Blogs

Freedom Rider: The Iran Deal Reality

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The U.S. deal with Iran – based on assumptions about an Iranian nuclear weapons program that American intelligence agencies have twice concluded does not exist – allows the U.S. to concentrate on provoking Russia and China while continuing to threaten Iran with destruction. Global peace is no closer than before, since “America’s insistence on imperialism and control of other countries is the cause of every catastrophe.”

The Assassination of Sandra Bland and the Struggle against State Repression

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The Black Lives Matter movement has another martyr, as it prepares for a national conference in Cleveland, this weekend. Sandra Bland’s murder in Texas shows, once again, that “defending one’s dignity in an encounter with the police is a crime that that can lead to a death sentence.” The emerging movement must be clear on the political nature of Bland’s death, and that only real power in the hands of the people can break the cycle of oppression.

Black Unionists Try to Save South Africa from Becoming a Failed State

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, editor and columnist

“What the South African people fought for is not what they have received… it’s time that we continue the struggle for liberation,” said labor leaders Irvin Jim and Zwelinzima Vavi, meeting with activist allies in Washington, DC and New York City. “The time has come that we must organize the working class, as a class to challenge the neo-liberal agenda” followed by the African National Congress government.

Bernie Out of the Closet: Sanders’ Longstanding Deal with the Democrats

by Paul Street

Bernie may call himself a socialist, but since his terms as mayor of Burlington VT in the 1980s, the state's Democrats have never run anybody against him.  In return "socialist" Bernie Sanders has supported every war and military intervention since the 1980s, just like every other good Democrat.

A Brief Reflection on the Relationship Between Syriza and Bernie Sanders

by Danny Haiphong

The Greek Syriza party and Bernie Sanders’ U.S. presidential campaign have something in common: neither has any intention to challenge the global capitalist system. “Syriza began and remains a social democratic party committed to the maintenance of the Wall Street-controlled European order,” and “Bernie Sanders is a ruling class tool.”

New Orleans Katrina Pain Index at Ten: Who Was Left Behind

by Bill Quigley

A decade after the Katrina catastrophe, 100,000 people have still not returned to New Orleans, most of them Black. Whites in the city have gotten a lot richer, yet poverty still stalks Black neighborhoods, the public schools have been almost totally charterized, and rents have skyrocketed – all in the name of “renewal.”

The Violence of Police Politics

by Steve Martinot

The “dementia” of police behavior is reflected in U.S. prisons, where punishment is justified by the fact of incarceration. “Solitary confinement is imposed on those who think critically and politically.” On the street, police dementia is policy. “In profiling, the police commit an act of suspicion, and then look for a crime with which to charge their suspect.” Profiling renders everything that follows “beyond the law.”

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Prison Charade

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Barack Obama attempts to create a phony legacy as the prison “reform” president by extending clemency to 46 non-violent drug offenders – not all that many, by presidential standards. Yet, he went to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep 5,000 non-violent crack-cocaine offenders locked up. Obama’s “sudden desire to look like the Great Emancipator is an ongoing publicity junket.”

The Fight For A Socialist South Africa

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

South Africa’s most militant labor leaders are pressing forward with plans to build a real socialist party to challenge the ANC government’s capitulation to global capitalism. ANC loyalists this week locked the country’s largest union and the labor federation’s former general secretary out of a COSATU special Congress. The two traveled to the U.S., last week, seeking help from activists that supported the “Free South Africa” movement in the 80s.

Holder’s Legacy: Corporate Criminals Too Big to Jail But Mass Incarceration, Gentrification and Protection of Killer Cops for Black Folks – Part II

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, editor and columnist

Eric Holder has been praised as a “civil rights”-oriented attorney general, but the only rights he has championed are those of the bankers, white vigilantes and killer cops. “Holder refused to press charges against millionaire banking executives who, he assured Wall Street, ‘were too big to jail.’” Blacks have to make do with their Miranda warning rights – if they are lucky enough to survive an encounter with the police.

Hillary's Family Ties to School Privatizers, and Diane Ravitch's Review of Hoosier School Heist

By Doug Martin at Hoosier School Heist Blog, and Diane Ravitch

Last week the American Federation of Teachers endorsed Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, without consulting more than a token slice of the union's membership. It's hard not to know that AFT leaders have turned their backs on teachers and thrown in with the privatizing politicians and consultants. Hillary too has her own family ties to school privatizers.

False Flag Change: History, the Confederate Flag, Obama and the Deeper American Racism

by Paul Street

The Confederate flag comes down at the capital of South Carolina, and smug white smiles go up all over America. “Meanwhile,” writes the author, “savage racial disparities persist and even deepen thanks to the underlying societal, institutional, historical, and political-economic racism that churns on behind the curtain of an officially color blind and, yes, politically correct media and politics culture.”

