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

     

    NAACP Image Awards Targeted for Protest

    Benton Harbor, Michigan, activist Rev. Edward Pinkney plans to lead hundreds of pickets at the NAACP’s Image Awards ceremonies on February 1, in Los Angeles. “Our main objective is to wake up the NAACP, and show that they are out of touch with the community,” said Pinkney, longtime leader of the civil rights group’s local chapter. Pinkney charges the NAACP collaborated with a Whirlpool Corporation scheme to take over the Ben Harbor NAACP, in return for financial support. The Los Angeles protest will send the NAACP a message, said Pinkney: “We need you to stop taking these corporate dollars.”

    White House and Republicans Play Fiscal Tag Team

    The Obama administration and Republican congressional leaders “are pushing essentially the same solutions” to the so-called fiscal cliff problem. “Nobody on either side is talking about the military budget” or “serious taxation of billionaires; in fact, both sides are talking about cutting corporate taxes,” said David Swanson, publisher of the influential website War Is a Crime. “You don’t really have opposition between these two parties, you have agreement,” he said.

    Arne Duncan Must Go

    Black and progressive educators should push for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to be replaced early in Obama’s second term, said Dr. Sam Anderson, of New York City’s Independent Commission on Public Education. The concept of education as a “human right is historically rooted in our struggle to be free in this country, as Black people,” said Anderson.

    Bill Clinton Most to Blame for Congo “Holocaust”

    Millions of Congolese have died since 1996 due to policies set in motion by President Bill Clinton, said Prof. Yaa Lengi, of the Congo Coalition. Neighboring Uganda and Rwanda “are always coming up with schemes to foment chaos in eastern Congo” in order to exploit the region’s mineral resources. “Cell phones, lap tops, flat screen TVs – all those gadgets need the minerals of the Congo,” said coalition organizer William Misezuel.

    More Bad News for Congo: Oil

    Of late there’s been a major oil discovery in Congo, which makes it even more attractive” to outsiders, said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. “The United States needs to put more pressure on the Rwandan and Ugandan regimes,” since Washington “is the puppeteer” of the relationship. Dr. Horne spoke on Regent Radio’s Saturday Morning Show, in Toronto, Canada.

    UN Fails Haiti on Rights

    A report by the Paris-based Federation of Human Rights charges the United Nations with failing to take responsibility for causing the cholera epidemic in Haiti, and with inflicting other human rights violations on the occupied nation. In addition to spreading cholera, UN troops have “violated Haitians’ rights in various ways, from rapes to extrajudicial killings,” said Dan Beeton, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington. The UN recently extended its occupation troops’ mandate for another year.

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    Obama and GOP Play Tag Team on Entitlements

     

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Not only is the ‘fiscal cliff” a phony, manufactured issue, there is fundamental agreement between the White House and Republicans in Congress on how this game should end: with entitlements in tatters. “Austerity is the common language and goal of the talks.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of November 26, 2012

     

    Wal-Mart’s War on Workers

    Last week’s job actions at Wal-Mart facilities around the U.S. are largely a response to cuts imposed on employee hours. “Wal-Mart has been experiencing a squeeze at the sales level and, therefore, putting a squeeze on their employees,” said journalist Liza Featherstone, who has covered the world’s biggest corporation for more than a decade. “In recent years, they’ve made it much more difficult for workers to work full time.”

    Fiscal Cliff” is Phony

    It’s a purely manufactured crisis,” said Arun Gupta, co-founder of The Indypendent and The Occupied Wall Street Journal, referring to the so-called “fiscal cliff” of spending cuts and tax increases looming over the U.S. economy. “Both parties are committed to austerity policies,” he said. “The danger with Obama is that he will be able to force through cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare because there is no opposition on his left flank.”

