Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of December 26, 2011


Preventive Detention Threatens Occupiers, All Dissidents

The recently passed preventive detention measure poses a direct threat to the Occupation movement, said Dr. Margaret Flowers, an organizer with the encampment at Washington DC’s Freedom Plaza. People in power would like to paint dissenters as allies of terrorism. “Occupy London was actually determined by London police to be a terrorist organization,” said Flowers. Had she even imagined, back in 2008, that Barack Obama would be leading the preventive detention charge? “It doesn’t matter who is put into the system, it only works for the top one percent,” she said.

The Democrats’ “Killing Embrace”

The Occupy movement is constantly “being invited into the killing embrace of the Democratic Party,” which is ”just another face of the enemy,” said Carl Dix, of the Revolutionary Communist Party. Dix, a founder of “Stop Stop-and-Frisk,” harkened back to 2008, when virtually the entire Left “got swept up in Obamamania.” “The guy who says he is the best leader for the empire isn’t going to represent your interests,” he said.

NATO Committed War Crimes Against Libyan Civilians

NATO’s refusal to investigate civilian deaths in its seven-month bombing campaign against Libya is in violation of Article 15 of the Geneva Convention on the Wounded and Sick, Francis Boyle, the world-renowned University of Illinois professor of international law. The Article states that combatants are obligated “to go out and search for the wounded and sick, also the dead,” said Boyle, “but it doesn’t look like NATO really cares.” In fact, NATO policy was not to investigate civilian deaths in Libya – a practice that guaranteed the official death toll would be zero. “To violate the Geneva Conventions is a war crime, there is no doubt about it,” said Boyle.

Christmas in Newark is for Demonstrations

For the People’s Organization for Progress (POP), Christmas was simply day-182 of its marathon of demonstrations for jobs, housing, education, justice and peace. POP and its many allies spent the holiday at their usual places of protest in downtown Newark, New Jersey, keeping a promise to demonstrate for 381 consecutive days – the duration of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott. Min. Thomas Ellis, of the anti-violence Enough is Enough Coalition, said “fighting for jobs for people in the community is one of the issues that we stand with POP on…. POP stood up against the war before the war started in Iraq, and the Enough is Enough Coalition stood with them on the corners of Broad and Market Streets, in March, 2003.”

American Revolution was a Racist Revolt

Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, said, the American revolt of 1776 against British rule “was basically a successful revolt of racist settlers. It was akin to Rhodesia, in 1965, assuming that Ian Smith and his cabal had triumphed. It was akin to the revolt of the French settlers in Algeria, in the 1950s and 1960s, assuming those French settlers had triumphed.” Dr. Horne explores the racist roots on the American Revolution in his new book, Negroes of the Crown. “It was very difficult to construct a progressive republic in North America after what was basically a racist revolt,” said Horne. “The revolt was motivated in no small part by the fact that abolitionism was growing in London…. This is one of the many reasons more Africans by an order of magnitude fought against the rebels in 1776, than fought alongside them.”


Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.


The American Revolution was

The American Revolution was nothing like the revolt in Rhodesia. The American Revolution was progressive and the Rhodesian revolt was reactionary. The American Revolution inspired revolutions such as the French, Hatian, Latin American revolutions and in the 20th Century helped to inspire colonial revolutionaries in Africa and Asia. Hatians fought for American Independence. 

The British Abolitionist Movement was in its infancy during the American Revolution and slavery wasn't abolished throughout the British Empire until the 1830's.

The Americaqn Revolution helped spur abolitionists in the United States. Laws to abolish slavery immediately or gradually were passed in all the Northern States in the first few decades after the American Revolution. The Northwest Ordinance banned slavery in that area and before the Cotton Gin made slavery more profitable many people thought that slavery would be abolished in the Southern States as well. Crispus Attucks was a heroe of the Patriot movement and 5,000 free blacks fought in the revolutionary army. Many of the Revolutionary leaders such as Benjamin Rush, Thomas Paine, and Benjamin Franklin opposed slavery. Slavery continued in the United States despite the American Revolution not because of it.

Also, during the War of 1812 during the Battle of New Orleans free blacks played an important part in the defence of the city.

There Are 3 BIG Problems w Your Rebuttal...

