N
   

Donate Email Alert Links Photo Gallery Mumia' Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays Prison Radio

Prison Radio
Mumia' Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays
Photo Gallery
Links/Resources
Mumia Email Update
Donate
Mumia Gear
Radio Programmers
Contact Us

 

 

PLEASE DONATE

 

Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts

Higher Quality Audio files available info@prisonradio.org

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"Voting Rights Act Without the Real Right to Vote"
Rec. 8-3-06

1) 3:49 Radio essay Mp3

2) 5:04 Radio essay Mp3

A VOTING RIGHTS ACT WITHOUT THE REAL RIGHT TO VOTE
====================================================
[Col. Writ. 8/2/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Now that the fanfare over the signing of the Voting Rights Act has ended, the question remains: Do Blacks in America have the right to have their votes *counted*?  Black civil rights groups and leading members of the Congressional Black Caucus, fought tooth and nail to get the "Fanny Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King Voting Rights Act Reauthorization Amendments Act" passed through the House and Senate, beating back attempts from southern states to amend and weaken the law.  The bill essentially continues previous efforts, to ensure that several (primarily southern) states must get clearance from the U.S. Justice Dept., to pass elections laws, or change the state's electoral process.

The original Voting Rights Acts of 1965 was seen as a triumph of the civil rights movement, but in that very victory, hides the worm.  For, why would a voting rights act be needed, unless states chose to ignore the U.S. Constitution's 15th Amendment?

The 15th Amendment states, quite clearly, that:

"The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude - ..."

This amendment was ratified in 1870 (meaning it became a part of the Constitution).  Before the year had ended, white political terror and violence suppressed the Black vote in North Carolina, essentially ending Reconstruction in that state.  In January, 1874, armed white terrorists seized the Texas government, ending Reconstruction in that state.

On Dec. 7, 1874, white terrorists in Vicksburg, Miss. massacred 75 Republicans.  A similar Democratic, terrorist attack is repeated on the 4th of July, 1875, where several Blacks are slain.  The Clinton, Mississippi massacre occurs several months after this, which leaves 30 Blacks dead.

This was echoed throughout the South, with the practical effect that it meant for Blacks to vote, and to try to exercise political power, was a death sentence.

What did it matter what the Constitution said?

Time marches forward, and we reach 2000, in Florida.  While the 'right' to vote may exist, what of the right to have it counted?

American journalist Greg Palast, in recent books and articles, has demonstrated that many Black voters still can't have their votes counted.  Palast writes:

"In the months leading up to the November balloting, Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his secretary of state, Katherine Harris, ordered local elections supervisors to purge fifty-eight thousand voters from registries on grounds they were felons not entitled to vote in Florida.  As it turns out, only a handful of these voters were felons.  The voters on this scrub list were, notably, African American (about 54 percent), and most of the others wrongly barred from voting were white and Hispanic Democrats." [Fr.: Palast, Greg, "The Silence of the Lambs: An American in Journalistic Exile", in Borjesson, Kristina, ed., *Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press* (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2002), p. 65].

Here we go again in 2004, this time in urban districts in Ohio, where 'spoiled' ballots, and alternative ballots served to make sure that the votes of thousands of people didn't make the final tally.

But beyond that contradiction, there lies the realization that although Blacks do line up, by the millions to vote in elections (usually at a greater percentage than white Americans, by the way), why are our lives such unremitting hells?

While it's true that Black political representation is greater now than ever before, it's also true that Black political representation doesn't equate to Black political power.

When it comes to our social status, our ability to live lives in peace, the political realm offers few solutions.

The only way millions of people could've ignored the Constitution for almost 100 years is because they believed in something else, which they considered more important than the so-called 'law of the land.'  They believed in white supremacy.  They still believe in it, as shown by their 'foreign' policy, which is but white supremacy writ large (known as imperialism).

The Constitution is a minor annoyance.

Today, 150 years since the Civil War, a white vote is still more valued than a Black vote.  Urban areas have the oldest, least reliable voting machines, which virtually guarantees spoilage of ballots.

Democracy is still a dirty word.

Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[Source: Bennett, Lerone, Jr., *Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America* (Chi., IL: Johnson Publ., 2003).]


Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[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.]
===============================

 

[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