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    Why I Don't Do Kwaanza

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Ron Karenga, the man who invented Kwaanza, headed the US organization, which was responsible for the murder of 4 Black Panthers in Southern California as a tool of COINTELPRO, and the torture of two of its own female members. Kwaanza may now be bigger than its inventor, but Karenga's crimes do cast a shadow on the holiday for many of us.

    Getting Rid of Al Sharpton and the Misleadership Class

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The young activists of the Ferguson “movement” may have altered the course of Black and U.S. history, “Thanks to the liberating model of Ferguson, there is the opportunity to thoroughly discredit the Black Misleadership Class” and move forward towards transformational change.

    Freedom Rider: Ferguson Reverberates Around the World

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The whole world wants to know where the “Ferguson” movement is going, and Russians are no exception. The author just returned from Moscow, where they “were curious about Barack Obama’s relationship with the constituency that supported him the most and why their needs are still not adequately addressed.”

    LET US SPEAK! LET US SPEAK! LET US SPEAK! Voices from Ferguson to Sharpton

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, BAR editor and columnist and Kevin Berends

    The spirit of the people in motion will often overcome the pretentions of their so-called leaders. Thus it was inevitable that young activists denied any part in Sharpton's stage-managed DC spectacle save that of crowd extras, briefly seized the mic to address the their peers, their elders and the world.

    December Surprise (Class struggle trumps Trail of Tricks)

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    With young, Black America’s sound
    New meaning to ‘boots on the ground!’
    Like a ‘surge,’ chum-rushing the stage
    Declaring: The Ferguson Age!

    Eric Garner, American Occupation, and the Decline of Empire

    ​by Danny Haiphong

    Like whole flocks of chickens coming home to roost, the deep contradictions that beset the U.S. empire have become acute, at home and abroad. “The militarized police state that is attempting to stifle the energy of the current movement has its roots in the Pentagon's efforts to put down the spontaneous Black rebellions of the mid 60's.”

    The Global Scourge of Police Killing Blacks

    by Lisa Tomlinson

    The issue of Black people being victims of systemic brutality, oppression and murder at the hands of the police is not limited to the United States. It is a global problem. If we are ever going to stop this barbaric use of authority to trample the civil and human rights of Black people we must open our eyes to what it happening on an international scale.

    Sacramento’s Black Mayor and the Minimum Wage

    by Seth Sandronsky

    If Kevin Johnson is “progressive,” then the term has become meaningless. The Sacramento mayor and charter school champion, husband of privatization zealot Michelle Rhee, has bought into the corporate argument that meaningful hikes in the minimum wage harm the economy, including the lowest paid workers. In the short term, he wants to “study” the issue to death.

    Would You Buy An Obamamobile From This Man?

    by Howard Wait

    “High Deductible Health Care Model” is President Obama’s legacy to the American people, complete with “skinny networks, overpriced medicines and more tricks and traps than a Halloween funhouse.” But, no need to worry. “After the deductible is paid, which will be never, health care is free!”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/15/14

    Sharpton Rally Rejects Young and Rebellious

    Aside from relatives of police murder victims, the speakers list at Saturday’s “Justice for All” event in Washington, DC, was dominated by conservative, Black establishment figures. “We came with the genuine intention to see whose voices they would elevate,” said Erika Totten, part of a youthful contingent of Ferguson activists that briefly took to the stage. “We kept being dismissed, so I said, ‘Stand behind me and follow me. We’re gonna shut it down, like we always do.’” Totten was interview by The Real News Network.

    Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the noted whistleblower and activist with Hands Up Coalition DC, said the Sharpton rally was an attempt to co-opt the growing movement. “The Obama administration has used a surrogate, Rev. Al Sharpton, to help corral that kind of energy and those kinds of issues back into the political system where those kinds of passions can die an unnatural death.”

    Obama Scrapes Bottom of Barrel to Choose Task Force Leader

    “It would have been hard for President Obama to find a more inappropriate choice” for co-chair of the new White House task force on police militarization than former DC police chief Charles Ramsey, said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. The Fund won $20 million in damages for police abuse of demonstrators during Ramsey’s tenure as chief, during which he committed massive violations of civil rights and instituted a military style of policing. “Social change never comes in the United State because Congress or the White House suddenly, benevolently decided to do the right thing,” said Verheyden-Hilliard. “It comes because there’s a people’s struggle in the streets and in the courts.”

