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Mumia’s French Connection
by J.D. Cassidy
21 November 2003Mumia

There are thousands of murderers currently imprisoned in the United States. Yet only one of them is an honorary citizen of Paris.

There are thousands of murderers currently imprisoned in the United States. Yet only one of them has the privilege of being made an honorary citizen of Paris.

On October 4th, the convicted cop killer and self-avowed Marxist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, was honored in a public ceremony during which Bertrand Delanoe, Paris’s socialist mayor, stood before a cheering crowd of 200 French leftists, raised a closed fist to the world, and shouted “Mumia Is A Parisian!”

Angela Davis, the Communist college professor whose name once graced the FBI’s Ten Most-Wanted List, was standing by at the ceremony as Mumia’s American emissary. She announced that Mumia’s honor is well-deserved because of the convicted murderer’s “profound sense of humanity.” She then went on to explain that the campaign to free Mumia “takes on a new sense in [the] face of American unilateralism, the aggression against the Iraqi people and the racist attacks against immigrants which can only further gnaw away at the vestiges of democracy in the United States.” To this, one can only imagine that her French audience replied with thunderous applause.

Though the French Left has never been known for holding pragmatic political views, its public declaration of solidarity with Mumia reaches new heights of absurdity, as anyone familiar with Mumia’s case can attest.

Mumia Abu Jamal was arrested on December 9th, 1981 for the murder of a 25-year-old Philadelphia police officer named Daniel Faulkner. The murder occurred around 4:00 a.m., after Officer Faulkner pulled over a man named William Cook for committing a minor traffic violation. Before long, a scuffle broke out between Cook and Officer Faulkner. At this time, Cook’s brother, Mumia Abu Jamal, an unemployed journalist turned cab driver, was working the neighborhood in his taxi. Purely by chance, Mumia came upon the scene. He parked his cab, pulled out his .38 caliber handgun, ran towards Officer Faulkner, and shot him once in the back, and once in the face. Before Mumia got off his second shot, Faulkner managed to squeeze off one round, which hit Mumia in the chest. When the arresting officers arrived at the scene, Mumia was sitting on a curb near Faulkner’s corpse, with a fresh gunshot wound incurred from the young officer’s weapon.

The evidence against Mumia is overwhelming. Not only did five witnesses see Mumia shoot Officer Faulkner, but the bullet pulled from Faulkner’s brain was matched to the .38 caliber handgun that was registered to Mumia and which was sitting at his feet when the police arrived at the murder scene. When Mumia was taken to the hospital to have his chest wound treated, three witnesses heard him announce, “I shot the mother-fucker and I hope the mother-fucker dies.” In addition, another witness at the hospital heard him declare, “I’m glad. If you let me go, I will kill all you cops.”

In the 22 years that Mumia has been imprisoned for this murder, he has never once provided authorities with a convincing story of who, if not Mumia, actually did shoot Officer Faulkner. The only alternate explanation of Faulkner's death would have to be that someone who looks just like Mumia, and who was dressed just like Mumia, ran out of the night, shot Faulkner for no reason, and then ran off into the darkness. This story, of course, still would not explain how Mumia ended up getting shot by Faulkner’s gun. Nor would it concur with the testimony of the five witnesses who all saw Mumia murder the young police officer.

To understand why the Left has launched a movement to free Mumia Abu-Jamal from prison, one need only look at the ideas espoused by the perpetual jailbird. Mumia’s 1995 book, Live From Death Row, sheds some light on this subject, as it reveals Mumia to be a hard-line leftist.

In an essay in which Mumia addresses the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s, for example, his left-wing views crystallize in these lines:

The system used the main nonviolent themes of Martin Luther King’s life to present a strategy designed to protect its own interests -- imagine the most violent nation on earth, the heir of Indian and African genocide, the only nation ever to drop an atomic bomb on a civilian population, the world’s biggest arms dealer, the country that napalmed over ten million people in Vietnam (to “save” it from Communism), the world’s biggest jailer, waving the corpse of King, calling for nonviolence!”

Ridiculous, sophomoric, paranoid passages like this constitute the sum of Mumia’s book. Yet his collection of essays has been endorsed by major newspapers. The Philadelphia Enquirer has announced that “Abu-Jamal is an articulate voice at the far side of this country’s great racial divide,” and the Boston Globe has hailed the cop-killer as “an incisive critic of American society.”

To the objective reader, Mumia’s tract is a strikingly unoriginal spewing of paranoid left-wing babble. The passage cited above is typical of the leftist drivel found in Mumia’s tract, which, pulling a page from the Noam Chomsky playbook, claims that the U.S. is “the most violent nation on earth,” and implies that the “system” in its present state is hopelessly evil and beyond repair. It is only because of these anti-American ideas that the left has adopted Mumia’s case and fixed a place for his innocence in the perverse orthodoxies of political correctness.

