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Mumia: Never Heard of Him: Not Suprising

February 22nd, 2013 § Leave a Comment

I think it’s very telling that as a college-educated and NPR-listening American citizen I had never heard of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The mainstream American media machine has effectively done its job, and the picture they (the filmmakers) paint of Mumia as silenced is not exaggerated in the slightest.

One of the most interesting things I felt this film sidesteps: there is never once a denial that he killed a cop. Whether or not that is debated among those crying for his release from prison is never addressed. I don’t think anyone who killed a cop (and thinking back recently to our own Seattle area cop killer Maurice Clemmons) got off easy: in fact, Mumia seems to have had it better than most. I know that’s not a response typical of a liberal Seattleite, but the amount of written and published work he managed to get put out as a former Black Panther on death row is ASTOUNDING. That’s the realist in me, not the idealist in me.

Brother with a beard: much respect.

Brother with a beard: much respect.

His writings and work for the rights of marginalized people of America and the world is incredible and staggering over the course of this two hour documentary. Normally I would say two hours is way too long for a documentary, and we’ve had documentaries at the GI clocking in at 90 minutes that were too long for their content. The reach of his influence and the scope of his insight into not his own struggle but the struggle of others makes me almost want to give that journalism thing a go again: bringing it back to that college education. This guy did it 30 years on death row, doing it for no money at all.

Well, at least I’m blogging, he doesn’t have that luxury.

—doin’ it, dan

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