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"Imus Amongst Us"

Rec. 4-15-07

1) 2:52 Radio essay Mp3

 

                                                       Imus Amongst Us

(Column written 4/14/07 by Mumia Abu–Jamal)

With the ending of Don Imus’s radio and TV career has arisen a perverse (if utterly stupid) caterwaul from conservatives, who are (to hear them tell it) newly–born converts of free speech, and equally frenzied adherents of attacks on the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, as if, but for their activism, their pal Imus would still be on the airwaves.

              Some have added the oral antics of various rap artists, to somehow prove that Imus was treated unfairly for using equally ugly terms to refer to Black women.

              This noise from the fascistic rightwing of American political life is a vital clue into how they see the world, and thus a reflection of how they sell this view to others.

              It shows how deeply race dwells in white consciousness, and how it is like an inner searchlight that blinds as much as it illuminates.

              These so–called conservatives see Imus as ‘one of us’, and as such they shared his pompous, good ole’ boy, spit–on–the–rabble racism that passes for the norm in the nation: it just so happens that he spat on the wrong group of girls this time.

              And neither the Revs. Al nor Jesse starting the ball rolling against Imus, although it may’ve seemed so from TV.

              The videotape of Imus went from an almost unseen perch on MSNBC to the net, where it spread like a virus. Nonetheless, bloggers picked it up and passed it on, and the more folks saw it, the more it spread. It became a living thing, nastier and nastier each time it was replayed.

              The almost juvenile rant against rappers also fades upon a moment’s reflection; for, while it is undeniable that some of what is said is naked misogyny–a profound hatred of women–it’s obvious that rappers have no where near the social or political clout of Imus.

              When’s the last time you’ve seen a rapper kick it with a candidate for U.S. Senator? When’s the last time you’ve heard of a rapper poppin’ some questions to a Mayor–or a Governor?

              People who wanted to be president flocked to Imus, like supplicants kissing the ring of a bishop, because he had the daily ear of millions, and his blessings meant votes.

              No rapper in America can say the same.

              Ultimately, it’s not about power, and precious few rappers have any power. In fact, their ‘bling’ is an attempt to project a power (or wealth) that most of them do not possess.

              Sociologist Zine Magubane, of Boston College, made that point in dramatic terms in his article, “Globalization and Gangster Rap: Hip Hop in the Post–Apartheid City” (citing the work of journalist Norman Kelley):

In an insightful article on the political economy of Black music, Norman Kelley describes how the relationship between the six major record firms (Warner, Polygram, MCA, BMG, Sony, and CEMA/UNI) and African–American artists as a ‘postmodern form of colonialism.’ He notes that rap music, although it ‘forms the very foundation of the $12 billion dollar music industry in the United States’, exhibits an history pattern typical of African–American aesthetic products like jazz and blues which, although created largely by Blacks, were under the corporate control of Whites. Black–owned production companies like Uptown Records, Def Jam, and Bad Boy, Kelley explains, ‘do not control a key component of the music–making nexus, namely, distribution.’ For example, the albums produced by Master P’s No Limit Records as well as those by Roc–A–Fella Records (owned by Damon Dash) are distributed by Priority Records. Those produced by Cash Money Records are distributed by Universal, while Sean Combs’ Bad Boy label is distributed by Arista. Thus, although young Black entrepreneurs have ‘been able to swing the balance of power somewhat in their direction, they are still far from having complete dominion (because) in the music business distribution is the final battle ground. Because African–American artists have virtually no control over the domestic distribution of their music, they likewise have no control over international distribution. Thus, white owned and controlled media conglomerates determine which African–American cultural products enter the global arena. (Fr.: Magubane, Z., in: Basu, Dipannita and Sydney J. Lemelle, eds., The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture. (London/Ann Arbor, MI.: Pluto Press, 2006), p. 211.)

Imus was a creature of white corporate and political power, who made millions playing to the smallmindedness of millions, who wanted to snicker at the lot of those worse off than them.

Unless I miss my guess, someone will hire him to do it again.

There’s always a market for that.

–MAJ


[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *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
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

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 - icffmaj@aol.com
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

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
icffmaj@aol.com!


 

 

[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
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY
AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND
HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at http://www.mumia.org, http://www.onamove.com/ and their links.
========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

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 - icffmaj@aol.com
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

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
icffmaj@aol.com!


For additional information and to order Mumia's new book We Want Freedom,

visit: southendpress.org

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com


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