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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 11/26/14

    Cornel West and Bob Avakian Dialogue at Riverside Church

    The nation’s foremost Black public intellectual shared the stage with the head of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) at New York’s historic Riverside Church. RCP leader Bob Avakian, an atheist “to the bone,” said: “The movement I envision is one in which people like Cornel and myself can walk together on the road of revolution and emancipation, uniting in struggle to bring about a world in which there will no longer be a wretched of the earth.” His “Christian revolutionary” interlocutor, Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary, told the crowd: “This is a unique historical moment. Why? Because, historically, Black rage has always been the central threat to the status quo – not because Black people have a monopoly on truth, goodness or beauty, but because when Black folks wake up, all people who are subordinated and dominated can get in and wake up.”

    Roadblocks to Community Control of Police

    Activists have been trying to set up civilian boards to oversee police for almost 50 years, with only limited success, according to Larry Hamm, chairman of northern New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress (POP). “States must confer power on such boards, such as subpoena powers,” said Hamm. Would effective controls on police get through the state legislature in New Jersey and elsewhere? “I would dare say it would not. It’s gonna be a bumpy road.”

    Who Keeps Track of Killer Cops?

    The Black community lacks even the capacity to keep track of abuses committed against it by police departments across the nation, said author and activist Kevin Alexander Gray, of Columbia, South Carolina. “In the past, the NAACP in local areas was the place to report police abuse,” said Gray, an editor of the new book Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence. “Some organization needs to take on that role again. The way things are now, if a person has a complaint against the police department they’ve got to take it to – the police.”

    Haitians Protest Life Under Occupation

    Thousands demonstrated in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, last week, fueled by a variety of grievances, said Ezili Danto, of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. “They were asking for an end to the U.S. occupation, behind UN guns and private military subcontractors; they were asking that the militarized, Ferguson-like police stop killing the people; and they were asking for mock elections not to continue in Haiti, but for real elections to be held.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 11/17/14

    The “Whitening” of Black Colleges

    Court decisions combined with state and federal policies have led to the “whitening” of HBCUs – Historically Black Colleges and Universities – including Delaware State University, where Dr. Jahi Issa taught until his arrest at a student demonstration in 2012. “We’re looking at over two decades of strategic removal of African American faculty and students,” said Issa, whose multi-part articles titled “How Black Colleges are Turning White: The Ethnic Cleansing of HBCUs in the Age of Obama” are published in Black Agenda Report. This trend, along with falling Black enrollment in historically white institutions and assaults on African American Studies programs, poses an existential threat to Black higher education in the United States. HBCUs will likely continue to exist, but “there just probably won’t be too many Black people there,” said Issa.

    Reparations “Enforcement” is Key

    In recent decades, the struggle for reparations for Africans and their descendants has moved from simple advocacy to “a mode of activism called reparations enforcement,” in which Blacks in various localities target businesses and institutions that have profited from slavery and Jim Crow and present bills for the criminal damages that have been inflicted on Black people, said Kamm Howard, of NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. The reparations movement needs a revolutionary language that speaks in terms of criminal acts historically committed against Blacks – acts for which there is no statute of limitations, said Howard, speaking at a Black Is Back Coalition teach-in at Howard University, in Washington.

    Defining and Defending U.S. Political Prisoners

    The scores of political activists still languishing in prison are testament to U.S. violation of international law and treaties prohibiting racial discrimination, said Efia Nwangaza, of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina. Nwanga has just returned from a United Nations forum in Geneva, Switzerland, at which the U.S. claimed, as always, that it holds no political prisoners. Since the term “political prisoners” is also not part of UN terminology, Nwangaza’s Malcolm X Center and the Jericho Movement speak, instead, on behalf of “Cointelpro and civil rights era political activists and human rights defenders.” In arguing before the UN, Nwangaza maintains that “the focus of Cointelpro” – the FBI’s campaign to neutralize political dissidents – “had a significant racial component and, as a result, a significant impact on the Black liberation struggle.”

    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. Click here to download the show.


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