Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Battle of the Titans: Big Kids 1, Big Insurance 0

By Eddie Griffin

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Born March 15, 2010, Houston Tracy needed immediate heart surgery to correct a defect known as “Blue Baby syndrome”. But the insurance company refused to provide the baby coverage based upon this “pre-existing” condition.

According to a Star-Telegram report:

Doug and Kim Tracy are self-employed, but cannot afford to carry insurance on themselves. They provide healthcare coverage for their two children under Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. It was under this existing policy that they hoped to include Houston. Otherwise, they paid for prenatal care and hospitalization out of their pockets

Doug Tracy called the insurance company before the baby's birth to get the child covered but was told by an insurance representative that he had 30 days after the birth to apply for a policy. Then the baby was born with the defect and the insurance company denied his coverage, leaving the family to potentially deal with the expensive cost of the operation.

“How can he have a pre-existing condition if the baby didn't exist until now?” Tracy asked.

This was one of the very issues that shaped the long and arduous healthcare debate, whether children with pre-existing conditions would receive coverage under the new legislation. So Doug took his cause to the public, on Facebook, to the media, and congressional leaders.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas responded by courier.

After the denial of coverage, friends rallied around the family and contacted politicians and the media to publicize the situation. State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, and Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, asked Blue Cross to reconsider its decision. Turner said that it was great news that the medical bills would be covered.

(See Wendy Davis)

In the meantime, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a sternly worded message to the insurance industry not to try and exploit a potential loophole in the new law that would allow them to deny healthcare coverage to children like Houston Tracy.

“Health insurance reform is designed to prevent any child from being denied coverage because he or she has a pre-existing condition,” Sebelius wrote to Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans. “Now is not the time to search for nonexistent loopholes that preserve a broken system.”

“The term 'pre-existing condition exclusion' applies to both a child's access to a plan and his or her benefits once he or she is in the plan,” Sebelius wrote.

Narrowly read, it seemed to say that if an insurance company accepts a particular child, it cannot write a policy for a child that excludes coverage for a given condition. For example, if the child has asthma, the insurer cannot exclude inhalers and respiratory care from coverage, as sometimes happens now.

“Health plans recognize the significant hardship that a family faces when they are unable to obtain coverage for a child with a pre-existing condition, Ignagni said in a response letter to Sebelius. The industry will “fully comply” with the regulations.

KIDS 1, Big Insurance 0

But U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess and Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott would have this victory short lived, because they seek to invalidate the healthcare law by constitutional challenge, and thereby undo the law and consequently uncover every “blue baby that comes into the world”, and genetically deformed babies being uncovered because of a “pre-existing” condition.

A pre-existing condition can date back to the at-risk mother, obese or diabetic, and cancer risk that run in the family. It was totally at the discretion of Big Insurance, to determine condition of coverage, and prices. Now that dominance is no more.

Burgess and Abbot seek to turn back the clock, and undo the good already done. (See Burgess FOX interview). The health insurance companies can undo all policies with “pre-existing” conditions like Houston Tracy.

AG Gregg Abbott issued this press release through Cox Newspapers, “Texas attorney general discusses multistate healthcare lawsuit”.


AUSTIN -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and 12 attorneys general from other states have sued in a Florida federal court to block implementation of the healthcare legislation that President Barack Obama signed into law last week.

Did you feel compelled to seek permission to do this from Gov. Rick Perry or members of the Legislature?

Whenever the sovereignty of a state has been encroached upon by the federal government, as it has been in this situation, it is the inherent right of the attorney general to represent the state of Texas. But that aside, I had been in consultation with Gov. Perry and his office -- my office had been working with his office -- before this lawsuit was filed.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Response- False. By what “inherent right” does the Attorney General assume authority under the Texas Constitution? State’s Rights vs. Human Rights is the issue.

Will this require a lot of staff time, and how much will it cost?
There has been no out-of-pocket cost incurred by the state of Texas. Those costs have been borne by Florida, as I understand it. Of course, we do have some printer costs and some copier costs involved. Staff time -- we haven't hired new people; we won't need to hire new people; we won't be hiring any experts. So it won't cost a dime of taxpayer dollars with regard to any out-of-pocket costs.

