Free Mumia / Drop the Charges Against Assata / Avenge Fred Hampton

Your host is not just a blog editor, but also an avid blog consumer as well. One of my regular stops is Altercation although to be fair, for a blog that claims to uphold the liberal point of view, it is remarkably free of content that is directed toward the most reliable liberal block of voters in the country: African Americans.

Since last week, however, a side comment by a respondent to Altercation (a post that reviewed the latest Bruce Springsteen appearance in NJ) that almost offhandedly tossed a comment in support of freeing one of the most well-known political prisoners in the US - has generated a firestorm of liberal cop lovers; yet another sign of the wide gulf between those wary partners: Black liberals and white liberals. I eventually tired of their inane comments in support of the dead pig (that is just my homage to Assata Shakur - you should know her too) and so I posted a reply. In case it does not make the editorial bent of Altercation, here is the post in full:

Wow, your readers are as full of vitriol for Mumia as the proprietors of Geno's. So let me see if I have this right: we all agree that Geno's has it wrong when it comes to "freedom fries", but for some reason, we (the readers of Altercation) are mostly convinced that a former member of the Black Panthers received a fair and honest jury trial by his all-white peers of Philly and that he really deserves to be on death row - did I get that right?

What exactly do we base this certitude upon? The surety of the Hoover FBI when it came to identifying those dangerous threats to the US like MLK and Malcolm X? (Oh, wait. King was not a communist and Malcolm was attacked by terrorists while he was still in the womb - surely we all agree that white supremacy is every bit a terrorist threat to this nation as National Socialism was to Europe). "But Derrick!” you proclaim, "You are conflating so many different issues in that one sentence, you are not being fair! The issue is Mumia!"

Okay, fine. I will pretend that the fact that the Black Panthers were murdered - citizens of our nation were murdered - by the authorities for having the nerve to defend themselves from the same brutality that killed Emmett Till is not connected, as long as you pretend that the fact that a Federal District Court Judge overturned the death penalty actually means something. While I might wonder if a sitting federal judge made some Solomonic decision to split the baby in half and remove the death penalty but still keep a "cop killer" behind bars, I can see how those who still believe all of that "serve and protect" propaganda might take more convincing.

Anyone who is interested in justice should find the confession linkedd to above) to the murder of Daniel Faulkner by another individual at least of interest. The evidence against Mumia is sketchy at best (shouted confessions to nurses at hospitals?) and if someone else says they were at the scene and they shot the cop - should not the courts at least look at that?

Of course, I know, that would be outside of the procedure. And hey, he has already spent years in prison and would probably have trouble readjusting to life on the outside, why not just continue to waste his life in prison even though someone else says they did the shooting of the cop?

Still, we do have those d*^% words from the declaration of independence that say that all life is created equal and is endowed by its Creator to life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness. I think the slave owner who wrote those words without a trace of irony was in Philadelphia at the time, but still - that is not a legal document with respect this nation, more of a visionary statement that we sometimes attempt to achieve. Sort of like a goal that we would like to reach, but if a few Negroes need rot in prison along the path - or get gunned down in their beds - well, that is just the price we must pay.

God bless the USA.

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How is it that we have reached this point in our history? Is it possible to trace back to decisions made in the past - the road not taken - and determine how it is that we have come to be where we are at this point today? And once armed with that knowledge, is it possible to plot a path forward - to alter the course and lead us on that path toward life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

The title for this entry posits a theory, one which surely needs little supporting statements to prove, but I will offer them nonetheless. And I will do so not with tragic examples of other nation states from Congo to Haiti, but instead with the USA. So often here people say foolish things like, "You should be glad your ancestors were sold into slavery, as that act brought you here, today to this, the greatest nation on Earth". Sadly, the truth of the matter is - when looked at from the perspective of the Afrikan slave and her descendents in this land for 400 years - this nation matches nothing more or nothing less than the definition of a failed state.

This has been a failed state for years, for the high and mighty principles laid out for this nation in our Declaration of Independence were abdicated from the beginning; first in the implementation of the Articles of Confederation - which failed for everybody, and then in the flawed US Constitution - which failed miserably for those "nonpersons", from whom I am proud to proclaim my heritage. So, for over 200 years - at a minimum - we can state for certainty that this nation has failed to live up to the simple, moral calling against which every nation must be measured: justice for all. Throughout those 200 years - and 200 years before that as a British colony - we nonpersons have fought to be included as equal members in this nation we have helped to forge. It is unarguable from almost any philosophical, economical or historical standpoint to state that we have not been a central force in turning this nation from a humble player on the world stage to where we now reside at the pinnacle of world acclaim. Others may argue about what we are due for our efforts, but our works are laid out for all to see; why should we make it our calling to remove the scales from the eyes of those too blinded by greed to see the truth?

So this has been a failed state from our perspective (that of the nonpersons and their descendents) and now hubris is rapidly accelerating that day upon which this will be a failed nation for us all - persons and nonpersons alike. Why should we await this day? Is there any element within the record of this nation, any lever that we can articulate that will cause the path of this nation to turn away from the fate that is before us? Do we have more learned scholars today than Dubois, more accomplished orators today than Douglass, more strident fighters today than Tubman? If so, I have not heard their words or seen their efforts. Is the larger audience of persons more open to reason or shame in our day than in years past? If so, they remained on the sidelines in astounding numbers in a political sense over the last half decade. Can we not help to conclude that the path this nation is on is irreversible? Is there any longer a reason for us to cling to the scraps end entrails that have been allotted to us, in hope that tomorrow will be brighter for us and our progeny?

WE stand - in the early days of this new millennium - as the strongest generations of "nonpersons" to have ever walked the earth, with greater education and wealth than all those that have come before us. We have more skilled tradesmen - and tradeswomen - at this point than we have had in centuries past. We have more professional soldiers - warriors - instructed in the most technological forms of warfare the world has ever known.

In short, we are a force.

At the same time, there has never been a greater need for our services in the land of our ancestors. We stand here - in a nation that does not now nor will it ever respect our services and our contributions - separated by the ocean that marked the Middle Passage from our homeland (which is still experiencing the effects of having her children kidnapped and sold to other lands). Is there a better time for a great reunion - a homecoming - of mother and child? Were we to take upon our shoulders the task placed before us, in less than two generations our strengths added to the might of the existing nations of Africa could turn that continent from a troubled oasis into one with a United Afrikan Empire that would rival those of yore.

This state is failed. We built this nation once, it is not our calling to build it again. The nations of our blood need us once again; there is where we should make our stand. Let us return to the homes of our mothers and our fathers and repair the wounds of time.

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