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    Freedom Rider: Mass Murder Hypocrisy

     

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Being President of the United States requires moral multi-tasking. One minute you’re gloating over the bodies of people you’ve targeted for death, the next you’re bemoaning all the senseless violence in the world. “As the United States becomes more and more firmly entrenched as the world’s bully, it is insulting in the extreme for Obama to act the part of comforter-in-chief.” The fact that U.S. presidents don’t find themselves morally conflicted, tends to indicate they have no moral underpinnings, at all.

    Far from a Humanitarian Savior, the U.S. Causes Vast Misery In Africa

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Americans want to believe their president when he poses as a humanitarian world leader. But Africa knows different. Literally millions have died and been displaced as a direct result of U.S. imperial strategies. “American policy in Africa is to create chaos, and then to present itself as the cure.”

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    U.S. Steps Up Militarization of Africa Through “Drug Wars"

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The United States wants to drag Africa into its drug wars – on top of Washington’s War on Terror. Since drugs always follow American “anti-narcotics” activity in the world, the inevitable result will be an explosion of drug networks in targeted African countries. “Liberia and Ghana will soon emerge as hubs of the African drug trade – just as happened in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America.”

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    With Poverty Worst in Decades, Maybe We Owe Tavis and Cornel an Apology

     

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    In much of Black America, it is dangerous to one’s political health to put forward a critique of the First Black President. Just ask Dr. Cornel West and veteran broadcaster Tavis Smiley. “Whenever Smiley and West try to bring up poverty, they are shut down, like the cousin who wants to tell grandma that her delicious soul food is going to give her diabetes.” It seems that protecting the political prospects of the Top Black Icon is more important than fighting growing poverty among the Black masses.

    “This is How Duvalier Started”: Critics of Haitian President Imprisoned

     

    by Meena Jagannath and Fran Quigley

    Although the reviled United Nations occupation force remains the main muscle in Haiti, the farcically elected president, Michel Martelly, is a dictator-in-waiting. “Sweet Micky,” as he is known, is a fan of Papa and Baby “Doc” Duvalier, the father and son despots who slaughtered tens of thousands. “Martelly argued that Duvalier should receive amnesty for decades of human rights violations, including arresting, torturing, and killing political opponents in a notorious three-prison ‘Triangle of Death.’”

    Land of Barbarism: A Glimpse of America

     

    by Solomon Comissiong

    Garbage in, garbage out. “America's foundation is built upon the bloodied, mutilated, and lifeless bodies of innumerable people – mostly of color.” Is it any wonder, then, that the United States would become, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. concluded, “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” – mainly directed against non-Europeans. “We cannot evade the fact that America is a swampland of institutional racism and white supremacy; these realities make it easy for many Euro-Americans to accept the mass killing of people of color across the globe.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of July 23, 2012

     

    CIA and U.S. Military Officials Sued in Targeted Killings

    The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) charge the United States violated international law and its own Constitution with the killing of three Americans citizens in Yemen, last year. “These deaths are connected to a broader program of targeted killing that, in our view, has no lawful basis,” said CCR lawyer Padiss Kebriaei. American-born cleric Anwar Aulaqi, his teenage son and an associate were never formally charged with any crime.

    No Compromise with Stop-and-Frisk

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is “trying to gather up Black politicians and Black ministers who will sit down and negotiate ‘reforms’ to stop-and-frisk,” said Carl Dix, a founder of Stop Stop-and-Frisk. “But, you can’t reform injustice – you have to get rid of it.” Dix took part in the final day of a family vigil for Ramarley Graham, the unarmed Black teenager killed by police in his Bronx home in front of his family.

    Half a Million to be Disenfranchised by Photo ID Laws

    At least 500,000 eligible voters will find they can’t vote on Election Day, due to photo ID laws passed in ten states, according to a report from the Brennan Justice Center. Keesha Gaskins, co-author of the report, said many of those affected “live more than 10 miles from an ID-issuing office” and “lack access to a vehicle.” The Black Belt South and Brown Belt areas bordering Mexico are “really graphic examples of where these problems” arise, said Gaskins.

    Black Radio Facing “Demise”

    With radio in general confronting a “dying revenue stream,” Black-oriented commercial broadcasting “may be entering an era in which there will be no concessions to culture” and to Black political and social development by the mega-chains that own the media, said Dr. Todd Burroughs, of Morgan State University, in Baltimore. Burroughs is among the signatories to a letter asking the Federal Communications Commission to investigate “the demise” of Black radio.

    Black Soldiers Crucial to American War of Independence

    Black soldiers “were the most experienced fighters” at Yorktown, comprising a quarter of the soldiers under General George Washington’s command in the decisive battle, said Alan Gilbert, author of Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence. Gilbert disputes estimates that only 5,000 Blacks fought for American separation from Britain. However, far more Blacks served with the British, who promised freedom, while Washington’s Continental Army did not.

