Mumia Abu-Jamal: A New Day
The events of last week continue to reverberate throughout national consciousness.
The unprovoked killings by cops in the streets of America’s Midwest, and the subsequent killings of cops in Texas, show us that a new stage has been reached in America’s longest internal war, and that no one knows how it will end.
The problem of police violence, of course, isn’t new.
When Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led anti-segregation protests in Selma, Alabama in the 1960s, cops didn’t ‘assist’ protestors; they beat them, savagely, for violating the unjust laws of white supremacy. They beat men and women, indiscriminately, to protect white privilege. The Edmund-Pettus bridge became slick with Black blood.
Today, they kill with utter impunity; Black men, women and children: like Mike Brown, Rekiah Boyd, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, etc.–and nothing happens. Secret Grand Juries, and not-so-secret judges repeatedly rule, ‘justifiable homicide’, and killer cops get promotions.
‘Good job’–and nothing.
Today, media, politicians and police call Micah Xavier Johnson, a madman; “deranged”, according to one prominent politician.
But if he is mad, what made him so?
Was he mad when he went to kill Afghanistanis on behalf of the Empire? Perhaps they trained him far too well.
Oppression maddens people. It drives them mad. It turns calm brains into mad minds consumed by anger, rage and resentments.
The media, ministers and politicians will call him names, but he is beyond your curses now.
His life was a curse already, to be born a nigger in America. That’s curse enough.
In 1951, the great poet, Langston Hughes (1902:1967), in his poem, “Harlem”, wrote:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over —
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?