First: Many/Most of the US' so-called 'Founding Fathers' were affluent or wealthy SLAVE-OWNERS! IE: George Washington, James Madison, & Thomas Jefferson [who had at-least 5 children by his slave-girl Sally Hemmings {who was Jefferson's late wife's half sister} first impregnating her at age 14-15]. Even Civil War hero / Union Commanding Gen & later US Pres- Ullyses S Grant once owned at-least 1 slave! In fact before Lincoln the White House [built by slaves as was the Capitol Bldg] was fully staffed by slave-labor for all preceding Presidents [Note: Washington's 2 terms as US Pres were before DC became the US' capitol] w the exceptions of John Adams & his son John Q Adams- who were Quakers!

2nd: After the Haitian Revolution, even though it led directly to the Louisiana purchase which doubled the geographical size of the US, the US REFUSED to Recognize Haiti for Decades! And the US Haitian policy, in combo w the French, has been for the past 2 centuries to MAKE HAITI SUFFER for over-throwing slavery under Napoleon's rule [Note: Instead of the Haitians being able to celebrate their Bi-Centennial of Independence in 2004- the US, in combo w France & Canada, pulled a coup on Haitian Pres Aristide]! This is so even though most historians consider Napoleon to have been a NOTORIOUS Guy!

3rd: The Brits Did Abolish slavery BEFORE the US & It did NOT take them a BLOODY Civil war to get it Done! Slavery never took hold in Canada [which remained under the British Crown] & was the often the final stop for the Under-ground Rail-road to Freedon for the US Black Slaves! 

Why did you use all those

Why did you use all those capitalized words and exclamation points? I don't see how your points refute or rebut my own comments. Why do you say "so called founding fathers"?  Slavery had become less important to the British economy and the British were worried about massive slave revolts such as the Batpists War revolt in Jamaica which involved 60,000 slaves. 

RE: Howard Zinn_Do You Know of His Critique on US' 3 'Holy' Wars

See: Howard Zinn: Myths of 'Good' Wars (US' 3 'Holy' Wars) @

The Late popular 'leftist' Historian Howard Zinn did a break down of what he termed America's 3 'Holy' Wars [IE: The Revolutionary & Civil Wars & WWII]. Zinn goes on to say even most so-call 'liberal leftists' generally fail to challenge or even question the myths of those 3 'Holy' Wars. Some of what Bro Dr Gerald Horne says here echos Howard Zinn's critique of the 1rst US 'Holy' War [IE: the War of Independence]. Though Zinn didn't quite charcterize it is likened unto the Rhodesian Revolt against the Brits, He of coursed acknowleged that the leaders of the American colonies' 1776 break away from British Rule were primarily Affluent slave-owners who had their own, not so 'lofty & idealist' quarrels w the British Crown! Zinn's take was that independence could have been probably accomplished without a bloody war [I think he noted Canada as his one of his actual historical examples]. Zinn said that all of those 'lofty' ideas & rhetoric of the so-called 'Founding-Fathers'- certainly did NOT apply to the Black Slaves &/or Native Americans who both lost out BIG-TIME! In fact Zinn explained how the Brits had set limits on how far the US colonies could expand into Native American territories [at the Appalachians]  - limits which were abolished by the US' 'Founding Fathers' after their so-called 'Revolution'[IMO this was likely another hidden reason why the 'Founding Fathers' actually wanted to break away from the Brits rule]. And he even indicated it was mostly just 'campaign rhetoric' to get [hype-up] most working class whites to join them in THEIR family-quarrel / family-feud w the British Crown [Note: Many so-called US 'Founding Fathers' & US Presdents were/are actually related to the British aristocracy!], even though many / most average working class whites may NOT have actually benefited from doing so. IMO: This probably the main reason why affluent whites had to, by 1776, abolish indenture servitude for whites in the American colonies- All that rhetoric about 'All Men are Created Equal w Inalienable Rights endowed by the Creator...'-  would have been a hard sell to working class & poor whites if white indentured servitude was still the Norm! And Zinn speaks at length about how classism / class divisions & strife played itself out during the Revolutionary War.

