by Mumia Abu-Jamal

(Descarga aquí)  

Question: When is a child not a child?

Answer: When it’s a Black child.

That question and answer came to me when I heard that the police killing of 12 – year- old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, was ruled “justified” by two so-called ‘independent’ boards of inquiry recently.

The cop was justified, they ruled, because he saw a gun.


Did it matter that the gun was a toy?

Or that Tamir was a boy?

No. Both facts were declared irrelevant.

And a beautiful Black boy is dead.

What kind of system is this, where a child’s life can be so easily, so utterly, dismissed?

What kind of country is this, where this can happen?

For almost a year, state forces dithered around the case. Now they have issued their cold, leaden decision:

No biggie.

The cop was scared.

It’s justified.


What’s next? Killing pregnant women? Pregnant Black women- who are suspected of birthing Black boys?

In the name of protocol; in the name of tradition; in the cold name of fear; children are killed, so that killer cops can feel safe.

If this be the system supported by Black taxes and Black votes, then such a system must be abolished)