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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/21/14

    Seattle Conference to Kick Off $15 an Hour Ballot Initiative

    So popular is the demand for a $15 an hour minimum wage, the corporate establishment and virtually the entire city council of Seattle, Washington, claim to favor the hike. To ensure that these erstwhile allies don’t water down the proposal, however, the 15 Now campaign will kick of a drive, on April 26, to collect 50,000 signatures to put the wage increase on the ballot. “We have lots of different people involved: socialists, Green Party activists, community groups, Latino organizations,” said Jess Spear, organizing director for 15 Now and also a member of the Socialist Alternative party, whose local leader, Kshama Sawant, won a seat on the council, last year. “Socialist Alternative sees the need for democratic socialism to replace capitalism so that we can really deal with all the problems that face society,” said Spear.

    Supreme Court Decision Renders U.S. a “Zombie Democracy”

    The U.S. electoral system has entered the realm of the living dead, said Ajamu Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. The recent McCutcheon ruling, which allows the rich to spend virtually unlimited funds on political campaigns, confirms that the “system doesn’t really function, it has no internal life – but that’s been the case from the very beginnings of the Republic,” said Baraka. “The only elements in society that were allowed to participate were white men with property. What we have now is a full circle back to that reality.”

    Fusion Spy Centers Target Activists

    Human rights activists in 7 cities recently protested against U.S. intelligence Fusion Centers that allow local law enforcement and contractors to share information on political dissent. “There is this guise that they’re trying to keep us safe from terrorists,” said Jamie Garcia, of Stop LAPD Spying, “but we’re finding out that they’re actively targeting social justice organizers” through these “mega spy centers.”

    Black Lives Endangered in Detroit, Chicago, Congo

    The crowds that come to hear about the slaughter of six million Congolese since 1996 – the biggest genocide since World War Two – “don’t make a distinction between what’s taking place on the South Side of Chicago, or in Detroit, and what’s happening in the Congo,” said Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of Congo. “They immediately recognize that getting involved” in defending the lives and rights of Congolese “is an indication of the value they hold for Black life,” said Carney.

    Blacks and “Bio-Sexual Politics”

    David Austin, the Montreal-based activist, educator and author of Fear of a Black Nation, said “bio-sexual politics” is “a primeval fear of Black folks that is rooted in the recurring need to control Black bodies…a phenomenon that is intimately connected to fear of Black rebellion and the spread of Blackness as a political contagion.” Austin took part in “Black Folk in Dark Times: A Workshop on Sovereignty, Citizenship and Freedom,” at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville.

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    Prized Livestock

    by Michael Davar Long

    Only a cold-blooded
    savage animal
    could so easily
    spill life from flesh &
    beat trees into
    the backs of souls

    Marking 15 Years Since the Passing of Kwame Ture: Speeches and Interviews

    by Dr. Ama Biney

    Kwame Ture, formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, the former SNCC activist whose name will forever be linked to the term “Black Power,” died in Conakry, Guinea, on November 15, 1998, at age 57. Ture spent his last decades as an organizer of the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party. He once said: “Our grandfathers had to run, run, run. My generation’s out of breath. We ain’t running no more.”

    Detroit as Dred Scott

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The bum-rush to bankrupt Detroit is the leading legal edge in Wall Street’s drive to declare Black urban dwellers "beings of an inferior order” with no rights that Capital is bound to respect. The verdict will be applicable to the rest of the 99 percent, as well. “In America, race – more properly, white supremacy – has always been the magic wedge.”

    Freedom Rider: Saving the White Man

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    It’s the kind of story that brings tears to Middle America’s eyes: selfless Black person puts life on line for undeserving white. In a white man’s world, saving a redneck from a beating qualifies a Black person for sainthood, while acting in defense of Black people makes one a dangerous militant.

    Freedom Rider: Black Faces for White People

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Halloween brings out the worst, in the worst white folks. “What was an enjoyable time to dress up in costume has become the white racist moment to act out sick fantasy.” The bigots would like their version of Halloween to last all year. “A return to the good old days of slavery, colonial violence, invasions and occupations is something they pine for quite openly.”

