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    Because Some Laundry Needs to Be Aired

     

    by Jasmyne A. Cannick

    Black lives are lost due to a “stigma we have cultivated and seemingly embraced in the Church, our homes, and among our family and friends.” For many of us, fear is stronger than science.

    Starving For Change: Hunger Strike Underway In Georgia's Jackson State Prison, Day 15

    by BAR manging editor Bruce A. Dixon

    18 months ago, black, brown and white Georgia prisoners staged a courageous protest demanding wages for work, educational opportunities, transparency in probation reviews and more. State officials unleashed a wave of exemplary brutality that continues to this day, away from the eyes of the public. It's time to turn our eyes where they belong --- at the crimes committed with our money and in our name, in our prisons and jails. And think about a fast on the outside, July 2, in solidarity with the hunter strikers inside Georgia's prisons.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of June 25, 2012

     

    Abolish – Don’t Tweet – Stop-and-Frisk

    As popular anger rises against New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s draconian policing policies, “we must avoid being sidetracked by politicians, preachers or anybody else who might want to lead it into sit-downs and negotiations with the mayor and the police commissioner,” said Carl Dix, a founder of Stop Stop-and-Frisk. “The challenge” is to reject “some surface reform, some tweets, to a racist, illegal policy,” he said. Stop-and-frisk, “a pipeline to mass incarceration,” has to go.

    Contemptible: Holder, Obama and the Congress

    We can openly admit that this attorney general and this president are Black and the congressmen going after them are a bunch of racists,” and still “condemn abuses of power” by President Obama and Eric Holder,” said David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.org. The House committee that charged Holder with contempt in a gun trafficking scheme acted “hypocritically,” said Swanson. However, “you have a president who has been claiming state secrets powers in courts…to protect himself and his predecessors and their corporate allies, far and away beyond anything Bush or Cheney ever tried.”

    A “Human Rights” Approach to Public Schooling

    Parents and communities and students must participate in all decisions that affect the right to education,” said Ellen Raider, of ICOPE, the Independent Commission on Public Education, in New York City. High drop-out rates violate the “human right to the full development of each child, to its fullest potential. It’s the new Jim Crow, as Michelle Alexander says.” Charter schools have been “used as a wedge to separate parents in Black and Latino communities,” said Raider. Meanwhile, the Coalition for Public Education has established the Paul Robeson Freedom School, in Brooklyn, to provide “education for liberation,” said spokesman Rodney Deas.

    A U.S. Chapter for ILPS

    Twenty-eight United States organizations have become the newest country-chapter of the International League of People’s Struggle. “We cannot succeed, either as an anti-war movement or as a movement against injustice in this country, without being united with our sisters and brothers around the world,” said U.S. chapter spokesperson Bill Dores.

    Congo President Shares Blame for Genocide

    Evidence mounts of Rwandan complicity in violence that has killed six million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996. However, DRC President Joseph Kabila is also part of the problem, said Jacques Bahati, policy analyst for the Africa Faith and Justice Network, based in Washington. If Congo had an “efficient and effective government, they could set up an army to secure its borders,” said Bahati. Rwanda gets away with destabilizing Congo because “it has a very good army” and is a close ally of the United States.

    Western Heads of State, Including Obama, Guilty of High Crimes

    The Pan-African Solidarity Hague Committee, comprised of activists from throughout the Diaspora, delivered a petition to the International Criminal Court charging the heads of state of the U.S. and other NATO countries with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Libya, Ivory Coast, Haiti, and in the “targeting and persecution of Black people in the United States,” said human rights lawyer Roger Wareham. “We have no illusions that the ICC is going to take our evidence, which is rock-solid,” said Wareham. “Of the 26 case that are before the Criminal Court, all involve Africans.” The ICC “has become a tool for the West to recolonize Africa.”

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    Top Ten Things That Have and Have Have Not Changed In the Era of Obama

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    In the spirit of Bill Clinton's 1992 “the Man From Hope” slogan, Barack Obama in 2008 declared himself the candidate of Hope and Change. So what about it? Are the real changes, if we can find them, at all what Obama voters hoped for?

    White House Strategy for Africa Revealed: Intensified Militarization and War on Terror

     

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The White House has put in writing its policies for sub-Saharan Africa. The problem is, there’s hardly a word of truth in the document, and not a single mention of AFRICOM, the U.S. military command on the continent. The presidential paper repeats Obama’s 2009 lecture to Africans on “good governance.” He also warned that they avoid the “excuses” of blaming “neocolonialism” and “racism” for their problems. Meanwhile, AFRICOM is “positioning the U.S. to launch coups at will against African civilian, or even military, leaders that fall out of favor with Washington.”

