Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

The flames of Ferguson have eaten their fill, and its eerie glow has cast light on how impotent are the Black political class, who cannot solve a problem that is a bane of Black existence.

Usually, when they speak, they seem to be ventriloquists, who mouth the words of white politicians, drowning the deep concerns of their constituents in an ocean of empty words.

Now, a collection of prominent officials have announced their intention to seriously tackle the issue of police abuse in Black communities, from the U.S. president on down.

Politicians, police officials, clergy, and community organizers are part of a coterie of people who have come together to restore trust between cops and the African-American community.

When I saw [on TV] this reference, my head swiveled.

“Restore trust?”

We wonder when was there ever trust in the first place?

The cruel, painful history of relations between police and the people is one of predation – not trust.

Notably, black police officers are part of this discussion, but are we to make note of the fact that, throughout many communities, over many years, they were forbidden to arrest white people?

Police are stationed in Black neighborhoods not to ‘serve and protect’ Black people, nor their property.

They are there to control Black mobility, and to discipline Blacks for fear they’ll pose a threat to white wealth, life or property. Period.

That’s real talk – not these phony fairy – tale discussions about ‘restoring trust.’

For what trust can exist between the oppressors and the oppressed?

Nor can body-cams be the great solution that its supporters propose.

Recall that cameras caught, with crystal clarity, the brutal cop beatings of Rodney King in LA, and before him, Delbert Africa in Philadelphia.

Despite these captures on camera, both cases were thrown out; one by a jury; another by a judge.

So much for cameras, huh?

Who can trust a force that killed Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton, in his sleep?

Who can trust an agency that bombed babies – Black MOVE babies –in Philadelphia in 1985?

How can you restore something that never existed?

Until systems change, until cops aren’t the only ones who face grand juries, until they too, can be sent to Death Row for killing children, talk about ‘restoring trust’ is just that: talk.