Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pam Africa "People Are Going To Get Hurt"

(A special thanks to all those who protested the "Today Show" as you helped to make Maureen Faulkner's point for her. Your blind, arrogant, ignorant devotion to an un-repentant killer will be noted by all who watched the program)

"Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim."
-George Santayana

If one didn’t know better, you could be left with the distinct impression that this one little story told about of the Mumia controversy through the eyes of Maureen Faulkner, is and of itself some kind of harbinger of doom for all things Mumia..

Having already pointed out that Linn Washington’s rather sly attempt to dismiss the book due to the politics of Michael Smerconish, is born of a political and personal agenda. I would be remiss not to address some of the larger issues at hand, and some of the other key players.
For their part, the broader Mumia machine operators are seemingly asleep at the wheel, as they cut and paste their way into further oblivion. In one recent flyer, I actually saw that they had dredged up the whole .44 caliber nonsense. A Mumia myth that was not only discredited by the prosecution, but also from Jamal’s own legal team over a decade ago. That the Jamal supporters are still obviously groping around in the darkness of their own self-delusions could not be made more apparent.

The current crop of Mumia devotees lacks the ability to conduct an intellectual argument. The moment that one questions their version of reality on even the most basic of levels is the moment that the whole debate goes devolves in an ad-hominem tirade or a string a fatuous non-sequiturs with not even a nod to the fact that a premise ought to link to a conclusion.

A recent debate about the case I had with someone went something like this:

"Because Nat Turner and Fred Hampton were killed by the "system", Mumia is innocent"

That, is the epitome of a logical fallacy and could be a textbook case study of a "red herring". The person making the argument apparently feels no need to appeal to reason, as it is much easier to appeal to ideology than to demonstrate a case for causality.

It is no wonder to me why there isn’t much left of the Mumia movement to be had.
But there is something there, or rather still a little bit of money to be made there. Evidence of which could be noticed polluting the streets of New York City this morning.

The more "sane" end of the "Free Mumia" spectrum (which isn’t saying much), is represented by the likes of Dave Lindorff who could not resist taking another swipe at Maureen Faulkner in another of his pro-Mumia, fluff pieces. Lindorff’s articles, whatever they amount too, are not as easily dismissed as is the usual pro-Mumia fare, essentially because he can string a sentence together and because he has a knack for making the absurd seem believable.

Which is why I find his work worth mentioning and the "Mumia movement’s" insane proclamations about the caliber of the gun, not so much. Some things are just so patently absurd that you have to believe that if someone at this point falls for it, that they have more going wrong with them than a broken moral compass or an inability to bother with any kind of research.

What I find compelling about Dave Lindorff is how he continues to find creative ways to insult and denigrate Daniel Faulkner’s widow. He treats and writes about her as if she was some kind of sadistic butcher who wants to dance some kind of Satanic ritual upon Mumia’s fresh grave for no real reason other than to for her to have the abstract satisfaction of "closure". It seemingly has not occurred to Lindorff that Maureen Faulkner sat through the trial herself, heard the evidence, heard the verdict of the jury, and has undoubtably followed the slow, grueling, appellate process with more keen an eye than perhaps anyone else on earth, and that she fully believes Jamal to be guilty.

Of course Lindorff takes the obligatory swipe at Maureen’s co-author, Michael Smerconish which does kind of reek of sour grapes as he dismisses Smerconish, as a wannabe Bill O’Reiley, which makes me wonder just who Lindorff wants to be. Perhaps if Lindorff went out and "off’d a pig" like his pseudo-hero Mumia, he could attain the journalistic status he steadily clamors for.
Lindorff ticks off the usual claims of "reams" of evidence that Jamal failed to receive a fair trial as if they were undisputed facts, bolstered by court rulings, and unquestionable by any reasonable person. None of which is true, but Lindorff has never let a little thing like the truth get in the way of coming up with new ways of saying the same thing over and over again. And if one were to embrace Lindorff’s logic than you may as well swing open the doors of all of the prisons throughout the state of Pennsylvania as Lindorff glibly claims that the whole judiciary of not only the City of Philadelphia, but the state itself is plagued by racism.

