People's Benchmarks, People's Sovereignty: New Jersey’s Occupied School Districts

Submitted by Seth Sandronsky on Tue, 02/18/2014 - 12:51

by Michelle Renee Matisons and Seth Sandronsky

New Jersey pioneered the practice of abolishing democracy in education through state takeovers of mostly minority school districts. “Not only was New Jersey the first U.S. state to implement school district takeover, it has some of the longest occupied districts in the nation.”  

Thinking for Ourselves About Venezuela

Submitted by Netfa Freeman on Tue, 02/18/2014 - 11:45

by Netfa Freeman

The U.S. thinks it has found a formula for regime change, beginning with destabilization from within. Venezuela’s democratically elected government has long been a target. “Over the last decade or so we have seen this strategy attempted in Zimbabwe, Libya, Iran, and Syria.”

Letter from San Quentin Death Row: Fighting The Oppressor

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 02/18/2014 - 10:50

by Kevin Cooper

Hunger strikes and other acts of rebellion convey images of prison as a place of defiance. But a large proportion of the inmate population “refuse to even raise an ink pen to write about the oppressor and this oppressive system of death that has us all imprisoned, and is trying to execute us.” Instead, they fight each other.

My Wise Country Cousin: On the 2/4 Dance…

Submitted by Raymond Nat Turner on Tue, 02/18/2014 - 10:20

by Raymond Nat Turner

Ebry 2-4 yrs Negroz gettin’ played fo’ de fool

White Shooter Beats Murder Charge in Death of Black Florida Youth

A Jacksonville, Florida, jury deadlocked on murder charges against 47 year-old Michael Dunn, in the killing of 17 year-old Jordan Davis. The jury of ten whites and 2 Black women found Dunn guilty of the lesser charge of conspiracy to murder Davis and his three companions. “It was ill will, it was hatred, it was spite, it was an evil intent, it was indifference to human life,” said Aleta Alston-Toure, of the New Jim Crow Movement, who closely followed the trial.

Remember Trayvon

February 26 marks two years since George Zimmerman snuffed out the life of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, says activists in cities across the country will hold a “Day of Outrage and Remembrance.” “It’s been two years, but what was at issue in the murder of Trayvon Martin is still very much with us: Do Black youth have to go through their lives with a target on their backs?”

American Criminal Injustice System

A recent survey by the Emerson College Polling Society, of Boston, found that 69 percent of African Americans believe the U.S. criminal justice system is biased against minorities. Only 28 percent of whites feel that way, said Felix Chen, the poll’s chief analyst. “Clearly, people from different racial groups view justice and equality very differently” in the United States, said Chen.

Supporters Rally to Dr. Antony Monteiro

“This is nothing less than a retaliatory and revenge firing,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, whose contract as a professor of African American Studies was not renewed under the orders of Temple University dean of liberal arts Teresa Soufas. “It is her getting back at me for standing up to her bullying and pointing fingers at Black men; her authoritarian attempt to take over the African American Studies department; and my taking the struggle for the life and integrity of our department to the Black community, to whom we are ultimately accountable,” said Monteiro, at a press conference at the Philadelphia headquarters of the Hospital Workers Union.

Dr. Monteiro’s supporters took their turns at the mic. “Because you took advantage of his history, his skills and his vision for the African American Studies department, doesn’t mean that he’s going to be your ‘yes man,’” said State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, who represents North Philadelphia.

In a telephone interview, Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary, described Dr. Monteiro as “one of our grand intellectual freedom fighters, who works in the tradition of W.E.B. Dubois and C.L.R. James. I’m in his corner 120 percent,” said Dr. West. “I’m so glad to see both his students, as well as the community, rise up and support Dr. Monteiro.”

Mumia: The South Won the Civil War

The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, sent an audio lecture to Dr. Johanna Fernandez’s history class at Baruch College, in New York City. The subject was post-Civil War Reconstruction. “Because the U.S. government ceded the issue of state’s rights, or local power and control, for all intents and purposes the South won the war to treat Black people as slaves in everything but name,” said Mumia, in a Prison Radio-produced recording. “It would take a century to rebuild movements of the 1960s for voting rights, for so-called freedom. The South had won the war, politically, which they lost on the fields of Gettysburg.”

Cuba Shed Its Blood, Took Nothing from Africa

More than two thousand Cuban soldiers died defending Angola against the army of apartheid South Africa, said Cuba’s ambassador to the United Nations at a tribute to Nelson Mandela at New York City’s historic Riverside Church. Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez, who was himself wounded in the fighting, said: “We never took any natural resources. We never took any salary, because in no way were we to be perceived to be mercenaries or on any kind of military adventure.” The Cuban volunteers made their sacrifices in solidarity with Africa, “taking into account the important role that Cubans of African descent took in the establishment of the Cuban nation and the fight for our independence.”

