Malcolm X Was Right About America

by Chris Hedges

Malcolm X, who was assassinated on February 21, 1965, recognized a half century ago that capitalism is a dying social system. “As the nations of the world free themselves, then capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker,” said Malcolm. “It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

What does Saudi King Abdullah have to do with Boston's Local Mayor?

by Danny Haiphong

No matter how many heads the Saudi Arabian regime cuts off, its place in the U.S. imperial alliance remains secure. And, no matter how much Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh “gentrifies the city, militarizes the police, and impoverishes working class people, American exceptionalism gives his rule the benefit of being seen as a ‘lesser evil’ within the ‘civilized’ system of governance in the US.”

Arrogant Western Military Coordination and the New/Old Threat to Africa

by Mark P. Fancher

Euro-American imperialism is now prepared to use raw military force to once again dominate the African continent – with Washington and Paris taking the lead. “In recent years, threats to western economic hegemony in Africa by China, new African self-determination initiatives, terrorism and other developments have prompted western governments to return to Africa with their armies.”

American Sniper: Dirty Harry Goes Hunting

by Dr. T. P. Wilkinson

The director who made a mint from glorifying killer cops, two generations ago, cashes in once again on American racism and imperial pathology. “Is it accidental that a film about a white assassin hits the box offices on the weekend of Martin Luther King Day?”

Loretta Lynch's Shame: International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

Brooklyn federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s choice for the next attorney general, took off a few years in early 2000s to serve as a prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda. Lynch is proud of strong-arming Hutu defendants for a tribunal that failed to indict a single Tutsi – despite the fact that Tutsi invaders won the war and more Hutus than Tutsis died in the bloodbath.

Black Agenda Radio, Feb 3, 2015

NYPD Creates Machine Gun-Toting Anti-Protest/Terror Unit

New York City police commissioner William Bratton announced formation of a 350-officer, machine gun-equipped Strategic Response Group unit to deal with Black Lives Matter protests as well as terror attacks. “That’s outrageous.” said Carl Messineo, legal director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a DC-based outfit that has won millions of dollars in damages against police departments that abuse protesters’ civil rights. “The police always conflate terrorism and protest.” The mayor needs to “disband this unit before it is put into place,” said Messineo. “This is a mission that is doomed to disaster.”

Ferguson Protest Leader Speaks on Holder’s Tricks and Oprah’s Insults

Taurean Russell, one of the leaders of Hands Up United, has been a key protest organizer since the day Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown on a street in Ferguson, Missouri. Asked how Blacks in Ferguson reacted to word that Attorney General Eric Holder will not indict Wilson on civil rights charges, Russell said: “We really don’t care if the system brings charges or indicts him. The community has indicted him.” The protests “woke up a lot of people to the hypocrisy that is the system.” On media Tycoon Oprah Winfrey’s criticism, that young leaders of the new movement don’t know what they want, Russell said protesters’ demands have been widely circulated since August. “I assume that she has a billion distractions – literally,” he said.

Black Judas at the Justice Department

For months, the U.S. Justice Department has been telling selected media that there will be no federal civil rights indictment of former cop Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. The latest leak prompted whistleblower and BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo to author an article titled, “Eric Holder’s Final Betraying Kiss to the People of Ferguson.” “The symbolism is obviously the kiss between Judas and Christ,” said Coleman-Adebayo. In a sense, the leak liberates the Brown family from an eternity of waiting. “Trayvon Martin’s family has been waiting for three years,” she said. All the martyrs’ families “should know they’ll get the same response” from Holder’s Justice Department as Michael Brown’s family.

Marissa Alexander Out of Prison on House Arrest

After spending three years and 65 days in a Florida prison, Marissa Alexander has been placed under house arrest. The Black mother had faced as much as 60 years in prison for firing a shot to ward off her abusive husband. Her supporters convened a People’s Movement Assembly to welcome Alexander back to Jacksonville. “When we got rid of capitalism and the prison system, we also have to dismantle patriarchy,” said Aleta Alston-Toure, co-leader of the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign. “The National Rifle Association supports people having guns in their homes to protect themselves. But, why wasn’t Marissa in that equation? Because she’s a Black woman,” said Alston-Toure.