And while even if all of this was true, it does not mean that Mumia is innocent. Again, the issue of causality rears it’s head and for the Jamal supporters, it does not work for them. This, because the facts of the case do not work for them. That is why they place such an overwhelming focus not on Jamal’s defense, but on alleged mis-steps, prejudice, precedent, and the banality of police and prosecutors.

This is yet another reason why Jamal supporters feel that Maureen Faulkner is fair game. Of course, there are the pre-requisite caveats conceding Daniel Faulkner’s widow’s desire to see the juror’s wishes carried out, but Dave Lindorff takes a fair assumption and attaches to it, a kind of wickedness in Maureen Faulkner’s motivations. He claims, that Faulkner "may be unable to contemplate the possibility of error".

One ought to read the preceding quote a couple of times in order to grasp the depth of arrogance contained therein. Now, I have thankfully not had to endure the pain of losing a loved one to violent crime and hopefully it is something I will not ever have to endure. But, I would think that the crushing moral weight of possibly sending another human to their death, if they are even possibly innocent would be a tragedy compounded. However, Lindorff either cannot comprehend this kind of empathy, perhaps because he lacks it himself, or he chooses to believe that Maureen Faulkner, after over a quarter century would want Mumia dead just because he is Mumia and for no other reason.

Now, I am not advocating that the victims of crime lord over criminal proceedings, the reasons for that are implicit within the core of the adversarial system. However, victims of crime, such as Maureen Faulkner have a voice within the judicial system, just as in Mumia’s case where he presented a whole host of character witnesses who testified about what a great guy he was at the sentencing portion of his hearing

Another interesting, and telling remark by Lindorff, one that is made in passing is the idea that even if Mumia did shoot Faulkner that it would have been done in self-defense. This is something that Jamal supporters have been moving towards for the past couple of years, but it is ultimately an endeavor doomed to failure. The first reason is obvious and that is Mumia’s own affidavit that mentions nothing about him drawing his weapon, not to speak of an actual physical attempt to aid his brother. The second issue with regards to the "self-defense" argument would have to be the legal issues surrounding the use of lethal force in the context of a police officer attempting to execute an arrest.

Bottom line is that there was no scenario, neither the one presented by the defense or prosecution that would support a "self-defense" claim were Jamal’s defense team to attempt to mount one in the event of a new trial and Lindorff has to know this. Why he even brings it up in the face of tremendous evidence to the contrary is baffling and serves only to demonstrate the confusion and fear that has Jamal supporters scrambling in an effort shore up their already weakened defenses against the storm they know is coming as a result of this book.

At a recent press conference, Pam Africa, MOVE’s self-professed "Minister of Confrontation"for MOVE, gathered with "journalists" Dave Lindorff and Linn Washington at her side calling Maureen Faulkner a "liar". And for Pam, this overheated rhetoric was just the beginning. Of course she whined about the "Today Show", and than she cryptically made the ominous vow that "People are going to be hurt...because of us". She went on to explain how MOVE had warned people about impending violence prior to MOVE’s major confrontations.

It is typical of MOVE members to make threats such as that during times of desperation and whether it is mere hyperbole or the general article, it should be noted that none of the "journalist" like Dave Lindorff or Linn Washington made a point to publicly repudiate her comments, this while she evoked the memories of past MOVE confrontations that ended violently.

What Pam’s point was in raising the specter of people "being hurt", is hard to say. But, that it comes from a woman who is a prominent figure in a cult that has had too many violent incidents to count, it should not be dismissed completely out of hand.

So, while Dave Lindorff and others attempt to paint the whole issue of activism on behalf of Jamal as a noble endeavor of peace, guided by justice loving people, the stark reality that at it’s core is needless death, needless suffering, the squandering of assets upon someone completely undeserving, and lastly a campaign of deliberate misinformation on the part of people like Dave Lindorff who ought to know better.


At 11:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Especially the claim that the crime could have been self-defense is an outright insult to Daniel Faulkner. Faulkner’s gun has been found in the street beside the curb while he was on the sidewalk some 2 or 3 meters (7 - 10 ft) away. Faulkner was unarmed and defenseless when he was shot. A claim of self-defense is nonsense.

