by Danny Haiphong
Don't expect truth or wisdom from entertainers. They work for monopoly media corporations, not for their adoring publics. With a few exceptions, Black entertainers conform to the dictates of Power and view their own “fans” as lower forms of life. “Jay-Z rejected an invitation to speak to [Harry] Belafonte, calling him a ‘boy’ who needed to understand that the rapper's very presence was 'charity' to the Black community.”
Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/19/14
Count-Down to a Class-Based Internet
The public has four months to respond to the Federal Communications Commission’s plans to end Internet neutrality. “The people are very clear about what they want,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer of Occupy the FCC, which camped out in front of the Commission’s offices, in Washington. “They don’t want a class-based Internet. They don’t want a two-tiered Internet based on fees. They want an open, equal Internet,” as demanded by several million petitioners and callers to the FCC.
Rev. Pinkney Defiant Under House Arrest
The leading activist in mostly Black Benton Harbor, Michigan, will still be under house arrest when protestors converge on the PGA tournament, May 24. Rev. Edward Pinkney is facing 20 years in prison on elections law charges stemming from an effort to recall Mayor James Hightower, described as a “stoolie” for the Whirlpool Corporation, which dominates the town. Pinkney said Whirlpool hoped his arrest would defeat the recall effort and undermine the “Occupy the PGA” protests, “but we’re going to win both of them.”
U.S. War Against Libya Boosted Boko Haram
“We cannot understand the rise and strengthening of Boko Haram and, indeed, most of the radical Islamic activity in Africa, disconnected from” NATO’s overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in Libya, said BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, author of the article “From Benghazi to Boko Haram.” The 2011 triumph of U.S.-backed jihadists in Libya “provided a material source for training and equipment and money that strengthened these elements across the continent,” said Baraka.
“No War” Rally in Times Square
Activists will stage a “No War” rally at New York City’s Times Square, May 26, to demand the U.S. halt its aggressive confrontations with Russia – the root of the crisis in Ukraine. The Ukrainian coup-imposed, fascist-backed government in Kiev initially failed to crush resistance in the eastern parts of the country, said Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center, because the military “refused to fight against their own sisters and brothers. And now U.S. imperialism has only the fascists to lean on” in Ukraine. She likened the eastern Ukrainian resistance to “an armed Occupy Wall Street.”
Greg Butterfield, a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper, said the fascists that shot, beat or burned to death 46 people in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa were much like the Ku Klux Klan. “You can see why people have taken the initiative to form militias and protect themselves to keep the fascists out of eastern Ukraine, said Butterfield.
U.S. Goal is to Subdue Russia
Washington tries relentless to encircle and isolate Russia “to subordinate it, so it can be ripped off and integrated into the world market controlled by the United States and the European Union,” said Jeff Mackler, of Socialist Action, in Oakland, California. However, Mackler doesn’t think the U.S. wants to go to war with Russia, “although the Cold War rhetoric is still there,” because “Russia is no longer a workers’ state with a planned economy.”
Mumia: Systemic Racism Trumps Personal Prejudice
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s private racist remarks are fodder for the media, but the press ignores “systemic racism, which has an impact on the lives and life hopes of millions of people,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. Mass incarceration, for example, is a racist policy of the state. “It is this vase, impersonal, systemic racism that deserves our attention and condemnation,” not the private utterances “of an old goat lusting for a 30-something,” said Abu Jamal, in a commentary for Prison Radio.
Cornel West: Hands Off the Black Radical Tradition
“When you attack Tony Monteiro, you’re attacking a Black man called Cornel West, too,” said the nation’s best known Black public intellectual. Dr. West was speaking at a North Philadelphia rally demanding Temple University reinstate Dr. Anthony Monteiro at its African American Studies department. Dr. Molefi Asante, the department chairman, has launched a red-baiting campaign against Dr. Monteiro and his supporters. Dr. West sees this as an assault on the Black radical tradition. “You’re attacking Angela Davis; you’re attacking DuBois; you’re attacking the memory of Paul Robeson; you’re attacking the memory of Sinclair Drake,” said West.
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by Rhone Fraser, Ph.D.
