Obama, at War on Three Continents, Threatens Venezuela

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

No sooner does Obama break the ice with Cuban, than he turns up the imperial heat on Venezuela, the other openly socialist government in the hemisphere. “Obama’s assertion that Venezuela is a danger to U.S. national security ranks just short of a declaration of war.”

 
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Depravity at the Highest Level: Obama Prepares the Boil from Selma – Part I

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

Barack Obama journeyed to Selma, Alabama, one of the poorest places in a very poor state, to urge Black people to reflect on how much progress has been made over the past 50 years. If they had actually done so, they might have run the president out of town, along with the “Black Misleadership roosters” who “strutted their egos across Edmund Pettus Bridge and crowed about THEIR accomplishments.”

My Wise Country Cousin on Logo Leaders

4by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

Why, dey otta hab logos on dey suits
Tellin’ de wurl how deys in cahoots—
Maybe den dem lil’ Negroz unnerstan
Dat logo leaduhs is workin’ fo’ de ‘man?’

Beyond Twelve Years a Slave

by Paul Street

At the heart of American history lies an essential truth: the U.S. became an economic superpower based on the super-exploitation of Black slaves, to whom it owes reparations. In his new book, Edward Baptist calculates that “nearly half the nation’s economy activity derived directly and indirectly from the roughly one million Black slaves.” There was nothing quaint or “peculiar” about the system. America became “great” through “a highly cost-efficient method for extracting surplus value from human beings.”

Why James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) Still Matters

by Anthony Monteiro

As an essayist, James Baldwin had no peer. He was a revolutionary of the highest order, refusing “to think from within the language of the positionality or intellectual geography of the oppressor.” Baldwin warned that “whiteness, while emerging within the specific time/space continuum of modern capitalism, nonetheless can outlive it, producing post modern and even post capitalist white supremacist realities.”

Socialism is Still the Way Forward: Combating Neo-Liberal Imperialist Lies

by Danny Haiphong

Socialism was knocked down, but not out, when the Soviet Union collapsed. That did not, however, change the fact that capitalism is in its late stages. “The choice for any movement that arises in this period is to chart a revolutionary path or be consumed into the reactionary politics of the neo-liberal order.”

Socialism is Still the Way Forward: Combating Neo-Liberal Imperialist Lies

​by Danny Haiphong

From Selma To Ferguson, the Continuity of Police Terror

By Mr. Davey D

The giddy, patriotic TV commentators and talking heads who brought the celebrations around the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday to us don't say much about the uniformed terrorists on the public payroll who beat down and killed nonviolent protestors 50 years ago, just as they have little to say on those who kill and maim with impunity today. But then as now, this is just what police DO.

Reviving the Fight Against Environmental Racism

by Bryan K. Bullock

The movement against environmental racism lost its way when it was subsumed into environmental “justice.” Racism remains paramount. “African descendant people are burdened by environmental issues unequally compared to their white counterparts.” The struggle demands a human rights approach. “We must recognize that although we are separated by land, sea and language, we are united in our desire to be reclaim and maintain our basic humanity.”

Black Agenda Radio, Week of March 11, 2015

 

Ferguson Activist: Holder Should “Go Quietly Into the Dark”

A U.S. Justice Department report accepts the St. Louis County prosecutor’s conclusion that Michael Brown didn’t put his hands up before officer Darren Wilson put a bullet in Brown’s brain – and, therefore, Wilson cannot be indicted on civil rights charges. Only a “perfect murder” would convince Holder to act, said Taurean Russell, a leader of Hands Up United, in Ferguson, Missouri. “They want a perfect victim. His hands have to be all the way up – a perfect death, a perfect killing, and you’re never gonna get that,” said Russell. What about outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder’s legacy? “He should go quietly off into the dark.”

New Yorkers Need Less Law Enforcement

Bill Bratton, New York City’s police commissioner, wants to hire 1,000 more officers. But there are already too many cops busying themselves arresting Black and brown people for minor offenses, said Josmar Trujillo, of New Yorkers Against Bratton, which favors redirecting resources to improving conditions in poor neighborhoods. Police are “harassing and ticketing us, they’re criminalizing us en masse,” said Trujillo, “We don’t want more copse, we want to move away from law enforcement” under the slogan, “Strong Communities Make Police Obsolete.”

Robert Gangi, of New York’s Police Reform Organizing Project, called Bratton’s “Broken Windows” policing philosophy “a brazenly racist practice.” Individual rogue cops are not the problem, he said: “It’s the system.”

Voices from the Gulag

Lawyers for Mumia Abu Jamal and other Pennsylvania prison inmates won the right to pursue their challenge to the state’s so-called Revictimization Relief Act, which would effectively silence the voices of those who make crime victims feel “mental anguish.” If allowed to prevail, the law could shut down Prison Radio and its roster of inmate correspondents. “We cannot cover the prison story, which is one of the biggest stories in America, without those first-person, on-the-ground voices,” said Prison Radio director Noelle Hanrahan.

Mumia: Americans “Feed on Fear”

Since 9/ll, “a kind of madness erupted in the country,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, in a commentary for Prison Radio. “Newscasts have become fearcasts, as government and media converge to sow dragons’ teeth of fear into the minds of millions. It grows, eating us, as we eat it – and we are still not full.”

