Obama and His Head-Chopping Friends

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Choose your head-chopper. Obama favors the Saudis, the world’s leading beheaders, and rails against ISIS, the wayward spawn of decades of U.S.-Saudi collaboration. The U.S. would prefer that ISIS confine itself to chopping off Syrian heads, but “ISIS has even bigger plans for regime change in the Arab world.”

 
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CODE BLACK: Murder, Mass Incarceration, Militarization and Genocide in Progress

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends

America has escalated to Code Black, signifying “the occupier's terror campaign against blacks and browns.” Legally speaking, the tripwires to genocide have already been sprung. We demand that this president “declare a permanent cease-fire in all hostilities toward African-American communities including the withdrawal of all military personnel and equipment from urban centers.

Terrorism, COINTELPRO, and the Black Panther Party – An interview with law professor Angela A. Allen-Bell

by Angola 3 News

A noted law professor argues that the U.S. government engaged in terror in its suppression of the Black Panther Party. The Panthers, on the other hand, sought to safeguard the public from the police. “Years removed, we still find ourselves in need of such intermediaries. If their work had not been cut short, would we find ourselves better off?”

Communicative Capitalism and the Limits of Social Media Activism

A speech by Jodi Dean

How do “democratic” social media capture our communication and turn it into the private property of billionaires? How do social media reinforce neoliberal capiltalsm by de-politicizing us, by convincing us that our online entertainment practices are really political activism? Why is too much dependence on hashtag activism a dead end? Revolution? Is there really an app for that? Should there be?

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Assata: A Biography – A Review and Quotes

by Carlos Martinez

Good news: Assata Shakur’s autobiography has been republished. The former Black Panther and escaped political prisoner with a $2 million bounty on her head speaks to us from exile in Cuba. “The first thing the enemy tries to do is isolate revolutionaries from the masses of people, making us horrible and hideous monsters so that our people will hate us.”

Who Killed Mike Brown? What to Do?

by Mel Reeves

Why did Ferguson, Missouri, rebel? For the same reason that Watts rebelled, 50 years earlier. An “old soldier” knows the answer: “Too many Black folks were being sent to prison for too long, too much policing in its neighborhood, too much racism, substandard housing, poor healthcare options and a sense of second-class status.”

All Rise: When Class Oppression Sows Democratization

by Michelle Renee Matisons and Seth Sandronsky  

A people’s movement is stirring. Ferguson sets the bar higher for Black protest, fast food employees engage in civil disobedience, home health care workers come out of the shadows, and “families in Newark, New Jersey, reject the crappy segregationist McEducation plan.”

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: White American Solidarity for the Corporate Plantation

by Danny Haiphong

America’s rulers propagate the lie that the United States and its corporations lead the world in selfless generosity. If you believe that, you’ve probably got your head in an ice bucket. In reality, “the rich usually invest the most dollars in things like education privatization (Gates and Walton Foundation), war (National Endowment for Democracy), and right-wing think-tanks (Heritage Foundation).”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/8/14

Week of 9/8/14

Hundreds Arrested Demanding $15 and Hour and a Union

Darius Cephas, a McDonald’s worker from Boston, was one of more than 500 fast food employees arrested during strike and civil disobedience actions in 150 cities, last week. “It shows how strong and how powerful our voices are; the fact that everybody is trying to find out how folks are raising children on $8 an hour,” said Cephas, an activist with the Fast Food Campaign. “We are here and we’re not going away they until they raise the pay and let us form a union without retaliation.”

Mass Incarceration is Built into the System

Events in Ferguson, Missouri, “have changed the way that people all across the country look at mass incarceration, police terror and the criminalization of Black youth,” said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, which has declared October a “month of resistance.” Simply adding more Black cops to the equation won’t solve the problem “because we’re dealing with something that is built into the fabric of this capitalist system.”

Draconian Sentences Rooted in Racist White Perceptions of Crime

A report by The Sentencing Project concludes that white people support harsh penalties for crime because they associate criminality with Blacks. “There are many instances where policymakers politicize crime and race in order to further their campaigns,” said Nazgol Ghandnoosh, co-author of the report, titled “Race and Punishment: Racial Perceptions of Crime and Support for Punitive Policies.”

