Friday, July 30, 2010

Mumia Speaks: Selling Out Shirley Sherrod (Or, "The Beck Effect"),

Selling Out Shirley Sherrod (Or, "The Beck Effect"),
[col. writ. 7/22/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

For a woman who spent a lifetime in the civil rights movement, and the struggle for the rights of rural farmers, the events of recent days may have taught her that the rights of federal workers (especially Black ones) don't count for much.

Shirley Sherrod, a 61 year old Black grandmother and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) official was targeted by right-wingers bent on using brief snippets of her speech to prove she was racist.

In a matter of hours, Mrs. Sherrod was suspended and then forced to hand in her resignation - immediately.

Initially, government officials defended the firing as an example of 'zero tolerance' of racism. This is more than ironic for an agency that not only tolerated it, but practiced it for generations, especially when it came to Black farmers.

It took videotapes of the full text of her speech to cause USDA heads to take a second look, but by that time, the damage was done.

The first Black director of the USDA's Rural Development office in Georgia was axed with the acquiescence and approval of the nation's first Black president.

What Sherrod learned is that no one had her back.

It was a powerful illustration of 'the Beck Effect' (after Fox News commentator and nutsack, Glenn Beck), or the power of right wing media to make the White House dance to their tune, or perhaps more accurately, hop to their bark.

If this could happen to Sherrod, a former activist in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the daughter of an organizer slain by the Klan, a life long organizer for farmer's rights, a federal official with the GA USDA -what about you?

In fact, it happened several months ago to a brilliant young environmentalist and lawyer.

Remember Van Jones?

What chance do you have?

This is the face of 'post-racialism' - where Blacks are sacrificed on the bloody altar of Negrophobic Neanderthals.
The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

URGENT Need for Petition Signatures at:

Audio of most of Mumia's essays are at:

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:

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

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:
NY 10030
215 476-8812
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