DeVos, Obama, Booker, Trump – All Enemies of Public Education

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Betsy DeVos barely won confirmation as the next secretary of education, so dreadful is the performance of the charter schools she promotes in Michigan. But the educational atrocities of the DeVos schools are inseparable from the larger war against public education. Barack Obama doubled charter school enrollment, and Cory Booker, who hopes to be president, is a fanatical advocate of private school vouchers. Trump and Devos aren’t the only villains.

Freedom Rider: "Resist Trump, Resist the Democrats"

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Any “resistance” to Trump that allies itself with Democrats, is futile. The Democrats are “unprincipled scoundrels” who “have no desire to move away from their corporate sugar daddies.” If the same people that now declare themselves foes of Trumpism “spend time wondering if they should back Cory ‘the hooker’ Booker or Elizabeth Warren in 2020, or ponder who should run the Democratic National Committee, they aren’t resisting anything.”

Apples Don’t Fall Far from Trees: The Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

by EPA Editor and Columnist, Dr. Marsha Adebayo

If you think President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, is a raving right-winger, check out his mother. Ann Gorsuch’s administration of the Reagan era EPA was “marked by sharp budget cuts, in-fighting with career civil servants, a cozy relationship with corporate polluters, and lack of environmental enforcement,” paving the way for future crises, including the lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan.

The Undressed Empire: An Analysis of the First Weeks of the Trump Era

by Danny Haiphong

Contradictions abound in the mass protests against Donald Trump’s whirlwind of proclamations. While Trump's executive order banning many Muslims should be categorically rejected, we must also reject “the Democratic and Republican parties for creating the conditions that led to it.” Trump has stripped the socially acceptable garments from U.S. empire. But, “a naked empire remains a dangerous empire” -- and only masses of people can defeat it.

The Ford Report: Life Sentences Are Slow Death Behind the Walls

by the Real News Network

U.S. incarceration levels remain so high because this country hands down longer sentences than anyplace else in the world. People sentenced to life serve twice as much time behind bars as they did in the 1980s. The Trump administration, not give to the token gestures of his predecessors, is not expected to change this.

Not My President? How About Not My System?

Not My President? How About Not My System?

by our friends at This Is Hell Radio

BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon asks whether, when we say "not my president" are we just hollering for Hillary, or maybe Cory Booker? Shouldn't we be saying tht none of them have ever been our president? Trump is no more illegitimate than the last half dozen or 3 dozen presidents. Don't we need to replace a system, not personalities and parties?

Garza, of Movement4BlackLives: Our Cynicism Will Not Build a Movement. Collaboration Will

by Alicia Garza

Before she decided to take part in the Women’s March on the nation’s capital, the author was “conflicted” about the project. Like others, she wondered “where were all of these white people while our people are being killed in the streets, jobless, homeless, over incarcerated, under educated?” Garza concluded that, “If our movement is not serious about building power, then we are just engaged in a futile exercise of who can be the most radical.”

It’s Time for an African Politics of Resistance and Solidarity

by Yash Tandon

The Trump phenomenon points to a civilizational shift; namely, the slow, painful demise of the Western Empire. If this shift breaks down the European Union, dismantles NATO, weakens the Empire’s financial control over the global South, and opens a space for a new moral and political order to emerge, then it is an opportunity all revolutionary forces must seize.

Canada Out of NATO! Québec City Murders of Muslims Rooted in War on Terror

by Ann Garrison

Canadians demonstrated in Ontario, to expressed both their revulsion to the private terror of the man that murdered six Muslims in Quebec City and their opposition to Canada’s complicity in U.S. state terror against the Muslim world. These U.S.-led wars are designed to steal targeted nations’ “energy resources and to further encircle those countries that the U.S. deems its competitors on the global chessboard, including Russia, China, and Iran.”

Obama & Trump/Democrats & Republicans: Exposing the Similarities to Break Dependence on the Corporate Political Parties

by Solomon Comissiong

“Many who voted for Hillary Clinton, and who are now protesting, would have never protested her actual imperialist legacy, had she been elected.” The same goes for Obama supporters. Democrats and Republicans are joined in their subservience to corporate masters, and to imperialist wars. “It is imperative that the connections between Democrats and Republicans be made, especially regarding foreign policy. 

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 6, 2017

Protests in Dixie Against Trump’s “White Supremacist Government”

Hundreds gathered in Columbia, South Carolina, to protest President Trump’s ban on refugees and visitors from seven mostly Muslim countries. “We’ve got to put pressure on Republican legislators who support Trump, and the business people that support this rightward movement that’s happening in this country,” said author and activist Kevin Alexander Gray. “The whole idea of having a white supremacist government -- which, in South Carolina, we now a lot about, because this is the ideological home of white supremacy in America.”

