(The breakdown of an example pitch)
Organizations act like they dont want to take a position until the 11th hour, the last minute, while everyone is left scrambling to do something, anything to save a mans life; and not just a man in every sense of the word, but an activist, an intellectual, convicted for a crime he did not commit, and its disturbingno, sickening, that this man sits on Texas Death Row; silenced by the media; silenced by the myriad (or abundance of) organizations that were suppose to have been erected for men like Reginald W Blanton; silenced by a broken Criminal Justice system; even silenced by his own court appointed attorney that refused to represent his legal interests.
Over the course of the year Reginald Blanton was represented by State Habeas attorney Scott Sullivan, Our Brother Reginald wrote his attorney letter after letter after letter diligently seeking to have what amounted to, innocence claims filed in, not his attorneys appeal (his attorneys life isnt in danger) But filed in Reginalds appeal. Yet his attorney refused to file his claims, and not because they had no merit, since most of his claims were supported by overlooked evidence in his actual trial; and never mind his federal attorney saw enough merit in these claims to attempt to resuscitate them, to no avail, since as a result of his previous attorney neglecting his legal responsibilities to Reginald, not exhausting these claims at the appropriate stage of appeal, ALL Reginalds innocence claims were procedurally barred, and this is only half of it.
Reginald Blantons appeal now sits in the Supreme Court and if something is not done soon another innocent man will be murdered by the state of Texas.
Please contact [insert name] with the campaign to Free Reggie B, at [insert site]
This is the type of message that was left on the answering machine of the NAACP branch in San Antonio, TX, that evoked them to return our phone call. Its not just about facts, its about overall presentation, presentation is everything. What I want to do is point out a few things about what you just read above.
First, you cant just read the words; you have to imagine how theyre said in your mind. Notice the general style. Its short, its urgent. Its to be said with energy, not like the way that professor taught his class on that TV show, the wonder years. The first paragraph is called a hook designed to grab the listeners attention by the collar, saying You have to listen to me! The first paragraph brings about a sense of conviction in the listener, These organizations yall contacted should be ashamed, should be the listeners thought, They should feel like they cant cower from the task at hand, instead , choosing to stand up, being the leader their organization most likely claims to be.
The first Paragraph, also individualizes me in that, it gives me somewhat a face: and not just a man in every sense of the word, but an activist, a poet an intellectual, convicted for a crime he not commit
Though there are many injustices to reference in my case, the second paragraph probably highlights the most drastic of them and it reveals the utter failure of the criminal justice system in all its elements: Trial, prosecution, defense and appeal. It contrasts the systems incompetence, indifference, even insidiousness, with the, so called, criminals innocence and helplessness. It paints a picture of me, caught in the web of the adversarial process, struggling for my life against a plasma thirsty spider; that was supposed to help me?!!
Only with the power of the people are we able to achieve justice or receive justice---It is not because of the justice of the courtHuey P Newton.
In addition, it should disturb anybody to hear what sounds like a defense attorney working with the system against his own client!
Furthermore, the statement acts in, then gets cut. Its closing places back into the center of the listeners attention the fact that time is of the essence and a life is in Jeopardy. The closing being so short only intensifies the point.
And this is only half of it. This line not only lets the listener know theres more but you just said there was more corruption to what the listener had probably already deemed enough corruption. It rightly intensifies the sense of injustice.
Then you have please contact [insert name] with the campaign to Free ReggieB besides the necessity of leaving contact info by saying with the campaign to Free reggieb you are bringing a sense of legitimacy and organization to the table. Sad to say, People only seem to want to get involved when they know others are.
Finally there is No Thank you for your time or any other happy closing because there is nothing to be happy about. It punctuates the overall messagethat this is a serious matter that cant be slept on.
This is only a pitch, not the pitch. And its of the kind that is suitable for answering machines of various organizations we are trying to contact. Its a different story when you are actually talking to a person for the first time. However, the same poetic and energetic style (dont be dull, be creative) can be utilized. And remember theres a thin line between evoking a sense of urgency and repelling people out of your own sound of panic, Presentation is everything, ; which includes word usage, delivery (voice pitch and flow) etc. You dont have to be Malcolm-x or Cynthia Mckinney to speak on the manner above. Its valuable to listen with an analytical ear to how activist, poets or politicians give speeches, using descriptive words and voice fluctuates depending on the nature of their point, such as speaking slowly and softly when addressing something sad or about love or speaking faster with passion, intensity to punctuate points that should evoke anger, disgust or emergency.
Nevertheless, you may find all the inspiration you need to speak in a persuasive fashion reaching deep inside yourself to those motions you feel as a result of knowing what the system is doing to me. Speak from there and people will feel the energy you radiate. Anybody who understands the general points about as well as my case through the following pieces.
(My case profile/or Interview with Dee (an overview of my case)
Justice Denied/contradicting Justice (Ruling in which Federal judge agrees the D.A racially discriminated against an African American potential juror in my case)
The Care Package (story of what took place between the attorneys that failed to represent my legal interest)
State Bar Grievance against Scott Sullivan
So please read up on all these, they are all in my Myspace Blogs so you will be equipped with what they need to speak on my situation in a persuasive manner. How many of you have read either an article or book and walked away with enough understanding about what you just read to speak on it to a friend? Well thats the same way the above articles, or any of my pieces for that matter, should be approached. Keep in mind my case Profile (The Ongoing Investigation into ) this you will have to View all blogs and scroll down in my blogs to see that one) has subtitles constructed which covers everything leading up to my trial, Next theres During Reginalds trial which of course covers my trial and finally theres On my appeals which covers critical points in my appeal, These subtitles should make easy reference to any part of my case should you find yourself asked certain questions about my case you cant answer from memory.
Please notify Sandie of any organizations youve contacted and what, if any their response was so she can keep everybody in our campaign on point and updated.
This was a general breakdown of why the message was spoken in that fashion to give each one of you, as individual leaders in our cause the tools you need to win more people to our cause. In closing I leave you with the powerful words Of Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr:
Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of Justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle, the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals without persistent effort; time itself becomes primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action
Everything I am
(The Highest Service)