Regarding Rue Mumia Abu-Jamal
Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of and sentenced to die for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981. Through his writings, he has become a jailhouse cause célèbre among many of the deeply conflicted, morally confused elite among us particularly for those opposed to the death penalty.
From Michelle Malkin's blog, I learned that a Parisian suburb is honoring Abu-Jamal by naming a street after him. Regardless of how one feels about the death penalty (I myself have mixed opinions about it), a tribute such as this for such a man is reprehensible. I found it shocking that any community would condone this and it led me to send the following letter to the French embassy:
To Whom it may concern,I'm not holding my breath.
That a Parisian suburb has named a street after the murderer of a Philadelphia police officer is appalling. What is it about Mumia Abu-Jamal that has so captivated and mesmerized the French people? Is it possible that you hold Americans in such low regard that you would honor a man like this? Can it be that your society hates us so much?
I have been to France having spent two weeks in Paris in 1998. My wife and I had a wonderful time. The French people could not have been nicer to us.
That was before 9/11. Since then, I have seen the ugliness, the hate and the bile your nation holds for my country, my people. I look back on that trip and in the kaleidoscope of my recollections see as mere facade the courtesy France showed my wife and me.
I'm sorry you hate us and our institutions so. I'm sorry you regard so highly a man who extinguished the life of one whose highest purpose was to protect our people and our institutions. Police officers, men such as Daniel Faulkner, represent the very best among us. Believe me when I say that through your actions, you shall never, you CAN never, disgrace the memory of such a man. You only disgrace yourselves.
Believe me when I say that I care more for Maureen Faulkner, a widow whom I have never met, whose husband your "hero" murdered than for all the past greatness your civilization once enjoyed.
I'll never again set foot on your sovereign ground. Likewise, I'll encourage those I know to honor my personal boycott as well. Perhaps a national apology to Daniel Faulkner's still suffering wife for this disgraceful tribute could change my mind. Perhaps if those of the Parisian suburb involved were to rethink their odious position and vacate this obscenity, I might reconsider.
Perhaps then, I might one day enjoy again what France had to offer. Until then, I will view your culture as the mere facade fronting a decrepit and doomed nation, headed unerringly to the rubble left from once great, soon forgotten civilizations.
John S. Ford, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA