This decision isn’t going to sit well with some. But since many Americans now believe that police are no better than a common street gang, the public sentiment has turned against them. This has bred more sympathy for convicted cop killers like Mumia Abu-Jamal, whom many believe are the victims of police terror that has become a concern all around the nation.
Jamal, who is serving a life sentence for murdering a Philadelphia police officer in 1981, is going to be the commencement speaker at a graduation ceremony for a liberal arts college in Vermont. He was chosen as the speaker after students requested his presence, which is a strong statement in the quest to challenge the criminal justice system for the false incarceration of so many black men across the country.
Carl Dix and Dr. Cornel West, along with Jerome McCorry and Michelle Alexander, have dubbed October to be a Month of Resistance against mass incarceration and police terror. Since the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, the public has begun to see police misconduct as a possible cause for many of the incidents similar to the one experienced by Abu-Jamal.
The speech is going to occur on October 5 at Goddard College in Planfield. The speech is a recorded one that was made at the prison where Abu-Jamal has been incarcerated for over 30 years.
Jamal was convicted of first-degree murder during a trial that has been called out by international organizations for being corrupt and biased. He was sentenced to the death penalty initially for allegedly killing Officer Daniel Faulkner, but his sentence was later commuted to life in prison with no chance for parole.
There are 23 students getting their degrees this year, and many of them are happy to have Mumia as their commencement speaker.
“Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that,” said Bob Kenny, the president of Goddard.