6.08.2009

Farrakhan: God’s Universal Law of Justice is removing corruption from high places

Interviewing Benton Harbor Mayor Wilce Cooke at the "Reawakening the Spirit of Unity and Justice" rally in defense of Rev. Edward Pinkney at Lake Michigan College on June 5, 2009.
(Photo: Adrian S. Burrows/Burrows Photography)


BENTON HARBOR, Mich.—The last time Benton Harbor made national news was in June of 2003. There was violent civil unrest as Benton Harbor’s Black residents took to the streets following the death of 28-year old Terrance Shurn, who crashed his motorcycle into a building after being pursued by police in a high speed chase. According to media reports, angry protesters shouted “No justice, no peace” overturned cars and set fires frustrated by what they saw as a pattern of unfair targeting and harassment of Benton Harbor’s Black residents.

Police in riot gear accompanied by armored personnel vehicles descended upon the small town of 12,000. According to police, they were shot at by the town’s residents during protests and pelted with bottles and rocks. Some of the protesters were arrested, the city was placed under a state of emergency with enforced curfews.

On June 5, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan told political leaders, grass-roots activists and concerned residents at a rally for embattled community activist Rev. Edward Pinkney that God’s universal law of justice is at work and those with the responsibility to dispense justice have a weighty responsibility during his message delivered at Lake Michigan College.

Rev. Pinkney’s Case

In May of 2007, long-time community activist Rev. Edward Pinkney was convicted by an all White jury on four felony counts and one misdemeanor count of voter fraud and ballot tampering. His supporters maintain these were trumped up charges accusing him of being in possession of absentee ballots and paying individuals money to cast votes in his favor.

After being denied a new trial by Berrien County judge Alfred Butzbaugh, Rev. Pinkney wrote an editorial appearing in the November-December 2007 edition (Vol. 34 No.11) of the Chicago-based People’s Tribune, in which he paraphrased a portion of Deuteronomy Chapter 28.

With the help of the ACLU of Michigan, he was released on bond in late December 2008, however, there are several stipulations; he must wear an electronic monitoring device, for which he has to pay $105 per week, and he is not allowed to give speeches, not even in his own church.

Community activists have actively petitioned Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to vacate the conviction or grant him clemency. His legal team has filed a series of appeals. Defense arguments will be heard in the State Appeals Court of Michigan on June 9 in Grand Rapids.

Referring to the fact that Rev. Pinkney was not given permission to attend the Min. Farrakhan told the audience, “It is as though we are still on a plantation, and a man who preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ is denied the freedom to move about because of decisions by judges.”

Min. Farrakhan recalled the words of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad who said, “Justice is the law that distinguishes between right and wrong.” The Minister also pointed out that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad said, “Justice is the weapon that God will use in the Day of Judgment.” This is what is meant in the prophetic utterances that “all of us have to reap what we sow,” he said.

“There is not one nation on this earth that has been permanent, no matter how powerful that nation has been. Every civilization that you read about in history has a dawn, a zenith and a fall, because there is no permanence to anything that is corrupt and unjust.”

“There is a higher law, and that’s the law that Rev. Pinkney was talking about. That higher law that is represented by this universe in which we live, set up by a God that loves justice. So whenever we in our unfair dealings (in which) our evil outweighs our good, there is a law in this universe that operations against individuals, tribes, racists, nations when our evil outweighs our good the law that governs the universe begins to operate against us.”

Benton Harbor, and the beachfront city of St. Joseph are referred to by locals as “Twin Cities” however, demographic pictures paint two starkly different portraits. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, Benton Harbor is 92 percent Black with a median annual household income of $17,471. St. Joseph is 90 percent White with an annual household income of $37,032.

Read more coverage of the case in this week’s edition of The Final Call.
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