The Real Face of U.S. Capital Punishment (2006)

An Appeal on Behalf of Comrade Hasan Shakur and All Death Row Inmates

By Minister of Defense, Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson

When Amerika’s ruling elite wish to rationalize their violent schemes against other nations, (predominantly those of people of color), they manipulate and then cite “world opinion- as supporting their positions. By “wand opinion,” they generally mean the opinion of the rulers of other imperialist countries. They never consider the opinions of the REAL WORLD, which includes the people of color and the poor and working people generally, (who end up as the victims of their violent schemes), nor even of the Amerikan people as a whole.

This is because their intentions are typically self-serving and exploitative. In truest fascist form, the U.S. and European-based multinational corporations, which are the source of their wealth and power, serve only their interests, and the same is true of the political parties and governments they control.

Oddly however, when it comes to capital punishment, which is the most irrational form of state violence, they ignore the opinion of their European brethren who have long since abolished the practice. For many years now, the U.S. has been cited and criticized for violating international treaties and norms by continuing with this barbaric form of punishment.

That it is meted out predominantly and discriminatorily against people of color cannot be concealed, and it exposes the real white supremacist and racist core values behind the facade of democratic and multiculturist propaganda the U.S. rulers promote to the world and claim to represent them. Actions speak louder than words.

On Human Rights Day 2005, The European Union issued a formal declaration asking Amerika’s rulers to end capital punishment. With what our rulers consider to be “world opinion” ringing in their ears, and opposing capital punishment, one must wonder – why then does the Amerikan ruling class persist with this practice? It can only be explained in the context of the race practices and policies that have always been at the core of Amerikan politics and social control.

European societies are particularly sensitized to institutionalized state killing of their own citizens due to the not so distant experience of Nazi and overt fascist rule and its continuing reminders. The “ethnic cleansing” of Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Slavs and others prior to and during World War II, and the more recent “ethnic cleansing- in the former Yugoslavia, were carried out by white people against white people. And this struck close to home.

However, European and Euro-Amerikan imperialism was built upon genocidal practices and enslavement of indigenous people of color from Afrika to the Amerikas and Asia, and the massive wealth accumulated by the ruling elites of the imperialist countries is the basis of their power and their ability to continue to exploit the majority of the people of the world and steal their national resources. They have no qualms about murder on a grand scale of either white or people of color as exemplified by the imperialist wars they have caused and continue to perpetuate.

In Europe, the killing of white-skinned people was recognized as “genocide.” In Amerika, which was founded on genocide, the killing of dark-skinned people is, as Comrade Imam Jamil AI-Amin (H. Rap Brown) once put it, “… as Amerikan as cherry pie!”

As Dhoruba Bin Wahad stated in his recent comments on the execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams in California: “The death penalty in Amerika has always operated as a legal instrument of racial terror. The death penalty evolved from, and assumed the psychological role of lynching. Least we forget, every Black man lynched was ‘guilty of a crime!’ …[T]here is not one legal or ‘Constitutional’ right Afrikan people have in Amerika that white folks don’t have the veto over, or not subject to judicial review, including the right to life. A Black man’s life is subject to termination by a cop or agent of the state at any given moment –  without recourse to appeal.”

So in reality, all of us in Amerika who wear dark skins entered into this life with a state-imposed death sentence. The U.S. Declaration of Independence declares that the enjoyment of life is an inalienable right, but poor people of color were not included within that body of “We The People” on whose behalf that founding document was written – and we still aren’t today. Therefore, we remain targets of oppression, repression and genocide. This is the design of the U.S. ruling class, and they could care less about “world opinion” regarding the death penalty.

In Texas – where they legally murdered Comrade Shaka Sankofa Amerika’s Kapital Punishment Kapital our New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter’s Minister of Human Rights has been scheduled to die on April 27. Hasan Shakur is a comrade who even before being recruited into our Party has struggled tirelessly over the years to bring a voice to the oppressed millions of poor and people of color locked away in cages in Amerika, and he has championed the human rights of the thousands sentenced to die by “legal execution.”

Hasan Shakur (sin Derrick Frazier) is not guilty of murdering anyone. The cops who arrested him, denied him his right to legal council and coerced a false confession from him, knew that. The judge who allowed this illegal “evidence” to be used against him in court, knew that. The all white jury who heard the case had to know it. And the appeals courts who upheld his illegal conviction based solely on this illegal “evidence” definitely know it.

The point being that racial terror and tradition demands that two Black men must die, even if one is innocent, for the murder of two white people in rural Texas. This is the logic of lynching. It is as Amerikan as cherry pie! Since we are deemed to have no rights, (really), because we were born guilty, because were already sentenced to be marginalized, exploited and condemned in a thousand ways, there is no appeal (really).

Nonetheless, we must continue to resist and struggle for liberation, for Comrade Hasan, for all the condemned, for ourselves and future generations! We salute you Comrade! All Power to the People!

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson,



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