2011 was a dynamic year for Tar Heelians with respect to social justice, economic, and political issues. It was also the year that ushered in the “flog” – a portmanteau of Flash and blog – an animated video format in which to present blog-like material… essentially, being an interactive documentary. Economic disparities were brought to the fore with the emergence of the Occupy Movement this year. The discontent with the status quo of the few rich getting richer while more and more individuals and families fall into the depths of poverty. Big corporations like banks, which unabashedly steal real properties and funds from its customers and anyone else they can, merge for the purpose of increasing their bottom line for the benefit of the executives and upper echelon, by creating monopolies to increase the cost of their services and products through loss of competition, while decreasing their bottom line by laying off employees. Environmentally, a new threat has emerged in the form of “fracking,” which threatens to pollute the groundwater with chemicals and carcinogens so that natural gas energy companies can increase their bottom lines. Politically, politicians, such as Renee Ellmers and Stephen LaRoche, are behaving hypocritically and unethically, serving their own needs and not those of the people who put them in office, and putting lobbyists before their constituents… just like any other year.
The most noteworthy stories of 2011 are listed below in the order of their significance. Story Number One – the charging of Crystal Mangum with first degree murder in the death of Reginald Daye. This media controlled story is the height of vendetta justice and is being muzzled by news outlets on a local and national basis. The main problem with this case, which is being prosecuted by Durham Assistant D.A. Kelly Gauger, is that Reginald Daye was removed from life support, after which he died. The fact that he was in a coma for a week prior to the plug being pulled was kept from the public. There was never any explanation as to how Daye slipped into a coma on his third postoperative day following emergency surgery for a stab wound to the left torso… nor has there been any curiosity about it by the media. Two autopsy-related reports have major disparities, with one being criminally fraudulent in its representation of multiple alleged injuries that could not possibly have come from a single paring knife stab wound. Again, no curiosity by the media. There is no nexus between the stab wound to the body and the comatose condition of Daye, and yet despite all of the above, the autopsy reports concluded that Reginald Daye’s death was due to complications of a stab wound to the chest… this after his emergency surgery was considered a success and he was expected to make a full recovery. The media, the politicians, the NAACP, and other civil rights organizations are working together in an effort to allow our criminal justice system to saddle Ms. Mangum with a murder conviction… one which she did not commit. Even her attorney Chris Shella is complicit in this travesty for he has yet to file a motion to have the murder charge against his client dismissed. The larceny charge Ms. Mangum faces from the stabbing incident of April 3, 2011 is flawed, as well. Mangum was charged with two counts of larceny for taking from the scene of the stabbing two money orders… money orders for which she paid. The remitter was listed as Reginald Daye as the money orders were to go towards rent in a symbiotic relationship in which she and her three children were to secretly share his apartment. Daye wanted the money orders to go towards beer and booze, and this was the crux of that fateful evening’s argument. Common sense suggests that had Daye had the money to purchase the money orders, then he would have used it to purchase beer, and there would have been no confrontation. Again, the media is not curious on this point.
Story Number Two – the racist pardon policies of Governor Bev Perdue. Earlier this year, in February, the Governor’s Executive Clemency panel denied the pardon of Erick Daniels without explanation. He was denied a pardon because he is an African American. Erick Daniels needs the pardon so that he can receive monetary compensation for the more than seven years for which he was wrongly imprisoned for an armed robbery that he did not commit. When pressed by Harr for a reason for the denial of his petition or a pardon, the General Counsel for the governor stated that it had conducted its own investigation which generated questions as to Daniels’ actual innocence… an investigation in which it could not share any results due to “confidentiality concerns.” In addition, another African American, Shawn Massey, who was unjustly incarcerated for twelve years, was denied a pardon. And, Glen Edward Chapman, a black man who was sentenced to death in 1994 for a murder he did not commit and was released from death row in 2007, applied for a pardon from the governor on March 21, 2011. No word yet, as the governor continues to drag her feet with the apparent strategy of not granting a pardon by indefinitely delaying a ruling about it. While these race-based injustices continue, the NAACP, other civil rights groups, and politicians enable the injustice by looking away and keeping mum.
Story Number Three – Harr’s discrimination lawsuit against Duke. This legal filing is basically the result of a big institution (Duke University) trampling on the rights of an ordinary individual. Duke, like many mega-corporations, believes that it can do so with impunity because it has big bucks and the media in its back pocket. As its ally, the media kept Duke’s egregious mistreatment of Harr secreted from the public… this to prevent public pressure and embarrassment from forcing it to do the right thing. That Harr has filed Pro Se had forced Duke to rely upon the Courts, as Magistrate Judge P. Trevor Sharp was quick lie about the facts of the case in order to mislead the Court into ruling in favor of Duke’s Motion to Dismiss the action by Harr. Duke’s discriminatory and malicious actions in its plan to have Harr arrested for being a Nifong supporter, the media’s collusion in preventing the public from learning about it, and the magistrate judge’s unethical misconduct on behalf of the Duke defendants, is an affront to the civic, fair-minded citizens of this state. Although this drama has not played out, if there is any justice, then Harr most definitely will prevail… and Harr will not be the only winner. It will keep establishments and institutions from being able to perform acts of discrimination against individuals based on a person’s beliefs, thoughts, opinions, and/or allegiances.
In the coming year, this blog site will update the three important stories listed above. It will continue to cover as many instances of injustice as possible in order to bring awareness and enlightenment about stories which the mainstream media tries to conceal and keep hidden. The bulk of these blogs and flogs will be devoted to criminal justice issues and cases, with those related to Duke Lacrosse/Nifong having precedence. In addition, some entries will tend to focus on economic, environmental, and political injustices as they are all, to an extent, intertwined.
The introduction of the flog in 2011 was a major boon to the presentation of news and opinion. Its main advantage is that it is a perfect format for the reading challenged. In addition, its interactivity enables the viewer to peruse important documents and look over diagrams, photos and other images which support the narrative. Despite its major advantages over the read-only blog, its main drawback – the fact that each flog takes a lot of time and effort to produce – will limit the number of flogs produced in the coming year. Experimenting with an all flog site this past year, reduced the blog site output drastically which resulted in the inability to cover many important stories. Mind you, flogs will continue to be posted on this site, but not as frequently. It is my plan to publish one to two blogs a week, with an occasional flog thrown in. Still in the pipeline is my epic flog about one of the worse, if not worst, instance of injustice in Tar Heel criminal law.
This coming year I will also try and reply to more comments than I have in the past. As I do not have internet at home (too expensive), my time online at the public library, though free, is limited. I continue to welcome all comments regardless of their position, and appreciate the commenters making the effort to give feedback about the postings.
I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and Christmas-related holiday, and I wish you all good health and much happiness in 2012. For my part, I will try and bring you vast amounts of enlightenment in the coming year.