The Black Commentator: An independent weekly internet magazine dedicated to the movement for economic justice, social justice and peace - Providing commentary, analysis and investigations on issues affecting African Americans and the African world.
September 17 , 2009 - Issue 342

Leonard Peltier & Mumia Abu-Jamal -
Justice Barometers of our Soul
Keeping It Real
By Larry Pinkney
B Editorial Board



Welcome to the United States of America, the land of hypocrisy, denial, and subterfuge.

Intense economic and race war in fact continues unabated in this nation unabashedly fostered, sadly, by U.S. President Barack Obama, who is himself the aloof and blissfully oblivious target of increasing racial bigotry. What a terrible irony! It is stunning, but no accident, how the obvious is repeatedly missed by so many in ‘America.’ The details in the cases of U.S. political prisoners Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier make this abundant arrogance, hypocrisy, and dangerous obliviousness that is so prevalent in this land - crystal clear.

Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal however, are so much more than political prisoners in ‘America.’ Their three decades-long wrongful imprisonment represents the very heart and soul of ongoing hypocrisy, racism, and growing injustice in this nation. Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier are not simply names to banter about. As with many other political prisoners in this country, these two cases represent the collective barometer that indicate the utter and dismal failure of the judiciary and politicos of this nation to “change” their ways and come to their human senses.

Leonard Peltier, a former head of the American Indian Movement (AIM), and Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former leader in the Black Panther Party (BPP), both demonstrated the unmitigated audacity to stand up for unfettered justice - which is in reality the ultimate sin in this nation. They both were falsely accused of having killed police agents of repression and they both had enormously crucial and important evidence suppressed by government prosecutors in their skewed, so - called free and democratic trials here in the empire’s corporate ‘America.’ They both were (and continue to be - even in prison) the targets of local, state, and federal authorities - to be discredited, kept imprisoned, and if possible - ultimately murdered.

The crux of the Leonard Peltier case is not only the government subterfuge and concomitant suppression of crucial evidence, but also the legitimate sovereignty rights of Indigenous peoples collectively on this continent. Indigenous sovereignty rights is something that the U.S. Government and much of the collective psyche of this country has studiously avoided, refusing to honestly and fairly address for over five hundred years.

Likewise, the crux of the Mumia Abu-Jamal case is not only the government subterfuge and suppression of crucial evidence, but the audacity of Mr. Abu-Jamal to, as a human rights activist in word and deed, boldly expose the economic and racist hypocrisy of the U.S. Government, in his quest on behalf of the collective human rights of people here and abroad.

For thirty years now the corporate U.S. so - called ‘news’ media has used, and continues to use, a combination of falsehoods, omissions, and obfuscation to perpetuate this despicable outrage against Mr. Abu-Jamal and Mr. Peltier. Thus is this outrage also continually perpetrated against us - the majority of peoples in this nation and on this planet; not only pertaining to the Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal cases of injustice but also as pertains to the daily corporate media onslaught of distraction and disinformation in general both nationally and internationally. Make no mistake about this!

Leonard Peltier recently very clearly and quite correctly wrote that “now” he is Barack “Obama’s political prisoner.” Indeed he is, as is Mumia Abu-Jamal, just as the bloody wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere are now Obama’s wars. Stop the intellectual masturbation and get real - people! These two political prisoners represent the barometers of our very souls. Indeed, until we ourselves uncompromisingly change it, we are all the emotional and information prisoners of this present economic, social, and political Republicrat [i.e. Republican and Democratic Party] nonsense on the road to certain national and global disaster.

Whether we view our primary concern as being obtaining universal single payer health care, over-all social & economic justice, labor union busting, the environment, housing, increasing unemployment, or the ongoing U.S. bloody wars abroad, etc., the cases of Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal encompass all of these important concerns. Think about it! They are all linked and intertwined. We must understand this.

Our Mother Earth cannot continue to exist without social / political (including environmental) and economic justice and real change, and we cannot continue to exist without our Mother Earth. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or a Harvard graduate to understand this.

In the spirit of ‘Crazy Horse’ and with the determination of all justice loving people; spit out the poisonous political ‘Kool’ Aid and fight hard to make our hopes and dreams become reality. As we do this, let us actively remember Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal, for in doing so we remember and honor the very best in ourselves. Onward then sisters and brothers! Onward… There remains much work to be done. Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self - authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book). Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.



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