Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Who beats up a 71-year old man?

That question flashed in my mind when I heard about the vicious attack on former Black Panther Dhoruba Bin-Wahad during a speech before members of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) in Atlanta.

While what sparked the attack may be unclear, the results aren’t. Bin-Wahad, a lifelong revolutionary who has spent decades in the Black Liberation Movement, was beaten unconscious by NBPP members his jaw broken in several places.

He wasn’t hit –or just punched. He was pummeled, kicked, stomped, and repeatedly assaulted.

Who beats up a 71-year old man?

Who beats up a 71-year old veteran of the Black Freedom Movement; a former member of the famed N.Y. Panther 21?

Who does that?

Apparently the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) does.

The New BPP is not to be confused with the original Black Panther Party, as the beating of Bin-Wahad demonstrates.

According to a letter circulated on the internet quoting Malik Zulu Shabazz (leader of the NBPP until 2014) Bin-Wahad threatened him. According to that document, the threat didn’t happen at this meeting, but is alleged to have happened some time before.

There may’ve been some dispute as to speaking times, but that hardly justifies the attack on Bin-Wahad, who long has been known for his outspokenness. Bin-Wahad, since the days of his youth, has been a revolutionary – and he endured almost 20 years in New York State dungeons before proving, using FBI documents, the injustice of his trial and conviction.

When he left prison, he continued the struggle, writing, organizing, and campaigning, struggling for Black Freedom. One could always count on him for sharp analysis and principled resistance to the system’s relentless attacks on Black life –years before the Black Lives Matter Movement emerged.

That he should have to endure such an attack from the NBPP proves that, for some, Black lives don’t matter much.

Not when you can beat a 71-year-old man unconscious.