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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights

YOU CALL THIS A DEBATE? by Mumia Abu-Jamal

"Forgotten people, why should they be remembered at some corny debate, when they're forgotten every other day of the year?" Mumia Abu-Jamal
[Col. Writ. 10/14/04] Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

To think about the third 'debate' at Arizona State U., is a painful, quite unpleasant process.

My most vivid sensation was a stunning feeling of deja vu -- the vivid perception that I've seen this before.

No. I'm serious. For the better part of 2 or 3 minutes, I stood in the midst of my cell, arms akimbo, looking and listening, and wondering ... damn! Is this live ...? Or is this a tape of the second debate?'

The same lines ... virtually word for word .. from before.

It was almost dizzying. And then, I noticed that the corporate media moderator was different.

It was live -- but just barely.

No matter who wins the regency of the Empire, there will undoubtedly be millions -- tens of millions – multiples of millions of people who will have sat out this election. While it is almost certain that increased voter registration will swell the electorate, there will be millions of eligibles who have not bothered to cast their ballots.

Why are there millions of people who won't vote? Well, if they listened to those debates, could you blame them?

For millions of working people, for people who can be called 'the working poor', for single mothers (and their children badly deteriorating in public schools), for them, be they Black, Latino, poor whites, you name it, once was far more than enough -- for there was nothing for you in the mouths of the President, George W. Bush, or Sen. John F. Kerry.

Forgotten people, why should they be remembered at some corny debate, when they're forgotten every other day of the year?

They were not speaking to those people; nor were they speaking of those people. It's safe to guess they have nothing to tell them; and yet, those very people, the working poor, will undoubtedly be expected to vote for one of the two major political party's offerings.

Essentially, they are expected to shut up and vote, in the blind hope that things will improve. That the economy will improve. That good-paying jobs will return. That the neighborhood public school will improve. That racist cops will curb racial profiling.

This, despite the fact that this has never happened before. Our revered ancestor, Frederick Douglass, informed us, over a century ago:

The whole history of the progress of human
liberty shows that all concessions, yet made to
her august claims, have been born of earnest
struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating,
all absorbing, and for the time being putting all
other tumults to silence. It must do this or it
does nothing. If there is no struggle, there is no
progress. Those who profess to favor freedom,
and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want
crops without plowing up the ground. They want
rain without thunder and lightning. They want
the ocean without the awful roar of its many
waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it
may be a physical one; or it may be both moral
and physical; but it must be a struggle. *Power
concedes nothing without demand.*

Looking at these tepid, paltry debates, contrasted with the very real problems, both at home and abroad, that face the nation, one can only wonder: where is the demand?

Sen. Kerry may almost coast to victory on the fuel of an anti-Bush vote. He, in truth, promises little more than a pledge to not be as stupid as his opponent in the waging of the fraudulent 'war on terror.'

It may take years; it may take decades, but, eventually, people will turn away from the corporate parties. These parties are but anachronisms, hoary, dusty relics of another era. The time must come when they will go the way of the Whigs, and the Know-Nothing parties.
It is inevitable.

May that time not be too long in coming.

For if Kerry wins, and does little more than continue Bush's nationalistic and narrow-minded policies, who will have won?

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

For More on Mumia’s Case:

Yet Another Witness Comes Forward and Refutes The frame-Up Of Mumia Abu-Jamal!

For more of Mumia’s writings check join liberation news and check out the archives in the links:

For more on the case of another inmate wrongly sentenced to die see:
Death Row Artist James P. Anderson, A Case Of Reasonable Doubt

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