MARQUETTE, MI — I now know, I now believe I know, how the twenty Blacks from the Dutch ship Jesus at Jamestown, Virginia, August of 1619, felt to be brought and sold, and then become slaves.
I now know, I now believe, I know how it felt to be a slave, tortured, beaten, mentally and physically destroyed, and the country said it was alright.
I now know, I now believe, I know, how the Jews felt in Nazi Germany in a concentration camp on their way to the gas chamber of the death camp. I now know, I now know. I believe I know. I now know, how it felt when the police dogs tore into the march lines and the high-powered fire-hoses knocked the children along the pavement down, like tumbleweed.
I now know, I believe I know, when I hear of cops shooting up Blacks, I know that’s part of their tradition. They have always shot up Blacks and in fact most of their heroes are somebody who has killed a lot of people.
I now know, I now believe I know, how it felt to be tortured and there is nothing you can do about it. The torture, the agony of the mind and body. The inflicting of extreme pain mentally and physically. The torture is used as a means of persuasion.
I am standing in Marquette Branch Prison, better known as the concentration camp of America, where prisoners from various parts of the State are assembled to be tortured. I have been tortured.
I have been tortured, but I am still standing. I have been tortured mentally, but I am still standing. I have been tortured physically, but I am still standing. They wrote me 8 misconduct tickets, but I am still standing. Correctional officers threaten, harass, and intimidate me, but I am still standing. A coward can sit down, but it takes a man to stand. I am Rev. Edward Pinkney, standing for the people.
Lord, I do not know all the things that are wrong here at Marquette Prison, the concentration camp of America. The black mold in the two-man cell is devastating. The black mold is taking over the prison, the black mold is everywhere. We now have asbestos in the middle of the floor. This prison has many health problems with the black mold and asbestos.
I now know, I now believe, I know, how it felt to be tortured. I am being tortured.
Editor’s note: In the May edition of the People’s Tribune, Rev. Pinkney will discuss the suspicious death by hanging in the Berrien County jail of Martell Hadley, age 24. Some in the community liken this case to Sandra Bland, who died by hanging in a Texas jail. Neither was suicidal. No one has been held responsible in either case.