November 6, 2007

Mumia Who?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 4:11 pm by berniexltd

“I’m gonna’ help em’ fry the nigger.” These words spewed from the mouth of Judge Albert Sabo, a man who over the course of his career had sentenced more men to death than any other judge in U.S. history (33 in total, 2 of which were white) during the trial of Mumia-Abu Jamal – one of the most celebrated and controversial political prisoners in the world. A renowned journalist from Philadelphia who has been on Pennsylvania’s death row for over 25 years, Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981 and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has declared a “violation of minimum international standards that govern fair trial procedures and the use of the death penalty.”

What motivated this entry was a result of my astonishment that many people, especially young adults in Philadelphia, do not know who Mumia Abu-Jamal is; one of the most celebrated and controversial political prisoners renowned for his vigilant activism. It is all too easy to conform to a sense of apathy and disinterest in the problems of the world as a result of alienation and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. It’s rather inspiring that for more than a quarter century, Mumia Abu-Jamal has produced some of the most potent and intoxicating sociopolitical commentaries available from a cell about the size of your average bathroom. If Mumia still persists as a thorn in the side of oppression in the face of so much adversity, let alone from a life in prison that would drive many into despair, how is it so difficult for us to educate ourselves and others? To talk about it and make a difference in our own way, to instill a sense of compassion instead of indifference?

It is not my intention to write a diatribe or synopsis of this case’s history or to expel my beliefs of Mumia’s innocence. The evidence and circumstances are so lengthy and astounding, that I feel it would be more prudent to offer a head start for someone who is unaware or skeptical about the case. The fusion of journalism and filmmaking is an incredible tool for understanding. Through literary and visual devices a message can appeal to the senses in a way that when isolated, may or may not be as effective as when combined. This is why I have enclosed several clips from a documentary “Mumia: A Case for Reasonable Doubt.” Although somewhat outdated, it still defines the basics of Mumia’s case and its injustice in a way that is not sensationalized, but in a rather sober and focused approach.

The extent of information regarding the case is so huge that I feel I’d have to write a term paper in order to explain the circumstances in a thorough and convincing context. Rather, I am merely trying to provide those of you who are unaware of Mumia’s case with a template for further research so that maybe it inspires you to be more active, compassionate, and aware. With three police officers murdered in Philadelphia just last week, do we really consider the ramifications which plague our city? The dimensions of society that motivate violence and depravity in Philadelphia are the very things Mumia Abu-Jamal fights against. Learn for yourself. Speak for yourself. Peep it, people.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently appealing his conviction before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia on the account of racism and corruption handling his case. If he is granted a new trial, Mumia will have the chance to prove his innocence and attain his freedom. If not, he will be sentenced to die. It is vital to educate yourself and others about the facts of this case, all of which stem from the city whose streets we walk on everyday.




There are a total of 5 parts which make up the documentary in its entirety on Youtube. I recommend watching all of them – there’s no point in only getting some of the facts. If you would like a copy of the dvd, feel free to contact me. Additionaly, I have posted the first segment of another documentary which may provide a more concise yet still informative window into the climate of racism in America which influenced Mumia Abu-Jamal and the Black Liberation movement.