Freedom Rider: Gay Still Isn’t the New Black

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If “gay is the new Black,” then it would follow that gays would now be dedicating their collective lives to the struggle against mass Black incarceration, gentrification, austerity, war and capitalist predation. Don’t hold your breath. “Fighting these issues means taking on the ever present elephant in the room, the persistent belief in Manifest Destiny and the right of white Americans to control whatever and whomever they want.”

No ‘Je Suis Charleston’?: The De-Politicization of Black Oppression

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Where was the worldwide revulsion at the racist terror attack in Charleston? “Obama sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and lulled into a stupefying silence black voices that should have demanded answers as to why the Charleston attack was not considered a terrorist attack, even though it fit the definition of domestic terrorism.” As a result, “the political space for international solidarity with the plight of African Americans was significantly reduced.”

The 26th Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba Launched in Washington, DC

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

“We act not just in defiance of our government, but in obedience to our conscience,” declared Rev. Lucius Walker, founder of IFCO, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization and initiator of the group’s shipments of medical supplies to Cuba. This year’s Friendshipment Cuba Caravan is once again defying the U.S. embargo of the island that “has produced one of the healthiest and most educated communities across the globe.”

How Poor Black Lives Matter to U.S. Capitalism Today: Reflections on “The New Jim Crow”

by Paul Street

The U.S. mass incarceration regime measures Black lives by the value that can be derived from their imprisonment. “The ‘new Jim Crow’ is about disciplining a deindustrialized Black lumpen proletariat and turning it into a largely inert, deindustrialized profit-source whose 'value added' comes mainly from the mere fact of its captive existence.”

Key Failures of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare an Obstacle to Universal Health Care

Key Failures of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare an Obstacle to Universal Health Care

by our friends at This Is Hell Radio

Trudy Lieberman: “We are replacing a crisis of un-insurance with a crisis of under-insurance, and we’re going to find people with very high deductables and very high cost-sharing as the years go on, because we haven’t controlled the underlying cost of care.”

Capitalism and Racism are About Who Rules: Analyzing Power in the Here and Now

by Danny Haiphong

“Even if the second flag of white rule (the ‘American’ flag being the first) eventually comes down, the racist system that produced the Confederacy remains upright.” Symbolism is important, but only if the forces behind the symbols are understood. The real question is: Who rules? “The Black Lives Matter movement is charting a direction that inevitably leads to a struggle for power.”

President Obama is a Traitor to the Black Race: An Open Letter

by Thomas Ruffin, Jr.

The First Black U.S. President perpetuates the modern-day slavery of mass Black incarceration; “espouses, like Rush Limbaugh, an allegiance to ‘American exceptionalism;’” refuses to pardon U.S. political prisoners; makes war on Africa; and has spent two terms in office serving the interests of corporations. “If that be the case, then why elect a black man or black woman president?”

Restorative Justice for Albert Woodfox and the Black Panther Party – An Interview with Prof. Angela A. Allen-Bell

by Angola 3 News

The release of Albert Woodfox, the last of the Angola Three still in prison, has been delayed by the State of the Louisiana and a compliant federal court. Woodfax, the Black Panthers, and the whole nation needs “collective healing from a number of social traumas, such as lynchings, racist medical, educational and criminal justice practices, and all of the vestiges of slavery.”

Africa Must Leave the ICC

by Dr. David Hoile

The International Criminal Court is “an inept, corrupt, political court that does not have Africa’s welfare at heart, only the furtherance of Western, and especially European, foreign policy and its own bureaucratic imperative.” Adding insult to injury, the ICC is incompetent. “The Court and the prosecutor have been making things up as they go along.”

The UN vs Eritrea

by Thomas C. Mountain

The United Nations, under the imperial sway of the United States, continues its vicious sanctions against Eritrea, an African country on the Red Sea that seeks only to claim its place as an independent nation. President Obama wants to name Eritrea’s nemesis as head of USAID. “Gayle Smith helped launch the Ethiopian invasion of Eritrea which culminated in a May-June 2000 war that left almost 150,000 dead Africans.”

