Haiti, Obstacles to healthcare on the frontline of HIV

by Sokari Ekine

Haiti’s AIDS rate has been in decline in recent decades, but extreme poverty and other forms of structural violence have put those infected on the razor’s edge of existence. The author follows the desperate lives of three families caught in the medical/social/political vortex.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/17/13

Obama Turns Federal Workers Into Snitches

President Obama’s “Insider Threat Program,” which profiles potential whistleblowers in the federal workforce, “is straight out of fascist models of government and behavior,” said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, of the No FEAR Coalition. Obama’s executive order requires federal managers and employees to view as “suspect” workers that are under stress, going through divorce, or experiencing money problems. “I think the Obama administration views whistleblowers as terrorists,” said Coleman-Adebayo. “Therefore, he’s put the Gestapo on us.”

WalMart Vs. DC City Council

Lots of folks would be happy if WalMart makes good on its threat to cancel plans for three stores in Washington, DC, and halt construction of three others. The low-wage retailer is balking at compliance with a DC City Council bill compelling WalMart to pay $12.50 an hour, as opposed to the local $8.25 minimum wage. “The effects on small businesses and homeowners within a ten-block radius of their stores is devastating,” said anti-WalMart activist Assantawaa Nkrumah Toure. “Even at $12.50 an hour, if you have a 40-hour work week, that’s still not enough to live on in a city like Washington, DC, where the average one-bedroom apartment can be $1,200 a month.”

Newark Activists: “Hands Off Social Security”

Newark, New Jersey-based Peoples Organization for Progress holds its seventh demonstration against President Obama’s planned cuts in Social Security benefits, with a 25-hour vigil on Tuesday at the agency’s Newark offices. “We say to the Obama administration and the Republicans in Congress, ‘Hands Off Social Security,’” said POP chairman Larry Hamm. “For folks on fixed incomes,” the projected yearly loss of “$500 or $600 is a lot of money, and could be the difference between eating and not eating, or not being able to get a prescription filled.”

California Hunger Strike Gains Traction

“You’ve got 30,000 people putting their lives on the line, refusing to eat because of the tortuous conditions that are forced on them by the state of California,” said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.” The hunger strike was called by inmates in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay. A Center for Constitution Rights lawsuit claims lengthy solitary confinement constitutes torture. “However,” said Dix, “the State of California has shown that it is willing to ignore even court orders to do anything about conditions in prison.”

Socialists Offer “Alternatives”

“The people of Seattle are well to the left of the city establishment,” said Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative candidate for the Seattle city council. Sawant won 27 percent of the vote in a run for the Washington state legislature, last year. Socialist Alternative candidates are also running for city council in Boston and Minneapolis. “What we’re trying to show is that the political space that is currently fully dominated by corporate interests and the wealthy can be taken over by grassroots representatives, by movements.”

What Happened to Malcolm’s Grandson in Mexico?

Hundreds of Mexico City police attacked hunger strikers protesting the killing of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, allegedly in a robbery, in May. The protesters, Black expatriates that have settled in Mexico, believe Shabazz was murdered by police. Their U.S. liaison, Dr. Randy Short, said “Mexico is known for being a notoriously bigoted and racist society.” The Shabazz family has only recently asked for help in finding out what happened to 28 year-old Malcolm, said Dr. Short.

The U.S. War Against the World

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The DNA of finance capitalism has foreordained its death – and soon. To forestall that inevitability, the U.S. war machine is prepared to turn out the lights on much of the world – and here at home. “The gasping and grasping empire seeks to thwart the material and social progress of the entire planet: it becomes the enemy of all.”

Freedom Rider: If George Zimmerman Goes Free

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

“As a group, how will we react to the denial of justice for Trayvon Martin and the hundreds of others whose names we don’t even know” that have been murdered by police and freelance racists? The last thing we need will be “mealy mouthed platitudes urging us to ‘talk about race’ and silly questions about why black and white people see things differently.”

Why Is Tim Wise Stamping the Anti-Racist Ghetto Passes at Teach For America

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

Tim Wise specializes in talking to white people about racism. Teach For America is a major player in the elitist and racist scam to privatize public education, supplying mostly white grads of elite colleges as ghetto teacher temps. Is this a match made in heaven, or in hell?

Tens of Thousands of California Inmates Join Pelican Bay Hunger Strikers

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

For the third time in two years, inmates in solitary confinement at California’s most notorious prison have gone on hunger strike. Record numbers of prisoners across the state have joined the Pelican Bay strikers, some of whom “have not seen the natural light of day for more than 20 years.”

 
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The U.S. was a Passive Observer in Egypt – If You Believe the New York Times

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The New York Times cannot serve the truth and Power, too – so truth is jettisoned. While Barack Obama’s team deployed its imperial powers to help eject Egypt’s elected president from office, “the Times depicted the Obama administration as totally unruffled by the turmoil in Cairo – as if the U.S. had little stake in the outcome.”

 
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From Egypt to Syria: Is The Gulf Cooperation Council the Tail That Wags the U.S. Dog?

by Ajamu Baraka

It is possible that the coup in Egypt was not a U.S.-initiated affair but, rather, a sign of declining U.S. influence in the region. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who hated deposed Egyptian President Morsi, may have promised Egypt’s generals they would replace U.S. military aid, if necessary. “Perhaps we can no longer just refer to those states as merely client states of the U.S.“

The Health Outcomes of a Racist Society

by Mikhail Lyubansky

It is well known that Blacks die at earlier ages than whites in the U.S. But, more is at work than poverty and diet. Racism kills, debilitating the body like a poison. “Being poor and uneducated (the two are highly correlated) is bad for your health, but not as bad as being Black.”

Mascots, Murder and Massacre: Using Imagery to Accept Genocide

by Solomon Comissiong

Despite Native American protests, the owner of the Washington “Redskins” refuses to jettison the football team’s racist moniker. Even some Black fans cling to the shameful imaginary, notwithstanding the fact that “most African-Americans would be extremely offended if someone started a franchise with the name, ‘San Jose Black Skins’ or the ‘Chicago Niggers’ or the ‘Baton Rouge Black Bucks.’”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/8/13

A Plan to Sue the NAACP under RICCO

“We’re putting together this class action lawsuit, we’re going to file it under the RICCO Act,” said Rev. Edward Pinkney, the former head of the Benton Harbor, Michigan, NAACP who has been organizing grassroots member protest against the civil rights organization’s national headquarters, in Baltimore. “We’re going to charge them with racketeering” for voiding elections in chapters across the country. “They’re eliminating people who are willing to get out here and fight,” said Pinkney. “They’re goal is that you should never, ever fight until you get permission from the national office.”

UNAC: U.S. Guilty of Air Piracy

The forced landing of Ecuadoran President Evo Morales’ plane by America’s NATO allies in Europe “is air piracy, it’s an attack on the sovereignty of every country in Latin America,” said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). “It shows the level of panic in Washington” over Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive, worldwide U.S. spying, said Flounders. The U.S. is trying to “impose silence on the world.”

Bill of Rights Under Assault by Obama, Congress, FISA Courts

“We have an executive branch and a Congress, and a kept-court system – the FISA surveillance court – all working in de facto collusion to destroy the Bill of Rights,” said Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.Org. The web site facilitated 50,000 individual emails to the White House in support of whistleblower Edward Snowden. The U.S., as “the preeminent global surveillance superpower…asserts, with impunity, the prerogative to monitor and to intrude on any semblance of privacy,” said Solomon.

Washington Condones Congo Genocide

President Obama, when questioned during his recent Africa trip on what actions the U.S. would take to end its ally’s 17-year destabilization of the Democratic Republic of Congo, refused to even mention the offending nations by name. “It is simply that the United States is not ready to hold Rwanda and Uganda accountable, which means they are condoning the killing of over six million Africans in the heart of the continent,” said Kambale Musavuli, of the Washington-based Friends of Congo.

American “Revolution” was a Racist Revolt

Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, said the American rebellion against British rule “was basically a successful revolt of racist settlers. It was akin to Rhodesia, in 1965, assuming that Ian Smith and his cabal had triumphed. It was akin to the revolt of the French settlers in Algeria, in the 1950s and 1960s, assuming those French settlers had triumphed.” Dr. Horne is author Negroes of the Crown.

Joy Ann Reid, Melissa Harris-Perry as Prosecutor & Cop Go After Snowden, Wikileaks, & the First Amendment

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Gandhi once said that western civilization would be “a good idea.” So would black journalism. One white TV talking head said he was ready to arrest Glenn Greenwald. Not to be outdone, MSNBC's black talking heads too, are ready to personally scalp Wikileaks and put the cuffs on Edward Snowden. Public opinion, which favored Snowden early, has to be pushed in the administration's direction. A dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Freedom Rider: Obama, Mandela and Dangerous Mythology

By BAR Editor & Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Obamas' visit to South Africa, for people of color on both sides of the Atlantic, is heavy on symbolism and photo-ops, but devoid of any substance for those who hunger and thirst for justice. The ANC won the flag at the end of apartheid, but South Africa's white elite kept the land and the money, after allowing a few well-connected black faces into high places.

Surveillance in the Service of Corporate Rule

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

It should now be clear to everyone that “the advent of al-Qaida did not give rise to the U.S. surveillance regime.” 9/11 was merely a pretext for American state lawlessness. “The U.S. was already treating the whole planet as if it were occupied by enemy peoples.”

 
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Obama Visits Mandela's Old Cell, But Won't Free His Own Political Prisoners

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Obama sees no irony in making a pilgrimage to Nelson Mandela’s place of political imprisonment, while holding 80,000 human beings in solitary confinement. “Racist South Africa’s treatment of Mandela and his co-revolutionists was downright benign and enlightened, compared to fate of U.S. prisoners who are deemed a threat to the prevailing order.”

 
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Haiti: US to Re-Write Haiti Constitution to Better Service the One Percent

by Ezili Dantò

When the U.S. overthrew Haiti’s government in 2004, Washington proclaimed the invasion a “humanitarian” enterprise. Now it turns out that Haiti’s earth and waters are filled with gold and oil. The U.S.-controlled World Bank has volunteered to help rewrite the Haitian constitution, to allow easier access for foreign extraction corporations. Haitians must, as always, “look out for themselves.”

My Wise Country Cousin on Unca Jim

by Raymond Nat Turner

Black South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn is angry about the NSA mass spying revelations – but not at the government. Clyburn thinks it’s all a conspiracy to “embarrass” the First Black President.Baysicklee, he jus’ anotha white house hoe…”

Capitalism IS the Crisis, Part 3 of 4: Capitalism is Environmental Destruction

Capitalism IS the Crisis, Part 3 of 4: Environmental Devastation

by Asad Ismi and Kristen Schwartz

For 500 years, capitalism has subjected the planet and its peoples to slavery, peonage, engineered famines, colonialism, recurrent economic crises, environmental devastation and unending wars.  Capitalism has killed more than a billion people, making it the greatest catastrophe humans have yet inflicted on each other and the planet.  30 minutes audio

Reparations: The Case For Settlement

by Courtenay Barnett

The recent British monetary settlement with elderly Kenyan survivors of British colonial repression sets a precedent for reparations to all of the Empire’s victims. “The Caribbean has a very strong case to be brought for reparations for the Atlantic African Slave Trade.”

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