Monday, December 5, 2011

Letter to Workers World newspaper

Dear Editor:
It was a mistake for WW newspaper to publish Mumia's article "From state pens to Penn State." 
1.  The graphic content of the material Mumia wrote about:

....He reportedly ordered prisoners to contaminate food with spit, urine and feces. He punched, slapped and spat on prisoners. He used racist language with abandon.

was completely out of place in a working class newspaper.  This is the kind of outrageous tabloid/TV scandal-sheet nonsense that narrows the political space for civil discussion.  Let's leave the rhetorical extremism to our enemies.
2.  Tackling public scandals of the day is a very unstable ground on which to raise the question of socialism and defend the working class.  Mumia, oddly, seems to entertain no presumption of innocence for accused rapist Jerry Sandusky.  Why?  Is Sandusky less worthy of such a Bill of Rights presumption than Julian Assange or Mumia himself?   Why provide space in WW to present him as a "rapeaholic", to use Mumia's word? 
I think WW newspaper would benefit from less engagement in tabloid TV scandal events [whether the writer is from WW, or someone like Mumia whom WW clearly lends its imprimatur], and focus more on rebuilding a world movement for socialism.  It is unfortunate that this has to be restated after the embarrassment caused to the paper and the party by Heather Cottin's articles on Dominique Strauss-Kahn earlier this year.
Space could better be spent with a Youth Page to help comrades around the country build FIST.
What about a page where distributors can report their experiences selling the paper, so others are encouraged to do so?
Why not a subscription drive? 
In short, don't tail after every scandal that proves how awful capitalist culture is.  My co-workers certainly know it already, and we need at least one working class news source with a little higher sights than this.  Something to aspire to.

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