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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/12/13

    Lynne Stewart’s Husband Asks: Where are the Unions and Clergy?

    Claiming the law gave him no choice, a federal judge rejected people’s lawyer Lynn Stewart’s request for compassionate release from a ten-year prison sentence. Judge John Koeltl said he would have given “prompt and sympathetic consideration” to such a request if it had come from the federal Bureau of Prisons, which maintains that Stewart’s health is “improving” despite the ravages of Stage Four breast cancer. Pressure must now be brought directly on President Obama, who “seems to enjoy doing the work of this oppressive corporate juggernaut,” said Ralph Poynter, Stewart’s husband and comrade in struggle. Poynter noted that “the unions have not participated as a group in the support for Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning, Snowden, or any others on the issues of freedom of speech. The ministers have also not participated in this struggle.”

    Dream Defenders Fight Criminal Justice Racism

    Stand Your Ground laws are only part of the agenda of the young people occupying state government offices in Florida’s capital. Dream Defenders political director Ciara Taylor said their focus also includes “the school-to-prison pipeline that takes children out of school and puts them into jail cells,” and “racial profiling practices. We want to disassemble all three of these practices in Florida.” Ms. Taylor said “Trayvon Martin would not even have been in Sanford, Florida, at that time, had it not been for a school suspension that he received on the basis of a zero tolerance policy.”

    Zimbabwe Shows the Way for Africa

    President Mugabe’s landslide victory in Zimbabwe’s recent elections was not only “a plebiscite on land reform, it’s a barometer reading of what Africa is really thinking,” said political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of StopImperialism.com. Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party “have stressed that political independence is meaningless without economic independence,” said Draitser.

    Gold Rush Would Further Devastate Haiti’s Ecology

    The U.S.-backed Haitian government is fashioning new laws to attract foreign mining corporations to exploit the country’s gold deposits. President Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly’s group “is, essentially, a kind of mafia, and they are joining hands with this international mafia of gold companies that are going around the world raping countries,” said Kim Ives, an editor of Haiti Liberte, the news and analysis weekly. “The people are very worried that words like ‘protecting national interest and sovereignty’ are a cover for just the opposite,” said Ives. Gold mining, which uses vast amounts of cyanide, has caused “an ecological disaster” in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

    Why Not a Prisoner Exchange for the Cuban Five?

    Every 5th of the month, supporters of the Cuban Five designate someone to write a letter to the U.S. president. Jane Franklin, author of Cuba and the U.S.: A Chronological History, did the honors this month. Asked about the prospects of a prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Cuba, Franklin replied: “Cuba has asked over and over again to sit down and discuss anything at all with representatives of the United States, but the U.S. has shown no interest in discussing the release of the Cuban Five.” The Cuban intelligence agents were imprisoned 15 years ago after revealing terrorist plots by Cuban exiles in South Florida.

    New Black Activist/Scholar Think Tank

    The Pan African Collective for Advocacy and Action makes its debut, this week, at a press conference in Washington, DC. “We’re sick and tired of these white organizations looking at issues within the Black community as if we’re some kind of terrarium or aquarium or incubator,” said Solomon Commisiong, one of the founders. The Collective “will do ‘white papers’” and such, but will not operate “solely as a think tank. It’s an organization of activists, scholars, and organizers whose aim is to go into our communities and work with grassroots organizations to try to deconstruct systemic issues that plague our communities.”

    POP Chairman Reports on Mumia Meeting

    Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, said his recent meeting with Mumia Abu Jamal was “a benchmark experience in my life that I will never forget.” The nation’s best-known political prisoner “has done more to bring about political consciousness than many of us who have our so-called freedom on this side of the prison walls,” said Hamm. During the two-hour visit, according to Hamm, Mumia said “President Obama has been able to enact policies that George Bush could not have gotten away with.” The first Black president’s election “has helped to demobilize people and blunt resistance that we might otherwise see in this country.”

