8 August 2014

When Children Are the Enemy

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

The following commentary was transcribed from a July 14 prisonradio.org recording.

I’ve been watching for days now as media reports display the growing hatred at the arrival of Central American children across the Mexican border.

American voices crackle with bile as they begin the drumbeat for their immediate deportation.

Vile names are called against them, and they are described as “invaders,” “sick” and “dirty.”

In truth, they are refugees from want and war, almost all the result of U.S. interventions in Central America in support of murderous military regimes and the mindless drug war.

These are the grandchildren of NAFTA, the economic policy which leached wealth from Mexico and its neighbors.

That said, this antipathy shown towards children is deeply disturbing.

It reminds me of the era of the Second World War, when a bill was submitted in Congress to allow the entry of thousands of Jewish children. The Wagner-Rogers bill would’ve saved 20,000 kids living in Germany, but President FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, opposed it—and the bill died.

Actually, many U.S. elites opposed it, including Roosevelt’s cousin, Laura Delano Houghteling. She was the wife of the U.S. immigration commissioner, who argued, “20,000 charming children would all too soon grow into 20,000 ugly adults.”

Such crude racism portrays the ugliness of Americans, and the day will come when we will look back at how these children are treated today—and we will not feel pride.

This frenzy, this political and social fear whipped up by petty, ambitious politicians will yet pass.

But left behind will be our shame at how a nation that claims so much greatness, can be so small—and so cruel.

From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

©2014 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther, renowned journalist and supporter of the Philadelphia MOVE organization, is America’s foremost class-war prisoner. Framed up because of his political views on false charges of killing a Philly cop, Mumia spent almost 30 years on death row. Since December 2011, he has been condemned to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Contributions for Mumia’s legal defense can be made out to the “National Lawyers Guild Foundation,” earmarked “Mumia,” and mailed to: Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal, 132 Nassau Street, Room 922, New York, NY 10038. To correspond with Mumia, write to: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335 SCI Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.

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(reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 1050, 8 August 2014)

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