Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

The events arising out of Cleveland, Ohio, are so shocking, so unexpected that they cause us to pause – and to question.

How well do I know my neighbors?

How well do I know anyone?

We don’t, of course. We see one’s comings and goings, but Americans don’t really like meddling or mingling much.

In earlier times, men said: ‘A man’s home is his castle!’ This principle reigned for decades.

(I suppose now, some will say, ‘a man’s home is his dungeon!’ huh?–) But, I digress.

Cleveland isn’t as far from us as we’d like to admit. For a quiet scandal is simmering on the nation’s stove, that may even make Cleveland look almost normal.

I speak of the tens of thousands of cases, most of which go unreported, of women in the military who are raped by fellow soldiers, airmen, marines – and their officers.

Perhaps few such attacks are more of a betrayal (possibly that of a father of a daughter), but here, where young women enter with the illusion of camaraderie, they are betrayed by their so-called brothers-in-uniform- and then turned on by officers who resent their reporting such attacks!

We live in a rape culture. We live where the lives and even the bodies of women are mere material to be used, and discarded.

Who can deny that this country was born on the freedom of white men to rape African and Indian women on a whim?

Indeed, for centuries it wasn’t a crime!

Why should it surprise us that it is so deep in American male culture?

Donald Matthews, a Black clergyman and author of the book, Honoring The Ancestors, coined the term rapitalistic to reflect the twin forces of rape and capitalism to expose the American drive to conquer and exploit all that is touched.

Land. Women. Nonwhites. Nature.

From Cleveland to Iraq isn’t so far after all.