Let Mumia Out! Exploring Racial Justice as the Sun Sets over George Floyd

 “I went through the anteroom on my way to that courtroom where Judge Sabo and another person were engaged in conversation. Judge Sabo was discussing the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. During the course of that conversation, I heard Judge Sabo say, ‘Yeah, and I’m going to help them fry the n––-.’ There were three people present when Judge Sabo made that remark, including myself.” – in a sworn affidivit by Philadephia court reporter Terri Maurer-Carter, August 2001


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Even in the midst of an apparent pandemic keeping all Americans and many around the world in the grip of heightened fear, that did not stop people from rising up in centres globally to massively dispute and condemn the death of a black man – George Floyd – under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. Anywhere from 15 to 26 million people are estimated to have shown up at protests in the USA in the month of June alone condemning the actions against Floyd and evidence of racism conducted by police generally.

Newspapers and broadcasts around the world couldn’t get enough of this incident and the unrest it was setting off. The fate of George Floyd resulted in the first major demonstration and possibly even the first news story generally that actually shoved COVID reporting aside. [2]

Mumia Abu Jamal was not so lucky.

In recent days, it was learned that Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Black Panther and radio journalist who was arrested and charged under suspicious conditions, was taken to a hospital. He had suffered from Cirrhosis of the liver, Hepatitis C, a severe, chronic and debilitating skin condition, and COVID-19. As well, his heart was requiring major surgery. Advocates argue these concerns were a reflection of a court-documented medical neglect. [3]

Mumia has just entered his 40th year as an incarcerated prisoner. His trial was considered by Amnesty International, “clearly failed to meet minimum international standards safeguarding the fairness of legal proceedings” – meaning there are plenty of reasonable doubts about his guilt. And now his life is in peril. While Mumia’s got a cast of dedicated supporters in Philadelphia and around the world bringing attention to his plight, the media by and large is not paying attention.

If the guilty verdict given to former police officer Derek Chauvin in relation to the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd was to be the beacon signaling the downfall of racial policing everywhere, as some had hoped, than why is there a pause in the case of what is arguably the most famous political prisoner in America who has the fingerprints of bigoted treatment all over his body?

This week on the Global Research News Hour we plan to examine Mumia’s current health, legal and political situation and probe the distorted treatment of this legendary voice.

In our first half hour, long time Mumia supporter Suzanne Ross returns again with updates on Mumia’s situation, including the disappointing news brief from a so-called “progressive” lawyer. In the second half hour, we listen to another supporter Professor Johanna Fernández expand on the racial injustice angle from shackles in the hospital to the neglect in medical care, to media avoidance. Finally, running near the end of the show, Mike Africa Jr, member of the MOVE family, spends a few minutes taking the conversation beyond Mumia to discuss the bombing of their home by the police in May of ‘85 and the various events connected with the anniversary of that event.

Dr. Suzanne Ross is a New York City based clinical psychologist, a long-time anti-imperialist activist and representative of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Associate Professor Johanna Fernández teaches 20th Century US history and the history of social movements in the Department of History at Baruch College (CUNY). She is the editor of Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal and one of the coordinators of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. She is also the host of the daily program Its a New Day for WBAI radio in New York City.

Mike Africa Jr. Is a writer, activist and hip hop artist. He hosts the weekly podcast “Ona Move w/Mike Africa, Jr.” and is the star of the HBOmax documentary “40 Years A Prisoner, he is a stage performer, keynote speaker.” He is the son of one of the MOVE 9 who gave birth to him while in prison.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 315)


Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM out of the University of Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

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  1. www.freemumia.com/terri-maurer-carter/
  2. Amy Mitchell, Mark Jurkowitz, J. Baxter Oliphant, and elisa Shearer (June 12, 2020), ‘Majorities of Americans Say News Coverage of George Floyd Protests Has Been Good, Trump’s Public Message Wrong’, Pew Research Centre: Journalism and Media; www.journalism.org/2020/06/12/majorities-of-americans-say-news-coverage-of-george-floyd-protests-has-been-good-trumps-public-message-wrong/
  3. havanatimes.org/news/mumia-abu-jamal-undergoes-successful-heart-surgery/

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