"Political Prisoner" Hypocrisy
(Castro with Pam Africa writes a message to Mumia in Cuba)
"The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving,"
“Che” Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries
It has been long said that Americans are notoriously ignorant of the history, politics, and cultures of nations other than our own. Follow that argument to it’s logical conclusion and it also means that those with an extremist agenda may suffer the same mental malaise.
While many on the far-left consider themselves more “worldly” than the rest of society, this belief, largely based on an emotional attachment to the perceived “oppressed”, and perhaps the ability to quote Noam Chomsky, is for the most part, not the case. And when it is the case, the outrage at injustice ends where one’s political ideology begins.
There is a problem throughout the body politic of selective moral outrage and it does not affect only those on the left. Case in point, the “yelling media’s” coverage of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Night after night, talking heads from news outlet after news outlet denounce and decry the Reverend and it is not my point to pour fuel on the fire, either you agree with the Reverend or you don’t. But what I find so infuriating is the rank hypocrisy of so many of Wright’s detractors.
While the naked anti-Semitism of the Reverend Billy Graham is ignored, the war on common sense by the Vatican is glossed over, and Pat Robertson with the late Reverend Fallwell get a pass for blaming homosexuals and secularists for 9/11, Wright is nightly target practice for anyone with a bully pulpit and a sense of self-righteousness. When all religious bigots are given the treatment they deserve than I will gladly join them in their denunciations, but until that time, I find their rank hypocrisy just as odious as I do Wright’s blathering idiocy.
I take the same kind of issue with those who champion supposed “political prisoners” such as Mumia, Leonard Peltier, The MOVE 9, etc...These are not prisoners of “thought crime”, but perpetrators of violent crime, supported by people who have not the vaguest idea of what true oppression is.
Take for instance, the left’s obsession with romanticizing Cuba and her “revolutionary” butchers like Fidel and Che. When I was still a Jamal supporter, Pam Africa traveled to Cuba as the dictators guest and did her best to denounce the country of her origin and decry the abuses of supposed “political prisoners” in the United States. The alleged anti-death penalty Pam Africa would return to the States and to me defended the use of state murder in Cuba because the nation was “under attack” by America. A typical moral relativist stance by a woman whose lack of morals allowed her to give her daughters over to child-rapists and support unrepentant murderers.
It probably never crossed her foul little mind that while she was being photographed and shaking the blood soaked hands of Castro, that the longest held, black, true political prisoner, was likely just a few hours away from where she was fawning over her hero, the despot.
You probably have never heard of Eusebio Penalver. He doesn’t get the HBO treatment, or French politicians to take up his cause, or “Rage Against The Machine” to play shows to pay for his legal bills. But he suffered in Castro’s torture chambers longer than did Nelson Mandela and was the longest serving black political prisoner of the 20th century.
He died at 71 years old, exiled from the nation of his birth, largely unknown, after spending decades of his life under horrific conditions in a Cuban jail for the crime of thinking and speaking the language of freedom. He suffered this as delegation after delegation of Americans, the above mentioned Jeremiah Wright amongst them, toasted his torturers and made excuses for one of the most repressive regimes on the planet.
He could have submitted. He could have accepted the “rehabilitation” of the communist dictatorship and denounced his allegiance to freedom and committed spiritual suicide, but he stood his ground, refused to wear the uniform of a criminal, and lived life as if he were free and his captors were the ones imprisoned.
All of this was occurring as so-called black revolutionaries such as Mumia and numerous others bowed their heads in reverence to the dictatorship and torturers of Eusebio Penalver and other true prisoners of conscience. This black man who stood up to naked brutality and daily assaults on the life of the mind is and was a nobody to those who still cling to the tragic farce of a free Cuba, with their Che Guevara t-shirts, and heads full of “revolutionary” platitudes that flow with a cadence and resound with the tempo of freedom, but which spelled death to those deemed “reactionaries”.
Because he stood for true freedom, was a true prisoner of politics, who fought for the freedom of his people and lived in a place which makes American prisons seem like a Hilton, he deserves to be celebrated and remembered. Because he dared to live “as if” he was a man free to choose and who rejected the cruel ideology imposed upon his people, he is a hero.
The next time you see someone with a “Free Mumia” sign or t-shirt, challenge them to name Eusebio Penalver or any of the other Cuban dissidents, exiles, or political prisoners, who were tortured and imprisoned because they yearned to be free. When they offer in response a puzzled look or an angry denunciation of you as a “racist”, you can remind them that the longest serving, black, political prisoner, was not kept in the apartheid regime of South Africa, or the “dungeons of American prisons”, but was indeed a Cuban, ignored, left to suffer under the choking tyranny of Castro’s regime.
See what, if anything, they have to say then.