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    Florida “Dream Defenders” Confront Racialized Justice System

    by Bill Quigley

    The young people occupying the Florida governor’s office seek more than just repeal of Stand Your Ground laws. They are crafting and proposing “a full legislative package to challenge the criminalization of our generation.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/29/13

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/29/13

     

    Trayvon Protests Should Lead to Movement Against Racial Surveillance

    If there is to be a mass movement against racial profiling, “we’ve got to talk about the War on Drugs and decriminalization and legalization; we’ve got to talk about the surveillance state, where the government at the local and the national level profiles you every day of your life,” said South Carolina activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray. “We’ve got to talk about the idea that the only people that are being required to show something to prove that they are not guilty of something are people of color in this country – and we’ve got to figure out a way to fight back.” Gray is author of The Fundamentals of Black Politics.

    Obama Approval Rating Drops Among Blacks

    A recent NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll shows Black approval of President Obama dipped to 78 percent following George Zimmerman’s murder acquittal. “It’s a perceptual shift, a big-time shift in how Black people are perceiving Obama when it comes to being responsive to the needs of our community,” said Dr. Johnny Williams, professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. The president’s high praise for New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly, who runs the nation’s biggest stop-and-frisk operation, as a potential new chief of Homeland Security “speaks to where Obama is, morally,” said Williams. “How are you going to put somebody who, basically, does the same thing that George Zimmerman did to Trayvon Martin, in charge of Homeland Security?”

    White Reaction to Zimmerman Verdict Disturbing

    An ABC News-Washington Post poll showing two-thirds of whites think Trayvon Martin’s killing was justifiable, is a measure of the “separateness in perspective that reflects very real, savage, and profound, literal segregation” of the races in America, said historian and activist Paul Street. “That’s a lot more than just the segment of the white population that’s Republican or Tea Party,” said Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “There’s a lot of Democrats in there, and that probably includes a whole bunch of ‘liberals.’ This isn’t just about cracker whites in the South.”

    NSA Vote Shows Hope in Face of Fascist Trends

    The narrow defeat of a U.S. House bill to halt wholesale NSA spying on Americans’ telephone calls was “a tactical loss but a strategic victory” for the rule of law, said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. He warned of the rise of “fascist principles” in the U.S., including “collusion between the corporate private sector and the government sector to abuse fundamental rights,” and “xenophobia and militarism…vilifying the Other, within our country, justifying international belligerence towards other countries.”

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    Obama Supports the Racial Surveillance That Killed Trayvon

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    In his effort to “put the angry Black genie back in the bottle” following George Zimmerman’s acquittal, President Obama once again claimed to oppose racial profiling. He’s lying. Obama has endorsed the most prolific racial profiler in the country as a potential head of Homeland Security. The president is a bulwark of the system that targets millions of Trayvon Martins.

    A Brief Statement on Crime and Alleged “Black Criminality”

    by Pascal Robert

    The most pervasive and destructive forms of crime are committed by white supremacists (crimes against whole peoples) and global corporatists (crimes against all of humanity). “Black Criminality” is the stuff of propaganda.

    Stop-and-Frisk Should be on Trial, Not Us

     

    by Jamel Mims

    The Stop Stop-and-Frisk movement has frightened the mass incarceration apparatus in New York City, which has upped the ante on protest. The author is among four activists facing two years behind bars. “The intended effect of this prosecution is insidiously transparent: to send a chilling effect through the movement against mass incarceration, and dampen the spirit of resistance it has ignited.”

    Is Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett the One Who Keeps Barack from Dealing with Black Issues?

     

    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    We can no longer live in a world where anyone who asks President Obama to do something is defined to be an enemy of the administration.” Yet, it appears the president’s top advisor, Valerie Jarrett, believes her job is to silence Black critics. “It’s as if we’re being told to ‘stop snitching’ on the White House, while Obama Administration officials sit back and laugh at how stupid we are.”

    Why the AFL-CIO Must Address Black Criminalization and (Un)Employment

     

    by Tamara K. Nopper and Kenyon Farrow

    Blacks are more likely than whites or Latinos to be members of labor unions. Yet, the AFL-CIO seems not to recognize the multiple challenges that face their most loyal constituency. Big Labor has no position on racial profiling, for example, “nor does the federation appear to prioritize the issue of Black unemployment, which is the highest nationally out of all racial groups.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – week of September 3, 2012

     

    Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk

    The police racial profiling practice known as stop-and-frisk is “wrong, it is immoral, it is racist and unconstitutional” said social activist Dr. Cornel West, announcing a “Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk” campaign starting September 13. “This struggle is going to intensify. We want to connect it to the military industrial complex,” the Wall Street complex, the prison industrial complex, and “we want to connect it to this election, where you see the farce between one oligarchic part and another.”