The Confederate Flag is Not the Only Thing That Should Be Abolished

by Solomon Comissiong

The Confederate flag is only the tip of the iceberg of bigoted symbolism that permeates the nation’s popular and official culture. “United States society is riddled with racist imagery that ultimately extols men who were devoted slave masters, white supremacists and/or mass murderers.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 29, 2015

Don’t Just Count Black Bodies – We Need a Program of Liberation

Veteran Malcolm X Grassroots Movement activist Kali Akuno is a co-author of the 2012 report Operation Ghetto Storm, which documented the extrajudicial killing of Blacks by police, security guards and vigilantes – one every 28 hours. “We wanted to highlight, first and foremost to our own people, that we are being hunted,” said Akuno, now living in Jackson, Mississippi. “It’s basically population control and disposal of a population that is becoming unwanted and unnecessary for economic production.” Keeping count is not the point. “What’s the solution, what is the program of liberation? That is what folks should start focusing on now, while there is this upsurge, while there are young people beginning to become engaged in fighting back.”

Farrakhan: Take Down the Stars and Stripes!

“I don’t know what the fight is about the Confederate flag,” said Min. Louis Farrakhan, at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, in Washington, DC. “We need to put the American flag down, because we’ve caught as much hell under that as under the Confederate flag,” he told a cheering crowd. “What flag do the police have? What flag flies over the non-Justice Department?”

Pelosi Engaged in “Choreographed Corruption” in TPP Vote

The fight to defeat President Obama’s super-secret Trans Pacific Partnership isn’t over, said Popular Resistance activist Kevin Zeese. A vote on the full treaty will come up in the fall. In the showdown over “fast-tracking” the legislation, this month, said Zeese, “Pelosi did her job of fooling progressives into thinking she was on their side, but was in fact helping President Obama to get the exact numbers of votes he needed” – an example of the truth of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s statement that “nothing happens in politics by accident.” Zeese described Pelosi’s machinations as “choreographed corruption.”

Fair Housing Act Escaped Disembowelment by One Vote

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legal principle that discrimination can be established based on disparities in the racial results of public policies, even if intent to discriminate is not proven. The 5-4 vote left the 1968 Fair Housing Act constitutionally intact. The ACLU’s Dennis Parker said he and fellow civil rights lawyers held their breaths awaiting the Justices’ decision. “People were saying, Why are they so intent on reviewing a principle that had long been established?” The lawyers feared “that they must want to disembowel the law.” That didn’t happen, but “it’s just a question of whether one Justice will join one camp or the other,” said Parker.

Jill Stein: “Power to the People” Means “Breaking the Stranglehold of Corporate Capitalism”

After formally announcing her presidential candidacy, last week, Jill Stein explained her Green Party’s Power to the People Platform. “It’s a plan to address the crisis of justice and democracy” in the country, said Stein. “It has echoes of the Black Panthers in it, and that’s not by coincidence. It’s about breaking the stranglehold of corporate capitalism and racism. It’s founded on the idea that the struggles of frontline communities should be on the front lines of presidential dialogue.”

Malcolm on Lumumba: He was “the Greatest African”

Had he not been assassinated in 1961, Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected prime minister of the Congo, would have been 90 years old on July 2. Maurice Carney, of Friends of the Congo, notes that this year also marks the 90th birthday of Malcolm X, assassinated in 1965. “To a large extent, it was Malcolm who introduced Patrice Lumumba to a new generation,” said Carney. “He said that Lumumba was the greatest African to ever walk the continent, because he stood on his own terms; they couldn’t reach him” – “they” meaning the Western powers.

 
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The Perils of the Politics of Symbolism

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Charleston church massacre has occasioned a revival of symbolic and “reconciliation” politics by old school Black preachers. “They forgive, they call for reconciliation, and they make symbolic demands whose acceptance or rejection will not seriously alter the balance of power.” The Black political class would much rather fight the Confederate flag than confront the police.

