Black Like Who? - Why African Americans Arn't Supporting Mumia

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Dec 24 07:21:45 MST 1999

>         Mumia Abu-Jamal may be a symbol of racism to the celebrity
>         set, but to most black people, he's just a scary character
>         who probably got what he deserved.
>         - - - - - - - - - - - -
>         By Debra Dickerson

Hannah, I would appreciate it if you didn't post rightwing propaganda to
this mailing list, especially when it is online. Just supply the URL and
any comments you might have.

Since you didn't supply any comments, I will give you the benefit of a
doubt and assume that you understand that it is indeed rightwing
propaganda. It is a useful reminder of how Salon magazine has shifted to
the right. Launched as an Ezine with politics and contributors somewhat
similar to the Nation, it has slid perceptively as its money-making
ambitions have increased. Key to acceptance in corporate, equity-raising
world is appearing more "responsible". This means backing Nato's war as it
did. It also apparently means hiring as its ONLY African-American reporter
on a full-time basis the creepy centrist Debra Dickerson.

In her inaugural piece for Salon, she wrote rhapsodically about her
military experience:

"Everyday this week perfectly nice latte-drinking, movie-going,
please-and-thank-you Americans are trying to blow the heads off a bunch of
Iraqis whose faces they'll never see. They'll try really hard to count
their pulverized corpses (you get points for them, you know), but to
visualize their faces? Not really. It's not that our G.I.s are evil, mind
you, it's just that killing as many Iraqis as efficiently as possible is
their job, and they take pride in doing it. I know, because it used to be
my job and I took pride in it, too. Still do.

"From 1980 to 1992, I was on active duty in the United States Air Force. My
last overseas assignment was as chief of intelligence for Ankara Air
Station, Turkey, a NATO-affiliated base. I got there in June 1989. When I
left in late 1990, we were at war with our wacky neighbor to the south,
Iraq. I rotated back to the world, and the Pentagon, and remained involved
in the war effort till its conclusion. The war affected me in ways that I
would never have predicted and have yet to effectively communicate to
civilians and the unreconstructed liberals who expect me to be conflicted
over my involvement."

Dickerson is also a Fellow at the New American Foundation, run by
neoliberal James Fallows and on whose board of directors sit Francis Fukuyama.

The mutation of Salon magazine is just one more example of why the Internet
is important. It allows people with genuine progressive politics to air
ideas that corporate sponsorship would exclude. Last week Salon had a truly
malicious article basically backing the idea that American Indians should
victimize supporters of the FARC in this country because of the tragic but
accidental slaying of the 3 U'Wa activists. The author was cut from the
same cloth as Dickerson, in her case having connections to a shadowy
journalism think-tank run out of NYU. The article repeated slanders against
the FARC that originally appeared in NACLA report, another progressive
publication that has defected to centrism. When I sent in a letter that
corrected the slander, they chose not to print it.

Louis Proyect
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