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Answer to REAL POLITICS POST RE: “Sherman Austin” website

by Jennifer Martin (MOM) Friday, Aug. 29, 2003 at 7:58 PM

Yes, an injury to one is an injury to all, which is precisely the reason why you might want to consider researching the case so that you can gain a better understanding of the entrapment and coercion involved on the part of the government.

Answer to REAL POLITICS POST RE: “Sherman Austin” website

FROM: Jennifer Martin (MOM)

Yes, an injury to one is an injury to all, which is precisely the reason why you might want to consider researching the case so that you can gain a better understanding of the entrapment and coercion involved on the part of the government. This case is NOT just about Sherman, and I challenge you to step back from pointing the finger at a innocent young man who is paying the price for a crime that he did not commit. Sherman has been singled out because of his COLOR and his POLITICS. Sherman, a young man who did not have the financial resources to hire a CRIMINAL ATTORNEY, ended up in the FPD plea bargaining trap. This case received little attention for the past two years from main-stream and progressive media. We were intimidated into silence, so your accusations regarding “ENDLESS stories concerning Sherman Austin” are false.

Sherman is only one of many people of color who has been persecuted by the system for his political beliefs. The round-up of millions of African American men, women, and their families has been taking place for hundreds of years. So many have been arrested that prisons have been built just to hold them. I suggest that you have another look at your statement, “the reporting on Sherman’s case is dangerously close to becoming a platform for hero worship.” You might want to consider taking a long hard look at yourself and engage in some self criticism regarding YOUR priorities.

In response to your statement, “there are groups and organizations springing up all over L.A. County with the sole purpose of defeating and rolling back the so-called Patriot Act.” This case is about the Patriot Act and how the government can and will attack individuals whom they consider a threat because of their politics—the thought police are alive and well in America.

As activists we must learn to approach each situation with a mature and evolving awareness--not judgment. Through this awareness we have the opportunity to contain ambiguity and work towards uniting, instead of falling into the trap that only one cause or politics can be right. I invite you to review the case in its entirety. I am certain that you will see that throughout this case runs a thread that leads to government lies, entrapment, racial profiling, and a level of incompetence that will leave you shocked. You will begin to question if you still live in the United States of America--land of the free.

I fear for my son’s life while he is in prison, however; I know that he is in the very best of company, in spirit if not in body: three nuns just got jailed for pounding on a piece of government property (a missile silo) with a household hammer. We live in a time when our governments focus is on monetary gains NOT the protection of human life.

I would like to end with an often misspoken quote delivered to me by one of my son’s supporters: “My country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right. When wrong, to be put right.” My son Sherman, who was 18 when he was coerced into signing a plea, was in the midst of helping put this country right again. Sherman is not your enemy, so please try to embrace his cause, rather than judging the small space that has been so generously donated by Indy media to publicize his case as “hero worship”. During this very difficult time we must try and understand that we are all in this together, and replace our feelings of animosity and disrespect with love and understanding.

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