Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
or Elections to Come
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Short version: mp3,
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12/21/03] Copyright '03 Mumia Abu-Jamal
"America" is like Clorox corporation: it sells both
toxic bleach (Clorox) and salad dressing (Hidden Valley Ranch).
If the salad dressing came with the Clorox label, we wouldn't
buy it. If "America" came with images of poverty and
of military domination, it would fail as fantasy. Vijay
Prashad, *Keeping Up With the Dow Joneses* (South End Press, 2003),
It is difficult
to hear major presidential candidates (for either major political
party) get up and talk about their program, without stifling a chuckle.
of them are corporate henchmen, who have gotten their political
positions by serving the whims of the corporate elites. What is
perhaps most amusing, is to see these guys (most *are* guys) dress
down, with worksheets, their collars unbuttoned,
their sleeves rolled up, to affect an illusion that they are just
average working stiffs, instead of the wealthy corporate shills
that they have spent their lifetimes being.
It is a telling
reflection of the political need to perform this schlocky kind of
theater, in order for them to begin to be heard by average, everyday
folks among the American citizenry. Most can't point to any real
legislative, gubernatorial, or mayoral achievement of any real note,
that helped out the working people. Indeed, many have been part
of the generations-long war on the poor, sparked by Reagan and continued
under Clinton, to "discipline" the poor, and make them
amenable to corporate rule over the marketplace.
media doesn't help matters when it blares about the falling unemployment
figures, or the rising Dow Jones average, when neither indicator
really reflects much to average working folks. The unemployment
rates are notoriously
unreliable, for they never reflect those millions who have simply
given up looking for work, those who are on disability, or those
many in prison. As for the Dow, international studies scholar, Vijay
half of US households own some stocks (whether through a retirement
plan or otherwise), for 60 percent of households, their stocks
amounted to only $4,000. The *top one percent, those people who
are given "free money," hold almost half of all stocks
(47.7 percent), while the bottom 80 percent hold a minuscule 4
percent of all stock holdings*. (fr. Prashad, V. *Keeping Up With
the Dow Joneses: Debt, Prison, Workfare* (Cambridge, Ma.: South
End Press, 2003), p. 8]
last time you heard a political candidate talk about those on the
bottom of the nation's political economy? Those millions who are
out of luck, out of work, on the bottom? If you listen to most pols,
they'll wax eloquent about the great American "middle class",
as if there are not millions of folks who are below that great middle.
Millions of folks work everyday, but can't seem to get a grip on
the means to really
make a decent wage. For the politicians who yearn to run the government,
these people are invisible. They don't exist. They are forgotten.
invisible before the election, what do you think they'll do afterwards?
And now, the
financial media broadcasts about the 'jobless recovery.' For too
many men and women in America, the answer is not simply jobs. Jobs
without a living, growing wage, are just daily drudgery and toil.
of manufacturing jobs that have been lost in the last few years
are gone forever, and in its place is a slew of service jobs, which
don't begin to pay the rates of those that are gone.
ago, corporations sent terror through their workforce's by threatening
to move to Mexico. With the beginning of Mexican trade unionism
edging their way into
the dreadful maquiladoras, businesses now threaten to cross the
seas to China, where labor is even cheaper! We are witnessing the
dark face of globalism, the 'structural
adjustment' of Reagan, and the 'new economy' of Clinton.
ain't voting for some loser to betray you after election day; it's
to organize, to rebuild unions, and make them truly international
entities, to protect the interests
of labor globally!
2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.