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    From 'Old Detroit' to Delta City: RoboCop's Dystopia in Detroit

    by Sean Posey

    In the future as depicted in the RoboCop movies, Detroit’s people struggle against the tyranny of corporate rule. That future is about to arrive, way ahead of schedule, as wealthy predators scheme to build a new city in Detroit’s downtown and waterfront, a “free market utopia, ideal for corporate growth.”

    Blood on their Hands, Blood in their Mouths: Corporate Media Collaborators in Mass Murder

    by Solomon Comissiong

    The ideological spectrum of U.S. corporate media is so narrow, the light of truth seldom penetrates. All are “politically right of center, however, some, like Fox ‘News,’ blatantly promote themselves as further right than the rest.” Their collective criminality presents a unique danger to humanity at large.

    Social Work – An Institution of the Western Capitalist Empire

    by Danny Haiphong

    Most social workers want to do good in the world, but wind up managing the mess created by the ruling classes. “Social workers are hired by the state and/or ‘non-profit’ private enterprises to stabilize capitalist exploitation.”

    Sold Singers

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    BABY, PLEASE GO VOTE

    The battle is no longer in the streets

    BABY, PLEASE GO VOTE

    Now, we fightin’ for those leather seats

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/16/13

    Newark Rallies for Mandela

    “We marched because we wanted to highlight the revolutionary dimension of his personality, rather than an anemic and eviscerated Mandela,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of POP, the People’s Organization for Progress, following a demonstration in downtown Newark, New Jersey, last week, in honor of the deceased South African leader. “Believe it or not,” said Hamm, “there are still people who don’t know about Mandela.” Founded in 1983, POP’s first buttons demanded “Free Nelson Mandela!”

    America’s Mostly War Budget

    Peace and social justice activists gathered on Capitol Hill to mark International Human Rights Day and demand that Congress reject a budget that allocates more than 50 percent of resources to war-making. David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.Org, noted that some lawmakers were away in South Africa. “You can’t celebrate nonviolence and then come back and dump over 50 percent of your money into so-called ‘defense,’” said Swanson. “It’s offensive, in every sense of the word.”

    De Blasio Picks Giuliani “Retread” for Top Cop

    According to Stop Stop-and-Frisk activist Carl Dix, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton as his police commissioner is designed to send a message: “Guess what? There will still be two cities, and the city that I represent, the city of the power brokers, of the elite, of the capitalist class, will continue to clamp down on the rest of you.” Bratton deployed the much-feared street crime units under law and order mayor Rudy Giuliani in the mid-Nineties.

    Slavery + Genocide + Vast Theft = Capitalist Genesis

    “The capitalist state was an imperialist state from its inception,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, at the party’s 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida. The wealth necessary to launch capitalism was accumulated through slavery, extermination and land theft. “Our material condition has its origin in the attack on Africa,” said Yeshitela.

    Obama Mouth Runs Amok with Double-Talk

    Rhetorically speaking, President Obama has once again positioned himself as a “populist,” declaring that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” “Obama is quite practiced in double-talk,” said Paul Street, historian and author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “As if he hasn’t been attacking Social Security and Medicare; as if he hasn’t pushed deficit reduction, in some ways, even more dramatically than the Republicans have.”

    Lynne Stewart “Home for the Holidays” Campaign

    Federal prison officials pretend that people’s lawyer and political prisoner Lynne Stewart, who suffers from Stage Four breast cancer, “is getting better, but she is not,” said her husband and fellow activist Ralph Poynter. Supporters should sign a petition asking the Bureau of Prisons, President Obama and Attorney General Holder to grant Stewart compassionate release from prison in time for the holidays. The administration is “stalling and stonewalling, and the clock is running out,” said Poynter.

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    Freedom Rider: Talking About Mandela

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Nelson Mandela belongs to history now. We should be able to look at his whole life, his whole record in perspective. That perspective ought to include who is praising Nelson Mandela nowadays and why.

    From the Bullet to the Ballot: An Unfavorable Review of a Work on the Black Panther Party

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Historians are supposed to help us make sense of the world, by illuminating the forces and trends that shape the lives and destinies of ordinary people. But historians in the service of power do something else. Whether carelessly or carefully, they omit and distort to come up with histories that justify today's establishment as the inheritors of a noble tradition of struggle on the part of ordinary people. It's time for more people's histories of our movement, and of the historic Black Panther Party. Regrettably, this is not one of them.

    Reconciliation is Not Decolonization

    by BAR columnist Jemima Pierre

    Nelson Mandela certainly led an inspirational life, but the “liberation” of South Africa has been the continent’s most spectacular failure. Mandela and his party “reneged on their own Freedom Charter which promised that land, the national mineral wealth, the banking systems, as well as all other industry and trade be nationalized and used to the benefit of South Africa’s majority.”

    Nelson Mandela, The Contradictions Of His Life And Legacies

    by Anthony Monteiro

    Nelson Mandela lived a long life, with 3 careers, one before he was locked up, another while in prison, and a third after his 1990 release. Dr. Anthony Monteiro reflects upon the life, the lessons and the legacies of Nelson Mandela.

    Eyewitness to America Betraying Mandela's South Africa: The Gore - Mbeki Commission

    by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Nelson Mandela's ANC leadership negotiated the form of the new South Africa on two tracks, the political wrangling in one set of meetings, & the decisions on the nation's economic future separately at another location, headed by Thabo Mbeki. The results were predictable, as Miriam Makeba said: "We got the flag, but they got to keep the money."

    The Need for an Ethical and Political De-Colonization of Human Rights: A Reflection on International Human Rights Day

    By Ajamu Baraka

    Can human rights rhetoric be deployed in the service of empire? You bet. In the current state of the planet, asserting human rights without fighting for local and global transformation is at best hollow, and at worst hypocritical, because the principal violators of these rights are global and transnational economic and social systems.

    The Souls of Black Boys

    By Sikivu Hutchinson

    Black males are now down to about 1% of current UCLA freshmen. It's neoliberal California, where black boys are destined for marginal labor if they're lucky or pipelined to prison if they're not. Still, community activists in Los Angeles are fighting back, trying to nurture and prepare the next generation of black organizers, scholars and intellectuals.

    Two Parties, One Game: Barack Obama's War on the Poor

    by Pascal Robert

    Enabled by the progressive chorus which barks furiously at evil racist obstructionist Republicans but ignores Democrats enforcing austerity on the poor, President Barack Obama has carried on the proud Democratic party tradition of campaigning to the left, but governing from the right, imposing neoliberal policies that Republicans could only dream of.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/9/13

    Kevin Alexander Gray, South Carolina Activist and author, Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics, on Michelle Obama’s new portfolio as White House encourager-in-chief for college education.

    Dr. Margaret Flowers, It’s Our Economy, on Obamacare, and the “Progressive” Democrats that support this boondoggle for the insurance industry, pretending it’s a step towards single payer health care.

    Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies, Temple University, on the false narrative that depicts all of Black history as a kind of prelude to the election of Barack Obama.

    Mumia Abu Jamal, political prisoner and journalist, on the wolves that have gathered to feast on Detroit, confiscating retirees pension funds “like vampires at an old folks home.”

    Yafet Welde, activist with Toronto’s Black Action Defense Committee and plaintiff in one of two class action suits against police racial profiling, on the bigoted underbelly of Canada.

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    Obama & Holder Win Court Case, Keep Thousands in Prison Under Unfair 80s Crack Sentencing Laws

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

    Who's opposed to mass incarceration and the prison state, and who is faking the funk? Our president and attorney general, who talk on one side of the issue and act on the other side? Our traditional civil rights outfits like the NAACP-LDF who won't speak against the nation's chief jailers as long as they have black faces?

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    Detroit on the Auction Block

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    With startling speed, a bankruptcy judge has moved Detroit to the auction block, with the banksters pre-positioned to pick the bones of the Black metropolis. Racism makes Wall Street’s mission infinitely easier. “Detroit is the golden opportunity to shape anti-democratic legal precedents that can be applied, nationwide, with the least resistance from the white American public.”

    Freedom Rider: Blaming Black People in Detroit

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Detroit has been delivered to the bankruptcy vultures, with a foreign bank first in line to scavenge the carcass. Yet, corporate media and white public opinion appear to consider the catastrophe to be the fault of Black “shiftless bums who must pay a price for just about anything that the reptile racist brain can imagine.”

    Caribbean Nations Outraged at Dominican Racism

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The Dominican Republic, which defines itself in opposition to Haiti, has enraged its Caribbean neighbors by preparing to deport a quarter million residents of Haitian descent. Dominican racial views are well known. “They are perpetually resentful that the deep Black presence of Haiti is always there to remind them of their own indelible African origins.”

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    Unemployment Drops Mostly Because People Stop Looking: The New Normal in the Age of Black Political Empowerment

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

    Black unemployment at twice the levels of white unemployment is the old old normal. Black politicians not bothering to fight for reductions in black unemployment has now become the old normal. And the new normal, in this the age of black political empowerment, is tiny drops in unemployment driven in substantial part by large numbers of folks giving up the job search. Welcome to the new normal in unemployment.

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    Deleting Corporate Power: Dominant Media’s Superficial Coverage of Problems with Obamacare

    by Paul Street

    Corporate media criticism of ObamaCare is mainly limited to the failures of its website. But the whole machinery has been rotten from its conception in a right-wing think tank. ObamaCare “is dedicated to a vision of ‘change’ that leaves the corporate and financial oligarchy free to extort massive profits.” It is working quite well for the insurance giants, whose stocks are up by 200%-300%.

    Desmond Tutu on the International Criminal Court

    by Edward S. Herman

    Desmond Tutu’s defense of the International Criminal Court ignores the ICC’s record as an annex of white imperial power. The former South African archbishop defends the ICC’s selective prosecution of Africans and those who anger the western powers. In truth, the “ICC may have black representatives, but it is not a black court in its ultimate power and it does not represent the ‘interests of the [black] people.’”

    Tribunal Issues Landmark Verdict against Israel for Genocide

    by Yoichi Shimatsu

    Genocide is not only an ongoing policy of Israel, but is embedded in the institutions and history of the Zionist State, according to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal. The verdict provides “a lawful alternative to the current response of so-called humanitarian intervention, invasion, occupation and regime change” promoted by the U.S. and its allies, who are also complicit in Israel’s crimes.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/2/13

    LA Schools Overrun by Cops

    The Los Angeles Unified School District is among the most heavily policed in the nation, with Black students 29 times more likely than white students to be charged with disturbing the peace. “Are they trying to set students up for success and education, or are they trying to set them up to go to prison?” asked Ashley Franklin, an organizer with the Labor Community Strategy Center and one of the authors of a report titled “Black, Brown and Over-Policed in LA Schools.” Despite the heavy hand of the law, students have organized throughout the district. “Our youth have read their history and they’re fighting back,” said Franklin.

    Charter Schools Increase Segregation

    Studies show the spread of charter schools exacerbates economic and racial segregation, said Stan Karp, of New Jersey’s Education Law Center. “Systematically, if you look at the demographics of the charter experiment, this is where you’re finding the increase in segregation, higher attrition rates, and the different populations that are being served,” said Karp, author of the recent Rethinking Schools article “How Charter Schools are Undermining Public Education.” The privatizers are deceiving inner city parents. “Investors and business interests have been able to attach their agenda for market reform in education to the urgent needs of communities that have not been well served by the existing system.”

    African People’s Socialist Party Holds 6th Congress

    The struggles – and defeats – of the Sixties must be put in context in order to chart a course towards liberation in the future, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, which holds its 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida, December 7 – 11. “We had a movement that was crushed” by state repression and assassinations, and “we’re seeing the consequences of that defeat” in the corrupt Black leadership that has emerged over the past 40-plus years. “Occasional spontaneous outbreaks” of protest after incidents like the Trayvon Martin killing cannot “substitute for real revolutionary work,” said Yeshitela.

    Mumia: Where is Justice for the Living?

    Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, who is serving a life term in the 1981 death of a Philadelphia policeman, noted that the State of Alabama recently granted posthumous pardons to the 9 Scottsboro Boys, convicted in a 1931 “rape that never happened.” Meanwhile, the four Black women and five men of the Move 9 are in the 35th year of prison sentences in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. “In 2058, will a future governor declare them pardoned, and grant them symbolic justice?” asked Abu Jamal, with deep sarcasm. “Justice delayed is still justice denied.”

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    Lynching as a Misdemeanor

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Four white San Jose State University students who assaulted a Black teenager for nearly two months have been charged only with misdemeanors, when their crimes actually constitute “felonious battery, terroristic threats, and kidnapping.” The corporate media portrayed the “racist assaults and threats of lynching as nothing more than white rites of adolescent passage” – like “hazing” and “bullying.”

    "A More Perfect Union": Historian Henry Louis Gates Mangles, Obscures Black History

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

    Establishment historians are whores, dedicated to presenting the past as inevitably leading to and justifying the present. Henry Louis Gates is the dean black of establishment historians, so the closer his his six part PBS series, Many Rivers To Cross came to the present, the less enlightening and informative it had to be. In its final installment, Skip Gates has lived up, or more accurately down to this challenge.

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    Freedom Rider: The Good, Bad Deal for Iran

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The U.S. acts as if its being magnanimous in coming to a nuclear agreement with Iran, but Washington offered Iran “only $7 billion in sanctions relief when American and European banks still hold more than $100 billion in assets.” President Obama is stealing Iran blind and continues to claim the “right” to attack the country in the future. “It is in fact a slap in the face to Iran.”

    Giving Thanks For Our Whistleblowers, Our Leakers, Our Old and New Maroons

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

    In these United State, built with stolen labor upon stolen land what do we legitimately possess that we can be thankful for? Our tradition of resistance to unjust authority, today carried out by our selfless and courageous whistleblowers and leakers, in the tradition of our maroons.

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    Obama’s Ludicrous Afghanistan Declarations

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    President Obama thinks he can make war appear to be peace with a wave of “his semantic magic wand.” U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including elite killer teams, are to be redefined as mere “advisors” to Afghan forces so that America’s “combat” role can be declared ended – to be followed by ten more years of mass killing and occupation.

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    Class and the Politics of the Black Community in the Obama Age

    by Pascal Robert

    The collective subjugation of African Americans is made easier through the collaboration of its Misleadership Class, which purports to speak for The Race as a whole while following its own, venal agenda. A great irony of the Age of Obama is that “both the Black poor and the Black elite have been left with nothing but ‘Yes We Can’ buttons and worthless empty symbolism.”

    The End of American Thanksgivings: A Cause for Universal Rejoicing

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “The Thanksgiving story is an absolution of the Pilgrims, whose brutal quest for absolute power in the New World is made to seem both religiously motivated and eminently human…. The Mayflower's cultural heirs are programmed to find glory in their own depravity, and savagery in their most helpless victims, who can only redeem themselves by accepting the inherent goodness of white Americans.”

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