U.S. Political Prisoners Issue Passes UN Hurdle

A United Nations panel has instructed the United States to report, five years from now, on the status of its political prisoners, said international human rights advocate Efia Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina. The move is significant, since the U.S. denies it holds any political prisoners, said Nwangaza, who argued on behalf of Civil Rights and Cointelpro era prisoners in collaboration with the Jericho Movement. “We’ve been building a record which strengthens the case for release of political prisoners,” she said. “It also strengthens our call for formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

Click here to download and listen to the show.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

Ferguson Demands a New Black Politics

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

If Ferguson represents a new beginning for Black movement politics, then any electoral efforts must aim to “create governments whose promise to the people is to cease cooperating with the machinery that enforces the New Jim Crow.” It emphatically does not mean the Democratic Party, “which has encaged Black politics for roughly the same period as the Mass Black Incarceration State has encaged Black bodies in the world’s largest gulag.”

Freedom Rider: Liar in a Tan Suit

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

President Obama behaves as if he lives in an alternative universe, one in which ISIS and other jihadists in Syria were not armed and funded by the U.S. and its allies, and Russian-speaking Ukrainians did not rise up of their own volition against the fascist takeover in Kiev. Russian President Putin seems like a great leader, in comparison, if only because he speaks in the language of reality.

Round Two: Fast Food Strike for $15 An Hour

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Backed by the Service Employees International Union, fast food workers will bring civil disobedience tactics to a one-day strike action targeting over 100 cities. They’re demanding $15 an hour and union representation. “Nine out of ten of the worst paying jobs are in the food services industry, which is disproportionately Black and brown.”

 
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Justice Is Served

by Raymond Nat Turner, BAR Poet-in-Residence

Justice is served

A la Carte, chokehold-style, or

Fifty bullets, forty-one, or one

Or two well placed headshots

From killing-machine chefs

Ferguson and the Islamic State: Two Sides of Malcolm's American Nightmare

by Danny Haiphong

The rulers of the United States are duplicitous and racist in both their foreign and domestic policies. “Just as Washington won't admit its complicity in the occupation of the Black community by local police, it certainty will not and cannot admit its complicity in the creation of IS,” the Islamic caliphate.

What Divides Black America?

by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

The eruption of outrage and protest in Ferguson has shown a spotlight on the out-of-touch attitudes and policies of Black political leaders. “When the Black political elite demand ‘change’ in Ferguson or other subjugated corner of this nation, the horizons for what change could look like are exceedingly narrow.”

Deon Haywood: “Nine years after Katrina, it’s all about the takeover.”

An Interview by Jordan Flaherty

The meaning of urban recovery is subject to great debate. If the standard of progress celebrates expulsion of the Black and poor and welcoming of the affluent and white, then New Orleans is “recovering” from Katrina. But, “that would be a white supremacist framework, now wouldn’t it?”

Perspectives and Concerns of Black Parents

by Solomon Comissiong

In addition to its many other failings, the U.S. educational system insults and devalues Black lives by force-feeding reverence for degenerate slave-holding monsters. “It should be considered mental cruelty to brainwash African/black students to revere slave masters like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as ‘Founding Fathers.’”
Combating the US’s Destructive Educational System:

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/1/14

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/1/14

Protesters Demand Dismantling of Militarized Police

A host of organizations presented a list of nine demands to the U.S. Justice Department, in Washington, including immediate release of “Black boys and men incinerated for minor crimes”; the imposition of “life sentences for law enforcement officials who murder unarmed boys and men”; and, “recall of all military equipment already given to cities and states.” Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, of the NO Fear Coalition, a top organizer of the rally, said events in Ferguson, Missouri, raise fundamental questions about the role of police in Black America. “Clearly, the occupying forces inside our communities are not protecting or serving the people,” she said. “They are occupying the people.”

The Enemy Within

“We’re looking at a two-prong attack” on the Black resistance in Ferguson, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “One is the obvious military organization” of the various police forces, and “the other – sometimes with their collars on backwards, sometimes not – are those who are there to pacify the people, to tamp down on militancy. They want it to go away.”

Black Youth in Struggle for the Duration

Young people in Ferguson are trying to build real structures of enduring resistance, said Erica Totten, an activist from Washington, DC, who has been working with HandsUpUnited.org. “They need mental health care professionals, they need attorneys, they need people to go down there and support these young men and women because they’re going to continue to make noise,” said Totten.