February 20 Event for Lynne Stewart and All Political Prisoners

On New Year’s Eve, 2013, people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart was released from federal prison on compassionate grounds, suffering from Stage Four cancer. “We are celebrating the year that Lynne has had out. The life expectancy was six months,” said her husband and lifelong comrade in struggle, Ralph Poynter. The celebration, at 6:pm on Friday, February 20, at St. Peter’s Church, 54th Street and Lexington Avenue, in Manhattan, will call for freedom for all political prisoners. “These are the people who gave their all, and we have to recognize them,” said Poynter. A new movement is afoot. But, how can young people be expected to put their liberty at risk, when the prisoners of two generations ago are still behind bars? “We cannot expect them to join in under those circumstances,” said Poynter. “So, let us do something about it, if we truly are a movement people.”

Three Arrested as Obama Tries to Ram Secret Trade Treaty Through Congress

Capitol Hill police charged three protesters with disrupting the Senate Finance Committee’s hearings on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a huge trade treaty that is being negotiated in secret. President Obama wants Congress to give him authority to sign the pact, sight unseen. “It’s going to strip jobs out of the country; it will lower wages and increase the wealth divide; it’s going to deregulate banking; it’s terrible for food and health and water – it’s just a monster,” said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. He urged opponents to go to StopFastTrack.com to pressure their congresspersons.

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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

Changing the Guard in Black America

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It’s been so long since Black America has experienced a grassroots movement, most folks don’t have a clue how to measure its success. The Black Lives Matter campaign has already accomplished a fundamental task, despite the lack of indictment against Michael Brown’s killer. “The movement has unmasked Obama as the Oppressor-in-Chief and exposed the Black Misleadership Class as fawning accomplices to the dehumanization of the rest of us.”

Freedom Rider: Chris Kyle and Media Propaganda

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

America, the historical mass murder machine, remains unrepentant, as verified by the phenomenal box office success of American Sniper. The real life Iraq War psychopath, who died by another veteran’s bullet in 2013, was accorded hero status by reporters, “none of them asked hard questions about what he and our political leaders did to Iraqis.”

Insane U.S. Oil Glut Wars

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The world economy is falling into stagnation, putting downward pressures on gas and oil prices. So, what is the response of the United States, the world’s biggest energy producer? The Americans flood the globe with millions more barrels per day of unneeded oil, in order to break the backs of rivals Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The U.S. is playing chicken with the fate of humankind, betting that it is the most fit to survive the crash.

Holder’s Final Betraying Kiss to the People of Ferguson: The Wholesale Abandonment of Decency

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

Eric Holder’s Justice Department has definitively leaked that it will not indict the former Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown. That also means “the families of John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and all the other victims around the country must let go of any illusions that DOJ is in their corner.” Black America has reached the point of no return. “We now know what to expect from the Obama administration – nothing.”

Our Girls are Still Not Home: Boko Haram and the Politics of Death

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Nigeria’s neighbors have pledged military help in the fight against Boko Haram, which continues its offensive in the northeastern corner of the country. The civil war threatens to destabilize Africa’s most populous nation. Boko Haram certainly does engage in terror, but folks should not “ignore the social/economic conditions and religious ideological factors that still provide the foundation for Boko Haram’s recruitment and popular support.”

Mass Killings of Blacks by Cops: An Absence of Outrage

by Paul Street

After two generations of mass Black incarceration, hyper-surveillance and police militarization as national policy, a nascent movement has finally arisen to demand that Black Lives Matter. But most whites feel no compassion for the victims of state carnage in the ghetto. “Where is the outrage outside the Black community over such atrocious police killings of Black people in the US?”

Expanding on Selma and the Politics of Martin Luther King Jr.

by Danny Haiphong

“It should come as no surprise that Selma concluded by promoting King as a peaceful pacifist who led a movement that gave individual leaders like John Lewis a seat at the table of US imperialism.” At core, the screenplay must be viewed as Hollywood-scale historical revisionism. “Selma completely evades the existence of the Black liberation movement.”

The Decadent Veil: Black America's Wealth Illusion

by Antonio Moore

The constant flashing of Black celebrity wealth – much of it earned in sports, entertainment and media – “has allowed for a broad swath of America to become not just desensitized to black poverty, but also hypnotized by black celebrity.” But, the real Black economic condition ranges from bad to hopeless. “Thirty-five percent of Black households have Negative or No Net Worth. Another 15 percent have less than $6,000 in total household worth.”