Eslanda "Essie" Cardozo Goode Robeson – the anthropologist-journalist wife of Paul – was an important historical figure in her own right, especially her contributions to anti-colonialism. She “condemned African Uncle Toms, these would-be Frenchmen, Britons, etc., the especially-trained Black ‘elite’ who had been allowed to speak for Africa and would be displaced by the authentic voice of the African people.”
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The United States is more than just an ally to fascists in Ukraine and everywhere else; the American South provided an historical model for fascism. “The fascist order of the pre-Sixties Solid South was simply a domestic expression of U.S. Manifest Destiny – the national religion.” The fascists – both local and imperial – have laid siege to Russia.
by Mark P. Fancher
The author believes African liberation and the fall of U.S. imperialism can be achieved by triumph of the “Three R’s”: Reclamation, Reparations and Repatriation. In terms of day to day struggle, that translates as “pressuring the U.S. military out of Africa, assisting on the return of Africa’s land and mineral wealth to Africans, and supporting the unity of a truly independent African continent.”
by Anthony Monteiro
Amiri Baraka, the poet/activist who was laid to rest in his native Newark, New Jersey, last Saturday, came to understand 40 years ago that all art is ideological. “It is the courageous move from cultural nationalism to Cultural Revolution that liberated Baraka, and ultimately us, to understand the democratic and revolutionary possibilities inherent in our artistic and cultural traditions.”
Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 11/18/13
Uneven Results in Fast Food Drive
The largely Black, brown and female fast food workforce is well-suited to the SEIU-backed campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage, said independent journalist Arun Gupta, since “all three of these groups favor unions.” Gupta’s article, “Fight for 15 Confidential” appears in the current issue of In These Times. The campaign, including brief strike actions, has yielded uneven results. In overwhelmingly Black Detroit, the drive has attracted about 500 “active” workers. However, despite the efforts of 10 paid organizers in both Washington DC and Seattle, only about 10 or 12 workers are actively involved in each city, said Gupta.
Obama Tries to Ram Corporate “Rights” Treaty Through Congress
WikiLeaks’ publication of secret provisions of President Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty may derail efforts to “fast track” the legislation through Congress, said Robert Naiman, policy director of Just Foreign Policy, which rewarded Wikileaks with $70,000 in crowd-sourced cash. TPP would establish corporate “rights” that would supersede regulation by sovereign governments, said Naiman. “This is a terrible dynamic from the point of view of democracy – which is why corporations love it so much.”
New Book on William Patterson, of “We Charge Genocide”
Throughout their history in North America, Blacks have sought international allies in the fight against racist oppression, said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of African American Studies at the University of Houston. In his new book, Black Revolutionary: William Patterson and the Globalization of the African American Freedom Struggle, Horne details how the Black communist lawyer’s international organizing efforts “eventually led to the erosion of Jim Crow” in the U.S. Patterson played a central role in the famous Scottsboro Boys case and, along with Paul Robeson, presented a petition to the United Nations, in 1951, charging the U.S. with genocide against Blacks.
Crusading Black Radio Station Needs $4,600 to Survive
Radio station WMXP, a low-power FM outlet operated by the Malcolm X Center, in Greenville, South Carolina, can only broadcast an hour or two a day because of a faulty transmitter, said activist and attorney Efia Nwangaza. Even more desperate is the need to raise $4,600 to save the community center’s building from the county tax collector. “We did the radio station as an enhancement of the center,” said Nwangaza. “It has to be a vehicle that extends the voice of the people of the community. Otherwise, it has no meaning.” To help, go to www.wmxp955.com, or call 864.901.8627.
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by Pascal Robert
Ella Baker, the consummate organizer, “was very critical of the hot shot Black preachers who would seem to mesmerize their audience with soaring oratory, then leave and expect others to implement an agenda.” She put forward a grassroots critique of overwhelmingly male Black leadership, and showed “more wisdom, courage, and vision then almost all of them.”
by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III
Lil' Wayne may be a big name in hip hop music, but he's a moral and intellectual lilliputian who trivialized the murder of Emmett Till “ by using it to make sick, caviler, sexist, and misogynistic references to women.” If you are in need of a strong Black male role model, Paul Robeson is your man.