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    Solidarity & Sustainability: An Interview with Sokari Ekine

    by Peter James Hudson

    The Nigerian social activist and writer holds forth on poverty and foreign meddling in Haiti and repression against homosexuals in Africa and the Diaspora. On Haiti: “Some people made a lot of money in the aftermath of the earthquake and a small few are still making money but the poor are being erased.”

    Outsourcing Haiti: How Disaster Relief Became a Disaster of its Own

    by Jake Jonston

    Billions of dollars have been directed towards Haiti earthquake relief – and most of the money has circled right back into the pockets of foreign corporations and NGOs. Hundreds of thousands remain in tents or dangerous dwellings. Yet, “by September 2013, nearly four years after the earthquake, only 7,500 new homes had been built and 27,000 repaired—an incredibly small achievement.”

    Richard Sherman—The DB, Muhammad Ali, and the NFL

    by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

    Sherman just made them see

    He revealed the fire in his bones

    Introduced us to the “Legion Of Boom”

    The LOB

    On the Night Negroz lost their minds…

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Since that November

    Night in ’08, Negroz

    Ain’t been straight…

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/29/14

    A Black-Green Alliance in Libya?

    Reports of intense fighting in southern Libya against the NATO-installed regime indicate that “Green” supporters of the former Gaddafi government could form an alliance with Black Libyans, who have been subjected to murderous ethnic cleansing, said political analyst Eric Draitser, of StopImperialism.com. “As these two forces begin to fight back against these racist and imperialist puppets that run the country, we’re beginning to see a form of mass resistance. What form that ends up taking still remains to be seen,” said Draitser.

    NSA is Like J. Edgar Hoover on Steroids

    The recent report of the federal Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which described the omnibus NSA spy program as unconstitutional, will make Congress “more responsive to the public outcry” against the Surveillance State, said Carl Messineo, legal director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. “Public opinion polls are clear that a majority of Americans recognize that there has been an unacceptable loss of civil liberties in the so-called pursuit of anti-terrorism,” said Messineo. “This is J. Edgar Hoover’s intelligence program on steroids.”

    Sexual Abuse Rampant in U.S. Prisons

    A Bureau of Justice Statistics report shows continued high rates of sexual misconduct against inmates in the nations federal, state and local prisons and jails. However, only a very small proportion of cases lead to prosecutions of prison staff, said Chris Daley, deputy executive director of Just Detention International, a watchdog group. Most sexual abuse victims get no medical care, despite the fact that “the vast majority of facilities have medical folks on staff who, within about a 12-hour period, could easily provide both emergency care and collect evidence needed for prosecution” – but that rarely happens in U.S. prisons, said Daley.

    NYC Police Commissioner Bratton is “War Criminal of Our Communities”

    A father recently took his two daughters to the Brooklyn Academy of Music to hear Angela Davis and watch a film on political prisoners. Instead, the place was packed with “establishment Democratic Party speakers backslapping each other about [Mayor Bill] de Blasio’s election,” including Bill Bratton, de Blasio’s new police commissioner and an architect of stop-and-frisk. “I was aghast that this type of forum” during MLK week “would give a voice to this war criminal of our communities,” said Greg Butterfield, of New Yorkers Against Bratton.

    Bring Mumia Home Campaign

    The Fraternal Order of Police is spearheading a drive against former NAACP Legal Defense Fund lawyer Debo Adegbile’s nomination as head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The LDF helped overturn the death sentence against Mumia Abu Jamal, in the killing of a Philadelphia policeman in 1981. Dr. Johanna Fernandez, professor of history at Baruch College and a member of Mumia’s defense team, said the FOP “distorts race to delegitimize the claims of Mumia Abu Jamal and all people who have been wrongly incarcerated by the state.”

    Anthony Monteiro spoke in support of the Bring Mumia Home Campaign. “At some point, white America has to confront itself and its own contradictions,” he said. “It is not Mumia that they fear; it is the truth that Mumia represents.” Temple University has refused to renew Dr. Monteiro’s contract as a professor of African American Studies – in retaliation, many believe, for his political activism.

    Amiri Baraka Eulogized by His Son

    “My father was – IS – a revolutionary,” said Ras Baraka, in his eulogy for famed poet/activist Amiri Baraka, who died at age 79 in Newark, New Jersey. City councilman Ras Baraka is running for mayor of Newark.

