Katrina

McKinney: West Condemns Whole Regions to Death

“What we are witnessing” in Syria and Iraq “is a process, a way to apply the death penalty to countries and make it appear to be a domestic, civil conflict,” said former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The same U.S. and Israeli-led process of undermining nations has already dismembered Sudan and destroyed Libya and “will spread to Jordan and Iran,” said McKinney, who served on the defense and foreign relations committees of the House before leaving Congress in 2007.

U.S. Founded in Slavery and Genocide – But Don’t Tell Obama

Gerald Horne’s recent book The Counter-Revolution of 1776 “shows how slavery is very much at the heart and core, the driving force behind the decision to break off” from Great Britain, said historian, author and political analyst Paul Street. Horne maintains the Founding Fathers feared Britain might abolish slavery and limit white settler land-grabs. Yet, President Obama maintains that racism is not endemic in the United States. “Nothing will stop Obama from trying to please white folks,” said Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “I don’t know if he believes this [American historical mythology] crap, or whether he’s being cynical – and I’m not sure it matters.”

Mumia: California Death Penalty Unconstitutional?

Death rows could begin to empty in California, where a federal district court has found the ultimate penalty is administered so arbitrarily it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. “I, like few reporters today, know a little something about death row,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, “since I spent almost 30 years on it.”

Banksters Demand Black Removal as a Condition of Urban Investment

“Katrina left no doubt about the intentions of the folks who run this country, the financial class,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford, speaking at a Socialist Action forum in Hartford, Connecticut. “The goal is to drastically reduce the Black populations of the cities,” because “the very presence of large numbers of Black people depresses the value of urban assets.” The mayor of Hartford, a mostly Black and Latino city, wants to build a $60 million baseball stadium as a centerpiece of development. However, such schemes are ultimately intended to bring in whites and displace Blacks and browns, as a “prerequisite” for substantial corporation investment in the future, said Ford, at Urban Hope Refuge Church.

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Nation’s First All-Charter School System Restores Segregation

The last conventional public school in the New Orleans Recovery District closed last month, a harbinger of what may be in store in systems across the country. “Apparently, this model means taking education out of the public realm and putting it into the hands of private, non-profit boards and for-profit corporations,” said Karran Harper Royal, a parent advocate with the city’s Coalition for Community Schools, one of several groups that have filed a civil rights suit against the district and the Louisiana Board of Education. “It seems that white kids are disproportionately taking up the seats in the A- and B-rated schools,” while Black children are clustered in failing schools, said Ms. Harper Royal. “After all these years, we’re back in a segregated school system, only now it is also along class lines.”

Haiti Activists Urge Rejection of Both Congressional Candidates in Harlem

Incumbent Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel and his main challenger, State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, are both guilty of supporting “apartheid” policies against Dominicans of Haitian descent, charged demonstrators outside a televised campaign debate. Under a law passed by the Dominican Republic and endorsed by Rangel and Espaillat, less than 10 percent of 200,000-plus people with roots in Haiti will quality for Dominican citizenship, even though most have never set foot outside the country and speak only Spanish. Daoud Andre, a Haitian community activist, called on Harlemites “not to vote for either of these supporters of apartheid,” and for “people of conscience around the world to boycott Dominican products and services,” including tourism.

Black Is Back Coalition: Obama “Worse Than Bush”

Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, said Barack Obama has been “worse than Bush” for Black people, and for the cause of peace. “Bush couldn’t have gotten away with the things Obama did without some kind of response” from the Black community,” said Yeshitela. Obama “has neutralized so many forces, taken them out of action. It wasn’t understood that part of Obama’s function was to act as a cover for white power and for imperialism. He’s escalated war, he’s signed off on assassinations, and he’s done it with a neutralized Black community.” The Black Is Back Coalition holds its annual international conference in Philadelphia, August 16-17.

