Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

They came. They saw. They praised.

It was far from exhilarating to see the recent 50th anniversary march of the 1963 March on Washington. In all honesty, it was depressing. For it reminds us of the original march, which was on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and a reminder of yet another dream unfulfilled.

Here, they praised political figures, more for their color than their performance.

“Isn’t it great that we have a black president?” they asked. “Wouldn’t Dr. King be proud that there’s a black man in the White House?” they boasted.

King would hardly be proud of the state of Black America today. He would be depressed if he saw how those now living on streets, avenues and boulevards named after him, actually lived.

He would be livid to see how politicians used his name for their blind ambitions, while spitting on the poor.

And the specter of imperial war would sicken King’s very soul, just as Vietnam did.

And King would also condemn mass incarceration and its monstrous impact on Black people, no matter the color of the prison warden.

Instead of a fairer, more just system, we have changed the color of the system’s administrators – and called it ‘change’.

The empire changed masks, and continues its vampirish existence, wreaking havoc abroad, and sowing discontent at home.

What has been accomplished is the creation of a multi-racial elite, to form the managerial class of essentially the same old unjust system. Black mayors who preside over the destruction and privatization of Black public schools. Black police chiefs who manage vast, militarized and irredeemably racist police forces. And black presidents who function as commander-in-chief of professional armies of mass destruction, at the beck and call of big business.

This is progress?

Surely, Martin Luther King wouldn’t think so.

Do you?