Why Charleston Shooter Dylan Roof Isn't a “Terrorist” But Maybe Some of Us Are

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

US law defines a terrorist as someone willing to break the law to change government or corporate policy, like the #BlackLivesMatter protestors, or Chelsea Manning or Martin Luther King. So can we really call Charleston shooter Dylan Roof a terrorist? Killing black people has always been the official policy of governments and corporations.

 
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Freedom Rider: U.S. Pushes Russia Towards War

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The lies that the U.S. corporate media tell can get us all killed. The United States is pushing Russia, which remains a nuclear superpower, to the brink and beyond – yet Americans are wholly ignorant of the facts and the issues at play. “In 2015 the signs are ominous that something terrible may happen because of an incident in Transnistria or Donetsk or some other locale Americans know nothing about.”

Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Every phony leftist that peddled Barack Obama as a “progressive,” and every knave and fool in “Progressives for Obama” that spread rose petals at his feet in 2008, should do penance through five years of silence. The First Black President positioned himself “at the far right wing of his own Democratic Party” to pass his TPP rigged trade treaty. Only three Black congresspersons, and 25 other Democrats, joined with Obama and his Republicans.

 
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Closing the Historical Circle: White Terrorism at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The commander-in-chief of the greatest purveyor of violence in the world laments the massacre in Charleston. But “Obama just wants to make sure that the violence is state-sanctioned.” He is happy to “send arms to known Islamic extremists in Syria, provide logistical and political support to the Saudi’s brutal and illegal war in Yemen, arm and train neo-Nazi fascists in Ukraine while militarily pivoting to Asia.” The founding slaveholders would approve.

Obama and the Logic of Massacre, from Birmingham to Charleston

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

President Obama took to the airwaves to absolve his administration of responsibility for the Charleston Massacre and endemic racist violence against Black people. But his Justice Department has refused to prosecute killer cops. “The message was clear: black lives have no value and the government would not intervene to protect and defend the black community.” Dylann Roof acted, accordingly.

America’s Slave Empire: The Resistance Movements Against US Prisons

by Chris Hedges

“We are not looking to politicians to submit reform bills,” say prisoners in Alabama, withholding work until they are paid wages. “We aren’t giving more money to lawyers. We don’t believe in the courts.” The penal slave order must be broken. “The kryptonite to fight the prison system, which is a $500 billion enterprise, is the work strike.”

The Fall of a Right-Wing Black Canadian Politician

by Ajamu Nangwaya

The unraveling of Sen. Don Meredith’s political career has nothing to do with Black “progress” in Canada. As a loyal member of the Conservative Party, Meredith supports mining interests that exploit Africa and, domestically, “is not on record opposing any of the anti-people laws of the right-wing regime in Ottawa.”

Dolezal Fakes Black Womanhood, Reveals Depth of White Supremacy in the US

by Danny Haiphong

Rachel Dolezal’s long foray into a fake “Blackness” is viewed by some as an affirmation that race is a social construct that creates false categories of humans. However, the fact remains that “the power structure that rules these categories ensures conditions of exploitation and oppression for an entire class of people, from the womb to what is often an early tomb.” Dolezal’s deceit amounts to a “usurpation and imitation of Black womanhood.”

Does Passing for Black Challenge White Supremacy?

by Mel Reeves

Demands for Rachel Dolezal’s heavily braided head ring hollow, from both Black and white quarters. “Many of those who are distraught over Dolezal’s passing haven’t done as much to advance the cause of racial justice as she has in just two decades of passing.” However, Dolezal “missed an opportunity to really do some good by staying in the skin she was born in and helping to oppose and eradicate racism and discrimination.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 22, 2015

Charleston Massacre: Vintage Americana

Activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray lives in Columbia, South Carolina, not far from the Charleston church shooter’s home town, where “a Confederate flag on the bumper of a car is just as common as a stop sign.” It’s also where Dylann Roof learned that Blacks are constantly raping white women and trying to take over the nation, said Gray. “That kind of racist talk is as old as the relationship between Black folk and white folk in America.”

