The "Scottsboro Stories" blog reflects the writings, photographs, arrangements, opinions and musings of me, Garry L. Morgan, only. I do not represent the Scottsboro Boys Museum or the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation - the parent organization of the Scottsboro Boys Museum. I receive no profit from this endeavor. This blog is for educational purposes and that of open expression about racial and sexual discrimination, institutional and personal racism and the deadliest war of all time - "The Culture War."


The Ledger: "Scottsboro, Ala., Museum Opens to Mark a Shameful Case "

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Attacks Against Women Continue

How can a criminal assert rights to that which was a result of a criminal act? That is like saying a thief has the rights to the items he stole. This is a horror story today, a day which is Womens  Equality Day. This is a story of the misapplication of law in a society which actively discriminates against women and the Republican Party wages a "WAR ON WOMEN."

  • ABORTION On Thursday, a House subcommittee denied the District of Columbia’s Democratic delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, a chance to testify at a hearing called to promote a proposed federal ban on nearly all abortions in the District 20 weeks after fertilization. The bill flouts the Roe v. Wade standard of fetal viability.  
  • ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE Governor Brewer also recently signed a bill eliminating public funding for Planned Parenthood. Arizona law already barred spending public money on abortions, which are in any case a small part of the services that Planned Parenthood provides. The new bill denies the organization public money for nonabortion services, like cancer screening and family planning, often the only services of that kind available to poor women.  
  • EQUAL PAY Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, the epicenter of all kinds of punitive and regressive legislation, signed the repeal of a 2009 law that allowed women and others to bring lawsuits in state courts against pay discrimination, instead of requiring them to be heard as slower and more costly federal cases. It also stiffened penalties for employers found guilty of discrimination.   
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Last month, the Senate approved a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, designed to protect victims of domestic and sexual abuse and bring their abusers to justice. The disappointing House bill omits new protections for gay, Indian, student and immigrant abuse victims that are contained in the bipartisan Senate bill. It also rolls back protections for immigrant women whose status is dependent on a spouse, making it more likely that they will stay with their abusers, at real personal risk, and ends existing protections for undocumented immigrants who report abuse and cooperate with law enforcement to pursue the abuser.
Republican politicians attempt to intrude into womens lives. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scottsboro Boys Back in the News- From the Birmingham News, "Pardons sought for the remaining defendants in Scottsboro Boys case"

Original Photo Entitled "Enjoying Their Freedom," July 26, 1937: Samuel B. Leibowitz and the 4 Scottsboro Case defendants wave farewell as they leave for New York after viewing a movie in Cincinnatti, Ohio. The four which were freed: Eugene Williams, Roy Wright, Willie Roberson and Olen Montgomery. ( photograph owned by G.L Morgan)
Scottsboro Boys Museum is housed in the oldest standing African American Church in Jackson County Alabama, Joyce Chapel. (photo by G. Morgan)

Early Community Resistance
Arson threats were received via Advance Internet web forums, quote: "we will burn the museum once you get it built, (December 2009)" was the threat. Police reports were filed, the local District Attorney's Office was contacted, no formal investigation was initiated. The Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director, who supported the museum project, was harassed for his support.

