Radical With a Beef | Letters | Chicago Reader

Radical With a Beef 

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I'm not one to respond to every incident of state-launched slander. For if that were the case we would be doing more responding than actual work. However, in response to the Reader's July 10 article entitled "Radical Without a Cause" authored by Adam Langer, which was riddled with so many lies, intentional ones at that, to not offer a summation on this J. Edgar Hoover of journalism's jive would be a disservice to the people.

I shall not attempt to go tit for tat on every attack hurled by Mr. Langer but shall provide an objective summation that places him, his publication, and his article alike in its proper context of the vicious U.S. counterinsurgency. Yes, counterinsurgency. For it operates in more aspects than guns, drugs, and U.S. prisons. It functions via the colonial schools and courts alike, health care or lack thereof, the field of entertainment, Good Humor ice cream truck vendors, and yes, the press. Therefore I, Fred Hampton Jr., who has been targeted by the vicious U.S. counterinsurgency since birth and part of a people that has been victimized by the same counterinsurgency since first contact with European settlers, in reponse to the Reader's "Radical Without a Cause," I submit "TO BE BORN, LIVING, STRUGGLING, AND WILLING TO DIE FOR THE CAUSE!":

Before addressing some of the many contradictions in the article in question, there are a couple of points that should be made pertaining to this publication. Several situations caused initial hesitancy with providing an interview with the Reader. However, I took the position that the bourgeois press should also be utilized for what possible purposes may be retrieved from it. Such contradictions as the IDOC (Illinois Department of Corrections) granting this particular reporter and periodical such an unimpeded access to obtain an interview. It should be noted that the Final Call newspaper, along with various other press, when attempting to obtain an interview with myself, experienced more runaround and bureaucratic red tape than dealing with the IRS. To this day none other than the Reader has been able to get through and obtain an interview. In fact common visitors are sent through more complications than the journalist of this particular publication. A point which was observed by Langer himself. This same periodical a few years ago "coincidentally" also encountered no difficulties with the IDOC in obtaining an interview with political prisoner Larry Hoover, who was at the time being held at Vienna Correctional Center in southern Illinois. Although I am unable to recall the particular author of the piece on Larry Hoover [Neal Pollack, January 27, 1995], I do recollect a similar slimy, subjective style of slander being published. Negating to specify its sources, the Reader detailed historical data on the then Gangster Disciples, Black Gangsters, and Black Disciples, i.e. leadership, structure, historical analysis both in and outside the prison walls, membership, etc. Data gathering in a fashion reminiscent of that of the infamous J. Edgar Hoover, FBI style. Disclosing details that some veteran soldiers of the streets or O.G.s were even amazed at reading.

This isn't the first time nor the last that attacks have been launched on myself, my mother, or the people's movements. Rather it comes via shots fired, trumped-up charges, or slander. Nor is it the first or the last time that we've fought back. From its caption there was an attempt to portray myself or any freedom fighters for that matter as some sort of reactionaries fighting for the simple sake of fighting--that the time and need for struggle has somehow elapsed. But Fred Hampton Jr. and few others of the like refuse to recognize this newfound era of "freedom." Well, aside from the fact that this same system brutally assassinated my father along with Detective Captain Mark Clark some 29 years ago. As long as my people are forced to face an infant mortality rate three times that of white people. As long as conditions persist that breed rape, robbery, and other acts that were once foreign to a people prior to being forced to "survive" in this dog-eat-dog of a society. As long as there is a "just us" system that continues to legally lynch individuals for simply possessing a love for his or her people. As long as mass framings and kidnappings of a people continue under the guise of War on Guns, Drugs, Gangs, or what have you. As long as the vicious counterinsurgency attempts to rear its ugly head by way of the issuing of trumped-up charges/U.S. prisons & jails, colonial schools, police brutality, chemical and biological warfare, environmental racism, the entertainment industry, the We Don't Care health care, outright assassinations. Or as in the case at hand, slanderous propaganda. Not only will Fred Hampton Jr., but the masses, the people will have a multitude of causes.

Taking into account the many misquotes and outright lies written by Mr. Langer in reference to myself, National President Njeri, and National People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (NPDUM) ranging from everything but not limited to alleged statements made by myself in court transcripts, my initial reaction to seeing a poster of Chairman Fred Sr., to the falsifying of statements supposedly quoted from my mother in reference to her effects on me as a youth and my rearing in general, one could come to one of two possible conclusions. Either simple journalistic errors or strategic slander in order to mislead the people and assail their movement. Being that this skilled veteran of a reporter took time to check way down in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, to verify my statement in reference to the tombstone of my father being annually shot up, amongst other adroit maneuvers, the thought of simple journalistic errors can be immediately dismissed.

Attacks via the press is no new phenomenon. As was pointed out in Karl Evanzz's The Judas Factor. Former director of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover had various as he termed them "friendly press contacts," which were used to calumniate the reputations of uncompromising representatives of the people. In reference to this matter the groundbreaker Marcus Garvey offered "The Propaganda of Our Enemies: For the purpose of creating doubts about the work of the Universal Negro Improvement Assoc., many attempts have been made to cast shadow and gloom over our work. They have even written the most uncharitable things about our organization; they have spoken so unkindly of our effort, but what do we care? They spoke unkindly and uncharitably about all the reform movements that have helped in the betterment of humanity...."

This article if nothing else has helped reinforce the point that the state and its forces will resort to all tactics in order to crush any symbolisms of resistance. Ironically the article itself expresses the contradiction in the title. For the fact that the counterinsurgency continues is CAUSE enough. Expose and defeat the continuing counterinsurgency! Forward with the demand to Free Fred and all Political Prisoners, Prisoners of War & Prisoners of Consciousness alike! Forward with NPDUM!

Fred Hampton Jr.

NPDUM

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