38 comments
kjirik
kjirik

This is a great article, I cannot believe that our society is so obsessed with labeling individuals. Chalres Rasmey is a hero and his passed should of never been investigated/looked at. It unfortunate and makes me wonder if it was a white neighbor who found them, would we even of checked to see if he was a criminal too?

MODI
MODI

great article Nancy, besides all that has been said about the Ramsey and the power of redemption, I was glad you tied in Tookie Williams. His execution was one of the saddest and demoralizing days in American history. Besides his individual redemption, Williams held the power to create the type of change that a 1000 gang-reduction activists could not approach.

Yet so many people could not see his value because of their hatred. I lost friends over disagreements on Tookie Williams.  

Patriot Daily
Patriot Daily

thanks for keeping me on your email list. i have been so otherwise occupied for so long with personal shit, and so wish you still posted you know where. :)


screw them, ramsey is hero and his videos, quite a few of them, i think have gone viral. no one can take away fact he stood up when others thinking this was "just domestic violence" would have turned away. 


torture indeed here. complete with stress positions. did you see the reuters article? someone sent me yesterday or day before. i think two women need reconstructive surgery because he taped faces up with duct tape and then ripped off. cripes. 


i still oppose the death penalty ... and certainly on the grounds considered here. but what should happen to him, i do hear suggestions. 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

one more thing -- for now anyway -- i must say i was heartened when i read through the comments at the smokinggun story on Charles Ramsey. They were nearly unanimous in their support of him, their outrage at the site for dredging up his past history, and demanded that yes -- he was a hero indeed

Hope then.. Always

PatriciaLevesque
PatriciaLevesque

Redemption is a common literary theme, no one is entirely proud of every moment of our lives.  Seeing others rise gives us the hope that we too may rise above whatever we regret.  Yet that runs right into the skin barrier, we want to see white people "rise above".  We all want to be Tom Cruise in the Last Samurai, not John Q.  When white people do bad things, we look for the reason (Adam Lanza's possible mental illness).  When blacks do bad things we point at their color as reason itself.  It is a shame that a man who deserves accolades will be remembered more for his past than a life altering moment for those three women, but at least it will not be long before he's given some peace, we've got to get back to the amused indulgence of Lindsey Lohan's latest "incident".

Seeta
Seeta moderator

While all words seem trite and incapable of satisfactorily expressing how glad the world is that these three remarkable women have been reunited with their families, let me say it anyway.  

Still, we are sad beyond words that our institutions failed them and in some ways created and reinforced the misogynistic culture of male entitlement to female bodies.  This culture is simply part and parcel of the same system that criminalizes and dehumanizes the marginalized.

Seeta
Seeta moderator

POWERFUL piece Nancy.  These examples illustrate the heart, force and necessity of restorative/transformative/healing justice models. 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

As i was reviewing the Williams case again and thinking about Karla Faye and others, i realized that No Redemption story is ever good enough for the system..

Tookie's wasn't sufficient because he did not admit to the murders or wasn't repentant enough.. Karla Faye did all those things but still was ridiculed by Bush..

The labels are built -- as i said -- for permanence.. And the redeemed must always die anyway because their lives belie the system..

Time for other possibilities - long past

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

We need transformative/healing justice perspectives so badly.  We need to replace this society's ethic of disposability and exclusion - throughout society.  Not only in the criminal legal system, but in education, health care, employment....

Thank you for this. 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

ps. Maybe the Guvernator's worst moment. And there are many to choose from

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

@MODIGreat to see you Charles  and Thanks!

I agree 1000% on Williams -- we lost so much potential with him

This is so true -- " His execution was one of the saddest and demoralizing days in American history."

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

@Patriot Daily Great to see PDN -- thank you for stopping..


Yes Charles Ramsey is a Hero.. I do like to think there could be so many more  would we open our minds to the possibilities..

So good to see you

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

@Patriot Daily Lovely to see you, Patriot Daily.  Just stop by when you can.  No onerous expectations.  Sending you all good wishes.

Torture is inflicted both by individuals and the state - and by organizations affiliated with no state.  We need to tackle this as culture change, just as we need to tackle rape culture and incarceration culture.  They aren't just "issues," but mindsets.  What some people believe they have a right to do to others who are not fully human to them.  To shore up their own sense of fear/inadequacy.  Or just to feel powerful over somebody, anybody, else.

