Why Isn't Closing 129 Chicago Public Schools National News?

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

It's an obvious question, with an easy answer. Our nation's bipartisan political elite have decided to privatize public education. They know the only way they can execute this deeply unpopular policy is to do it on the down-low, with a minimum of coverage, and no mention of the p-word, especially of growing civic resistance to it.

Mali, France and the War on Terror in Africa

by Horace G. Campbell

The current insecurity in Mali is a direct result of the US military presence...and why Africans must be more forthright in opposing the expansion of the US Africa Command.” France plays a special role in this escalation, as she maneuvers to hold on to her African holdings. The U.S. and France trained and financed the same jihadists they are now fighting.

Goodbye Black Studies!

by Cecil Brown

Black Studies is in deep trouble, on the internal and external racial fronts. “The test of whether a Black Studies department will survive depends on how many white teachers and students they have.” Meanwhile, the absence of an African American political movement has undermined Black Studies, which has “lost the self-respect and the respect for other blacks.”

Mississippi Finally Ratifies the 13th Amendment – Here Are Some Other Things that Mississippi Decided to Ratify First.

By Kamau Franklin

Mississippi is the poorest state in the union, and the state with the highest percentage of people with African ancestry. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But the list of things the magnolia state is first and nearly first in, apart from balmy weather, is not a good one.

Colleges Love Hip-Hop, But Do They Love Black Men, Too?

by Travis L. Gosa

Hip hop, African American youth culture, is all the rage on college campuses – but where are the creators of the culture? “The people whose images are most associated with hip-hop—young black men—continue to be left behind.” There has been no relative improvement in the number of Black men entering college since 1976.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 2/25/13

Obama’s Drone Wars are “Evil,” Says Black Church Group

President Obama’s drone assassination policy is “evil” and should be condemned by all Christian clergy, said Rev. Anthony Evans, executive director of the Washington-based National Black Church Initiative. Black political figures such as Reverends Jesse Jackson Sr. and Al Sharpton and NAACP chief Ben Jealous “have replaced their loyalty to God and serving the African American people with serving President Obama, who can do no wrong.” Al Sharpton, said Rev. Evans, has become the White House “gatekeeper,” and “you can buy the NAACP, these days.”

Suit Against UN was Doomed from Start, says Haiti Lawyer

We were not surprised” that the United Nations claimed immunity from liability for the cholera deaths of thousands of Haitians, said Ezili Danto, head of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. “Asking the UN to find itself guilty is like asking the rapist, Tell us if you actually raped this woman,” said Atty. Danto. She favored naming the United States as liable for the epidemic, “because they call the shots, and we name the UN because their soldiers brought it in.” The unsuccessful action was brought by the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

Baby Doc” Duvalier Avoids Haiti Court Appearance

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier failed to personally appear in a Port-au-Prince court in connection with allegations of human rights violations. Duvalier is also facing corruption charges for taking millions in public funds with him into exile in 1986. If Duvalier finally does show up to answer human rights charges, “it would be the first time that he is actually in court with some of his victims,” said Dan Beeton, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Modern-Day “Robber Barons” Looting Postal Service Properties

U.S. Postal Service real estate and art is being sold off to private developers through a firm controlled by the husband of California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. “It really is a bank heist,” said Gray Brechlin, of the Living New Deal Project. The sell-off “is something like the great land frauds in the 19th century, when the railroads and the various other robber barons got hold of the public domain.”

Give Me That Old Time Hoodoo Religion

Although nowadays associated with items like “hotfoot powder” and “money-drawing oil,” Hoodoo was once a “full-fledged religion” among African Americans, said Dr. Katrina Hazzard-Donald, director of the Africana Studies and Research Program at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. Hazzard-Donald is author of the new book Mojo Workin’: The Old African American Hoodoo System. “What we are looking at today,” she said, “are the remnants of what was once a fully functioning religion, just as you find in Voodoo and Santaria and the other African manifestations of traditional religion on this side of the Atlantic.”

On Education, Barack Obama is the President of Privatization. Can We Stop Him? Will We?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

By the time his term is over, President Obama and his Race To The Top program will have forced the closure and privatization of thousands of inner-city schools, a feat no white Republican or Democrat could have accomplished. But he'll only be president 4 more years. If we can stop this now, his successors won't be able to do this again. Can we? Will we?

U.S. Gives Haiti the Gift of Prisons

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The United States, in its infinite kindness, is making Haiti a gift of two penal institutions. It's actually the most back-handed kind of charity. In order to keep Haiti a failed state, the occupiers deny the Haitian government funds for even the most basic functions of government: law and order.”

There is No Effective Constituency for Africa in the United States

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The next chief of AFRICOM wants a 15-fold expansion in drones and other intelligence-gathering. The full-court press against the continent has begun, with the U.S. “building the capability to militarily control all of Africa, in conjunction with its European allies and its African proxies.” But the Black American Misleadership Class couldn’t care less.

The Expansion of Black American Misery under Barack Obama’s Watch

by Dr. Reginald Clark

Black folks are not only far worse off “since 2009 under President Obama’s economic and job creation policies” – Africans Americans are the only group that “has taken a definitive step backwards since then.” The main reason: “lack of attention to employment in urban and rural geographic areas where Blacks reside.”

Cyber Racism 101: The New Dorner Video Game

by Chauncey DeVega

In the flash of an entrepreneurial eye, “Christopher Dorner's last stand against the LAPD has been transformed into a crude video game.” Says the author: “Cyber racism is the next iteration of how technology, in this case the Internet, social media, and video games, can be used to circulate, legitimate, and reinforce racist ideologies.”