There have been some hours spent by some people already on staff who are working on a multitude of other issues, but this is just in the ordinary course of their activities. Most of the work is actually going to be conducted by Florida. While this may not be costing hardly anything to the taxpayers of the state of Texas, the potential of saving taxpayer dollars is immense.

EDDIE GRIFFIN: Response- False. There is a people’s interest that supersedes state’s rights, and that is The Right to Life, which will be undone if the AG prevails.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Commentary on the Torpedo Sinking of ACORN

By Eddie Griffin

Monday, March 29, 2010

I am still befuddled as to why the Star-Telegram would call me and ask if I ever worked with the local chapter of ACORN. Then today I discovered this article in the paper, “ACORN offices in Dallas-Fort Worth appear closed”. The author, Anna M. Tinsley, could find to trace of the organization, and only one person formerly affiliated with it.

Former Fort Worth Councilman Jim Lane said that ACORN workers were very knowledgeable and forceful about the issues they were working on, and “they were very effective with what they did,” he said. “They frustrated me sometimes because they didn't take time sometimes to listen and really understand what the problems were… We certainly listened to them,” he said. “I always thought they operated in good faith.”

Sometimes leaders of community-based organizations do not listen. And nobody, it seems, listens to Eddie Griffin.

In October 2008, during the presidential campaign, I forewarned that ACORN was a target for political subversion.

"Which Witch is Which in this Witch Hunt? Texas Senator goes after Grassroots Community Organizing Group ACORN" (October 15, 2008)

"ACTION ALERT! Defend Community Organizers" (October 16, 2008)

"Republicans Scapegoat ACORN: An Attack on All Community Organizers" (October 17, 2008)

"Where is John Cornyn’s Allegations against ACORN Now?" (October 31, 2008)

ACORN had forgotten the lesson of how Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society was subverted under Donald Rumsfeld during the Nixon administration, through the United States Office of Economic Opportunity. During the time of the Black Panther Party’s Ten Point Program, the nascent black political party upstart instituted a feeding program for school children and senior citizens, community schools, and free health clinics.

Thousands upon thousands of poor and hungry children were fed free breakfasts every day by the Party under this program. The program was so successful that J. Edgar Hoover called it the greatest threat to national security. There were police raids on Black Panther kitchens and food destroyed, and raids on clinics, while at the same time the Nixon administration was setting up its own free breakfast programs, under Rumsfeld. The objective was to discredit the work of the party and force dependency upon the U.S. government new welfare programs.

The government began giving grants to community based organizations. During the 1980s, they began investigating these organizations for mismanagement of federal funds. Usually, these organizations were poor bookkeepers, and some program organizers were convicted as welfare pimps.

Obviously, ACORN must have thought itself above the fray and entrapment. But what they were unable to see was that any federal grant money that went to help the poor and underserved would be interpreted as indirect partisan support for the Democratic Party. ACORN was primarily known for mass voter registration in the poor and minority communities.

By Purpose & Numbers

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) is a collection of community-based organizations in the United States that advocates for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other social issues. ACORN had over 400,000 members and more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the U.S.

ACORN's priorities have included: better housing and wages for the poor, more community development investment from banks and governments, better public schools, and other social justice issues. ACORN pursued these goals through demonstration, negotiation, lobbying for legislation, and voter participation. ACORN comprised a number of legally distinct non-profit entities including a nationwide umbrella organization established as a 501(c)(4) that performed lobbying; local chapters established as 501(c)(3) nonpartisan charities; and the ACORN Housing Corporation.

Early Attack

The first attack on ACORN came during absentee voting. ACORN volunteers helped senior citizens register to vote. They claimed that the volunteers were signing senior citizens ballots and telling them how to vote. Some community activists were caught up in the false accusations.

Then they claimed that ACORN volunteers were registering Mickey Mouse and dead people. For $8 an hour, some ACORN volunteers tried to pad their salaries with phony numbers. Thus, they were labeled a criminal enterprise- for $8 an hour.

Then they claimed voter fraud and asked the Bush administration to send in the FBI. They found nothing.

Then they sent in phony actors to induce a fabricated criminal conspiracy. It was video taped.

Young people and people with short memories may not remember. But Eddie Griffin has documented his skillful subversion.

