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Copyright 2007 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

The Quest: The Battle of Barry Bonds

recorded 7/27/07

 

1) 2:50 Radio Essay  - short  MP3

2) 3:24 Radio Essay  - long  MP3

The Quest: The Battle of Barry Bonds [col. writ. 7/25/07] (c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal           

As I pondered the words with which to address the Barry Bonds controversy, I was forced to confess the obvious; I am not a baseball fan.      

Decades ago, when I was but a youth, I accompanied my father to pro baseball games in Philadelphia, in the immense Vets Stadium.       

I remember the joy of being with my dad, of my utter fascination with seeing so many people in one place, and my near addiction to baseball's holy grail - hot dogs.      

I remember everything, except what was happening on the field.      

 As an overweight child, I enjoyed the grub, not the game.       

When I looked out to the field, my eyes glossed over, and I napped.       

But today, what is happening with Barry Bonds is truly impacted by what's happening off the field.  While it's true that his record-breaking hits will happen on the diamond, what's happening off-field can truly be called America's favorite sport: Race.       

Barry Bonds, even to this non-baseball fan, is evocative of another time, another  era, when the world of sport was but a microcosm of the outer world.       

He evokes the spirit of Jack Johnson, the proud, supremely confident boxer who (first) inspired the term, "great white hope".       

The national (white) media hated Johnson because he refused to play the role of Tom, and carried himself as if he truly was, the baddest guy on earth.  He was not only heavyweight champ - he was a Black heavyweight champ, who dared be proud of his accomplishments.  

When he won in the ring, America's response was inevitably race riots in a dozen cities -white race riots, sparked by their displeasure at his powerful example.       

That was nearly a century ago.       

And Bonds, poised to break one of the biggest records in the game, must contend with this new, post -millennial hatred.       

A popular sportswriter and author, David Zirin, recently wrote of the extraordinary calls he gets when doing talk shows as he tours for his newly published book, Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics, and Promise of Sports (Chi.: Haymarket Books, 2007) He recounted a caller who asked him whether he had ever measured Bonds' head.       

Seriously.       

When he replied he hadn't, the caller went ballistic, shouting, "His head! His head!  Why won't you talk about measuring his head? It's the proof he's used steroids! The size of his head is the smoking gun!"       

Zirin said he wondered if he was getting calls from the local insane asylum.       

The same folks that now try to juxtapose Bonds against his forerunner, Hank Aaron, conveniently forget that Aaron had to weather death threats if he bested Babe Ruth's home run record. He received hate mail calling him "monkey", "gorilla", and "faggot."      

 Zirin recounts  a recent game between Milwaukee and San Francisco.  From the stands came catcalls like, "Throw at his head!", and one "fan" who implored the pitcher to "his his knee!   End his career!  Please! I will name my kid after you!"       

Yeah -- that's progress, huh?       

Barry Bonds, who should be enjoying his ascent to the heights of the game, is instead criticized for being "surly", and derided for having 'a bad attitude.'       Truly, isn't this 'America's game?'   --(c) '07 maj              

 [Source: "Zirin, Dave, More Than A Game, " The bonds of racism: the 'white noise' that follows Barry Bonds has the feel of something very ugly", Socialist Worker, July 20, 2007, p.11]   *******

 

[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
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[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