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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/9/14

Cornel West: Integrity is Key to Liberation

“They are closing our schools, they’re foreclosing our homes, closing our libraries, closing the factories, closing the post office,” said Larry Hamm, president of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. “They continue to do it, because they have not yet met the countervailing force that can stop them from doing,” he told the Bethany Baptist Church crowd. Hamm then directed the question to the evening’s speaker, noted public intellectual Dr. Cornel West, of New York’s Union Theological Seminary. “How do we build this countervailing force?”

Organizing for liberation requires “three things,” said Dr. West. “Your vision, and the courage behind your vision. Your analysis; Do you really understand what you’re up against? And then, the organizing and mobilizing that has to take place.” Integrity is key. “When you confront a system that either buys off your leaders, lies on your leaders, or kills them, the freest persons are always those who have an absolute commitment to integrity and decency, and are willing to go under.”

Pressure Mounts on Temple University in Monteiro Firing

Students and community organizations plan a series of actions to protest Temple University’s firing of African American Studies professor Dr. Anthony Monteiro. A student walkout is set for this Wednesday and, next week, Philadelphia community groups will march on the campus seeking justice for Monteiro, a fair contract for university employees, and against gentrification of the Black neighborhoods that surround Temple. People recognize that “injustice to the community has gone hand in hand with this injustice to me,” said Monteiro. African American Studies chairman Dr. Molefi Asante has resorted to red-baiting to defend his complicity in Monteiro’s firing. Asante argues “that I am a radical, that I’m a Marxist, that I’m a socialist and, therefore, I don’t fit into his view of African American Studies at Temple,” said Monteiro.

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Reinistate Dr. Anthony Monteiro, and Reinvent U.S. Higher Education

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It’s not so easy to fire an associate professor of African American Studies who has forged strong ties with the surround Black community. Philadelphia’s Temple University is finding that out, in the case of Dr. Tony Monteiro. Protesters converged on campus, this week, and their anger was directed as much at “Afro-centrist” Prof. Molefi Asante as at Teresa Soufas, the Dean of Liberal Arts who fired Monteiro.

 

The Budget Deal and Neoliberalism: The U.S. and South African Connection

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Capitalism has made good use of the world’s two most prominent Black men. Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela served as the faces that defused Black opposition to the neoliberal agenda. “What mattered in South Africa in the 90s as it does in the U.S. today is a relatively stable environment in which state power is used to realize the interests of national and international capital.”

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.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/19/13

Dr. Cornel West to March Organizers: Get Off the Obama Plantation

“If Martin Luther King Jr. were to show up” at this month’s commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, said academic and activist Dr. Cornel West, “what he would say would be so subversive that those on the Obama plantation would be revealed for who they are, which is obsessed with career, obsessed with access, and obsessed with status as opposed to being obsessed with the suffering of poor Black brothers and sisters.” Appearing on the latest edition of Black Agenda Television, Dr. West said Rev. Al Sharpton “and so many others” will not address the New Jim Crow, privatization of education and gentrification because of their ties to the White House. Preacher-educator Michael Eric Dyson and MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry have “become sycophants” of the administration, said West.

Stop-and Frisk Ruling is Blow to Bloomberg and His Top Cop

Last week’s federal court ruling puts Mayor Michael Bloomberg on notice that “you can’t just lump all Black or Latino New Yorkers together with the criminal population of the city and say, We can now stop you because members of your community may have committed crimes in the past,” said Darius Charney, the lead attorney in the class action suit. The decision should also remove Police Commissioner Ray Kelly from consideration to head the Department of Homeland Security, “given his utter disrespect and disregard for people’s fundamental constitutional rights.”

But, Court Keeps Foxes and Wolves in Charge of Henhouse

Although the judge provided a “service” by declaring the NYPD’s practices unconstitutional, said Stop Stop-and-Frisk co-founder Carl Dix, the court’s order “sets up a system through which the NYPD will reform itself with oversight from the federal government.” As Malcolm X advised, 50 years ago, said Dix, “They’re saying that the foxes are going to reform their approach to the chicken coop, and the wolves will oversee that reform in the approach to the chicken coop. What is that going to mean to the chickens?”

Black Federal Employees Blast EEOC

The Coalition for Change (C4C), an organization of minority federal employees, issued an angry rebuttal to an EEOC assessment that workplace discrimination is largely a problem of “perceptions” and “unintentional bias.” The EEOC, said C4C founder Tanya Ward Jordan, “seeks to downplay the pain, anguish, and the attacks that are going on right now under the Obama administration.” Fifty years after the March on Washington, “we still don’t have any measure to hold these managers accountable,” said Jordan. “At the end of the day, even if we are successful in proving our claim, and there is a finding against these public officials, there is no mandatory discipline.”

Huge “Regression” on the Black Education Front

“We are in a period of regression” in the educational arena, said Dr. Donald Smith, a founder of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. Black and Latinos “hardly exist” in the core curriculum being promulgated to public schools throughout the nation. “In fact, if you look at the fifth grade curricular suggestion, not a single writer of African or Hispanic descent is included,” said Dr. Smith. “The gains that we made in attempting to help our people understand our African heritage and how important that heritage is to the strengthening of our students, is being evaporated.”

