Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
American or Anti-Imperialist
What does it
mean to be an American? That is the question that is pulsing through
the country, especially as the nation embarks on the dark road to
A plethora of
pro-imperialist writers (pro-imperialists can be of both the right
or the so-called left) have been busy promoting the
suggestion that many of those who are firmly in the anti-war camp
(such as this writer) are somehow Anti-American. Of
course, they feel no need to define their terms, for they rely on
the implicit understanding of the reader to follow their drift.
But such a charge
has a long history in the United States, and seriously deserves
the U.S. Congress appropriated to itself the task of defining what
Anti-Americanism meant, and established the infamous
HUAC (for the House on Un-American Activities Committee). This group
waged ideological war on Communists, socialists, and anyone who
tried to organize social change in the repressive status quo of
the United States. People barely remember the rednecks who sat on
the side of the government, and who imperiously condemned those
who came before them, but Paul Robeson, Dr. W.E. B. DuBois, and
the Hollywood 10 (actors and writers who were black listed during
the period) are remembered with something akin to reverence.
Who were the
real Americans? The rednecks and racists who stormed
and raged and lorded it over those activists and artists? I stand
with Robeson. I stand with DuBois. I would rather pitch my tent
with the artists of the Hollywood Ten, who stood for the right to
create work that reflected the truths about this society, rather
than with the racists and segregationist politicians who stood for
silence in the face of repression.
people lost their livelihoods, and some committed suicide in the
face of this cruel government repression. Families were destroyed
in this witch hunt of the 1950s which launched the careers
of the Nixons, and the Roy Coens, and the like.
of American has been contested all throughout the history of this
country, and when the State has been able to assert their meaning,
it has always meant blind obedience to those in power, in government.
There are millions
of people in this country who believe in another definition. They
believe in the people. They believe that it is not the duty of people
to obey the government, but the duty of the government to obey the
people. They believe that everyone should have a say in that definition,
not just the moneyed interests. They also do not believe in Empire.
To be an American
also means that one is related to other peoples in the Americas.
Like the Cubans. Like the Venezuelans. Like the Nicaraguans. Like
They do not
believe that it is the inherent right, or the manifest destiny
of the Norte Americanos to rule over them like New Rome.
believe that it is right for American military or CIA or any other
agency to destroy the leaders or popular organizations of neighboring
states (or distant ones).
of American is not anti-American, but the very best of what it means
to be a part of the people of the Americas.
That kind of
American is not represented in the halls of government or in the
corridors of power in the Bush regime; but it is in the hearts,
minds, and souls of the people. It has not yet found true political
expression, but it will.
They may be
called anti-imperialists. But they may also be called, Americans.
Check out Mumia's
"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!
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© copyright 2002 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.