Freedom Rider: Obama’s Africa Hypocrisy

By BAR editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

The president's visit to East Africa has been the occasion for the same kind of hypocritical finger pointing Barack Obama usually reserves for his frequent hectoring of Black America, this time using "gay rights" as the standard, It's a standard which he would never use to lecture America's other vassals like the bloodstained beheading backward Saudi regime.

A Snapshot of Imperialism's Crime of Homelessness: Why Boston's Homeless Crisis Deepens Despite City Plan to End It

by Danny Haiphong

Homelessness in Boston has increased 40% since 2007, spurring the city's political elite to a plan to “end homelessness in Boston by 2018.” But the city's plan never mentions poverty and unavailability of affordable housing as causes of homelessness. So how likely is it to “end” anything?

NetRoots Nation Confrontation Wasn't About #BlackLivesMatter At All

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

NetRootsNation is a gathering for paid and wannabe paid Democratic party activists, including the ostensibly non-partisan ones. You go there to make connections, learn new stuff and get noticed by the people who hand out grants, jobs, fellowships and careers, cash for “voter education” and GOTV. Confronting minor white male candidates was a great way to get noticed without antagonizing Hillary, the inevitable Democratic nominee.

 
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Obama’s Takes His Prison Reform Con Game on the Road

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Never has a president been so highly praised for fraudulent efforts and fictitious accomplishments than Barack Obama, who now pretends – very late in his presidency – to have discovered the evils of mass incarceration. From crack cocaine to solitary confinement, he has mastered the arts of illusory reform.

 
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Freedom Rider: The Iran Deal Reality

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The U.S. deal with Iran – based on assumptions about an Iranian nuclear weapons program that American intelligence agencies have twice concluded does not exist – allows the U.S. to concentrate on provoking Russia and China while continuing to threaten Iran with destruction. Global peace is no closer than before, since “America’s insistence on imperialism and control of other countries is the cause of every catastrophe.”

The Assassination of Sandra Bland and the Struggle against State Repression

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The Black Lives Matter movement has another martyr, as it prepares for a national conference in Cleveland, this weekend. Sandra Bland’s murder in Texas shows, once again, that “defending one’s dignity in an encounter with the police is a crime that that can lead to a death sentence.” The emerging movement must be clear on the political nature of Bland’s death, and that only real power in the hands of the people can break the cycle of oppression.

Black Unionists Try to Save South Africa from Becoming a Failed State

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, editor and columnist

“What the South African people fought for is not what they have received… it’s time that we continue the struggle for liberation,” said labor leaders Irvin Jim and Zwelinzima Vavi, meeting with activist allies in Washington, DC and New York City. “The time has come that we must organize the working class, as a class to challenge the neo-liberal agenda” followed by the African National Congress government.

Bernie Out of the Closet: Sanders’ Longstanding Deal with the Democrats

by Paul Street

Bernie may call himself a socialist, but since his terms as mayor of Burlington VT in the 1980s, the state's Democrats have never run anybody against him.  In return "socialist" Bernie Sanders has supported every war and military intervention since the 1980s, just like every other good Democrat.

A Brief Reflection on the Relationship Between Syriza and Bernie Sanders

by Danny Haiphong

The Greek Syriza party and Bernie Sanders’ U.S. presidential campaign have something in common: neither has any intention to challenge the global capitalist system. “Syriza began and remains a social democratic party committed to the maintenance of the Wall Street-controlled European order,” and “Bernie Sanders is a ruling class tool.”

New Orleans Katrina Pain Index at Ten: Who Was Left Behind

by Bill Quigley

A decade after the Katrina catastrophe, 100,000 people have still not returned to New Orleans, most of them Black. Whites in the city have gotten a lot richer, yet poverty still stalks Black neighborhoods, the public schools have been almost totally charterized, and rents have skyrocketed – all in the name of “renewal.”

The Violence of Police Politics

by Steve Martinot

The “dementia” of police behavior is reflected in U.S. prisons, where punishment is justified by the fact of incarceration. “Solitary confinement is imposed on those who think critically and politically.” On the street, police dementia is policy. “In profiling, the police commit an act of suspicion, and then look for a crime with which to charge their suspect.” Profiling renders everything that follows “beyond the law.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 20, 2015

Mumia “May Have Been Poisoned”

Six months after Mumia Abu Jamal nearly died from diabetic shock, the nation’s best known political prisoner’s underlying illness has yet to be diagnosed, said Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history at New York City’s Baruch College and member of Educators for Mumia. Abu Jamal’s maddeningly itching skin has turned a leathery black, and his output of commentaries and analysis for Prison Radio “has diminished significantly,” said Fernandez, who fears Mumia is suffering a “deeper, systemic problem” or “may have been poisoned.” Nevertheless, “Mumia is delighted and inspired by the movement against police violence that has emerged in the country,” and will continue to speak out “from the belly of the beast.” That’s why, she said, “over and over, the state has tried to silence and kill him.”