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Freedom Charter is Key to New Struggle for South Africa

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 02/12/2014 - 16:27

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Marikana was the great shock to the national consciousness, and Mandela’s death brought a final end to the pretense of social transformation.” In the transition from apartheid, the ruling African National Congress chose Black capitalism and neoliberalism. But, trade unionists plan to create a workers party that will fight for implementation of the Freedom Charter – and socialism.

Freedom Rider: Boycott America, Not Russia

Submitted by Margaret Kimberley on Wed, 02/12/2014 - 10:16

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

President Obama’s personal boycott of the Winter Olympics is the height of hypocrisy. Washington provides arms, aid and diplomatic protection to some of the most homophobic regimes on earth. “There are at least ten nations considered American allies that have anti-gay laws far more harsh than Russia’s.”

Reinstate Anthony Monteiro – Shun and Denounce the Betrayer, Molefi Asante

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 22:20

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Only months after community and student activists saved Temple University’s African American Studies department and Dr. Molefi Asante’s job, chairman Asante has collaborated in the firing of his colleague, Dr. Anthony Monteiro. “Dr. Asante may have earned the gratitude of his masters at Temple University, but his tenure as a person of respect in Black America, is over.” He is beneath contempt.

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Gangster Corporate Contract for Takeover of Detroit

Submitted by Tom Stephens on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 15:06

by Thomas Stephens

Wall Street, corporate Republicans and Democrats and the lawyers that serve them have structured a contract that guarantees “a realigned, restructured, pillaged, decapitated and misruled” Detroit. The document, newly revealed in these pages, is a template for subjugation of urban America.

We Have an Anti-imperialist Obligation to the People of Haiti

Submitted by Ajamu Nangwaya on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 13:42

by Ajamu Nangwaya

The arc of justice is made to bend through solidarity with the oppressed. Solidarity with Haiti means fighting for an end to “the cycle of Western military interventions, coups and/or propping up of anti-democratic, anti-people regimes; and an end to the local elite’s and foreign capital’s exploitation of the people.”

The Absurdity of Post-Racial Theory in Racist America

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 12:42

by Danny Haiphong

The very suggestion that the U.S. has entered a “post-racial” era, represents a racist assault. “The Commander in Chief and Attorney General may not have white skin, but their policies in relation to mass imprisonment and the economy have exceeded expectations for the white imperial ruling class for whom they ultimately work.”

Treme Rewrites Post-Katrina History. And That’s a Good Thing.

Submitted by Jordan Flaherty on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 12:09

by Jordan Flaherty

The HBO show Treme has joined the television ancestors. History will decide the series’ ultimate significance – a verdict that cannot be left to the ratings, which are incapable of gauging shows about “race and racism, about Black culture in our cities, and the displacement of that culture by gentrification and class warfare.”

12th Man

Submitted by Raymond Nat Turner on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 11:14

by Raymond Nat Turner

Where’s The 12th Man

All 137.6 decibels—

For Mumia and Maroon?

Obama Warps Black American Politics

“Something has gone terribly wrong with African Americans under Barack Obama’s presidency, said former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. In Switzerland, recently, said McKinney, “diaspora Congolese asked me point-blank: ‘What’s wrong with Black people in the United States, that they are allowing this genocide in Congo to take place without saying a word?’” The 2008 Green Party presidential candidate described current Black American indifference to issues of peace and war an historical “aberration.”

U.S. Empire of Global Destruction

Since 9/11, U.S. foreign policy has been dedicated to the “destruction of states,” said Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign, and author of Destroying Libya and World Order. In Syria, “the agenda is more than regime change; it is to destroy Syria as a state, along the lines of what the U.S. has already done to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Somalia,” said Dr. Boyle.

Socialism Can Feed the World

The planet is capable of feeding all of its people, but not under capitalist relations of production, said Arun Gupta, a contributor to Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. Gupta, a co-founder of The Indypendent and the Occupied Wall Street Journal, advocates the spread of urban and smaller scale agriculture. “We have to get back to making local food systems primary, and then supplement it with larger scale production” where necessary.

Bratton-de Blasio: Odd Couple?

Robert Gangi, director of the Urban Justice Center’s Police Reform Organizing Project, is “encouraged” by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision not to appeal a federal court ruling on stop-and-frisk, and his appointment of a Deputy Commissioner for Collaborative Policing. Nevertheless, said Gangi, “we need to be vigilant that these steps are not window dressing.” However, the mayor’s recycling of Police Commissioner William Bratton is indefensible, said New Yorkers Against Bratton spokesman Josmar Trujillo. Bratton is “widely credited with being the Godfather of stop-and-frisk” and “already has blood on his hands” from his tour as commissioner in the Nineties, said Trujillo. With his Bratton appointment, de Blasio is attempting to “put a progressive sheen on a very right-wing vision.”

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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It is the general consensus among white people that Detroit’s problem is, too many Blacks. Michigan’s governor has a solution: flood the city with upscale green card holders. “An infusion of global migrants would enable Detroit’s corporate masters to market the metropolis as a ‘cosmopolitan’ urban cocktail, as opposed to the nation’s largest ‘Chocolate City.’”

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