Brenda Anderson, a Black lesbian at the time, defended herself against attackers in Texas after she left the check cashers' and went to a movie. She observed a man watching her as she pulled a wad of money out of her pocket at the movie theater's concession stand. Three men followed Brenda as she walked from the theater. When she reached a dark, lonely street, one of them pulled out a gun. She shot two of the men, paralyzing one of them. Brenda was immediately arrested. Her trial centered on her homosexuality rather than her right to self-defense. She was accused of "hating men," although the men were repeat offenders. She was imprisoned in solitary confinement for many years, Brenda Anderson's story in her own words is online at "Dog Justice for Mentally Ill" http://dogjusticeformentallyill.blogspot.com/2014/10/aimi-vs-usa-b-anderson-claimant.html
I read news published by the about Beaulah Montgomery, a White woman who fatally shot two of her seven attackers, and I thought about Brenda. The story about Beaulah was fabricated, but Brenda's story is true. Black women are not allowed to "stand our ground." The world learned that during the prosecution of Marissa Alexander, a Florida woman who was initially sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for firing a warning shot to stop her ex-husband from beating her just days after she had given birth. Brenda Anderson was tortured in solitary confinement for years. As a prisoner, she was even made to undergo surgery on her abdomen without anesthesia.
Many people are concerned about the tendency that America has to disregard justice in order to incarcerate more people for prison profits and to cover-up abuses of power that are most common regarding people of color and the mentally ill of all races. Prison investors tend to favor arresting people in either category, with or without guilt. But these facts are treated like secrets. As I tried to post this story at Google+, hackers interfered. I then waited through a slowdown virus to post this news at Facebook. The government should prevent hackers from taking over computers belonging to human rights activists, especially if the hackers work for the government. But censorship regarding discrimination and the prison industrial complex is treated like a lawful activity.
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which may be used to stop Americans' freedom of press online. That would limit dissemination of information about the prison industrial complex and other human rights issues. More importantly, Bernie Sanders announced a war against private prisons and jails and has entered a bill in Congress that would end federal contracts with private prison comapnies. Without private prison profiteering, Brenda Anderson and many other women might not have suffered for decades behind bars. Eliminating private prison profiteering, like Sanders plans, is the only way to end mass incarceration in the USA, and exposing injustice such as Anderson experienced is the only way to elicit support for its eradication. Help stop TPP and private prison profiteering in one blow - support Bernie Sanders.
Mary Neal, director
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (AIMI)