As the clock counts down to Gov. Beverly Perdue’s decision whether to grant pardons of innocence to all of the Wilmington Ten – and we certainly hope she does – we’ve been noticing something expected, yet peculiar.
The more we make our case about the innocence of the ten civil rights activists who were falsely tried, convicted and sent to prison for crimes they did not commit, the more crazy people seem to come out of the woodwork.
For instance, recently some group called “Citizens for Justice” put an ad in the local newspaper asking “Gov. Purdue” not to pardon the Wilmington Ten. Then they click off a number of reasons they don’t want to see it happen, none of which speak to any credible evidence that any of the Wilmington Ten were guilty of any crimes.
And then they want someone to take a lie detector test, or something, to prove that our evidence showing how prosecutor Jay Stroud tried to racially gerrymander the jury was true.
These “justice” folks apparently didn’t read the very newspaper where they placed their dumb ad. . Stroud has already admitted that the files we first exposed last September are indeed his, and in his handwriting.
We guess the folks who don’t even know how to spell the governor’s name didn’t catch that article. And yet they know for a fact that the Wilmington Ten were, are, and always will be guilty of crimes they did not commit.
Sad, sad, sad.
Then there’s that retired Wilmington police officer who “knows” exactly what happened on the night of Feb. 6, 1971 – when Mike’s Grocery was firebombed – even though the man didn’t join the Wilmington Police force until May 1971.
To listen to this man, you’d have to believe that they did something wrong that night, even if he can’t prove it. They had to have done something wrong. They were following Ben Chavis. You know, that radical. How could we ever think about pardoning people like this?
Oh, and by the way. This retired cop “knows” that something is wrong with the Stroud files. After all, the NAACP and that law professor from North Carolina Central University are involved.
So it must be phony.
Sad, sad, sad.
And please, let us not forget Mayor Bill Saffo.
This is an elected official who attended the Feb. 3rd, 2011 event at UNC-Wilmington commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Wilmington Ten, made a quick speech where he openly apologized to the Wilmington Ten for the injustice that they suffered at the hands of Wilmington police and the judicial system; and then he read a proclamation denoting how the city should learn the lessons of the Wilmington Ten.
Great event! And great leadership as well.
Or at least we thought.
When the Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project included an unedited copy of not just Mayor Saffo’s strong remarks, but also the entire memorable event on DVD for the governor to see, along with the over 14,000 petition names, Saffo objected, saying that the project was using his words “out of context.”
Saffo says he wasn’t referencing the Wilmington Ten’s guilt or innocence. Only the fact that they were sent to prison too long.
Not that they were sent to prison at all, but rather that they had been imprisoned for too long.
Talk about sad…Mayor Saffo disappointed us greatly.
It was sadly very apparent that Mayor Saffo had to squirm out of his own words. To think that the mayor has had all of this time to refute his own words caught on video, and reprinted in a daily newspaper for the world to see, and only now, when the two-year old video is given to the governor as part of the pardons of innocence project, does Saffo get cold feet, and starts doing a reverse moonwalk away from his own words.
Yes, Mayor Saffo is sad, sad, SAD!
You’re starting to see all of this weak opposition to justice for the Wilmington Ten because our supporters, particularly Rev. William Barber of the NC NAACP, have been making the case that what happened to the Wilmington Ten forty years ago was a travesty of justice.
People don’t want to hear that. They want blood for the violence that ensued on Wilmington’s streets. They want someone to forever pay for it. Problem is they arrested and framed the wrong some ones.
So we want to make clear to our community, readers and supporters – we are here to stand for justice for the Wilmington Ten. Our evidence is powerful, and our will is unbending. Forty years of suffering must cease for the Wilmington Ten. Four of them have died. Three of the remaining six are in ill health.
We are too close to the goal, too close to changing history.
We know that Almighty GOD is with us in this effort, and anyone who doesn’t understand that…well we only have three words for you.
Sad, sad, sad!