A two-tiered justice system?

© by Mumia Abu-Jamal

As soon as the latest charges against former U.S. President Donald Trump were announced, Trumpist acolytes began making claims about a two-tiered justice system ostensibly against Republicans.

Such a claim can only be made by those who are blind, deaf, or dumb. They seemingly are blind to the many Black and Browns, who have peopled the phenomenon known as mass incarceration for at least a half a century, under the auspices of the war on drugs.

They are deaf to the cries of the millions of families who have suffered the human costs of mass incarceration. And they are dumb to the many who suffered from solitary confinement that left them mentally ill from what the United Nations Special Rapporteur on international human rights and torture, Juan Mendez, call torture.

If these quasi-fascists had talked about a three-tiered justice system, that would be one thing. That’s because they ignored the immense suffering of generations. For indeed, they knew a two-tiered system already existed, but they chose to ignore it.

     They cry alligator tears for the wealthy or the class they serve. They could care less about the poor, and those Frantz Fanon called The Wretched of the Earth.

Wars against Black history

And now we see, perhaps in the first time in modern days, states like Florida waging war against Black history by passing laws against what teachers can teach, and, perhaps more importantly, what they cannot. In the land that brags about First Amendment laws of free speech, teachers are threatened to be silent about any Black history after 1875, or the time of Reconstruction.

It’s as if, for Black people, history stopped at Reconstruction and nothing happened in their lives.

To add more insult to injury, these same lawmakers have argued that slavery was maybe good for Black people. It is not enough to observe that legislators make damn poor historians, but it also reveals their titanic stupidity.

For hidden history has a way of seeping through like a break in a dike until it unleashes a flood. For it reveals that which white supremacy fears most, the twentieth century’s history of Black resistance to white terrorism, that very force which overturned Reconstruction.

Their solution: to lie to their own children.

To outlaw history is a grave thing indeed.

Franz Fanon, who lived his last day supporting the Algerian anti-colonial revolution, condemns the colonialists for assaulting Algerian history. In his classic work, The Wretched of the Earth, he wrote, “colonialism is not satisfied with snaring the people in the net, or of draining their colonized brain of any form or substance with a kind of perverted logic. It turns its attention to the past of the colonized and distorts it, disfigures it, and destroys it.”

That colonial policy, conducted against the colonized people of Algeria a half-century ago, is being employed against Black people in America today. We need freedom schools, liberation schools, as occurred during the 1960s, to teach the truth to children today.

With love, not phear, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.

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