What should happen for Castro?  Well, I won't deal with him specifically, but try to check out next week's post, when we address transformative/healing justice.  It's too easy to focus loathing and contempt on him while we forget how ingrained this despicable mindset is.

But I know you know that.  Onward.  Together. 

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

@PatriciaLevesque Yes.. 

 but also see my comment right about.. I think Charles Ramsey will help turn the tide.. Many actually do want him to be remembered as the hero..

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

@Seeta Thank you Seeta...I was always haunted by the Williams case -- glad Charles Ramsey brought me back to it...

Wish Stanley Tookie Williams was still alive to d some good..

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

@nancy a heitzeg "...because their lives belie the system."  Yes.  And those we don't kill, we destroy in other ways:  extended solitary confinement, felony disenfranchisement, denial of basic survival benefits and housing.  Poor people, especially black people, must die while the corporate thieves and murderers flourish. 

badphairy
badphairy

@KayWhitlock We do, and not only because retribution isn't working, but because we need to have other tools than the stick.

MODI
MODI

@nancy a heitzeg definitely his worst moment. Could have singlehandedly stopped it, but looked the other way like Clinton on Rwanda. I was hoping Maria would talk some sense into him

PatriciaLevesque
PatriciaLevesque

@nancy a heitzeg @PatriciaLevesque 

Your thinking with the new reality of news that the tide could turn here, much like it was turned about Treyvon Martin?  (remember the right wing media tried to paint Treyvon as possibly criminal, but to many voices were raised to counter this)  


Do you think it's possible that had Williams made it just a little further, with the rise in the last few years of activist news, that he might have been saved?  I think Ramsey is a hero, I think in many ways Williams was even more so.

badphairy
badphairy

@KayWhitlock @nancy a heitzeg  Even those who try to do it "the right way" AKA the White Way get ground down by a society that believes no matter how many degrees they have, no matter how much good they do, they are still deviants because not being white is an uncorrectable fault.

nancy a heitzeg
nancy a heitzeg

we will need a full report on the party at the Mn Capital : )

badphairy
badphairy

@PatriciaLevesque @KayWhitlock @nancy a heitzeg I think the Left is fine, it's just that anything they try to do is attributed to "jobless slackers" and the MSM and the shrinking majority continue to believe it. I actually saw someone who claims to be of the Left wonder if civil disobedience actually worked, ever. He was alive during the late 60's and still asked this question. 

Yesterday, the back of the bus I was in was full of wrinkly white people going to celebrate the gay marriage bill. We have to find a way to bridge the gap between Tookie and Sookie.

PatriciaLevesque
PatriciaLevesque

@KayWhitlock @PatriciaLevesque @nancy a heitzeg 

Unfortunately the right has a strong, rabid base the will quite frankly believe anything they are fed.  Sadly the liberal base thinks it is enough all too often to watch the Daily Show and go to bed.


I do think the activist news movement has helped to turn people in on some very basic truths, but how do you get them to do more than post it to Facebook?

You hit the nail on the fact that we move on when we think the answer is settled, not understanding just how rabid the right is (37 attempts to repeal "Obamacare??  Another week on Benghazi??  Seriously?)  Considering the tidal wave of legislation controlling a woman's right to make constitutionally protected decisions about her body, it just takes me back to how do you wake up the left?

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

@PatriciaLevesque @nancy a heitzeg What a beautiful post, Patricia.  


I'm following the Trayvon Martin case closely, and I must say that I do not feel we've definitively won the narrative about him.  He is still being painted as a criminal, fiercely, by many.  That story is far from over, and I fear the trial will be a true nightmare.  

The defense attorneys for Zimmerman have gone full-tilt boogie in trying to control the narrative.  


I'm 63, and one thing I've learned is that the Right never, ever stops.  But our side does, thinking we've won victories, only to discover that what we thought we won, or even what we did win, is up for grabs again.  I wish we were as relentlessly persistent.

Maybe we will learn to be.

Remember in the Trayvon Martin case:  the "black youth are criminals" narrative has had mainstream media support throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.  White media only recognizes an Emmett Till later, and then uses that recognition to pretend that "we were for him all along."

That's a fiction, and a dangerous one.  Racism still continues to drive the Trayvon Martin case.  Count on it.  He is still presumed guilty, despite our constant challenge to that racist narrative.

KayWhitlock
KayWhitlock

@badphairy @nancy a heitzeg Oops - I meant "how slavery morphs into criminality supported by automatic presumption of "innocence" and superiority  and normativity of The White Way....etc.