Today (May 17, 2013), The Feminist Wire concludes our two-day mini forum on Sister Assata Shakur.
you are a maimed structure who refuses to die out
arthritic fist still clutches black power
and remembers the white man foot stomps mating with sternum
and ribs that deny shattering
i smell renewed blood thirst
the resurgence of hound claws
salivate your noosed neck
limp feet suspended over earth…
In honor of Feminists We Love Friday at TFW, Collective Member Heidi Renee Lewis, brilliantly, powerfully, and eloquently shares why Assata Shakur is a “Feminist We Love”
Our Sister, Assata Shakur: Life, Struggle, Justice, and Love
In their exclusive essay for The Feminist Wire’s forum on Assata Shakur, Black Feminist Scholar-Activists Lisa Brock and Beth Elaine Richie explain why we all need to be outraged that Assata Shakur was added to the Most Wanted Terrorist List on May 3, 2013.
“…First, by all reasonable accounts Assata Shakur is innocent. The original trial that led to her conviction in 1977 was a travesty. Three neurologists testified that the first gunshot shattered her clavicle and the second shattered the median nerve in her right hand. That testimony proved that she was sitting with her hands raised when the police shot her. Further testimony proved that no gun residue was found on either of her hands, nor were her fingerprints found on any of the weapons located at the scene. In addition, trial transcripts show that Trooper John Harper, the other NJ State Trooper on the scene, admitted under cross-examination that he had lied in all three of his official reports and in his Grand Jury testimony.
An all-white jury stoked by racism convicted her. Lenox Hinds, her trial attorney, called the trial “a modern day lynching.” Interestingly, the trial judge tried unsuccessfully to have Hinds disbarred for saying that. Today, attorney Hinds is the U.S. lawyer of Nelson Mandela, another person who was on the U.S. terrorist list until 2008…”
A). Share the TRUE story with family, friends, colleagues, and comrades;
B). Organize a teach-in at your school, college/university, community center, Church, Mosque, Synagogue, Temple; and/or
C). Sign the Change.org Petition addressed to President Barack Obama.
We write to urge you to overrule the FBI’s decision to put Assata Shakur, aka Joanne Chesimard, on the “Most Wanted Terrorists List, with $1 Million FBI Reward Offered for Information Leading to Her Capture and Return,” as phrased by the FBI’s May 2, 2013 announcement. This $1 million combines with the $1 million bounty already offered by New Jersey. We know of no support for the claims by the FBI in making that announcement that Ms. Shakur has used her asylum in Cuba to “promote” “terrorist ideology” and espouse “terrorism.” We ask that the FBI be directed to publicly produce documentation to support these claims, and that until and unless this is done, its officials be directed to withdraw these assertions…
…Finally, this decision continues to racialize the United States criminal punishment system, a system that since the enslavement of African peoples has targeted Africans and African Americans for harsher punishments than those given particularly to similarly situated whites. The accusation of terrorism has fallen prey to this continuing travesty of making the color of “crime,” now the color of “terrorism,” black. One needs only recall the early reports of who was suspected of the Boston Marathon bombing to support this conclusion: the first reports were of a darker-skinned male, possibly African American. This message scrolled continuously on CNN for a number of hours and then “African American male” was deleted, leaving darker skinned male. But the alleged perpetrators were far from “darker skinned.”
In conclusion, we ask that you stand behind the statements made by Attorney General Holder when he became the Attorney General in 2009 in addressing assistant United States attorneys and make these statements applicable to the FBI: “Your job is in every case, every decision you make, to do the right thing. Anybody who asks you to do something other than that is to be ignored.” The FBI’s recent actions are far from the “right thing” for this country and we urge you to reverse them…”