Assata Shakur: Guilty of Survival
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
For those who know the life and struggles of former Black Panther and Black Liberation fighter, Assata Shakur, the US government attacks on her, by ludicrously labeling her a terrorist, and posting a bounty on her, is the surest sign that the government has succumbed to sheer madness.
Assata, in her self-named memoir, Assata, and more clearly in her aunt’s legal recitation, entitled Inadmissible Evidence, by attorney Evelyn Williams, show how the US government, in deadly conspiracy with state and local governments, waged an illegal, unconstitutional and criminal war against the the Black Freedom Movement, with particular attention to the Black Panther Party.
The US government, in collusion with the locals, broke every law, and torched every precedent, to “get” Panthers. They attacked Panthers in their offices, and when that didn’t work, they framed them in court; and when that didn’t work, they drugged and assassinated them in their beds – as what happened to Chicago Black Panther leader, Fred Hampton.
Who were the terrorists: those who attacked people who were fighting for their freedom, or those who tried to defend themselves against such attacks?
Assata joined the Party for the same reason she joined the Army; to defend the lives of a people under monstrous attacks by the State.
Ask yourself this: Why was Assata Shakur ever imprisoned, when those who conspired, and undertook the night raids to murder Fred Hampton – in his sleep – never were even charged with anything?
Over 20 Panthers were killed across the country – and nothing.
Assata was targeted because she was a bright, beautiful and bold symbol of the Black Freedom Movement. She was ambushed, shot and arrested to stop that movement – and that’s why she is attacked still.
Believe it or not, she was charged with killing her mentor, Zayd Malik Shakur (NY’s Deputy Minister of information of the Black Panther Party) who was shot to death by cops on the Jersey Turnpike.
That Black politicians signed on to this slander is a sign of the rottenness of Black political classes today. Meanwhile, the Black poor endure conditions today that would’ve been unthinkable in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Yet on their targeting, their repression, their mass incarcerations, their daily humiliations – their hell – the Black politicians are silent.
Black homeowners lost more wealth in the past 7 years to racially targeting foreclosures than at any time since Reconstruction, and Black politicians, paid by the same hands that picked Black pockets, are silent on solutions.
Since the very foundation of America, Black people (and Indians) have been the primary targets of terrorism.
They have trouble Driving While Black, Shopping While Black, Schooling While Black and even Walking While Black; and the Black political class has neither solution nor voice.
Be honest: What people in America are more in need of an army to defend and protect them than Blacks?
Assata should never have been targeted; indeed, she should be awarded the Nobel Prize (for surviving).