Scottsboro Boys Museum Founders
Ms. Sheila Washington, Director and Board of Director member (photo by G. Morgan)
Rev. Gary Speers, former Board of Director-resigned (photo by G. Morgan)
Mr. Cliff Parrish, former Board of Director- resigned (photo by G. Morgan)
Ms. Kim Speers, former Board of Director-resigned (photo by G. Morgan)
Mr. Charles Elliot, Board of Director member (photo by G. Morgan)
Ms. Louise Tolliver, Board of Director member, one of the original founders, standing next to State Representative John Robinson.(photo by G. Morgan)
"The Jackson County Legislative Delegation has gotten on board with the pardon efforts as well. Representative John Robinson said, “It’s been a long time coming, it’s been a stigma on Scottsboro. There has been a lot of injustice and it’s time to get it over with. This is the last good thing we can do for those nine men who were sent to prison and sentenced to death.” In February, Representative Robinson will introduce a bill to the House for the pardon of the Scottsboro Boys, and Senator McGill will present it to the Senate. “The governor supports it and as far as I know it’s going to be a partisan effort,” Robinson said."
No ladies and gentleman, a "pardon" is not the last thing we can do. Education is a never ending effort. It is the facts of the case which must be constantly revealed and taught in our schools and our community.
A pardon is to forgive, exactly who is being pardoned, whites burdened with a racist past? It is certainly not the Scottsboro Defendants which deserve a pardon, they were innocent. How are you going to pardon innocent folks?
To whatever extent politicians and glory seekers try, they can never reverse the past. The purpose of history is to study and learn from it so we will not repeat the mistakes of those who have came before us. Not utilize the suffering of those who were victimized by racism to create publicity.
How much money will be spent in a state strapped for cash by glory seekers attempting to erase historical guilt and possibly violate a separation of judicial and legislative powers?
Excerpts from The Birmingham News
"Sheila Washington, founder of the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, this week asked Gov. Robert Bentley to clear the names of eight of the nine defendants wrongly convicted of raping two white women in 1931. "They were done wrong, and justice should be corrected," Washington said."

"Her quest has won support from professors, lawyers and legislators. Her letter to Bentley, dated Aug. 15, is co-signed by more than a dozen people, most of them affiliated with universities."

Pardon and Parole Board response: ""We don't grant pardons posthumously," said Greg Griffin, the agency's top lawyer. "We don't have the authority to do it." "

"Washington turned her efforts to Bentley, asking for a pardon even though she believes the term doesn't go far enough. "When you're pardoned, that means you did something wrong," she said. "I prefer the word exonerate." "

How will the Republicans and Democrats react to this political request?

Relatives of the Scottsboro Defendants could ask Governor Bentley for a Pardon, there is a precedent, although the specifics of this law may not pertain: and

Here is a link concerning Pardons in Alabama:

The case which most Americans refer to as the Scottsboro Boys case was a travesty of justice. It was also a demonstration that good people do exist and are willing to stand up for what is right. "The Scottsboro Boys Case" is a legal and historical lesson which some have yet to learn.

UPDATE: August 17 & August 21, 2012- Scottsboro, Al. It appears there is a coalition to pass through the Alabama Legislature a Special Act involving a "Pardon" for "The Scottsboro Boys." Reports indicate this move is supported by many politicians. But is this justice, or a feel good measure to say, "see we are good and righted a wrong." That is an indication of irresponsible government. What is criminal justice without punishment for those who commit the crime?

The crime in this case is not on the part of the Scottsboro Defendants but on the part of racists who caused great suffering on the part of the Scottsboro Defendants and their families. The crime of False Imprisonment and a Violation of Constitutional Rights as a result of personal and institutional racism.

Republican Political support: This so called "Pardon" also gives Republicans in Alabama a chance to say, "see we are not a bunch of racists, we just bash the black President at every opportunity by a pack of lies. We'll make it all better now with this faux attempt at justice," extreme sarcasm intended.

Justice and correction: When or if the Legislature passes this feel good law, the remaining survivors of the Scottsboro Boys should be adequately compensated for wrongful imprisonment and a violation of the defendants Constitutional Rights. $1 million dollars for each year served in prison, by each of the defendants. Paid to and between the surviving next of kin. In the case of no next of kin, the funds should be paid into the Alabama indigent legal defense fund.

According to the Innocence Project, there are 27 states that provide compensation for wrongful imprisonments, Alabama is not one of the states. The State Legislature as an honor to the Scottsboro Defendants should pass a Wrongfully Convicted Compensation Act.

Who should pay the punitive and corrective damages, Jackson County 50% and the State of Alabama 50%? If the defendant died in prison or as a result of the false imprisonment, the additional punitive award of $10 million dollars should be paid per death. That would be a case of responsible justice, not some feel good measure of "bleeding heart liberal white folks," publicity grabbers and politicians seeking glory. The estimated total punitive or compensatory damages which should be paid to the survivors or the indigent justice fund would be between $70 and $80 million dollars plus interest on the monetary award for each surviving relative.