Charlie Hebdo and the “Wild West”

by Dr. T P Wilkinson

Charlie Hebdo propagandists are sending a cowboys-and-Indians media message. “The image of the fanatical Muslim ‘Indians’ – on the warpath – attacking a tiny, helpless intellectual family in the Parisian prairie is pure fantasy cultivated by the mass media presentation of events.” The cartoonists may have been civilians, but they were hardly non-combatants.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/26/15

The $10 billion pledged by international donors for Haiti earthquake relief, five years ago, was “enough money to give every Haitian a check for $1,000,” said Jake Johnston, principal author of the Center for Economic and Policy Research report, “Haiti by the Numbers, Five Years Later.” Yet, 300,000 people are living on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in appalling conditions, while “only 9,000 homes have been built by the international response.” Cholera, brought into the country by United Nations soldiers, is unchecked, and a U.S.-backed president rules largely by decree. Most American aid money was spent on U.S. firms, said Johnston. “Less than one percent of it went to Haitian organizations or Haitian government institutions.”

Newark to Get Cop Review Board

Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka unveiled a draft plan for the city’s first Citizens Complaint Review Board, last week. The proposed board would have the power to subpoena witnesses and recommend punishment of abusive officers. However, the police director could, under some circumstances, veto the board’s recommendations – a serious point of contention, according to Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress. “We’re going to need the most effective review board possible, in order to change police behavior,” said Hamm. “They see themselves as special, above the law, and above reproach. They don’t think citizens have the right to judge them.”

Charges Dropped Against Crusading Black Educator

Three years ago, Professor Jahi Issa was arrested while observing a student protest against the rapid “whitening” of Delaware State University, a nominally Black institution. A judge this month overrode prosecution objections and dismissed the misdemeanor resisting arrest charge. “My attorney wrote that the president of Delaware State and his chief of police need to go see Selma, the movie, because they neither understand nor respect history,” said Dr. Issa, who lost his job teaching history and Africana Studies. “If this is the new crop of HBCU leadership, then we are seriously in trouble.”

Mumia on MLK’s Ordeal

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was “hounded and tormented” by the United States government “until his dying day,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. The pressure increased after King’s 1967 Riverside Church speech in which he denounced the Vietnam War “and criticized capitalism.”

U.S. Constitution Legalizes Slavery

Another correspondent for Prison Radio, Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, who has served more than 25 years of a life sentence imposed when he was a juvenile, said the U.S. government has “perpetrated a fraud” on the public for the pat 150 years, with the claim that the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery. “While the 13th Amendment abolished the chattel labor form of slavery, it simultaneously legalized slavery as a punishment for a criminal offense conviction,” said Marshall. The result was “penal slavery, the prison slave labor system.”

Rev. Edward Pinkney Awaits Hearing in Prison

Benton Harbor, Michigan’s imprisoned community leader, Rev. Edward Pinkney, is “doing very well, they have not broken his spirit,” said his wife, Dorothy. Rev. Pinkney was sentenced to 2 ½ to 10 years in prison for an elections petition offense stemming from a campaign to recall the local mayor, an ally of the giant Whirlpool corporation, which dominates the mostly Black town. A hearing is scheduled for February 24 on two defense motions, including that one of the jurors was a close associate of the prosecution. Veteran activist Larry Pinkney – no family relation – is media contact for Rev. Pinkney. “He’s not getting his mail, they’ve moved him way up to Marquette, Michigan,” said Larry Pinkney. “But the brother is a warrior, he’s a fighter, he’s standing tall.”

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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

State of the Union 2015: Lethal, Predatory, Delusional

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama says things are looking up for America – which is exactly how Wall Street sees it. For the seventh time, Obama assessed the state of the nation from the perspective of a “center-right presidency whose real accomplishment has been to re-inflate the Wall Street casino, flush the last vestiges of secure employment out of the economy, and put the imperial war machine back on the offensive.”

Freedom Rider: Jeffrey Sterling: A Black Man and the CIA

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Former New York Times reporter James Risen got most of the coverage in the Obama administration’s latest espionage trial, but the defendant is a Black man. Jeffrey Sterling is not guilty of espionage – none of the defendants in Obama’s cases are – but he is an accessory to the crimes of his former employer, the CIA. “ Sterling lay down with dogs and got up with fleas.

Selma: Black History According to Oprah

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Most Black folks are just grateful that there is finally a big box office movie about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But, of course, Selma is historical fiction, carefully crafted to make some people and ideas look good and wise, and others to appear petty, narrow or stupid. Who decides? The money-people, the producers, like Oprah Winfrey.

 
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