Listen to Black Agenda Radio... Our Program For December 31, 2013

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/30/13

Racial Hatred in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic’s efforts to deny citizenship to hundreds of thousands of residents of Haitian descent is rooted in the racism of an “elite that has never wanted to have anything to do with Black people,” said Dr. Jemima Pierre, a professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. “They’re trying to establish rules that will also effectively get rid of dark-skinned people who don’t have Haitian ancestry. What about the poor Dominican woman who doesn’t have any papers and can’t prove she isn’t Haitian?” asked Pierre, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report.

The Uncounted Homeless

The Obama administration’s claim that homelessness declined last year is based on “incomplete” data, said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. The government’s methodology mainly counts “who is in a shelter, which really just measures the capacity of shelters – and we know that shelters turn people away every night,” while failing to adequately measure the number of people those who are living on the street or have crowded into unsustainable quarters with friends and relatives, said Foscarinis.

Nationalize the Banks

In the face of unremitting criminality by the biggest American banks, “any reasonable person would say that leaving banking in the hands of these banksters is unwise public policy, and terribly costly for everyone else,” said Dr. Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Big Finance must be nationalized, not just broken up into smaller pieces – as would be obvious to most Americans “if we weren’t drowning in a fog of ideology,” said Wolff.

U.S. Spreads Chaos in World

“The one thing that’s become clearer than at any time in the past is that U.S. intervention creates spreading destabilization and chaos,” said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition. “It’s designed to do that. We can see the immediate results in South Sudan, a country that came into existence under U.S. protection in order to put this oil-rich region directly under the control of U.S. and U.S.-led forces,” said Flounders. “A quarter of all the oil that is consumed in the U.S. comes from Africa. Washington has no interest at all in democracy, development and freedom” – only in power and profits.

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.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/23/13

NSA Spying Recommendations

Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, was surprised at the scope of a presidential panel’s recommendations to limit spying by the National Security Agency. Some of the 46 proposals reached “beyond the NSA, to also suggest measures to curtail FBI abuses,” said Buttar, who noted that lots of agencies spy on Americans, “including the Postal Service.”

Detroit as Model for Urban Subjugation

A federal bankruptcy judge’s ruling could allow bankers and corporations to “go after pension funds around the United States,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, Detroit community activist and editor of the Pan African News Wire. Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that retiree pensions deserve no more protection than any other creditors. “We’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, that are tied up in these pension funds,” said Abayomi.

People’s lawyer Thomas Stephens said “capital is facing a catastrophe, that it created, in Detroit and everywhere else. Where better than Detroit to work out the model” for subjugating urban America?

Vast Inner City Land Grab

A new breed of Wall Street-backed mega real estate companies has been spending $100 million per week for over a year – for a total of $7.5 billion – buying up foreclosed homes to turn them into rental properties, said journalist and author Laura Gottesdiener. One firm, the Blackstone Group, has purchased more than 40,000 homes in 14 cities. The volume is such that “not only are they controlling home prices in these cities, pushing them up, but it’s very likely they’ll be able to price-fix the rental rates, as well.” Gottesdiener is author of A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home.

New Oscar Grant Book

Five years after Oscar Grant was killed by a transit police officer, journalist Thandisizwe Chimurenga is publishing a new book on the subject. The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant “takes a look at the way the media and the court system also murdered” the young Oakland father, said Chimurenga, founder of the Ida B. Wells Institute. “I’m also looking a police murder in general through the lens of this case.”

Nelson Mandela’s Long Death

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

As Nelson Mandela lay for nine months near death, the world got an education on his legacy – including the scope of the deal that he and his African National Congress comrades cut to abandon the Freedom Charter. Blacks got the vote, and little else, while whites held on to economic power. Imperialism got a new lease on life in Africa.

