I happened to have known Abu-Jamal. And while the criminal justice system did not exactly cover itself in glory in prosecuting him, he is as guilty as sin, period.
But in the 25-plus years since the murder, Abu-Jamal has become a jailhouse pundit and international cause célèbre, a darling of Amensty International and lightning rod for opponents and proponents of the death penalty. He enjoys little support in Philadelphia, but the further one gets from there the more people consider him to be the victim of political prosecution.Harlem is a mere 120 miles or so from Philadelphia, but it might as well be on another planet. This is because some well intentioned but clueless folks want to have a street there renamed for Abu-Jamal. You can bet they don't want it called Cop Killer Boulevard.
An incensed Tony Allen, a former member of MOVE, a Philly-based anti-everything cult group that supports Abu-Jamal, has it exacty right when he says:
"To name a street after a confirmed killer, cult apologist, and virulent anti-American fanatic like Jamal would be a vile testament to the power of propaganda and an ugly reminder that ignorance has again triumphed over common sense and human decency."If you're not hindered by the facts and want to sign an online street renaming petition, click here. If you oppose the street renaming, you can sign an online petition here. (FYI, the anti-renaming petition had about six times as many signatures the last time I checked.)
If you want to know more about MOVE and what Allen is all about, click here. MOVE, of course, has its own website. Click here.
Hat tip to Dan Rubin at Blinq