Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
The news of
the entry of civic activist Ralph Nader into the US presidential
race has caused some Democrats to groan and some Republicans to
cackle with barely suppressed glee. His announcement of his intent
to run, this time as an independent rather than as a green, evoked
memories of the 200 elections when the Bush camp stole Florida and
the entire election by the foul disenfranchisement of tens of thousands
of African-American, Hatian and Jewish voters there. Nader has been
subjected to the tearful pleas of liberals as well as the veiled
threats of other on the left, that he was a spoiler and his entry
into the race would virtually ensure the re-lection of Bush. Underneath,
the pleas, the threats and even the stifled laughter of so-called
conservatives lies the fundamental fear of democracy and a dismissal
of millions of Americans from the very process. For them, the sentiment
is let sleeping dogs lie. They wish to simply accept the nation's
electoral system as it is and try to extract the most votes from
this group, which is afterall, a minority of the American majority.
That is the sad state of American democracy.
announcement, made on TV, quickly spread throughout the electric
media and was slanted toward the spoiler angle. As ever, the media's
addiction to conflict would only allow this coverage. His principle
motivation as well as his principle complaints against both the
democrat and republican party, not to mention his critique of the
media, got shorter shrift. Nader's critique is identical to his
2000 run, that both major parties are in the capture of corporations.
While there rhetoric may differ, their actions and interests rarely
do. Nader opined that even if Gore were president, the US would
have found a pretext to invade Iraq.
And what of
the tall, thick browed Massachusetts senator John Kerry?
While Nader didn't address him directly, as far as I recall, the
thought of any sitting senator evokes the image of Black members
of congress lined up before Gore asking for an investigation into
the Florida debacle and for the senate to issue a stay of the electoral
college's actions based upon violations of the Voting Rights Act
there. No one, not one senator rises to join the black congressman
and women in their motion. And not one senator- Clinton, Kerry,
Kennedy, Lieberman, Fienstein- none stood with their colleagues
in the congressional Black caucus. None stood in defense of the
democratic rights of thousands of Black voters who were bamboozled
away from the Florida polls just weeks before. For them, this was
evidence of a broken democracy, one that still hasn't been repaired.
Political allegiances should be more than a matter of mere member
ship. What about the party's allegiance to its members? How loyal
was the democratic party to those thousands of mostly Black folks
who were illegally and unjustly tossed off the Florida voting rolls.
To be loyal to any party, it must first be asked: How loyal is the
party to you?
From Death Row,
this is Mumia Abu-Jamal
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Check out Mumia's
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life
of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.