#BlackLivesMatter Hurts Democrats’ Feelings

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The #BlackLivesMatter organization this week rejected the endorsement of the Democratic National Committee, embarrassing top members of the party. However, the DNC resolution was a perfectly logical outcome of the #BlackLivesMatter strategy to make no substantive demands of presidential candidates.” No demands on power, no threat. Why not endorse?

Where's #BlackLivesMatter In the Struggle Against School Privatization?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

#BlackLivesMatter's national board promptly reacted to a fulsome DNC endorsement with an apparent repudiation. While rhetorical opposition to Democrats is fine, on-the-ground work against their concrete polices is a step further. Apart from the prison and police state itself, no Democratic policy affects our communities more adversely than school privatization, which urban Democrats are forcing upon black communities from coast to coast.

Freedom Rider: U.S. Turns Teen into “Terrorist”

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The U.S government has sentenced a 17-year old to 11 years in a adult prison for little more than expressing admiration for ISIS. The youth’s offenses included trolling a State Department web site established to dissuade young people from jihadism. Yet Washington and its allies gave birth to the international jihadist movement. “The United States created the monster and now wants to punish anyone who interacts with it.”

Making Black Lives Matter in Riohacha, Colombia

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The organized descendants of Africans in Colombia have some lessons to share with Blacks in the U.S. For one thing, it would be “inconceivable” for any Afro-Colombian organizer, “no matter how inexperienced, to get into a meeting with a presidential aspirant and frame a question around what that person ‘felt’ about their role as an oppressor.”

Killed and Killer Cops

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Cops are crying that their lives are in danger from folks inflamed by “dangerous national rhetoric.” But, “the statistics tell us there has been no rash of attacks on cops.” Indeed, the numbers show that felonious deaths of police in the line of duty “are at historically low levels.” The truth is, the cops are upset that their impunity from punishment is finally in question.

 
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The Fugitive Slave Act of 2015

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The Black female mayor of the nation’s capital wants to launch a dragnet against ex-offenders in the community, targeting them for search and bodily seizure on the streets or in their homes, any time of day or night. Muriel Bowser’s draconian measure “would bring back the repressive and racist 18th Century notion that “once a ‘slave,’ always a ‘slave.’”

On Black Lives Matter, Hillary Clinton, and the Necessity of Demands

by Danny Haiphong

Why ask what lies in Hillary Clinton’s heart? She has already shown the world that she loves war and bankers. When #BlackLivesMatter activists inquired of her inner feelings, Clinton lectured them “about what she believed was their flawed strategy” and “told them to change laws and policies, not minds.” Clinton’s record is clear: “Her racist and anti-working class policies have ruined countless lives.”

South Sudan Conflict Won't End Until Oil Wealth Benefits South Sudanese: An Interview with Horace Campbell

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

Scholar Horace Campbell warns that unaccountable leaders and foreign interests cannot bring justice to the people of war-torn South Sudan. The United States bear heavy responsibility. “People around Barack Obama himself, like Gayle Smith, people from the Enough Project, Susan Rice, have been involved in this disaster from the beginning.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of August 31, 2015

Blacks Disenfranchised by School Takeovers

“Black and brown communities are being stripped of democracy” by state takeovers of their school systems, said Keron Blair, executive director of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools, a Washington-based coalition of groups representing seven million students, educators and community members. “The takeover of these districts is rooted in the belief that Black and brown people are incapable of governing themselves, and so we’ve got to give their schools over to state-run, generally white administrations,” said Blair. “And then you hand us failing institutions,” over which Black people have no control, “so that’s a double-whammy.”

Rally in Harlem for Rise Up October

Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was killed by police in March, 2000, was among several relatives of victims of lethal police violence to address a rally to build support for a campaign of demonstrations and civil disobedience in New York City, October 22-24. “Police officer Louis Rivera literally blew my son’s brains out,” Ms. Young told the crowd at First Corinthian Baptist Church. The police must be sent a message, she said: “We have had enough of you coming into our communities, destroying families.” Stop Mass Incarceration Network co-founders Dr. Cornel West and Carl Dix also spoke.

