Dear Maureen Faulkner,
As Mumia Abu-Jamal’s October 26th court hearing approaches, you will be yet again letting the world know what a stab of pain you feel at seeing the “murderer” of your husband still appealing for freedom.
And we, who know Mumia is innocent, still have the grace to understand your pain just as we understand the pain of Mumia’s family. We recall, too,how Mumia’s sister Lydia expressed his family’s and our movement’s awareness of your loss.
For that night of December 1981, you were deprived forever of a beloved husband – just as Mumia’s wife saw her husband go to death row for three decades and to death by incarceration for thirteen more years.
The United Nations having declared that solitary confinement as practiced on U.S. death row is torture and having been recently solicited to declare death by incarceration as torture as well – we, who have investigated Mumia’s case, know to what extent his family is impacted daily by the stab of pain you will feel on October 26th.
You famously declared in front of an FOP gathering :
We know Mumia will be free. But we want to delay his release for as long as possible.
May I suggest that your words: “We know Mumia will be free” – indicate that you know Mumia is innocent as well? Those words indicate that you have reviewed the facts and evidence collected by Mumia’s defense and that you know those facts and that evidence are more than enough to set him free.
So the second part of your statement is what draws our attention: ” But we want to delay his release for as long as possible”.
Deconstructing the meaning of your words or the subtext, we begin to understand that you are aware you have the power to delay his release and you will use that power because you consider it to be absolute.
We also understand that your delaying tactics come from a position of race privilege that the family of Mumia is far from enjoying.
So may I suggest that there are two women in the United States who sit today in the docks of HIstory.
You, Maureen Faulkner, and Carolyn Bryant Donham, the woman whose accusations against 14-year old Emmett Till led to his brutal abduction, torture and lynching in 1955 Mississippi.
Both of you are faced with choices which could change History.
Both of you could stand up and speak Truth to power.
Both of you could confess to your own reasonable doubts.
Ms Bryant Donham faltered twice as she walked the tightrope between truth and lie – both in 1955 and in 2017, she half-admitted and retreated.
You, Maureen Faulkner, admitted that you knew Mumia would be free – indicating you knew more than you were saying. And yet you too remain silent on the wrong side of History.
How difficult it must be to be you.
How difficult it must be to be faced with a double bind such as yours: having lost your husband to murder and yet accepting police pressures to incriminate an innocent for that murder.
The choice remains yours – and that choice will go down in HIstory.
History is a strange place where we no longer control time or the only opinion that matters.
History is the most exacting judge of all.
You would say that you have no historical examples of white women in your shoes – women who chose to speak up in time and say the Truth to save lives – Black lives.
You would be wrong.
Our civil rights History retains at least two luminous examples of white women who challenged the police narratives that endangered the lives of innocent Black men.
The first is Ruby Bates, the white prostitute whose crystal clear testimony in a racially charged trial did so much to get the Scottsboro Boys off the hook of execution for rape in the South of the 1930s.
Her example was so uplifting that it crossed the ocean and inspired a play by France’s renowned philoshopher, Jean-Paul Sartre: The Respectful Prostitute.
The second heroine is Leontine “Teenie” Rogers, the widow of Brent Miller, an Angola prison guard who, the late Albert Woodfox, a Black Panther, was accused of killing “because he was white”.
Ms Rogers was 17 years old at the time of the loss of her beloved husband and like you, Maureen, devastated.
But, unlike you, her deep love for her deceased husband led her to doubt the lies: she did her own investigation, including interviews of former colleagues of her husband, and came to believe that a terrible miscarriage of justice had taken place.
Ms Rogers wrote to the Governor of Louisiana in support of Albert Woodfox and his co-defendant, Herman Wallace, asking the state to admit its mistakes, reopen the case, and find the real killers of her husband
When Albert Woodfox was finally released, he had lunch with Ms Rogers.
As my own father wrote from Paris in 1955 in a column he shared with William Faulkner, commenting on the non-guilty verdict for the lynchers of Emmett Till :
The world will judge the judges.