Current controversy due to financial records request. (Case# 39CV2011-0024)
On August 1, 2012 a trial date on all pending issues was scheduled for the Morgan vs Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation, ET AL, case. The case is scheduled for Dec. 13, 2012. 

There is much more which could be said in this case. However, as this article leads off with in Scottsboro's Daily Sentinel regarding the current case before the Jackson County Circuit Court:
"Jackson County Circuit Judge Jenifer Holt restrained both parties in the lawsuit between Garry Morgan and the Scottsboro Multi-Cultural Foundation Board of Directors making any statements about the other while the case is pending. During a 45-minute hearing Thursday, Holt said neither party is to make disparaging remarks against the other in public."

Orders of a Court of Law will not cover up false affidavits and crime in the pending case. So called "faux justice Pardons" do not correct institutional and personal racism evident in the State of Alabama and the current political cycle. The "faux Pardon" will make those who are burdened with white guilt and glory seeking feel much better, however it will have no affect in correcting racism still existing today.  I think political faux justice, white guilt and irresponsibility will probably win once again and Lady Justice will weep.

Opinion Editorial from the Daily Sentinel:

My Letter to the Daily Sentinel concerning the "faux pardon."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Womens Equality Day, August 26, 2012

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the day when women in America were given full voting rights
under the U.S. Constitution by the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Women's Suffrage A "rock & roll "video telling a story about Womens suffrage. Set to "Bad Romance" by Lady GaGa.

August 26th is the anniversary of national woman suffrage. Across the seventy-two years between the first major women’s rights conference at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, and the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, thousands of people participated in marches through cities like New York and Washington DC, wrote editorials and pamphlets, gave speeches all over the nation, lobbied political organizations, and held demonstrations with the goal of achieving voting rights for women. Women also picketed the White House with questions like, “Mr. President, what are you going to do about woman’s suffrage?” “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?” This was the first time in history that a group of people picketed the White House.

The woman suffrage amendment was introduced for the first time to the United States Congress on January 10, 1878. It was re-submitted numerous times until finally in June 1919 the amendment received approval from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Over the following year the suffragists spent their time lobbying states in order to have the amendment ratified by the required two-thirds of the states. On August 24th, Tennessee, the final state needed for ratification, narrowly signed the approval by one vote. The vote belonged to Harry Burn, who heeded the words of his mother when she urged him to vote yes on suffrage. The U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the amendment into law on August 26, 1920.

Fifty years later on August 26th, 1970, Betty Friedan and the National Organization of Women (NOW) organized a nationwide Women’s Strike for Equality. Women across the political spectrum joined together to demand equal opportunities in employment, education, and twenty-four hour child-care centers. This was the largest protest for gender equality in U.S. history. There were demonstrations and rallies in more than ninety major cities and small towns across the country and over 100,000 women participated, including 50,000 who marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Several other acts occurred on that day to help the cause and prompt more press coverage on the women’s movement. For example, women in New York City took over the Statue of Liberty. In preparation, several women climbed up to measure the wind velocity. Later they returned to the Statue with two forty-foot banners to hang from the crown. One read: “March on August 26 for Equality.” The other: “Women of the World Unite.” An organized group stopped the ticker tape at the American Stock Exchange, and they held signs with slogans like, “We won’t bear any more bull.” Another action taken during the day was a lawsuit filed against the New York City Board of Education to gain equality for women in educational administration. The case lasted about ten years and finally resulted in a larger increase in female principals.

While the strike did not halt the activities of the nation, it drew national attention to the women’s rights movement. For example, The New York Times published their first major article on the feminist movement by covering the events of the day. It even included a map of the route the marchers took through New York City.

The following year in 1971, Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) introduced a bill designating August 26th of each year as Women’s Equality Day and the bill passed. Part of the bill reads that Women’s Equality Day is a symbol of women’s continued fight for equal rights and that the United States commends and supports them. It decreed that the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of woman suffrage and the 1970 Strike for Equality. Women today continue to draw on the history of these brave and determined women.
Find Equality Day resources on the National Women’s History Project’s Web site