#BlackLivesMatter: What’s a Movement Without Demands?

The #BlackLivesMatter organization “has done great damage to the movement by refusing to make demands of presidential candidates,” Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford told the national conference of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in Philadelphia. Rather than make substantive political demands, “this group wants face time” and “access to the ruling class and to the servants of the ruling class: the candidates,” said Ford. “They refuse to challenge the system by making demands” of candidates, “and that includes even the mildly reformist demands they have posted on their own web site.” The theme of the Black is Back Coalition conference was “Black Power Matters.”

“If we ain’t struggling for power, we ain’t struggling for nothing. This is not a game,” said Herdodia Benton, a St. Louis activist with the Uhuru movement, part of the Black Is Back Coalition. Ms. Benton’s legs bore recent wounds from police rubber bullets.

Justice for Tyree Carrol

Community members rallied to the cause of Tyree Carrol, a 22 year-old Black man who was beaten in front of his Philadelphia home by two dozen cops for riding his bicycle the wrong way on a one-way street. “It’s another case of police brutality in the City of Brotherly Love gone amuk,” said Asantawaa Nkrumah Ture, of Justice for Tyree. “Fortunately, it was caught on video by his neighbors.” Mr. Carrol was assaulted in April, but not released on bail until August.

Bail as a Weapon of Oppression

Trial was set to begin Friday for Allen Bullock, the 18 year-old who smashed the window of a Baltimore police car during the rebellion that followed the police killing of Freddie Gray. Bullock’s $500,000 bail was higher than any of the six cops charged in Grays death. “It is a scare tactic that has been used to suppress people’s voices, from elevating their voices around systematic issues that have taken place inside their communities for so long,” said Tre Murphy, a community activist who helped raise Bullock’s bail.

Bernie Sanders a Fan of Saudi Role in Mideast Wars

Reputed socialist Bernie Sanders advocates a greater military role for the royal Saudi Arabian regime in the Mideast, according to Sam Husseini, of the Institute for Public Accuracy. The Democratic presidential candidate “is basically calling for more and bigger proxy wars” in the region, said Husseini. “He’s justifying the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. has profiteered” by selling weapons systems to the Saudis, whose bombing campaign against Yemen has killed thousands and strengthened the hand of al Qaida.

 
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Organizing, Not Activism: Chicago's Dyett HS Hunger Strikers Mark 11th Day Resisting Closing & Privatization of Their School

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Activism is showing up, speaking out, demonstrating here, tweeting there, disrupting that and blogging that. But activists are only responsible to themselves. Organizing, as Chicago's Jitu Brown points out, is entirely different from mere activism. Organizers are responsible to communities, they raise up leaders from among those who've been told they cannot and do not deserve to win.  #FightForDyett

Katrina: The Logic of Genocide

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The best thing that could happen to poor Black people is for a Katrina-like catastrophe to hit their city, scattering them to the four corners of the country. So says an article in a leading “liberal” magazine, which maintains that “the forced exodus of Katrina should be replicated as public policy, for the good of both the purposely displaced and society as a whole.” In the real world, white supremacy and capitalism created the ghettos.

Freedom Rider: Bernie Sanders' Conservative Foreign Policy

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Bernie Sanders and his supporters claim he is different, a breath of fresh air. Yet he “won’t state for the record how his foreign policy differs” from Clinton and the Republicans. “He doesn’t question why the United States has the right to dictate policy to another nation” and “repeats the same discredited mantra" as Obama on the nuclear threat from Iran – a threat that even the CIA has declared never existed. Socialism? He won’t even say the word.

A Rare Conviction of Killer Cops in South Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The conviction of eight Black South African policemen in the grizzly murder of a Black cab driver represents a break from the culture of impunity that surrounds the cops. South Africa’s police are deeply implicated in government corruption, political assassinations of poor people’s and labor organizers, riots against foreign workers, and the massacre of 34 miners, at Marikana, three years ago.

 
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Carl Dix: Revolutionary Communist – Fighting the Plague of Mass Incarceration

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Veteran activist Carl Dix discusses his early incarceration and how he became a revolutionary and a major figure in the fight against mass incarceration. The capitalist system has no place for Black and brown youth in this country. Its solution has been “to unleash its police like occupying armies in the ghettos and barrios across the country, to pass laws that target Blacks and Latinos and to build prisons to warehouse them in.”

#FightForDyett -- What Real Organizing Looks Like: South Side Chicago Parents Stage Hunger Strike at Dyett High School

by the Real News Network

Call Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's office at 312-744-3300. Tell him the whole world is watching, he can give the parents their high school back RIGHT NOW. Call Alderman Will Burns at 773-536-8103 with the same message."

Concerning Reactionaries and Thugs: The New Black Panther Party

by Elbert “Big Man” Howard

The recent assault on former Black Panther and 19-year political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad reveals, once again, that the so-called New Black Panther Party is a collection of provocateurs and would-be assassins. “Although they stole our Ten Point Platform and Program and then twisted it for their own negative purposes, they have no political consciousness, no program or agenda for serving the community, the Black race, or any oppressed people.”

Hiding in Plain Sight: The History of the War on Drugs

by Paul Bermanzohn

    The War on Drugs was a direct response to the African American uprisings of the 1960s. Three hundred cities rose in Black rebellion. A a fervor for change spread across the land. Richard Nixon “emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.” The mass Black incarceration regime was set in motion.

    Non-Profits and the Pacification of the Black Lives Matter Movement

    by Brendan McQuade

    It takes many actors to pacify a rebellion. Police repression is only one tool, and often counterproductive. In Chicago, the ACLU hijacked local legislation that would have enhanced the Black community’s power over the police, in favor of an agreement that papers over the contradictions between the cops and the people.

    Black Children’s Dreams Crushed on a Field of Nightmares

    by Mark P. Fancher

    Organized Little League baseball last year stripped Chicago’s champion Jackie Robinson West team of their World Series title. The injustice blends their anguished voices “with those of today’s young black scholars who are unfairly suspended or expelled and then shoved through a school-to-prison pipeline.” Dreams can be great motivators, but “at a certain point a dream can become dangerous self-delusion.”

    Color Blind or Just Blind

    by Dr. T.P. Wilkinson

    Liberals, the Phony Left, and the supine Black Misleadership Class spread the false gospel that, as bad as things are, they are far better than they used to be. But what could be uglier than summary police murder of Black people, mass Black incarceration, or the dispossession of thousands of Blacks from their homes? The arc of in-justice is also long. “By the time Martin Luther King had finally realized that Malcolm X was right, he too was dead.”

    Black Agenda Radio for Week of August 24, 2015

    Black U.S. Movers and Shakers in Solidarity with Palestine

    One thousand Black American activists, artists and academics have signed a petition backing the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Israeli apartheid regime. In addition to garnering support from scholars and artists, “it’s a really important moment to have Blacks activists that represent movements from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s signing on with people who are just cutting their teeth” in social justice politics, said petition coordinator Kristian Davis Bailey. The petition makes the connection between the conditions of life for Blacks in the U.S. and Palestinians under Israeli rule. “Black people definitely have the experience of suffering under a regime of legal violence apartheid, state violence in terms of mass incarceration and police brutality, and just the everyday insidiousness of living in a society that views their very existence as threatening or criminal,” said Bailey.

    St. Louis Police Create “War Zone” in Black Community

    Police last week used tear gas and riot equipment to suppress protests against the killing of teenager Mansur Bey, whom cops claimed pulled a gun on officers. Nine demonstrators were arrested. The cops “doubled down” on their old tactics and “deployed aggressive, militarized crowd control responses that brutalized peaceful protesters and transformed portions of our community into war zone,” said Montague Simmons, of the Organization of Black Struggle. “This is the stuff of a police state. It demands large scale structural action to transform – not reform – our society,” he told a press conference. St. Louis County also reopened misdemeanor cases against about 1,000 demonstrators, bystanders and journalists arrested during a year of protests since police killed Michael Brown.

