At last count over 31,000 have signed the petition to keep the streets of NYC from being sullied by the name of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
For me, and I think many others, this has been quite a learning experience.
First of all, I never expected such a successful campaign, especially with such little mainstream media coverage. Aside from a small blurb in the Philadelphia Inquirer there was little in the way of interest on the part of journalists.
However, where the newspapers had no room for this story, the blogosphere was another issue altogether. The petition was spread all over the country and in fact the world by regular people who were compelled by moral indignation to make a stand against the deification of a murderer.
The success of the petition was that of those many people and had little to do with me.
Another surprise for me was the amount of email I received from those people who were actually nominally supportive of Jamal, but who thought that naming a street after him to be a stretch of faith that not even the best efforts of the Jamal propaganda machine could support.
There was a time, and it wasn’t too long ago, when an effort to name a street after Jamal would have been met with widespread support. Those days are gone. As of this writing, the pro-Mumia street petition has just barely reached over 500 names after being hyped by the Jamal devotees since late September. This can be seen as nothing more than an unmitigated failure and it certainly should escape nobody’s attention that barely any of those who signed are neither from NYC or Philadelphia.
As I reported before, a member of the NYC City Council did finally respond to the issue of "Mumia street", a statement that was morally ambiguous and has been criticized for not going far enough, but this is what one can expect from politicians so far removed from the facts and reality of Mumia and the depths of lies propagated on his behalf.
In the aforementioned statement from the NYC city council member, it was said that streets were generally named for the deceased.
Mumia, in a less than abstract way might already fit that category of a being at room temperature.
His essays are as predictable as those from a totalitarian state. His slavish devotion to MOVE and John Africa which helped to seal his fate during his 1982 trial have further diminished his moral compass and intellectual capacity as the years have worn upon him.
He has to sit in his death row cell churning out cheap propaganda and books that sell less and less at each publication.
His support network, having fractured at the beginning of the decade is now chiefly composed of Marxist ideologues and other "dead-enders" who are still scraping together pitiful efforts on his behalf while pleading for money to keep their sinking cause afloat.
But perhaps worse for Mumia than even death is the fact that he is increasingly irrelevant. His supporters reduced to casting their hero as a deity of a dying faith.