WASHINGTON – Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting: “Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) on Thursday sent an outraged letter to the Vermont college that will have Mumia Abu-Jamal as a commencement speaker, urging the school to revoke its invitation to the convicted cop-killer.
“’Is there any crime so heinous that Goddard would not reward the perpetrator with a spot as commencement speaker?’ Toomey asks in his letter to Robert Kenny, the interim president of tiny Goddard College. On Sunday the school is due to have Abu-Jamal address 20 fall graduates in a pre-recorded speech.” The Washington Post: “Goddard College sparks outrage with invitation to jailed cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.”
NOELLE HANRAHAN, globalaudiopi at gmail.com
A private investigator and journalist based in Philadelphia, Hanrahan is director of Prison Radio. She edited Mumia Abu-Jamal’s book All Things Censored and for years has produced his recordings from death row and now from prison. He has always maintained his innocence and many human rights groups have charged irregularities in his trial. She helped produce the documentary “Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal,” which features Alice Walker, Ramsey Clark, and Mark Lewis Taylor speaking about Abu-Jamal’s important place in education
Hanrahan said today: “The mainstream media would do well to listen to [Mumia Abu-Jamal’s] always illuminating and insightful commentaries. His ability to speak truth to power, represents a clear challenge to American hegemony. So much so that the U.S. Senate, President Obama and the mainstream media continue to make the fact of his voice and his survival a touchstone.”
She notes that John Edgar Wideman, professor at Brown University has said, “If Mumia Abu-Jamal has nothing important to say, why are so many powerful people trying to kill him and shut him up?”
A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.