10 January 2014

The World We’re In

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

The following commentary dated 21 November 2013 was read at the Holiday Appeal event for class-war prisoners in New York City, December 15.

Who believed that the world that we see before us would be here, like this, when the last 2 elections were held?

OK—perhaps some of you had a clue. But for most of us, deep down, we believed we were on the brink of epic change. We thought that the social problems gnawing at the community, joblessness, the immense and monstrous mass incarceration system, homelessness, and the serious social problems of schools would be—well, at the very least, addressed.

That they are not honestly on the agenda is shocking. Shocking.

We learned, slowly, over time, that the color, complexion, or ethnicity of those in power are largely of no import: their ideas/ideals/beliefs are.

I know that this wasn’t widely articulated; but I also know and sense that it was felt.

The feeling of mass depression, of betrayal in the Black community is actually quite profound.

Oh, I don’t mean of the well-to-do, the moneyed, or the petit-bourgeoisie, but among the poor, the working classes, the average folks.

They feel like they were played.

But we know that this is the very essence of politics—this is the way things go—especially in capitalist societies.

This has been the practice since the American Revolution—a revolution that actually—perhaps for the first time in history—benefited the gentry, the wealthy, the ruling classes. This Revolution waged in the name of ‘freedom,’ was marked by the explosion of the slavery system, unbridled invasions of Indian lands west of the Appalachian Mountains, and the resurrection of the new rulers—American aristocrats, in the place of the British.

They used their media, their priests and their sycophants to sell their revolution, while living in, and trying to preserve one of the most unequal societies on earth (especially for Africans!).

This shows us the value of groups like the PDC. They question. They challenge. They protest the powers that be.

We should all learn a lesson from these recent experiences, if only to know, deep in our bones, that for the capitalists, ‘change’ only refers to what you get when you try to break a dollar.

Thank you all, once again, for helping my boy, Jamal,

Ona Move! Long Live John Africa!

Mumia Abu-Jamal

©2013 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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(reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 1037, 10 January 2014)

Workers Vanguard is the newspaper of the Spartacist League with which the Partisan Defense Committee is affiliated.