Left and Secular Supporters of Egyptian Coup Do Great Harm

The military coup in Egypt is a disaster for the country’s people, said Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “It’s so unfortunate to see, in Egypt and reflected here in the United States, those who because they had differences with the Muslim Brotherhood actually siding with the oppressive arms of the state,” said Flounders. “The revolutionary ferment is now in danger. And those who stood with the military have created the greatest danger, because they disoriented people in a massive way.”

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The Rebirth of Detroit

by Tom Stephens

There are three Detroits: a gentrifying central business district; a larger Black and Latino city of poverty and oppression; and the rich surrounding suburbs. “The first two ‘Detroits’ within the city are to be conformed to better serve the wealthy, white suburban periphery of the third ‘Detroit.’”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/17/13

BAR & Friends Anticipate the End of the Age of Obama

In the wake of the disasters that have befallen Blacks under his watch, President Obama’s exit in 2017 may “provide an opportunity to move the masses away from the Democratic Party and towards a discussion of alternatives,” said Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist for Black Agenda Report. Speaking at a BAR-organized Left Forum workshop titled “Black Politics at the Tail End of Obama – and Beyond,” Kimberley noted that “Black politics had been on life support for some time before 2008, but his election marked the day that the plug was finally pulled.” The supreme irony, said Kimberley, “that the election of a Black man meant the end of Black politics, cannot be overstated.”

The Black Class Divide

Polls show that upwardly mobile Blacks often share with whites an “utter contempt and hatred for the Black poor,” said Dr. Tony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “This class division, this ideological division,” can be seen in the politics of “the Cory Bookers and Michael Nutters” – the Black mayors of Newark and Philadelphia, respectively – “and other Black agents of the 1%,” Monteiro told the workshop.

Back to Basics

We’re going to have to let go of top-down, patriarchal, backward leadership models like the Black Church, and we’re going to have to let go of the Democratic Party,” said BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon. We must “rediscover” basic organizing skills, “so that people who are most concerned about various issues can take leadership” of community organizations. And, we must “let go of the idea that we can come up with some creative act or persuasive argument that’s going to give us media access to galvanize huge numbers of people in some short period of time,” said Dixon.

Eyes on the Prize

We’ve got to get back to old fashioned Marxist and Left Black Nationalist understandings of how race, racial identity and sham electoral democracy function within the overall context of capitalism and empire,” said writer and activist Paul Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. The renewed movement must be informed by the facts of “how labor markets work, how the criminal justice system works, how the real estate market works, instead of a game of Black and Latino and female faces in high places.”

The Doctrine of Mandatory Black Failure

Journalist Pascal Robert, a frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report, speaking at a Left Forum workshop on the Economy and Ecology of Haiti, quoted Napoleon’s rational for sending 60,000 troops to attempt to crush the Haitian Revolution, in 1802. “My decision to destroy the authority of the blacks in Saint-Domingue,” Robert quoted the Frenchman, “is not so much based on considerations of commerce and money, as on the need to block forever the march of the blacks in the world.” We must realize, said Robert, “that there is a part of western foreign policy that invests in the importance of failed models of liberation. There is a psychic benefit to western imperialist nations to make sure that certain Black and brown nations stay failed, and do not ever give examples of success.”

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Freedom Rider: Et tu Bill Thompson?

 

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Bill Thompson, the Black candidate for mayor of New York City who endorses stop-and-frisk and has reactionary Republicans collecting money for his campaign, is betting that Black people are chumps. “The powerful lobbyists and their clients are making sure that Bloombergism will continue without Bloomberg” – with a Black face. Haven’t we seen that movie before?

Dear Black America: It's Past Time to Wake Up

 

by Solomon Comissiong

Black people in the U.S. “are locked in struggle with white supremacy, institutional racism and oppression.” At the same time, however, they embrace the brown face of the ultimate front man for Power: Barack Obama. This is a formula for community incoherence and defeat.

Freedom Rider: The Hurricane and the Failed State

 

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Hurricanes and other “acts of God” provide a dramatic stage for some of the ugliest - or most endearing - acts of man. “If there is any silver lining to this awful event it is showing the limits of politics and the need for grass roots organizing to meet public needs.”

Black is Back, With a Conference in Washington, Nov 3

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Black Is Back Coalition was born in October, 2009, when Black activists came together “to make some noise and formulate some plans – rather than passively accept the corporate policies of the icon in the White House.” The Coalition has been hard at work on worldwide Black liberation ever since, and will “Break the Silence” once again, with a rally and conference in the nation’s capital.

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Wages of White Affirmative Action: Predatory Lending & The Ghetto

 

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Whites are “returning” to South Central Los Angeles, the place they left for the suburbs in federally subsidized waves generations ago. The lure: cheap housing in neighborhoods savaged by color-coded lending policies. And so it is that whites whose exit from South Central was smoothed by racial advantage, return in the same way. White dislocation is called a tragedy, while the uprooting of Blacks is dubbed “gentrification.”

The Occupy Movement, Gentrification and Black America’s Ancient Struggle

 

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Occupy Wall Street movement faces challenges of relevance, and permanence, that must be addressed this winter. Most importantly, and like all American social movements, it must come to grips with the overarching issue of race. “Black people require that white-dominated movements offer the hope of specific impacts on the African American condition.” Opportunities abound, especially in the nation’s Harlems. “As economic and racial targets of Wall Street’s predations, Black city-dwellers are the natural allies of Occupy Wall Street. They need to be convinced, through substantive and ongoing collaboration, that OWS is an ally of theirs.”

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