Incarceration Nation

A Tale of Two Men

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

Sometimes, events occur, which although separate in locality have features in common, or when compared, reveal a clarity that they would not possess apart.

Cases in point:

A: A Young man, reportedly for the high crime of possessing a three-inch knife, gets shot repeatedly until dead. His alleged offense? Causing fear in a cop.

B: A middle-aged man, armed as if about to engage in war, drives to a Colorado Springs abortion clinic and engages in an hours-long rampage, shooting nine and killing three, before quitting his tantrum and submitting to arrest. Upon arrest he is neither beaten nor kicked nor stomped nor shot.

I am of course referring to the cases of Laquan McDonald, 17, late of Chicago Illinois and of Robert L. Dear, 57 of Colorado Springs, site of a Planned Parenthood clinic.

One, it must be said, Black men receive hyper-attention when in the presence of cops, so much so that white guys fade into the background of normality, unseen, unchallenged, even when they are carrying arsenals.

Again, as in Dear’s case, he drove to the clinic then carried arms into the site of Planned Parenthood.

One man was virtually invisible, another man was hyper-visible. In such cases as these, both paths lead to disaster.

Prison Radio, December 6, 2015