Zinn's take on the 2nd US 'Holy War' [the Civil War] was that it largely [if not mainly] a 'boomerang' effect from the great unresolved issue of US 1776 Revolution IE: the failure of the so-called 'Founding-Fathers' to abolish slavery - which of course was a primary issue [if not THEE Central issue] relative to the Civil War. Zinn also cited other examples [IE: the Brits] where slavery was successfully abolished without having to result to a Bloody Civil War. Furthermore Zinn noted that the Civil War did NOT exactly end slavery in the US [technically it did but not in spirit], which was immediately replaced by over a century of JIM CROW!

Zinn's take on the US' 3rd 'Holy War' [WWII] is that the US also committed war crimes - citing specifically the carpet fire-bombing [w napalm] of Dresden, Tokyo & the atomic bombing of Hiroshima & Nakasaki, which Zinn described as not only inhumane attrocities but were also militarily unnecessary! [NOTE: For 2011's 66th anniversary of the Hiroshima / Nakasaki bombings, articles came out that dis-spell the hype that Truman had to drop those bombs to save American lives, if he had been forced to order an all out invasion of Japan- Concluding that Japan would have almost certainly surrendered by the beginning of Sept 1945 if not sooner, because the Russians were about to enter the Pacific Theater & the Japanese thought they would do better surrendering to the US & the Brits. So it was mainly a political rather a military decision to nuke Hiroshima & Nakasaki, so that the US could both cut Stalin out of the deal & also to send him a pre cold-war message!] And Zinn even alluded to, without completely endorsing, the growing body of evidence that the US deliberately baited the Japanese into attacking Pearl Harbor & even knew in advance [via Intel Reports] that the Pearl Harbor Attack was eminent- but FDR deliberately failed to alert the military commanders at Pearl Harbor [This info gives the NeoCON description of 9-11 as the 'New Pearl Harbor' a Whole New Meaning!]! Zinn did say however that Hawii at the time was a US colony [IE: NOT A State] & that in effect Pearl Habor was a US Military colonial out-post on occupied lands! 

PS: Zinn speculates that it may NOT have required WWII to stop the NAZIs & says that by allowing the NAZIs to bite off more than they could have chewed [also known as 'appeasement'] they would have eventually spent themselves out. With all due respect to the late Mr Zinn, here I some-what disagree. The NAZIs could have been stopped in their tracks without WWII by simply cutting off the head of the NAZI Snake Early ON, by NOT Feeding the NAZI Beast to Monsterous Proportions! Namely the NAZI's became a Military Power-house / War Machine w the help of many well know persons & Corps in both the US & UK WHICH WERE DOING BIZ w the NAZIs before & even After the beginning of WWII - IE: Wall Streeters like the Rockefellers / the Dulles Boys / Averell Harriman / Prescott Bush {daddy & grand-daddy to Bush Sr/Jr}, -&- IBM {FYI: Those infamous numbers branded on Holocaust victims were IBM Census numbers}, GM {made the NAZIs' Blitz trucks} & Ford, & the DeBeers Diamond Cartel {for industrial diamonds, - ironically DeBeers was / is owned by a wealthy British Jewish family- the Oppenheimers}, etc! Furthermore many of the NAZIs' ideas about Eugenics & the Aryan [IE: white] super-race were borrowed from many well known Eugenics Proponents in the US & UK IE: the Rockerfellers helped fund the main pre-war NAZI Eugenics Institute! 

I disagree with most of what

I disagree with most of what Zinn said about the three wars. I might go into my reasons later.

An order of magnitute is an

An order of magnitute is an exaggeration. According to Wikipedia 5,000 free blacks fought in the continental army while 20,000 fought for the British, so that is 80 percent of blacks who fought fighting for the British.


Nearly two centuries after the American revolution, I was born into a country which still had "sundown towns" and segregated beaches and communities, a place where Blacks were restricted to the most difficult jobs and the lowest paid wages. Yet, I am supposed to believe that the American revolution "freed" my people, and that I should be in awe of the "genius" of the so-called founding fathers? Really?


I'm going to have to side with Nixakliel and Howard Zim on this one. During the American Revolution, White men on both sides used Blacks and Indians to serve their own ends. Whether British or American, Whites knew that most Blacks and many Indians had no choice in the matter. They would be acted upon by events which they did not set into motion whether or not they "chose" sides. White Americans, who knew that they had to continue to live in North America with members of other races after the war's end were probably worse than the British in their duplicity, because they were dependent upon slave labor and, because, whether they were  rich, poor, middle class or recent immigrants, they coveted Indian lands. The new nation was created with a constitution which talked a good game about freedom and the rights of man while it codified the continued enslavement and dehumanization of nearly a third of the its population. The American revolution had a liberal facade tightly wrapped around a smug, racist, reactionary core.

