[col. writ. 3/14/16] © ’16 Mumia Abu-Jamal
He was born David Rice, and in his youth, he joined an offshoot of the Black Panther Party, a decision that would change his life’s trajectory.
For, when he and another young man, Edward Poindexter, joined the National Committee to Combat Fascism (NCCF), they walked into the crosshairs of the state.
The 2 men became enmeshed in a COINTELPRO scheme to remove them from the streets of Lincoln, Nebraska. Rice and Ed were charged with the August 1970 killing of an Omaha cop, who picked up a briefcase loaded with dynamite.
According to the group, Nebraskans for Justice, another man, Christopher Peak was the state’s only suspect in the bombing. But shortly thereafter, after first exonerating Rice and Poindexter, Peak would become the State’s chief witness against them.
In April 1971, both men were convicted and given life terms; such flimsy evidence would be a factor in Amnesty International’s naming the two Panthers as prisoners of conscious.
On Sunday we learned that Rice, who changed his name to Mondo we Langa, died a long, lonely death in his prison cell, after 45 years in a cage.
Mondo and Ed were members of the National Committee to Combat Fascism, but in truth, they were Panthers.
For that is certainly how the State treated them.
Mondo we Langa and Ed Poindexter were servants of the People, dedicated to their freedom and dignity. Mondo we Langa and Ed Poindexter were soldiers for the People, dedicated to their defense and security.
Mondo we Langa is no more - neither is David Rice--; and yet, Mondo will be remembered for many, many long years for his service.
Mondo, after many, many years in a cage, now joins his ancestors.