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.

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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Freedom Rider: America Prosecutes the World

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The United States government refuses to criminally prosecute American bankers, because they are “too big to jail.” But the U.S. Justice Department is claiming jurisdiction over international soccer, and threatening to rescind and reassign World Cups, because bribes were allegedly paid using U.S. banks. It’s “the latest example of a country determined to exert control over the rest of the world in every possible way.”

The U.S. and Al Qaida in Love and War

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S., Saudi Arabia and al Qaida are on the same side in the wars in Syria and Yemen. Indeed, the “international jihadist network owes its very existence to the United States,” which “created the global infrastructure of terror” in Afghanistan in the late 1970s. However, jihadist and imperialist interests are ultimately irreconcilable. In the end, the U.S. will be expelled from the region, and the Saudi royalty will lose their heads.

 
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Investigation into Tamir Rice Murder: No Bombshells – So Why the Nine Month Delay?

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The critical facts of 12 year-old Tamir Rice’s 2-second long fatal encounter with a Cleveland policeman are all recorded on video, but that’s not enough for the county prosecutor, who has yet to bring charges against the cop. “Is the delay due to arrogance born of privilege and power or simply defiance of a social movement that places demands upon an intransigent political system?”

The Big Lie Behind the Eritrean Exodus Across the Mediterranean

by the Real News Network

Eritrea is one of the few African nations not part of AFRICOM, which makes it an enemy of the US. To destabilize the Eritrean regime, the EU grants expedited entry and semi-legalization to Eritreans who reach its shores. Hence migrants from across Africa, says Glen Ford, are masquerading as Eritreans, enabling the US and EU to paint a false picture of alleged mass exodus from that country which will serve to justify future interventions.

Why are Y’all So Excited Over Mayor Tory’s Call for an "End" to Carding by the Cops?

by Ajamu Nangwaya

In response to widespread public protest, the mayor of Toronto’s largest city announced a reversal of his support for “carding,” Canada’s version stop-and-frisk. But Mayor John Tory’s alternative appears to be nothing but a sanitized version of the old practice. “Afrikan people would love the cops to just stay away from them, if they are not suspected of committing a criminal offense.”

White Supremacy Continues to Provide Protection for Imperialism

by Danny Haiphong

“The history leading up to the so-called American ‘Revolution’ is riddled with US imperial deception.” The rebellion was actually a counter-revolution by slave owners and land pirates who feared the British Crown would not “allow their profitable white supremacist enterprise to continue.” The result was the creation of the world’s first genocidal, ever-expanding white settler republic.

Modern U.S. Black Mass Movements and the Limits of Nonviolence

by Lorenzo St. Dubois

The “Ferguson movement,” later dubbed the Black Lives Matter movement, is less than a year old, but defenders of the racial status quo are busily posting dire warnings against the dangers of “backlash” against the violence of the oppressed. However, an objective study of the Black movement of the Sixties shows that “riots and peaceful protests rose and fell together in similar timeframes.”

Western-Backed Terrorism in the Congo: Where is General Laurent Nkunda?

by keith harmon snow

Rwanda and Uganda, the U.S.-allied perpetual perpetrators of genocidal violence in the Congo, appear to have launched another false-front guerilla war in the eastern part of the country. General Laurent Nkunda, a veteran mercenary for Uganda, Rwanda and western interests, is the likely field commander. This is not a Congolese “rebellion” in any true sense of the world, but "yet another military thrust by Rwanda and Uganda to destabilize eastern Congo and seize absolute control.” 

Global Capitalism: June 2015 Monthly Update

by Dr. Richard D. Wolff

In the latest installment of his monthly talks in NYC, Marxist economist Richard D. Wolff explains the unfolding pension crisis, the prospects of Seattle's socialst city council rep, unravels some of the webs of deliberate confusion around what capitalism and socialism are and are not, and sheds light upon what the possible ends of our movement might be

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 15, 2015

Broken Windows Policing Criminalizes Communities

The Police Reform Organization Project, or PROP, has released a report on damage done to ordinary people by New York City’s “Broken Windows” policing policy. Titled “That’s How They Get You,” the document provides 117 examples of how lives are ruined and communities embittered under a torrent of fines and jail terms for minor offenses. Broken Windows “actually criminalizes people, and gets them caught up the criminal justice system,” said PROP director Robert Gangi.

Another “Black” U.S. President?

Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, said Democratic presidential politics has become repetitive and predictable. “What we have is simply a continuation of the [Bill] Clinton regime, through Obama, and now I guess Hillary is about to become the third Black president,” said Yeshitela. The Black Is Back Coalition, founded in 2009 in part to show that not all Blacks supported Obama’s corporatist, imperial policies, is gearing up for its national conference, in August.

Newark is the Destination on July 25

The People’s Organization for Progress is expecting huge crowds to gather in Newark, New Jersey, for POP’s Millions March Against Police Brutality, Racial Injustice, and Economic Inequality, July 25. The march has been endorsed by scores of organizations and individuals, including Dr. Cornel West and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who is establishing a civilian police review board complete with subpoena powers. Community organizations, including POP, will hold a majority of seats on the board. However, POP chairman Larry Hamm is “under no illusion” that the review board will solve the problem. “I say categorically, that the greatest antidote to police brutality is the mass movement of the people,” said Hamm. “That’s more powerful than any governmental structure that can be put into place.”

Obama’s TPP Sinking

President Obama’s secret Trans Pacific Partnership treaty suffered a big setback on Friday in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks largely to activists like Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. “If you don’t like crony capitalism or rigged trade for big business, you’ve got to be against TPP,” said Zeese. The treaty would make it almost impossible to reverse privatizations of government services, or for the public sector to take any action that might adversely affect corporate expectations of profits.

 
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Democrats Hope to Bury Black Lives Matter Under Election Blitz

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Democrats hope the Black Lives Matter movement, like the Occupy Wall Street movement, will disappear amid the hype of the coming election season. “The Democrats have mounted a systematic cooption-repression response that will intensify as the election season – and Black cities – heat up.” The Democrats understand that, for the movement to succeed, their party’s power over Black America must be broken.

Cleveland OH and McKinney TX Show Electing Democrats Will Never Restrain or Control the Police

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Black lives don't matter to elected Democrats because the Democratic party is not a membership organization of Democratic “base voters,” it's a vehicle that uses those voters to legitimize the candidates of corporate donors, to whom black lives emphatically do NOT matter.

Arne Duncan’s Patently False Promise to Forgive Student Debts at For-Profit Schools

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S. government has funneled hundreds of billions of dollars into corporate accounts by bankrolling for-profit schools that systematically fleece their mostly low income and minority students. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan promises to forgive the student loans of those who have been defrauded. Unfortunately, Duncan is lying through his teeth

 
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