Censorship is a concept. Black people must start thinking conceptually. According toBlack’s Law Dictionary, a “censor” is a person who “inspects publications, films and the like for objectionable content”. In a free society, a person has the “right to know”. The “right to know” results from the right of another person to express his or her views.
Before the advent of the Slave Theater in 1988 as a public forum, censorship was widely practiced in New York City. There was only one institution which uniquely and universally invited people from around the world on a weekly basis to speak; namely, the Slave Theater. United African Movement refused to honor a “white” list. UAM followed First World in time.
This universal and unique practice incited the Anti-Defamation League and the Giuliani administration to either require United African Movement to be subject to some form of regulation or to close its doors. UAM refused to accept either option. There was already a “Fifth Column” in UAM. Its operations had hit the ground running in 1990.
An abridgement of the “right to know” can have a detrimental effect on the mental health of a community. It can also negatively affect the criminal process and, therefore, it creates a floodgate to the prison-industrial complex in the form of wrongful convictions. When Blacks in New York City accept the responsibility of running City Hall, there will be a meaningful deterrent to wrongful convictions. Persons who have been wrongfully convicted will receive meaningful and immediate compensation from the New York City Council.
The impediment of the “right to know” also caused grand jury abuse in the matter of Tawana Brawley. New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams used a grand jury proceeding to cause a miscarriage of justice. This was state-sponsored defamation without due process of law. Now, the day-to-day operations of this kangaroo proceeding has been under lock and key for nearly twenty-five years.
If the transcripts of this kangaroo proceeding could be put under a microscope, there would be no need to raise funds to stop the unlawful garnishment of the wages of Tawana Brawley in Virginia. The transcript would show the lack of a quorum in the grand jury to vote on Tawana Brawley’s credibility and it would identify the author of the grand jury report as Abrams himself and not the grand jury as is required by law.
Soon after the defamation trial in Dutchess County, I took a trip to Boise, Idaho to talk to a grand juror in the Brawley investigation. His affidavit indicated that Abrams, and not the grand jury, wrote the grand jury report. This is a violation of statutory law. New York has never charged him with perjury. Truth would be a defense. Moreover, the transcript will, more than likely, show that a quorum was not present as is required by law. Many of the grand jurors had grown sick of Abrams.
Today, no reason exists for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to hold these transcripts hostage. This was probably the first time in New York history that the selection of grand jurors was done in public. I had demanded an open investigation. Since the grand jurors were chosen in “open and plain view” twenty-five years ago, no reason exists for the transcripts to be under lock and key today.
The American Revolution was fought to secure and guarantee representation. Ineffective representation can be costly. By Black selected officials and leading Blacks refusing to demand that the governor and the attorney general in New York follow the law, supporters of justice, who are also opposed to “legitimate rape”, must pay the financial freight to stop the illegal garnishment of Tawana Brawley’s wages every two weeks.
The only evidence that Steven Pagones used to support his defamation action was the bogus, grand jury report in the Brawley investigation. For other legal reasons, the grand jury report should have been ruled inadmissible. Justice S. Barrett Hickman admitted it without any legal restrictions. Among other things, it is naked and fatalistic hearsay.
The Court should have dismissed his tort claims. Secondly, the admissibility of the grand jury report violates the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in New York Times v. Sullivan to rely solely on hearsay in a defamation action. This decision must be read by anyone who has the temerity to criticize a public official like Steven Pagones. It put some brakes on his claims in Pagones v. Maddox et. al.