    Who Sank Detroit – the “Hip Hop Mayor” or Wall Street?

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Many, if not most, Americans are eager to believe that what’s wrong with Detroit and other troubled cities is the fault of the inhabitants. “The irresponsible, profligate, corruption-prone Blacks, with their ghetto pathologies, are the problem.” But, the true source of urban instability can be found in lower Manhattan and the City of London.

    White Racial Delusion, 50 Years After the March on Washington

    by Paul Street

    White America lives in a world of distortion. Only one-third of whites believe the killing of Trayvon Martin was “unjustified,” versus overwhelming numbers of Blacks. And, “for the first time, a majority of whites preposterously believed that whites have replaced blacks as the primary victims of racial discrimination in contemporary America.” What are the roots of this madness?

    Freedom Rider: Obama Dog Whistles Over Trayvon

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    George Zimmerman was acquitted because the jury empathized with him as a fellow human being, and felt no such connection with Trayvon Martin and his tribe. White privilege – including the privilege to kill Black people – “is accepted and it continues like mass psychosis.” The verdict “tells us that we remain defeated, an oppressed people surrounded by but dependent upon enemies.”

    The Ultimate Logic of a Society Built on Mass Murder


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    A culture that celebrates the annihilation of whole peoples, casually and without guilt or introspection, is devoid of human values at its very core.” Ultimately, such a society turns against itself. It’s not a sudden madness, but a long history of mass murder come full circle.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of February 13, 2012


    Bank Settlement “Doesn’t Go Far Enough”

    The $25 billion bank payout to homeowners announced by the Obama administration “doesn’t go far enough” to address the problem of hundreds of billions in overvalued homes, said Jordan Estavao, of the New Bottom Line coalition. Obama’s new task force on bank fraud is also open to question. “There has been a bank fraud task force set up by the Obama administration in place for the past two years, and they have done very little to bring the law to the banks,” said Estavao. “Certainly, no high level bank executives have indicted, to this point.”

    Black Churches Target BB&T Bank

    The National Black Church Initiative, representing 15.7 million African Americans in 34,000 churches, announced a seven-year boycott of BB&T, a regional bank centered in the Southeast. “They are not doing anything for the Black community in terms of community development,” and have “foreclosed on hundreds of Black churches,” said Initiative president Rev. Anthony Evans. He predicts BB&T will “suffer loss of at least 40 percent of their profits over the next seven years.”

    Restaurant Chain Biased Against Black Workers

    Armed with data showing Blacks make $4 an hour less than whites in the restaurant industry, the Restaurant Opportunity Center United brought a class action suit against Darden Restaurants, owners of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille. Blacks and other people of color are grossly under-represented in higher paid industry jobs, such as bartenders, said Center co-director Saru Javaraman. “Whites have twice the chance of getting front-of-the-house positions.” The Center is also pushing to raise the minimum wage for (mostly female) workers who depend on tips, which has been stuck at $2.13 for over 20 years.

    Contraception Controversy is a “Phony Debate”

    The recent battle over who should pay for female employees' contraceptives is “really a symptom of a dysfunctional health care system,” said Chicago-based labor activist and writer James Thindwa. “In societies where there is national health care, including Italy, which is heavily Catholic, they’re not having this debate, because the government is paying for health care,” he said. “This is an opportunity for those of us who champion single payer to point to this phony debate.”

    Tim Wise: “A Perfect Storm for White Anxiety"

    A combination of cultural, demographic, and economic challenges to white supremacy and privilege – plus the advent of a Black president – has created “a perfect storm for white anxiety,” said anti-racist activist and lecturer Tim Wise, author of the new book Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority. “As the economic system is crumbling,” many whites are locked into their own supremacist myths and “really don’t know how to cope.” Whites need to “take personal responsibility” to make the U.S. a better and more equal place, said Wise – and that means “fighting injustice.”

