DNA and “the Banality of Evil”

by Sikivu Hutchinson

First, the criminal justice system failed the Black victims of an LA serial killer. Now, the system embraces a family DNA aggregator approach that is certain to further stigmatize African Americans through shared genetic markers. “The wholesale over-incarceration of African American communities means that many African Americans are related to someone who has been convicted of a felony.”

 

An Open Letter to the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement: Suggestions on Next Steps, Strategy and Unity Building

by Kali Akuno

A veteran activist wants the “movement” to debrief itself – engage in criticism and self-criticism – in the wake of the Oscar Grant killing verdict. “This small contribution is an attempt to help ignite conversation, share reflections from critical movements of the past, and offer suggestions in the hope of helping to facilitate strategic and programmatic development within the movement.”

Lynne Stewart Gets Ten Years – The Progressive Movement Gets Lethal Injection

lynee and ralph

by U-Savior

It’s time to regroup, rethink, and possibly re-boot the “movement,” which has been gravely damaged from inside and out. “The back biting and murmuring amongst the agenda-less, corrupted, dysfunctional and disheveled ‘grass root progressives’ has led us to exactly where we are today.”

 

Black Rage; Lynne Stewart Sentenced; a Red Black & Green Party; Counting Black Jobs; Southern Black Co-ops – Black Agenda Radio on PRN, the Progressive Radio Network

ba radio on the progressive radio networkRage in Black America

Killer cops are the most powerful agents of Black enragement. As in the case of Oscar Grant, not even the presence of live witnesses and cameras seems to deter the hit men in blue. BAR’s Dr. Jared Ball reminds us that Malcolm X “once said that simply being Black in America ‘radicalizes you.’ We hope so because it certainly does continue to enrage.”

People’s Lawyer Sentenced

Lynne Stewart has been “made an example of” because she defends the people’s “right to resist – the ultimate human right,” says activist and educator Ward Churchill. Stewart was re-sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly providing “material support” to her client, an accused terrorist.

Towards a Red Black & Green Party

Blacks have given blind allegiance to the Democratic Party over the last 75 years, just as they did with Republicans in the previous 65 years since Emancipation, says BAR’s Bruce Dixon. “Our 1870 political strategy makes us unable to discern an enemy when he is a professed Democrat, all the more a Democrat with a black face.”

Black Jobs by the Numbers

Steven Pitts, of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California, at Berkeley, worries that “we begin to pit low wage workers against the unemployed” at times of economic trouble, and “put unemployed workers into bad jobs.” Pitts and his colleagues have recently begun issuing monthly reports on Black employment prospects.

A 43-Year Cooperative Venture

Since 1967, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund has helped Black farmers achieve self-sufficiency. The federation celebrates its work with 30,000 families in 75 cooperatives across the South with festivities in Birmingham, Alabama, August 19-21, says executive director Ralph Paige.

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 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

 

Black American Politics in the 21st Century: Is It Time For A New Plan?

We all love and respect our ancestor and freedom fighter Frederick Douglass. But in the 21st century, nobody is trying to imitate his haircut or wear his 19th century clothes. So why is 21st century black America still stuck with Frederick Douglass's political strategy, 140 years later? And how's that old stuff working out for us, anyway?

McKinney On Israeli Nukes; Swanson on Peace Movement; Lynne Stewart Resentencing; No “Democracy” in Dem Party; the Black Disaster in Gulf – Black Agenda Radio on PRN, the Progressive Radio Network

ba radio on PRNMcKinney: Obama “Backtracks” on Israeli Nukes

Cynthia McKinney accuses President Obama of “backtracking” on his previous position on a nuclear-free Middle East, with his statement that Israel has the right to deploy whatever “security” measures it sees fit. It is the “height of hypocrisy” and “pusillanimous” for the White House to “threaten war” against Iran while condoning Israel, the region’s only nuclear power, says the former Georgia congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate.

Peace Movement Growing

The peace movement has been slowly growing since “bottoming out in late 2008” when Democrats won the White House, said David Swanson. The noted activist and author, who coordinates efforts to deny funding to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has compiled a list or organizations that only actively oppose wars when the GOP is in power.

Resentencing for Lynne Stewart

Human rights lawyer Lynne Stewart, whose sentence to 28 months in prison is opposed as too lenient by federal prosecutors, could be resentenced to as long as 30 years behind bars on July 15. Ralph Poynter, her companion in struggle for 48 years, told a rally, “We will win this because we must!” Atty. Stewart is charged with providing “material support” to terrorists in the process of defending her client.

Democrats Have No “Substance”

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans address the “substance” of people’s democratic rights, says Tony Monteiro, Temple University professor of African American Studies. These are the rights “Martin Luther King was talking about in the latter years of his life: economic rights, social rights, the right to real health care, to education, the right to a home.”

Oil Gusher Adds to Katrina Catastrophe

The Obama administration’s failure to provide leadership in the post-Katrina Gulf “meant there would be no infrastructure to deal with anything else in the region.” So says Gulf Coast reconstruction activist Kali Akuno. There has been a “total dereliction of government duty” in the Gulf in the five years since Katrina, with the goal to “get rid of poor Black people from New Orleans and the region.”

