At one time, the “Free Mumia” campaign had momentum and there were many folks who believed in his innocence and worked tirelessly to get the message out to the masses about the injustice that had been done to him. But here we are, in 2015 and I wonder how many people have forgotten about Mumia and how many folks have no idea who he is?
Mumia Abu-Jamal is an activist and organizer who inspired the prison lawyers movement, an author of 6 books, a journalist who has written hundreds of columns and articles, a former Black Panther and supporter of the MOVE organization.
This man has has spent the last 30 years in prison, almost all of it in solitary confinement on Pennsylvania’s Death Row after he was tried, convicted and sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, an incident which took place on December 9,1981. An incident which he was never LEGALLY PROVEN guilty. The travesty was the fact that in 2001 a federal judge overturned his death sentence, and in 2011 the Philadelphia D.A. said he was giving up his attempts to restore the death sentence. Yet he is still in prison!! With a sentence of life without parole…
This is what this country does to our leaders. This is an example of the value (or lack thereof) that is placed on the heads of those who dare stand up and speak out about the injustices done to folks of color.
On March 30th, Mumia was taken to the ICU of the Skuylkill Medical Center, after he collapsed from diabetic shock. And the deplorable thing is the fact that the prison didn’t immediately notify his family or friends or even allow visitors until there was too much bad press and word spread via social media. How is it possible that a human being who has fought for others can be treated in such a way? He has lost over 50 pounds, and his entire body is covered with a hard, leathery layer of jet-black skin, that is bloody, painful and itchy.
Is this the message that we want to give our youth? That you can fight for the rights of others, but you should expect to be completely ignored and abused, falsely accused and convicted and sentenced to die as the result? Because that’s exactly what has happened to countless of our leaders and case in point with Mumia. It’s a damn shame that an individual can be treated in this way and eventually be forgotten.
As a community, as a society, We gotta do better.