And the world will judge all those who enabled them.
My belated and sincere condolences,
October 14, 2022
IF YOU WISH TO ENDORSE THIS OPEN LETTER, PLEASE SEND firstname.lastname@example.org YOUR NAME AND THE GROUP WITH WHICH YOU WISH TO BE IDENTIFIED.
DEADLINE TUESDAY OCTOBER 25TH 2022, MIDNIGHT ET.
First 77 endorsements as of October 14th 2022 :
– PAM AFRICA, National Co-ordinator of the Mumia Coalition
– ALICE WALKER, Pullitzer prize-winning author, human rights activist, abolitionist and poet
– Pr MARK LEWIS TAYLOR , Educators For Mumia, Spiritual Adviser to Mumia
– NOELLE HANRAHAN, Prison Radio
– LAURA WHITEHORN, former U.S.-held political prisoner
– ATTORNEY NKECHI TAIFA, civil and human rights attorney
– Pr PAUL ORTIZ, Director Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Professor of History, University of Florida
– THE REVEREND DOCTOR MARY OLSON, United Methodist Retired Clergy, The Elaine Museum and the Richard Wright Civil Rights Center, Elaine Arkansas
– ANDREA A. GLUCKMAN, photography/education/activism, the Elaine Museum and the Richard Wright Civil Rights Center, Elaine, Arkansas
– JEREMIAH WRIGHT Jr
– DR JARED BALL, Ph.D, Morgan State University
– KALONJI CHANGA, Defending The Poor
– GWENDOLYN DEBROW, organizer, CAMPAIGN TO BRING MUMIA HOME
– THE FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COALITION – NYC
– THE NEW YORK CITY JERICHO MOVEMENT
– THE GOT REPARATIONS ? MOBILIZATION CAMPAIGN – The Parable of the Sower Coop
– THE MAROON PARTY FOR LIBERATION
– THE MALCOLM X GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT, IKEMBA AGULU
– CO-CHAIR DETROIT CHAPTER OF THE MALCOLM X GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT, SHUSHANNA SHAKUR
– MORATORIUM NOW ! COALITION, SARAH TORRES
– DETROIT SHAKUR SQUAD, VERBENA LEA
– URBAN ART BEAT
– NEW BLACK ARTS MOVEMENT
– SIXTH REGION OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA – ZONE FRENCH CARIBBEAN, MAKEDA KANDEKE
– FREEDOM ARCHIVES, CLAUDE MARKS
– Pr ANITA ROSENBLITHE, Ph.d, member, MUMIA ABU-JAMAL HEALTH COMMITTEE
– Pr NAN ELIZABETH WOODRUFF, professor emerita of African-American Studies and Modern U.S. History, Penn State University
– Pr IRENE SILVERBLATT, professor emerita of cultural anthropology and History, Duke University
– Pr MICHAEL WEST, professor of African-American Studies, History and African Studies, Penn State University
– Pr CHARLES E. SIMMONS, Black Community Museum Detroit
– MARYEMMA GRAHAM, Ph.d, retired, author, essayist
– JENNIFER BLACK, abolitionist, prison art graphist
– TOVA FRY, anti-racist and anti-war activist, COMMUNIST WORKERS LEAGUE , Newark
– MEGAN ANDERSON, disabled member of the BLACK ALLIANCE FOR PEACE AND SOLIDARITY NETWORK
– JEFFREY L. EDISON, NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BLACK LAWYERS, Michigan Chapter
– YVONNE JONES, retired City of Detroit worker
– O’HARA-BRUCE, retired criminal defence attorney
– JUDITH ACKERMAN, puppeteer and activist
– REBECCA B. WILK , activist
– CHARLIE BRAXTON, poet, musician, essayist
– KEVIN POWELL, writer, civil and human rights activist
– VICTOR WALLIS, activist, editor
– SALLY JANE GELLERT, Occupy Bergen Country ( New Jersey )
– GARBO HEARNE, bookseller
– AUNA HEARNE, electronic engineer
– SPIRITCHILD, freedom singer
– MIKE SHANE, COMMUNIST WORKERS LEAGUE , Detroit
– JENNIFER FASSBENDER
– CHARLIE HINTON , San Francisco, CA
– JULIE HURWITZ , civil rights attorney, NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD
– J. D. STARKS
– JESSE GINSBURG
– PETER LEMA, videographer, INTERNATIONAL PANAFRICAN MUMIA ABU-JAMAL COLLECTIVE TO FREE POLITICAL PRISONERS IN THE USA, France
– RACHEL FANDI, singer, France
– FANTA KABA, INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR REPARATIONS (MIR) – France
– RAMATA DIENG, “VIES VOLEES” ( Stolen Lives ) COLLECTIVE, France
– APA MUMIA MAKEBA, PRESIDENT MIR -France, Trade Union of Guyanese Workers, French Guiana
– MEGAN KRAUSCH, Ph.D, public sociologist
– SUZANNE ROSS, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, INTERNATIONAL CONCERNED FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR MUMIA ABU-JAMAL, 29 year Mumia supporter
– JAMES AND GRACE LEE BOGGS CENTER
– NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD, Detroit and Michigan Chapters
– JOHN LESLIE, CENTRAL COMMITTEE WORKERS’ VOICE U.S / VOZ DE LOS TRABAJADORES
– Dr WILLIE AND MARY RATCLIFFE, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper
– M. GABRIEL, writer
– JENNIFER BEACH, PRISON RADIO
– RAFAEL OUTLAND, Ph.D, CSC,CPE, Onondaga Territory, Turtle Island, LOVENOTPHEAR / FREE KAMAU COALITION organizer
– RALPH POYNTER, BETTY DAVIS , the LYNNE STEWART ORGANIZATION AND THE NEW ABOLITIONIST MOVEMENT
– CAROLINA SALDANA, AMIGXS DE MUMIA EN MEXICO
– BEATRICE PHI, PRISON RADIO, STANFORD UNIVERSITY
– PATRICK BOBULESCO, bookseller, Paris, France
– Dr CORNEL WEST , theologian, philosopher, civil and human rights leader
– DIALO DIOP, activist for the cause of Pan Africanism, Dakar, SENEGAL
– Dr RICARDO ALVAREZ, Independent Medical Consultant to Mumia Abu-Jamal, MUMIA HEALTH COMMITTEE
– NANCY PARKER, THE DETROIT JUSTICE CENTER
– VALERIE JONES, sister of the late VERONICA JONES, a witness who was famously arrested off the stand when she refused to incriminate Mumia
FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL OUTREACH COMMITTEE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2022 UPDATE
Join us outside the courthouse from 8:30 AM until 1 PM on Wednesday, October 26th, 2022 for the next hearing in the current appeal of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s unjust 1982 conviction in the death of Daniel Faulkner.
The current case is based upon six boxes of evidence discovered by Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner in an office storeroom and released to the courts in December 2019 during an earlier appeal in Mumia’s case. The boxes were marked indicating they are part of an overall lot of 32 boxes. However, the location of the other (presumed) twenty-six boxes of suppressed evidence in his case is still unknown.
For more information about the court date, see mobilization4mumia.com/new-events
NEW YORK CITY FREEDOM FIGHTER BUS
If you wish to travel down (and back) to the courthouse from New York City with the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition NYC please contact us at our hotline [ 212.330.8029 ] to arrange this. You can also purchase a ticket online to travel with us at Get Bus Ticket .
NEWARK FREEDOM FIGHTER BUS
There will also be a bus sponsored by POP (People’s Organization for Progress) leaving from Newark that morning.
Bus leaves 6:00 am #Newark City Hall, 920 Broad Street
Arrive at 5:30am Wear mask, temp taken
Donation $25. If facing financial difficulties, let us know
Reservation required, 1st come basis: 973-801-0001
Source: Fighting Words
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