U.S. Pushes Russia and China into Closer Alliance

Washington’s provocations are driving Russia, the world’s top energy exporter, and China, soon to be the world’s largest economy, into a deeper economic and political alliance, said Eric Draitser, of StopImperialism.org. “It would seem a self-defeating strategy,” said the independent political analyst. “But, the reality is that the United States doesn’t have control anymore. Obama and his blundering foreign policy have provided the impetus” for closer Sino-Russian collaboration, which can only increase with development of a “New Silk Road stretching from China all the way through Turkey and into Europe.”

Mumia on the Passing of Ruby Dee

Actress and activist Ruby Dee, who died at age 91, supported many radical causes and political prisoners, including Mumia Abu Jamal. “One would be hard pressed to find a role where she played anything less than the best of Black people,” said Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. Ruby Dee and her late husband Ossie Davis’ “work was a theater of Black dignity, Black family and Black love.”

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Obama Ticket Prices and the Invisible Ruling Class

Submitted by Paul Street on Tue, 03/11/2014 - 14:31

by Paul Street

Frederick Harris’ very useful book on the “high price” – to Black folks – of the nation’s First Black President has been reissued in paperback. However, Harris gives Obama too much credit as a president of all the people. “Like the great majority of U.S. presidents,” writes Paul Street, “Obama has been first and foremost a representative of the American white ruling class.”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Detroit, the Black Metropolis, is being disassembled. Having stolen local democracy, corporate planners now trip over themselves to create the grid for a new city, in which current residents will live in the shadows. Corporate disinvestment created urban Black majorities. Now, “the methodical return of corporate capital has capped and rolled back the growth of ‘Chocolate Cities’ in the U.S.”

by Jay Arena

Ray Nagin, who first ran for mayor as the candidate of business, cops and whites, was only convicted of “the least of his crimes.” The corporate-run, bipartisan gang that pillaged New Orleans ranged from President Obama to Governor Jindal to Melissa Harris Perry, and every high-living lowlife in between.

Treme Rewrites Post-Katrina History. And That’s a Good Thing.

Submitted by Jordan Flaherty on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 12:09

by Jordan Flaherty

The HBO show Treme has joined the television ancestors. History will decide the series’ ultimate significance – a verdict that cannot be left to the ratings, which are incapable of gauging shows about “race and racism, about Black culture in our cities, and the displacement of that culture by gentrification and class warfare.”

Last Hope For Change: An Interview with Cynthia McKinney

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 16:09

by Adam Engel

Writer Adam Engel describes former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as a person who doesn’t merely speak truth to power, but acts in accordance with such truths. In this extended conversation, the former Green Party presidential candidate explores “how we end the lived nightmares of the world’s billions.”

Democracy: Going Down for the Count in Detroit

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 11/13/2013 - 13:15

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The “restructuring” of Detroit through bankruptcy is the model for drastically downsizing what’s left of democracy in all of urban America. Already, Black voting rights have been rendered null and void “on a scale not seen since the death of Reconstruction.” However, the legal precedents that are being established in mostly Black Detroit will obtain throughout the nation.

UNAC: Stop Obama’s Syria War

“There’s no basis for it, whatsoever: it’s against international law, it’s against UN conventions, it’s illegal, immoral and has to be stopped,” said Marilyn Levin, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, which has organized demonstrations against President Obama’s planned attack on Syria. “What they’re trying to do is regime change, to get a government that is compliant with the United States.”

POP Rallies Against “Re-Run” of Iraq Attack

The People’s Organization for Progress rallied against Obama’s war plans, in Newark, New Jersey. “Our opposition is in line with the Black community, which I am certain would oppose another war,” said POP chairman Larry Hamm. “But, it’s also important to note that a majority of the people in the country oppose it. This whole situation seems to be a re-run of the prelude to the war in Iraq.”

March on Washington Commemoration an “Obscenity”

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington “was a government-corporate affair, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola and everybody that could give Al Sharpton and the people that were organizing that march a check,” said veteran South Carolina activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray. “It was a farce, it was an obscenity. The people were props. There was no demand on the administration,” said Gray. “Sharpton is the administration’s yard dog.”

