I’m not too impressed with people who take responsibility after the fact when the consequences of failing to do so can have a serious effect, and so I have no praise for Thelma for “doing the right thing”. The truth is if she were not in the position she is past history shows she would not admit to anything.
After decades of denial, outright lies, and waving the AIM banner she now admits her participation in the abduction that led to the murder of Annie Mae and enters into a plea agreement as being an accessory to kidnapping-smart and predictable move on her behalf but it does not speak to remorse-only survival and self interest. Even going so far as to say she never was a AIM member, just more of an interpreter, a groupie.
The responsibility for crimes committed in the abduction, rape, and murder of Annie Mae can not be mitigated by gender-the responsibility is equal and shared. I was of the opinion that Theda Nelson Clark would employ advanced age and alleged mental incapacity as a defense, perhaps she still will, or maybe choose to testify as well. The competency options did not exist for Thelma and in view of the overwhelming evidence and potential outcome she made the decisions she did. In the end they serve a greater purpose than her own.
Graham has no options-he can not claim mental incapacity though it’s obvious his IQ isn’t off the charts, and neither can he claim advanced age. He stands alone to face the consequences of his actions-the only remdeption available to him is to realize he was nothing more than a pawn and candidly speak the truth.
What will be overlooked in this is that the list of victims continues to increase-Rios’ family, children, and grandchildren are victims now too and suffer collateral damage. The mother and the grandmother they thought they knew may have the look of a stranger to them. She didn’t pull the trigger but shares in the guilt, and never, not once, until now had any compulsion to tell the truth. In fact she did everything she could to contribute to and maintain the coverup while authors interviewed her and spoke of her likable strength and tell it like it is attitude.
I assume her family will find forgiveness for her among themselves and that is a thing left to them and their right. I have no comment to make on that other than to say it will probably be difficult and I wish them well.
This collateral victimization will continue to spread in the aftermath of Graham’s trial as more and more will be revealed. If Graham had any decency at all he would make a clean breast of it and perhaps in that lessen the blow to his family rather than to have the public display of a trial.
Thats not going to happen though as this is the man who said that “indian shit” doesn’t work, all the while never missing an opportunity to turn being indigenous to his advantage if one presented itself. His family and children will be added to the list of victims as well.
He is reading from the identical script Peltier has for these many years-that of the innocent sacrifice, the true victim. And just as Peltier has worked that angle so will Graham, he knows there exists a percentage of the population who will buy it and not be encumbered with details or how many witnesses tesitify to the contrary.
Regardless of where a persons sentiments lie, in the list of victims so too are the children and families of Ron Williams and Jack Coler. I had an individual tell me once he felt nothing for them due to his perception of their fathers-thats a very literal embracing of the Bibical axiom of the sins of the fathers being visited on the children, and one I will have nothing to do with it.
Wounds left unattended or merely covered over do not heal-they fester and become infected. Sunglasses may hide a black eye but do not alter the fact or the circumstances that led to it. Too many people hiding their blackeyes behind sunglasses-too many who are themselves festering wounds the nations must attend and heal themselves of. Among that number in my opinion are those who were in leadership positions during that era.