Donate Email Alert Links Photo Gallery Mumia' Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays Prison Radio

Prison Radio
Mumia' Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays
Photo Gallery
Mumia Email Update
Mumia Gear
Radio Programmers
Contact Us




Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts

Higher Quality Audio files available info@prisonradio.org

Copyright 2009 Mumia Abu-Jamal/Prison Radio

"On Race Racism and the Sotomayor Nomination"

Recorded 05-31-09

1) 2:24 On Race Racism and the Sotomayor Nomination A MP3

2) 3:20 On Race Racism and the Sotomayor Nomination B MP3

Race, Racism & the Sotomayor Nomination
[col. writ. 5/30/09]  (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

    It would be easy to describe the present faux controversy over the nomination of  2nd Circuit of Appeals Court judge, Sonia Sotomayor, to the U.S. Supreme Court as media-generated, and thus, unreal.

    But that would be too easy.

    As forces on the political right decry the jurist as "racist", "reverse racist", or "biased", such terms do far more than spur flagging newspaper sales, it amps up the summer hearings for her nomination.

    And while it may not reach the temperature of the Clarence Thomas - Anita Hill senate hearings, it will get plenty of attention, if only for the wrong reasons.

    It is almost laughable to seriously consider the 'racist' claims launched by the Limbaugh, Gingrich and Tancredo axis of the Republican Party, given their manic xenophobia when it comes to Mexican immigrants, an issue that has driven millions of Latinos away from the GOP.

    But, for argument's sake, let's examine the question, from a central core issue.  Are Latinos a race?

    The short answer is no.

    Latinos, or Hispanics, are a linguistic and cultural community, but one of stunning diversity.  In fact, Hispanics are a conglomeration of many races -- and indeed, many cultures, formed over centuries.

    There are millions of people who are as dark-skinned (or darker) than African Americas, but are classified as Latinos, who are of Puerto Rican, Dominican or Mexican heritage.

    The lesson in this is that race is often a national construct, which may be transformed by crossing a border.

    Decades ago, one would think, there were no Hispanics (or at least the term wasn't used).  People were classified according to their national heritage, or they were called "Spanish -surnamed."

    But the lives, experiences, and dreams of people can be profoundly different, depending on where one's family hails: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Argentina or Cuba.

    All of these people may be called Latinos, but they are white, red, brown and black. Their familial and genetic histories draw Spain, Italy, the Americas and Africa.

    In sum, Latinos are not a race, as race is understood in this country, but a linguistic and multi-cultural community of breathtaking diversity.

    The irony is that Judge Sotomayor, if she were born in many Latin American countries (instead of the Bronx), would have "blanca", or "claro" on her birth certificate (meaning white). Only in the US does she become a 'person of color', simply because whiteness in the American sense, is a narrow, exclusive domain.

    Many millions who now consider themselves white had grandparents who weren't considered white, especially given their southern European places of origin.

    But, things change; even our definitions of race.

--(c) '09 maj

[Note: Mr. Jamal has recently published his latest book, Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners vs. the USA (San Francisco: City Lights Bks, Dr. Angela Y. Davis.  For more info: www.citylights.com; or write: City Lights Books, 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133

International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - icffmaj@aol.com

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370


Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Subscribe: mumiacolumns-subscribe@topica.com
Read: http://topica.com/lists/mumiacolumns/read
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing

[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

For additional information and to order Mumia's new book We Want Freedom,

visit: southendpress.org

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith f Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com