Archive | January 7, 2011

Urgent Appeal for Donations to Free 3 Elderly Women Accused of Witchcraft in Malawi

Hello all,

I am a member and supporter of the Malawi Association of Secular Humanists (ASH). One of their functions is to provide advocacy to persons accused of and imprisoned for, crimes of witchcraft. The accused are often elderly women, living alone. Accusations are often made by children, and crimes are prosecuted with little evidence. Once imprisoned, they must endure the most deplorable of living conditions, and many will not survive their prison sentences.

Three elderly women in Malawi have recently been convicted of witchcraft related crimes and are to serve 12 months in prison. The courts have offered the option of paying a fine to obtain release. The total cost of the fines and transport back to their home villages will be $250 US for all three.

This is not a scam, this is absolutely for real. You are free to contact me if you have any doubts.

I am writing to implore everyone who reads this blog to consider donating to help these women. The sooner they are released, the better.

If you would like to help, please contact me or send donations by PayPal at pslarson2@gmail.com.

More info is below.

Thank you,

Pete

URGENT APPEAL TO PAY A FINE IN ORDER TO HAVE 3 OLD WOMEN CONVICTED OF WITCHCRAFT RELEASED

I would like to urgently appeal for urgent funds amounting to MK 35, 000 equivalent to US$ 250.00 from all those of good will so that we have three old women released from Maula Prison. These three women are Liness Nkhukuyalira( 83 years) Kanthunkhako Supaunyolo (80 years) and Nurse Nthala(75 years). Their Case No. is 76/10. The Case was held at Msongandeu court in Mvera, Salima.

These ladies have been sentenced to 12 months in Prison BUT there an option for a fine of MK 6000.00 each. They can pay the fine and be released immediately. If not, they will have to serve the custodian sentence of 12 months at Maula prison.

They were sentenced on 13th December 2010 and up to now they cannot find any money and because of this they are serving the sentence. They are old and poor! I was at Maula prison today on 7th January 2011 to see the other persons who are serving sentences and I came across these unfortunate old ladies.

Please colleagues can we help them as soon as possible so that they are released. The money will have to be paid at Msongandeu Court in Salima and then a receipt will be given and a release order. This will then be submitted to Maula prison for their release.

There would be need for an additional MK17 , 000 to cover transport (by car) to and from Salima , i.e to pay the fine and delivery them back to their homes. Therefore in total, MK35,000 would be required.

You can contact Mr Chimwendo, a guard at Maula prison on this number regarding the above matter for confirm; + 265 0 999349601.

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Race in America: If you just ignore it, it will go away

In one day, we watch the scissors chop racial epithets from Mark Twain’s classic “Huckleberry Finn” 219 times, then we get to watch our new, dedicated collection of elected officials gloss over the more controversial sections of the US Constitution which denied rights to African-Americans.

Alan Gribben, a professor of literature in Montgomery, Alabama (big surprise), has developed his own version of Huckleberry Finn that is free of that particular racial epithet, ostensibly to keep Twain’s classic on school reading lists. Now, let’s just put aside from the absurdity of trying to shield young ears from the N word when it regularly appears in rap music and in daily exchanges of white and black alike. Most children will most likely hear sanitized uses of the N word, as passed from the god-children of Tupac rather than the true and disgusting uses of it from a cultural critic like Mark Twain.

The consequences of cutting out this important piece of Huck Finn are devastating. Spineless school administrators may seek to cut Huck Finn from reading lists due to sensitivities of parents, but the result is that children are denied an important opportunity to learn of the awful history of the term, and it’s connotations that humans can be bought and sold freely. Gribben, who resides in the heart of what was America’s apartheid, should be well aware of the importance of maintaining awareness of the United States’ very ugly history.

The new House of Representatives convened yesterday, and, caving to the batshit demands of the self appointed protectors of the founding fathers, the Tea Party, read the US Constitution aloud. However, our fine lawmakers saw it fit, to remove sections counting black persons as 3/5ths of a human for taxation purposes, and one Congressmen abstained from reading the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to all persons born within the borders of the United States and grants all residents of the United States equal protection under the law. Reportedly, Representative Phil Gingrey of Georgia, abstained due to his opposition to “anchor babies,” or, in common parlance, the children of brown people.

The reading of Article 1 of the Constitution and recognizing the 14th Amendment should stand as a testament to whatever progress we have made since those miserable and embarrassing times. It is distressing that a publicly employed University professor, caving to demands of publicly employed school administrators, would choose to revise the very history they are supposed to be teaching. Gingrey clearly does not understand the incredible significance of the 14th Amendment, which validated many of the founding father’s dream of a state that provided equal rights to all. Gingrey, of course, would have been on the side of land-owning white people, who profited off of the ownership of human beings.

Sweeping our countries ugly race politics and history under the mat will not make it go away. Yes, we have made incredible strides toward a truly equal society in terms of African Americans, but have made conversations about race so taboo, that they are being replaced by equally ugly but more insidious forms of institutional bigotry such as what we’ve repeatedly seen in Arizona, and in conversations about denying rights and protection to Hispanics and non-citizens.

The average American feels perfectly comfortable using bigoted speech in terms of welfare recipients, undocumented workers and non-English speakers. What they need to hear, is that they are merely carrying on an age old tradition of bigotry and hate. Hatred is a cancer. Like cancer, ignoring it will not make it go away.

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