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 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

Obama Can't Say "No" to the Rich

 Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Having transferred trillions of public treasure for the sake of Wall Street's health, Obama now picks up where George Bush left off on Social Security. Obama's deficit commission is pre-programmed to assault the last vestiges of the social safety net. The president "is the right wing's most potent weapon, the one before which liberal Democrats throw up their hands in surrender without the dignity of a fight."

The Gulf Region as a New “Sacrifice Zone”

Dr. Marsha Coleman Adebayo

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The Obama administration has a double BP problem: the oil giant and the other BP: Black People. “It appears that BP and the Obama administration find it easier to stanch the flow of information than they do the deepwater gusher,” which at some point may cause great stretches of the Gulf to be written off as “sacrifice zones,” like atomic testing sites in the 50s and inner cities in the 70s. The author knows something about the inner workings of the Environmental Protection Agency, having won the largest award ever against the EPA for sexual and racial discrimination.

 

The Ugly Underside of World Cup Mania

children playing soccer in SAby Linn Washington, Jr.

In South Africa, pride over national soccer recognition combines with outrage that the poor are having to defer their needs for the sake of the global show. Apartheid at times seems to be only a legalism away. “Some people fought with rocks and guns. Some fought with music and poetry. Some fought with football.”

 

What To Do With The Negroes?

K. Accord

by Kalamu ya Salaam

A people more wedded, more rooted than any other to New Orleans, is ejected like an alien intrusion. “Although poor blacks controlled none of the city’s major resources, we were blamed for everything that was wrong.” When all the code words and obfuscations are said and done, what is demanded is our absence, which has largely been achieved. “What is gone, what we miss most of all is us.”

 

Dr. Peniel Joseph: Peoples Historian or Establishment Courtier? Part Two of Two: Peniel Joseph vs Hubert Harrison on Democracy

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

It's not that hard to tell an honest people's intellectual from a brand name huckster. One is engaged in making and propagating brands, terms with no fixed meaning of their own crafted to evoke unanalyzed, but useful feelings in an audience. The other is about the business of helping clear the cobwebs, cutting through received wisdom and official deceptions, explaining how the lives of ordinary people affect and are affected by the lineup of social forces, and what we can do about it. A quick look at how Dr. Joseph treats the word “democracy” in his latest work illustrates which side of the divide he is on.

Freedom Rider: Obama and the Nadir of Black America

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

For Black America, it is the worst of times, but a kind of collective insanity leads African Americans to believe they live in the best of times. A Pew Research Center study shows Blacks are the most upbeat on the economy of any major group, despite being the group most negatively affected by the economy. The root cause of the delirium: Obama.

 

First Black Presidency Has Driven Many African Americans Insane

schizophrenia

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

A section of Black America has lost their minds – literally – unable to make contact with reality since November 2008. Despite the horrific and disproportionate damage suffered by Blacks in the Great Recession, a psychologically impaired group of African Americans believes they are better off than before the recession began, and that the future is bright. When Obama entered, their powers of reason exited.

 

Paul Street on Obama & the Real World of Power; Rosa Clemente --Taking Risks for Justice; Jared Ball, Last Word on the USSF; Decline of Black Detroit; Unhealthy People in Unhealthy Neighborhoods – Black Agenda Radio on PRN, the Progressive Radio Network

BA Radio on the Progressive RAdio NetworkCorporate Obama

Obama’s election “was a pretty nice deal for the top one percent that owns half the wealth,” says Paul Street, author of the new book, The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power. Street’s 2008 volume, Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics was perhaps the most blistering examination from the Left of then-candidate Obama.

Taking Risks for Peace and Justice

Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 vice-presidential candidate and a founder of the National Hip Hop Political Convention, says Hip Hop politics must be prepared to take risks in 2012. Two years ago, folks that Clemente considered allies wound up going with the Democrats – and look what that got us!

The Decline of Black Detroit

In 1969, the Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers was a huge influence on Black Left and labor politics. Today, the U.S. auto industry is broken and retirees make up a majority of United Auto Workers membership – but the League’s General Baker continues to organize for decent health care benefits.

Social Forum Dilemma

Dr. Jared Ball met friends and influenced people at the recent U.S. Social Forum, in Detroit, but sensed that “a vague desire at the forum for ‘consensus politics’ meant in the end ‘no politics.’ No clear goals and no clear steps to reach them.”

Bad Health and Poverty

Living in “concentrated poverty” is much worse than simply being poor, according to a new study. Robert Phillips, of the California Endowment, reports that Black and Latino youth are unhealthy because “their neighborhoods are unhealthy.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. Length: One hour.

Click the player below to listen.

 

Hip-Hop and the “Anti-Blackness Antagonism”

by BAR columnist Jared A Ball, Ph.D.

The world created by half a millennium of European conquest requires that Blacks be portrayed as non-human – which is why “we must begin to destroy the world.” That world works 24-7 to destroy Black people through the pervasive commercial imagery of “anti-Blackness.” These relentless assaults are more about enforcing the racial order, than monetary profit.

 

New Study Shows Racial Bias in SATs

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Words hold meaning, but sometimes they mean different things in different cultures. A new study shows the difference in the understood meanings of commonly used words is big enough to adversely affect the SAT scores of Black students. It turns out that Blacks do better than whites on the hard questions involving big words – but not enough to even the odds.

Africans Are In A Constant State of Resistance

 

Omali YeshitilaAn Interview with Omali Yeshitela

With the African People’s Socialist Party 5th Congress set for Washington, DC, July 10th-14th, BAR executive editor Glen Ford spoke with the APSP’s chairman, Omali Yeshitela. “Our people are slowly beginning to awaken to the fact that President Obama does not represent us,” said Yeshitela. “The awe of the state has worn off, and desperation is pushing the people.”

More information on the APSP is available at their web site.

Length of interview: 10:48.

A Philadelphia Story: George Washington’s Slaves Slept Here

 

by Linn Washington, Jr.

presidential slave quartersGeorge Washington not only kept slaves in the first official Executive Mansion in Philadelphia, he “carefully rotated slaves in and out of the residence…to avoid running afoul of the Emancipation Law operative in Pennsylvania after 1780, which barred out-of-state slaveholders from bringing slaves into the state for more than six months' time.” This is one national landmark that won’t be whitewashed.

 

Dockworkers vs. Israeli Piracy, Rep. Rangel Bows to Tel Aviv, Supreme Court Fuels Terror Witch-Hunt, Prison Rape Deadline Missed

Listen to BA Radio on the Progressive Radio NetworkListen to BA Radio on the Progressive Radio Network

Israel’s Like South Africa…

Dockworkers at the Port of Oakland, California joined with community activists to temporarily halt unloading of cargo from an Israeli vessel. Union official Clarence Thomas said Israel was “just as vulnerable” to concerted worker and consumer protests as was South Africa during the apartheid era.

Rangel Makes Times Spectacle of Himself in Times Square

Harlem Congressman Rangel “in essence, denounced his own constituents” in favor of Israel at a recent Times Square press conference,” says BAR senior columnist Margaret Kimberley. Rangel joined New York politicians demanding that American flotilla activists attacked by Israeli should be investigated before being allowed back in the U.S.

High Court OKs Draconian Terror Law

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Obama administration’s broad interpretation of what constitutes giving “material assistance” to so-called “terror groups.” A Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer says the law amounts to “something very close to guilt by association” and “could have landed President Carter in prison for 15 years” for his peace-seeking missions.

U.S. Justice Department Fails to Come Up with Prison Rape Standards

Attorney General Eric Holder missed a deadline to submit national standards to combat sexual abuse behind bars. One hundred thousand prison inmates are raped every year, according to federal studies.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. Click the player below to listen. Length: One hour.

 

Consensus Politics Are No Politics: A US Social Forum Diary

by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

There was both déjà vu and surprise at the U.S. Social Forum. Déjà vu, in the feeling of being caught up in a stultifying search for meaningless “consensus politics” with “no clear goals and no clear steps to reach them.” But there was also the excitement of “ideas, criticism, flyers, books, all forms of media in fact, all being passed back and forth, with a hurried fervor.”

 

A Blacks vs. Tea Party Free-for-All on the Mall?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Will established civil rights groups physically confront Glenn Beck’s Tea Party crowd for control of the Washington Mall on August 28? Can the NAACP and labor unions figure out how to hold a March for Jobs in October while pretending that President Obama bears no responsibility for economic woes? No, and Yes. Although there will be no physical fight, jousting with cardboard “cracker” villains like Beck and Rush Limbaugh allows civil rights leaders to appear valiant while avoiding confrontation with real Power in the White House.

 

Freedom Rider: Americans Have No Rights

 

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Under Barack Obama, the former professor of constitutional law, Americans’ civil liberties have shrunken drastically – to the point that his administration claims the right to execute its citizens without charge or due process of any recognizable kind. And citizens that leave the country cannot be sure they will be allowed back in. But where is the outrage among Democrats, when Obama out-Bushes Bush? “It seems that Democrats did not in fact feel any affront to Bush policies, only to his party affiliation.”

 

All Power to the Casinos! Death to the Social Safety Net!

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Global capital is attempting to sound the death knell for European social democracy and its much weaker American cousin, the safety net. Bankers dictate the terms of social and economic policy on both sides of the Atlantic. “Barack Obama is showing his corporate teeth and running hard with the global banking wolf pack.”

 

Obama’s Iran Diversion: Forget About the Gulf, Jobs

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

If war with Iran is insane, why is Obama acting crazy? “Stepping to the brink of war with Iran only makes a kind of macabre sense if the Obama administration feels in desperate need of a diversion.” The bigger the better, since the diversion must call attention from the goo in the Gulf and the air in people’s wallets.

 

Pages

Subscribe to Black Agenda Report  RSS