Monday, November 01, 2010
TI and Gucci Mane Celebrated, Mumia Abu Jamal Still Forgotten
It is easy to feel concern, compassion or apathy, about what people openly discuss and talk about frequently — especially in this age of social networking with regards to sights like Twitter and Facebook. I joined Twitter around 2007, but have yet to open a Facebook site. From my perspective, the main benefit is that one can easily share information as well as keep track of events that are provided by news outlets, mostly newspapers that I would otherwise not be able to via a regular medium. However, it does have its negative aspects as well.
Last night, via Twitter, I found out that Atlanta hip-hop artist Radric “Gucci Mane” Davis had been released from jail. Not that it was important, but the interest it attracted and the unexpected joy and veneration with respect to his release was. Personally I could not understand it, but next it dawned on me that these people have never to my knowledge used this medium to gather momentum with respect to another individual in a similar position, Mumia Abu-Jamal.Jamal was a journalist and the founder of the Philadelphia Black Panthers. In 1982, he was convicted and sentenced to death for the alleged killing of a white Philadelphia police officer.
He has been in prison since 1981 and on death row since 1983, for the aforementioned murder of Daniel Faulkner. Prior to that, he was best known for his award winning reporting on police brutality in the city of Philadelphia called “Voice of the Voiceless”.
It appears that our priorities are backwards, giving more attention to Gucci Mane and other rappers who are incarcerated inclusive of T.I., Lil Wayne, than people who actually contribute positively to our community. Neither Lil Wayne nor Gucci Mane could compare to Mumia Abu-Jamal in character, community development or integrity. Yet Mr. Davis, speaking to a group of reporters said "My time in jail was trying, but I grew from it and am now a stronger and better person. I want to continue on a positive track and truly focus on being a role model to my fans and my community."
It is a shame and maybe even a sign of the times when a former president of the Association of Black Journalists and the founding member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Black Panther Party, gets less attention than people who through their music, applaud greed, self-centeredness, materialism and violent self-destructive behavior. Someone please explain, I just cannot not comprehend it.