A "BROAD AND BLACK" BLOG At "A Thinker's Greenspace"
Terry Lynn Howcott
SCOTT SISTERS ARE US
Blogging For The Scott Sisters
I come to blog about Jamie and Gladys Scott, biological sisters serving life sentences for stealing $11.00, after engaging in several months of relative foot dragging (please learn more details of their conviction in Mississippi which was accomplished absent a shred of physical evidence at Free The Scott Sisters blog).
In thinking about approaches to this story, the same question kept resurfacing parallel to my strategizing. What was it about the Scott Sisters that kept me concentrating on any other project but theirs.
What was it about their plight that had me antsy - hesitant about digging deep.
The Scott Sisters - they are us.
That important reflection and inventory led to the realization that the trepidation was borne from a fear of imagining myself deeply rooted in their shoes.
After hundreds of reposts with short blurbs, delving into the crevices of their story would require me to face the potent conceivability that any of us could be sent away for making some miniscule error in judgment.
Carving out a writing would require me to accept that these young women could have just as easily been a bold, youthful, careless, underdeveloped Terry Howcott.
I recalled my earlier years as a dining room server, overhearing successful businessmen discussing petty street crimes that they had committed - confessing the indiscretions of their young adulthood.
I thought of how the oppressor has always managed to hyper-inflate even the most mundane events in order to suit a kind of sick itch to have control of masses of Black bodies.
These Scott Sisters are us - as they withstand a brutal punishment that in no way corresponds in fairness with their purported crime. They persist against the oppressor's disproportionate wrath even that much more, given their medical concerns, the atrocious nutritional value of their food intake, and the mountain of stressors that they endure in their daily lives.
Living under these conditions, grouped together with having to comprehend the terror that they are in prison for life for no substantive reason - are akin to attempted emotional and physical murder.
These Scott Sisters - they are us.
Their story reminds us of Africans who "talked back"- were subsequently framed - falsely accused - and hung from tree limbs with their murderers pointing and chuckling with glee.
They are us, in that they remind us of our vulnerability, and that in a persecutor's world, our Black African stories are rarely believable even when pitted against the backdrop of fantastical "White lies" and conjurings.
The Scott Sisters are us - as the vicious unfairness of their sentences remind us of how they're policies are perpetrated against us with savage velocity rather than in the crisp, thoughtful, considerate manner in which they give one another gracious "second chances."
And, yes - the Scott Sisters are us. We see it in their grueling punishment which leaves us mindful of our own barbaric impatience with one another. In the peace of stillness, we are conscious of how White supremacy - including that found in Black-face - has acculturated us (via media illustrations and online infiltration) to believe that there is never a good, understandable, or complex explanation for Black misconduct.
The Scott Sisters are us.
If in our knowledge of this, we don't work, blog, scream and shout at the top of our lungs to save them - many of us will be sick with guilt when the next one they kidnap (and make no mistake that this was a literal kidnapping) turns out to be our daughter, sister, aunt, mother or niece.
Confused and choked with grief, we will desperately seek out activist thinkers and bloggers who - through the pain and all - will gladly help to carry our message home.
Scott Sisters Hunger Strike Set
Gray-Haired Witnesses For Justice Plan Hunger Strike
at The Department of Justice, June 21, 2010
No More Banquets!
"The case of the Scott Sisters is a horrific representation of the cases of countless other Black and poor women who have been denied the benefits of true justice and been incarcerated wrongly and in the process punishing, injuring and destroying Black families and children across the nation."
Very top photo is of Jamie Scott when she was released from prison to attend her sister's funeral. Gladys Scott was not allowed to attend.
The Scott Sisters are said to no longer resemble their photos. Jamie Scott has suffered complete renal failure at age 38.
She suffers from prison-onset diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. Just before suffering renal failure, she was reportedly tossed into solitary confinement for over 20 days without medication.
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