Isn't it funny how the world somehow has come to expect mothers to be more than mothers to the point that it is surprising when mothers are just that, mothers. Maybe some of you remember the song, “Superwoman” by the great Stevie Wonder, “Mary wants to be a superwoman but is that really in her head. But I just want to live each day to love her for what she is. Mary wants to be another movie star but is that really in her mind. And all the things she wants to be she needs to leave behind.” Unfortunately, the world in which we live finds it strange a woman leaving other things behind and not trying to be Superwoman, who wants only to be a mother and nothing else.
Last night I had the pleasure of speaking with Pastor Rose M. Banks. Pastor Banks is the mother of David Banks of the IRP6. The IRP6 are six Colorado businessmen convicted of mail and wire fraud and are currently serving prison sentences ranging from 87 to 135 months in federal prison since July 2012. For those of you who have followed the case via my articles and the tireless advocacy of A Just Cause @ a-justcause.com, you perhaps have some idea of the exhaustive burden Pastor Banks and the families of these six men carry. Unlike Mary of biblical fame, Pastor Banks and the mothers involved in this case, wives included, had no idea they would one-day face what has to be for them an ordeal tantamount to mental crucifixion. At least in Mary’s case she foreknew what her son would have to face and had time to prepare herself, although how can any mother prepare herself to sacrifice a child.
During our conversation last night, Pastor Banks expressed her continued frustration with the failure of our government to honor its promise to provide equal protection under the law and its (government) failure to right its wrongs. Even more palpable was Pastor Banks’ frustration regarding this Mother’s Day, as she lamented the absence of her son and her son-in-law’s brother (Clinton A. Stewart) during this most cherished of family holidays. Though she spoke fondly of the taped messages she received for last year’s Mother’s Day, she made it clear her prayer remains the day will come when taped messages are no longer necessary.
Sadly, Pastor Banks is not the only mother in present-day America having to deal with the reality of sons or daughters languishing in prison, let alone languishing there because of wrongful convictions. A 2009 study by the Pew Center on the States concluded that of the 7.3 million people in the correctional system, 10% or 730,000 might have been innocent of their alleged crimes. These numbers are frightening to say the least and are more cause for concern within the black community considering that more than half of all wrongfully convicted prisoners are black and black males in particular.
The resurgence of Jim Crow type politics on both state and federal levels minimize the chance the situation will improve. To the contrary and given the financial profits associated with the privatizing of prisons, we should not expect to see any legislation targeting relaxing prison population numbers. Despite recent proclamations by the justice department regarding unfair sentencing of blacks versus whites, state legislators continue to hold the keys to the kingdom. In addition, the failure on the part of the federal government to as previously stated, out rogue federal law enforcement both on and off the bench renders such proclamations moot and a clear example of political lip service.
As for the Mothers, whose cheeks are stained with tears, whose knees are bruised from the constant kneeling in prayer and whose hearts are heavy with sorrow, we here at Maryland Daily Examiner cry, kneel and mourn with you. We just want to love you for what you are, Mothers. We salute you for being what you are and for leaving all the things you wanted to be behind. We salute you for being Mothers. As Mrs. Lincoln’s maidservant said to President Lincoln concerning her son who died in the war, For freedom he died. And I’m his mother. That’s what I am to the nation, Mr. Lincoln. What else must I be?”
~~~ Written By Jay Arrington - Maryland Daily Examiner