Crying Wolf At the Blue Wall:
The Minnesota Police Associations’ Lawsuit Should Misfire.
After looking briefly at the Police associations’ lawsuit, I must contend that it is a red herring — a cry of wolf from those who too often have stood at the Blue Wall of Silence.
The main problem with the lawsuit is its preposterous claim that the newly-amended Minn. Statute 609.066 regarding the use of deadly force will require police to either forfeit their right against self-incrimination or give up their defense of justified force.
Neither happens as I read the news law.
To the contrary, the…
We shall call it unnecessary day,
No death was needed on this day,
When reckless hatred held its sway,
Thus, we do call it Unnecessary Day,
Recalling now the lost unknown,
And dying with holding empty hands,
And dogs will howl,
To tell the tale of how those death accounts remit,
And widows weeped and children wailed for fathers lost and washed away,
And by the counting tally told,
Marked every proud and desperate soul,
Until the toll grew higher up,
above in towers higher grown, And numbered more than towers saw than towers did by looking down,
Old Jeff Davis never wanted to give in they say,
Until the day when General Bob Lee gave up,
They took ole Bob at this Courthouse place in the early Spring of 1865,
But Jeff still thought he mighta had a chance,
Him and all his ole Confederates,
To make a ride past them Northern men and scare the daylights out of all rest,
But them Union boys,
They had roaring cannons fit from a northern forge up the road a bit,
Plus stubborn ships called iron sides,
And the freedmen who came to fight them Rebs,
The Timeless Lie
It little matters you know,
How time does pass,
Or mocks in hope,
Or washes out his long used socks,
Time never is a drink we gulp until we are an empty cup
and one day as the drink is drunk
we see the only drink is Love,
But sometimes it’s a door ajar we’d sooner just forget to close,
And leave nearby our muddy shoes,
In Memories pressed from each sore toe,
I know that it is a friend I supped,
and served from a bare cupboards’ shelf,
But then when full was asked to stay,
The Judge That’s Called the Nominee
When I was a lad I served a term,
As office boy to A Republican firm,
I cleaned the memos and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the speeches for the big front door.
He polished up the speeches for the big front door,
And I polished up the Speeches so carefully,
That now I am the Judge that’s called the Nominee,
He polished up the Speeches so carefully,
That now he is the Judge called the Nominee.
As office boy I made such a mark,
That they gave me the post…
As Autumn Waits
As Autumn waits outside our wall,
The days of Summer long grow old,
Their heads with salt and pepper suns,
And dusk now falls when Supper’s done,
The time for leaves to let their lease,
From greener days shall take their leave,
To find a room on mellow grounds,
The Summer Sun just watches now,
It sleeps and wakes as if before,
But like an ancient boarder might,
Tips to his bed before moonlight,
And wakes but later on each morn,
Preparing for his waning days,
With all that Autumn takes away,
No worries though,
No rush withal,
No cause to fear Summer’s undone,
It simply basks in knowing how
its verdant good feels well bestowed,
So let us think these sweeter thoughts,
Before our days of Autumn’s dark.
-Albert Turner Goins
The Power of Prologue: The Credit
I spent a year of my childhood in Durham, North Carolina living with my maternal grandparents. The year was 1964–65 and America was at the threshold of its racial destiny.
My grandfather taught at a school that would now be called an historically black college or university. At the time, it was known as North Carolina College at Durham.
In those days, the world was only integrated in name. America had only formalistically desegregated. …
We Now Know the Death Penalty Is Wrong
Yesterday, 70 years after they were convicted and then sentenced to death by completely white and male jury in 1949 Virginia, seven Black men were granted posthumous pardons from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
The evidence was shaky at best but worse was the history of Virginia criminal justice in 1949.
The charge the seven Black defendants faced was not murder — it was rape. Rape of a white woman who was known as the “Watchtower Woman.”
She was a 32 year-old Jehovah’s Witness who was alleged to have traveled into the Black…
the real important angels
go back to sleep,
the closet door is locked and tightly closed,
the monsters underneath your bed are leaving through the door,
your prayers are well made and very well rehearsed,
your records of repeat requests kept in God’s long form,
but somewhere a hungry child sits right next to Heaven’s door,
and all the troubles that you think you had weren’t really troubles after all,
but the overmuch contentment which simply vanished from your door,
so the real important angels will stay there on the line,
and they really can’t help from yawning ‘cause they’ve heard it all before,
and most of you are praying
for the hopes of having more,
so if that line is busy,
just sit down and rest awhile,
and after if you listen,
they’ll teach you to give more.
-Albert Turner Goins
The Day the Preacher Spoke
The March on Washington in late August of 1963 had been planned by Bayard Rustin, an old school civil rights organizer who had been in the movement for longer than I had been alive in 1963.
His political clout was reinforced by A. Phillip Randolph and Roy Wilkins. Wilkins led the NAACP, then the best known of the mainstream civil rights organizations. Joining Mr. Wilkins was Whitney Young, head of the Urban League.
Mr. Randolph was the dean of the group. His Pullman Porters were legendary as a labor organization and civil rights group. …