Racially Engineering the Pseudo-White Barbie

by Sean Posey

Black is definitely no longer considered beautiful in the world marketed to us by corporate media. The Black aesthetic has been Barbied out of the marketplace. For example, “Implants, probable skin lightening, colored contacts, and blonde hair have rendered” songstress “Minaj, physically, into another woman entirely.”

The Whitest Historically Black College In America

by Shereen Marisol Meraji and Gene Demby

West Virginia’s Bluefield State University is overwhelmingly white, but gets a big chunk of its budget from funds reserved for historically Black institutions. Whites dominate both the faculty and student body, yet “every single member of the alumni association is black.”

More Congo Propaganda: M23 and the High-Tech Genocide Unseen

by keith harmon snow

For 17 years, the U.S. armed and financed a genocidal occupation of eastern Congo by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda and their “rebel” surrogates. “The varying incarnations of ‘rebels’ in eastern Congo have all and always been backed by Museveni (Uganda) and Kagame (Rwanda), in turn backed by the USA, UK and Israel.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 11/13/13

U.S. Rulers Have No Solution for Urban Crisis

“The powers that be have no solution” to the crises confronting Detroit and other U.S. urban centers, said Abayome Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. A federal judge has been hearing testimony on the state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager’s plans to bankrupt the city. “From the White House to Wall Street, all the way down to the state capitals and municipal governments, all they offer is more debt to float more bonds,” said Azikiwe. “There’s no discussion about jobs, economic opportunities, repopulating the cities. The narrative is austerity and more austerity.”

Dollars Trump Black History in Richmond

The Black Mayor of Richmond, Virginia is opting for a baseball stadium rather than preservation of Shockoe Bottom, the city’s historic center, once home to the nation’s second largest slave market. “It really doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not he’s pro-history or anti-history – it’s money,” said Ana Edwards, of Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality. “Shockoe Bottom is the price that he is willing to pay for developers to make their money.”

Free Marissa Alexander

The case of a Black battered wife who fired a shot into her ceiling to fend off her abusive husband has become a focus of agitation in Florida. If convicted on aggravated assault charges, Marissa Alexander could spend two decades in prison. “This is what’s happening with the criminalization of Black women,” said Aleta Alston-Toure, of Free Marissa Now, in Jacksonville. “We need a movement to stop the race, sex and class bias” of the criminal justice system. Black women are more than two and a half times as likely to be killed by a male as their white counterparts.

Feinstein NSA Bill Legalizes NSA Abuse of Power

The FISA Improvement Act, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, an apologist for NSA spying on Americans, “doesn’t improve anything; it codifies practices that already exist,” said Matthew Kellegrew, a legal fellow with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Kellegrew says rival legislation, the USA Freedom Act, “is a step in the direction towards reining in the Patriot Act and out-of-control government surveillance.”

Activists Charge Black Studies Chairman with Betrayal

More than 100 student and community activists gathered in Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate to denounce Temple University’s Dean of Liberal Arts for persecuting African American Studies professor Dr. Anthony Monteiro, and to rebuke Dr. Molefi Asante, the program’s new chairman, for betraying his former colleague. Dr. Asante has “turned on Dr. Monteiro and he’s turned on the community,” said Patrice Armstead, of Building Peoples Power. “He seems to have reversed course relative to building African American Studies at Temple and connecting that project with the lives and struggles and problems of the Black community,” said Dr. Monteiro.

Rwanda Needs to Show It Wants Peace in Congo

The defeat of M-23 fighters by Congolese and United Nations forces, earlier this month, does not necessarily signal an end to the violence that has killed six million Congolese since 1996. Unless neighboring Rwanda and Uganda stop arming and financing so-called “rebels,” said Kambale Musavuli, of Washington-based Friends of Congo, there can be no peace. “The way I will know that Rwanda is serious about stopping supporting rebel groups, is for them to turn over” some of those already charged with atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rather than giving them asylum.

Detroit as Dred Scott

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The bum-rush to bankrupt Detroit is the leading legal edge in Wall Street’s drive to declare Black urban dwellers "beings of an inferior order” with no rights that Capital is bound to respect. The verdict will be applicable to the rest of the 99 percent, as well. “In America, race – more properly, white supremacy – has always been the magic wedge.”

Freedom Rider: Saving the White Man

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

It’s the kind of story that brings tears to Middle America’s eyes: selfless Black person puts life on line for undeserving white. In a white man’s world, saving a redneck from a beating qualifies a Black person for sainthood, while acting in defense of Black people makes one a dangerous militant.

Rwandan War Criminals Defeated in Congo, But AFRICOM Riding High

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The military defeat of Rwandan-backed “rebels” in the eastern Congo is good news for a people who have suffered the worst genocide since World War Two. But will there be justice for the six million dead? “The United States would not relish a series of trials in which its own role in the slaughter of millions would be revealed in embarrassing detail.”

 
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Kanye West, Black Popular Culture, and the Current Agenda of American Empire

by Pascal Robert

African American audiences cheer a TV show that glamorizes a real-life Black woman who played a key role in putting Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court and “helped clean things up for the Republicans during the Iran-Contra Scandal.” Kanye West unfurls the Confederate flag. Black faces in high places are descending to the lowest moral depths – the Obama Effect gone wild.

The Black Misleadership Class Needs Unmasking

by Danny Haiphong

The Black Misleadership Class purports to guide African Americans on the path to upward mobility. But, in fact, “Black FBI leaders, corporate managers, police authorities, Senators, Congressmen, Presidential advisors, and morally bankrupt celebrities like Jay-Z are given handsome salaries and positions to help manage the exploitation of the Black masses.”

When Prisons Retaliate: California Inmates Still Paying Price for Demanding Rights

by Sarah Lazare

California prison inmates have held three hunger strikes and mass work stoppages in the last two years, protesting appalling conditions and the torture of solitary confinement. The state is striking back. "We've received letters around individual guards or groups of guards targeting people who participated in the strike.” As many as 30,000 inmates may face some form of retaliation.

Lament for the Late, Great African-American People…

by Raymond Nat Turner

Stop our brothers from

Talking superfluous

Shit, gratuitous

Violence, fratricide…

Like Monsanto madmen,

Killing and polluting

Everything they touch…

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – 11/6/13

Stop-and-Frisk Judge Thrown Off Case

A federal appeals court stayed Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling that stop-and-frisk, as practiced by the New York City police, is unconstitutional, and removed Scheindlin from the case for bias against cops. However, that doesn’t phase Robert Gangi, of the Urban Justice Center’s Police Reform Organizing Project. “Our judgment is that, while litigation and legislation can be helpful, they are not the critical components to the ultimate success of the police reform movement,” said Gangi. “The politics of the issue have changed, dramatically.” Gangi is convinced that Democrat Bill de Blasio, the city’s next likely mayor, will eliminate the worst abuses of stop-and-frisk.

A Slap in the Face

“My immediate reaction is that the federal appeals court stopped-and-frisked Judge Scheindlin,” said Carl Dix, a co-founder of Stop Stop-and-Frisk, which launched a campaign of direct action protests at police precincts across New York, two years ago. The panel’s action is a “slap in the face of all of the people who hate stop-and-frisk,” he said. “Them finding impropriety in Judge Scheindlin’s handling of the case, but seeing no impropriety in the way stop-and-frisk demonizes and criminalizes Black and Latino youth – that’s the real story, here.”

Don Obama and the Health Insurance Mob

The Affordable Care Act is neither affordable nor universal, said Dr. Margaret Flowers, co-director of It’s Our Economy and one of the authors of the recent article, “Obamacare: The Biggest Insurance Scam in History.” “They’re marketing the insurance products for the insurance companies, paying people to knock on doors,” said Flowers. “We’re spending billions of taxpayers dollars to subsidize the purchase of private insurance. What better deal could there possibly be for a private insurance company?”

Caribbean Slavery Suit: Reparations or Pay-Off?

The 12 nations of the Caribbean economic community, plus Haiti and Surinam, plan to sue Britain, France and the Netherlands for the crime of slavery. However, the plaintiffs’ lawyers are already talking about a settlement. “Reparations is an issue whose time has come,” said Omali Yeshitela, head of the African People’s Socialist Party and chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition. But, it seems that the Caribbean leaders are “asking for a kind of pay-off, and nothing that actually challenges the relationships of power and the economic relationships that exist between Europe and the oppressed nations of the world.”

Sociologists Boycott Israel

Dr. Johnny Williams, professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut, said the Association of Humanist Sociology has joined the global boycott Israel campaign. Dr. Williams, a vice president of the association, said his colleagues demand Israel end its colonization and occupation of Palestinian lands, recognize the full citizenship rights of Palestinian Israelis, and allow Palestinian exiles to return to their homeland. The association felt compelled to join the boycott because “sociology is about transforming the human societies that we find ourselves in. It is nor merely about interpreting data.”

Soul Summit” Recounts Legacy

Black cultural and media practitioners gathered recently at pubic television’s WNET, in New York, to discuss the legacy of “Soul,” the 1968-73 public affairs program produced by the late Ellis Haizlip. Such programs were a response to the Black rebellions of the Sixties, said Dr. Todd Burroughs, an independent journalist and authority on African American media. Haizlip was able to convince Black artists “to talk about their art as Black people engaged in a struggle for Black liberation,” said Burroughs. Funding for the genre dried up in favor of “shows that would allow a more comfortable viewing experience.”

Detroit Will be Democracy's Decisive Battle

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Detroit is the battleground chosen by Wall Street to crush the last vestiges of American democracy by creating “the template for direct corporate rule.” Finance capital recognizes that it can no longer coexist with democratic institutions, which are most easily destroyed by attacking Black rule in the cities.

End Game For Corporate School Reform: Privatized Holding Tanks, Remote Ed, Military Charter Schools

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

Chicago, the city the president and his secretary of education hail from, has been the laboratory of corporate education reform and privatization. Among its “innovations” are the mass closings of public schools, and handing over entire schools to the army, the navy and the marines.

 

 
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Freedom Rider: Black Faces for White People

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Halloween brings out the worst, in the worst white folks. “What was an enjoyable time to dress up in costume has become the white racist moment to act out sick fantasy.” The bigots would like their version of Halloween to last all year. “A return to the good old days of slavery, colonial violence, invasions and occupations is something they pine for quite openly.”

How Serious is the Caribbean Reparations Suit?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Fourteen Caribbean countries are suing to compel Britain, France and The Netherlands to pay reparations for centuries of slavery. However, the plaintiffs may have more modest goals in mind. The Caribbean nations “are already allowing their British lawyer to telegraph that all they really want is a nice package of aid with a ‘reparations’ bow tied around it.”

 
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What’s a Little Surveillance Among Friends?

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Thanks to Edward Snowden, the world is learning that the United States spies on…everyone. Friends, foes, allies, adversaries, it doesn’t matter – the National Security Agency has your number and isn’t shy about dialing it. Republicans are Obama’s best friends when it comes to mega-surveillance.

Worse Than Apartheid: Black in Obama’s America

by Jon Jeter

The U.S. Black-white wealth gap is larger than in South Africa at the height of apartheid. The statistic is all the more remarkable when considering that South Africa virtually mandated gross inequality by law, while in the U.S. the great chasm exists “within a political economy that is at least nominally democratic” and packed with Black elected officials, including “the sitting head of state.”

Basketball Mayor Hypes School Privatization, Shoots An Air Ball

by Seth Sandronsky

Charter school operators and their political servants make bogus claims of educational gains – claims that are often passed along as fact by supposedly reputable media. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson is a propagandist for privatization, and an ally of corporations that have a huge stake in undermining public schools. “It is vital to follow the money on issues such as public education.”

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