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    Black Madness Under Obama: African Americans More Pro-NSA, Anti-Snowden Than Whites and Hispanics

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    A new poll shows “Blacks remain more NSA spy-friendly than whites and Hispanics.” Earlier surveys showed Blacks were the ethnic group most willing to go along with Obama’s threatened air war against Syria. What happened to Black progressivism? “If an individual exhibited such lifelong personality and values reversals, her relatives and friends would immediately suspect an emotional breakdown.”

    MSNBC: Cherry Picking News & Issues to Make Toxic Democrats Look Good

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    For the last couple weeks and several more to come, Chris Christie will get more air time on MSNBC than drone murders, gentrification, NSA spying, and network neutrality put together. Why not? He's a Republican, and Democrats are only fighting it out between the 40 yard lines.

    Freedom Rider: Richard Sherman and America’s Sickness

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    White NFL fans blow hot and cold when it comes to their feelings about Black players. Idolatry turned quickly to hate when Richard Sherman forgot his “place.” The psycho-fanatic twitter mob “called Sherman a nigger, a thug, a gorilla, and a porch monkey who ought to be lynched.”

    America on MLK’s Birthday: The Trifecta of Evils

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    If you think Dr. Martin Luther King would have mellowed with age, you haven’t been keeping track of the “triple evils” that he warned about. “The United States clearly leads the world in all three of Dr. King’s categories of evil.”

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    Amiri Baraka: Class Struggle and Cultural Revolution

    by Anthony Monteiro

    Amiri Baraka, the poet/activist who was laid to rest in his native Newark, New Jersey, last Saturday, came to understand 40 years ago that all art is ideological. “It is the courageous move from cultural nationalism to Cultural Revolution that liberated Baraka, and ultimately us, to understand the democratic and revolutionary possibilities inherent in our artistic and cultural traditions.”

    Syria Peace Conference: the Obama’s Administration Orwellian Subterfuge

    by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

    It is difficult to call this week’s gathering in Montreux, Switzerland, a “peace conference” on Syria, since the U.S. and its allies are determined to change the regime by force of arms. Washington has forged an “unholy alliance with its “Wahhabi allies from Saudi Arabia and al-Qaeda,” who act as America’s “boots on the ground.”

    French Complicity in the Crisis in Central African Republic

    by Antoine Roger Lokongo

    Readers of the corporate media might conclude that France is carrying the White Man’s Burden in the Central African Republic, without which the Africans would descend into barbarism. However, “it is France that is ‘a burden’ to CAR and its other former colonies in Africa, not the other way round.”

    What Should it Mean to be Haitian in 2014

    by Pascal Robert

    The white colonialists have never forgiven Haitians for the revolution of 1804, the first successful revolt against white supremacy. “The slander and degradation against us about our poverty, alleged political incompetence, and poor educational infrastructure is tied to the persistent desire of our historical enemies to wipe our revolution from our minds and the rest of the world’s.”

    Remembering the Politics of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Obama

    by Danny Haiphong

    Barack Obama took his presidential oath on Dr. King’s bible, but has spent every day in office fighting against MLK’s legacy. “If King were alive today, he would be on the streets opposing each and every one of Obama’s neo-liberal economic policies and imperialist wars.”

    A Call for Justice -­ Free the Cuban 5: An Interview with Netfa Freeman

    by Gregory Elich

    Marked as spies by the U.S. corporate media, the Cuban 5 are actually heroes in the fight against imperial terror. “U.S. official policy has been to wage a multifaceted and protracted war against Cuba and its people, which includes all forms of economic and political sabotage to destabilize the island.”

    My Wise Country Cousin on Con-yay Wez

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    He go Wes’

    You stay Eas’

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/20/14

    IFCO Tax Exemption Imperiled

    The IRS is threatening to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, IFCO, the venerable anti-poverty and human rights group. The government is investigating IFCO’s aid to Palestinians in Gaza and its assistance to U.S. students that want to avail themselves of medical scholarships in Cuba. The web site of the pro-Israel Investigative Project on Terrorism accuses IFCO of links to Hamas. “To have the IRS utilize a blog to come after a 47-year old, faith-based, non-profit organization run by people of color since its inception, is an outrage and an insult,” said IFCO co-director Gail Walker.

