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Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays

Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays
2 MIN2009 SEP. 19
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The next time I hear a politician promise to do something 'for the children', I may heave. If one thing is clear in this nation, it is that children arehated. Oh -- we don't use that word to describe our relationships withthem, but if we honestly examine those interactions we find that itwould be difficult to describe in ways other than 'hate.' For the last several months, I've been reading, studying andthinking about the nation's public school system. I've read classicsin the field, like Jonathan Kozol's 1967 work, Death At An Early Age,a stunning account on his years as a permanent sub [!] in Boston'sBlack populated schools in Roxbury, where kids were taken down intodark, dank cellars and beaten with rattan sticks. But what happened in the dark basements of the buildings, whilecertainly dramatic and deplorable, could hardly be worse than thesystematic slaughter of the minds of tens of thousands of children, whowere, in Kozol's words, "intellectually decapitated" daily by a racist,segregated school system. Truth is, any major U.S. city could've been used with similarresults - Harlem, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, for nationally, thedrop-out rate is 50%. Public schools are places where kids go to get their minds and souls killed. And what is war but old men sacrificing young men in oftenmeaningless battles? What is the so-called 'War on Terror' but amindless slogan used to sell lies like 'Weapons of Mass Destruction?' And what are soldiers but mostly children, molded into madmen, who fight and die, so that old rich men can get richer? Daily, we drug millions of schoolchildren, some as young as 4 years oldwith Ritalin, because we describe them as hyperactive or deficient inattention --which means they don't sit still, while we bore them out oftheir brains, with what we laughingly call an education. 'For the children' we leave a diseased and poisoned planet, aneconomy on crutches, and a world boiling with hatred for their fathers.Isn't it about time we really stopped doing more damage to the children? 9/19/09 (c) Mumia Abu-Jamal