Mumia reads "Of Idiots and Sages" From SCI Mahanoy

1/28/12

 Mumia was able to make his first phone calls over the weekend and on Sunday he recorded his first essays from SCI Mahanoy "Of Idiots and Sages", and a lecture for Princeton Theological Union class of Proffessor Mark Taylor "Incarceration Nation".
 


Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence was overturned by the courts, and the DA elected not to seek to reimpose a death sentence before jury in Philadelphia.  Resentencing in the Philadelphia courts, unless challenged, will be life in prison without parole.  Following the overturning of his sentence of death and his release from death row, Mumia Abu-Jamal was thrown in the hole and kept for six weeks in isolation in the RHU (Restricted Housing Unit) at SCI Mahanoy. After an international outcry, in which thousands of letters were sent and a petition of 5,000 signatures delivered to the secretary of Corrections of PA John Wertzel at Camp Hill,  late on Friday Mumia was released into general population. 


Prison Radio continues to record Mumia's commentaries and has asked notable people to record Mumia's essays, these include Noam Chomsky, Ron Kovic, Alice Walker, Marc Lamont Hill, and others



Of Idiots ~ and Sages


[col. Writ 1/11/12] © ’12 m.a.jamal


 


 


How much is your child worth?


How much is your grandchild worth?


These are not trick questions.  They arise from the news that North Carolina


Recently announced cash compensation to thousands of survivors of their State sterilization program that ran from 1929 to 1974 ~ and astonishing 45 years!


 


North Carolina was but one of many mostly Southern states that sterilized people whom it considered as ‘defective’.  In this, they were supported by authorities as august as the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in its now-infamous Buck vs. Bell (1927) decision, found that a state could properly sterilize its citizens, and citizens had no constitutional right to oppose it, for, in the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough!”


 


A North Carolina task force recommended payment of $50,000 for each survivor.


North Carolina shouldn’t be the whipping boy here, for such practices took place nationally with Federal government support.  Historians and scholars  Mary Frances Berry and John Blassingame, in their 1982 work,  ‘Long Memory’”  The Black Experience in America” (NY Oxford University Press) tell us that as late as the 1970’s, the U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare were “forcing 100,000to 150,000 people to be sterilized annually”! {p.353} Over 90% of these people were Black.


 


This horrific state practice and the U.S. Supreme Court’s chilling reasoning


in support thereof, gives us some insight into how social prejudices and attitudes percolate into all sections of society – and despite their self-evident madness are seen by seemingly enlightened sectors as perfectly reasonable –only to be later tarnished as repellent with the passage of time.


If a state, or nation, could sterilize its own so called ‘citizens’, deny people the right and ability to have children, what is such a state (or nation) but a dictatorship of arrogance and power?


 


One day, perhaps sooner than we suppose, we shall look back at the phenomenon of mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex as proof of a mad society.


Perhaps such a future state will pay reparations ---(oops) …er, I mean compensation to their survivors in 75 or 80 years.


 


If any survive.


 


--© 12 maj


(Mumia Abu-Jamal