    Noche Diaz, an activist facing multiple trials for confronting stop-and-frisk, asked “By is that I have to look at 15 year-olds in the playgrounds of the Bronx, who tell me that if you’re not a white person in this world, you don’t matter?”

    Push for $10 Minimum Wage

    Democrats are “dialing for the same dollars” as Republicans, seeking corporate campaign contributions and “rejecting Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy,” said social activist Ralph Nader. “Polls show over 70 percent of the American people consistently want a minimum wage kept up with inflation.” Adjusted for inflation, the 1968 minimum wage would now be $10.35, rather than the current $7.25. The United States, said Nader, has “the lowest minimum wage in the western world.”

    Black Is Back Coalition Examines Electoral Strategies

    We want to take this conversation beyond an examination of Obama, to an examination of the electoral process, itself,” said Ayesha Fleary, at the recent conference of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in Newark, New Jersey.

    Let us use the electoral process as one form of struggle,” said Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. “Our future depends on our willingness to build a real capacity to utilize every form of struggle in the quest for liberation.”

    Black people were ill-served by the “misleadership class” that arose after the collapse of the Sixties mass movements, said Glen Ford. “The same class of Black opportunists who has risen to local power through the Blackening of America’s cities, presided over the demographic reversal of fortunes, later on,” with the mounting loss of Black urban majorities.

    Corporate American and the banks have a death grip on Harlem, that will produce an even greater forced migration out of Harlem,” said Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants Council.

    U.S. rulers have placed Black and brown “neocolonialists” in positions of nominal power “to make it appear that people are making progress,” said Charles Barron, the Brooklyn city councilman. What’s needed are “African-conscious, radical, revolutionary people” elected to city councils, nationwide.

    Do we want to participate” in elections “just to raise issues…or to actually get people elected?” asked Larry Hamm, leader of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. “We’ve got to be able to come up with candidates, and when we put people in office, we’ve got to keep them accountable.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of July 16, 2012

     

    Media Ignore Report on Extrajudicial Killings of U.S. Blacks

    An exhaustive report on the deaths of 110 Blacks in the United States at the hands of police, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes during the 6-month period ending June 30 “clearly indicates there is a human rights crisis in the U.S.,” said Ajamu Baraka, of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. “If these numbers were coming from somewhere else, indicating that a particular population was being subjected to militarized violence from the state…many people around the world would agree that there was, in fact, a human rights issue.” Yet, even so-called progressive media “aren’t picking up on the report,” said Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 vice-presidential candidate. Clemente and Baraka spoke on the online program Your World News, hosted by Solomon Commissiong.

    LIBOR Banking Fraud’s Global Impact

    We’ll never know how much losses could be attributed” to the international bankers’ LIBOR interest rate fixing scheme, “because it’s literally an impossible calculation to make,” said Dr. Richard Wolff, economics professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “In terms of its social impact, it’s the biggest scandal we ever had.” Dr. Wolff predicts “all the borrowers who have a case” that they lost money from the fraud “are going to be filing legal suits to recover damages.”

    Black Radio Ruined by Syndications

    While we celebrate Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey and Michael Baisden, they’re exactly what’s wrong with our radio and our insight and our information,” said Paul Porter, veteran broadcaster and publisher of the influential newsletter Industry Ears. Local Black-oriented stations “don’t touch on local issues, they don’t deliver local news. The best they can do is some local traffic.” Porter estimates that Black adults are 75 times more likely to hear syndicated radio programs than adult whites.

    A Nursing Corps for the African Diaspora

    Forty-five nurses will soon graduate from a Sierra Leone school founded by the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project, the first wave of an “African nursing corps that can be deployed anywhere in the African world, said AAPDEP’s Aisha Fields. At present, one out of eight Sierra Leone women die in childbirth. Globally, “our people have been at the mercy of others, and it hasn’t ever turned out well for us,” said Fields. The nursing school must raise a $5,000 accreditation fee by July 25.