According to his own confession, Mumia was radicalized after being beaten up because of his part in a protest against the racist George Wallace, and at the age of fourteen he became a member of the Black Panthers. Though he left the Panthers in the early 1970s, because of the war that broke out between the Newton and Cleaver factions, he never lost admiration for the founder of that glorified street gang. He writes, “Huey [Newton] was…intensely curious, acutely brilliant, a lover of all the world’s children, an implacable foe of all the world’s oppressors.”

The reality is that Newton was one of the world’s oppressors, enacting his violent rage on any person who crossed him, including members of his own gang. Mumia chooses to ignore this truth. He, however, does not hesitate to spout off sweeping criticisms of the police. With the inimitable vitriol of a leftist partisan he writes, “Some thirty-eight Panthers were shot down by racist cops.” This statement, of course, does not take into account that it was the Panthers who declared war on the police, not the other way around. It was the Panthers who coined the saying, “Off the Pig.” And it was the Panthers who decided to “pick up the gun.”

After leaving the Black Panthers, Mumia’s radicalism was burgeoning, and to vent his extremism he needed to attach himself to another leftist fringe group. He writes, “There I was in the 1970s, a bored, slightly petit bourgeois, burnt-out ex-Black Panther who distrusted organizations and still simmered in a stew of generational rebellion. I felt all dressed up with no place to go…Then I met MOVE.”

The MOVE organization was founded in 1972 by Vincent Leaphart, A.K.A. John Africa, a man who was once evicted from his apartment for refusing to exterminate cockroaches, which he considered “the same as people.” The teachings of this crackpot are the sacred texts of the MOVE “religion.” A militant left-wing organization that currently boasts fewer than 50 members, MOVE gained public attention during the late 1970s when some of its disciples embarked on an armed standoff with the Philadelphia police. The confrontation lasted from May 1977 to August 1978, ending in an eruption of gunfire that left one policeman dead.

An official website of the organization displays the “MOVE Statement,” which poignantly captures the militancy of the group’s radical agenda:

MOVE’s work is to stop industry from poisoning the air, the water, the soil, and to put an end to the enslavement of life -- people, animals, any form of life. The purpose of John Africa’s revolution is to show people through John Africa’s teaching, the truth, that this system is the cause of all their problems (alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment, wife abuse, child pornography, every problem in the world) and set the example of revolution for people to follow when they realize how they’ve been oppressed, repressed, duped, tricked by this system, this government and see the need to rid themselves of this cancerous system as MOVE does.

In this anti-capitalist organization, Mumia found a new home for his radical convictions. His first contact with MOVE came in 1975 when he happened upon some members who were protesting a Jesse Jackson rally (an indication of exactly how far Left the group is). Working as a radio journalist at the time, Mumia aired a story about a scuffle that took place outside the rally involving some of the MOVE members. From there, he continued writing stories about MOVE and was eventually fired from his job as a journalist for what his former employer describes as an inability “to maintain his objectivity.”  Throughout the late Seventies, his dedication to the group grew stronger. So endeared to MOVE did Mumia become that during his sentencing hearing he felt inclined to interrupt the courtroom procedures with the fiery shout, “Long live MOVE!! Long Live John Africa!”  There is little doubt that Mumia’s radicalism intensified under the influence of this militant group, which he has enthusiastically endorsed as “Niggas with guns!”

It should not come as a surprise that the Left has heartily embraced this cold-blooded murderer and dubbed him a patron saint of the radical faith. The history of the Left is the history of human ignorance. It is the story of one crime after the next being vindicated in the ideals of the radical promise. Leftists, evidently immune to self-criticism, continue to pursue the radical dream even after the radical reality has claimed the lives of one hundred million. They keep their sights on utopia, and do their best to hurry its arrival. To the radicals who support Mumia, the facts surrounding his case are irrelevant. Only the future utopia is important. And if Mumia’s case allows them the opportunity to indict American society as institutionally racist, further laying out the need for a radical transformation of American society, then that is all that matters.

Now that the movement to "Free Mumia" is catching on in Europe, and receiving international media attention, it is increasingly important to remember what actually happened on that early morning in December 1981, when five witnesses watched a deranged Marxist named Mumia Abu-Jamal pull his .38 caliber handgun from its holster, take aim, and fire into the face of Officer Daniel Faulkner -- snuffing out the life of a 25-year-old man and making his young newlywed wife, Maureen Faulkner, a widow.

J.D. Cassidy is Editor in Chief of Politically Right.com.

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