A Tale of Terrorists
By Mumia Abu-Jamal
To say the word, terrorist, is to evoke an image inculcated into our consciousness of a scowling, bearded and turbaned fundamentalist Arab. That is the sheer power of the corporate media, in its ability to shape and limit our thinking.
For whats lost is the distinction between retail terrorism and state terrorism. When a state unleashes its power against innocents, its acceptable collateral damage; when a group does it, its animalistic evil, and sheer barbarity. The medias innate bias in favor of nation-states and corporate power makes state violence the norm, and thus makes it virtually invisible. Thats because the media is owned by the wealthy and uses its influence to protect its class interests.
The day this is written, a U.S. plane fired high-powered weaponry into a wedding party in Iraq; at least 40 people were killed. The same day Israeli tanks opened fire on a Palestinian protest march to Rafah, killing some 20 unarmed civilians, including women and children.
No corporate media agency will call these acts terrorist, but for the Iraqis and Palestinians on the receiving end of the tanks, fighter planes, and helicopter gunships, terror is probably the overwhelming feeling.
But under the reigning media regimes, Arabs can only be projected as terrorists (especially after 9/11), and even when they are subjected to massive state violence, it is overlooked as if they are somehow complicit in their own oppression. And because they are permanent suspects, they are somehow responsible for calling this extreme carnage on themselves.
Its war! And war is hell! Oh, well!
We are witnessing the dehumanization of a peoplewhere Arab terroristand any degree of violence visited upon them is acceptable.
When we digest this media mental poisoning, we become a party to this evil, and acquiesce in acts of media violence. We must all reject it, for the mind-poison that it is, and call state terror the evil that it iswhether the culprit is American or Israeli.
Copyright © Mumia Abu-Jamal, May 20, 2004