BA Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of Feb 4, 2013

Obama's "Race to the Top" is racist;

Ras Baraka for Mayor of Newark;

Anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death;

Students Against Mass Incarceration announce Conference on Criminal Justice at Howard U;

Is the EEOC dismissing racial discrimination cases en masse?;

The carving up of Africa has begun.

Melissa Harris-Perry Buries The Lead Story on National Wave of Public School Closings

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

When print or broadcast news outlets grab a compelling story, only to distract attention away from what the public needs to know, that's called “burying the lead.” That's what Melissa Harris-Perry did in her Jan. 26 segment on whether the nationwide wave of public school closings were “racist” or not.

Freedom Rider: Job Discrimination Lives On

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

For the masses of Black people, progress against job discrimination ground to halt decades ago. Even at the supervisory level, apartheid is the order of the day. “Black men and women are rarely hired to supervise white people. Black men supervise black men, black women supervise black women, and white men are in positions to manage everyone else.”

Django Unchained, Or, “Killing Whitey While Protecting White Power”: A Review

by Omali Yeshitela

At last: a revolutionary African analysis of Django, a movie that “does not have the ability to criticize the institution of slavery.” Jamie Foxx’s character “does not enlist his captive brothers and sisters in the enterprise of ending slavery or their own enslavement.” And, he is disconnected, choosing only “to free his wife and to exact revenge for wrongs done to her.”

Meeting and Greeting the Crusaders in Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Europeans are pouring into northwest Africa in such volume, the huge U.S. airlift capacity may soon be necessary to keep the “Crusaders” supplied. African militaries are being assembled to do the white man’s bidding. The U.S. hopes to establish a Somalia-like operation on the near side of Africa – with Americans in overall charge.

Seattle Teachers Boycott of Unfair & Unnecessary High Stakes Tests Spreads to Second High School

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Teachers in Seattle are standing up to the high stakes testing regime and refusing to administer an unnecessary test. Students and parents have lined up to support them, and the boycott has already spread to a second Seattle high school. President Obama in his 2012 State of the Union said teachers shouldn't have to “teach to the test”. Will be commend the efforts of Seattle teachers? Don't hold your breath.

Republicans Suppress Black Vote; Democrats Scatter It

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Republicans tend to concentrate African Americans in majority Black voting districts, while Democrats like to scatter Blacks around to help white candidates win office. “Both parties are playing plantation politics with Black voters, for their own purposes.” Coalitions are fine, but African Americans need to address their own problems, on their own terms.

Zero Dark Mali

by Pepe Escobar

The imperialial juggernaut is once again on a roll in North Africa, with France in the lead. Secular-run Algeria had “better get its US$50 billion in reserves out of Western banks as soon as possible.” But overwhelming arms do not guarantee victory. “The French are on their way to meet the American fate in both Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Africa: The New Focus of Western Domination

by A. Akbar Muhammad

Western actions in Mali indicates a new phase of imperialism, domination and plundering.” France has taken the point position in the armed intervention. However, “because of what African raw material wealth means to their futures, Britain and America couldn’t be left out.”

Mutulu’s Call: Securing the Release of Our Captured Fighters

by Kwasi Anokye

How does a fractured movement fight for release of activists facing false charges, while simultaneously defending the rights of other imprisoned freedom fighters to resist oppression by any means necessary? “Standard leftist language would have us defend our freedom fighters merely as unjustly treated individuals, not as righteous insurgents.” But what about our inherent right to self-determination?

Political Prisoners, Mass Incarceration and What's Possible for Social Movements

by Sundiata Acoli

What can social justice movements do to resist and, ultimately, topple a state that is built on mass incarceration? The author, a political prisoner, says “at this moment it seems very possible for social movements to succeed in reducing prison populations. But any reductions under the present policy would only postpone the next incarceration binge to some more cost-efficient time.”

BA Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of January 28, 2013

Housing is for people, not banks

Obama's inagural speech shows him to be...

aiming to raise retirement age, according to Kevin Alexander Gray;

the drone war president, accordong to David Swanson;

double-talker on climate change, according to Marsha Coleman-Abedayo;

the same old neoliberal Obama, according to Paul Street.

The White House Un-Reality Show

 

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Despite the fact that “it was Barack Obama who began the current austerity offensive in the weeks before delivering his first inaugural address,” the president was allowed to pose as a champion of the social safety net. Having redefined war, he once again claims to be a peacemaker. By cheering the inaugural speech, progressives are only encouraging Obama’s gaming and mendacity.”

Symbols Are All We Need: Four More Years of Black Silence, Irrelevance

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Our black political class, from the president down to sheriffs evoke the struggles and victories of the fifties and sixties, but have nothing to show for the seventies, eighties nineties or the new century except their own careers. They are utterly unprepared to fight or even assist in the fight for economic justice, peace and rolling back the prison state. But they're good role models, which is all we really need.

Freedom Rider: The State Killing of Aaron Swartz

 

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

A brilliant young practitioner of human interconnectedness, Aaron Swartz “played a key role in defeating the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which used the phony threat of online piracy to make the internet less open.” He was hounded to death by venal prosecutors of “the worst judicial system on the face of the earth.”

The Coming Imperial Implosion in the Arab World

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The imperial offensive in North Africa and Syria “was designed to put a Euro-American spin on the momentum of change” with the advent of the Arab Spring. But it has actually empowered Islamist forces and their royal Persian Gulf patrons. This house of cards must ultimately collapse.

