(Pam Africa, advocate of Mumia as well as child-rape
The release of the now critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller, "Murdered By Mumia" is not merely a blow against Mumia and the cause that bears his name and seeks to free him, but also the cult to which he belongs.
When, at the end of one of his articles or speeches, Mumia sounds off with a firm "Long Live John Africa", he is paying homage to MOVE’s founder, and reminding the world that while many on the left like to claim Jamal as one of their own, that he is not.
As a devotee of MOVE’s founder, he, by definition, holds fast to a set of beliefs that run quite counter to his "progressive" writings and the persona that he and his enablers market. While he mouths the words of women’s rights, choice, gay rights, and solidarity, he is an adherent of an ideology that runs counter to each of those core values of modern radicalism.
Were he to put aside his pragmatism and well honed persona and honestly stand for the things that MOVE stands for, many of those who idolize him would be appalled.
So, for the benefit of some of you new readers, allow me a moment to briefly encapsulate just a few of John Africa, and therefore MOVE’s beliefs, that are explicitly reactionary. Quite contrary to many on the left’s adherence to a materialistic history and a well-founded skepticism, MOVE members and close supporters must come to see John Africa as God incarnate. Members of the group, especially older members have a pretty low regard for homosexuals. This, as a direct result of the adoption of an absurd variation of John Africas theory of "natural law". Through MOVE’s interpretation of laws pre-ordained by the creator, "perversions" as they are called in MOVE, such as homosexuality is not tolerated in the group and privately at least, members of the sect routinely drop the word "faggot" and colorful variations of the word "dyke". Upon hearing this for the first time coming from the mouths of the same people who march side by side with groups like "Queers For Mumia", I was quite surprised.
No MOVE member was particularly comfortable in addressing this contradiction and I did not push hard for an explanation. But the main thing that I would come to understand is that MOVE will accept money and support from people that they consider to be "perverts", which is MOVE-speak for a non-MOVE member of especially low moral fibre. The money from the "queers" is just as green as anyone elses it seems.
As far as a women’s right to choose goes, MOVE’s example on this issue speaks volumes. The girls in the cult who reach puberty have one job to do and that is to make babies. They have no choice in the matter, they have no real knowledge of even what a choice could be, it is really the same kind of psychology of "child soldiers". Because these lost children of MOVE are taught absurdities, they do not protest their own victimization and go further still to take the time to state their belief in the necessity of these atrocities with regards to themselves and the other children of the cult.
Illiterate girls, barely in puberty being forced to have baby after baby without the benefit of pre-natal or neo-natal care, the whole birthing process occurring almost in private on a bed of straws. If they can handle it, they are expected to lick the afterbirth off the baby and bite thru the umbilical cord, sans even a midwife.
All you need is an overseer with a whip and a field of cotton and it may as well be a scene from a pre-Civil War plantation.
So, while Faulkner’s book is not a full catalog or even a concise history of MOVE’ three decade run of barbarism, it does help to strip away the facade of MOVE as a martyrs club and provides examples of MOVE’s naked cruelty. Moreover, it begins to explain how an intelligent, articulate, and ostensibly well-meaning person can be ensnared in a violent sect that preaches a doctrine of peaceful revolution, based upon the premise of protecting life, while exhibiting an almost Manson-like brand of cultism.
Mumia, whose devotion to MOVE, and especially the murderers of Police Officer James Ramp in 1978 had cost him a promising career. His abandonment of his true family for that of his new family of co-religionists only further exacerbated his alienation from a world of journalism and his true family.
In that context, it makes sense to me that Jamal would execute a Philadelphia Police Officer.
According to Mumia, he had been literally "kicked" by the police into the Black Panther Party in the 60's and there wrote that he had grown to "feel" like "putting down the pen", and to "start writing epitaphs for pigs".
As the Panthers disintegrated through the COINTELPRO operations coupled with the weight of it’s contradictions, and the fact that many African-Americans would no longer accept the Panther’s as they evolved from a political/social force to a band of thugs shaking down business and emerging as a truly compromised and irrelevant force. This while their "leader", and Jamal idol, Huey Newton, lived in a grand penthouse using Scarface amounts of drugs and becoming increasingly irrational and ego maniacal. The one-time architect of the black revolution whose legacy would be capped by the murder of a prostitute and his own violent death over drugs.
As the Panthers became less relevant, Jamal got serious about his education and career and climbed the journalistic ladder, became a father, and was on the path towards success, with one eye always on the underdog, especially when it involved the Police and allegations of brutality.
So, by the time MOVE entered the public eye, Jamal, a former Panther with a long-held animosity for police officers gravitated towards the sect. And it was his bias and journalistic advocacy on behalf of his new found friends that would turn that boiling and simmering anger into a killing rage that was ultimately unleashed on Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.
It was Jamal’s inability or unwillingness to recognize that MOVE was the catalyst for the violence, or even admit there was another side to the debate that kept him from doing his job properly. One former co-worker is quoted as saying that Mumia appeared to be "high" and that Jamal acted "out of control all of the time." The more time Jamal spent with MOVE, the more distant from reality he became.