At 10:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We the 229 Brigade were the organization that supposedly argued that "The system killed Nat Turner and Fred Hampton so Mumia is innocent".
We feel this is an unfair characterization of our group's position.
Our position is Turner, Hampton, and a whole list of others were revolutionaries and therefore were targets of a reactionary system, because they would defend the people against the state by any means neccesary.
Our position is Mumia is also one of these examples of an uncompromising voice against the state and police violence and therefore is a target of the state.
He is a rebel and was not given a fair trial because of this.
We are rebels also and we believe that america has always been in a state of class war.
Class war is not a dinner party, as Mao put it.
We also uphold the Black Panther position of democratic community control and community self defense.
We believe the death penalty is used in this society to silence critics of it.
The cases are numerous Joe Hill to Sacco and Vanzetti and so forth.
We would defend Mumia if he was guilty of what we believe is aggravated homicide.
It was his brother being beaten by the cop, Mumia did see this from across the street.
We believe the police are an occupying army and have no right to determine policy for the occupied territories of the usa. They speak for the rich and not us.
Ive heard it said that "what is legal aint always right and what right aint always legal.
This relates to something Maureen Faulkner said on the today show.
It was something to the affect that "Jamal supporters seek to try this case in the court of public opinion and not in a court of law.
We say damn right! It aint our legal system our opinions are something we own.
We will win the support of The workers, lumpen proletariat, farmers, immigrants and progressive intellectuals while the FOP may win the support of judges,cops,and rich people.
We want to make a change in the system so we seek to mobilize these masses, appeal to these masses for they are the true backbone of change.
The other side is one of reaction.
For now, -the 229 Brigade

At 7:34 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

He was hardly a "voice" when he shot Officer Faulkner. He trashed his life because of his devotion to MOVE, hence his driving a cab.

Thanks for making it clear, your ignorance was obviously apparent, but now also your political agenda coupled with a complete disregard for human life.

It is due to people like you that Maureen Faulkner's book is being sold by the hundreds and no doubt thousands by now. Thanks for coming on here and making her and my point.

At 11:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a disregard for human life you say? That is entirely untrue. On the contrary, we regard human life to the point of saying we will defend it.
And we call for defense of the communities.
This is a really striking example of spin.
Here you are a apologist for one of the most violent police forces in the colonies of the USA. (Ghettoes and Barrios).
And you have the nerve to say we dont respect life.
We respect it enough to defend ours and our communities.
As for the political agenda.......
It is no secret that many of us are revolutionaries in the free Mumia movement.
As for Mumia not being a voice at the time of the shooting because he told MOVE's side of things,
These are the types of reporters we need.
We revolutionaries love them for telling the truth. (we actually like Lauer too, a bit now)
These people may not be professionally far along because of not selling out or compromising their ideals, but they are watched by the people.
And also wasnt Mumia something like one of the 81 people to watch in Philadelphia magazine in 81?
Something such as that i recall.
Now to the topic of Maureen's book.
I dont mind if people buy millions of it it is probably an interesting read.
I plan on buying it myself.
The excerpt seems well written.
However it is up to us to criticize it also, not just Mumia supporters but ya'll too.
Just like it is up to us to criticize our leaders books.

-the 229 Brigade

At 7:58 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...


You should by now be aware that you aren't writing I haven't read or heard, or at one time believed myself. This leads me to wonder whether or not you are trying to convince me or yourself of your rhetoric.

Mumia was indeed one to watch as noted by "Philadelphia Magazine" in 1981. Nobody denies that he had talent and that had he not wasted it in his devotion to MOVE, he may well have devloped into a great journalist and perhaps even a great leader.

I am glad you will read Faulkner's book, but I do hope that your critical eyes are not closed the overwhelming reality of what MOVE is.

Certainly, nobody is beyond reproach. There are flaws in Faulkner's book, as there are flaws in any book of somebody's recollections and the summarizing of what amounts to thousands of pages of trial transcripts and a quarter century of memories.

You have shared your critiques of me and others, but I am curious as to what you find to criticize about MOVE and Mumia.


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