African Americans' Have Common Struggles With Animal Rights Groups

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The animal rights demographic includes people of all races and colors. Both groups (African Americans and Animal Rights Groups) are fighting to expose cruelty and mistreatment by the majority.
Both groups are often maligned as being zealots and crazy.

[National: Comment]

Re: "Cheyenne Cherry Troubled But No 'Monster,'" by Robert Fleming July 28, 2009.

The article has unfortunately created more obstacles between two groups, which should be working together. 

Of course, there will be conflict between large movements, even when they are mostly are fighting for the same things.

But, maintaining our relationships and ties, despite these conflicts, is most important.  Your article is divisive. More articles need to point-out the common goals between African American and Animal Rights advocates (represented by
all races), which would ultimately benefit us all.

The majority of animal rights groups are peacefully trying to sensitize the majority to the little known suffering and horrors that befall domestic and farm animals. Because animals do not have the intelligence and legal rights that most Americans now have, they are treated with callous and disregard. Atrocities are allowed to continue in the darkness of ignorance. 

On July 15, 2009, animal rights protestors --I was there-- were attempting to persuade the Assistant District Attorney to treat this case with care; not a simple no-thought plea bargain. There was no yelling, no cries for blood.

No passionate debate at all, as a matter of fact. We agreed that a longer sentence was best, with the chance of early release conditioned upon therapy with an expert trained in animal cruelty cases.

A mixed group of animal rights advocates stood quietly outside the courthouse, while another dozen sat in stillness in the courtroom. The defense attorney mocked the advocates, and the ADA ignored them. As far as we could tell, the ADA had no interest in "throwing the book" at Ms. Cherry, or even giving her case any special treatment. 

As expected, the ADA will be recommending a one year (two one-year concurrent terms), no-thought plea deal, with no suggestions for therapeutic intervention. 

The ADA's recommendation tomorrow will not include, as far as we know, an incentive for therapy--instead, an agreed-upon 'no early release' clause.

Ms. Cherry has shown no remorse for her cruelty. She did stick her tongue out, proclaim "it's dead, bitch" several times, smirked, and laughed aloud at those in the audience--in the courtroom, in front of the judge. 

One person in the audience, who was not sitting with the advocate group, gave her the finger. Her webpage contained the sound of a crying cat. She is undoubtedly a young girl in need of focused wrap-around services and not the kind that she received in the past. 

Why she ever reached this point may have much to do with a broken family, poverty, poor education, abuse and neglect; I don't know. But, I know that systemic and pervasive racism has helped to create and perpetuate these ills.
Our two movements have much in common.

The animal rights demographic includes people of all races and colors.  The picture on the back cover of the NY Daily News is of a Hispanic woman.  Most people that spoke with the demonstrators outside--people that shrieked in disgust, were Black and
Hispanic. Both groups are fighting to expose cruelty and mistreatment by the majority. 

Both groups are often maligned as being zealots and crazy.

And, most importantly, both contain divisive people that prevent more meaningful coalitions between all minority groups fighting for peace and justice. Just as those currently in power would want it.

So, are you a person that creates coalitions or helps to destroy them? Write a follow-up article.  Admit the minor mistakes of fact in your article, and follow-up with one that will help bring our two groups closer, so that we can help each other fight for justice. 

And, if you can, join the demonstrators tomorrow.

Editor's Note: Black Star News Editorial Board member Colin Benjamin will be responding to this article shortly

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