    Health Disparities Rooted in Racist Legacy

    Racial income and wealth gaps lead to racial health disparities, said Brian Miller, executive director of United for a Fair Economy, UFE. “Vast economic disparities are still with us, and these disparities, coupled with racial segregation, create a toxic soup that is brewing up health problems and shortening people’s lives,” said Biller, at a press conference to debut UFE’s 2014 State of the Dream Report, “Healthcare for Whom? Enduring Racial Disparities.”

    War on Poverty was Great Success

    The War on Poverty accomplished many of its goals, according to Annelise Orleck, professor of history at Dartmouth University and co-editor of The War on Poverty: A Grassroots History, 1964 – 1980. President Lyndon Johnson’s community action programs made enemies. “It shook things up when poor people demanded representation in school boards and housing boards and welfare boards,” said Orleck. The War on Poverty was attacked “not because it failed, but because it succeeded.”

    White Racism Undermined Anti-Poverty Effort

    “White backlash” scuttled some War on Poverty programs, including job training for minorities in the skilled trades. White workers whose union hiring halls had “for decades hired their sons, their nephews” became Reagan Democrats, said Jill Quadango, professor of sociology at Florida State University and author of The Color of Welfare: How Racism Undermined the War on Poverty. White union members saw minority trainees as “a direct threat to their prerogative to choose who was hired.”

    Mumia on COINTELPRO

    A new book reveals the identities of three people who broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971, and made off with files on the bureau’s COINTELPRO campaign against Blacks and the Left. Mumia Abu Jamal, America’s best-known political prisoner, recalled learning of the revelations, shortly after he left the Black Panther Party. “To read about people who you’ve known for years, who were FBI informants, was absolutely mindblowing,” Abu Jamal told Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and host of WBAI Radio’s Law and Disorder program.

    Socialism Needed – Quickly

    Capitalism “is utterly irrational, it’s out of control, and unless we democratically organize and plan this economy, they’re going to kill us, literally, through climate change,” said Michael Steven Smith, co-editor of Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. The new book contains 31 essays by a wide range of Left activists and writers.

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    Moral Monday A Branding Exercise Blaming Republicans for Stuff Democrats Helped Them Do

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Is Moral Monday “sweeping the nation”? Is it the beginning of a new movement, or the revival of an old one? Or is it a sad, cynical and partisan attempt at renewing the brand of the black political class as fighters for justice and representatives of the oppressed?

    The Obama-Paul Scam Zones

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    President Obama and his Republican friends agree that low-tax, low-wage, deregulated zones are the anti-poverty program for the 21st century. Both parties are engaged in a race to the bottom. Rand Paul, “the free market barbarian from Kentucky, dispenses his poison unadulterated, while the banker’s man in the White House mixes arsenic with Kool-Aid.”

    Freedom Rider: The Burglary and COINTELPRO

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Forty three years ago, a group of brave activists clandestinely liberated documents from an FBI office that proved the existence of COINTELPRO, the government program to destroy the Freedom Movement. A new book recounts how most of the media refused to touch the story. Today, the chill is even deeper.

    Amiri Baraka Has Died: Long Live Baraka

    by Anthony Monteiro

    To truly honor Amiri Baraka, one must examine his travels, the political journeys he undertook in search of paths to self-determination for his people and all humanity. He sought a liberatory synthesis of culture and politics. “We need a Cultural Revolution in the US and internationally, to reorient the world and ultimately transform it where we and everybody else is self-determining.”

    US Court of Appeals: The Internet is a Plantation, With Comcast, Verizon, AT&T Its Masters

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Thanks to a ruling by the US Circuit Court of Appeals in DC, telecom companies are free to dictate every aspect of what you can and cannot see, hear or do over the internet. It's an emergency. It's time to demand immediate presidential intervention to head off the end of the internet as we know it.

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    South Sudan: When the Empire is Your Liberator, You're Not Really Independent

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The United States, which boasts that South Sudan owes its independence to Washington, seems poised to repossess the new nation’s sovereignty. With Sudan’s uniformed warlords locked in combat, the usual American “experts” are calling for the U.S. to assume trusteeship of the country – especially its oil.