Black Church Needs to Beef Up Security

“This is an assault against the Black church and its members,” said Rev. Anthony Evans, executive director of the Washington-based National Black Church Initiative, a multidenominational coalition of Black churches across the country. Rev. Evans has gone South to advise coalition congregations “how to harden their church in terms of the safety of men, women and children. They don’t have to worry about this in a white church,” he said. “We only have to worry about this in the Black church.”

People’s Power vs Black Political Class

The Winchester and Sandtown neighborhoods of Baltimore were the centers of protest against the police killing of Freddie Gray. The experience “has opened their eyes to the role of the state” in fostering poverty and powerless,” said Andre Powell, of the People’s Power Assembly. Although Black politicians may appear to run the show in the majority Black city, “the big financial boards, the Chamber of Commerce, those are the folks that really decide what’s done in Baltimore,” he said.

Mass Movement Needed

Maryland is the fourth Blackest state in the nation, but solving the state’s problems is “not all Black and white,” said Dr. Kenneth Morgan, who teaches Urban Studies at Coppin State University. Morgan works closely with the Ujima People’s Progress Party, which is trying to get a spot on the statewide ballot. “Our efforts are to organize and mobilize a mass movement, and to help rekindle a national movement.”

Dominican Republic Seeks to Deport Dark-Skinned Residents

Nearly a million Haitian migrant workers and descendants of Haitians face deportation from the Dominican Republic. Two deadlines for registration with the government have passed, but only a minority of those affected have succeeded in navigating the process. The DR depends on Haitians for low wage labor, but wants to keep the migrants insecure in order to further exploit them, said Dahoud Andre, a New York-based Haitian community activist and radio host. “At the same time that they threaten to deport hundreds of thousands, don’t be surprised that they are bringing in other Haitian workers to replace them.” The dispute is inextricably entwined with Dominican racism against Black Haiti.

Eritrean Identity “Most Sought After” Among African Refugees

A UN report claims the tiny East African nation of Eritrea is responsible for a huge share of the refugees fleeing to the West. The report characterizes Eritrea’s compulsory national service as a form of slave labor. In an interview on Iran’s Press TV, journalist Thomas C. Mountain, who has lived in and reported from Eritrea since 2006, said the report is “a complete fabrication,” but conceded that national service “is very hard on our kids,” who want “to go out and make some money.” The Eritrean refugee numbers are vastly inflated, said Saba Gebregiorgis, an Eritrean living in Britain. “European countries give preferential treatment to Eritreans” as political refugees, said Gebregiorgis. “This has resulted in the Eritrean identity becoming the most sought after identity among the whole African population, including Ethiopians, Somalis, Sudanese, and even West Africans,” who pretend to be Eritrean for asylum purposes.

 
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Way Too Little, But Not Too Late: Hillary & Dems Fake the Funk on Voting Rights

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Hillary is getting undeserved praise for her stand on voting rights, which is way too little, and factually less than some of her apologists want us to believe. But she's a Democrat. After blowing the historic 40 year window during which a Constitutional right to vote amendment might have been passed she and her party have no intention of actually leading a fight for voting rights. But it's not too late to start waging that fight ourselves.

Tamir Rice and the Meaning of “No Justice – No Peace”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Black Lives Matter” has become the default name for the emerging movement against police atrocities against Black people. Whatever the movement winds up calling itself, “the venerable slogan 'No Justice – No Peace' has served as a workhorse of the current protest, and would be an ideal organizing principle if the implications of the slogan were fully understood, rather than simply mouthed."

From Roosevelt Island to Rikers Island – Hillary Clinton Can't See Mass Incarceration

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

New York City's Roosevelt Island and Rikers Island are on the same planet, but different worlds. For Hillary Clinton, the suicide of Kalief Browder, a New York city teen imprisoned for 3 years, two in solitary at Rikers who hanged himself on the eve of her inaugural New York City rally, was not important enough to mention before a friendly white audience. Apparently those are discussions reserved for black audiences only, or surrogates.

 
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