By Alan Bean
Friends of Justice was introduced to Ramiro (Ramsey) Muniz by Ernesto Fraga, a ember of our board who publishes the Tiempo newspaper in Waco, Texas. Ramsey ran for governor of Texas on two occasions in the early 197os for La Raza Unida party and worked with Mr. Fraga and other members of the Chicano movement. Ramsey was a standout with the Baylor football team in the late 1960s and graduated from Baylor Law School in 1971. After his brief sojourn in the world of Texas politics, Muniz returned to south Texas where he worked as an attorney. You can find more biographical information at FreeRamsey.com.
Ramsey Muniz sees himself as a political prisoner. The Texas Anglo establishment had no problem with the Latino presence in the 1960s and 70s–somebody had to work the fields and mow the lawns. But the Texas power structure had no place for a charismatic Latino football hero with a law degree who had the gall to run for governor.
Texas was firmly in the grip of the Democratic Party in the early 1970s. La Raza Unida was formed because Latino activists believed (correctly) that the Democratic establishment had no interest in running Latino candidates or sharing political power with the Hispanic community. If the Democrats represented the white population, the reasoning went, Latinos needed to create a separate party to represwent the interest of Chicanos.
It is difficult to exaggerate the sense of outrage and resentment the Chicano movement generated among Texas Democrats. Ramsey Muniz was commonly viewed as a wild-eyed revolutionary, little more than a terrorist. Shortly after beginning his post-politics legal career, the federal government charged Muniz with engaging in a narcotics conspiracy with some of the accused drug dealers he was defending. The only evidence was the uncorroborated testimony of an inmate who agreed to testify for the government in exchange for lenient treatment. Believing he had no chance before an all-white jury, Muniz accepted a plea agreement and served five years in an Alcatraz-like federal prison off the coast of Washington State.
As a convicted felon, Muniz could no longer work as an attorney, but he continued to serve as a liaison between high-profile Anglo lawyers and their Latino clients. In 1994, Muniz was arrested in Dallas, TX and indicted on federal narcotics conspiracy charges. Friends of Justice is still researching this highly suspicious case and will have more to say about it in due course.
Ramsey Muniz has now spent 17 years in federal prisons, including insanely long, debilitating stretches in solitary confinement. The former football standout is in his late 60s now, his hair is gray and he walks with a cane. But as the body weakens, the spirit has grown strong. A devout Roman Catholic rooted in the traditional spirituality of his ancestors, Muniz has evolved into a Christian mystic during his long hears of captivity. His body is confined, but his spirit is unfettered.
From time to time, Friends of Justice will be sharing Ramsey’s reflections with our readers. On this Maundy Thursday, as we remember the anguish of Jesus’ last night with his disciples, these thoughts from prison remind us of the deep suffering at the heart of all genuine spirituality.
Before I begin to share the life, death, and life once again of Jesus Christ who suffered and was shackled, chained, and tortured as I have been for the last 17 oppressive, cold, dark years, I will be sharing writings, thoughts, and dreams from our spirits in heaven and from the most powerful spiritual revolutionary in the world and history – Jesus Christ.
The power of humanity as we know it has been deformed and not transformed. True spiritual power is devotion to Jesus Christ. Christ is its author, for He gave His life for this power of humanity. Holiness, love, faith, and devotion must be at the base of this spiritual power, otherwise it loses its foundation.
It has been Jesus’ world from the time of His birth. It has never been ours. We are all here on this earth on borrowed time and we live a borrowed existence.
We now have almighty Christ and we have one another. Everything on this earth is a state of mind, a state of soul, and a state of time. Jesus is the essence of our existence. To discover that, just as we have discovered spiritually after such continuous suffering, oppression, injustice, and imprisonment, is FREEDOM. Those who seek and have the power of spiritually in their hearts will know that when oppression and opposition arise, it only means that one has risen from the darkness of life into the enlightenment of Jesus and His love for FREEDOM.
Jesus, during my time in solitary confinement for three years, came and bestowed His power of FREEDOM, JUSTICE, and LOVE upon my heart and soul. I have long accepted this spiritual historical blessing, and share with the world the true meaning of seeking FREEDOM not only for myself but for all humanity.
In this American dark, oppressive, cold imprisonment for the 17 years, I have been crucified with Jesus Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
Ramiro “Ramsey” Muñiz