Blogs

Seats on the 2016 Democratic Platform Committee Are NOT a "Political Revolution"

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The Sanders campaign named Cornel West, and 4 others to the Democratic party 2016 platform committee. But platform promises to Democratic voters have always been worthless. Bill Clinton's 1992 platform promised inner city job programs, reinvestment of military spending and much else. Obama's 2008 platform pledged relief to homeowners in the foreclosure crisis and more. The 2016 platform committee is a dead end for the "political revolution" leveraging the credibility of Brother West behind empty pledges neither the platform committee nor Democratic voters can enforce, promises which Hillary Clinton has no intention of keeping.

Crime “Prediction”: The Algorithms of Racist Injustice

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Mass Black incarceration wound up ensnaring too many white people in the gulags, bringing forth calls from within the establishment for “reform” to spare those undeserving of imprisonment.  Digital science came to the rescue. “The U.S. criminal justice system now deploys algorithm-based technology to predict who will be criminalized in the future, and to systematically push whites out of the path of the New Jim Crow juggernaut.”

Freedom Rider: Georgetown Should Pay for Slavery

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If ever there was a clear path to reparations for the descendants of slaves, it is in compensation to the progeny of the 272 men and women sold South to save the Jesuit school that became Georgetown University. The institution’s $1.5 billion endowment is at least partially owed to an identifiable group of Black people. “If Georgetown pays up like it ought to they can go to any college or make whatever financial decisions they choose.”

On the Challenges of Building a Principled Left Movement in Our Time

by Danny Haiphong

These are exciting – and frustrating – times. “The crisis of US empire has created ripe conditions for a revolutionary movement, yet no such movement exists.” Social forces opposed to capitalism’s predations multiply, yet too often fail to unify. “The task from here is to engage those who have been propelled into action by the crisis of US Empire, whether it is the Sandernistas or Black Lives Matter activists.”

Layers of Islamophobia: Rep. Keith Ellison Says He’s “Unaware” of Clinton Having Returned “Muslim Money”

by Sam Husseini

The only two Muslim members of Congress, Keith Ellison and André Carson, both Black, seem oblivious to Hillary Clinton’s history of distancing herself from Muslim Americans, and share her militaristic vision for the Middle East. U.S. discussions of Islamophobia “largely excludes discussion of U.S. foreign policy, the dehumanization of Muslim lives lost, especially in U.S. attacks.” The only good Muslim is one who supports U.S. imperial policy.

Prisoners’ Voices Blocked and Censorship in U.S. Prisons

by Jaan Laaman

Like many political prisoners, the author’s freedom of speech rights are routinely curtailed. “While prisoners do have a legal right to express their thoughts and report on issues and abuses, actually getting your words out is often very hard or impossible.” U.S. prisons operate their own “kangaroo courts” that often shut down inmate communications “even if the prisoner ultimately wins appeal and has his or her communications restored.”

Africa Liberation Day: Pentagon and CIA Continue to Destabilize the Continent

by Abayomi Azikiwe

African Liberation Day is always a cause for celebration – but also for sober assessment of how far off the goal of continental liberation remains. The great pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah warned that, if Africa did not unite, “imperialists would reverse the minimal gains made by the national liberation movements and political parties.” More than a half-century later, U.S. troops operate in the vast majority of African nations.

Fidel Castro & Cuba: Thorns In Side of US Imperialism

by Solomon Comissiong 

Cuba is a hero nation, and “Commandant Fidel Castro’s legacy can never be undone; his internationalist and revolutionary history will serve as an inspiration forever.” The island nation and its leader confronted – and triumphed against – a giant neighbor whose wealth “comes directly from the plunder and theft.” However, “in the case of Cuba and Fidel Castro, their attempts to break the island nation failed miserably, time and time again.”

Down with the Duopoly: The Republicans Have Split; Now It’s the Democrat’s Turn

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The split in the Democratic Party will become an unbridgeable chasm “when Sanders supporters are forced to recognize that the 40-plus percent of the Democratic base they represent cannot coexist with Hillary’s ‘truer and more fully explicit ruling class party,’ and needs its own electoral political formation.” The Republican side of the corporate duopoly has already been destabilized. Clinton’s hard right turn will fracture the Democrats.

Freedom Rider: Transgender Rights but No Rights for Black People

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If you are Black in America, “driving, walking, riding a bicycle, being in a public space at the wrong moment, or even calling the police for assistance” can get you killed. President Obama doesn’t care about that, yet he puts the full force of the federal government behind transgender bathroom rights. “Obama loves to wade in on the side of a small segment of white liberal concern instead of helping the people who love them the most.”

A Glimpse of Justice for South Africa’s Gold Miners: High Court Allows Largest Class Action Suit in History

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Under colonialism and apartheid, South African miners have died by the tens of thousands from silicosis, an incurable lung disease. The rates of affliction “haven't got any better since apartheid ended more than twenty years ago.” However, a High Court is allowing miners to sue for relief as a class. “Up to a half-a million miners may be eligible to seek damages, a decision that could cost the mining industry millions.”

The Crisis This Time: US Capitalism Continues to Decline with No End in Sight

by Danny Haiphong

Periodic crisis is endemic to capitalism, built into the system. However, late stage capitalism has entered a phase in which crises are the norm. “Unemployment has remained high for months, if not years, after each successive crisis since the 1990s.” Expect no lasting recovery. “No amount of austerity, war, or repression can halt this trend” because “this is all capitalism can offer.”

The Result of the Akai Gurley Case Reminds Us that New York State Needs a Permanent Special Prosecutor

by Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq.

A Chinese American cop was found guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death, without provocation, of Akai Gurley. Yet, the Brooklyn, New York, district attorney recommended, and got, probation for the officer. “We give preferential treatment to non-Black defendants while exacting the harshest of punishments for Black defendants.” That’s why permanent special prosecutors are needed to investigate official misconduct.

Louisiana Number One in Incarceration

by Bill Quigley

With over 38,000 people in prison, Louisiana is first in the planet in per capita incarceration. Plus, “there are an additional 69,000 people in Louisiana on probation and parole.” Race is the primary factor that makes the Bayou State the global champion of imprisonment. “Louisiana has been much more severe in sending black people to prison than whites, at least after black people were no longer slaves.”

US Foreign Policy in Africa and the 2016 Elections

by Abayomi Azikiwe

The pace of U.S. meddling in Africa has increased tremendously under the Bush and Obama administrations, yet U.S. policies in Africa are non-issues in the current presidential campaign. “Pentagon, State Department and CIA interventions in Africa have done more to destabilize the continent rather than create the condition for full independence and sovereignty.” Black leaders have proven useless to the defense of African lives, rights and resources.

25 Years of Struggle Building Socialism in Eritrea; Fighting the Cancer of Corruption

by Thomas C. Mountain

Eritrea, the socialist nation of 6 million people on the Red Sea that has been called “the Cuba of Africa,” is replacing all of its old currency with new bills and moving away from a cash economy. “If you are a black market agent using cash to do your business and have literally millions of Nakfa, the Eritrean currency, stuffed under your bed, you got some explaining to do.” That’s bad news for currency manipulators – both foreign and domestic.

Obama Chugs Flint Water, Dodges Federal Responsibility, Delivers Another Cynical Lecture to Black Folks

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

President Obama's self-described “stunt”, chugging a glass of Flint water, assuring residents of its safety, and claiming he might have ingested lead himself as a child were a deeply cynical deployment of his blackness to divert attention from federal responsibility for the mass poisonings and coverups.

Obama Chugs Flint Water, Dodges Federal Responsibility, Delivers Another Cynical Lecture to Black Folks

Hillary May Win in November, but the Duopoly Electoral System is Doomed

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

After the general election, corporate pundits will try to dismiss the this season’s rebellions in the Republican and Democratic parties. But newly emergent social forces on the Left and the Right, and among Black youth, are rejecting the duopoly electoral system. The Republican Party has been wrecked, and “the contradictions in the Democratic Party are at least as deep, if not so immediately acute, as those that are ripping apart the GOP.”

Freedom Rider: Sanders Supporters Can Bring Down the Democrats

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Bernie Sanders supporters could truly be on a revolutionary mission – if they choose to accept it. “They must not support or vote for Hillary Clinton in November and they must say so loudly and clearly.” Should their idol endorse Clinton, then Sanders’ people must reject him, too. And, if Sanders’ folks are blamed for Clinton’s defeat, these attacks “should be considered as a badge of honor” for sending the Democrats into the dustbin of history.

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