    Nothing New in CIA Torture Report Except “Rectal Feeding”

    Most of the information in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s highly redacted report on CIA Torture was “already part of the public record,” with the exception of revelations on forced “rectal feeding” of detainees, said Dr. Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, at Champaign. “It’s really rape – rape-torture,” said Dr. Boyle. “The significance of this report is that we now have a branch of the United States government making official findings of fact,” which, in legal terms, amounts to “an admission against interest.” Boyle is preparing to demand an immediate investigation into CIA torture by the International Criminal Court.

    Mumia: CIA = Crime All the Time

    “The CIA, the executive hand of the president, has been involved deeply in every crime known to man,” said America’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. The agency commits thousands of crimes every day, but is immune from prosecution under the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2001. “That’s American law: the law of the outlaw,” said Abu Jamal.

    Psychologists Earn $80 Million Torturing Detainees

    A company owned by two psychologists was paid $80 million to design and oversee the CIA’s detainee torture program. Moreover, “there’s evidence that the American Psychological Association colluded with the CIA, the Department of Defense and the White House to adjust its ethics policy so that psychologists could consult and participate in interrogations and detention operations,” said Dr. Roy Eidelson, a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. Both the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association refused to allow their members to participate in the CIA’s torture programs.

    Obama Grants Bush Iraq War Immunity

    The Obama administration filed papers granting officials of the Bush administration immunity from prosecution for waging war against Iraq. Inder Comar, a California lawyer, argues that George Bush, Dick Cheney and their crew began a conspiracy to wage an illegal war years before Bush won the presidency. However, the Obama administration claims its predecessors were acting “within the legitimate scope of their employment” when they attacked Iraq, in 2003. In the end, said Comar, “this case is going to hinge on District of Columbia employment law.”

    America Was “Torture Empire of the World”

    Those who say torture is “contrary to U.S. values really don’t know beans about U.S. history, because this used to be the torture empire of the world,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. Speaking on Eutrice Leid’s show on the Progressive Radio Network, Dr. Horne pointed out that “the slave owner in the United States honed methods of torture against enslaved Africans to increase productivity and profit.” Dr. Horne’s latest book is titled Race to Revolution: The U.S. and Cuba During Slavery and Jim Crow.

    Black Caucus and “Civil Rights” Groups in Pockets of Telecoms

    President Obama’s recent statement in favor of Internet neutrality went “even further than I expected,” said Kevin Zeese, a leader of net neutrality activists who set up camp outside the offices of the Federal Communications Commission. Zeese hopes to convince the FCC’s chairman to treat the Internet like a public utility. However, the Congressional Black Caucus and traditional civil rights organizations remain wedded to telecom corporations. “They are so deep in the pockets of AT&T and other telecoms, they have always done their bidding,” said Zeese. “Whether it’s mergers or neutrality, they take the wrong position” every time.

    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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

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    "Teach For America" Trojan Horse Among Ferguson Activists?

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Teach For America has done vast and indisputable harm to black communities across the country, funded by hundreds of millions in deep corporate pockets and tens of millions of federal dollars. Could this be why the St. Louis TFA exec director was picked to meet the president, supposedly as one of the "young black activists"?

    It’s Not the Law, But Prosecutors, That Give Immunity to Killer Cops

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Attorney General Eric Holder, like his local counterparts, claims that “the law” renders him helpless to prosecute killer cops. That’s bogus, says the ACLU, which maintains there is no insurmountable bar to charges of police “reckless disregard” and “open defiance” of victims’ constitutional rights. But, don’t expect Holder to budge. “Police impunity is the domestic counterpart of the legal immunity that U.S. military personnel enjoy overseas.”

    Freedom Rider: Don’t March with Sharpton

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Al Sharpton is proud to serve as the U.S. president’s pit bull, and also doubles as a “leader” in the movement of the oppressed – the very definition of conflict of interest. Clearly, if he is to honor his pact with Power, he must betray the people, including those who rally to his banner in this weekend’s national march against police violence, in Washington.