The Problem of Greece is Not Only a Tragedy: It is a Lie

by John Pilger

The Greek people said “No” to the bankers in Brussels, but their supposedly “radical” Syriza leaders immediately said “Yes.” What is the true political nature of Syriza? “Tsipras and his impressively-educated comrades were not radical in any sense of that cliched label, neither were they ‘anti austerity.’” The consequence of their false leftism “is not resistance, but subservience.”

UK Government Was Right in Arresting Rwandan Spy Chief

by Theogene Rudasingwa

President Paul Kagame threw a mighty tantrum following the arrest in the UK of his spy chief, Gen. Emmanuel Karenzi Karake. But the exiled opposition party Rwanda National Congress has welcomed the arrest, applauding the new efforts by some Western nations to demand accountability from the brutal tyranny in Kigali.

Black Self Determination Matters

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

After two generations of political decay, Black people finally realize they “need to find ways to protect themselves from the police agencies of the Mass Black Incarceration State.” The problem is, getting the police off the community’s back is often...illegal. “The U.S. system is full of ‘checks’ and ‘balances’ to keep the people in check and the rich men’s books balanced.”

Greece, Debt and Democracy

By BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

From Athens to Detroit the financial crises used to justify privatizations, wage-and-pension-cutting, and general austerity are being created. Their purpose is always to transfer vast public wealth into the hands of banksters and investors.

The 26th Friendshipment Caravan En Route to Havana, Cuba

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

For more than a quarter century, U.S. volunteers have delivered aid to the Cuban people, through the Pastors for Peace Caravan. Gail Walker, daughter of the late Rev. Lucius Walker, who initiated the caravans, speaks of the historical “link between Cuba and the African diaspora,” and the volunteers’ determination to continue “the solidarity that we feel for our Cuban brothers and sisters.”

Liberalism Still the Left Flank of Oppression in the Coming Post-Obama World

by Danny Haiphong

It is already clear that the buzz words gay rights and the Confederate flag “will be used by the powerful to move as many disaffected people toward the Democratic Party as possible.” In reality, “the American flag is the global banner of white supremacy and oppression of LGBTQ people. Its Stars and Stripes are responsible for the genocide of indigenous peoples, enslavement of Africans, and the exploitation of the global working class.”

Six Lessons #BlackLivesMatter Can Learn From Amilcar Cabral

by Benjamin Woods

The emergent Black Lives Matter mobilization is nearing the juncture where it will grow into a true mass movement for liberation, or take some other fork in the road. BlackLivesMatter# should study the practice and writings of Amilcar Cabral, the great African revolutionary. “Cabral understood the new national culture would primarily be built through a process of protracted struggle and have what he called a “mass character.”

Self-Defense of Black Lives DOES Matter

By Thandisizwe Chimurenga

The stars and bars are not the substance of white supremacy itself. They are a deliberately odious signifier of the bloody suppression of black bodies, aspirations and lives from the end of Reconstruction and to the dawn of the Freedom movement of the 1950s and 60s. Some of the flag's groupies are and always have been frankly dangerous.

U.S. - Cuba Policy: A Goal by Any Other Strategy Still Smells As Sweet

by Netfa Freeman

Washington keeps harping about the benefits to Cuba of closer relations with the United States, but never considers “how Cuba might assist in transforming the social and moral essence of the U.S.A.” The United States and its people could learn a great deal from Cuba’s experience in providing universal health care and education, as well as in forging relations of friendship and solidarity with other nations.

Dr. Che Guevara’s Prescription for Africa’s AFRICOM Headache

by Mark P. Fancher

With the United States military command in the lead, “western troops and advisors continue their forward march across African.” But continental liberation is still possible: it just requires the spark of a decisive example. “At least one African country should, pursuant to its own national legislation, seize and nationalize all foreign oil operations, mines and processing facilities within its borders.”

An Eritrean in Mississippi: The Importance of Black Diaspora-Eritrea Solidarity

by Filmon Zerai

The work of a Black lawyer named Lumumba from Detroit drew a young man from Eritrea to Jackson, Mississippi, last year. “I learned how Chokwe Lumumba valued Black diasporan engagement to build solidarity and power,” writes the author. “I experienced the egalitarian spirit of Eritrea in Jackson’s economic justice movement that’s being led by Cooperation Jackson.”

Both Major U.S. Parties are Plagues on Humanity

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The two corporate parties have collaborated in knocking off countries targeted for invasion and regime change. They have both nurtured the jihadist international network that was created under presidents Carter and Reagan. And presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama are complicit in the capital crime of genocide in the Congo, where six million people have died since 1996. The presidential nominee of either party must be a ghoul, a fiend, or a banshee.

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