    Dhoruba Bin Wahad Assaulted by “New” Black Panther Party Members

    Former Black Panther Dhoruba Bin Wahad, a co-founder of the Black Liberation Army who spent 19 years as a political prisoner, was attacked and seriously injured in an Atlanta hotel, earlier this month, under the orders of New Black Panther leader Malik Zulu Shabazz. Among the five men accompanying Wahad was Kalonji Jama Changa, of the Free the People Movement. “We have our disagreements” with the ‘New’ Black Panthers, said Changa, explaining the men’s decision to go to the hotel. “We recognize their contradictions, but our intention was definitely not to cause harm to them, and certainly not to kill them based on politics.” Dhoruba Bin Wahad also attended the press conference, but could not speak because his jaw was wired shut. A commemoration of the original Black Panther Party is set for October, in Atlanta.

    Education of Black Students is Under Attack

    Marilyn Zuniga, the young teacher that was fired this year by the Orange, New Jersey, school board after her third grade students sent get-well letters to political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, plans to speak on campuses “about, not only my case, but the broader aspects of our educational system and how it’s affecting Black and brown students – everything from the school-to-prison pipeline to how teachers are being marginalized for teaching history to the children. Black schools are under attack, education of Black students is under attack.” Asked if she has been black-listed from employment, Zuniga replied that lot’s of principals in New Jersey have said they would like to hire someone like her. However, most urban districts are controlled by the state, “and so, when it comes to hiring practices, the districts are extremely limited in what they can do and who they can employ.”

    Rally to Reinstate African American Studies Professor

    Supporters of Dr. Anthony Monteiro rallied to demand that Philadelphia’s Temple University rehire the Duboisian scholar and social activist. Monteiro was fired last year by African American Studies chairman Molefi Asante, who then dubbed it the Department of Africology. “Wearing a dashiki and taking on an African name doesn’t make you a freedom fighter,” said Monteiro. He recalled being told by Temple’s dean of liberal arts that it was not important to study the works of W.E.B. Dubois. “If you don’t need Dubois,” Monteiro asked the crowd, “who do you need? If you don’t need James Baldwin, who do you need? If you don’t need Toni Morrison, if you don’t need Cornel West, who do you need?” The Black radical tradition, said Monteiro, expresses the dominant historical worldview among African Americans.

     
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    #BlackLivesMatter Performs a Self-Humiliation at Hillary Clinton’s Hands

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Hillary Clinton found it easy to reduce a #BlackLivesMatter delegation to “school children at an elementary civics class,” when they met with her last week. Clinton lectured the activists on the need to make demands on politicians, when all they wanted to do was talk about “what in your heart has changed that’s gonna change the direction of this country?” The #BLM set out on a path that leads inevitably to cooptation, and quickly arrived at public humiliation.

    Black College Households Lost Half Their Wealth Despite Degrees

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Black households headed by college graduates have been steadily losing ground to their white collegiate peers over the past two decades. Indeed, Black college families lost a much higher proportion of their net worth during this period than did Black families whose heads did not graduate from college – who didn’t have much to lose.

     
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    Freedom Rider: Katrina in the White Imagination

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan could not contain his gratitude to Hurricane Katrina, which killed or permanently displaced much of New Orleans’ Black residents. Other whites “wondered why they could not have been fortunate enough to have a black population swept out of town in a matter of days.” Katrina was welcomed by millions of whites as an opportunity for economic and ethnic “renewal” – a rationale that would justify genocide.

    Luci Murphy: Cultural Warrior for the Movement

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

    Luci Murphy is a “cultural warrior” from Washington DC whose insights are informed by the movements and folkways of people across the globe. “Black people are constantly creating attractive new musical forms, then white people learn them and stop hiring Black people to play the same music, so the Black people go on to develop something else that white people cannot play.”

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