Thursday, January 29, 2009



Like you, I’ve seen the searing phone-camera tape of the killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant III, of Oakland.

And although it’s truly a terrible thing to see, it’s almost exceeded by something just as shocking. That’s been how the media has responded to this police killing by creating a defense of error.

This defense, that the killer cop who murdered Grant somehow mistook his pistol for his Taser, has been offered by both local and national news reporters — even though they haven’t heard word one from Johannes Mehserle, the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) cop who wasn’t even interviewed for weeks after shooting an unarmed man.

If you’ve ever wondered about the role of the media, let this be a lesson to you. You can see here that the claim that the corporate media is objective is but a cruel illusion.

Imagine this: If the roles were reversed, that is, if bystanders had footage of Grant shooting Mehserle, would the media be suggesting a defense for him?

Would Grant have been free to roam, to leave the state a week later? Would he have made bail?

The shooting of Grant is but the latest West Coast version of Amadou Diallo, of Sean Bell, and of hundreds of other black men — and like them, don’t be surprised if there is an acquittal — again.

Grant is you — and you are him, because you know in the pit of your stomach that it could have been you, and the same thing could’ve happened.

You know this.

And what’s worse is this: you pay for this every time you pay taxes, and you endorse this every time you vote for politicians who sell out in a heartbeat. You pay for your killers to kill you, in the name of a bogus, twisted law, and then pay for the state that defends him.

Something is terribly wrong here — and it’s the system itself. Until that is changed, nothing is changed, for we’ll be out here again (in the streets) — chanting a different name.

Abu-Jamal, an award-winning journalist, is on death row in Pennsylvania and has been since 1982. He was involved in a controversial 1981 shooting in Philadelphia, a case still debated today. To find out more about Abu-Jamal, visit

1 comment:

  1. The pit of my stomach...yes...
    I'll check it out.
    Thanks for sharing.


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OVEOUS embodies brilliant lyricism with a powerful performance. Perhaps his greatest strength is that he was able to turn his brother's suicide into a global mission for mental healing and the positive uplifting of all people he comes across with thru his music. He earned a standing ovation on HBO Def Jam and has been a winner multiple times on "Showtime at the Apollo". His now classic hit song "Mirror Dance" with Osunlade still rocks the core of your soul on the dance floor. Working with Louie Vega, Boddhi Satva, and Osunlade has put him on the path of artists to watch grow. Oveous is a Rapper, Vocalist, & Producer who makes music to help your heart, beat. So Don't miss the Beat!