Alan Bean

Alan Bean

Alan Bean, an ordained American Baptist minister, directs Friends of Justice, a non-profit agency based in Arlington, Texas, dedicated to ending mass incarceration and respecting human dignity in the criminal-justice system. His original post can be found on our blog.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012 00:00

Messy narratives

The Trayvon Martin case is following a predictable trajectory. Calls for the arrest of George Zimmerman centered on the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain’s unprovoked vigilante pursuit of an unarmed citizen. Now comes the inevitable backlash as the Sanford, Fla. police department leaks reports that Martin had been suspended from school after being connected to an empty marijuana baggie. The unspoken message is that Trayvon Martin really was the flipped-out druggie Zimmerman initially reported in a 911 call.

Fred Shuttlesworth is dead at 89. He never thought he would survive the civil rights struggle in Birmingham. Far less protective of his personal safety than men like Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers, Shuttlesworth attributed his survival to the grace of God. He couldn’t think of any other explanation. Frankly, neither can I.

Friday, 16 September 2011 12:55

Jena, five years later

Reed Walters, the prosecutor at the center of a national controversy five years ago over incidents in a small town Louisiana schoolyard, doesn’t think he did a very good job explaining his prosecution of what became known as the Jena Six.

As we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a new Harris Interactive Poll suggests that 54 percent of Americans believe the South seceded over states rights, not slavery. That would have been news to the folks at the helm of the Confederacy.

Page 2 of 2