Beyond a Beer With the Boys

By Mumia Abu-Jamal, Prison Radio, Written 7/30/09, Recorded 8/2/09

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If the arrest, humiliation and resultant brouhaha over the case of Harvard scholar Dr. Henry Louis Gates has taught us anything,it is that we still dwell in separate worlds -- ones which rarely meet.

And while some wags have rushed to tell us that the case shows us the continuous clash of class, I beg to differ.

If anything, it shows us just the opposite. When it comes to Black people, of whatever wealth, status, class or prominence, the normal rules don't apply.

Indeed, Blacks are the ever present exceptions to the rules.

Consider this: Americans have said and believed for the better part of a century, that saying: 'A man's home is his castle.;

Not Black men.

How else could 'Skip' Gates get busted on his doorstep -- for disturbing a non-existing peace?

In law, a homeowner's property rights doesn't end at his front door. It extends to the street, at the curbside. This is an appurtenance.

Imagine if a person slips and falls on the sidewalk in front of a home. That person has a claim on the homeowner, not the city.

'Skip' Gates was busted not because he violated the law, but because he violated the emotions of the cop who entered his house. He angered him when he initially refused to exit his house; and he angered him further when Prof. Gates demanded the cop's ID.

President Barack Obama was right when he called the bust 'stupid', but, as usual, politics prevailed when American rednecks responded with howls of protest. (One need look no further than the email sent by a Boston cop in response to the Gates case, where the distinguished educator was described as a 'jungle monkey' -- no, a 'banana-eating jungle monkey'..' if memory serves! Furthermore, imagine what it takes, not just to write this -- but to write this to a reporter).

They took it personally -- just as the cop in Gates' home took it personally.

Will a beer with the boys put this fire out?

I doubt it, for it ignores what happens everyday, in dozens of states, to countless men and women who don't have Harvard Ph.Ds, or friends in the White House.

The sad truth is, being Black in America is akin to being born low-caste in India, where separate and unequal rules remain, despite promises in their constitution.

Obama's election hasn't changed reality, but may mask it, by providing cover for the ugly things that Blacks endure in a nation where the elites claim a false 'post-racialism.'

A few brewskis ain't gonna change that either.

--(c) '9 maj

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

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Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- has been released! It is available from City Lights Books:

If you are planning to organize an event or would like to order in bulk, you can also receive a 45% discount on any bulk orders of 20 copies or more. The book retails for $16.95, for orders of 20 copies or more the discounted price would be $9.32 per book, plus shipping and handling. Prepayment would be required and books are nonreturnable. If you or your organization would like to place a bulk order, please contact Stacey Lewis at 415.362.1901 or

Let's use the opportunity of the publication of this brilliant, moving, vintage Mumia book to build the momentum for his case, to raise the money we desperately need in these challenging economic times, to get the word out – to produce literature, flyers, posters, videos, DVD's; to send organizers out to help build new chapters and strengthen old ones, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREETS … all the work that we must do in order to FREE MUMIA as he faces LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE OR EXECUTION!

Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).


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