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    South Sudan: Peace, Democracy and Reconstruction Instead of War

    by Horace G. Campbell

    The dissolution of the South Sudanese military and government into rival factions puts the future of the world’s newest country in question. We must ask “whether this scenario had been planned by the forward planners in Washington who felt that they had not profited enough from the support of the SPLA since independence.”

    Who and What is “The Left”?

    by Benjamin Woods

    The “Left” resurgence in the U.S. is less than it’s cracked up to be. Not so long ago, luminaries like Bill de Blasio and Elizabeth Warren would have been, at best, referred to as liberals.” If you’re not pushing for redistribution of land and wealth and nationalization of the “commanding heights” of the economy, you’re not the real Left.

    A Moral Outrage: Albert Woodfox's 41 Years in Solitary Confinement – An interview with Rev. Dr. Patricia Teel Bates

    by Angola 3 News

    One more to go. “Albert Woodfox remains the sole Angola 3 member still in prison.” His comrade, Herman Wallace, was released in October, just a few days before dying of liver cancer. Amnesty International declared, "Herman died a free man. Let's help Albert live as one."

    Ten Examples of Welfare for the Rich and Corporations

    by Bill Quigley

    All told, pubic subsidies and props to the wealthiest Americans total in the trillions of dollars. Federal, state and local governments have become profit centers for corporations. “Each major piece of legislation contains new welfare for the rich and corporations.

    AB

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Still the syn-tactical surgeon

    With precision pen, atomic tenor,

    Suturing my severed tongue

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/13/14

    The Friends and Foes of Amiri Baraka

    Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, wants there to be no mistake: His friend and mentor Amiri Baraka, the activist/poet/public intellectual who died last week at age 79, “was a revolutionary. In the days ahead, until he’s buried, everybody is going to look back upon him with fond remembrances. But, for some of those people, if Amiri Baraka was coming down the street, they would cross to the other side.” Baraka’s funeral will be held on Saturday, in Newark.

    War on Poverty was Underfunded and Restrained

    From the very beginning of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, launched 50 years ago, “there was a push to keep the lid on new spending on anti-poverty programs – and that only got worse with the funneling of money to Vietnam,” said Alice O’Connor, professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara and author of Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy and the Poor in Twentieth Century U.S. History. Although newly created federal agencies were mandated to give the poor a voice in anti-poverty efforts, “there was pressure from the localities to keep that money out of the hands of groups that were going to challenge the status quo,” said O’Connor.

    From Many Struggles, One

    Progressive forces can achieve victory by building a “movement of movements,” said Margaret Flowers, co-author with Kevin Zeese of the article “Task of a People-Powered Movement for 2014.” Flowers and Zeese, directors of It’s Our Economy, have identified ten “fronts of struggle,” ranging from health care to jobs to peace. “Our task is to help connect these individual struggles to the broader struggle,” said Flowers.

    Worthless Democrats

    President Obama’s recent promises about combating economic inequality are meaningless rhetoric,” said Doug Henwood, editor of the Left Business Observer. “The problem is, the Democrats are now so thoroughly a Wall Street party, that they can’t do anything serious” to help poor and working people. “I expect nothing out of the Democratic Party, nationally or locally.” Real social progress will require grassroots mobilization, said Henwood.

    The Washington Post as a CIA Asset

    RootsAction.Org co-founder Norman Solomon will this week present a petition to editors of the Washington Post, demanding the newspaper inform its readers of owner Jeff Bezos’ intimate business relationship with the CIA. Bezos is also the billionaire owner of Amazon, which last year concluded a $600 million contract with the CIA. “The responsibility of the CIA is to keep secrets, and the responsibility of journalism is to expose secrets,” said Solomon. Post journalists should be worried that it become commonly known as “being in bed with the CIA.”

    Tutu Wrong About ICC, Says Herman

    Edward Herman, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, takes issue with former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu’s contention that the International Criminal Court is a force for justice in Africa. The ICC only indicts Africans, and only those Africans that are not allied with the United States, said Herman, co-author of The Politics of Genocide. “The bias has been blatant.” U.S. allies Uganda and Rwanda invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo and “killed literally millions of people,” with no response from the ICC, said Herman.

    Mumia: Support the Dallas Five

    On January 21, trial begins for five Pennsylvania inmates charged with riot and incitement stemming from a 2010 protest against violence by guards at a prison in the town of Dallas. The Dallas Five “are fighting for their lives,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, reporting for Prison Radio.

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