    Milestone for Richmond Rights Defenders

    The Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, which began as an ad hoc group dealing with criminal justice issues, marked their tenth anniversary, in Richmond, Virginia. Ana Edwards, one of the founders, noted that back in 2002 other local organizations were not saying “it is capitalism that is one of the contributing factors to why we have a prison industrial system that requires that we feed it – that we put bodies in there.” The Defenders buttress their non-stop organizing work through a quarterly newspaper and weekly radio show. “We are absolutely committed to the idea that the war at home and the wars abroad are inextricably linked,” said Edwards.

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    A “Silent March” Against the Police Stop-and-Frisk State

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    After ten years of escalating police aggression on the streets of New York, a broad range of political actors have combined for a Silent March Against Racial Profiling, this Sunday. Under Mayor Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk regime, “every young Black and brown man in New York is treated as if he is walking contraband, and that he is ‘too hot’ to allow to walk about freely.” In practice, the policy is little different from racist South Africa’s apartheid pass system.

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    Letter to Florida Judge: No Bond For Zimmerman

     

    by Alton H. Maddox, Jr.

    George Zimmerman has been undercharged and is a flight risk who should be denied bail, says a former human rights and criminal defense lawyer. Bail would also fly in the face of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. “It would be unthinkable for a Black person in Florida to seek bail after being charged with murder in the second degree for causing the death of a white person.”

    FBI “Mapping”: Racial Profiling on a People-Wide Scale

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Under drastically expanded rationales of national security and crime prevention, the FBI has empowered itself to massively penetrate and gather information on whole communities. In FBI-speak, these are called “domains” – “large geographic and social spaces in which national security demanded that the Bureau make itself acutely ‘aware.’” Wholesale targeting of these communities – an “industrial-strength” form of profiling – is justified on the assumption that “Blacks, Muslims (especially Black Muslims) and Latinos are more prone to crime and acts of terror.”

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    Secret NYPD Tapes Document Routine, Massive Police Racism

    A Black Agenda radio commentary by Glen Ford
    We were right when we said it in the Sixties. The police are an occupation army in the Black community. Secret NYPD tapes reveal the cops’ quota system for stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of innocent minority residents every year. But when New Yorkers of color are victimized by crime, they “are often threatened with arrest, themselves, by belligerent detectives trying to fudge the figures.”

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    Eshu’s blues: Gates Busted by Officer Jim Crowlaw, uh, James Crowley

    more gatesby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
    President Obama is so averse to calling racism by its name, he sometimes makes himself sound less than intelligent – such as when he called a policeman “stupid” for doing what cops do to Black men every day of the week. Obama's Harvard buddy “Skip” Gates comes across as not too damn bright either, seemingly “shocked” that white policemen would fail to change the habits of a lifetime in deference to Gate's superior breeding and high culture.

    “Skip” Gates: A Curious Martyr in the Struggle Against Racism

    gates in studyby Paul Street
    President Obama’s “friend” Dr. Henry Louis Gates has been richly rewarded for arguing “that poor African-Americans are largely to blame for the fact that blacks stand at the bottom of the nation’s steep socioeconomic pyramid.” Presumably, and by the same logic, Gates must now blame himself for getting arrested in his own home by a Cambridge policeman. Actually, Gates’ first impulse was to cash in on the experience with a “PBS special” on Blacks and the criminal justice system – a subject that never previously crossed his mind.

    How Henry Louis Gates Got Ordained as the Nation's "Leading Black Intellectual"

    reed - gatesby Ishmael Reed

    Who is Henry Louis Gates and how did he get to be one of the nation's most prominent black academics?   How has he managed to make a career talking down to African Americans before white audiences?   Ishmael Reed dishes out a little history, explaining what one has to do to be anointed by corporate media as the leading intellectual light of our people in this new millenium.

    Encounters with Police: Teachable Moments

    teachable momentsby Robert Jensen
    A frequent lecturer on race and politics, the author was confident that he was reasonable well acquainted with the workings of racism in the United States. Attuned to the pervasiveness of white privilege, he believed himself both sophisticated and sensitive on matters of race. Then, as often happens, he was humbled by the arrival of another teachable moment.

    Endless Profiling

    mic01
    by Glen Ford 
     
    When Americans forsake civil liberties in the name of the fictitious"Global War On Terror", it's not hard to guess whose liberties are thrown under the bus first.
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