After the war, the United States government and most of it's White citizens bitterly opposed most of the revolutions which were "inspired" by its example. In modern times, the United States and most of the so-called free world supported the White reactionary regimes in Rhodesia, South Africa, the Portuguese colonies and in French Indochina (to name just a few) against popular uprisings for decades, until their stance became untenable. I find it laughable to credit the American or French or Russian revolutions with being anything other than revolutions by White people for White people when they were all carefully crafted to preserve and to protect White power and priveledge and to maintain each nation's imperial project.

Blacks and others all around the world have been both inspired by these revolutions and misled by them, when they have failed to look past pretty words and proclamations to see how these societies functioned in reality and not as they would in theory. With or without the ideals borrowed form these revolutions, the oppressed would have resisted their oppressors. Vietnamese nationalism, like most other ideologies in other freedom struggles did not need the blessing of Jeffersonian 'democracy" in order to be legitimate. Much of what Blacks have acheived in the way of freedom has been accomplished in spite of the ways of those who worship the ideals of the American revolution.    

How was the Russian

How was the Russian Revolution a revolution for white people by white people? It eliminated the special privelages for the Russiand and other European nationalities. Some of the nationalities in the Soviet Union were black as people in Africa and the Soviet Union eliminated the Russian Empires discrimination and used affirmative action programs to greatly increase the standard of living among the Soviet Unions different minority groups. Many African-Americans came to the Soviet Union to get jobs during the Great Depression.

Paul Robeson visited the Soviet a number of times and had his sone go to school in the Soviet Union so he wouldn't have to face discrimination. Soviet but not Russian by William Mandel is a good book on the Soviet nationalities policy.

The Soviet Union also greatly aided Liberation movements in Africa.


We are dealing with complex issues. I am critical of imperialism and racism no matter its source, and neither communist Russia nor communist China were free of these plagues. The last time that I checked, Russia was a Eurasian nation without a significant African population, one  in which ethnic Russians (Europeans) dominate or attempt to dominate all of the other ethnic groups linguistically, culturally, militarily, etc. This was just as true under communism as it had been under the Czars, and it remains equally true under the current capitalist/fascist regime of Putin's clone. Anyone is free to ask the Chechens, Kalmuks, etc, about the non racialism of the Soviet system, or of Russian society in general. How does one explain the anti-Black race riots and attacks which have regularly occurred in modern Russia in recent times, and the attitudes which underpin these events since Russia is allegedly such an international melting pot.

It is true that Mr. Robeson and many others admired the ideals of the communist and socialist systems and that they were frequent guests of those who were selling the communist system. Given the the context ot the times, neither he nor anyone else should be faulted for seeking an alternative to the overwhelming systems of Western and American White supremacy, racism, and colonialism which reigned unchallenged in most of the world at that time. We have to acknowledge the reality that for millions of ordinary people, the communist systems, as they were actually constructed and implemented, not as they would have worked in theory, were as murderous and oppressive as was anything going on in Western colonies or in the American south at the same time. Too many seekers and exiles from the West continued to ignore what Stalin and others like him were doing under the guise of protecting a communist utopia long after the atrocities could no longer be dismissed as Western propaganda.

I am glad that communist individuals and states backed many of the liberation movements which sprang up after WWII, because there really was no other place for those who wished to break out of Western colonialism to go. While Westerners never backed armed rebellions against each others colonies, they always made sure that their White settler populations were well-armed. I am aware however, that in many cases, that this backing was not about a committment to any ideals of freedom, that it had strings attached to it, and that some of the communist states had their own issues with imperialism and with mistreatment of their minorities. I believe that the involvement of the communist bloc both speeded up the process of decolonization, and distorted it by "enabling" the United States and the Western powers to trivialize Asian and African and Latin American nationalist sentiments by force fitting them into a one size fits all, Cold War paradigm. History is complicated, and there are no perfect heroes or perfect villains.