    Freedom Rider: Obama Has the Power

    by editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    When President Obama doesn’t want to do something, he pleads the limits of presidential power or resistance from Republicans. But, when a novel move is to his political benefit, the world is his oyster. So far, gays and Latinos have benefited from Obama’s newfound insights or powers. Obama could just as easily issue executive orders “to change policies on incarceration, or address the foreclosure crisis, or bring federal dollars to economically devastated communities.” But he won’t, because Black folks won’t ask him to. Their support is free.

    Stop-and-Frisk March: Silence is Not Golden

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Father’s Day “Silent March” against stop-and-frisk drew thousands to New York’s Fifth Avenue – but it’s not a tactic that should be repeated any time soon. The NAACP’s first wordless procession against lynching, in 1917 – cited as inspiration for Sunday’s event – was shaped by fears and anxieties that have no place in a modern Black movement. Ninety-five years ago, and for generations, Black protesters dressed in their Sunday best and often “abstained from shouts and sloganeering, so as not to appear dangerous in the eyes of whites.”

    Photo by Tony Savino

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    Obama Memo Deferring Some Deportations Not a Victory For Latinos, Immigrants or Human Rights

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Professional Latino leaders, tied hand and foot to corporate donors and the Democratic party, are celebrating the president's announcement that a small number of the undocumented will be eligible for deferral of their deportations. But is this really a victory for all immigrants or just those on the way to college and the military.

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    The Black Panther vs The Corporate Candidate

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The corporate media are screaming like banshees in fear that former Black Panther Charles Barron might win a seat in Congress. Their preferred Black politico is Hakeem Jeffries, a charter school supporter flush with corporate funds. “The media demonization machine has kicked into high gear on Charles Barron, with the New York Times calling him a ‘showboat’ and ‘provocateur.’” But of course, that’s what happens when rich white men claim the privilege of choosing Black leadership.

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    Citigroup’s Role in the Rape of Haiti

     

    by Peter James Hudson

    Citibank’s role in the U.S. subjugation of Haiti in the first quarter of the 20th century sounds quite familiar, a century later. The bank demanded that Washington send troops to “stabilize” the country, fantasizing that the Haitians would welcome the Marines. “The Haitians saw it as robbery, pure and simple, and indicative of a growing threat to the republic’s sovereignty.” U.S. troops “pacified” the country, killing thousands during a 19-year occupation.

    Obama’s Not the First Black President – He’s the First President Who is Black

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

    Obama may be Black, but he’s not that kind of president. “If he were the first Black President he would be using his bully pulpit to champion legislation targeting unemployment in urban areas, poverty, income disparity, and other issues.” This particular Black man is, essentially, a functionary of a government in the service of wealth and empire. “The President’s efforts will not address chronic income disparity or the wealth gap.”

    Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo Genocide

     

    by Antoine Roger Lokongo

    Six million Congolese have died since 1996 so that western corporations could retain unfettered access to the region’s mineral wealth. Rwanda and Uganda turned the eastern Congo into a cauldron of death – with impunity, protected by their patrons, the U.S. and Britain. Although the evidence of Rwanda’s role in the Congo genocide is irrefutable, Tutsi strongman Paul Kagame’s regime “will simply get away with it and recommence again tomorrow – as long as minerals need to be supplied to the West.”

    AFRICOM’s Imperial Agenda Marches On

     

    by Dan Glazebrook

    U.S. neo-colonialism is, in many respects, not that different from the old European colonialism. The goal of American policy in Africa is to turn African states into black Gunga-Dins, “fighting and dying for western interests in the coming colonial wars against Africa.” Already, the U.S. Africa Command exerts immense influence over African militaries. “Fourteen major joint military exercises between AFRICOM and African states are also due to take place this year.”

    Obama-Aid: Psychologically Bad for Black Folks

     

    by Solomon Comissiong

    Obama-Aid ought to be tasting stale and nasty after three-plus years, but Black folks are still swilling it. “His supporters did not give a damn that he backed FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) or even that he justified the amoral verdict that acquitted the murderous police officers who took the life of Sean Bell.” Obama-Aid is definitely bad for the brain. In essence, people of color in America have allowed their collective conscience to be neutered.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of June 18, 2012

     

    Backwards Logic: Obama’s “We Got Your Back” Black Campaign Ad

    The Obama 2012 campaign’s radio ad, in which a chorus of Black voices assures the president that “We got your back,” implies a “reciprocal relationship” between Blacks and Obama – “that we’re all in this together,” said Dr. Johnny Williams, professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. However, “there’s been very little that he’s done directly for Black people to show us that he’s got our back.”

