Detroit Citizens Say No to Bankruptcy

by Abayomi Azikiwe

Detroit’s dictatorial Emergency Manager is attempting to railroad the Black metropolis into bankruptcy for the benefit of predatory bankers. However, the people of Detroit, in public hearings and in the streets, “are saying that the municipality is not a private corporation and that people have a vested interest in maintaining their jobs, salaries, healthcare benefits, pensions and city assets.”

Are America and NATO replacing the UN?

by Motsoko Pheko

The United States and its allies behave as if their will is international law, in Syria and everywhere on the globe. “To trust such America and NATO investigators to be impartial in their search for chemical weapons and to identify who used them is like naively believing that jackals can look after sheep without reporting that some of them are ‘missing’ or ‘dead.’”

Legacy of Slavery Still Fuels Anti-Black Attitudes in the Deep South

by Susan Hagen

A study at the University of Rochester attempts a statistical analysis of white southern racism and finds – surprise! – that slavery lies at the root. “The legacy of the plantation economy and its reliance on the forced labor of African Americans continues to exacerbate racial bias in the Deep South."

Racist Pot Prosecution in Louisiana

by Bill Quigley

Although whites and Blacks use marijuana at roughly equal rates, Blacks are far more likely to be arrested for possession. In Louisiana, the racial bias in prosecution is extreme. “In Tangipahoa Parish, blacks are 11.8 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites and in St. Landry Parish the rate of black arrests for marijuana is 10.7 times as likely as whites.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/23/13

Lynne Stewart Imprisonment Meant to “Chill” Defense Lawyers

New Justice Department guidelines on compassionate release from prison should, by all rights, apply to people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart, serving a 10-year sentence for zealously defending her client, said David Gespass, former president of the National Lawyers Guild. Stewart suffers from Stage 4 breast cancer. “The only possible reason not to release her would be just pure vindictiveness,” said Gespass, an attorney practicing in Birmingham, Alabama. “I think her prosecution was a warning to defense lawyers that they should not do their jobs as vigorously as they are required constitutionally to do, particularly in cases involving allegations of so-called terrorism.”

October 22 Day of Protest Against Police Atrocities

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network will hold the 18th annual National Day of Protest to stop police brutality, repression and the criminalization of a generation, said Carl Dix, a co-founder of the event. “If anything, it is even more relevant, today.” The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin killing “takes us back 150 years and more, to the Dred Scott Decision, when Black people were ruled to have no rights that white people are bound to respect,” said Dix.

October 24 is “Workers Demand a Raise Day”

The Baltimore Workers Assembly will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the federal minimum wage with demands that today’s minimum be raised to $15 an hour. “If wages had kept up with the cost of living since the first minimum wage was enacted, it would now be $15.23,” said organizer Karen Black. President Obama and other politicians have not been helpful in increasing workers’ paychecks. “That’s in part why we formed a workers assembly that can get a movement going to force these issues,” said Black.

Obamacare Would Still Leave U.S. Last in Developed World

Forty-eight million Americans are still without health insurance, and 48,000 of them die every year due to inadequate care, said Dr. David Himmelstein, of Physicians for a National Health Plan. “Billions and billions are drained out of the health care system by greedy insurance companies whose interest is in denying people care,” said Himmelstein, whose organization favors a Medicaid-for-All system. “Even if Obamacare works as planned, we’re still going to have 31 million people who won’t have coverage,” which means the U.S. health care system will remain “the worst in the developed world.”

The Incredibly Shrinking Welfare State

The remnants of the federal welfare program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, “needs to be made more accessible,” said Timothy Casey, senior attorney for Legal Momentum. “Right now, two out of three families and children who are eligible don’t get any benefits.” Moreover, “benefits in every state are far below the official poverty level – typically less than half,” said Casey. Legal Momentum was formerly known as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.

U.S. Protects Purveyors of Genocide in Congo

Washington refuses to bring real pressures on Rwanda to halt its 17-year war and occupation of the eastern Congo, the “deadliest conflict in the world since World War Two, in which millions of Congolese have lost their lives,” said Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of Congo. “When you compare it to the way the U.S. has acted against Zimbabwe, or the way it’s been beating the war drums against Syria, the U.S. hasn’t brought substantial weight, whatsoever,” against its ally, Rwanda, said Carney.

Kenyans Say No to International Criminal Court

Both houses of Kenya’s parliament voted to sever ties with the International Criminal Court, which had previously indicted Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, the current president and deputy president of the country. “They had and election, and one of the major aspects of the campaign was, We can handle our problems ourselves and we don’t need the ICC,” said John Philpot, a Canadian attorney and expert on international criminal law who has defended clients before the ICC. Parliament’s action “was a good step,” said Philpot, “because the ICC is the right hand of military/political intervention” and only prosecutes Africans.

Download the episode here.

Black America More Pro-War Than Ever

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

During President Obama’s run-up to war with Syria, “African Americans were, for the first time in polling history, the most bellicose major ethnicity in the United States.” How could such a political role-reversal come to pass? “The progressive, peace-seeking African American worldview is out of sync with the deep imperative to support the First Black President.”

What "Sanctions" Will Happen If Syrian "Rebels" Are Shown To Have Used Poison Gas?

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

Outside the reality-distorting bubble of US corporate media, almost nobody believes the Syrian regime are the only ones who have sarin gas in that unhappy country, but the rebels are not included in its inspections protocols or threatened sanctions. And while the Syrian regime gets six months to dispose of all chemical weapons, why does the US need ten years to get rid of its own stockpile?


