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Paris Crying

recorded 6-12-07

 

1) 2:14 Radio Essay Mp3

 

Paris Crying

 Column written 6/10/07

 (C) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal

With every major news outlet providing breaking news coverage of the Paris Hilton story, I though I'd add my 2¢ worth.

To be sure, the early release of the hotel heiress set tongues on fire on both coasts, for it seemed symbolic of the power of wealth, race and privilege in the nations' courtrooms.

But, a moment's reflection provides a deeper view, one which reveals the unassailable fact that, in many ways, L.A. and Southern California are different from other areas of the country ~ where celebrity is virtually an industry.

Several months ago, a well-known Latina actress got busted for DUI, and was given a similar sentence. Like Hilton, she too got cut loose quite early, based on the severe overcrowding in the county jails.  Her ordeal, however, didn't garner banner headlines (at least on this coast), and it was barely a day's news.

That said, if either woman was poor and unknown, she'd undoubtedly be left for a good deal longer; jailed simply because of her poverty, and her inability to make bail.

Wealth has its privileges.

And in the U.S., wealth is virtually tantamount to race; meaning that while whites are hardly rich in this country (on average), if one examines the tiny minority who are indeed wealthy, the overwhelming majority are white.

Paris Hilton got wealthy the old fashioned way ~ she inherited it.

It doesn't make it less cruel when she is allowed to go home for a night; dragged to court the next day, and hauled off to the joint because of a spat between the county judge and the sheriff.

There's nothing pretty about a young but grown woman crying for her Mamma, because she's being tossed into jail.

She's being treated this way precisely because of her celebrity.

And returning Paris to the joint doesn't make the criminal justice system more just; it just shows how the system reacts to bad PR.  It's cruel, vindictive; and serves up raw meat for the spectacle of the crowd.

If the media hadn't flashed the story across the globe, Paris would be home, with a monitor on her leg.

Wealth may have its privilege; but celebrity has it's price.

 

(C) '07 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
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THANK YOU!!!

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

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http://www.prisonradio.org or http://www.fsrn.org
==============================================>

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

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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.] 

"
========================================

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


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