Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
on Human Rights
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A recent U.N.
based human rights report critical of Cuba came at a wonderful time.
Fidel Castro, at a vast May Day celebration in Havana, gently, but
soberly, criticized both Mexico and Peru for their joining with
the U.S. in a diplomatic
attack on Cuba, for her treatment of US-backed dissenters there.
Castro did indeed criticize those countries, he heralded Mexico's
long and proud history of independence, and her Revolution against
Spanish conquest. Within weeks of Pres. Castro's remarks, Mexican
and Peruvian ambassadors were recalled from Havana, an act applauded
by the US State Department.
of that applause, however, came the pictures from the dark corridors
of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Almost instantly, a hush settled over
before the horrific and humiliating pictures from Abu Ghraib were
made public, US president George W. Bush took to the fundraising
stump, to announce that 'torture no longer happens in Iraq, because
we removed Saddam Hussein'; and he robotically repeated his refrains
about the Iraqi regime's 'rape rooms.'
Then came the
flics from prison, of grinning US soldiers, torturing, beating,
sexually humiliating hooded, naked, Iraqi men with whispers
of rapes in the wings!
to the right to lecture others on 'human rights', rings exceedingly
hollow in its sheer hypocrisy.
"This isn't an America I recognize."
if this transplanted Texan ever bothered to study how his adopted
state was carved out of Mexican soil; or, for that matter, how much,
perhaps most of US land was stolen from Indian territories? Perhaps
It is precisely
this oddly American form of amnesia that allowed Abu Ghraib to happen;
and that prepares Abu Ghraibs to come.
It is precisely
this racist, xenophobic blindness that assures us that those 7 or
so guards did it alone, and that allows us to whitewash this scandal.
About 7 years
ago, this prison was racked by scandal. Over a score of guards,
and several ranking officers were implicated in an orgy of racist
violence, and abuse of handcuffed prisoners, at SCI-Greene. Many
prison guards were fired, and several were demoted in rank.
however, union arbitrators has the vast majority (if not *all* of
them) back at the job, albeit at other prisons.
It took time;
but perhaps a year thereafter, the whitewash was complete.
Is it therefore
surprising that one of the guards at the heart of that scandal,
plays a repeat at Abu Ghraib?
days of the news, the skeleton of a whitewash can be sensed ...
'isolated incident'; '... limited to seven or eight guards'; '...
the guards were untrained...', etc. These are the garb with which
this whitewash will be clothed.
the US architects of the anti-Cuban resolution, are hoisted on their
own petards the images from Abu Ghraib, where Americans practice
the human right of humiliation.
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.