This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. If you broadcast our audio commentaries please consider a recurring donation to Black Agenda Report.
Martin Luther King
by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III
It is incontrovertible that the American State and society owes a huge debt to Africans and African Americans. Formulas of calculation and methods of repayment are open to debate, but not the fact of the debt, which is undeniable. White America only escape its vast liabilities by denying the essential humanity of the Black injured parties.
by Danny Haiphong
Is the U.S. a fascist society? It’s a classic fit – a country where “the relationship between the state and corporation becomes indiscernible,” militarism is the highest value, and demonization of the Other is the organizing principle of the ruling circles and state.
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 Raymond Nat Turner
Dr. King’s Dream come true,
In his head! Black folks way better
Off, in his head, Rev. Wright was
Wrong, in his head!
by Anthony Monteiro
To truly honor Amiri Baraka, one must examine his travels, the political journeys he undertook in search of paths to self-determination for his people and all humanity. He sought a liberatory synthesis of culture and politics. “We need a Cultural Revolution in the US and internationally, to reorient the world and ultimately transform it where we and everybody else is self-determining.”
Cancel Detroit’s Debt
Predatory bank lending policies destroyed the tax base of Detroit, and now these same Wall Street institutions want to confiscate the city’s public assets through forced bankruptcy. The debt should be cancelled, said Abayomi Azikiwe, an organizer of the First International People’s Assembly Against Banks and Against Austerity, held in Detroit last week. “It’s illegitimate. It’s based on the systematic destruction of the city,” said Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. “We believe that people in other cities have to adopt a similar strategy.”
Leave Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Alone
Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP chief Ben Jealous and broadcaster Tom Joyner should halt their attacks on scholar/activist Cornel West and broadcaster Tavis Smiley, said Rev. Anthony Evans, director of the National Black Church Initiative. “Take your hands off these brothers. They are defending the integrity and worthiness of the Black community,” said Evans. Prominent Obama supporters, he said, have told the White House: “You don’t have to worry about Black folks getting out of line; we will keep them in line for you.”
A Socialist Win in Minneapolis?
Even the corporate media admit that Socialist Alternative candidate Ty Moore has a chance of winning a seat on the city council, this November. “If we win this race, it’s not because a majority of working class residents of Ward 9, South Minneapolis, are socialists, but because they are angry at the system and they see that the people who are running this city are clearly sided with the rich and big business,” said Moore. “Our organization has built roots in this community, by fighting back.” Another Socialist Alternative city council candidate is running well in Seattle.
UN Sued Over Haiti Cholera
The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti filed suit in federal court, demanding the United Nations take responsibility for the cholera epidemic that has killed at least 8,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. The world body claims it is immune from legal action, although it is widely accepted that UN ‘peacekeepers’ were the nexus of the disease. “The UN’s refusal to accept the rule of law in this case obviously undermines its ability to promote the rule of law, elsewhere,” said Institute director Brian Concannon. He notes that the UN, which claims lack of funds to eradicate cholera in Haiti, spent $500 million last year for ‘peacekeeping’ soldiers “in a country that has not had a recognized war in our lifetime.”
US Finances Congo Carnage
Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni told a UN Security Council delegation that bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo is not their responsibility. Maurice Carney, of Washington-based Friends of Congo, agrees. “Kagame and Museveni can never be responsible for peace,” said Carney. “What they can be responsible for is stopping the war of aggression that they have been waging against the Congolese people, with U.S. financial and military support and training, and U.S. diplomatic and political cover.” Rwanda and Uganda invaded the mineral-rich eastern region of the Congo 17 years ago, resulting in the deaths of six million people – and counting.
American peace activists recently returned from a visit to Syria, where they met with President Bashir Al-Assad. Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center, said it was important to counter U.S. government and media attempts to “demonize” the Syrian leader, as an excuse for arming thousands of jihadist “rebels.” “It was Syria that proposed making the whole region into a nuclear-free and chemical-free weapons zone,” said Flounders. “It was the U.S. who refused.”