    Why Wisconsin mobilization and Occupy movement “Faltered”

    The “biggest ongoing labor rally since the 1930s got shunted into electoral politics…because there wasn’t also the pursuit of independent movement building,” said Arun Gupta, co-founder of the Occupy Wall Street Journal. The problem, said Gupta, was not simply that Democratic Party and labor union “honchos” steered the movement into an unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican Scott Walker. Rather, the Wisconsin mobilization and the Occupy movement, “despite their potential, have been faltering because of…a lack of organization, a lack of discipline, and a lack of strategy.”

    Medicaid for All Would Have Passed Constitutional Muster

    President Obama could have avoided constitutional problems if he had chosen a health care plan that “most people have long supported” and which is “constitutionally safe”: Medicare for All, said political analyst and author Paul Street. “All you have to do” to create a single-payer system ”is to go into the Medicare bill and take out the clause that says its for people over 65 – and just say its for everybody.” Instead, Obama pushed a bill that guaranteed price-setting power to the drug and insurance “mafias.” The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on Obama’s health care legislation, which requires people to purchase private insurance.

    Obama Violates His Own Law on Congo Killings

    Friends of Congo is circulating a petition demanding that Washington cut off funds to nations that “destabilize” their neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Executive director Maurice Carney notes that the law was authored by Sen. Barack Obama and co-sponsored by Sen. Hillary Clinton, now U.S. Secretary of State. Rwanda and Uganda are both guilty of destabilizing the DRC, “resulting in the death of millions of Congolese,” said Carney. Both Rwanda and Uganda are close allies of the U.S.

    No Compromise with Capitalism

    You have to have, as an objective, overturning the system of capitalism, itself. And to do that, you’ve got to be organized,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, founded in 1972. Yeshitela was speaking at the national convention of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, in Philadelphia.

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    Bankrupt Black Leadership, Nukes and Environmental Racism

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The same greedy corporations that have long funded white politicians now finance what used to be traditional civil rights organizations like SCLC and an entire new class of black politicians. The cutting loose of black political leaders from their constituencies has dire consequences for the entire American polity.

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    U.S. Escalates Military Penetration of Africa

     

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The Americans are preparing to establish a network of bases in Africa, initially to serve a 3,000-troop roving brigade to be deployed on the continent, next year. The brigade has all the markings of a permanent presence on African soil, while the bases are euphemistically called “safe communities.” U.S. influence over African militaries is already pervasive. With the establishment of joint bases, “regime change will never be farther away than a drink at the officers club.” All but a handful of Black African states routinely take part in military maneuvers staged by the Americans.

    Freedom Rider: The Obama Thrill is Gone

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Few predict that Barack Obama will generate the Black turnout that propelled him to victory in 2008. “A small but growing number” of Black former Obama enthusiasts “have grown weary of the charade and know they have been played for fools.” Race pride motivated them the first time around, but that is harder to muster for “a man who never saw them as anything more than saps who would vote for him no matter what he said or did.”

    A “Silent March” Against the Police Stop-and-Frisk State

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    After ten years of escalating police aggression on the streets of New York, a broad range of political actors have combined for a Silent March Against Racial Profiling, this Sunday. Under Mayor Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk regime, “every young Black and brown man in New York is treated as if he is walking contraband, and that he is ‘too hot’ to allow to walk about freely.” In practice, the policy is little different from racist South Africa’s apartheid pass system.

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    Chicago Teachers Gear Up for a Fight

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Chicago Teachers Union has gotten permission from its membership to strike. If it comes to that, the local union’s progressive leadership will also “confront the national leadership of their own union, the American Federation of Teachers, who are in President Obama’s and Mayor Emanuel’s pockets.” Chicago’s teachers understand that they can only win if the community views the teachers' cause as their own.

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    What Do Hollywood Executives Call Beyonce, Denzel Washington and Halle Berry? Nigger.

     

    by Cynthia McKinney

    Hollywood is usually described as a politically liberal place, but legal actions by two Blacks in the entertainment industry claim that vocabularies in Tinsel Town are routinely laced with words like “nigger,” "spade," "colored," "monkey," "nigga," "uncle tom," "spook," and "coon." What’s more, they’ve got the documents to prove it.

    Hooked On Hopium

     

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    There will be no replay of 2008’s greatest hits, but the reflux is debilitating in the extreme – for those who got hooked on Hopium.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of June 11

     

    Black Politics Neutered by Corporate Democrats

    The business-friendly African American politicians that came to prominence under President Clinton “prioritized electoral politics over mass movements and grassroots politics,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. In more recent years, “a good part of the soft Black Left, the weak Black Left – they call themselves the ‘pragmatic’ Black Left – capitulated to the Obama movement,” allowing corporate politicians to achieve unchallenged leadership among Blacks.