The Obama Legacy, Part 1 of Many: Why Secret Trade Negotiations? Because TPP & TAFTA are NAFTA on Crack & Evil Steroids

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Thanks to WikiLeaks, a chapter of the secret agreement being negotiated by the White House has been made public. It will enshrine corporate profits as sacred rights, above the ability of local governments to make health, safety, wage, and “buy-local” regulations, and enable corporations to patent drugs, trivial techniques, diseases and living organisms.

Freedom Rider: Edward Snowden: Person of the Year

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Edward Snowden is vilified as a “traitor” by politicians of the American political duopoly, and hunted like Public Enemy Number One by the global imperial apparatus. However, for a large proportion of Earthlings, Snowden has made the singular contribution to humanity of the year 2013.

Eyewitness to America’s Betrayal of Mandela’s South Africa: The Gore-Mbeki Commission – Part II

by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The author learned first hand how the U.S. collaborated with white Afrikaners in Nelson Mandela’s new government to accept unwanted private sector programs. A Black administration was in place, but the Freedom Charter was a dead letter. “Mandela and his colleagues were aware that moving forward to implement the Charter would be considered an act of aggression against global capital.”

Nelson Mandela, Free Market Capitalism and the South African Crisis

by Anthony Monteiro

The veil must be lifted from the deliberations and machinations that led Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress to discard the people’s Freedom Charter in favor of an accommodation with white capital, in the early Nineties. Why, at South Africa’s most critical juncture, did the ANC make a pact with the Devil? And why did they keep it?

South Africa and Zimbabwe: A Tale of Two Land Reforms

by Harold Green

When Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe attended the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, he “received the loudest cheers and applause” among the dignitaries. Zimbabwe’s successful land reform stands in stark contrast to South Africa, where “barely 10% of farm land has been redistributed,” and the wealth gap – which is a race gap – “has become one of the most unequal in the world.”

Race, Religion and Rounding Up Africans in Israel

by David Sheen

Israel has launched a wholesale roundup of African immigrants, whom members of the ruling parties call a “cancer” on the Jewish state. To circumvent court rulings against imprisonment without trial, the government has packed the refugees into a detention center in the desert. The aim is to convince the Africans “to give up all hope of a normal life in Israel” and go back where they came from.

An Interview with René González, of the Cuban 5

by Netfa Freeman

René González is the only member of the Cuban Five to be released from prison since their arrest in 1998. His verdict on the U.S. criminal justice system: “The judges are stupid dogs. That’s what they are, most of them. They don’t have any sense of justice at all. And when a political guy ends up being a defendant, what falls on him is the whole hatred of a system that is unjust in itself.”

Expected Budget Cuts Won’t Cure the Deadly AFRICOM Disease

by Mark P. Fancher

The U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, becomes more entrenched on the continent by the day. American drones bases dot the landscape and U.S. troops interact constantly with their African counterparts. Africa has collaborated in its own occupation. “There has been increasing cooperation between African militaries and U.S. forces, and it has allowed AFRICOM to gain a more secure foothold on African soil.”

From 'Old Detroit' to Delta City: RoboCop's Dystopia in Detroit

by Sean Posey

In the future as depicted in the RoboCop movies, Detroit’s people struggle against the tyranny of corporate rule. That future is about to arrive, way ahead of schedule, as wealthy predators scheme to build a new city in Detroit’s downtown and waterfront, a “free market utopia, ideal for corporate growth.”

Blood on their Hands, Blood in their Mouths: Corporate Media Collaborators in Mass Murder

by Solomon Comissiong

The ideological spectrum of U.S. corporate media is so narrow, the light of truth seldom penetrates. All are “politically right of center, however, some, like Fox ‘News,’ blatantly promote themselves as further right than the rest.” Their collective criminality presents a unique danger to humanity at large.

