An Ever-Smaller Circle of Billionaires Controls the Planet’s Wealth

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

As humanity by the hundreds of millions is forced into a Race to the Bottom, the super-rich expand their dominance of the Earth’s wealth. Eight individuals now own as much wealth as the bottom half of the planetary population. “How can a society call itself civilized, when half the value of all of humanity’s labor -- which is what those fortunes actually represent -- is at the disposal of eight men?”

 
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Freedom Rider: No Tears for John Lewis

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

John Lewis has parlayed his 1965 beating at the hands of Alabama police into a phony sainthood, and “now exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Party and the black misleadership class.” He “parrots every word” of the CIA in blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. There are many reasons to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration, but “Russia” is the only one mentioned by Lewis, the party hack.

Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama

by BAR editor Ajamu Baraka

The 2008 campaign t-shirts depicted Barack Obama clasping hands with MLK, as if the two men were politically joined. Yet, one was a radical opponent of militarism and the rule of the rich, while the other served Wall Street, the Pentagon and American Exceptionalism. Dr. King loved humanity, and died in its service. In contrast, “for Obama, there is a hierarchy of humanity where a peoples’ worth is directly related to their value to the empire.”

What Constitutes a "Legitimate President" in the United States?

by Danny Haiphong

The furor over Donald Trump’s “legitimacy” as president presumes that the U.S. system of rule is, itself, legitimate, at home and abroad. The Democrats maintain “a legitimate President certainly cannot have peaceful relations with Russia.” They are attempting to continue the momentum of the Obama period, which “has been the highest expression of the Democratic Party's transformation into the War Party and the most legitimate party of imperialism.”

Mocking, Marching, Stopping the Hate and Dumping Trump Are Not Enough

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Mocking, protesting and ridiculing Big Cheeto before and after inauguration will be big fun. But storms of ridicule did not drive Ronald Reagan or Dubya from office. Mockery that only undermines the legitimacy of evil persons rather than the capitalist system makes us nothing more than the warm up for Corey Booker or whoever Democrats nominate next. Left messages, memes and hashtags need to eviscerate Trump but also to educate people.

Black Lives Matter Wants to #ReclaimMLK’s Radical Legacy

by TeleSUR

Several Black organizations across the U.S. have launched a campaign to reject the mainstream image of Martin Luther King, Jr., which they call “capitalist revisionism.” Dr. King “became increasingly anti-capitalist/imperialist and was killed for it,” said the groups gathered under #ReclaimMLK. “We have conflated nonviolence with passivity, and we have forgotten that King’s legacy is meeting incredible violence with masses in the street.”

Report: Chicago Police Use Excessive Force

by German Lopez

The long-awaited U.S. Justice Department report on Chicago police behavior in Black and brown communities shows cops frequently abuse their monopoly on the use of lethal force, and act out their racist prejudices on the job. “Black youth told us that they are routinely called ‘nigger,’ ‘animal,’ or ‘pieces of shit’ by CPD officers.” Cops use stun guns on kids with regularity, and engage in cover-ups enveloped in a “blue code of silence.”

Young Black Men Again Faced Highest Rate of US Police Killings in 2016

by Jon Swaine and Ciara McCarthy

The number of unarmed people fatally shot by police in the U.S. declined last year, according to data compiled by The Guardian newspaper, but young Black men remain far more likely than whites to die at the hands of cops. Recent moves to keep better track of police lethal police use of force could be undermined by the incoming president Donald Trump, who has balked at withholding funds from local departments that fail to report killings.

As Obama Exits the White House, Never Forget His Destructive Imperialist Legacy

by Solomon Comissiong

A mythology of lies was built around Barack Obama, even before he walked into the White House. He got a peace prize for no good reason -- and then made war against at least seven countries. Obama “even joked about the use of predator drones at a White House Correspondents Dinner.” Obamites cried when he gave his last speech, “yet can find little reason to shed tears over the masses of civilians who were destroyed as a result of Obama’s policies.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 16, 2017

The Democrats: Serving the One Percent, Blaming the Russians

The Democrats are using the Russians as a scapegoat to avoid confronting “the rightwing Wall Street-captive party that they’ve become,” said activist and educator Paul Street, author of several books on President Barack Obama. Essentially, Democrats are saying, “It’s not that we’re a rightwing, corporate, neoliberal party beholden to the nation’s unelected dictatorship of money and empire. It’s not that we abandoned the working class and the causes of social justice and peace decades ago.” Speaking at the Open University of the Left, in Chicago, Street said Donald Trump did not ride to victory on a “big rust belt rebellion of the white working class.” The real story “is that the Democrats lost those voters to non-voting.”

When Capitalism Gets Sick, the Democrats Get Mean

The Democratic Party’s sharp turn to the right is its response to the “existential crisis at the core of capitalism,” a global phenomenon that has left the ruling class and its servants with “hardly any space to reform the system,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and activist. With “no room to maneuver,” the capitalists resort increasingly to war and repression. “Monopoly capitalism must be undone, the banks broken up, and a large part of them nationalized,” said Monteiro. “In other words,” there must be “a profound and fundamental end to the neoliberal order, globally; a retreat from empire and war; and a seizing of the military budget and turning it towards economic development, jobs and a green economy.”

