Saturday, September 17, 2005
Frances Newton 1965-2005
The state of Texas has once again murdered someone who did not get a fair trial. Forty year old Frances Newton was executed because she supposely killed her family. The sole form of evidence against her was the fact that Frances Newton purchased a life insurance policy. How many millions of people purchase life insurance policies? .....so that makes them potential murderers? The ever shortening Texas statue of limitations limits the time the accused has to present evidence. Newton had such evidence but the court refused to hear it. This is just another example of the continued mistreatment of the black community. I may be wrong but I think it was in Texas that a black man was tied to the back of a truck by a group of white bigots and dragged on a rocky road until he was decapitated. Did the thugs who did this heinous crime pay with their lives? I don't think so, but I don't know for sure. The fact that I don't know in itself says something because I know that I am a politically aware person who reads a lot. Either the culprits were put to death and it was under the radar of the press or these vermin are being kept alive with taxpaper money for the rest of their miserable lives. I don't know, but I do know that Frances Newton is dead. This is a woman whose strong belief in God convinced her that when the truth is known she would be set free. It is so ironic that Frances Newton was put to death because she purchased a life insurance policy when Pennsylvania's right wing stalwart Senator Rick Santorum condemned the victims of Katrina for not having insurances policies and refusing to leave when told to so. This typically heartless Republican remark shows that Santorum failed to realize that most blacks and poor whites in New Orleans don't own automobiles and even if they did nearby towns like Gretna had the roads and bridges blocked so that they couldn't leave New Orleans even if they wanted to. The most painful thing to me was when I tried to make other black people aware of the plight of Frances Newton most of them didn't know about it. Some didn't care and still others just "accepted" it, not stopping to think that they too could someday be in the same situation. This is the horror of the Bush administration. Just like during the Reagan era whites are made to feel comfortable with their prejudices and blacks have become so weary that they are not fighting for their rights because they feel nothing can be done. For someone who was around in the sixties and remembers a totally opposite black response this is indeed a hard pill to swallow. The press.....and that includes a sufficient part of the black press is muzzled. If reporters ask the "wrong" questions they could be fired. As a result we live in a climate of fear. The state of Texas tried to incarcerate the entire black population of Tulia, Texas (and this included elderly people) on a phony drug charge. This was another story that was under the radar....with minimum press coverage. Fortunately a relatively small number of blacks and white legal minds united to liberate the black community of Tulia. But this is the exception because across the country blacks have been harassed,attacked or threatened by police for the kinds of traffic violations that most whites would laugh at. Racial profiling is now legal under the Patriot Act. Like Frances Newton, Mumia Abu Jamal is still on death row and like Newton the state of Pennsylvania is doing the exact same thing as the state of Texas......refusing to hear evidence that would exonerate the accused. The difference between the two cases is that Jamal has world-wide recognition of his case, Newton did not. Another big difference between the sixties and now is that we have quite a few blacks who willing go along with the established order even when it's policies hurt black people. I have mentioned some of them......Harold Ford Jr, Clarence Thomas, Ward Connerly, Janice Rogers, Armstrong Williams, Condoleezza Rice, J. Kenneth Blackwell and the list goes on and on. These people are the darlings of the media (with the exception of the write nothing, say nothing camera shy Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas). The bottom line is that black people can not afford to have another Frances Newton. It is time to realize that we are under seige it may have been Frances Newton on the fourteenth of September, if you're black it might be YOU tomorrow.