the comfort of your own home isn't it?

This whole Bankkko thing has gotten just plain silly. Habitat for Humanity comes in and helps residents of Benton Harbor get new homes and what is Bankkko's statment on that? They whine that they use donated dishwashers from Whirlpool. Weak.

Have a Merry Christmas Bankkko and I know you will be racist in the New Year.


Gremlin said...

Many of the people that Rev. Pinkney refers are non-competitive by their own choice. I have seen many that have quit school. There is a general lack of personal commitment with their community, significant others, children, and careers. Change comes within. As Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned, a person should be judged on the content of their character. Character includes good citizenship, responsibility, integrity, initiative, sense of community and family. You cannot blame racial discrimination when the content of a person’s character does not measure up. Most of the homeless have been ejected by their extended families after they kept stealing from the own flesh and blood to support their drug habits. The BANCO cry is that the Court is picking these and other criminals that are holding the people of Benton Harbor down. The “be hatin’ on ‘em” is from within and not from without. If the Courts did what BANCO wanted then the primary victims would be the residents of Benton Harbor. Then the counter-claim by the law-abiding citizens would be that the Court doesn’t care about the residents. We as Americans have a right to succeed or fail because that is what liberty is about. If person fails then that is their own fault and that person must take corrective action if they want to succeed. The Bible calls this repentance. The scriptures are clear on Christian responsibilities and he should be advocating these for true success. You can’t blame Whirlpool when Benton Harbor residents won’t demand the same responsibility and character out of themselves. It is not the government’s job to support these people as Rev. Pinckney advocates. The fall of democracy and liberty is when people vote themselves entitlements.

Rev. Pinkney has forgotten what Romans 13 states, which is; “ 1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
Rev. Pinkney has also forgotten what Proverbs 10 states which is, “1The proverbs of Solomon: A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother. 2Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death. 3The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. 4Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. 5He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. 6Blessings crown the head of the righteous, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. 7The memory of the righteous will be a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot. 8The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. 9The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. 10He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin. 11The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. 12Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. 13Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment. 14Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin. 15The wealth of the rich is their fortified city, but poverty is the ruin of the poor. 16The wages of the righteous bring them life, but the income of the wicked brings them punishment. 17He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. 18He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. 19When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. 20The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value. 21The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment. 22The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. 23A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom. 24What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted. 25When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever. 26As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is a sluggard to those who send him. 27The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. 28The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. 29The way of the LORD is a refuge for the righteous, but it is the ruin of those who do evil. 30The righteous will never be uprooted, but the wicked will not remain in the land. 31The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. 32The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

jim crow said...

To William and Armin:
I have asked this question before and I will try once again. Since you believe that the govenor, sheriff, prosecutor, all the local judges, and the Benton Harbor City Commision to be corrupt, who would you select to replace any of these individuals? Please respond with names of real people that would, in your opinion, perform the duties of any of those offices in a manner that meets your standards.

gremlin said...

I doubt Benton Harbor properties are of value in the big picture of Whirlpool’s income and assets. There are more than adequate properties, which are principally farmland, for their use around their World Headquarters. For example, who wants to go to Jean Klock Park anyway? Silver Beach has replaced Jean Klock as the place to be. Jean Klock Park is dead. Why throw good money after bad. Just look at the attendance and the support by the Benton Harbor residents of their own park.

Gremlin said...

William, you seemed obsessed with calling out facts and pointing out all the Klansmen in the local area. According the Wikipedia at the following web address there were only about 3000 Klansmen in the US in 2006 (
Ku_Klux_Klan#Decline). The population of the US was about 300 million people. You seem to be exaggerating their influence and presence in Berrien County. Of course you don’t want the facts to get in your way when it conflicts with your agenda.