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Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"Is This Hurricane Frances"

  rec 9-23-05 


1) 3:00 Short Essay MP3

2) 3:40 Long Essay MP3

IS THIS HURRICANE FRANCES?
==========================
[Col. Writ. 9/22/05] Copyright '05 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   As the southern and coastal Gulf states prepare for the coming of a new hurricane, a man on Death Row gave voice to his thoughts.

   "This ain't Hurricane Rita," he said, "This is Hurricane Frances Newton!"

   His remark took me from pondering the wonders and awe of Nature to the realm of American politics, and the recent legalized lynching of Frances Elaine Newton, the first Black woman judicially murdered since the U.S. Civil War.

   I looked at the man, to see if he was joking.  His eyes were serious -- and angry.

   His words made me think of many things; the death of Frances Newton, of course; but also, of Black spirituality, which has often expressed itself in appeals to the powers of Nature to redress social injustice.

   Black nationalist, Jamaica-born leader, Marcus Garvey, his massive movement crippled by betrayal and imprisonment, warned his enemies, "Look for me in the whirlwind, and the storm...!"  A cryptic promise of his movement's rebirth in years to come.

   During Hurricane Katrina, state and national leaders seemed to treat it almost matter-of-factly, ignoring the vast potential for mass destruction and social dislocation.

   As Hurricane Rita stirs, she is treated with the respect that Katrina only received after its passing.

   Although the names of hurricanes are assigned by the National Weather Service, and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (or NOAA), they have acquired personalities like living beings, and people think of them with emotions like anger and fear, usually reserved for people.

   In ancient days and ancient cultures, these natural forces would be given the names of gods.

   Imagine what thousands of people will think of the next time they hear the name, 'Katrina.'   For some people, it will pack the emotional freight of a war for the vast chasm of loss.

   We live in an elaborate bubble, where electricity is no farther than one's wrist, and instant communications flood the senses.  Foodstuffs are shipped great distances to feed a nation that rivals Rome or Babylon for obesity.  Whole nations are organized to serve the licit and illicit tastes and whims of the Empire.

   And yet, in one day, in the funnels of wind, in the whipping of water, this seeming security can be snatched away, for tens, or even hundreds of thousands of people!

   Nature, although seemingly silent in our usual electronic, computerized, data-filled day, enters our lives so as not to be ignored.  And, in a day, issues long seen as quietly settled, like global warming, like racial and social justice, like government power and responsibility, crowds our collective consciousness.

   We live in the illusion that we have conquered Nature.

   We think that Science has answered all questions, big or small, and the world is our oyster.

   Until an hour's hurricane shows us how truly small we all are, in the natural scheme of things.

   What will we learn when Hurricane Rita (or is it Hurricane Frances Newton?) strikes the southland with her wet fury?

   What will we see, that is now hidden beneath the dark southern earth?

   I am convinced that we all still, have much to learn.



Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

  

[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
==============================================>

  [Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
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And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

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========================================

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==============================================>

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The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa