Blogs

Black Political Discussion On the 2016 Presidential Race is Wider and Deeper Than in 2008 or 2012

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

2008's black political discussion around presidential politics was all about silencing black noise over housing, jobs, unemployment, education, justice and peace. Be quiet we told each other. White folks will hear you and not vote for Obama. By 2012 we shut each other up to keep from embarrassing or the First Black President. Radical activists are now pushing for a wider black conversation about our people's needs that includes socialism.

Throw Off the Dead Weight of the Democratic Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Blacks haven’t transformed the Democratic Party by our overwhelming presence. Instead, the Party has transformed us – and overwhelmed our radical politics.” The best result that can occur from the Sanders campaign would be that it leads to a split in the Democratic Party, and an end to the Rich Man’s Duopoly.

Freedom Rider: America’s Endless Wars

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

There is no “peace” wing in either the Democratic or Republican parties. “Not only has Obama declared unending war against the rest of the world, but so has the rest of the two party duopoly.” When the warmongers scream “Jump,” the only question leaders of either party ask is, “How high?” It’s a matter of tone, not substance. “The Republicans openly brag about aggressions while Democrats dissemble and use weasel words to pretend they won’t do the same thing.”

Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Beyonce and her dancers perform in pseudo-Panther gear, pretending that resistance to the state is a matter of fashionability.  “It is incredibly naive to think that anything subversive or even remotely oppositional to the interests of the capitalist oligarchy would be allowed expression on a stage that it controlled.” Assata Shakur is an example of “total resistance that can’t be co-opted by bourgeois culture.”

EPA’s Deliberate Poisoning of Flint’s Children

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Flint, Michigan, was declared a “sacrifice zone” because its majority Black and poor population’s “presence is no longer required and their lives are considered a hindrance to economic progress,” writes the author, who blew the whistle on EPA complicity in U.S. corporate poisoning of South African vanadium mine workers.  The EPA is a serial criminal that has “utterly failed the Flint community and must be held accountable.”

Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital

by Mumia Abu-Jamal 

The adage that there are different systems of justice for rich and poor, Black and white, is horrifically confirmed in Flint, Michigan, where the white supremacist, capitalist state poisoned a majority Black and poor population. Yet, in U.S. society there is no punishment to fit such a crime. “In Michigan’s prisons, there ain’t a single prisoner who committed a more vicious crime than the Governor of that state.”

Pentagon Request of 582 Billion in 2017 another Indication of Imperialism's Desperation

by Danny Haiphong

Washington’s hyper-aggressive rhetoric is backed up by a Pentagon budget that promises never-ending war for the foreseeable future. The world will pay a horrific price. U.S. wars “no longer stimulate a recovery of imperialism’s economic base, but rather exacerbate crisis.” As a result, Washington’s worldwide warfare “has ignited global chaos to the point where economic development of any form is difficult to manage.”

Portland Tenants United Leads a New Call for Organizing Against Evictions and Displacement

by Shane Burley

When renters band together, they can stop gentrification in its tracks, say tenants union advocates in Portland, Oregon. “Just as workers can have a union in their workplaces, tenants should have the same power of collective action, and bargaining, in their homes.”

Incarcerated Lives Matter

by Lacino Hamilton

The struggle against mass incarceration has gained broad support in recent years. However, “as long as reducing the incarceration rate is confined to fiscal pressures, little attention, if any at all, will be paid to the root cause of mass incarceration (racism), or how caging people for part or all of their lives has removed from the community and the family the abilities to sustain themselves free of state and corporate domination.”

The Shame of South Africa’s Black Political Prisoners

by Motsoko Pheko

More than twenty years after the end of formal apartheid, several African nationalists who resisted the inhuman system are still languishing in prison. Yet many apartheid agents who committed atrocious crimes against the African people were pardoned, some without even expressing any remorse. This is unacceptable. The ANC Government must release all political prisoners now.

Vector of Fear: Blacks and the Democratic Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Blacks in the South will probably not vote for Bernie Sanders, although they most resemble the “Scandinavian social democrats” of Sanders dreams. However, Black voters don’t express their politics through the ballot. Rather, “Blacks are drawn into the jaws of the Democratic Party, not by ideological affinity, but in search of protection from the Republicans.” It is the politics of fear.

Freedom Rider: The Problem of Bernie Sanders and the “Left”

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Bernie Sander’s near-tie with Hillary Clinton in Iowa is fanning the fantasies of those who never cease to disbelieve in transforming the Democratic Party “from below.” What is certain, is that corporate evil-doers will still rule both wings of the duopoly at the end of the quadrennial game. “Revolutionaries don’t exult over Bernie Sanders vis a vis Hillary Clinton because they know that great change comes from mass action and not the ballot box.”

Clinton, Petraeus, Snowden and Manning: The Tail of the Two Americas

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The U.S. government does not hesitate to imprison those who leak its secrets – unless they are Hillary Clinton or some other Big Shot. “What is remarkable about American democracy is the consistent and perpetual benevolence of the ruling class towards its loyal disciples.” The privilege extends to killer cops, crooked investment bankers, and other slime. But “federal employees complaining of racism are eviscerated while their managers receive promotions.”

Observations on Carrying Forward the Black Radical Tradition After Philly

by Sis. Asantewaa Nkrumah-Ture

Organizers of the very successful Jan 7-10 Philadelphia conference on Reclaiming the Black Radical Tradition have pointed to “a pattern of disruption” by pursued there political elements who sought to undermine the conference's legitimacy and unity. Why? Who were these people and what are their politics? A friend who lives in Philly and attended the conference offers this useful picture, along with cogent observations and suggestions.

From Civil Rights to Human Rights, Black Community Control Now!

by Netfa Freeman

A United Nations Working Group preliminary report on human rights violations against Black America advocates Black community control of police. That’s the general position of Pan African Community Action, one of the groups that testified before the UN experts. Community control of police would shift power, enforce democracy and allow folks to re-imagine community security as “a social force to actually protect and serve” Black people.

Flint, Atlantic City, and the Destruction of Democracy

Flint, Atlantic City, and the Destruction of Democracy

by our friends at the Real News Network

Flint Michigan isn't the only place where local rights over infrastructure have been stolen and put in the hands of un-elected "emergency managers" whose first priorities are always repayment of wealthy bondholders. The first wave of such takeovers, Glen Ford points out, was in New Jersey a generation ago, and now Atlantic City may be next.

On the Utility of Self-Criticism and Criticism in the Future of Struggle: The Case of Ta-Nehisi Coates

by Danny Haiphong

The author recommends that a healthy dose of criticism and self-criticism might clarify Ta-Nehisi Coates’ argument with Bernie Sanders over reparations. “It would be appropriate to ask Coates why he chose to single out Sanders as a socialist even though Sanders has positioned himself as a Democratic Party politician since his entrance into the race.” As presently constructed, Ta-Nehisi’s position leads straight into the Empire's electoral graveyard.”

African Union Refuses to Invade Burundi

Ann Garrison's picture

 

by Ann Garrison

The African Union has reversed its decision to send 5,000 “peacekeepers” to Burundi, at the instigation of the U.S. and Europeans. The real threat to Burundi comes from neighboring Rwanda, which is training an army of refugees to invade Burundi. Why did the AU have a change of heart? “Member nations no doubt realized that if they authorized the deployment without Burundi's consent, unwelcome AU troops might be sent across their borders as well.”

No More Electoral Coups: OAS is Not Welcome in Haiti

by Èzili Dantò

Since 2004, the Haitian people have been occupied: first by U.S. troops and, next, by an international force under the United Nations. Then, following the 2010 earthquake, the Organization of American States and the U.S. rigged an election to impose the dictatorship of Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly. “The people of Haiti have an exit plan: to conduct free and fair elections after Martelly leaves” on February 7.

The Global Network of US Military Bases Provide the Infrastructure For Permanent War

by our friends at This Is Hell

For two generations now, the US has hundreds of thousands of troops stationed outside its borders. US troops are in more countries than the Mongols, the Romans or the Brit empires in their day, and the US maintains more military bases than embassies or consulates. Is it any wonder that the first resort is usually to war?

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