Obama’s Recent “Epiphanies” on U.S. Racism

President Obama’s recent discovery that “racism is part of the DNA of this country” was sparked by a need to reposition himself in the wake of the Charleston massacre and “the resistance that is growing among African people in this country,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition is gearing up for a national conference, in Philadelphia, August 22 and 23, with a focus on Black community control of police, a stance that Yeshitela believes “resonates with Black people” and can put the struggle firmly on the road to self-determination.

TPP is a Black Issue

“Any agreement that has a detrimental impact on workers anywhere, is a Black issue,” said Ajamu Baraka, veteran human rights activist and editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “We are the victims of this global capitalist economy, and so we have solidarity and responsibilities to people in other parts of the world,” Baraka told Solomon Comissiong, of Your World News. President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership is “specifically a Black issue because one can’t understand the objective material conditions in places like Baltimore, Detroit, Gary, Indiana, and South Bend, Michigan, without connecting these conditions to the transformation of the U.S. economy” by deindustrialization – which will further intensify under TPP.

 
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Why Bill Clinton's Apology and Barack Obama's Prison Drive-By, Token Clemencies Are Cynical Election Year Posturing

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

Six and a half years into his presidency, Barack Obama has discovered black mass incarceration. He's shocked, visits a federal prison and frees a token handful of prisoners. Fifteen years out of office, Bill Clinton half-apologies for his 1990s crime bills which nearly doubled the US prison population. What's got into these guys? It's election season. Hillary is running for the White House and she needs the black vote.

 
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Freedom Rider: Obama’s Prison Charade

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Barack Obama attempts to create a phony legacy as the prison “reform” president by extending clemency to 46 non-violent drug offenders – not all that many, by presidential standards. Yet, he went to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep 5,000 non-violent crack-cocaine offenders locked up. Obama’s “sudden desire to look like the Great Emancipator is an ongoing publicity junket.”

The Fight For A Socialist South Africa

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

South Africa’s most militant labor leaders are pressing forward with plans to build a real socialist party to challenge the ANC government’s capitulation to global capitalism. ANC loyalists this week locked the country’s largest union and the labor federation’s former general secretary out of a COSATU special Congress. The two traveled to the U.S., last week, seeking help from activists that supported the “Free South Africa” movement in the 80s.

Obama’s Legacy: Black Child Poverty at Record High

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The consequences of the Great Recession “and the Obama administration’s response to it” have fallen most heavily on Black children, who have been plunged into poverty at the highest levels ever recorded. Poverty rates have gone down for all children except Blacks – an example of actual American “exceptionalism.”

 
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Where Obama's Race To The Top Leads: Chicago, Philly, Miami Public Schools Privatize Teacher Hiring

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

Piecemeal and wholesale privatization of public schools has been the bipartisan agenda of Republicans and Democrats. Now top school districts are outsourcing teacher hiring to be sure they get the Wal-Mart style disposable temps to man the positions once held by experienced teachers connected with their students and communities.

 
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Holder’s Legacy: Corporate Criminals Too Big to Jail But Mass Incarceration, Gentrification and Protection of Killer Cops for Black Folks – Part II

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, editor and columnist

Eric Holder has been praised as a “civil rights”-oriented attorney general, but the only rights he has championed are those of the bankers, white vigilantes and killer cops. “Holder refused to press charges against millionaire banking executives who, he assured Wall Street, ‘were too big to jail.’” Blacks have to make do with their Miranda warning rights – if they are lucky enough to survive an encounter with the police.

Hillary's Family Ties to School Privatizers, and Diane Ravitch's Review of Hoosier School Heist

By Doug Martin at Hoosier School Heist Blog, and Diane Ravitch

Last week the American Federation of Teachers endorsed Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, without consulting more than a token slice of the union's membership. It's hard not to know that AFT leaders have turned their backs on teachers and thrown in with the privatizing politicians and consultants. Hillary too has her own family ties to school privatizers.