    U.S. Imperial Policy Leads to War Crimes

    Not a single Marine was sentenced to prison in the 2005 massacre of 24 unarmed Iraqi children, women, men and elderly, in the town of Haditha. “The lesson is that the United States government should refrain from invading other countries in illegal, imperialistic wars that then lead to the torture of prisoners and war crimes,” said Marjorie Cohn, professor at the Thomas Jefferson Law School, in San Diego, California, who has written extensively on the Haditha massacre.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of January 30, 2012


    Obama to Face Increased Black Criticism

    I think we are going to hear more voices of opposition coming from all sectors of Black leadership, and certainly from the most hard pressed sections of the Black population,” said Dr. Tony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “The decline and disappearance of the Black middle class is not going to go unnoticed.” Seventy-four percent of Blacks see the split between rich and poor as “a manifestation of a deep class conflict in society,” said Dr. Monteiro, citing recent studies by the Pew Center for Research. “You’ve got this residual radicalism, from the period of mass struggle, civil rights and anti-war activism that is manifested in Black identification with socialism. But then when it comes to Obama, everything gets irrational.” Fifty-five percent of African Americans have a positive attitude towards the word “socialism.”

    Black Unemployed In Worse Shape Than When Recession ‘Ended’

    Black joblessness is higher today than it was in June 2009, the month when the recession was officially declared over, said Dr. Steven Pitts, of the University of California at Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. Black unemployment was 15.8 percent in December, 2011, compared to 14.9 percent in June, 2009. The Center’s annual report on Black unemployment showed virtually “no movement” in 2011, standing at 15.7 percent at the beginning of the year and ending at 15.8. However, “the Black female rate rose and the Black male rate fell.”

    Rulers Will Use Race to Exploit Crisis

    Author and labor activist Jeffrey Perry, writing in Cultural Logic magazine, said “we are moving into a very deep and serious crisis” in which ruling circles in U.S. society can be expected to turn increasingly to white supremacist appeals. “Reliance on white supremacy has been the key to social control for the U.S. ruling class,” said Perry. “Newt Gingrich is the most outspoken.” Perry’s article focuses on the views of Hubert Harrison, a Harlem Black nationalist and socialist of the early 20th century, and Theodore W. Allen, famous for his book The Invention of the White Race.

    Food Stamps Enjoy Wide Support

    Until now,” said Timothy Casey, senior counsel of Legal Momentum, “food stamps have enjoyed strong, bipartisan support.” However, recent attacks by Newt Gingrich and “calls in the House by some Republican leaders to ‘reform’ food stamps” by turning them into block grants “could lead to a sharp reduction in the benefits people receive,” said Casey.

    Amnesty International: Blacks Killed, Tortured in Libya

    Sanjeev Bery, Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said Black people have been subjected to “abductions, torture, unfair detention” and extrajudicial killings by U.S.-backed militias in Libya. The abuses stem from “wildly exaggerated rumors” that former Libyan leader Gaddafi employed large numbers of Black mercenaries, said Bery. Those rumors “intersected with pre-existing racism and xenophobia to make many dark-skinned Libyans, as well as sub-Saharan African” into targets of local gunmen. Bery was interviewed by Robert Knight, of Pacifica radio station WBAI, in New York.

    Panther Baby, Dr. Jamal Joseph’s memoir on coming of age in the Black Panther Party, debuts in February. Dr. Joseph, an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, was the youngest member of the New York 21, Panther Party members who were charged in 1969 – and later acquitted – of plotting to bomb public places.

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    Critical Race Theory and Whiteness as Property


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

    If you don’t understand race, you know nothing about the United States. The catastrophes that descend on Black America must be seen “as a violent result of an ideology which results in economic and social policies predetermined to this effect.” Even the best off African Americans can’t save themselves. “The nation’s richest Black community, Prince George’s County, Maryland, is also home to the highest Black foreclosure rate.”

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    “Coon Huntin’” in New York City

    coon huntin NYCA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

    Nightriding white terrorists are not confined to the South. They also roam the streets of New York City, in search of Black victims. The election of 2008 was especially rough for Up South white supremacists. Barack Obama's victory provoked four young New Yorkers to go on a Black-bashing spree that last week earned them serious prison time.
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