Freedom Rider: Bill Thompson Loses and Black People Win

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Bill Thompson thought he could get the Black vote simply by being the only Black candidate in the Democratic primary for mayor of New York. Thompson didn’t work hard or address the Black community, except to “caution against ‘over reacting’ to stop and frisk” – an issue that backfired on him big-time. Thompson was beaten by a somewhat progressive white guy with a Black family. Serves him right.

Detroit is the Nexus of New American Apartheid

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“What is emerging in the second decade of the 21st century is a new version of American Apartheid, in which the inhabitants of largely Black urban centers are denied a meaningful vote or the legal capacity to safeguard their collective and individual property from the grasping hands of the rich.” A conference in Detroit confronts the crisis, October 5 and 6.


EPA Victims Ask: Who Will Protect Us From Our Protectors?

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The public need protection from the Environmental Protection Agency, a “rogue” department of government that ruthlessly suppresses the truth about its actual activities. “The EPA’s Office of General Counsel, Office of Civil Rights and the Office of the Administrator have all been complicit in crimes against the people and environment they are charged with protecting.”

An African American Perspective on U.S. Exceptionalism

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Russian leader Vladimir Putin caused great consternation when he countered President Obama’s assertions of American “exceptionalism” in the pages of the New York Times. But the crimes of the United States are no secret to those who have been “invaded, enslaved, murdered, subjected to systematic racist dehumanization and colonized” by America.

Public Enemy or Talented Tenth? The War Against Black Children

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Blacks are the scapegoats for America’s failure to keep pace in the world. “For a nation brainwashed into believing the U.S. is an exceptionalist beacon, the underachievement of black students has become both shorthand for and explanation of its low standing in academic rankings.” The truth is, America programs Black kids to fail at every level of the education system.

The Honey Obadger: He Don’t Give a Shit

by Randy Shields

“Honey obadger has a silver tongue, really big ears for hearing everything said everywhere in the world, lives (politically) almost exclusively on killing Muslims and blends in well with whatever people want to believe they’re seeing.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/18/13

Obama Still Looking for War Excuse

The Obama administration is “thrashing everywhere to find a new excuse to rev up another war threat,” said Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. The president’s current willingness to negotiate with the Russians over Syria “is a tactical retreat that gives the anti-war movement more time to organize.”

American Exceptionalism=White Supremacy

The American “exceptionalism” that President Obama cited in his Syria speech “is rooted in a notion of unacknowledged white supremacy,” said Ajamu Baraka, associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. For 500 years, European colonists have claimed the privilege “to determine who has the right to sovereignty, who has the right to rule, who should have the authority in certain countries,” said Baraka. “It’s nothing more than the dressed up re-articulation of the White Man’s Burden.”

Nuclear-Chemical Israel

Syria admitted possession of chemical weapons at least a year ago, according to Sam Husseini, of the Institute for Public Accuracy, citing a 2012 article from American Interest magazine. “Everything that I’ve been able to find indicates that Israel continues to build up its chemical weapons capacity,” said Husseini. “What is ironic,” however, “is that it is Israel that does not acknowledge its possession of nuclear weapons.”

When U.S. Presidents Want War, They Get War

“I can’t think of a time when a president said, ‘I want to begin bombing another country,’ and has not gotten to do it,” said Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.Org. “By hook or crook, it gets done.” However, this time around, “the militaristic center could not hold,” forcing President Obama into negotiations with the Russians. Actually, the Russians and Syrians did Obama a favor. “He needed a climb-down, somehow,” said Solomon.

Beware Obama’s Bay of Pigs Moment

“One of the frightening aspects” of the crisis over Syria, said historian and activist Paul Street, “is that Obama has taken such a black eye, here, he’s been so humiliated, that it has upped the ante of his need to escalate.” Street warns that this could be Obama’s “Bay of Pigs moment,” as when President John Kennedy pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 after the humiliating defeat of a CIA invasion of Cuba, the year before. “All of humanity hopes this guy can be restrained,” said Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power.

Affirmative Action Again Before High Court

On October 15, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Michigan’s defense of Proposition 2, which bans affirmative action. “If we lose this case,” said Shanta Driver, the lead attorney for BAMN, By Any Means Necessary, “a white majority will have been able to end affirmative action programs in our state, permanently. That means the beginning of an era of the new Jim Crow.”

Predatory Banks Prey on Public Sector

Activists will gather in Detroit, October 5 and 6, for an International People’s Assembly Against Banks and Against Austerity. “We’re asking for a complete cancellation of the debt to the banks, which is strangling the schools, the cities and the states,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, media outreach coordinator for the conference and editor of the Pan-African News Wire. “Detroit was locked into predatory lending at the municipal financing level,” he said. “That’s why they’re claiming that Detroit owes $22 billion to these financial institutions.”

Obama’s Humiliating Defeat

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

When presidents fail, it is a public spectacle. In his rush into unprovoked war against Syria, President Obama overplayed his hand. Shortly before he appeared on television on Tuesday, “Obama’s handlers advised him that his political position was, for the time being, untenable.” But he’ll soon be back on the warpath, meaner and more aggressive than ever.

Freedom Rider: Obama Comes Undone

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Russia has been a stalwart for peace in the Syria crisis. “It is their insistence on defending Syria which has brought the world from the brink and forced the president to postpone the congressional vote that he so badly wanted.” The contrasts are striking. “Vladimir Putin is trying to stop a wider war but the Nobel Peace Prize winning Barack Obama is trying to start one.”

The Unspeakable Truth No Black Democrat Can Utter: President Obama Is Lying On Syria

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon



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