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"Of Nappy Heads and Hard Hearts "

Written 4/11/07;

1) 3:37 Nappy Heads and Hard Hearts Radio Essay Mp3  

 Of Nappy Heads and Hard Hearts

(Column written 4/11/07 by Mumia Abu–Jamal)

The recent flap over the whimsical words of radio’s Don Imus have reminded us how raw are the feelings of people in an age we like to think of as that of a “new” century.

              With one deft line, Imus was able to lob a verbal depth charge into the oceans of the heart, spreading wreckage for miles.

              It spoke volumes of the tender tissues of which the nation’s illusion of civility is composed; and the continuing power of racial and sexual stereotypes to send shock waves of pain far and wide.

              Three words: “nappy–headed hos”, did the damage; but it did damage precisely because our wounds are so raw, so close to the surface, with a thin scab of coverage.

              It also worked because what society has become has turned a throwaway joke into a searing reality. For within that poisonous epithet is an ancient antipathy towards Africans, merged with a long and deep history of misogyny (or hatred of women.)

              In America, who can debate whether Black women are the most disfavored of all the nation’s women? What did we learn from the horrors of Katrina, if not this?

              Seen in this light, we see all too clearly, how easy it was, how available it was, for Imus to point at the most isolated sector in American life, and let it go. It was a freebie.

              And what of Imus, a man approaching his 67th summer of life, who’s still billed as a ‘bad boy’ of radio?

              His radio–TV show is a monster of a moneymaker, with tens of million of dollars spent on ads to reach his vast audience. And has (had?) that audience because he aims his schtick at the lowest common denominator–racist, sexist, slur and ridicule–which warms the cockles of the White, Male, American heart. It plays because he hits a nerve, early and often, which resonates within the psyche of millions.

              It was this national nerve which twitched with snickers when the I–Man pointed his tongue at the mostly Black women who carried Rutgers University to the brink of a national championship; who, by coming in second place, exceeded every expectation, and assured them a kind of immortality in the evanescent pages of the sports record books. Until, that is, someone looked at them, and noticed that there was something not quite right (or was it white?) about them.

              Dark, athletic, talented women–scholar-athletes–with their hair twisted into braids, and in their moment of near triumph, a public snicker, to remind them of who they really are in the good ole’ U.S. of A.

              Imus struck, goaded on by one of the boys….

              His name, split in two–is I’M US–and, in a perverse way, he is (or maybe was).

              For while Imus mouthed the words, the country lives the reality–daily.

              In education, housing, healthcare, jobs, the legal system, on TV, in the papers–every day­­–this silent curse is launched at Black female life, screaming their view of their lack of worth.

              Imus just gave this affirmation.

              By doing so, he made millions.

              And ain’t that the American way?

–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