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News :: Politics
Mumia speaks: "THE WAR FOR THE PARTY'S SOUL"
17 Jan 2005
mumia.bmp
Mumia speaks: "THE WAR FOR THE PARTY'S SOUL"
THE WAR FOR THE PARTY'S SOUL

{Col. Writ. 12/12/04]

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

What is a political party, but a vehicle to obtain the will of its members?

In the grim aftermath of the recent elections, Democrats are struggling to determine who shall lead the party. Who shall lead it, and perhaps more importantly, where shall it lead?

There are differing sides to this argument, fueled by conflicting interests. Shall the party follow it's lucrative corporate, business-friendly lead? Shall it turn back to it's union, worker-oriented constituency? And, as ever, the Black question looms before it: shall it continue to virtually ignore Black interests, and, if so, shall it play the old 'black faces in high places' game, where Blacks are given appointments to leadership, but Black political interests are subsumed into quiescence?

This question will be resolved, if at all, only on the surface, for at the deeper levels, at its essence, the conflicts remain, for the party, like all of us, is a creature of its history. And the Democratic Party began as a white nationalist, indeed, deeply racist party, a stain that, like Macbeth's damned spot, has not washed out.

Many people remember the March on Washington speech by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but the speech that wasn't given that day, by a young SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) activist captured how Blacks viewed the Democratic Party at that time. His name was John Lewis, and, under pressure by civil rights leaders, he toned down his speech. That's because his words spoke bitter, naked truths, like:

In good conscience, we cannot support the administration's civil rights bill, for it is too little, too late. *There's not one thing in the bill that will protect our people from police brutality.* This bill will not protect young children and old women from police dogs and fire hoses, [for] engaging in peaceful demonstrations... The voting section of this bill will not help thousands of black citizens who want to vote. It will not help the citizens of Mississippi, of Alabama, and Georgia, who are qualified to vote, but lack a 6th Grade education. "One man, one vote," is the African cry. It is ours, too. (It must be ours.) We are now involved in...revolution. This nation is still a place of cheap political leaders who build their careers on immoral compromise and ally themselves with open forms of political, economic and social exploitation. What political leader here can stand up and say, "My party is the party of principle?" *The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of [Jacob] Javits is also the party of [Barry] Goldwater.* Where is our party? .... ... We cannot depend on any political party, for both Democrats and Republicans have betrayed the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence. We all recognize the fact that if any radical social, political and economic changes are to take place in our society, the people, the masses, must bring them about. [From: Howard Zinn & Anthony Arnove, *Voices of a People's History of the United States* (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2004), pp. 398-399.]

Although Lewis (now a U.S. House member) was speaking of the early 1960s, his words seemed almost prophetic: "Where is our party?"

It is not possible for the party to, all of a sudden, remake itself. For decades it has consistently betrayed those who have voted Democratic, as it pursued the 'holy grail' of corporate funding. In this past election it succeeded in raising more money than the Republicans, but lost key races across the country.

Andrew Stern, president of the nation's largest union, the SEIU (Service Employees International Union), in an interview with the *Washington Post*, described the Democratic Party as a "hollow party", which "declined to address" the problems facing blue-collar families, and which was in "deep crisis."

As always, corporate money corrupts, and finally leads political parties by the wallet. In such cases, the concerns of workers, of the poor, of millions of average folks, are lost in the sauce.

Parties, like empires, are not eternal. They last as long as they serve the ends and objectives of their members.

What would people lose if they ceased to exist?

It's time for people to build the party that they want, not merely accept the party that they have. It's time for a worker's party. It's time for a grass-roots party. It's time for a people's party.

It's time for a change.

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

-- END --

[Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM: A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South End Press (www.southendpress.org); Ph. #1-800-533-8478.] ===============================

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die. And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.

The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to **please** contact as many publications and information outlets as you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and **especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ. THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!! at www.mumia.org and its links. ========================================

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit www.prisonradio.org or www.fsrn.org ==============================================>

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:

International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180 E-mail - icffmaj (at) aol.com

AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:

Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

-- END --
See also:
http://www.mumia.org
http://www.iacenter.org

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Mumia speaks: "THE WAR FOR THE PARTY'S SOUL"
29 Mar 2005
I feel sorry for mumia especially for being in that red neck prison with all those racist prison guards and the worst racist prison guard of all Brian Henderson!!!! Tell Mumia to watch out for him I heard what he tells people.