Black Public Scholars

October 26, 2009

Marching for Heather Ellis – Why We Need to Do it Now

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Staff @ 5:18 pm

Why we will march for Heather Ellis

On November 16, 2009, the Your Black World Coalition, NAACP, National Action Network, and Southern Christian Leadership Conference plan to converge on the small town of Kennett, Missouri to fight for justice in the case of Heather Ellis, a 24-year-old college student who faces 15 years in prison for cutting line at a Wal-Mart.

When Justin and Journi, my assistant’s children, brought this case to my attention, I was heartbroken. Their passion about the charges pushed me to action, so I reached out to others to form the "Journey for Justice" to honor the two young children who inspired us to take action in Heather’s case.

I have spoken with the Ellis family extensively, and I’ve also spoken with those who are familiar with the case. It is my opinion that this trial represents one of the greatest travesties of justice imaginable. The greater concern is that Heather’s dilemma is not the root of the problem – it is merely a symptom of broader systemic patterns of civil injustice.

In nearby Poplar Bluff, MO, a 15-year old boy, Walter Currie Jr., was doused with gasoline and set on fire by his classmates, with the perpetrator allegedly yelling racial epithets as he did it. Heather’s case is just the tip of the iceberg when referring to the ultra-conservative Bootheel area, less than 100 miles away from the town where Rush Limbaugh was born.

Here are the 5 reasons why we will march on Kennett and why we are not going to stop:

Click to read.

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