By Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney
The apartheid conditions in Benton Harbor still continue as my husband, the Rev. Edward Pinkney, continues to fight for justice for the people. The power brokers of Whirlpool, Cornerstone Alliance, Harbor Shores and the Benton Harbor city commissioners have attempted to silence his voice and shackle his legs with their 24/7 house arrest.
My husband is not allowed to speak at any church or even attended a church meeting. My husband expressed his political opinion in a newspaper article stating that GOD and only GOD would curse Judge Butzbaugh unless he hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy GOD to do all that is right. It is obvious that this Judge Butzbaugh is doing a lot of wrong in his life. If he were doing the right things he would not be afraid of GOD. It must be because of this fear of GOD that Judge Butzbaugh and his partner decided unconstitutionally to give my husband 3 to 10 years in prison for quoting the Bible. My husband is the first preacher in the history of mankind to be sent to prison for quoting the Bible.
History and those who write it often leave out important facts. Therefore, I have a problem when I hear the term the first black president or first preacher. It makes me nervous because of what distorted picture the powerful may be painting. On January 20, 2009 at 12:05 in Washington D.C. Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th President. According to the media, Obama is the first black President of the United States of America. I am here to tell you he is not the first black president. Obama is the second black president. John Hanson was the first (1781-1782). John Hanson was one of the greatest men who got lost in history. President Hanson was elected by Congress not only as the first black President but as the first President under the Articles of Confederation. He established the great seal of the United States, which all presidents since have been required to use on all official documents. He also established the first treasury department, the first secretary of war and the first foreign affairs department. President Barack H. Obama was definitely not the first black President of the United States. He is the first black President of the United States under the Constitution we follow today. By not recognizing John Hanson, the powerful slave owners and traders could continue their unjust ways.
Another first that isn’t listened to by many preachers today is Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. What would Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the first black minister to win the Nobel Peace Prize, say to the ministers today? He would say we need all of you. Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longing and aspirations of the people more than a preacher? Somehow, the preacher must have a kind of fire burning within his bones and whenever injustice is around he proclaims it to the world. Somehow, the preacher must be an Amos and proclaim that when GOD speaks who can but prophesy? A preacher must proclaim the word as Amos, to let justice roll down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. Somehow, the preacher must say that the spirit of Jesus is upon me because he has anointed me to deal with the problem of injustice. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. would say I want to thank all of them and I want you to thank all of them because so often preachers are not concerned about anything but themselves most of are just too selfish. I am always happy to see a relevant ministry. We need all of you to take a stand for the poor and for injustice.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. would say that Whirlpool is imposing a manifest brutal siege against the people of Benton Harbor similar to the Israeli siege of Gaza. The modalities and circumstances may be somewhat different but the mentality of hatefulness and vindictiveness are undoubtedly the same. Then he would say in the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our pastor.
Write to Pinkney: Lakeland Correctional Facility, Rev. Edward Pinkney # 294671, 141 First St. Coldwater, MI 49036