Freedom Rider: What Ails the GOP

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Republicans have stripped down their constituency to only “the worst of the worst” Americans: “white supremacists, misogynists and other dead enders.” Obama’s Democrats have absorbed the rest of the GOP, to become the New Republican Party of austerity and war.

The Lords of Capital Seize Detroit

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Corporate conspirators have Detroit in their clutches. “Lawyers for Jones Day will be handling the sale of Detroit’s property and the cancelling of its contracts as ordered by another Jones Day lawyer, Kevyn Orr” – which means that “the same law firm is effectively serving as attorney, client, and local government in Detroit.” Democracy abolished, corporate rule installed.

 
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Emergency Managers? School Closings? Are They Racist? Does It Really Matter?

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

For the black political class, the question “is it racist?” has become a substitute for inquiry into causes and cures, not least because so many of them are complicit in austerity and privatization schemes themselves. Circling the racial wagons is something we've done many times before, and poverty, the prison state and privatization are still all around us. Isn't it time to ask some new questions.

 
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Congo Genocide: This Time Must be Different

by Friends of Congo

Bosco Ntaganda is “the third high-profile veteran of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and Rwanda-backed militia leader in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to have fled to Rwanda after having committed heinous crimes in the Congo.” He did not act alone, but as a proxy of Rwanda, a U.S. ally.

Dr. Ben Carson: Send in the Clowns

by Auset Marian Lewis

The world-famous Black brain surgeon from Baltimore is nothing but a “Samuel L. Jackson-Django turncoat,” says the author. If the great Ida B. Wells encountered Ben Carson, “she probably would shoot him with her Winchester.”

Dr. Ben Carson: Great Surgeon, Bad Icon

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

Ben Carson, the brain doctor, has joined the ranks of the Right’s favorite Negroes. “The likes of a Wardell Connerly, Shelby Steele, or Clarence Thomas stand before conservatives and argue that we no longer need Affirmative Action, Head Start, and other social programs.”

The Peculiar Black “Politics of Redemption”

by Pascal Robert

When the oppressed seek to “redeem” themselves in the eyes of their oppressors, the struggle for liberation is lost before it begins. “The Black community must wake up out of the ‘hope and change’ induced stupor in order to mobilize effective oppositional politics.”

The War on White Supremacy

by Solomon Comissiong

White supremacy is a killer of plague-like dimensions, “responsible for well over 100 million deaths” of Africans and Native Americans, alone. For centuries, white supremacists have waged war on the non-white world. “In 2008 they selected their newest weapon – Barack Obama.”

A Lil’ Bit ‘Bout Leo’s Legacy…

 

by Raymond Nat Turner

The “Leo” of this poem is the legendary Black longshore union activist Leo Robinson, who died this past January. “The deep, dark chocolate brown, booming / Baritone brother sportin’ black, Lenin-like / Greek Fisherman’s cap / comin’ Coltranish…

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/25/13

Black Michigan Under Emergency Financial Boot

About 54 percent of the Black population in our state will not have the right to vote in local elections” because of Michigan’s imposition of emergency financial managers over cities and school districts, said John Philo, director of Sugar Law Center. “It’s an economic model that says the only way out of a fiscal crisis is to cut services to those in need, privatize public resources,” and break public sector unions, said Philo. Detroit’s new emergency manager was a partner in a law firm whose clients make up more than half the Fortune 500 corporations.

Social Security Supporters “Disappointed” in Obama

The president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare fired off a letter to the White House, last week. “It seems the president is determined to remind everybody that he’s willing to offer a new formula for determining the cost of living adjustment for recipients” – which is a cut, said Max Richtman. “We’re all very disappointed.”

Brooklyn Blacks Continue Protests in Police Killing

Police blanketed the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, as residents staged protests against the killing of 16 year-old Kimani Gray. Carl Dix, of Stop Stop-and-Frisk, who led a rally on Sunday, said: “Anybody with even an ounce of justice needs to come and stand with the people in this neighborhood, because if you don’t do that, you’re leaving them alone face all the oppression that the systems brings down.”

Collegiate Anti-Incarceration Campaign

Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI) hold their national conference at Howard University, in Washington, April 19 and 20, under the theme, “Where Do We Go From Here: Re-Energizing the Black Student Movement.” “We hope to come out of the conference with a national plan of action,” said organizer Haji Conteh.

Racial Disparity in Incarceration Narrows

The gap between Black and white imprisonment rates has narrowed in recent years, according to a new study by The Sentencing Project. The trend is the result of “a declining rate of incarceration for Black men coming at the same times as a rising rate for white men,” said Project director Marc Mauer. The shrinkage of the gap among women was even more dramatic. Fewer Blacks are being sentenced to long prison terms for drugs, while larger numbers of whites are incarcerated, typically for methamphetamines.

Civil Rights Heroine Honored

Claudette Colvin, who was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus - nine months before Rosa Parks - will be honored by the People’s Organization for Progress, in Newark, New Jersey, March 28. Black movement leaders didn’t think Colvin and three other young women fit the image they wanted to present of Black people. “We were rejects,” Colvin laughed. But Colvin’s case was the one that went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which overturned the bus segregation law. “Rosa Parks was the right person for the time,” said Colvin, but “we are disappointed that no one tells how the bus boycott came to an end, successfully.”

From Detroit to Cyprus, Banksters in Search of Prey

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Detroit and the people of Cyprus share the same enemy.” The Lords of Capital, who are preparing to snatch chunks of cash straight out of ordinary people’s accounts in Cyprus, to pay for a bank bailout, are the same class that has “devalued the franchise of the 49 percent of Michigan’s Black population that live in municipalities and school districts under the thumb of outside financial managers.”

Vampire Capitalism Comes to Detroit, Michigan and Dekalb County, Georgia. Where is the Black Political Class?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Disaster capitalism is the manufacture of phony “crises” to divert government revenue directly to banksters and sell government assets off to privatizing looters. City government in Detroit, and the school system in suburban Atlanta's Dekalb County, population 700,000 each have been nullified, while black political elites in both these majority African American constituencies are impotent or complicit.

Freedom Rider: U.S./Israel Axis of Evil

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If anyone can get away with making Israeli fantasies of regional domination come true, it is Obama.” He’s got more faces than a Hindu god, and smoother moves than the NBA. “He killed Gaddafi, he is destroying Syria, and he is sending troops to occupy the African continent.” If only he was on our side.

U.S.-Sponsored Genocides: From Guatemala to Congo

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Guatemala has put its U.S.-backed genocidal maniac on trial, but Washington continues to protect its agents of mass murder in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “There is no auditorium big enough to hold the all the living Americans who should justly be charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.”

 
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A Tale of Two Political Prisoners – and You Can Help Both of Them

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Two heroic political prisoners need your urgent help. Albert Woodfox, of the Angola 3, has spent four decades in solitary confinement. Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer, is fighting cancer in a Texas prison cell. “Lynne’s family and legions of supporters are asking that she be given compassionate release from prison so that she can at least have a chance at survival.”

 
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The Shame of America’s Gulag

by Chris Hedges

The barbarity of solitary confinement was reintroduced into the U.S. prison system following the Black Freedom and anti-imperialist movements of the Sixties, part of the “seamless evolution of political and social incapacitation of poor people of color.” At root “is the predatory nature of corporate capitalism itself.

Human Trafficking and the Human Rights Agenda Against Eritrea

by Simon Tesfamariam

Eritrea is among the very few African nations that have avoided entanglement with the U.S. military machine. As a consequence, Eritrea has been subjected to a campaign of sanctions, threats and lies, much of it centering on allegations of human trafficking and use of child soldiers. “Eritrea is not allowed to defend itself in court, in the media, or anywhere in the international arena.”

War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity: The story of U.S. Exceptionalism in Iraq

by Ajamu Baraka

A decade after the US attempt to “shock and awe” humanity and usher in its new “American century” more than a million Iraqis are dead, and trillions of dollars have been squandered, while the high ranking architects and enablers of these monstrous crimes are still riding high...

Creating Terror in North Africa

by Jacob Mundy

The Sahel region of northern Africa was among the first to be militarized under U.S. “war on terror” doctrine. It is now described as “an arc of instability said to run 4,000 miles from Somalia through the Sahel to the central Sahara.” The U.S. created the conditions that will “likely constitute a key argument to justify the amplification of AFRICOM’s budget.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/18/13

Detroit Residents Robbed of Equal Voting Rights

By drastically diminishing the power of Detroit’s elected officials, Michigan’s governor has violated the Voting Rights Act and constitutional guarantees of one man-one vote, said Butch Hollowell, general counsel for the Detroit NAACP. Kevyn Orr, a Black partner in the rightwing law firm Jones Day, was named the city’s emergency finance director, with near-dictatorial powers. Jones Day represents Wells Fargo – “which has done more foreclosures in Detroit and the state of Michigan than any other firm,” said Hollowell – as well as Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and CitiGroup.

Stop-and-Frisk on Trial in NYC

Every year, New York City cops violate hundreds of thousands of Black and brown people’s fundamental constitutional rights, stopping and frisking them for “being likely to commit crimes, rather than having actually committed a crime,” said Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “The vast majority of those stops are for harassment and crowd-control purposes,” said Warren. The trial phase of a class action suit seeking damages for those unlawfully profiled, began this week.

Ten Years After Invasion, Most Americans Remain Terrifyingly Insane

You have a majority of Americans believing that Iraqis benefited from this war, while the United States suffered,” said David Swanson, publisher of the influential website War Is A Crime. “A plurality of Americans believe Iraqis are grateful for the invasion,” which killed 1.4 million and maimed, sickened or displaced many millions more, said Swanson.

Venezuela Part of Global Shift

Venezuela’s resistance to U.S. domination is “a symptom of a real shift in the balance of power that has been occurring in the world for a while now, and has startled the United States,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Racial realities are part of the new dynamic. “Chavez himself was aware that one of the reasons there was so much antagonism between him and the upper classes, was that he was not white.”

Punish Civil Rights Violations, Obama!

Coalition for Change, or C4C, representing current and former Black federal employees, is circulating a petition urging President Obama to sign an executive order that mandates discipline for managers that violate workers’ civil rights. At present, it’s a “toothless mandate,” said C4C co-founder Tanya Ward Jordan. The petition drive is called Unleash No FEAR.

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