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    The Concept of “Black” Elections

     

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    When a Black candidate that fails to gain majority Black support wins an election, is that a Black victory, or a Black defeat? The Black Is Back Coalition holds a national conference in Newark, New Jersey, on August 18, to explore the potential and pitfalls of electoral politics. “This notion of elections=politics is pervasive across the American racial landscape.” It causes Black people to abandon their historic strengths. “The rejection of mass, grassroots action is a negation of, literally, the vast bulk of the Black historical political experience.”

    GA Prison Hunger Strike Continues, Families Protest, State Officials Stonewall, Feds Refuse to Intervene

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Georgia prison officials, who denied the existence of a hunger strike its first four weeks, finally acknowledged that some prisoners are on their 36th day without food. But they refused to meet with families and citizens who came to its Forsyth GA headquarters early this week. And despite the fact we have a black president and attorney general, and an open-and-shut case of conspiracy to violate civil rights, the feds seem not interested.

    Freedom Rider: Demonizing the Poor

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Americans don’t know how bad off they are, compared to citizens of nations that have real social safety nets. Their ignorance is encouraged by newspapers like the New York Times, which recently devoted thousands of words to blaming single motherhood for a host of social ills that are actually caused by low wages and inadequate child care and health care. “Instead of needlessly glamorizing married people, and making one segment of society seem superior to another, we should have a much needed examination of what kind of country we ought to have.”

    Obama’s Media Takeover Powers: The Infrastructure of a Police State

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    President Obama will be remembered as one of the chief architects of the American police state. His preventive detention law nullifies due process, leaving citizens naked to the whims of the executive. Now Obama has empowered himself to seize control of all the nation’s communications systems, under the guise of emergency preparedness. “The ‘emergency’ he has in mind is a State of Emergency – martial law.

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    “Hip-Hop Toure’, Hoe, Hay, Hoe...”

     

    by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

    A recent Washington Post article by author and MSNBC personality Toure equates hip hop’s “failure” to combat the drug scourge with the damage inflicted by successive government “drug wars” in/against Black America. Toure creates a dangerous and distorted kind of moral equivalence, since his “premise is that hip-hop is equal somehow in power to monopoly capital and state power.” In reality, hip hop is a victim of the same forces that oppress Black people as a whole.

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    Obama's Justice Department Rushes to the Rescue of LIBOR Criminals

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Justice Department has launched a flurry of phony investigations in the LIBOR scandal, with the ultimate aim of protecting the banks from the consequences of their crimes. That's the same role the Obama administration played in the “robo-signing” scandal: immunizing the criminals. In the LIBOR scheme, Attorney General Holder and his crew will try to shield the banksters “from legal action by a host of other government agencies and, ultimately, from the global universe of parties that have been harmed by the bankster’s schemes.

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    Wages of White Affirmative Action: Predatory Lending & The Ghetto

     

    by Sikivu Hutchinson

    Whites are “returning” to South Central Los Angeles, the place they left for the suburbs in federally subsidized waves generations ago. The lure: cheap housing in neighborhoods savaged by color-coded lending policies. And so it is that whites whose exit from South Central was smoothed by racial advantage, return in the same way. White dislocation is called a tragedy, while the uprooting of Blacks is dubbed “gentrification.”

    America Is Not Broke, It’s Broken

     

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

    The Right claims “entitlements” are the root of America’s financial crisis, and that the “job creators” – their ridiculous euphemism for the rich – are under siege. “Welfare” – meaning any benefits dribbled to the poor – is something the country can no longer afford, they say. But “conservatives do favor welfare, depending on the recipient.”

    Foreign Investment in Haiti Means Death and Repression, Part II: The Constant US Bait and Switch

     

    by Ezili Dantò

    The United States seems to have only one policy towards Haiti: force and exploitation. U.S. overseers market the captive republic as a low-wage paradise for foreign businesses. “The Obama Administration’s application of disaster capitalism and the shock doctrine is like pouring gasoline onto a fire already set by past US missteps in Haiti” over the past two hundred years.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of July 16, 2012

     

    Media Ignore Report on Extrajudicial Killings of U.S. Blacks

    An exhaustive report on the deaths of 110 Blacks in the United States at the hands of police, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes during the 6-month period ending June 30 “clearly indicates there is a human rights crisis in the U.S.,” said Ajamu Baraka, of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. “If these numbers were coming from somewhere else, indicating that a particular population was being subjected to militarized violence from the state…many people around the world would agree that there was, in fact, a human rights issue.” Yet, even so-called progressive media “aren’t picking up on the report,” said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 vice-presidential candidate. Clemente and Baraka spoke on the online program Your World News, hosted by Solomon Commissiong.

    LIBOR Banking Fraud’s Global Impact

    We’ll never know how much losses could be attributed” to the international bankers’ LIBOR interest rate fixing scheme, “because it’s literally an impossible calculation to make,” said Dr. Richard Wolff, economics professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “In terms of its social impact, it’s the biggest scandal we ever had.” Dr. Wolff predicts “all the borrowers who have a case” that they lost money from the fraud “are going to be filing legal suits to recover damages.”