Social Work – An Institution of the Western Capitalist Empire

by Danny Haiphong

Most social workers want to do good in the world, but wind up managing the mess created by the ruling classes. “Social workers are hired by the state and/or ‘non-profit’ private enterprises to stabilize capitalist exploitation.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/16/13

Newark Rallies for Mandela

“We marched because we wanted to highlight the revolutionary dimension of his personality, rather than an anemic and eviscerated Mandela,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of POP, the People’s Organization for Progress, following a demonstration in downtown Newark, New Jersey, last week, in honor of the deceased South African leader. “Believe it or not,” said Hamm, “there are still people who don’t know about Mandela.” Founded in 1983, POP’s first buttons demanded “Free Nelson Mandela!”

America’s Mostly War Budget

Peace and social justice activists gathered on Capitol Hill to mark International Human Rights Day and demand that Congress reject a budget that allocates more than 50 percent of resources to war-making. David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.Org, noted that some lawmakers were away in South Africa. “You can’t celebrate nonviolence and then come back and dump over 50 percent of your money into so-called ‘defense,’” said Swanson. “It’s offensive, in every sense of the word.”

De Blasio Picks Giuliani “Retread” for Top Cop

According to Stop Stop-and-Frisk activist Carl Dix, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton as his police commissioner is designed to send a message: “Guess what? There will still be two cities, and the city that I represent, the city of the power brokers, of the elite, of the capitalist class, will continue to clamp down on the rest of you.” Bratton deployed the much-feared street crime units under law and order mayor Rudy Giuliani in the mid-Nineties.

Slavery + Genocide + Vast Theft = Capitalist Genesis

“The capitalist state was an imperialist state from its inception,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, at the party’s 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida. The wealth necessary to launch capitalism was accumulated through slavery, extermination and land theft. “Our material condition has its origin in the attack on Africa,” said Yeshitela.

Obama Mouth Runs Amok with Double-Talk

Rhetorically speaking, President Obama has once again positioned himself as a “populist,” declaring that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” “Obama is quite practiced in double-talk,” said Paul Street, historian and author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “As if he hasn’t been attacking Social Security and Medicare; as if he hasn’t pushed deficit reduction, in some ways, even more dramatically than the Republicans have.”

Lynne Stewart “Home for the Holidays” Campaign

Federal prison officials pretend that people’s lawyer and political prisoner Lynne Stewart, who suffers from Stage Four breast cancer, “is getting better, but she is not,” said her husband and fellow activist Ralph Poynter. Supporters should sign a petition asking the Bureau of Prisons, President Obama and Attorney General Holder to grant Stewart compassionate release from prison in time for the holidays. The administration is “stalling and stonewalling, and the clock is running out,” said Poynter.

From the Bullet to the Ballot: An Unfavorable Review of a Work on the Black Panther Party

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Historians are supposed to help us make sense of the world, by illuminating the forces and trends that shape the lives and destinies of ordinary people. But historians in the service of power do something else. Whether carelessly or carefully, they omit and distort to come up with histories that justify today's establishment as the inheritors of a noble tradition of struggle on the part of ordinary people. It's time for more people's histories of our movement, and of the historic Black Panther Party. Regrettably, this is not one of them.

Freedom Rider: Talking About Mandela

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Nelson Mandela belongs to history now. We should be able to look at his whole life, his whole record in perspective. That perspective ought to include who is praising Nelson Mandela nowadays and why.

Reconciliation is Not Decolonization

by BAR columnist Jemima Pierre

Nelson Mandela certainly led an inspirational life, but the “liberation” of South Africa has been the continent’s most spectacular failure. Mandela and his party “reneged on their own Freedom Charter which promised that land, the national mineral wealth, the banking systems, as well as all other industry and trade be nationalized and used to the benefit of South Africa’s majority.”

Nelson Mandela, The Contradictions Of His Life And Legacies

by Anthony Monteiro

Nelson Mandela lived a long life, with 3 careers, one before he was locked up, another while in prison, and a third after his 1990 release. Dr. Anthony Monteiro reflects upon the life, the lessons and the legacies of Nelson Mandela.

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