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Beyond the Spin, Some Facts About the Affordable Care Act

by Margaret Flowers, MD

President Obama’s market-based health care plan got off to a very shaky start, but the entire developed world already knows that private markets cannot deliver quality health care for all. “A single payer health system, also called Medicare for all, would both resolve the fundamental failings of our current system and is the solution favored by most Americans.”

The Fallacy of Racial Kinship Politics

by Pascal Robert

Every “brother” ain’t a brother – and that goes for the sisters, too. “The ultimate idiocy of racial kinship politics is that it empowers an elite Black Misleadership Class that protects its own class interests to the detriment of the majority of the Black masses.”

Confronting Columbus: Revisionism Versus Reality

by Colin Jenkins

The year 1492 marks the beginning of by far the greatest genocide in human history, and the inauguration of a global system of slavery. “The perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are magically transformed from conquerors to ‘explorers,’ from murderers to ‘adventurers,’ and from slave masters to ‘patriots’ and ‘founding fathers.’"

Steve Biko and the Quest for Black Power Today

by Veli

Next April 27 marks the 20th anniversary of the first majority rule elections in South Africa. Many will be wondering what all the celebration is about, and what martyred Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko’s guidance would be. “We must locate Biko in the struggle against the state under the ANC, which has adopted an increasingly anti-black stance, in pursuance of its neo-liberal agenda.”

My Wise Country Cousin on the Shutdown

by Raymond Nat Turner

For “po an’ wurkin’ folk,” the real shutdown begins when the two corporate parties come together for the Grand Bargain Feast.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 10/14/13

Cancel Detroit’s Debt

Predatory bank lending policies destroyed the tax base of Detroit, and now these same Wall Street institutions want to confiscate the city’s public assets through forced bankruptcy. The debt should be cancelled, said Abayomi Azikiwe, an organizer of the First International People’s Assembly Against Banks and Against Austerity, held in Detroit last week. “It’s illegitimate. It’s based on the systematic destruction of the city,” said Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. “We believe that people in other cities have to adopt a similar strategy.”

Leave Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Alone

Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP chief Ben Jealous and broadcaster Tom Joyner should halt their attacks on scholar/activist Cornel West and broadcaster Tavis Smiley, said Rev. Anthony Evans, director of the National Black Church Initiative. “Take your hands off these brothers. They are defending the integrity and worthiness of the Black community,” said Evans. Prominent Obama supporters, he said, have told the White House: “You don’t have to worry about Black folks getting out of line; we will keep them in line for you.”

A Socialist Win in Minneapolis?

Even the corporate media admit that Socialist Alternative candidate Ty Moore has a chance of winning a seat on the city council, this November. “If we win this race, it’s not because a majority of working class residents of Ward 9, South Minneapolis, are socialists, but because they are angry at the system and they see that the people who are running this city are clearly sided with the rich and big business,” said Moore. “Our organization has built roots in this community, by fighting back.” Another Socialist Alternative city council candidate is running well in Seattle.

UN Sued Over Haiti Cholera

The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti filed suit in federal court, demanding the United Nations take responsibility for the cholera epidemic that has killed at least 8,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. The world body claims it is immune from legal action, although it is widely accepted that UN ‘peacekeepers’ were the nexus of the disease. “The UN’s refusal to accept the rule of law in this case obviously undermines its ability to promote the rule of law, elsewhere,” said Institute director Brian Concannon. He notes that the UN, which claims lack of funds to eradicate cholera in Haiti, spent $500 million last year for ‘peacekeeping’ soldiers “in a country that has not had a recognized war in our lifetime.”

US Finances Congo Carnage

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni told a UN Security Council delegation that bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo is not their responsibility. Maurice Carney, of Washington-based Friends of Congo, agrees. “Kagame and Museveni can never be responsible for peace,” said Carney. “What they can be responsible for is stopping the war of aggression that they have been waging against the Congolese people, with U.S. financial and military support and training, and U.S. diplomatic and political cover.” Rwanda and Uganda invaded the mineral-rich eastern region of the Congo 17 years ago, resulting in the deaths of six million people – and counting.

Demonizing Assad

American peace activists recently returned from a visit to Syria, where they met with President Bashir Al-Assad. Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center, said it was important to counter U.S. government and media attempts to “demonize” the Syrian leader, as an excuse for arming thousands of jihadist “rebels.” “It was Syria that proposed making the whole region into a nuclear-free and chemical-free weapons zone,” said Flounders. “It was the U.S. who refused.”

China as U.S. Banker

Washington is “pivoting” to confront China militarily in Asia, while at the same time Beijing holds the largest share of Washington’s huge foreign debt. “It is quite ironic that the United States is seeking to escalate tensions with its bankers,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. “I’m not sure that’s a sound strategy. With an impending debt default,” said Horne, the dollar “as the principal world reserve currency comes into question.”

Philadelphia Declaration: War = Poverty

Grassroots activists held a Conference to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. “Our declaration of the rights of our people must demand an end to war, threats of war, and preparations for war,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University. “You cannot answer the pressing social problems of this country, uppermost being poverty, without dismantling the warfare state,” he told the gathering at Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate.

Herman Wallace: A Free Man

Mumia Abu Jamal, a former Black Panther and the country’s best known political prisoner, saluted Herman Wallace, who was released from prison after 41 years of solitary confinement, earlier this month, only to die two days later of liver cancer. Wallace and two other inmates established a Black Panther Party chapter at Louisiana’s infamous Angola Prison. “He remained a soldier for the people and an opponent to the system,” said Abu Jamal. “Herman Wall truly died free.”

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Wall Street Bets a Quadrillion of Everybody Else’s Money

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Americans are driven to panic at the prospect of a technical federal default, later this month – an event that could cost the public treasury billions. But Wall Street’s quadrillion dollar gambling obsession actually does threaten to bring down the whole system. “The Lords of Capital are pure gamblers who have transformed the global financial marketplace into a machinery of perpetual uncertainty.”

Freedom Rider: Aaron Alexis, Miriam Carey and John Constantino

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The recent, strange and very public deaths of three Black people in the nation’s capital have spawned silly and useless conspiracy theories. The real conspiracies against African Americans are writ much larger: the forced bankruptcy of Detroit, school charterization and mass Black incarceration.

Lynne Stewart: The People’s “First Responder”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The rich have unlimited capital and all the resources of the State, which they control. “The poor and oppressed have only themselves – and a few precious ‘first responders’ of our own, like Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer.” Lynne Stewart celebrated her 74th birthday on October 8.

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The Bi-Partisan Disappearance of Race and Class

by Ajamu Baraka

The ruling elites in both parties are bent on reducing the power and living standards of labor and increasing the dominance of Wall Street. Pervasive racism makes their job that much easier. “We are not going to be able to reverse the four-decade-long assault on the working class if we don’t confront and overcome the influences of white supremacist ideology.”

The Radicalization of Ray Richardson: Suspicion Still Surrounds Death of Black Activist TV Producer

by Jeffrey B. Perry and Charles V. Richardson

In January, 1971, the young producer of Boston public television’s groundbreaking program Say Brother, was found dead in a Mexican resort, along with his fiancé. Ray Richardson was the grandson of Harlem radical Hubert Harrison. The cause was listed as drowning but, as in this year’s death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, in Mexico, questions still linger.

Haiti, Antihaitianismo, and the Dominican Republic

by Peter Hudson

A Dominican Republic court has moved to strip as many as a quarter million Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship rights. The ruling “formalizes a process of exclusion, racism, and harassment that had already construed Dominicans of Haitian descent as second-class citizens in their own country while marginalizing Haitian immigrants.”

Ethiopia’s 10 Million Human Tsunami

by Thomas C. Mountain

Most of the millions of Ethiopians forced into the global limbo of displacement are Oromo or ethnic Somali from the Ogaden, victims of the Ethiopian regime’s genocidal policies. During the recent devastating drought, “all of Oromia and the Ogaden affected by this catastrophe were prevented from receiving food and medical aid by the Ethiopian regime” – one of Washington’s closest allies in Africa.

We Must Open Our Eyes to America’s Political Prisoners

by Danny Pforte

The United States, with by far the largest prison population in the world, denies that it holds even one person for political reasons. In reality, the very size and ferocity of the American Gulag sends a clear political message to all: “challenging the US imperial order, or merely being disruptive to the dictates of private property, can lead to human disappearance.”

Common again…

by Raymond Nat Turner

Making perpetual war,

Disposable killing machines

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