On February 20, 2006, John McCain accepts the honors and acclamation of the Service Employees International Union, People for the American Way, UNITE HERE -- and ACORN.

“What is special about America is in this room,” he said. (See YouTube video)

On the night of October 15, 2008, Judas stabs ACORN in the back and John Cornyn cuts ACORN throat. Just as I predicted, John McCain would betray ACORN on national TV.

The attack on ACORN in 2008 was a direct attack of presidential candidate Barack Obama, once a community organizer in Chicago, and closely allied with ACORN.

It is believed, in some circles, that the elimination of ACORN would be the demise of the Democratic Party in local elections, not having to contend with the “poverty vote”.

This the way that Eddie Griffin saw it, as it materialized from the 1960s until now. Local ACORN leaders never consulted me for advice.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Healthcare Hero Comes Home

By Eddie Griffin

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Roy C. Brooks is our hero. He is County Commissioner for Precint One, my home district. In today’s Star-Telegram editorial, he tells of his odyssey in healthcare reform, starting from his experience as a child watching his dad minister to the health needs of an impoverished community, down to witnessing President Barack Obama sign the Healthcare Reform Bill into law.

He writes: "I had tears in my eyes as I stood and bore witness after our president signed this life-changing piece of legislation, and, once again, made history... I'm eager to get back home and start working to put into action the benefits of healthcare reform in Tarrant County for all who have needed it for so long."

We say: Welcome Home, Hero. It was a hard fought battle, and a victory well won.

The Brooks family is in the healthcare business. Roy’s father is a legend in Fort Worth. He built his family clinic in the most economically depressed neighborhood and ministered to the poor.

As Roy writes: "As a young boy, I saw my father, Dr. Marion J. Brooks, practice medicine in this community. I would accompany him to the basement of St. Joseph's hospital, where the colored people who could afford it were treated, and later out into the communities in Tarrant County, where he would deliver his services, free of charge, to the many that could not afford it."

The clinic started by Jack Brooks and his brother continues today with Clarence, the youngest son. The family tradition holds true, as Roy writes: "There, right among us, were the people who needed healthcare desperately but could not access the system. For those with no health plan, there was Dr. Brooks."

When we were sick and had no money, we went to Dr. Brooks. He would never turn us away. He paid, out of his own pocket, the upfront cost for our medicine and various innoculations, and allowed us to pay him back, a little at a time, whenever we could.

I often wondered how the Brooks family could survive. Yet, I remember also that there was something almost sacred about the Hippocratic Oath to Doc Brooks, and something precious and nobel about serving his people.

He fought for black patients to receive fair healthcare at the white hospitals, where we were originally relegated to treatment in the hospital basement. His nephew, Michael Brooks, continued the struggle for equal rights and treatment of black physicans. Their empowerment meant greater access to healthcare for us.

The Brooks family history in healthcare, patient rights, and dignity of African-American physicans is long, even extending into the political arena, where Roy now serves as an elected county court commissioner for a precinct of over 300,000 people. Nevertheless, healthcare is in the blood and in the family genes.

During Roy Brooks first term in office, he took up the issue of healthcare for the homeless, and spearheaded Team Health which was aimed at reducing minority health disparity. He is a member of the Infant Mortality Steering Committee, because he realizes that infant mortality in our community is as high as some Third World Countries.

He is chairman of the National Association of Counties Healthcare Reform Task Force, a member of the Advisory Board of Community Hospice of North Texas, and board of director member of Fort Worth/Dallas Birthing Project. Beside the many other positions of leadership in his illustrious and accomplished bio, he is a member of the Board of Directors of National Association of Counties, and past president of the National Association of Black County Officials.

Upon his inaugrial to the Commissioners Court, he denoted that it was a position that he had prepared his whole life for. To this fact, I can attest, having watched him grow up through the years. His family is as close to me as my own family. His dad was a dad to me, and likewise his mother, Mrs Marie.

And, though I was not there to see the historic signing of the President’s healthcare reform bill, I could see it through the teary eyes of a lifelong friend, who now ranks among my greatest hero.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baa Baa Black Sheep

By Eddie Griffin

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Unfortunately, we find ourselves fighting a resurgence of racism behind these all-out anti-Obama attacks. Giving aide and comfort to the racists is the Republican Party. When protesters start spitting and calling black congressmen “ni**ers”, then it is time to draw the line in the sand, and ask: Where do you stand, if you stand at all?

