Blacks unable to remember 'Central Park Six'

Alton H.Maddox | , Jr. | 4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.

When an attorney is unable to get a witness to recall an event, he or she is allowed to refresh the witness' recollection. For example, the attorney may put a ham sandwich under the witness' nose to refresh recollection. This is why I would refrain from letting my Black clients take the witness stand in his or her defense. They generally suffered from post-traumatic slavery disorders. In criminal cases, the Fifth Amendment would shield a suspect from the police, provided the Fifth Amendment could be stretched to reach a Black suspect. The Fifth Amendment is inapplicable to enemy combatants. Chief Justice Roger Taney, in effect, defined enslaved Africans as enemy combatants. This arose from his fictional belief that enslaved Africans were prisoners of war.

If the social sciences were routinely permitted to be used in adversarial proceedings, Blacks might be permitted to enjoy a level playing field. Social sciences have been employed to negatively impact the progress of Blacks. See, for example, Brown v. Board of Education: an unscientific doll test was employed to aggravate the post-traumatic slavery disorders that Black children were suffering from in the United States. Amnesia still plagues Blacks in the United States. Even though the lynching of Emmett Till occurred in Money, Miss., on August 28, 1955, there was no 50th anniversary ceremony in Money on Aug. 28, 2005. If Black leaders had gone to Money on Aug. 28, 2005, they might have never lived to talk about it. Hurricane Katrina was ravaging the Gulf Coast.

Thus, it is not surprising that many Blacks had failed to remember the upcoming 20th anniversary of the arrests of Black and Latino youth in the Central Park jogger case. This was Scottsboro Boys revisited. These horrific experiences have only complicated our ability to recall social injustices. Most Blacks have never heard of the Colfax Massacre, the Camilla Massacre or the Fort Pillow Massacre.

Fortunately, there will be a remembrance of the injustices in the Central Park jogger case on the steps of City Hall on Monday, April 20,at noontime. Councilman Charles Barron will present petitions to Council Speaker Christine Quinn and submit a resolution demanding that New York City immediately compensate the "Central Park Six" for their false arrests and wrongful convictions.

This was the approach that many enslaved Africans had to pursue to gain emancipation. They had to present petitions to state legislatures. This was under the jurisdiction of states' rights. Blacks never enjoyed federalism. Blacks are still striving for freedom. Before my civil rights lawsuit was dismissed in Brooklyn Federal Court, a federal magistrate asserted that I would have to petition the New York Legislature to be reinstated to the practice of law in New York. After I refused to follow the petition route, the court invoked Dred Scott to dismiss the lawsuit.

This judicial advice seemed strange until you consider that white members of the New York Legislature filed the disciplinary complaint against me. The executive branch of government investigated the complaint and the judicial branch of government sanctioned it. This is the opposite of the separation of powers doctrine, which militates against conspiracies.