Wednesday, February 10, 2010


by John L. Mann
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about your critical commentary was that it remained unsigned. If you're so certain of your conclusions, why not stand behind them publicly with a signature? (comment referred to can be found after 2/6 post)

The tenor of your written opinion and the failure to self-identify struck me as being uncomfortably close to the past acts of Americans equally convinced of their own righteousness, yet finding it necessary to remain hidden beneath hood and cowl during the commission of hate crimes.

Instead of mass rallies, lynching and cross burnings, the internet now provides a forum where people harboring opinions and a sense of personal righteousness similar to your own can weigh in with verbal piety, yet keep their faces hidden. Ignorance and bigotry can hold forth in anonymity. In this case I fail to find much distinction between cross burnings past and truth burning present.

There's nothing "wild-eyed" about publicly citing the social and economic destruction that's been visited upon Benton Harbor. Nor are there any "factual inaccuracies" involved with the method by which Harbor Shores was granted title to 800+ acres of prime Benton Harbor beach and river frontage, for about a million dollars.

Worse is the way the Berrien County judicial system punished Rev. Edward Pinkney for exercising free speech, in exposing corruption surrounding how such a stinking deal was made. Corruption brought home by the conflict of interest and abuse of privilege exercised by at least one of the judges presiding in his various criminal cases -- for which Pinkney was convicted by an all-white "jury of his peers," then sentenced by a judge poised to profit personally from the Harbor Shores development, via Counselors Ship St. Realty.

Even worse, in my opinion, was the way democratic principle was abused by a single judge's setting aside of the clear results of the Glenn Yarbrough recall election. A recall STOPPING the Harbor Shores development by way of the PEOPLE'S WILL.

There was never any question that the recall succeeded, either. But this judge unilaterally set aside the PEOPLE'S WILL based on very few, very questionably "tainted" ballots. It was clearly stipulated the "questionable" ballots weren't physically altered either. They were "tainted" because Rev. Pinkney briefly had them in his personal possession for transport to the City Clerk's office, simply to insure they were counted.

That the "honorable" judge setting aside the results of basic democratic practice was also a member of the Board of Canvassers, merely adds to the real crime here. A crime for which his high office alone precluded any accountability to law. That judge is the one who tainted the election and basic democracy. He now presides over a FEDERAL bench, in my opinion an appointment granted for services rendered to Harbor Shores via the Yarbrough recall case.

You sanctimoniously call for "seminars" and "skills workshops" financed by Banco, a service organization that in truth is wholly BANK-RUPT, an organization that boasts NO tangible assets, ONLY the efforts of a very few and the leadership of a positively indefatigable lion, Rev. Edward Pinkney.

Preparing those who "wish to enter the workforce?!?" THERE ARE NO JOBS AVAILABLE, especially in Benton Harbor! Using 1980 federal criteria for measuring unemployment, the number of US unemployed nationally would be 22% today. FIXING numbers this way made it possible for January, 2010 to LOSE 20,000 non-farm payroll jobs, while the "official" unemployment rate DECLINED .3%. This, in the face of the fact that the economy needs to ADD over a million jobs every month simply in order to keep up with population increases.

That Whirlpool Corporation has sent its manufacturing and now the bulk of its engineering and R & D, first to Mexico, then to China, indicates a whole lot about the above unemployment statistics, past and present. That their hand in the Harbor Shores giveaway via Cornerstone Alliance and Fred Upton equally prevails in the destruction of Benton Harbor, seems utterly lost on you.

To you I clearly say: "Remove the hood of your anonymity and publicly, fearlessly defend your points instead of hiding behind what appear to be baseless charges and a public cowl. Do it in the manner of Edward Pinkney, a man whose fight against injustice and official lawlessness I find to be in the highest traditions of righteous struggle."

There's no "conspiracy" theory here. John Klock gave that land "IN PERPETUITY" to the people of Benton Harbor who were, specifically, NOT endowed with the wealth of property. He didn't consign it to the Harbor Shores development gang for use as a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course intended only for the elite.

Edward Pinkney possesses the bulk of the truth here, and very little else -- certainly no money or ability to employ powerful attorneys on his own or Benton Harbor's behalf.

What do you have on your side, faceless one, other than self-righteous prejudice, overweening fear and an eager willingness to subsume the crimes of St. Joseph's rich and powerful?