It is not about the Healthcare Bill. It never was. It is about those who declared, at the very beginning, they hoped President Barack Obama would fail. In other words, the newly elected black president could do nothing right in their sight, because their hearts were already hardened. They hide among the sheep, cloaked behind political charades, spewing anti-administration rhetoric, while openly plotting subversion. We are not blind.

To A Black Sheep

Bah bah black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, Yes, sir,
Three bags full.
One for my master,
One for my dame,
One for the little boy
That lives in the lane.

This was the way Texas school children learned it. With it, white children taunted us. It was compulsive reading, like the story of “Little Black Sambo”. At first grade, how were we to know?

Racism can be hidden in the heart, as easily disguised as literature, movie, or political causes. It has been used by evil oppressors for centuries. But wherever it has been beaten back, it has resurfaced, more viciously than before, along with a movement toward revisionist history.

People forget that Texas was the last Confederate state to fall, June 19, 1865, over two years after the Emancipation. Some parts of Texas never flew the Union flag, and still carry the Confederate flag to their holiday ceremonies.

Black folk in Texas are not deaf, dumb, blind, or fearful. If anything, we are patient. We have seen the same scenario played out in history, over and over again.

For example: It was no secret to us why so many Texas courthouses were burned during the 1870s, and marriage license records, land ownership, and vital statistics destroyed. This period of lawlessness in Texas, formerly known as the Wild West, forced Negroes to fend for themselves against white terrorism.

We see it resurface again, on the eve of the healthcare bill vote, reminiscent of 1950s Birmingham, Little Rock, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Texas. It is like a resurrected evil thing that cannot hide its long tail.

They really showed their tails the other day, in Washington, D.C. Jackasses all over the place like humanity has not seen since the beginning of the Civil Rights Era. If anything sealed the deal on the Healthcare Reform Bill, then surely it was a stand of bravery, against these racist threats and hateful remarks.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Eddie Griffin Comments on Cocaine Sentencing Disparity Senatorial Compromise

I have received a ton of email about the Senate’s recent passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

March 17, 2010 (NPR, North Country Gazette)- excerpt
Under unanimous consent, the Senate today for the first time passed legislation that would end the controversial 100 to 1 disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing. The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 would decrease the quantity disparity to 18 to 1. The bill moves on to the House for action… Last week, after senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reached a compromise, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary unanimously passed the bill which raises the trigger amount of crack cocaine for the 5-year mandatory minimum from 5 grams to 28 grams, and the trigger for a 10-year mandatory minimum from 50 grams to 280 grams.

From my perspective, it is a good start, because this particular disparity contributes to the disproportionate number of young African-American males to be in prison.

First, I recognize that it is a compromise, which means that this is the best that we can do in closing the gap, at this time, and under these conditions. After all, everything is a compromise. Nothing is perfect.

Second, I recognize the tremendous damage done in the community through the distribution of crack cocaine. And, in all my years, I have never seen a crack damaged brain repair itself. Crack-heads never recover. The brain damage caused by crack sends the victim into a downward spiral in mental capacities. Many are wards of the state or the county, labeled as MHMR (Mental Health/Mental Retardation). Most crack-heads that I know receive disability checks from the state of Texas. Otherwise, they cannot care for themselves at all.

At my age, my energies are better spent educating the next generation about the irreversible brain damage caused by the drug, and to help steer kids away from it, and minister to the children whose parents are addicted. I have brothers and sisters trying to help ex-addicts break their addictions.

But all the king’s horses and all the king’s men cannot put Humpty Dumpty back together again. This is a lost generation, wiped off the useful face of the map by crack cocaine.

Therefore, my sentiment for crack cocaine distributors is mixed. I believe that Justice must be tempered by the weight of the crime. For example, the Jena 6 teenagers should not have been charged with aggravated assault and have to face up to 80 years in prison, all because of a school yard fight. Shequanda Cotton should never have been sent to juvenile detention for up to 7 years for shoving her way into the school building. Genarlow Wilson should have never been sentenced to 10 years for consensual with a teenage girl only two years his junior. Jamie Scott should not have a double life sentence for an $11 robbery in which no one was hurt.