    Black Radio Ruined by Syndications

    While we celebrate Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden, they’re exactly what’s wrong with our radio and our insight and our information,” said Paul Porter, veteran broadcaster and publisher of the influential newsletter Industry Ears. Local Black-oriented stations “don’t touch on local issues, they don’t deliver local news. The best they can do is some local traffic.” Porter estimates that Black adults are 75 times more likely to hear syndicated radio programs than adult whites.

    A Nursing Corps for the African Diaspora

    Forty-five nurses will soon graduate from a Sierra Leone school founded by the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project, the first wave of an “African nursing corps that can be deployed anywhere in the African world, said AAPDEP’s Aisha Fields. At present, one out of eight Sierra Leone women die in childbirth. Globally, “our people have been at the mercy of others, and it hasn’t ever turned out well for us,” said Fields. The nursing school must raise a $5,000 accreditation fee by July 25.

    Milestone for Richmond Rights Defenders

    The Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, which began as an ad hoc group dealing with criminal justice issues, marked their tenth anniversary, in Richmond, Virginia. Ana Edwards, one of the founders, noted that back in 2002 other local organizations were not saying “it is capitalism that is one of the contributing factors to why we have a prison industrial system that requires that we feed it – that we put bodies in there.” The Defenders buttress their non-stop organizing work through a quarterly newspaper and weekly radio show. “We are absolutely committed to the idea that the war at home and the wars abroad are inextricably linked,” said Edwards.

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    GA Prison Hunger Strike Enters 5th Week

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    As the hunger strike by 9 Georgia prisoners demanding medical care, due process and human rights enters its 5th week, prison officials are surprised at the level of outside support the inmates enjoy despite a virtual news whiteout. Concerned family members and others plan to visit the Department of Corrections headquarters on Monday, July 16.

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    The Black Press Is Dead. Get Over It

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    When will the black press get as excited enough over mass incarceration, the epidemic of solitary confinement, the plague of urban school closings and privatizations, over gentrification and joblessness as they are about reality TV and what Michelle is wearing? Are you holding your breath? It might be time to let it go....

    LIBOR Ain’t Nothing But an Acronym: We Must Abolish the Finance Capitalist Class

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The LIBOR scandal is only a big deal, in that it shows once again that global capital is a thoroughly criminal enterprise. Tinkering will not do – the class that created the system must be disempowered. The $1,000 trillion derivatives casino “is a bomb – a world-threatening monstrosity – that must be dismantled.” LIBOR is merely “a gauge on the console of the bankers’ crime machine.”

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    The Genocidal Fruits of U.S. Africa Policy

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Rwanda’s crimes against Congo are the subject of another United Nations report. The U.S., Rwanda’s ally and protector, “is also liable for the genocide in Congo.” Washington has placed its guns and money in the hands of an aggressive, minority regime – which is not surprising. “U.S. policy in Africa has almost always been to choose chaos in those places where it cannot rule directly.”

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    Freedom Rider: Zombies, Vampires and Capitalism

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Zombies, ghouls and all manner of bloodsuckers actually exist, denizens of a capitalist system in terminal decline, but not yet dead. “We are endangered by monsters who can and will eat us alive, but unlike the creatures depicted in movies and on television, they are mortal and can be defeated.” The nation seems suffused in a rotten, fetid fog. When reliable jobs disappear and even teachers who were once respected are treated like low wage fast food employees, the horror becomes all too real.”

    Freedom Rider: Nixoncare Finally Wins

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The euphoria in the Obama camp over their health care victory at the U.S. Supreme Court shows “the Democrats of the 21st century are akin to the Republicans of forty years ago.” Back then, Richard Nixon proposed a health care plan very much resembling – and, in some ways, superior to – Obamacare. When the Obama plan goes into effect in 2014, “there will still be nothing to prevent health insurance companies from manipulating the market place and giving Americans access to inferior coverage with high deductibles.”

    Every 40 Hours: New Report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Highlights Human Rights Violations Against Black People

     

    by Kali Akuno

    Extra-judicial executions of African Americans occur with appalling, near-daily regularity in the United States, according to a report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Such carnage demands the creation of a movement that “challenges the various forms of state repression and internal colonialism, including racial profiling, extrajudicial killing, mass incarceration, mass deportation, economic exploitation and various forms of displacement.”

    Obama Stingy on Pardons

     

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Clarence Aaron got three life sentences for a drug deal he wasn’t present at and for which he was not paid. The truth is, “there are thousands of men, mostly black and brown, who received several life sentences for very simple crimes, while their foreign ‘connects’ who imported billions of dollars worth of drugs were given very light sentences.” Aaron’s only hope is a presidential pardon. However, President Obama “is on track to be the least forgiving president in US history.”

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