Dubois Blacklisted at Temple African American Studies

The model for liberatory Black Studies was created by W.E.B. Dubois at the turn of the 20th century, said Duboisian scholar and activist Dr. Tony Monteiro. However, under chairman Molefi Asante, Temple University’s African American Studies Department no longer teaches Dubois’ works, on the grounds that “he was not Afro-centric, he was a Marxist,” said Monteiro. Asante fired Monteiro last year, and wants to change the program’s name to Department of Africology.

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.

Obama's Ferguson Commission a Joke: Why Liberal Proposals and "Solutions" Don't Cut It

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The Interim Report of the Task Force for 21st Century Policing is the crunchy, fluffy wish list of big city cops and consultants who helped bring us the current police and prison state, assembled by the corporate-funded nonprofit sector which launched President Obama's career. With only 600 -odd days left in this administration it's a gesture of contempt toward the communities most affected by the machinery of our police and prison state.

Obama’s Dead End Criminal Justice “Reforms”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama administration shot double-barreled blanks in its response to the Black Lives Matter movement, “Both the Justice Department’s action in Ferguson and the Task Force report are indicative of the ineffectuality of what passes for criminal justice “reform” in 21st century America.” The Mass Black Incarceration State is incapable of meaningful reform. What’s needed is Black community control of the police.

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Final Insult to Trayvon Martin

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Eric Holder and Barack Obama have shown themselves incapable of delivering elementary justice to Black people. Instead of indicting Trayvon Martin’s killer, the president invited the teenager’s parents to the White House for Black History Month. The nation’s two most powerful Black men get lots of love from African Americans but give nothing in return. “It is an awfully vicious cycle and people like the late Trayvon Martin pay the price.”

Netanyahu Punks Obama as Congress Grovels

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

 

It was easy for Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to emasculate Barack Obama on Capitol Hill. All he had to do was expand on the lies that both Israel and the U.S. tell about Iran – lies that Barack Obama cannot effectively rebut without exposing himself as... a liar. Since neither co-conspirator can rat out the other, the smaller party gains an advantage over the larger one. The most brazen liar wins, and the loser cannot complain.

 
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Interview with Manolo De Los Santos, Part 2, and Black Code Alerts

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The author, a noted whistleblower and activist, recently returned from a trip to Cuba, where she engaged in an intensive dialogue with Manolo De Los Santos, a Dominican American studying in Cuba. De Los Santos said Cuba has made great progress in uplifting its people and reversing centuries of slavery and racism. “People need to come to Cuba to see it for themselves.”

W.E.B. Du Bois and the Radicalization of 21st Century Black Studies

by Dr. Anthony Monteiro

Last month marked the 147th birthday of W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the towering intellects of the 20th century and the founder of Black Studies as an “emancipatory” discipline. But today, Black scholars have largely “become disengaged, self-centered and in many instances a misleadership class.” The author calls for “a return to the Du Boisian idea of Black Studies as a part of the struggle for Black liberation.”

Capitalist Cotton Slavery and a Case (One Would Think) for Reparations

by Paul Street

Black chattel slavery made the United States an economic powerhouse and a beacon to European immigrants. “By 1836 nearly half the nation’s economic activity derived directly and indirectly from the roughly 1 million Black slaves. The descendants of that cauldron of torture and death deserve “a massive federal program of reparations in partial and belated compensation for the massive horror and theft.”

The Memory of Malcolm and the End of Neo-liberal Imperialism

by Danny Haiphong

If Malcolm X had survived to the present day, the U.S. secret police would have to assassinate him, again. “Malcolm would have condemned imperialism's endless wars in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and continued to build alliances with the victims of imperialism abroad.” The survival of humanity “depends on a radical movement that can revive Malcolm's revolutionary spirit.”

Beating Trial of LAPD Officer Begun, Then Delayed By “Peace Officer's Bill of Rights”

by BAR special correspondent Thandisizwe Chimurenga

In a rare instance of a Los Angeles police officer actually being tried for the brutal beating of a black woman in 2012, the state's so-called “Peace Officer Bill of Rights” is a once again significant barrier to revealing the histories of abuse on the part of the cops involved. Federal legislation guaranteeing cops similar immunities nationwide were introduced repeatedly by Vice President Joe Biden when he was in the US Senate.

#Gitmo2Chicago2Burge2Vietnam: How Police Abuse in Chicago Extends Way Beyond Homan Square

#Gitmo2Chicago2Burge2Vietnam: How Police Abuse in Chicago Extends Way Beyond Homan Square

courtesy of our friends at This Is Hell

Attorney Flint Taylor connects the Homan Square ‘black site’ story to a larger history of secrecy, violence and abuse that spans decades, continents and wars. Flint was quoted in the much talked-about, Spencer Ackerman article The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’ at the Guardian. Taylor also wonders whether mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia has a position on the closing of Homan Square.

Malcolm X’s Internationalism and the Struggle for Liberation in Haiti Today

by Ajamu Nangwaya

Malcolm X sought international unity among the non-white world based on the “common experience of colonialism and white supremacy.” If he were alive today, Malcolm “would encourage people outside of Haiti to stand with the people of Haiti.”

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