Black defendants should not receive 100-to-1 times the sentence given to others for the same offense. Cocaine is cocaine.

But we do not live in a “shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’” world. We take the compromise and thank God for it, and continue to fight for better, and clean of the mess made by imperfect men and their bad judgment.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sister Jamie Scott Dying in Prison

By Eddie Griffin

We are torn apart by the State of Mississippi and its heartless treatment of a terminally ill African-American grandmother in prison. Even more, we are confused as to who to blame for this travesty and miscarriage of justice.

We understand that Jamie Scott was sent to prison with a double life sentence over an $11 robbery in which no one was hurt. We understand also that neither she, nor her sister, took direct part in the crime. Nevertheless, they were both given the same harsh sentence.

Despite Jamie and Gladys Scott steadfastly maintaining their innocence, Jamie now suffers kidney failure and is undergoing dialysis treatment. Without a transplant, she will likely die. Why would state officials allow this to happen, in light of the fact that they have each already served 15 years?

We have seen justice perverted many times before in Mississippi. We remember the fate of Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, Vernon Dahmer, and the three Civil Rights students James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

In Texas, we watched a college student who was falsely accused of rape languish in prison for over 10 years, only to die an ignoble death on a cold concrete floor, partly from medical neglect and heartbreak. He was an innocent kid, a military veteran who served his country in the Gulf War. His name was Tim Cole.

Nobody wants to die in prison, especially an innocent person like Tim Cole. Even today, at this writing, Texas Governor Rick Perry is in the process of delivering a posthumous pardon to the young man’s family. No one seems to remember that the same governor had the power to pardon him prior to his demise.

It is obvious Jamie Scott needs the attention of the International Red Cross, because Chief Medical Officer Gloria Perry, despite her accolades and meritorious achievements, is a Mississippian in the same mold as her forefathers. Medical neglect is systemic and wanton.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has a provision for a “conditional medical release”. But the plea of the Scott Sister seems to reach only the deaf ears of the hardhearted. Therefore, it does no good for the victim to complain to the victimizer. We must reach higher.

The U.S Justice Department has a Special Litigation section in charge of enforcing the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act. The case of Jamie Scott hinges close to criminal negligence. And, her double life sentence is excessive, cruel, and unusual.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Texas Board of Education Approves Conservative New Curriculum

What is Education, anyway?
By Eddie Griffin

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

By a 10-5 vote, the Texas State Board of Education approved a new social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks. For example, they will replace the word “capitalism” throughout textbooks with “free-enterprise system”, because, as Board member Terri Leo says, “Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation… You know, ‘capitalist pig’”.

“We are adding balance,” said Dr. Don McLeroy, the leader of the conservative faction on the board, after the vote. “History has already been skewed. Academia is skewed too far to the left.”

Dr. McLeroy, a dentist by training, pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement to ensure that students study the violent philosophy of the Black Panthers in addition to the nonviolent approach of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Board member David Bradley won approval for an amendment saying students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation.

They also included a plank to ensure that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”

Efforts by Hispanic board members to include more Latino figures as role models for the state’s large Hispanic population were consistently defeated, prompting one member, Mary Helen Berlanga, to storm out of a meeting late Thursday night, saying, “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.”

“They are going overboard, they are not experts, they are not historians,” she said. “They are rewriting history, not only of Texas but of the United States and the world.”

Board member Mary Helen Berlanga failed to gain recognition for Tejanos (original Texas-born Mexicans) who fell at the Alamo. She said the standards also ignore the Ku Klux Klan in Texas, Texas Rangers killing innocent Mexican-Americans, and the army’s role in annihilating the American Indian.

Berlanga said, “Until we are ready to tell the truth about history, we don’t have a good history or a good social studies curriculum for Texas.”

