Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
If the major
media is to be believed, the recent election is a done deal; done...
over and done with. It was free and fair, and folks should just
accept it, and quietly move on.
If Greg Palast, an American journalist usually working out of London,
is to be listened to, American democracy has been ripped off
of *The Best Democracy Money Can Buy*, really did the prodigious
legwork to crack the Florida debacle back in 2000. He demonstrated,
quite convincingly, it seems to me, how the White House, Florida's
Governor, Jeb Bush, and the then-Secretary of State, Katherine Harris,
essentially stole the elections there, by undercounting and spoiling
sufficient votes to allow Bush to eke out a win in the Sunshine
State back in 2000.
Palast now argues
that, once again, this time utilizing dirty tricks, and ambitious
politicians, the same thing happened in the states of Ohio and New
Mexico. In a brief, 4-page Internet article, Palast presents facts
and figures that once again demonstrates that there is a system
in place in the U.S. that uses terms like democracy; but in practice,
it's something else again. It's bait and switch; it's hide and don't
seek; it's actually the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands,
and indeed, millions of Americans, based on their race, their ethnicity,
and often, their economic class.
how, particularly in poorer and minority districts in Ohio, the
old punch-card voting machines were still in use, and such machines
have been shown statistically that they 'spoil' a certain percentage
of votes. Those same machines led to the infamous 'hanging chads'
controversy of four years ago. One doesn't have to be a rocket scientist
to see that those who live in poorer, working class, urban districts,
tend to vote Democratic, while those who have more means, such as
small (and large) business owners tend toward Republicans. In Ohio,
where chads have appeared, these were counted as "undervotes."
While these account for some 2% of the state's total, when counted
in whole numbers that comes out to 110,000 presumably Democratic
When you factor
in the "provisional" ballots of people who were challenged
at the voting booth, you can add some 175,000 to 250,000 to that
number. Those "provisional" ballots seem like voting ballots,
and sound like voting ballots, with one critical difference; Unless
there's a legal challenge, or a recount, they are *not* counted!
A similar tale may be told about Mexican-American voters in parts
of New Mexico. One journalist from Albuquerque, Renee Blake, reported
that, "They were giving them out [meaning provisional ballots]
like candy." [Palast, "Kerry Won. Here's the Facts.",
If Bush won
Ohio, and thus the electoral college's allocation, by 136,483 votes,
and at the bare minimum of 285,000 presumably Democratic votes were
'lost, spoiled, or mutilated' in Ohio alone, then who really won?
Why aren't Democrats
demanding recounts? Because the corporate media has effectively
shut them down. This is a story that they don't want blared around
the world, especially at a time when America allegedly is fighting
to bring 'democracy' to Iraq!
is, now more than ever, a *corporate* media, that, as we have seen,
takes its cues from Wall Street and the White House. A rough and
tumble over stolen votes would be bad for the U.S. Imperial image.
Yet, in truth,
there is another reason: Democrats sat back, for four years, and
didn't fight for the voting rights of tens of thousands of voters
in Florida, many of them African-American, Haitian, Jewish, and
non- Cuban Hispanics in 2000. Democratic Senators didn't fight back
when the Congressional Black Caucus tried to get congressional investigations
going into the Florida debacle (and yes Kerry was among them!).
They didn't fight in 2000; why should they fight in 2004?
The voters who
were disenfranchised in Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico are disfavored,
and disposable. As long as the corporate gelt comes in, it's cool.
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.