    Inventing Security Threats

    In the wake of 9/11, we have made policing into a business,” said Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon, speaking on Press TV. The Department of Homeland Security is mostly private contractors who are chiefly concerned with drumming up business. “It’s a growth industry,” said Dixon. “So, look out – you might be the next threat.” The U.S. government has been inventing threats to internal security “for at least 100 years,” said journalist Don DeBar, of CPRmetro.org.

    Servants of Empire in “Human Rights” Garb

    Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are, essentially, weapons in the imperial arsenal,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford. “Who better than self-styled human rights activists to justify ‘humanitarian’ war?”

    Prof. Cornel West on Black Mass Incarceration

    If our precious white brothers and sisters were going to jail at the intensity” that African Americans are incarcerated, “it would be a national emergency,” said Dr. Cornel West, speaking at a benefit for the Brecht Forum, at New York City’s Hunter College. “If Black middle class brothers and sisters were going to jail at the same level of intensity” as lower class Blacks, “we’d have a different kind of Black leadership.”

    Liberal” Contradiction: Support for Charter Schools

    Liberals” are seduced by “this virtuous narrative, that these ‘reforms’ are going to make things better for poor kids,” said journalist Liza Featherstone. She singled out Black New York State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a “progressive” congressional candidate who is “at the forefront of efforts to open up the public school system to private interests” – a position that is “fundamentally at odds” with the progressive agenda. The fact that there’s lots of campaign money behind charter schools expansion “doesn’t hurt,” said Featherstone.

    A “Human Rights” Approach to Public Education

    The “business model” of education holds that “the student is a product, the teacher is a production line worker, and the parent is a consumer who has ‘choices,’” said Dr. Sam Anderson, of New York's Independent Commission on Public Education, ICOPE. The business model is an attempt by hedge funders and other business interests to “exploit the trillion dollar trough of public education.” ICOPE advocates a “human rights approach to education that “promotes the intellectual development of children to their maximum capability,” with “direct parental involvement in decision making at the public school level.”

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    Wisconsin: What Happens When Movements Turn Into Campaigns

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    How did we get from hundreds of thousands in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin demanding union rights for everybody and fundamental economic justice for all, to a desultory set of Democratic campaigns for the candidates who, as they say, sucked the least, and ended up losing.

    Freedom Rider: Bloodthirsty Americans

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Barack Obama, who lots of deluded people not too long ago imagined was a man of peace, wants the American people to think of him as a cold killer. He’s betting that’s the kind of president his countrymen desire. Violence-wise, the U.S. is the home of the depraved. Conclusion: “Our president is a totally amoral psychopath, and the revelation of his condition has not hurt his popularity.”

    Good Riddance to the African-Hater on the International Criminal Court

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    For nine years Luis Moreno-Ocampo has dedicated the resources of the International Criminal Court to the exclusive task of prosecuting Africans. In the process, he has actively fomented imperial wars on the continent and encouraged the breakdown of fundamental principles of international law. He ends his term in office as he began it: as a lawyer for neocolonialism.

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    Black Migrants in White Israel

     

    by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre

    The race riots in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem pointed up the virulently anti-Black nature of Israeli prejudice. Carrying sticks and stones, the crowds shouted “Blacks Out!” and “Infiltrators get out of our homes.” A veteran reporter said only a strong police presence prevented lynchings. Some of the hate speech sounded quite “American” – such as the Interior Minister’s statement that Israel belongs to “the white man.”

    Mercenaries for Empire: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Human rights” has become a tortured term. The most prominent names in the western human rights business behave, essentially, as “weapons in the imperial arsenal. Their value to the empire increased exponentially when Barack Obama adopted humanitarian intervention as a pillar of American war doctrine.” Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch spend much of their energies “advocating that the U.S. and its friends trample on the national sovereignty of weaker states – as if human rights can exist outside the framework of international law.”

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    2012's Summer Reading List, A Preview of Upcoming Black Agenda Review of Books

    by Black Agenda Review of Books editor Dr. Peter James Hudson

    Late this summer we intend to premiere a new sub-site we'll call the Black Agenda Review of Books. We've got a political agenda to push out, and we'll do that of course. And when readers click through the purchase the books our people review, a portion of those funds will help keep Black Agenda Report afloat. That's coming. But for now, we unleashed Dr. Peter Hudson to share with you his summer reading list.... enjoy.

    Eye of the Drone

     

    from Harper’s magazine

    The United States, indicted as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world” by Dr. Martin Luther King, 45 years ago, is today the main purveyor of high-tech terror on the planet. President Obama’s real “Kill List” is full of men and women whose names and lives are unknown to their executioners, including about 40 tribal leaders slaughtered by drones in Pakistan, last year. So traumatized are the surviving villagers, “people in the same family now sleep apart because they do not want their togetherness to be viewed suspiciously through the eye of the drone,” and “few children attend school because they fear for their lives walking to and from their homes.”

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