FOOTNOTE: A document containing the extensive revisions will be posted on the Texas Education Agency website and posted in the Texas register by mid-April. Once posted, the official 30-day public comment period will begin. At that time, comments with suggested changes to the document can be sent to

Eddie Griffin Commentary

This is not the first time history has been revised in Texas. During the post-Civil War Reconstruction period, African-Americans were completely bleached out of the history books. There is no mention of the hundreds of thousands black troops that occupied the state and manned the police force under the governorship of Elisha M. Pease (1867-1869). No mention of the original black “cow boys”, before the western character became romanticized in folklore, books, and movies.

It was the African-American Student Movement of the 1960s that first demanded Black Studies in all the colleges and universities. This, of course, is probably what Dr. McLeroy meant by skewed to the left. Teachers who taught it were called communists and later pressured out of academia, only to be replaced with teachers who would tow the conservative line.

We have been forced to teach by double standard, first in meeting the state’s requirements for testing and graduation, and second in preserving what gains we have made in knowledge.

Make no mistake about it: If approved, this whitewashed curriculum is going into the textbooks, and children will be required to know it, just as we were required to study Texas history under Jim Crow.

Children will be tested and graded by regurgitating their indoctrination on tests. They cannot pass if they are not sufficiently brainwashed, like the reservation Indian children who were “Americanized” by forced and forbidden to speak their own language.

Lastly, they must pass an exit examination as proof that they are academically mute, with no role model in their own image. Their diploma will make them no smarter than the rest of the world. In fact, it will complete the dumb-down path that leads to nowhere but a minimum wage job.

It is no wonder that Governor Rick Perry turned down federal education money for higher academic achievement, and why he rejects federal incentives for higher educational standards.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Posthumous Pardon for Tim Cole

By Eddie Griffin

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Take the life of an innocent man, but do not take his good name. This is all that is left of Tim Cole. Texas Governor Rick Perry granted the deceased young man a posthumous pardon for a crime he did not commit. It was the first posthumous pardon in state history.

Tim Cole was an African-American college student and a veteran from Fort Worth. While attending Texas Tech University in 1985, he was wrongly accused of raping another college student, convicted, and given a 25-year sentence. On December 2, 1999, he died on the prison floor while having an asthma attack.

We have written his story, over and over again, to explain how that the criminal justice system in Texas rush to judgment, and thirst for vengeance, could send an innocent black man to prison. It has happened many, many times before.

Over the years, the Innocent Project championed the cause of Tim Cole. As his family pushed for justice, we leant our voices to the chorus. This was one of our kids, from our own home town, a young man who had potential and drive, only to have his due right to life, liberty, and pursuit cut short.

"I have been looking forward to the day I could tell Tim Cole's mother that her son's name has been cleared for a crime he did not commit," declared Gov. Perry said in a statement. "The state of Texas cannot give back the time he spent in prison away from his loved ones, but today I was finally able to tell her we have cleared his name, and hope this brings a measure of peace to his family."

The state of Texas taketh away, but cannot give back. Nor can it purge its sin, except by making amends and provide for healing. The African-American community has been in mourning, because Tim Cole represented the brightest among our prospects to grow up and become somebody. Seeing the outcome of his life simply takes our collective breath away. Racially bias justice can terminate our child’s future.

Tim’s mother, Ruby Session, now 73, has waited a long time to see her son’s name cleared. In February 2009, after DNA testing, State District Judge Charles Baird of Austin exonerated Cole, saying the inmate had "suffered the greatest miscarriage of justice in our criminal justice system". Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles cleared the way for the governor to exercise the unprecedented powers of granting a posthumous pardon.

The governor called Mrs. Session on yesterday to give her the news. At the time, it was raining from heaven in Fort Worth, no doubt betwixt and between the tears of a brokenhearted mother. She declared the rain to be tears of joy.

But her joys are tempered by mourning and memory. As Tim’s brother, Cory Session, said in an interview, "To say the wheels of justice turn slow was an understatement when it came to Tim."

Corey is now policy director for the Innocence Project of Texas, the organization that spearheaded the movement to clear his brother’s name. The organization is also credited with the release of some 40 innocent men from the Texas Criminal Justice Department prison system.

"We will be doing this work as long as I'm able," said Mrs. Session in the interview. "We're on the forefront of a new day in the criminal justice system."

To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven... a time to be born and a time to die... a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted... a time to kill and a time to heal... a time to break down and a time to build up. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3)