Political Prisoners

Of Terrorist Lists & Listers

By Mumia Abu-Jamal

With the news that Nelson Mandela, former South African president, was, until some scant days ago, on a U.S. government terrorist watch-list, comes knowledge of how false and political such a process is.

For, you can bet your bottom dollar that no U.S. terrorist list ever included the names of the white Afrikaners who led South Africans Nationalists, who used the machinery of government to inflict terror on millions of Africans for generations.

Mandela though, as part of the Black resistance movement against racism and apartheid, had his name, and those of others who were members of the African National Congress, added to U.S. government terrorist lists.

Does this at least suggest that something other than terrorism motivated American list-makers?

The government that shot down Black school kids for protesting at Sharpville didn’t merit listing.

The government that relegated the lives, hopes and dreams of millions—the majority of its population—to half-lives of poverty, ignorance and servitude through brutality and violence, didn’t merit such a listing.

Yet those who opposed it did.

What does this tell you about the list-makers?

When the International community, voting through the United Nations, opposed the racist apartheid regime, one government in the world used its vote to veto and block all actions against the South Africans: the United States.

When young people around the world protested, the U.S. (often through president Ronald W. Reagan, and his colleague in the Senate, the late Jesse Helms) called for “constructive engagement.”

The State terrorists who ran South Africa had no greater ally than the USA.

Why should it then surprise us that the opponents of that racist, white-supremacist government were listed (until a few days ago) by the U.S. government, as terrorists?, July 5, 2008