Mumia: Beware of Lawyers, Preachers and Politicians

“It is the job of the managerial class of lawyers, preachers and politicians to reduce tensions, to deradicalize movements, to make them more manageable” when crises arise in places like Ferguson, said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. However, “the masses know the essential nature of the police, fro they see them daily. And they are anxious to oppose them.”

Click here to download the show, about 52 minutes.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

To Zombie Civil Rights Organizations: Don't Like Being Called Sellouts? Then Don't Sell Out

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

An August 11 letter published by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson in the newsletter of MMTC, a notorious mouthpiece of corporate telecoms protests that this and other publications, and a growing number of activists have called our traditional civil rights organizations “shills” and “sellouts” for consistently backing the interests of their corporate funders over those of the public they supposedly represent. Is it incivility? Or is it the truth?

Black Folks are Going Nowhere Until We Discard the Misleadership Class

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The movement in Ferguson has, once again, showed that the Black Misleadership Class acts as the “soft power” for the Mass Black Incarceration State, complimenting the “hard power” of the “world’s most formidable police and prison system.” This perfidious class “rushes to tamp down emotions in places like Ferguson and prevent Blacks from attempting to ‘occupy’ their own communities through genuine civil disobedience or other means.”

Freedom Rider: Van Jones and Charles Blow Absolve White America

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

U.S. corporate media have made it easy to identify Black “leaders” and “spokespersons” to call on at times of racial crisis. They simply hire them. Van Jones and Charles Blow are part of well paid cadre of Blacks whose main talent is telling white people what they want to hear. “In the glare of black anger they make it clear that they are on the side of the well paying gig which means they are the enemies of the people they are alleged to represent.”

Organizing 101: Don't Do Another Ferguson March or Rally Without Getting The Digits

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Spontaneous demonstrations against police murder and violence are happening every day, often pulled together with social media. Is this a movement? Not really, because corporate social media networks and lists are private property. Real organizers know that whenever you get 4, 14, 40 or 400 people to come out you get their digits so you can recontact them independently of Twitter, Facebook, or the radio. It's Organizing 101.

 
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Obama Schemes to Attack Syria, Under the Guise of Fighting ISIS

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“If Obama was serious about wanting to crush ISIS, the best and most logical ally would be Syrian President Assad, whose army has so far prevailed against every flavor of jihadist the U.S. has been able to throw at it.” But the U.S. remains intent on overthrowing Assad, and will conjure up a pretext to attack Syria under cover of fighting ISIS.

 
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Justice Dept Refuses For 20 Years To Comply With Federal Law Requiring It To Gather National Police Brutality Stats

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

A 1994 law requires the Justice Dept to gather national status on excessive violence by police. So why have Attorneys General under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations refused to gather the info? Why does the Obama Justice Department ignore this law while it resurrects a century-old espionage statute to prosecute truth telling whistleblowers and reporters? The president and attorney general know what side they're on. Do we?

 
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No FEAR Coalition Rallies At Justice Department for Mike Brown and Against Police Brutality and Militarization

by Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, No FEAR Coalition

A host of organizations will gather in front of the U.S. Justice Department building, in Washington, to tell Attorney General Eric Holder “the militarized presence in Ferguson must be withdrawn immediately. Further, the national militarization of police forces must be dismantled.” The U.S. criminal justice system behaves as if it’s 1857. “Dred Scott's core values—the very DNA of racism—remain largely the same today.”

The Road to Ferguson and the Necessity of Anti-Imperialist Spirit

by Danny Haiphong

There’s a simple reason why the police that brutalize Blacks on the streets of the America look and behave much like U.S. occupation troops abroad: it’s all part of the same global imperial mission. The so-called “’War on Drugs’ was a dual war on the Black community and the oppressed peoples of the world.“

Rebellion in Ferguson: A Rising Heat in the Suburbs

by Chris Hedges

Veteran journalist Chris Hedges explores the “ebb and flow” of the Black liberation movement with veteran organizer Larry Hamm, of Newark, New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress. Newly Black towns like Ferguson, Missouri, may become the focus of Black revolt. “Because of demographic changes these rebellions will occur in places that did not rebel previously.”

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