Dorner, Racism, and Police Repression

From the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

A central truth underlies the events surrounding Christopher Dorner's actions and demise: “Racism is endemic to all law enforcement agencies in the United States, and is part and parcel of the foundations of the United States government, its historic mission, and its systemic functioning.”

Ella Baker and the Limits of Charismatic Masculinity

by Pascal Robert

Ella Baker, the consummate organizer, “was very critical of the hot shot Black preachers who would seem to mesmerize their audience with soaring oratory, then leave and expect others to implement an agenda.” She put forward a grassroots critique of overwhelmingly male Black leadership, and showed “more wisdom, courage, and vision then almost all of them.”

From Paul Robeson to Dwayne Carter, Jr. “Lil’ Wayne”

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Lil' Wayne may be a big name in hip hop music, but he's a moral and intellectual lilliputian who trivialized the murder of Emmett Till “ by using it to make sick, caviler, sexist, and misogynistic references to women.” If you are in need of a strong Black male role model, Paul Robeson is your man.

Anti-African Racism in India

by Sputnik Kilambi

Indian society appears to be confronting the horrors of rape – except the “rapes that have happened and keep happening to women somehow not considered “daughters of the nation.” Brutal assaults against Africans go largely unreported in the nation with the most thriving press in the world.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of Feb 18, 2013

Blacks rally to save Camden NJ police department
Obama claims that “war is peace”
The “rule of law” is a thing of the past
Blowback” coming after Dorner demise
Resolved: Corporations are NOT citizens
Blacks Rally to Save Camden NJ Police Department

This is a public safety issue, it’s a labor issue, and it’s a political issue,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress and featured speaker at a rally to prevent the shutdown of the police department in mostly Black and Latino Camden, New Jersey. The financially distressed town would be patrolled by police from the surrounding, mostly white county. It’s a matter of self-determination, said Hamm. “They’re not going to stop with taking over the finance department; they’re not going to stop with taking over the schools; they’re not going to stop with the police force.”

Obama’s Orwellian Peace

President Obama’s claim that he will end the U.S. war in Afghanistan in 2014 makes sense only in the language of George Orwell’s 1984, said David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.org. The president is actually planning to take U.S. troop strength “down to almost what it was when he moved into the White House, and calling it ‘peace,’” said Swanson. “And we’re calling drone wars ‘peace.’”

R.I.P. Rule of Law

There’s been a very steady dismantling of the rule of law, both domestically and internationally, begun by the Bush administration and furthered by the Obama administration,” said veteran journalist Chris Hedges, one of the plaintiffs challenging the law allowing preventive detention of American citizens. U.S. lawlessness abroad “has been accompanied by a savage assault on our most basic constitutional rights,” said Hedges, “giving the executive branch the right to kill Americans.”

Blowback” Coming After Dorner’s Demise

Chris Dorner, the former Los Angeles policeman and NAVY special operations officer who died in a fiery shootout, last week, was a “universal soldier,” said investigative journalist Mike Rupert. “I don’t think the LAPD or any police department will now so cavalierly terminate any combat veteran, for any reason,” said Rupert, who is also a former LAPD cop.

A friend and former athletic teammate of Dorner, identified only as “Ben,” told KPFA radio’s Davey D: “We watched this brother be assassinated on TV. There will be a blowback from this.”

Resolved: Corporations are Not Citizens

Move to Amend activist George Friday appeared with Rep. Rick Nolan (D-MN) at a press conference following Nolan’s introduction of a constitutional amendment to deny corporations the rights of citizens. Many millions of Americans, said Friday, “are ready to stand up against the inappropriate, illegitimate use of corporate power and corporate constitutional rights.”

Obama’s State of the Corporate Union

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama’s State of the Union address makes it official: the 2012 election has brought us back to 2011, when the outlines of his grand bargain with the Republicans became clear. In his vision for future, “austerity in people’s programs is traded for tax breaks for corporations that will, in totally discredited theory, bring back the jobs they had outsourced overseas.”

Christopher Dorner: The Defector Who Went Out With A Bang

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The ghost of Nat Turner did not descend on LA over the past week, although lots of Black folks imagined as much. Christopher Dorner’s fans “embraced his death-throe defection from the LAPD, and imbued him with qualities they wish were reliably available to the struggle: a Nat Turner, or a Spook Who Sat By the Door.”

Black Agenda TV – Season 1, Episode 2

by Black Agenda Report & BW Moving Images

In this edition of Black Agenda TV

Black America and the Genocide in Congo; African Americans have not used their political clout to stop the killing.

Obama’s Race to the Top Hurts Black Students, Teachers, Communities; Drives school closings and helps charter profiteers.

Black Misleadership Class to Launch “February 30th Movement” to hold President Obama (and themselves) accountable.

Just Like Crack in the 80s, the Police State Thrives on Gun Hysteria

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

African American politicians and activists implored President Obama and others in authority to “do something” about gun violence in inner cities. Be careful what you ask for. The current gun hysteria will serve as an excuse to expand the police state, through a new wave of “mandatory minimum sentences and adoption of New York-type stop-and-frisk policies.”

Towards a Police State in New York

by Belen Fernandez

Hyper-surveillance of American Muslims leads U.S. secret police to draw strange cultural conclusions. They note that giving up "cigarettes, drinking, gambling and urban hip-hop gangster clothes" may indicate a Muslim's "progression along the radicalization continuum" toward "Jihadization." Of course, such acculturation might also make Muslims bigger targets for stop-and-frisk.

Freedom Rider: Sniper Gets Sniped

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

America, born in genocide and constantly renewed by bloodbaths, treats mass murder as a virtue. Chris Kyle answered the “clarion call of white supremacy, manifest destiny and imperial delusion.” Now that he’s dead, the world is a better place.

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