In his investigative journalist fashion, Mumia Abu-Jamal has been covering the 2020 Presidential Election from The Imprisoned Nation. Now more than ever, we need to hear the perspectives of political prisoners who endure this violent and vindictive nation-state most directly.
In “Biden’s Long Run,” Mumia speaks on the remarkable turnout of this election and heightened sense of urgency many voters had to democratically remove the 45th President of the United States from the White House. With 70 Million votes and counting, Vice President Joe Biden may be the most voted for presidential candidate in US history. Make no mistake, this statistic isn’t something to be celebrated. Someway, somehow, a man who lauds his role in the US’s commitment to put bodies in the ground here and abroad, tear apart families, and undermine Black life and Black safety… is the most voted for person in United States history. Biden was a principle architect of the prison industrial complex that we all suffer from – and somehow he has become a beacon of hope for the movement for social justice. It is projected that Black American’s votes will carry Vice President Joe Biden into the presidency. But what will this materially achieve for America’s underclass? What does us electing someone whose chief political objective is to become President of the United States materially achieve for incarcerated people?
Even as Philadelphia votes are bringing Biden in, its residents are grieving yet another Black son lost to police violence.
No matter what ensues on the stage of political theater, the material implications for our incarcerated comrades will resound. Correctional officers, prison wardens, and judges everywhere invested in the American Nightmare that is white supremacy, will take their frustrations out on our comrades on the inside. Tragically, the upsurge in Whitelash from this election has already begun. Peter Murkuria recently published a commentary on “Police and Correctional Violence”. In it, he details how a young man at a nearby maximum security prison was severely assaulted by prison guards as he was shackled. These guards felt comfortable enough to physically assault a prisoner without the fear that they would lose their jobs or be held accountable. The deliberate indifference of corrections directors and officials enables correctional violence. Now is the time to protect them from political rage and backlash as much as humanly possible.
Plenty remains uncertain. What remains clear, above all, is that our incarcerated comrades need the utmost of listeners and support in these moments of heightened disarray. Mumia reminds us of the importance of social media and how we have the power to carve out our futures, oftentimes with clicks of a button. He closes “Beyond The Polls” with this momentous, yet hopeful declaration: “Tomorrow belongs to those who fight the hardest today.”
When We Fight, We Win!
Prison Radio Staff