Behind the Flash mob Attack on Obama’s DOJ Attorney General Nominee Debo Adegbile
There is a story that lies behind the Adegbile partisan fight on the senate floor. If you want to understand why the Republicans are using Adegbile’s association with Mumia Abu-Jamal to try and block his nomination, take a long hard look at ‘Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary”, www.mumia-themovie.com. This will give you the measure of the man. It chronicles Mumia Abu-Jamal’s evolution as one of the world’s most notable public intellectuals.
Today’s stage is the floor of the U.S. Senate where a cloture vote on Adegible’s nomination takes place in the wake of his clearing the Judiciary Committee. According to an OP ED in the Wall Street Journal Adegbile’s representation of Mumia Abu-Jamal when he headed the NAACP LDF is reason enough to derail his nomination. The Fraternal Order of police, Fox News and bipartisan derision from Pennsylvania politicians republican Senator Pat Toomey, and Democrat Bob Casey has fueled the impending drama.
It is a drama where U.S. Senators and political pundits regurgitate blatant lies that seek to demonize Mumia because they face zero accountability to the facts(1). Just one fact: When Terry Maurer Carter, a court reporter came forward and sworn in an affidavit that Albert Sabo the original judge said of during the first week of Mumia’s trial” “I am going to help them fry the nigger”, Philadelphia Common Pleas court judge Pamela Dembe ruled it “irrelevant”, and that it was not an indication that the case was racially biased.
The media and congressional pundits deplore that Mumia’s death sentence was overturned and he was removed from death row. They repeatedly attribute this result to advocacy lawyers who put forward fabricated tale of racial bias. Come now, really? Racial bias in the U.S. Criminal Justice system and Philadelphia is a fairy tale?
They also conveniently ignore that Mumia’s death sentence was overturned by a court: the U.S. Third Circuit and that decision was upheld by the U.S. Supreme court- hardly a liberal bastion by any means.
But why is Mumia relevant at all. Why are they concerned that he lives or dies? What does he represent? Why must he have remained silent. The answer is because what he says and has been saying for over thirty years is relevant.
Mumia Abu-Jamal, is an internationally acclaimed intellectual who writes in the tradition of Franz Fanon and Noam Chomsky. That he has done his work from an Pennsylvania prison cell for over 33 yrs. (30 of which were spent in solitary on death row) is remarkable. His weekly worldwide radio broadcasts and bestselling books have been translated into nine languages.
Nelson Mandela, the European Parliament, Maya Angelou, E.L. Doctorow, Amnesty International, Danielle Mitterrand, Danny Glover, among many others have called his trial a miscarriage of justice and lauded his incisive writing.
Abu-Jamal through his radio essays and writing directly challenges the false but convenient “we have realized the dream narrative” that everyone from Time Magazine to Obama is promulgating as we honor Martin Luther King and celebrate Black History month.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is the conscience of America. And the backlash is swift. The level of vitriol and outright demands for his death/silence reminds one of the terrorist label put on Nelson Mandela for a quarter of a century.
Certain revolutionary ideas were not meant to survive the U.S. state sponsored “programme” that targeted Black freedom leaders such as Martin Luther King and ultimately for the last fifty years, black life in America.
The “dream” was assassinated whether it is comfortable to admit that or not. Mumia Abu-Jamal survived. And he is one of the many U.S. political prisoners, who are the living witnesses to the true struggle to realize the dreams of freedom and justice. The United States government through CointelPro and other repressive means has consciously and deliberately attempted to suppress the hopes and dreams of many African Americans. Listen to Mumia Abu-Jamal www.prisonradio.org.
Noelle Hanrahan, Producer “Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary