Decriminalizing Small Quantities of Marijuana

by Seema Sadanandan

In the nation’s capital, police are now forbidden to cite the smell of marijuana has the basis for a search. “It is the first decriminalization bill in the country to prohibit police from stopping, questioning, and searching people based on the alleged smell of marijuana alone.”

Escaping the Corporate Hip Hop Plantation: Building a Nation of Revolutionary Emcees

by Solomon Comissiong

It’s come-to-meeting time in the world of Hip Hop. “It is imperative that politically conscious and revolutionary minded Emcees of the Golden Era of Hip Hop, and of today, organize a closed-door summit.” Cultural and economic liberation should top the agenda.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/31/14

Black Preachers Say Marissa Alexander Should Cop a Plea

Calling her case a “distraction,” a group of Black ministers in Jacksonville, Florida, are urging Marissa Alexander, who has already served three years in prison for firing a gun to deter her abusive husband, to plead guilty. Prosecutor Angela Corey is threatening to put Alexander away for 60 years. Opio Sokoni, president of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said Corey and the ministers make “strange bedfellows.” “Some of these pastors are the same ones that said, not too many weeks ago, that Black people should received the death penalty in greater numbers,” said Sokoni.

Moral Mondays Move to Georgia and South Carolina

Nearly 40 people were arrested in demonstrations demanding that southern states expand Medicaid to cover more poor people, in line with Obamacare. Moral Mondays protests, which began in North Carolina, have taken root in Georgia and South Carolina. Author and activist Kevin Alexander Gray said “the poorest of the poor” are hard to organize. “That group doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to come to a protest,” he said. “They’re not thinking about a protest, they’re thinking about survival.”

Oil and Environmental Racism in Albany, NY

Huge numbers of railroad oil tanker cars are parked only feet from a poor housing project in Albany, New York, prompting fears of an explosion like the one that claimed dozens of lives in Quebec, Canada, last year. “Since the expansion of fracking in North Dakota” and elsewhere, “ports have received a lot more oil,” said Vivian Kornegay, an Albany councilwoman. “We’re talking about an environmental injustice against low income people living in a housing project,” said Kornegay. “That community hasn’t been given a voice or any consideration” in the shale oil fracking boom.

Temple University Firings Bode Ill for Black Studies

“Temple is a pivotal institution for African American Studies, and what’s happening there may be a bellwether” for other campuses, said Dr. James Turner, founding director of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. The recent firings of professors Anthony Monteiro and Muhammad Ahmed (also known as Max Stanford) provoked intense opposition in North Philadelphia’s Black community, which also blames the university for encouraging gentrification.

Obama, Deporter-in-Chief

President Obama “must be made accountable” for deporting more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history, said Jesus Iniguez, of Presente, a Latino organization that claims 300,000 members. Obama doesn’t have much time left to save his legacy, said Iniguez. “The only thing that has evolved these past six years has been more intrusive and toxic laws” targeting immigrant communities.

Afro-Colombians Displaced

“The main demand of Afro-Colombians is land,” said Charo Mina-Rojas, director of the Afro-Colombian Women’s Human Rights Defender Project. “We have been living for centuries on this ancestral land” but are often forced out by paramilitaries and government soldiers in service of multinational corporations, she said. Colombia has the largest population of internally displaced persons in the world, most of them Black.

Mumia on the Mother of All Death Sentences

In a report filed for Prison Radio from Frackville State Prison, in Pennsylvania, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal noted the 528 bulk death sentences imposed by an Egyptian court against members of the Muslim Brotherhood, “a group that has existed longer than Egypt’s government has been independent. It seems to me the war aint’ over,” said Abu Jamal.

Obama: Putin-Baiter and Preventive Detainer

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama has thrown international law into history’s dustbin, torn up the U.S. Bill of Rights, and is mapping millions for possible future detention. “One court order + one suspect number + three hops = everybody remotely involved in anti-war activity.”

Freedom Rider: America’s Aggressions Rewarded

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The United States is a military superpower in economic decline. Consequently, its foreign policy resembles that of the mafia extortionist who “offers protection when it is in fact the only threat in the neighborhood.” Old bullies do not fade away; they must be confronted. “Who will insist on punishing the United States?” – by far the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world, today.”

 

Rwanda’s Formula for Success: Murder Your Neighbors and Steal Their Wealth

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The New York Times touts Rwanda as a place of economic miracles, a country with almost no mineral resources that nevertheless plans to “leapfrog” straight to an information economy. What the Times fails to mention is that Rwanda’s relative prosperity is based on the extermination of its Congolese neighbors and the expropriation of their natural resources.

Democratic Compromises, Capitalist “Market Discipline:” The Real Reasons For Unemployment Cuts

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Those who blame evil, immoral Republicans for unemployment and food stamp cuts should take a longer, closer look at elected Democrats. Current food stamp and unemployment cuts were actually proposed by Democrats, not imposed by Republicans. The notion that elected Democrats stand for the poor is just a brand, not reality.

Latest GM Scandal is Business As Usual, But What Would a Green Jobs GM Look Like?

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

Nobody should be the least bit surprised when mining companies make their millions polluting drinking water, when energy companies make their billions destroying the climate, or when automakers ignore safety defects in their own products, figuring the deaths and injuries a normal cost of doing business.

Coming Home to Roost: American Militarism, War Culture, and Police Brutality

by Colin Jenkins

The endemic violence of a society born of genocide, slavery, misogyny and ruthless capitalism is institutionalized in modern American structures. “The equipment and machinery regularly utilized by local police forces across the US now mimics that of a war zone,” while the “violence that is perpetrated abroad mimics the violent culture at home” – an awesomely deadly cross-pollination.

Why We Are REALLY Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex In the Age of Neo-liberal Monopoly Capitalism

by Danny Haiphong

The ruling class deploys ostensible do-gooders as agents of social destruction and control. “Non-profits have played a large role in channeling revolutionaries into comfortable careers that promote liberalism and collaboration with monopoly capital.” Although outfits like Teach for America aren’t on the stock exchange, they are vastly beneficial to finance capital.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/24/14

CIA Losing Friends in Congress

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s recent denunciation of CIA spying on her Intelligence Committee “suggests that criticism of the national security state has reached such a fever pitch that even its entrenched allies in Congress are starting to peel off,” said Shahid Buttar, of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Feinstein’s committee is considering whether to release a report on CIA torture and detention programs. “It’s up to us to force the institutional actors to grapple with these issues,” said Buttar.

Omnivorous Banks Seek to Devour Detroit

Activists are encouraging Detroiters to send a bankruptcy court their formal objections to state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr’s plans to restructure the city. Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman, pastor of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and a key member of D-REM, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, said the banks are Detroit’s ultimate nemesis. “They’re eating out the city from below, at the base,” through predatory home lending, and “extracting wealth from above, as well,” through derivatives deals that bury the municipality in debt,” he said.

Booker T. Obama’s Black Bourgeois Song

The My Brother’s Keeper initiative, President Obama’s project for young Black males, is mainly concerned with “Black behavior, about the need to make good choices, the need of teenagers not to have children, to stay in school,” said historian and activist Paul Street, author of the new book They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy. “I don’t see any real call for significant resources to seriously tackle” the material conditions that afflict young Blacks, said Street. Obama’s approach resembles “the longstanding conservative Black bourgeoisie’s ‘politics of respectability’ that was trotted out to great white approval by Booker T. Washington and the early Urban League” at the start of the 20th century.

Book is “Hatchet Job” Against Carmichael/Ture

Dr. Peniel Joseph’s book on Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, leader of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, is “part of a continuing COINTELPRO and disinformation mission against Kwame Ture and our wing of the movement,” said Bob Brown, a close confident of the Black Freedom Movement activist. Brown said Joseph wrongly “condemns” Ture “for having left the country” to live in Guinea, West Africa, where he died in 1998 – although W.E.B. Dubois also left the U.S. for Ghana, where he died in 1963. Brown unsuccessfully tried to halt publication of Stokely: A Life, charging Joseph falsely claimed to have interviewed him for book.

Mumia: Hypocrisy on Venezuela

In a report for Prison Radio, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal blasted congressional supporters of “rightwing and corporate-backed forces” that are “trying to stir up a popular revolt” against the socialist government of Venezuela. Abu Jamal notes that the U.S. Congress was largely silent when police, “corporate greed and the brutality of the One Percent” shut down the Occupy Wall Street Movement in the U.S.

Cuba’s Role in African Liberation

“For Fidel Castro, the struggle against apartheid was ‘the most beautiful cause of mankind,’” said Dr. Peiro Gleijeses, professor of U.S. foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. Cuba’s early intervention in Angola’s liberation struggle, in 1975-76, allowed South African and Namibian revolutionaries to open training camps in Angola, said Gleijeses, author of Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa. He was interviewed for Your World News by host Solomon Comissiong.

U.S. Prepares to Gas Russia Into Submission

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S., now number one in oil and gas, is preparing to destroy Russia’s economy. “Washington will move to crush, or at least seriously disrupt, Russia under its ‘sanctions as war by other means’ machine, by targeting its energy exports, while simultaneously boosting the foreign markets for U.S. natural gas.”

Freedom Rider: Kwadir Felton and Cory Booker

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Kwadir Felton, one of Sen. Cory Booker’s constituents, faces 30 years in prison for allegedly assaulting the Jersey City police who shot and blinded him. But Felton can expect no constituent services from Booker. Black people demand next to nothing from their politicians. “Booker has no reason to lift a finger for this young man unless he knows he will pay a price for inaction.”

The “People's Plan” to Save Detroit

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Detroit’s voteless citizens are registering their written objections to the state-imposed financial dictator’s plans to restructure the city, in bankruptcy court. Activists say Detroit’s “deep debt is rooted in ‘misguided and racist decisions by Wall Street bankers and regional corporate elites’ – but the poor, mostly Black city is being made to pay.”

Reinstate Dr Anthony Monteiro And Reclaim Our Spirit of Resistance

by Lemah R. Bonnick

The American Studies project cannot “continue without an energetic scholarship that aims to inform a commitment to social justice,” says the author, a Black educator teaching in London. Dr. Anthony Monteiro’s battle for truth in Black scholarship reminds us that every generation must “build upon the magnificent legacy of the history of struggle waged by the African American people.”

Beyonce: Poster Woman for Black Misleadership Class Collaboration with Imperialism

by Danny Haiphong

The Black Misleadership Class comes in all genders, and cares only for itself. Beyonce has forged a putrid class alliance with Condoleezza Rice, “a war criminal responsible for the deaths of millions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.” Beyonce is a bipartisan suck-up to Power. She’s already buddies with the top Democratic imperialist, Barack Obama. 

This Week In Palestine Interviews Max Blumenthal, Author of Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

Interview by Soni Kolhatkar

Max Blumenthal used his privilege as an American Jew to conduct dozens of interviews with right wing Israeli politicians and players.  His new book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel is being ignored by the corporate media because it paints a true and terrifying picture of life under the facist ethnocracy that is Israel today.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/19/14

U.S. Guilty in Haiti Cholera Epidemic

The United States “is as responsible, if not more,” than the United Nations for the cholera outbreak in Haiti, since “it’s because of the military occupation that we have cholera,” said Dr. Jemima Pierre, professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. The U.S. backed a coup against the democratically elected government of Haiti, in 2004, and then invaded the country. “ Later, the U.S. brought in the UN “to cover this dirty work and make it legitimate,” said Dr. Pierre. UN “peacekeepers” were the vectors of the disease.

Crimea Deserves Self-Determination

Dr. John Quigley, professor of international law at Ohio State University with decades of experience in Russia and its neighbors, said Crimean “sentiment for separation” from Ukraine ”has been very strong for a very long time” and the referendum on secession was not taken “under the gun” of Russia. The U.S. and its allies claim all of Ukraine should have been allowed to vote. But, “the essence of self-determination is that a particular people” – such as the Crimeans – “has that right.”

U.S. Billions for Ukrainian Fascists, Cuts for Hungry American Children

Washington is offering $10 billion in loan guarantees to the partly-fascist government of Ukraine, while cutting $8 billion in food stamp benefits to Americans, said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). “That is literally stealing food from the mouths of children,” she said. UNAC held demonstrations in 18 cities last week, to protest U.S. support for the coup in Ukraine. “The encirclement of Russia – and China – is what it’s all about,” said Flounders.

Mumia: Police Still Spreading Anti-MOVE Propaganda

The Fraternal Order of Police has orchestrated a renewed campaign of hatred and disinformation against the MOVE organization in order to prevent imprisoned members from winning parole, said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best-known political prisoner. MOVE members convicted in the death of a policeman during a 1978 raid have served their minimum sentences and are up for parole, and many Black Philadelphians have never gotten over the 1985 police bombing of a MOVE house that killed 11 people, including five children. A recent Philadelphia Magazine article was “full of innuendo and suggestion that MOVE folks beat and attacked their children,” said Abu Jamal – a ploy designed to focus public anger on MOVE rather than the police who actually killed so many children.

Monteiro Supporters Blast Temple University and Molefi Asante

Hundreds of community, student and labor activists demanded reinstatement with tenure for Dr. Anthony Monteiro, an associate professor in the African American Studies Department. “I’m troubled by the fact that all of the people who understand what justice looks like are out here,” instead of in Sullivan Hall, where the university’s board of trustees was meeting, said Henry Nicholas, president of Local 1199C of the Hospital and Health Care Employees Union. Anti-hunger activist Sacaree Rhodes led a few dozen demonstrations into the building, where Temple’s president confirmed that Dr. Molefi Asante, chairman of African American Studies, had collaborated in terminating Monteiro’s contract. Dr. Monteiro told the crowd: “If you are telling me that you can have a department of African American studies without teaching the radical tradition, and the traditions of socialism,” then “you are telling me that you want a department built on a lie.”

Reinistate Dr. Anthony Monteiro, and Reinvent U.S. Higher Education

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It’s not so easy to fire an associate professor of African American Studies who has forged strong ties with the surround Black community. Philadelphia’s Temple University is finding that out, in the case of Dr. Tony Monteiro. Protesters converged on campus, this week, and their anger was directed as much at “Afro-centrist” Prof. Molefi Asante as at Teresa Soufas, the Dean of Liberal Arts who fired Monteiro.

 

Freedom Rider: Propaganda

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

One of the reasons the U.S. government is such a danger to world peace, is U.S. “public acceptance and approval of nearly every crime committed by our government.” Americans pretend to believe in due process of law, but are quick to condemn to death any foreign leader that gets on the wrong side of the U.S. propaganda machine.

In the Adegbile Affair, at Least, Obama More Honorable than Bill Clinton

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee, politically. However, Obama has behaved more honorably to his doomed nominee for civil rights chief than did Clinton, a generation ago.

Obama Ticket Prices and the Invisible Ruling Class

by Paul Street

Frederick Harris’ very useful book on the “high price” – to Black folks – of the nation’s First Black President has been reissued in paperback. However, Harris gives Obama too much credit as a president of all the people. “Like the great majority of U.S. presidents,” writes Paul Street, “Obama has been first and foremost a representative of the American white ruling class.”

Ukraine and the Pathology of the Liberal Worldview: An African American Perspective

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The U.S. supported far-right forces in Ukraine against what they called the “dictatorship” of the elected president. But, “there was no outcry against the governor of Michigan when he engineered the passage of anti-democratic legislation that allowed him to impose a one-person dictatorial regime over the people of Detroit.” The contradiction is “rooted in the disease of white supremacy.”

Obama sides with the UN against Haiti in the cholera case

Èzili Dantò

The United States, which overthrew Haiti’s democracy ten years ago and then engineered the United Nations occupation of the country, now argues in court that the UN should enjoy impunity for inflicting Haiti with cholera.” The move was totally predictable. “It’s naive and silly to think that the U.S. would not block lawsuits brought against its imperial policies and their deadly consequences.”

 

The Case Against Bill Bratton

by Josmar Trujillo

If Bill de Blasio is really a progressive, why did he bring back the architect of Stop-and-Frisk as his police commissioner? When it comes to aggressive policing gospel Bratton is the “pastor of the flock.” Bratton seems the least qualified to make the changes that are “desperately needed to relieve communities of color living in what many see as a racialized police state.”

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