In just a period of a couple of years Jamal would hear the tale of a seven week old baby of a MOVE member being trampled by cops, numerous other tales of abuse, some ending in miscarriages, and than the 1978 inevitable confrontation between MOVE and the Police. A cop named James Ramp died that day, but if you read Jamal’s numerous writings on the subject you might get the impression that the only event that occurred that day was Delbert Africa being beaten viciously by three cops. That beating by police became the symbol of the 1978 gun-battle, as the death of Officer James Ramp being pushed out of the public eye. Jamal was outraged when the charges against the Police who beat Delbert were thrown out. So too, was he similarly angered by the result of the trial of the "MOVE 9" that led to them being sentenced to 30 to 100 year sentences for murder and attempted murder. It is interesting to note that the sentencing hearings for the "MOVE 9" did not end until 1981, the same year Jamal shot Officer Faulkner.
Now, picture Jamal in a cab, his college degree gathering dust somewhere, knowing he had burned all of his journalistic bridges in Philadelphia. His family life was falling apart and there he was in a taxi cab, shuttling drunks, dealers, pimps, prostitutes, and drunks of all stages of deterioration. There he was a few hours before the sun would rise, filling out paperwork when he sees his brother in some kind of struggle with a white police officer.
For Mumia, at that time, given who his heroes were (Huey Newton had beat a cop-killing rap) and the "MOVE 9", who were proven cop-killers, for him to not have jumped into the fracas would be somewhat unbelievable.
He exited his cab with the gun that he bought a few years earlier, packed with bullets that not even the police were allowed to carry because of their destructive nature. The rest you could say is history, but we all know that there is much more to come
It is important here to point out that while Jamal had a licensed weapon, he was not licensed to carry it hidden on his person. Were his intentions pure as the driven snow, would he not have left the illegal weapon behind in his cab? I have a gun and I also have a permit to carry this weapon hidden, but I would not ever come upon a police officer at nearly 4am, in the "red light district" of Philadelphia as he was in a struggle with a man he was attempting to arrest.
Clearly, Jamal had more in mind than peaceably intervening in an altercation. As witnesses saw him striding across the street gun in hand, the writing on the wall for this tragedy is clear. On that night, Jamal would follow in the footsteps of his heroes and commit murder.
And as his trial got underway, his dedication to MOVE became more apparent. Much like the "MOVE 9" defendants, Jamal was disruptive, abusive, and relentless in his demand that John Africa be his lawyer. He spent much of the first day of court acting like a fool to the point that one reporter wondered openly whether Jamal was committing suicide via the judicial system.
His emulating of MOVE’s courtroom behavior would be the norm after tantrum after tantrum would eventually end with him being led out of the courtroom. And while Mumia idolized MOVE, they idolized him and took out their anger on Maureen Faulkner with fierce cruelty.
According to Maureen:
"I was walking down the hall when one of the MOVE people spit on my leg" as if that was not enough, the MOVE member or supporter told Faulkner that is "what’s you deserve you little bitch".
Throughout Jamal’s entire trial, Maureen Faulkner was repeatedly accosted and mocked by MOVE members at every available opportunity. She was by no means the first person to feel what the cult likes to refer to as "MOVE heat". It was a tactic of intimidation that they used against their neighbors in Powelton Village as they would surround their intended victim and scream taunts of the most profane insults and threats imaginable.
Today, "MOVE heat" has gone online and to be a part of MOVE is to join in the frenzy of hatred directed towards Maureen Faulkner as the cult has manufactured some extremely vulgar stories about her that are now being brought to light outside of the confines of the cult.
It was important to me that Maureen understand the depths of depravity that MOVE has sunk to in order demonize her. In order to convince somebody to be utterly cruel to victims of a violent crime, it is necessary that a steady diet of hatred be fed to MOVE’s adherents in order for them to so readily and quite clearly attempt to emotionally destroy another human being.
In Maureen’s case, MOVE wanted it clear to us that she was not even a real victim. That she was a victim of terrible physical abuse at the hands of her dead husband, and that when the news of his death reached her ears that she celebrated. We were further told that her endeavors were being funded by the Fraternal Order of Police who were paying her off. And while much of this extreme form of demonization took place amongst MOVE members and supporters, it did spill out into the public. One notable example being at an event for Mumia at Madison Square Garden in NYC. It was there that Pam Africa took her verbal assault even a little too far for the assembled crowd when she stated the following :
She asked for a show of hands: Who here knows Mumia? Every hand went up. And then:
"Who the hell is Danny Faulkner?… We’ve known who Mumia Abu-Jamal is from the time he exited his mother’s womb. Now who the hell is Danny Faulkner? Why is the government so hell-bent on breaking the law that they won’t tell us who Danny Faulkner is? I don’t know, but I got some hearsay. . . . I heard from reliable sources that this man was a pimp to some black women, teenagers in schools. . . . I don’t know, it’s hearsay. But if you are calling this monster a hero, like we’re calling Mumia a hero, then dammit, prove it! . . . We are demanding to know who’s Danny Faulkner"
I would later hear Pam claim that Faulkner was in some kind of sexual relationship with Veronica Jones. That Maureen had re-married and was cashing in on her name and story and all the while knew that Mumia was innocent. The reason she kept silent, according to Pam is that Maureen had been threatened and coerced by the government to do their bidding.
These are the kind of things that MOVE represents, these unsubstantiated and contrived rumors, meant almost explicitly to inflict pain on MOVE’s enemies. Thankfully, people are increasingly taking a stand against such things and are fighting back.