    White House Refuses to Meet with Grieving Black Mothers Whose Son Were Executed by Cops

    by Bar Editor and Columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends

    This week, the political leadership of the United States will have a chance to look into the eyes of “nine African-American women who have lost family, loved ones and sons to excessive police violence.” Sadly, neither President Obama nor Attorney General Holder has agreed to meet with the mothers, whose visit to the nation’s capital was organized by CODEPINK, the Hands Up Coalition DC and Mothers Against Police Brutality.

    Black lives matter…(Too much to pimp on the Trail of Tricks)

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    So, why’s the War House
    Hosting you, our brilliant Black,
    Brown, Tan babies?
    Why’s the War House serenading
    You with cognitive dissonant
    Doo-Wop ‘Mistrust,’ like
    A torch song of unrequited love?

    The Need for an Ethical and Political De-Colonization of Human Rights: A Reflection on International Human Rights Day

    by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

    The ethos of Western-based “human-rights” groups rests “on a stratification of humanity” with European “civilization” at the apex. What the world needs is a people-centered human rights “based on the communitarian principles of social solidarity, cooperation, non-discrimination in all social relationships, collective public ownership of the earth’s resources, respect for difference” and self-determination and dignity of all peoples.

    Justice for Eric Garner? From the Justice Department? Don’t Hold Your Breath

    by Mark P. Fancher

    The U.S. Justice Department’s routine refusal to prosecute killer cops is based on an erroneous interpretation of the law. The feds claim that wrongful police homicides cannot be prosecuted unless the cops intended to violate the victim’s constitutional rights. But the federal courts have ruled that such conduct constitutes “‘open defiance’ or ‘reckless disregard’ for the constitutional rights of the victims.

    From Iguala to Ferguson, Resistance requires a Global Movement against US Imperialism

    by Danny Haiphong

    The kidnapping and mass murder of students in Mexico is also a crime of U.S. imperial policy toward its southern neighbors. “It is the task of a the revolutionary movement in the US and around the globe to connect the graveyard conditions imposed on Black America to the same imperialist system committing state-sponsored mass murder in Mexico.”

    Class, Race, Gender and U.S. Policing

    by Michelle Renee Matisons

    The policing ethos in America is caught in an “omni-crisis” – an intersection of oppressions. “In a seemingly psychotic paradox, this system has all its (military) equipment, but it persists in evoking its imagined white vulnerability in the face of darker people's also imagined predatory (and highly sexualized) prowess.”  

    We Must Look Back in Order to Move Forward

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

    Racial murders often begin in the mind. “Too many police forces and officers view the African American citizens that they have sworn to ‘Protect and Serve’ as enemy combatants to be ‘Feared and Eliminated.’” The mindset of U.S. cops is conditioned by a national history of institutionalized racial oppression.

    Free Haiti: Impeach Martelly

    by Ezili Danto

    The clock is ticking for Haiti to cast off the U.S.-backed regime of Michel Martelly, who will soon rule by raw decree if he is not quickly impeached. Haiti’s senate has the “authority to indict, impeach and remove Martelly immediately to protect the population, avoid a bloodbath, reinforce democratic institutions, and assure some institutional continuity.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/8/14

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    CIA and Police Impunity are Linked

    The long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture practices “could be the most important document, with respect to reviewing the crimes of U.S. intelligence agencies, since the Pentagon Papers,” said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. “This is the cover-up underlying human rights abuses that no one has ever been held accountable for.” Yet, unarmed Black men fin the U.S. face extrajudicial assassination by police. “There is clearly no equal justice in this country,” said Buttar, “and no two things make it more clear than torture with impunity juxtaposed with mass incarceration.”

    Remove the “Instruments of Death” from Our Communities

    The new mass movement is wrestling with fundamental questions of Black life in America. “One demand is that you may not kill our children,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the noted whistleblower and activist with the Hands Up Coalition - DC, which last week presented a list of demands to the U.S. Justice Department. “It’s important that we get these instruments of death out of our communities,” said Coleman-Adebayo, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report.

