CI: Power to the Imagination

April 24, 2013 at 7:04 pm by: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Defense, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Military Industrial Complex, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoner Rights

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Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

“Power to the Imagination”
by nancy a heitzeg (h/t Kay Whitlock and Angela Y. Davis)

“This is what we need most in America — truly the entire world — today. Imagination. Religious scholar Walter Brueggemann has called it “Prophetic Imagination.” We need individuals who will not only occupy our streets, but also occupy our future. Brave soldiers of love who are crazy enough to dream of a world with no more war, no more violence, no more oppression based on the way people look, where they are from, or the way they were born.”

~ Charles Howard, Angela Davis: Power to the Imagination

What if, this time, we resisted?

What if we stopped and counted to twelve?

What if we abandoned the wild speculation, the urge to be on-line “crime- fighters “, the rush to judgement, the labeling/the libeling?

What if we rejected the idea of “Them” – the simplistic “othering”, the endless profiling, the needless search for pathology in religion, race/ethnicity, national origin, more?

What if, for once and now always,  we hold at bay the lust for blood, the virtual lynch mob, raw retribution as the only recourse?

What if we look past partisan politics, and demand, on principle, the presumption of innocence, the reading of Miranda, every other slim right we are afforded, every right we would demand if it were indeed Us?

What if we said No! to more “law and order”, No! to more police state surveillance, No! to the notion that more armed men with guns, more state-sponsored violence is the solution?

What if we said No! to fear? No! to more death?

And what if we said Yes! to Justice and Love?


nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg 1 Like

waving at you sberel -- hope all is well w/ you

KayWhitlock 2 Like

Thank you, Nancy.  Huge gratitude to Angela Y. Davis and to all groups - such as Prison Culture blog, Project NIA, Southerners on New Ground and others who are bringing powerful imagination to the work of movement building.

And thank you, Pablo Neruda.