Political Prisoners Under Pressure in Indiana

Khalfani Malik Khaldun, serving time at Wabash Valley prison, in Indiana, said officials have carried out “a series of raids on targeted political prisoners,” including himself. Khaldun was told by “top brass” that they consider him to be the facility’s “most influential” inmate and are pressuring him to use that influence to “stop the proliferation of meth, a synthetic drug spreading throughout the prison.” Otherwise, “they had orders to put me and ten of my comrades in solitary confinement,” where he is now housed. Khaldun said prison officials “are making me out to be running some form of drug ring, in an attempt to destroy my political credibility as an activist on the inside.”

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 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.
 
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Talk Nation Radio: Millions Lose Their Minds Over Russia

TAlk Nation Radio with David Swanson: Millions Lose Their Minds Over Russian Hacking Allegations.

by David Swanson

This week on Talk Nation Radio: millions of Americans lose their everloving minds over unproven accusations against Russia. David Swanson explains how mockery and derision directed at Donald Trump don't scare the Pentagon or NSA, and don't prevent any of the outrages committed by Democrats when they retain power. Swanson takes the ACLU and CAIR to task for their ridiculous claim that war on Iraq was conducted to protect the U.S. Bill of Rights, and a torture report gets buried. Talk Nation Radio is a weekly half hour of political insight and discussion as if the people mattered.

Who Owns the Movement, and Where Are They Taking It?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

As funders of the nonprofit industrial complex, the one percent of one percenters literally own what most of us call the movement. Last summer the “Ford Foundation and anonymous donors” pledged to invest $100 million to “strengthen the next generation of social justice leaders… in what many call the Movement for Black Lives.” Do we want to go where the owners of this movement are taking us? Is there any other destination or way to ride?

As the Democrats Press for War, the Left Must Demand Peace and Social Transformation

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Democrats are whipping up war hysteria and “cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions.” Some folks have taken the bait. “Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.”

Freedom Rider: Contradiction in the Time of Trump

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The cacophony of pre-inaugural madness is full of lies against Russia, wild exaggerations about Obama’s accomplishments, and a weird and shameful alliance of so-called “progressives” and the CIA. Anti-Trump protests turn out to be props for useless Democrats. The contradictions of late stage capitalism abound -- which should be the cue for genuine radicals to fight both corporate parties. That means kicking the Democrats “while they are down.”

Obama’s Last Presidential Lies

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Nobody lies with the style and aplomb of Barack Hussein Obama, soon to be an ex-president of the United States. In his last address to the nation, Obama lied about his support for labor; economic and social justice for Black people; climate change and, of course, the rightwing Republican program that is his shameful legacy, Obamacare. Virtually everything the man says is a form of lie. But he does it so well, and some folks want so badly to believe.

 
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Some Guidance on the Russia Question

by Danny Haiphong

Barack Obama, “has spent its last days in the White House laying the basis for World War, claiming that the Russian government had directly interfered in the 2016 elections.” The corporate media and the Democratic Party have joined in the hysteria, along with far too many so-called progressives. “If criticism of Russia at this time takes precedence over fighting US imperialism, then a reexamination of the movement’s priorities is in order.”

Black Awakening, Class Rebellion

by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and George Ciccariello-Maher

“The Black movement has been and will continue to be the foundation for the emergence of other liberation movements” in the U.S., says Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, whose Black Awakening in Obama’s America has been described as “the most important book of 2016.” However, the Black Misleadership class stands with corporate power. “Black officials uphold a status quo that is institutionally racist and incapable of delivering the goods to Black people.”

Pity the Sad Legacy of Barack Obama

by Cornel West

One of the few Black public intellectuals to break with the First Black President early on, Dr. Cornel West notes that “those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility” for the impending Age of Trump. Obama ignored pleas to “break with Wall Street priorities and bail out Main Street” – but bailed out the banks instead, and oversaw what has become “the full-scale gangsterization of the world.”

The New Black Maroons to America: “We Quit!”

by Mark P. Fancher

Just as slave runaways made common cause with Native Americans in resistance to white settlers, U.S. Blacks should reciprocate the solidarity offered by Cuba, Venezuela and Palestinians, as well as providing whatever assistance is possible to progressive and revolutionary forces in Africa. However, “the task of political disengagement” from the rigged U.S. process “demands assurance that the community is not embarking on a journey into the abyss.”

Journalism and Pornography: Real Crime is Always Organized

by Dr. T.P. Wilkinson

Douglas Valentine latest study of the CIA shows him to be “an excellent history teacher” – which is high praise from the reviewer, an excellent teacher, himself. The CIA is a banditry on a huge scale, “invented not simply as an advisory and coordinating instrument for spying but as a criminal organization to cover for the fundamental criminal activity of US corporations and those who own them.”

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