The Perils of the Politics of Symbolism

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Charleston church massacre has occasioned a revival of symbolic and “reconciliation” politics by old school Black preachers. “They forgive, they call for reconciliation, and they make symbolic demands whose acceptance or rejection will not seriously alter the balance of power.” The Black political class would much rather fight the Confederate flag than confront the police.

Why Charleston Shooter Dylan Roof Isn't a “Terrorist” But Maybe Some of Us Are

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

US law defines a terrorist as someone willing to break the law to change government or corporate policy, like the #BlackLivesMatter protestors, or Chelsea Manning or Martin Luther King. So can we really call Charleston shooter Dylan Roof a terrorist? Killing black people has always been the official policy of governments and corporations.

 
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Freedom Rider: U.S. Pushes Russia Towards War

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The lies that the U.S. corporate media tell can get us all killed. The United States is pushing Russia, which remains a nuclear superpower, to the brink and beyond – yet Americans are wholly ignorant of the facts and the issues at play. “In 2015 the signs are ominous that something terrible may happen because of an incident in Transnistria or Donetsk or some other locale Americans know nothing about.”

Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Every phony leftist that peddled Barack Obama as a “progressive,” and every knave and fool in “Progressives for Obama” that spread rose petals at his feet in 2008, should do penance through five years of silence. The First Black President positioned himself “at the far right wing of his own Democratic Party” to pass his TPP rigged trade treaty. Only three Black congresspersons, and 25 other Democrats, joined with Obama and his Republicans.

 
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Closing the Historical Circle: White Terrorism at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The commander-in-chief of the greatest purveyor of violence in the world laments the massacre in Charleston. But “Obama just wants to make sure that the violence is state-sanctioned.” He is happy to “send arms to known Islamic extremists in Syria, provide logistical and political support to the Saudi’s brutal and illegal war in Yemen, arm and train neo-Nazi fascists in Ukraine while militarily pivoting to Asia.” The founding slaveholders would approve.

The Ford Report: US Police Killings Violate International Law

by the Real News Network

Amnesty International finds all 50 states and Washington, DC, fail to comply with international law and standards on the use of lethal force by law enforcement officers.

Obama and the Logic of Massacre, from Birmingham to Charleston

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

President Obama took to the airwaves to absolve his administration of responsibility for the Charleston Massacre and endemic racist violence against Black people. But his Justice Department has refused to prosecute killer cops. “The message was clear: black lives have no value and the government would not intervene to protect and defend the black community.” Dylann Roof acted, accordingly.

America’s Slave Empire: The Resistance Movements Against US Prisons

by Chris Hedges

“We are not looking to politicians to submit reform bills,” say prisoners in Alabama, withholding work until they are paid wages. “We aren’t giving more money to lawyers. We don’t believe in the courts.” The penal slave order must be broken. “The kryptonite to fight the prison system, which is a $500 billion enterprise, is the work strike.”

The Fall of a Right-Wing Black Canadian Politician

by Ajamu Nangwaya

The unraveling of Sen. Don Meredith’s political career has nothing to do with Black “progress” in Canada. As a loyal member of the Conservative Party, Meredith supports mining interests that exploit Africa and, domestically, “is not on record opposing any of the anti-people laws of the right-wing regime in Ottawa.”

Dolezal Fakes Black Womanhood, Reveals Depth of White Supremacy in the US

by Danny Haiphong

Rachel Dolezal’s long foray into a fake “Blackness” is viewed by some as an affirmation that race is a social construct that creates false categories of humans. However, the fact remains that “the power structure that rules these categories ensures conditions of exploitation and oppression for an entire class of people, from the womb to what is often an early tomb.” Dolezal’s deceit amounts to a “usurpation and imitation of Black womanhood.”

Does Passing for Black Challenge White Supremacy?

by Mel Reeves

Demands for Rachel Dolezal’s heavily braided head ring hollow, from both Black and white quarters. “Many of those who are distraught over Dolezal’s passing haven’t done as much to advance the cause of racial justice as she has in just two decades of passing.” However, Dolezal “missed an opportunity to really do some good by staying in the skin she was born in and helping to oppose and eradicate racism and discrimination.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 22, 2015

Charleston Massacre: Vintage Americana

Activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray lives in Columbia, South Carolina, not far from the Charleston church shooter’s home town, where “a Confederate flag on the bumper of a car is just as common as a stop sign.” It’s also where Dylann Roof learned that Blacks are constantly raping white women and trying to take over the nation, said Gray. “That kind of racist talk is as old as the relationship between Black folk and white folk in America.”

Black Church Needs to Beef Up Security

“This is an assault against the Black church and its members,” said Rev. Anthony Evans, executive director of the Washington-based National Black Church Initiative, a multidenominational coalition of Black churches across the country. Rev. Evans has gone South to advise coalition congregations “how to harden their church in terms of the safety of men, women and children. They don’t have to worry about this in a white church,” he said. “We only have to worry about this in the Black church.”