False Flag Change: History, the Confederate Flag, Obama and the Deeper American Racism

by Paul Street

The Confederate flag comes down at the capital of South Carolina, and smug white smiles go up all over America. “Meanwhile,” writes the author, “savage racial disparities persist and even deepen thanks to the underlying societal, institutional, historical, and political-economic racism that churns on behind the curtain of an officially color blind and, yes, politically correct media and politics culture.”

The Problem of Greece is Not Only a Tragedy: It is a Lie

by John Pilger

The Greek people said “No” to the bankers in Brussels, but their supposedly “radical” Syriza leaders immediately said “Yes.” What is the true political nature of Syriza? “Tsipras and his impressively-educated comrades were not radical in any sense of that cliched label, neither were they ‘anti austerity.’” The consequence of their false leftism “is not resistance, but subservience.”

UK Government Was Right in Arresting Rwandan Spy Chief

by Theogene Rudasingwa

President Paul Kagame threw a mighty tantrum following the arrest in the UK of his spy chief, Gen. Emmanuel Karenzi Karake. But the exiled opposition party Rwanda National Congress has welcomed the arrest, applauding the new efforts by some Western nations to demand accountability from the brutal tyranny in Kigali.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of July 13, 2015

Austerity Rendering Detroit Unfit for Habitation

A serious fire raged out control due to chronic low water pressure in Detroit, despite the majority Black city’s location in one of the world’s major fresh water regions. “The whole process of so-called rebuilding of Detroit has not been clearly thought out,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, veteran activist and editor of the Pan African News Wire. “How can you rebuild a city when you don’t have fundamental infrastructure, such as fire services, public safety, education, emergency services, simple things like being able to go to a supermarket?” The economic elite are “doing everything possible to drive out the African American population,” he said, but poor infrastructure discourages white resettlement. “What you have is the anarchy of capitalism.”

Big Business Tries to Roll Back Socialist Alternative in Seattle

Corporate contributions are pouring into Seattle Urban League chief Pamela Banks’ campaign to unseat Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative councilwoman who championed the city’s $15 an hour minimum wage law. “It’s not so much about my opponent’s qualities,” said Sawant, “It’s because corporations, billionaires, the people who have an incentive to uphold the status quo, recognize that if we win re-election this year, then it really confirms to working people in Seattle and everywhere that we can prevail against the full might of big business and the political establishment.”

Mumia: “Flags and Rags”

The heritage of the Confederate battle flag is “one of terror and violence in support of a system of organized theft of Black labor, in the name of white supremacy and Black subjugation,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. “Dylan ‘Dumb and Dumber’ Roof knew, instinctively, what the flag stood for.”

Justices OK Painful Death Drug

The U.S. Supreme Court ended its term by allowing states to continue lethal injections with a cocktail that can cause horrific pain for condemned persons. “Prisoners remain less than human” in the High Court’s eyes, said Kenneth A. Hartman, a writer and prison activist serving life in California. “How else can a decision that allows for deliberate torture be explained?”

Fear of Blacks Triggered 1776 War of Independence

White settlers turned against the their mother country partly in fear that the British Crown would put guns in the hands of Blacks, according to Dr. Gerald Horne, chairman of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston and author of more than 30 books, including The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America. In 1775, the British colonial governor of Virginia established an “Ethiopian Regiment” to counter rebellious white settlers. “One of the factors that caused formerly patriotic British subjects to revolt against British rule was this ‘Black scare’ that, I argue, led to the formation of the United States of America,” said Dr. Horne, in a lecture at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

 
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Black Self Determination Matters

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

After two generations of political decay, Black people finally realize they “need to find ways to protect themselves from the police agencies of the Mass Black Incarceration State.” The problem is, getting the police off the community’s back is often...illegal. “The U.S. system is full of ‘checks’ and ‘balances’ to keep the people in check and the rich men’s books balanced.”

Greece, Debt and Democracy

By BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

From Athens to Detroit the financial crises used to justify privatizations, wage-and-pension-cutting, and general austerity are being created. Their purpose is always to transfer vast public wealth into the hands of banksters and investors.

Cynical Democratic Party Leaders Will Say Anything You Wanna Hear For Your Votes Or Your Cash

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

So why is the Democratic National Committee, thoroughly committed to the Hillary Clinton campaign featuring Bernie Sanders in its fundraising emails? How can the California Democratic party raise money pretending to oppose the president on TPP without even pointing in his direction, let alone mentioning his name? Are they really that cynical? Are Democrat donors that gullible?

 
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