    Black People’s Humanity is not Negotiable

    The Obama administration points to the numerous consent decrees it has arrived at with police departments around the country as evidence that it is serious about combating abuses in the criminal justice system. However, Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, is unimpressed. “These federal consent decrees do not get to the heart of the problem, which is that this system has criminalized and demonized Black people,” said Dix – just as Ferguson cop Darren Wilson described Michael Brown as a “demon.” “We have to say No, Black life matters, and we will not allow you to erase our humanity.”

    What’s Trust Got to Do With It?

    The “impotent” Black political class mimics white politicians when they call for “restoration of trust” between Blacks and police. “When was there ever trust in the first place?” asks Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report to Prison Radio. “The cruel, painful history of relations between police and the people is one of predation, not trust.” The police “are there to control Black mobility and to discipline Blacks for fear they’ll pose a threat to white wealth, life or property,” said Abu Jamal, at Frackville State Prison, in Pennsylvania.

    Fast Food Strikers Spearhead Low Wage Workers Movement

    Employees went on strike at fast food outlets in 190 cities, last week, demanding $15 an hour and union representation. The action, which also engaged airport, convenience store and other low wage workers, climaxed two years of organizing that began with a walkout at a single restaurant in New York City, said Kendall Sells, organizing director of Fast Food Forward. “Over the next six to twelve months,” said Sells, “I think people are going to see a complete explosion of low wage workers taking to the streets. That’s how we’re going to get these workers out of poverty.”

    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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

    Your browser doesn't support flash. Click the mic instead to download.

    What Did Young Activists Gain From White House Meeting? What Did the President Get?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    After sending an extra hundred FBI agents to Ferguson in the days just before the grand jury decision, the White House invited young activists opposing police murder and impunity to a Monday meeting with the president. Black Agenda Report spoke briefly with Mr. Phillip Agnew of Dream Defenders, asking what was gained or lost.
    NOTE: This article has been significantly amended since initial publication on Dec 3, including the insertion of several links, most notably one to Davey D's much longer interview with Phillip Agnew of the Dream Defenders at its very end, which was broadcast on KPFA-FM after our initial publication date.

    The New Movement: Are We There Yet?

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    A new movement is being born, but yet to be named. Unlike its historical predecessors, this struggle is primarily directed against the police, the armed, coercive organs of the state. Some degree of violence is inevitable. “In the final analysis, cities will almost certainly have to be rendered ungovernable before the State will accede to substantive people-power demands.”

    Freedom Rider: Ferguson’s Reckoning for Obama

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Black folks should have only one thing to say to President Obama: “’Prosecute!’ Every time Eric Holder or Barack Obama or a high profile misleader turns up in public they must be met with this very simple demand.” The only thing standing in the way of civil rights charges against Darren Wilson is Obama, himself.

    When the System Provides No Remedies to Torture, You Must Overthrow It

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The United States got a black eye from the UN Committee Against Torture, last week, in a report that was deeply influenced by events in Ferguson and the endemic, full-spectrum criminality practiced by police in places like Chicago. However, “U.S. law does not even define what torture is, or set any standard to measure it” – proof that there is no intention of abolishing torture in the U.S. Thus, there is no alternative but to dismantle the system.

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    …Come out the shadows and get Reich with some brew…

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Reject cries for organization
    Dial down militant agitation
    Re-calibrate comments and remarks
    Empire’s prairie, your words are sparks…

    Ajamu Baraka: “Peoples in Resistance from Ferguson to Palestine: A Report Back” Dec 10-11

    by The Editors

    In an era when corporate news don't cover the existence of Palestinians as human beings, or the simple fat that Israel's apartheid regime continues to wage a genocidal war against them, nothing is more valuable than first hand reporting. Black Agenda Report's Ajamu Baraka is recently returned from a trip to Palestine, and will do his first 2 report backs Dec 10 in Atlanta GA and Dec 11 in Augusta GA.

    “Why are They Doing This to Me?”: Seattle Students Walkout on Ferguson Decision and Racism

    by Jesse Hagopian

    Ferguson is everywhere – including Seattle, where thousands of students took to the streets last week. “What is sweeping the nation—something the media cannot acknowledge without legitimizing challenges to their own supremacy—is a politicized populace of Black people, people of color, and their allies, with a goal of uprooting institutional racism.”

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