People’s Power vs Black Political Class

The Winchester and Sandtown neighborhoods of Baltimore were the centers of protest against the police killing of Freddie Gray. The experience “has opened their eyes to the role of the state” in fostering poverty and powerless,” said Andre Powell, of the People’s Power Assembly. Although Black politicians may appear to run the show in the majority Black city, “the big financial boards, the Chamber of Commerce, those are the folks that really decide what’s done in Baltimore,” he said.

Mass Movement Needed

Maryland is the fourth Blackest state in the nation, but solving the state’s problems is “not all Black and white,” said Dr. Kenneth Morgan, who teaches Urban Studies at Coppin State University. Morgan works closely with the Ujima People’s Progress Party, which is trying to get a spot on the statewide ballot. “Our efforts are to organize and mobilize a mass movement, and to help rekindle a national movement.”

Dominican Republic Seeks to Deport Dark-Skinned Residents

Nearly a million Haitian migrant workers and descendants of Haitians face deportation from the Dominican Republic. Two deadlines for registration with the government have passed, but only a minority of those affected have succeeded in navigating the process. The DR depends on Haitians for low wage labor, but wants to keep the migrants insecure in order to further exploit them, said Dahoud Andre, a New York-based Haitian community activist and radio host. “At the same time that they threaten to deport hundreds of thousands, don’t be surprised that they are bringing in other Haitian workers to replace them.” The dispute is inextricably entwined with Dominican racism against Black Haiti.

Eritrean Identity “Most Sought After” Among African Refugees

A UN report claims the tiny East African nation of Eritrea is responsible for a huge share of the refugees fleeing to the West. The report characterizes Eritrea’s compulsory national service as a form of slave labor. In an interview on Iran’s Press TV, journalist Thomas C. Mountain, who has lived in and reported from Eritrea since 2006, said the report is “a complete fabrication,” but conceded that national service “is very hard on our kids,” who want “to go out and make some money.” The Eritrean refugee numbers are vastly inflated, said Saba Gebregiorgis, an Eritrean living in Britain. “European countries give preferential treatment to Eritreans” as political refugees, said Gebregiorgis. “This has resulted in the Eritrean identity becoming the most sought after identity among the whole African population, including Ethiopians, Somalis, Sudanese, and even West Africans,” who pretend to be Eritrean for asylum purposes.

 
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Way Too Little, But Not Too Late: Hillary & Dems Fake the Funk on Voting Rights

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Hillary is getting undeserved praise for her stand on voting rights, which is way too little, and factually less than some of her apologists want us to believe. But she's a Democrat. After blowing the historic 40 year window during which a Constitutional right to vote amendment might have been passed she and her party have no intention of actually leading a fight for voting rights. But it's not too late to start waging that fight ourselves.

Tamir Rice and the Meaning of “No Justice – No Peace”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Black Lives Matter” has become the default name for the emerging movement against police atrocities against Black people. Whatever the movement winds up calling itself, “the venerable slogan 'No Justice – No Peace' has served as a workhorse of the current protest, and would be an ideal organizing principle if the implications of the slogan were fully understood, rather than simply mouthed."

From Roosevelt Island to Rikers Island – Hillary Clinton Can't See Mass Incarceration

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

New York City's Roosevelt Island and Rikers Island are on the same planet, but different worlds. For Hillary Clinton, the suicide of Kalief Browder, a New York city teen imprisoned for 3 years, two in solitary at Rikers who hanged himself on the eve of her inaugural New York City rally, was not important enough to mention before a friendly white audience. Apparently those are discussions reserved for black audiences only, or surrogates.

 
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Freedom Rider: America Prosecutes the World

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The United States government refuses to criminally prosecute American bankers, because they are “too big to jail.” But the U.S. Justice Department is claiming jurisdiction over international soccer, and threatening to rescind and reassign World Cups, because bribes were allegedly paid using U.S. banks. It’s “the latest example of a country determined to exert control over the rest of the world in every possible way.”

The U.S. and Al Qaida in Love and War

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S., Saudi Arabia and al Qaida are on the same side in the wars in Syria and Yemen. Indeed, the “international jihadist network owes its very existence to the United States,” which “created the global infrastructure of terror” in Afghanistan in the late 1970s. However, jihadist and imperialist interests are ultimately irreconcilable. In the end, the U.S. will be expelled from the region, and the Saudi royalty will lose their heads.

 
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Investigation into Tamir Rice Murder: No Bombshells – So Why the Nine Month Delay?

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The critical facts of 12 year-old Tamir Rice’s 2-second long fatal encounter with a Cleveland policeman are all recorded on video, but that’s not enough for the county prosecutor, who has yet to bring charges against the cop. “Is the delay due to arrogance born of privilege and power or simply defiance of a social movement that places demands upon an intransigent political system?”

The Big Lie Behind the Eritrean Exodus Across the Mediterranean

by the Real News Network

Eritrea is one of the few African nations not part of AFRICOM, which makes it an enemy of the US. To destabilize the Eritrean regime, the EU grants expedited entry and semi-legalization to Eritreans who reach its shores. Hence migrants from across Africa, says Glen Ford, are masquerading as Eritreans, enabling the US and EU to paint a false picture of alleged mass exodus from that country which will serve to justify future interventions.

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