China as U.S. Banker
Washington is “pivoting” to confront China militarily in Asia, while at the same time Beijing holds the largest share of Washington’s huge foreign debt. “It is quite ironic that the United States is seeking to escalate tensions with its bankers,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. “I’m not sure that’s a sound strategy. With an impending debt default,” said Horne, the dollar “as the principal world reserve currency comes into question.”
Philadelphia Declaration: War = Poverty
Grassroots activists held a Conference to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. “Our declaration of the rights of our people must demand an end to war, threats of war, and preparations for war,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University. “You cannot answer the pressing social problems of this country, uppermost being poverty, without dismantling the warfare state,” he told the gathering at Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate.
Herman Wallace: A Free Man
Mumia Abu Jamal, a former Black Panther and the country’s best known political prisoner, saluted Herman Wallace, who was released from prison after 41 years of solitary confinement, earlier this month, only to die two days later of liver cancer. Wallace and two other inmates established a Black Panther Party chapter at Louisiana’s infamous Angola Prison. “He remained a soldier for the people and an opponent to the system,” said Abu Jamal. “Herman Wall truly died free.”
You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.
by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
The “Black Budget” isn’t the sole domain of conspiratorialists, anymore. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know that the taxpayers dole out $52.6 billion a year to finance the “shadow” government of spies, provocateurs, hit men, human network trackers, drone operators, secret armies and domestic and international destabilization specialists. But the country can’t afford to save Detroit.
by Chris Hedges
African Americans have historically been the most progressive U.S. constituency because of the Black prophetic tradition, best personified today by Dr. Cornel West. This tradition has also saved the United States from itself. “America without the black prophetic tradition, from Frederick Douglass to Fannie Lou Hamer, means an American authoritarian regime, American fascism.”
by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III
The 1963 and 2013 marches on Washington shared many of the same issues, but took place in very different political contexts. Fifty years ago, a deep and broad movement pressured Congress and presidents to accede to Black demands. President Obama’s speech at last week’s gathering “did not propose any substantive legislative initiatives to address the suffering of today.”
by Obi Egbuna Jr.
A giant passed into history the day before Dr. Martin Luther King made his “Dream” speech in 1963. W.E.B. Du Bois had broken with a Democratic president 15 years before. “This put Dr. Du Bois in the exact same position that Dr. King was in when he decided losing back door access to Lyndon Johnson's White House was a small price to pay in order to stand on the side of peace and justice.
by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.
MLK wouldn’t be smiling at him
He’d be crying
In DC he would not attend
If he had to share a dais with Obama
He would defy the views of Obama
He’d pray for him
Call him a stone-cold killer
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The most powerful – and violent – man in the world was made the star of the commemoration of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King. “The grave-markers of the martyrs of the Black Freedom Movement – in their thousands – have been reduced to cobblestones on the road to the Obama presidency.”
by Paul Street
Dr. Martin Luther King was a social revolutionary who preached that “a storm is rising against the theprivileged minority of the earth” that will result in a “just distribution of the fruits” of the planet. Barack Obama “has made it clear that Dr. King’s unpaid promissory note will remain un-cashed under his watch.” The First Black President disgraces the podium from which Dr. King spoke 50 years ago.
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The commemoration of the March on Washington has been ruined. President Obama, the global assassin, protector of Wall Street, and reigning Great Mass Incarcerator, will star in the production on the National Mall. “Dr. Martin Luther King serves as a mere prop in the ceremony.” In their embrace of Power, the organizers have desecrated the Black American legacy of struggle.
by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and King Downing
Whistle-blowing can consist of more than simply telling a newspaper about wrongdoing by the State. Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange join the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, in opposing the rule of the unjust. “Some whistleblowers survive, others are murdered or imprisoned, but all are eventually destroyed.”