Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
'Love Chile' & American Politics
3.60 MBs, 4:25
Short version: mp3,
2.96 MBs, 3:37
The news that
America's premier arch-segregationist, Strom Thurmond, the late
Senator from South Carolina, was the father of an African-American
daughter, is as American as cherry pie.
in the Senate longer than any other Senator in the history of the
Republic, and for most of that time, while it became politically
unfashionable to uphold segregation, remained a stalwart white nationalist.
It is a telling fact of American political life that Thurmond had
to keep the existence of his Black daughter secret for fear he would
lose significant political support in his home state.
the now 78-year old Essie Mae Washington Williams, with her cafe-au-lait
complexion, is yet the spitting image of her old man. And in press
reports, she has expressed love for him, a two-sided relationship
of respect, and a seemingly heartfelt, life-long concern for his
welfare. She is today's reflection of the dark underside of American
history: white fathers, and black babies, with few publicly acknowledging
their own offspring.
have suggested that this was proof of the 'humanity' of the man,
the writer begs to differ. Thomas Jefferson fathered several Black
children, and kept most of them in bondage to the end of his days.
Even as he was producing children of a Black woman, he wrote in
his infamous *Notes on the State of Virginia* of Blacks being akin
to "gorillas", and beings who were physically, intellectually,
and artistically inferior.
worked, and whipped his slaves, and according to Black oral history,
fathered a son with one of his female slaves, named Venus.
of 'Give me liberty, or give me death!' fame, held scores of Africans
in bondage! This lover of liberty would write, "Would anyone
believe I am the master of slaves of my own purchase?" Most
Americans don't know, and because of warped history taught in primary
schools, won't learn this.
French premier, Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929), when a journalist
covering the end of American Reconstruction (after US Civil War)
wrote, of Southern politics: "Any Democrat who did not manage
to hint that the negro is a degenerate gorilla would be considered
lacking in enthusiasm." [Fr. Eric Foner, *Reconstruction: America's
Unfinished Revolution: 1863-1877* (New York: Harper & Row, 1988),
32 (quoting Clemenceau's book: *American Reconstruction* (1928).]
case reveals, at base, the political hypocrisy that fuels much of
American politics still. If arch-conservatives can have secret Black
babies, then, one wonders, how many of our supposedly 'tough-on-crime'
politicians really don't believe the harsh rhetoric that they spout?
How many know that the so-called 'war on drugs' is a cruel crock
of horse-manure? Or that the equally fallacious 'war on terrorism'
is but a political stage play?
have perfected the art of telling their foolish constituencies what
they want to hear, instead of what they really believe. How many
are projecting useful masks for their own political, professional
benefit? What next? David Duke's Vietnamese 'love child'? Ronnie
Reagan's Mexican 'muchacha de amor'?
What we have
learned is that what politicians project to their publics is one
thing; what they believe is another! Politics is not a science;
it is an art; and all art is part artifice.
And thus we
have a politics that fails to inspire us; which plays to our deepest
fears, and plucks our darkest urges. It is a false politics, which
doesn't even begin to resemble the lives we lead, our hopes or our
dreams. What if 'old Strom' had publicly
professed his love for his Black daughter during his 100 years of
life? What if he did so, at the height of the vicious struggles
being waged across the US south during the '50s and '60s? What if
he did it while he was a young man?
if he had done so, we would never have heard the name, Strom Thurmond,
for his political career would have been strangled at birth.
we live today in a different America?
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.