Until Housing is a Right, Blacks Will Live Marginalized Lives

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

A new report says housing policies should be based on filling social needs rather than using housing as a wealth-building mechanism. “Housing should be treated as a right, and housing policies must be informed by the realities of race.”

Calculating Reparations: $1.5 Million for Each Slave Descendant in the U.S

 

by Denis Rancourt

For some descendants of persons held in U.S. chattel bondage, no monetary sum can compensate for the enslavement of their ancestors. However, for those looking for a number, there are various ways to calculate the value of involuntary servitude. Here’s one of them.

Mali Invasion Shows That “Adieu” Does Not Always Mean

 

by Mark P. Fancher

Whether rightists or “socialists,” all French governments believe in their inalienable right to dominate Africa. French troops are on the move in Mali and the Central African Republic, and not long ago overthrew the regime in Ivory Coast. If the colonial era has passed, somebody ought to tell Paris – and French-speaking Africans – the news.

The Descent: From Dr. King to Barack Obama

 

by Ajamu Baraka

Two Nobel prizes, two different eras, awarded to Black men of near-polar opposite politics. The clash between the historically progressive African American worldview and allegiance to the corporate militarist in the White House puts great strains on the Black polity. “As African Americans, we are experiencing our most profound existential crisis since our collective experience of being enslaved.”

The American Revolution from an Anti-Racist Viewpoint

 

by Haider A. Khan

Although far more Blacks fought on the British side in the U.S. War of Independence, those Africans that sided with George Washington turned out to be his best soldiers. The white settlers won, but Blacks lost. “If the American Revolution had liberated slaves not only in the North but also in the South, its model might have inspired social revolution.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of January 21, 2013

 

Black and Brown Schools Already Over-Policed

When we look at whose schools are policed and which students have to go through metal detectors, get pad-downs, get drug-searched on a routine basis, it’s our students of color and our communities of color across this country,” said Matthew Cregor, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The Newtown, Connecticut, massacre has led to renewed calls for an increased police presence in schools. However, what inner city students need are more social workers, psychologists and counselors, and teaching resources, said Cregor.

Savage School Inequalities Intensify

Our schools are more segregated and less equal than they were in 1968, when Dr. King was taken from us,” said Jonathan Kozol, the educator, activist and author. “This kind of inequality is a theological abomination, a crime against the least of us,” said Kozol, author of the 1991 classic Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. He was interviewed on public radio’s Smiley & West show.

Obama “Co-Conspirator” in Austerity Schemes

Austerity is, essentially, shifting of the burden of the economic depression from those who created it onto the working class and the poor,” said activist Eric Draitser, who has been organizing anti-austerity forums. “This is a concerted attack by financiers and the ruling class against the legacy of the New Deal.” President Obama is “a co-conspirator and collaborator with these austerity schemes.” Draitser is publisher of the web site StopImperialism.com.

MLK vs. Obama

Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have nothing in common, politically, according to Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “The only connection they would have in the real world be that Dr. King would be leading the demonstrations against the Obama regime, if he were alive,” said Yeshitela. Obama has “extended the war machine beyond anything in recent memory.”

Lynn Stewart’s Cancer Spreads

Human rights lawyer Lynn Stewart, serving ten years in a Fort Worth, Texas, prison for her zealous defense of an accused terrorist client, has suffered a relapse of cancer. “It has spread to her other lung and to parts of her back,” said Stewart’s husband, Ralph Poynter, speaking on the radio program Taking Aim. Prison regulations prevent Stewart from obtaining the care she needs. “We feel that it is a death sentence,” said Poynter.

Happy Birthday to Ramsey Clark and Dr. King, from Mumia

If MLK were alive, he would be 84 years old, a year younger than former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, whose birthday was recently celebrated at New York City’s historic Riverside Church, along with the 20th anniversary of the International Action Center. Dr. King “would be with the people, with the IAC, with Ramsey Clark, at Riverside,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal in a message recorded for the event.

Don’t You Dare Conflate MLK and Obama

 

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

If Dr. King were alive today, there might be a Black president, but he or she would certainly not get MLK’s support if he behaved like Barack Obama. Dr. King would oppose Obama’s wars, “make Wall Street scream, and attempt to render the nation ungovernable under the dictatorship of the Lords of Capital.”

Freedom Rider: Obama Moves on Iran

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

No allegation against Iran is too wild for the U.S. corporate media megaphone. The fact that Iran’s modest arms industry makes a small proportion of the bullets floating around Africa is made to seem the equivalent of a mushroom cloud. “While the U.S. spins its AFRICOM web and plans to send troops to 35 different countries, Iran alone is accused of bringing violence to the continent.”

FCC Opens Rulemaking Process To Lower Price of Prison Phone Calls

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

One of the most accurate predictors of which prisoners will be re-incarcerated is the number and depth of their connections maintained with family on the outside. Jailers on the federal state and local level have long cut deals with phone companies to make huge profits on calls between prisoners and their families. Thanks to years of patient grassroots activism, that might be about to end.

France and the U.S. Play Tag-Team in Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The United States and France, once thought of as imperial competitors, act as military tag team partners in Africa. France puffed up like a hyper-aggressive peacock in the assault on Libya, and now strikes unilaterally against Islamists in Mali. But the junior imperialist’s brashness comes with the confidence that the superpower has its back.

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