Thursday, July 15, 2010
[col. writ. 7/4/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Video: Senator Robert Byrd Says "White Niggers" On TV
The Longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate would've been a title cherished by Robert Carlisle Byrd, who became, among many other things, a respected historian.
Byrd's beginnings were from the white southern poor, and he hailed from a family of coal miners. Despite this poverty, Byrd had a prodigious memory, and he excelled in high school.
But Byrd, being politically ambitious, was much more than a bright schoolboy. By his young adulthood he was a ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan, the white terrorist arm of the southern Democratic Party. In West Virginia, this was a ticket to high political office, and Byrd punched his ticket well.
He began, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1953. Six years later he entered the Senate and except by death, never left. From 1959 to 2010 he became the embodiment of West Virginia, and the state became a reflection of him. There are so many roads, schools, airports and government buildings named after him that the state might best be known as Byrdsylvania, or, perhaps better, Byrdistan.
His biographers cite his KKK membership as a youthful indiscretion, a passing fancy almost. But Byrd, historian that he was, made history of sorts when he opposed the elevation of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court in 1967. Marshall was, at that time, one of the most successful lawyers in America, winning 29 of 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court (including Brown v. Bd. of Education) He was a Federal Appeals court judge for the 2nd Circuit (up in New York) for 5 years, and he was U.S. Solicitor General for 2 years.
Why did Byrd oppose Marshall, perhaps the most distinguished lawyer of his generation? Because he didn't want to see a Black man on the court. Period.
Youthful indiscretion? Byrd was 50 when he voted against Marshall's confirmation.
Two years before, when riots erupted across America, Sen. Byrd would opine on the Senate floor that perhaps planned parenthood should be introduced to Blacks so that they wouldn't have so many children who would grow up and be unemployed.
Sen. Robert C. Byrd, born Cornelius Calvin Sale, Jr., in North Carolina, was a man of his time and place.
Perhaps he distinguished himself from the pack best when he rose to the floor, a copy of the Constitution in his shaking hand, and denounce the Bush regime's mad march to war in Iraq, as a violation of the constitution. He voted against authorization for war, saying it was the duty of the Congress to declare war - not the president.
He rose from humble beginnings, with pluck, smarts and dogged determination. He held his office like a pit bull on a bone. He played the fiddle with considerable skill.
But he was a Klansman at heart.
-(c) '10 maj
[Source: Berry, Mary Frances, Black Resistance; White Law (N.Y.: Penguin, 1996 (orig. 1971), p.169.]
The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!
URGENT Need for Petition Signatures at: http://www.iacenter.org/mumiapetition/
Audio of most of Mumia's essays are at: http://www.prisonradio.org
Mumia's got a podcast! Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays - Subscribe at the website or on iTunes and get Mumia's radio commentaries online.
Mumia Abu-Jamal's new book -- JAILHOUSE LAWYERS: PRISONERS DEFENDING PRISONERS V. THE USA, featuring an introduction by Angela Y. Davis -- has been released! It is available from City Lights Books: http://www.citylights.com/book/?GCOI=87286100448090
If you are planning to organize an event or would like to order in bulk, you can also receive a 45% discount on any bulk orders of 20 copies or more. The book retails for $16.95, for orders of 20 copies or more the discounted price would be $9.32 per book, plus shipping and handling. Prepayment would be required and books are nonreturnable. If you or your organization would like to place a bulk order, please contact Stacey Lewis at 415.362.1901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's use the opportunity of the publication of this brilliant, moving, vintage Mumia book to build the momentum for his case, to raise the money we desperately need in these challenging economic times, to get the word out – to produce literature, flyers, posters, videos, DVD's; to send organizers out to help build new chapters and strengthen old ones, TO GET THE PEOPLE OUT IN THE STREETS … all the work that we must do in order to FREE MUMIA as he faces LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE OR EXECUTION!
Please make a contribution to help free Mumia. Donations to the grassroots work will go to both INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MUMIA ABU-JAMAL and the FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION (NYC).
Please mail donations/ checks to:
FREE MUMIA ABU JAMAL COALITION
PO BOX 16, NEW YORK,
(CHECKS FOR BOTH ORGANIZATIONS PAYABLE TO: FMAJC/IFCO)
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370
WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!
Subscribe ICFFMAJ email updates list by e-mailing
Posted by tha artivist at 7:12 PM