    Mobilization in Defense of Affirmative Action

    Activists plan to mobilize “hundreds of thousands” of young people in support of a recent federal court decision that struck down a ban on affirmative action programs at Michigan public universities. “Black and Latino high school and middle school students will be leading the line of march,” said Monica Smith, a lawyer for Detroit-based BAMN, By Any Means Necessary. “This shows that when you fight, you can win.”

    U.S. Wages War on Congo

    The United States has protected, armed and financed countries complicit in the genocide that has killed at least six million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996, said Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of Congo. U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice “has blocked UN reports” of Rwanda and Uganda’s crimes in Congo, including support for the so-called rebels that captured the provincial capital of Goma, earlier this month. “She has to be doing so with the blessing of the White House,” said Musavuli.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of November 19, 2012

     

    Big Win for Affirmative Action in Education

    Affirmative action advocates believe they have a chance to prevail at the U.S. Supreme Court, following an appeals panel ruling that struck down Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in college admissions. “We will immediately be asking the University of Michigan to reinstate” affirmative action programs, said George Washington, lead attorney for Detroit-based By Any Means Necessary. “There has been a one-third to 50 percent drop” in minority admissions since the ban took effect, he said.

    Stop-and Frisk Protesters Claim Partial Victory

    Four activists charged with serious offenses stemming from a protest at a Queens, New York City police precinct, last year, were acquitted of all but disorderly conduct charges. “We view the results of this trial as a victory, because they were going for convictions” that carry one-year jail sentences, said Stop Stop-and-Frisk organizer Carl Dix. Charges are still pending against nine others arrested in Queens, and another group of demonstrators in Brooklyn. “We are going to make these trials a part of this fight” against police abuse of power, said Dix.

    Obama Can’t Pass Buck on Extra-Judicial Killings of Blacks

    By the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s count, more than 140 African Americans have been murdered by police and others under cloak of authority since the start of 2012. President Obama is obligated to deploy the full powers of the federal government to compel law enforcement agencies to “respect the human rights of Black people,” said MXGM. “At the end of the day, they are all still held accountable by the Department of Justice, which, last time I checked, is under [the President’s] direct control,” said spokesman Kali Akuno. “We won’t let him pass the buck.”

    Whose Fiscal Cliff?

    The elevation of deficit reduction “to the be-all and end-all of policy discussion in Washington really is what’s driving some Democrats away” from their traditional defense of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, said Chris Hellman, of the National Priorities Project. By endorsing the Simpson-Bowles proposals, President Obama has “made it clear that he is at least willing to discuss some changes in those programs.” Obama is more than willing to impose sever austerity, said Kevin Zeese, of Occupy Washington DC. “He’s going to be giving away the store,” said Zeese. “Every constituency that supported Obama is going to lose in this negotiation.”

    Wal-Mart Squeezes Workers

    We have to borrow money from each other just to make it to work,” said Colby Harris, a 3-year Wal-Mart employee from Dallas, Texas. Wal-Mart workers have staged strikes and other actions to protest low wages, poor healthcare benefits, management disrespect and – the latest insult – plans to keep stores open on Thanksgiving. Labor economist and former Bennett College president Julianne Malveaux said “it’s especially egregious when Wal-Mart, the largest and richest company in our country, engages in these activities.” Workers complain they are limited to less than 30-hour weeks, to deprive them of healthcare benefits. “This is an oppressive matrix,” said Malveaux.

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    Obama's Second Term: Four More Years of Groundhog Days

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    President Obama has nearly consummated his long courtship with the GOP, yet Black and labor leaders continue to pretend that he is a bulwark against austerity. In an even more nightmarish version of Groundhog Day, "the behavior of the Black and labor leadership actors remains the same, as the economic and political landscape crumbles around them.”

    Freedom Rider: Grand Bargain is the Satan Sandwich

     

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    President Obama is taking his case for a grand austerity bargain with the Republicans on the road, moving us “closer to eliminating the threadbare safety net.” Not so long ago, it would have been inconceivable that a Democratic president barnstorm the country, “loudly and publicly demanding support for making right wing fantasies come true.”

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