Mumia Abu-Jamal in Memoriam of Dr. Khallid / 1997
The news of the recent passing of former Nation of Islam spokesperson and, more recently, chairman of the New Black Panther Party came as a shock.
The on-again, off-again reports of his demise led many to once again distrust the media sources that he was so critical of during his lifetime. One is reminded of the words of Sigmund Freud, who said, “Toward the person who has died, we adopt a special attitude: something like admiration for someone who has accomplished a very difficult task.”
When one considers the adjectives “racist” and “anti-Semitic” that always preceded his name, one is reminded of the power of the media, not only to shape debate, but to craft consciousness.
For there are members of state legislatures and of the Congress who have not only used hateful speech, but have more importantly used public power to condemn others. I remember the Pennsylvania General Assembly passing a resolution condemning Muhammad as a racist. Then in an act of naked hypocrisy, this same body did nothing when one of its members referred to Blacks as niggers and jungle bunnies. Similarly, when members of the U.S. Congress talked about Blacks in Africa being cannibals, it was hushed up and swept under the carpet. These, apparently, are not worthy of resolutions of condemnation; they represent the norm in racist America.
It is true that Khallid’s words hurt many people’s feelings. But when his words become emblematic of racism and the acts and deeds of powerful government officials, when they become mere business-as-usual, something is wrong somewhere.
Dr. Khallid Abdul Muhammad never stopped a car driven by whites. He never forced the occupants out of their vehicles to lie face down in the mud at the point of a gun. He never passed a bill that condemned the poor to more wretched poverty, homelessness or hunger. He never consigned brilliant young minds to shuttered and dilapidated ghetto schools.
He never commanded the bombing of an Arab, African or Caribbean nation to divert attention from a scandal in his bedroom. We react to his words because they spring from a deep well of rage that exists in millions of black hearts.
To ignore that rage and focus on one man’s words is to turn a deaf ear on their real meaning.
Khallid Abdul Muhammad gave angry voice to many in the country who have every right to be angry. It is insane to ask people to suffer oppression in silence.
There are millions who will long remember him with warmth and respect for daring to speak his mind without fear or favor.
I am one of them.
Pride of a Panther
ASSATA WAS UNJUSTLY AND ILLEGALLY INVESTIGATED AND PERSECUTED BY THE FBI’S COINTELPRO. SHE WAS SHOT AND NEARLY KILLED, BEATEN AND FALSELY IMPRISONED. SHE ESCAPED PRISON IN 1979 AND WENT TO CUBA AS A POLITICAL EXILE. TODAY, SHE IS STILL TARGETED AND HAS BEEN PLACED ON THE U.S. TERRORIST LIST WITH A MILLION DOLLAR BOUNTY. SHE IS AN INNOCENT WOMAN AND WE MUST DEFEND HER!
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL IS AN AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST WHO CHRONICLES THE HUMAN CONDITION. HE HAS BEEN A RESIDENT OF PENNSYLVANIA’S DEATH ROW FOR TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. WRITING FROM HIS SOLITARY CONFINEMENT CELL HIS ESSAYS HAVE REACHED A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE. HIS BOOKS “LIVE FROM DEATH ROW”, “DEATH BLOSSOMS”, “ALL THINGS CENSORED”, “FAITH OF OUR FATHERS” AND THE RECENTLY RELEASED “WE WANT FREEDOM” HAVE SOLD OVER 150,000 COPIES AND BEEN TRANSLATED INTO NINE LANGUAGES. HIS 1982-MURDER TRIAL AND SUBSEQUENT CONVICTION HAVE BEEN THE SUBJECT OF GREAT DEBATE AS HE DIDN’T RECIEVE A FAIR TRIAL.
A RBG Street Scholar Intrgrated Educational Design
This week’s Jazz and Justice “redux*” features the return of Dr. Mark Bolden to discuss The Fanon Project. In an effort to encourage that the “work of Fanon be done” Bolden leads a team whose efforts are to honor that call. Hear that discussion and much more by downloading parts 1 and 2 separately or by streaming the entire “redux” below.
* the program is excerpted and airs in full live every Monday from 1-3p EST in the Washington, DC area on 89.3 FM and around the world online at wpfw.org
RBGz New Afrikan Education Link Table: