Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

Lets now hear from a spokesman for the Tennessee Tea Party. This group attempted to remove references of American slavery and the fact that the vast majority of the country’s founders were longstanding slaveowners from school textbooks.

My name is Hal Rounds, like .45 caliber rounds. I teach the constitution coast to coast for tea parties. History textbooks contains an awful lot of made up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another. The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who bought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed to everybody. Not all equally, instantly, but it was their progress that we need to look at.

Interesting to see and good to know that esteemed historians like Jan Lewis from Rutgers University, who’s typical of the centurion standing guard over the status quo, and crazy teabaggers agree on the contextualization of the terrorism that was American slavery for almost 400 years. Richard Pryor also offers some insight on the contextualization of American slavery: Niggas be holding their dicks, Jack, and white people go: why are you guys holding your things? So you done took everything else, unfortunately, as civilization followed the sun, many were blinded by the light.

Slavery for us is defined by two concepts. One is straightforward economics, and the other has to do with flesh, blood, and terror—not the usual framing of American slavery that exists in the abstract.

First, the economic definition: the imperialist conversion of humans into instruments for the production of goods. With this definition, slavery is a practical exercise in the commercial world. Similar to any capitalist endeavor, cheap labor, very cheap labor, coupled with the distribution of product. At the time, it was perfectly legal, morally acceptable, and great for business. What a windfall! You get your workforce for free. Jesus! The good old days.

In fact, guys like James Madison jumped all over this great opportunity, boasting to a British friend that he made about $257 a year on every Negro slave he owned, and he only had to spend about 13 bucks on his keep. Other founding fathers took a real hands-on approach with their slaves like old hothead Patrick Henry and his good buddy, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry Lee, both of whom actively traded and whipped their slaves. These guys were really involved. They took pride in their small business ownership. Also, it’s encouraging when the boss visits. Employees yearn to have their hard work affirmed.

“No defender of slavery can see that it has its benevolent aspects in lifting the Negro from savagery and helping prepare him for that eventual freedom which is surely written in the book of fate,” Thomas Jefferson.

The second definition centers on slavery as physical and psychological terrorism perpetrated not by, as history would have us believe munificent and caring paternal white father figures like Jefferson with his hope of civilizing these savages, savages that Jefferson had no problem fathering children, by. But rather perpetrated by psychotic purveyors of violence for profit who were then exonerated by scribes then and now absolved of any real crimes. It’s just another classic case in the history of mankind of when the power elites make the unthinkable normal. They blame everything on us but nerve enough to even blame slavery on us.

They said, “We didn’t bring them over here. We went to Africa to get some elephants. Niggers just jumped in the boat to ship. Take me, take me! Nigger, we don’t want you get back, boy. And come on. Take me, take me! All right, boy, we’ll take you. What else you want to do? Put a chain on my leg, so I don’t slip off,” comedian Dick Gregory.

The myth remains safe in the whitewash of history, not only pardons scoundrels for crimes against humanity, it actually vindicates their evil actions.

If the reality were actually contemplated to its core, the force of this carer would shake every foundation this nation rests on. One would be forced to come face-to-face with the reality that would include the following highlights: the theft of human beings from their home, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, who were then shackled and transported on slave ships that can only be described as beyond shocking, where conditions would make a maggot vomit, pure and unadulterated horror.

When this journey through hell ended on the pristine shores of America, these so-called animal savages in reality, the brave and resilient human beings lucky enough not to have been clubbed to death and tossed in the Atlantic, then began the multi-generational nightmare of misery and anguish, human bondage, bought and sold away from your family on a master’s swim, whippings, beatings, bludgeoning, vicious rapes, tarring and feathering, castration, the removal of limbs for what were called minor infractions, forced to fight human cockfights, hanging, more hanging, and of course, executions on demand.

And then you wake up the next day and do it all over again. Now, in case we forget the real and lasting terrorism of slavery, let’s add the psychological hell to the physical health. W.E.B. DuBois was one of the most prolific advocates of exposing the long-term psychological toll caused by slavery and its monstrous practices, practices like selective breeding which helped to ensure that the master had an ongoing supply of strong slaves capable of performing superhuman feats. Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No, it’s Supermandingo.

The sheer terrorism that was American slavery is another clear cut horror that runs unbridled through American history, responsible for devastating an incalculable number of family, their structure and value debased and obliterated well into the future, into the present. This befalling and malignant behavior begs the rhetorical question: what was the base motivation to terrorize people for centuries?

W.E Burghardt DuBois reminds us once again, for it can never be overstated: “Both Europe and the earlier colonists themselves regarded to this land as existing chiefly for the benefit of Europe and as designed to be exploited as rapidly and ruthlessly as possible of the boundless wealth of its resources. This was the primary excuse for the rise of the African slave trade to America.” W.E.B. DuBois.

You’ve been listening to an excerpt from Murder Incoporated One: Dreaming of Empire by Mumia Abu-Jamal and Stephen Vittoria.