Denied Mic, Dream Defender Says Youth are “Ready” to Challenge System

Philip Agnew, a leader of the Dream Defenders occupying Florida’s State Capital, circulated the speech he would have given to the March on Washington crowd if he and other young people had not been cut from the speakers list: “I’d tell you that millions of young people and queer people and poor people and people of color are asking, What do we do with all this anger, this fear, this disappointment? For 50 years we’ve wandered and wondered: Where are the youth? … Peace over profit, revolution over revenue, and all peace and power to the people! Just watch – we’re ready.”

Fast Food Workers Press for Living Wage

Fast food workers held job actions at 1,000 locations in 60 cities last week, demanding a $15 an hour living wage and union representation. “We think that the real people mooching off the system are the corporations,” said Kyle Kordsmeier, an organizer with the Interfaith Workers Network, in Memphis. “If we paid people a living wage, it would save us healthcare costs, welfare, food stamps. Ultimately, what we’re fight for is for them to pick up that tab. They’re the ones who are stealing our money.”

White Power, Black Pain in New Orleans

According to a report by Loyola University law professor Bill Quigley on the state of New Orleans, the city “is whiter than it was when Katrina hit, there’s more renters; there are jobs, but they’ve moved out to the suburbs,” and Teach for America instructors “have taken the jobs of primarily African American teachers whose union was broken and replaced by charter schools.” New Orleans’ city hall, city council and school board are all controlled by whites, although Blacks comprise a “technical” majority of the population, said Quigley, whose report is titled “Katrina Pain Index: New Orleans Eight Years Later.”

Will Banks be Bailed-Out, or Depositors Bailed-in?

British and American banking officials are drawing up plans to treat large depositors in U.S. banks as “investors” whose funds might be seized – “bailed-in” – in a financial crisis. Dodd-Frank legislation prohibits bailouts of banks with taxpayer money. However, Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood says: “It stretches credulity to think that this government would ever let big investors, big depositors, big bondholders take major hits in a banking crisis. I am utterly convinced they would find some way around this law and save the skins of the well-heeled.”

Tiny Eritrea Maintains Self-Reliance

Zimbabwe and Eritrea, a small country of 6 million people on the Red Sea, are the only nations in Africa that have avoided entanglement with the U.S. Africa Military Command, AFRICOM. Eritrea also refuses so-called foreign “aid” in favor of national self-reliance. “It was critical to build a self-reliant state” after 30 years of war for independence, said Simon Tesfamariam, an Eritrean-American activist and writer, speaking on Your World News. “If you look within your own resources, you’ll find a way to make it. But, all this is impossible without the unity of the Eritrean people.”

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Katrina Pain Index 2013: New Orleans Eight Years Later

Submitted by Bill Quigley on Tue, 08/27/2013 - 13:52

by Bill Quigley

The “new” New Orleans that developers hoped to construct when 100,000 poor Black people were purged from the city is still a place of daunting poverty. “African American households in the metro New Orleans area earned 50 percent less than white households.” By almost every measurement, only the rich and white have prospered.

Katrina Deaths at New Orleans Hospital Revisited

Submitted by Anonymous on Tue, 04/27/2010 - 21:11
triageFrom On The Media
When New Orleans flooded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, patients and doctors at the Memorial Medical Center were stranded without power and facing dwindling supplies of medicine. By the time the ordeal was over, as many as eleven elderly, mostly Black patients were dead – some, it was charged, euthanized by medical personnel.

Death at the Bridge in New Orleans

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 03/02/2010 - 17:17
NOLA cops shoot civilians with impunity by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford
Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download an audio in MP3 format.

With the statue of limitations due to expire in six months, federal officials have extracted one guilty plea in a New Orleans police slaughter of Black Katrina survivors. The white reign of terror remains largely unpunished. But we must also ask: Why did the city harbor so many racist cops after a quarter century of Black administration?
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