One Out of 9 U.S. Inmates Serving Life

Despite “modest” reductions of about 5 percent in the overall U.S. prison population since 2009, the number and proportion of inmates serving life sentences continues to increase. A new study by The Sentencing Project, titled “Delaying a Second Chance: The Declining Prospects for Parole on Life Sentences,” puts much of the blame on politicians and parole boards. “Legislatures have increased minimum sentence requirements that people have to serve before a parole board can even review someone for parole eligibility,” said study author Dr. Nazgol Ghandnoosh. Back in the 1980s, a person sentenced to life for murder could expect to get out in about 11 and a half years, but someone similarly sentenced in the 21st century would be likely to spend more than 23 years -- twice as long -- behind bars. “Parole boards are granting fewer paroles or refusing to increase them, even though they’re seeing people so much later in their sentence,” said Ghandnoosh. Longer actual terms for lifers results in longer sentences for everyone else, she said. More than 160,000 U.S. prison inmates are serving life sentences, 50,000 of them with no possibility of parole.

“Collective Punishment” of Prisoners

Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall is one of the thousands of lifers sentenced for crimes committed when they were juveniles. Marshall has already spent a quarter century behind bars. He edits a prison magazine and is a correspondent for Prison Radio, but could not reach his editors on the outside because of a lockdown following a fight among a few inmates at Rockview prison, in Pennsylvania. Such “collective punishment,” he told Prison Radio’s Noelle Hanrahan, cuts prisoners off from their support structures. “Without family bonds, it’s hard to return to society, and it’s hard for prisoners to maintain connection with their lawyers to present a proper defense for their legal appeals,” he said.

Mumia Interviews Eddie Africa, of Move

The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, introduced his worldwide audience to fellow inmate Eddie Africa, sentenced, along with eight other members of the Move organization, to 30 to 100 years in the 1978 death of a Philadelphia police officer. Nearing 70, Eddie Africa urges young fathers in prison to maintain close contact with their children. “Use this time to talk to them, write to them, so they don’t go the path their parents went,” running with gangs.

A Plan for Community Control of NYC Police

The Campaign for Community Control Over the Police, a coalition of 26 anti-police terror organizations, will hold the first of several “Open House Conferences” on February 18, at Manhattan’s All Souls Unitarian Church. The coalition has developed a four-tier proposal to rein in the cops, beginning with mandatory residency in the precinct in which they work. “That way, they have a vested interest in the community, their children go to the same schools, they shop in the same stores, and they will actually care about the community, rather than act as an occupying army,” said Campaign outreach chairperson, Bro. Shep Olugbala, in an interview with Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser. Precinct commanders would be elected by the neighborhood, just as “you have sheriffs who are elected by the community” in smaller towns. An elected Community Police Control Board would have subpoena powers and the right to hire and fire police, and an elected special prosecutor, “totally independent of the district attorney’s office,” would “investigate and prosecute allegations of serious criminal conduct by police officers,” said Olugbala.

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. Length: one hour.
 
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If Americans Truly Cared About Muslims, They Would Stop Killing Them by the Millions

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Americans welcome only token numbers of people from countries devastated by U.S. wars of aggression. Donald Trump’s current ban on travelers affects nations that were already targeted by President Obama, “a perfect example of the continuity of U.S. imperial policy in the region.” The memo from State Department “dissenters” contains “not a word of support for world peace, nor a hint of respect for the national sovereignty of other peoples.”

#ProgressiveHypocrite of the Month for February 2017: Former Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright

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

Former Clinton UN Ambassador & Secretary of State and current global corporate consigliere Madeleine Albright championed the 1990s US blockade of Iraq which killed half a million Iraqi children. Now she says the Statue of Liberty has tears in its eyes, and vows to “register as a Muslim” to protest the evil policies of Donald Trump. Albright should register as an Iraqi toddler in 1995. She’s our #ProgressiveHypocrite of the month for Feburary 2017.

 
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Freedom Rider: Trump is the Less Effective Evil

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Donald Trump’s predecessors, Bush and Obama, paved the way for President Chito’s persecution of people from Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and Iraq, all of which “have been attacked with military action, proxy wars and sanctions.” Trump simply continues a U.S. policy that “makes countries unlivable and then tells fleeing victims that the door is shut.” Anti-Trumpism is grossly inadequate. The whole system is evil -- Democrats included.

Why White Folks Love Hidden Figures

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

Hidden Figures is based on a vintage Hollywood formula of uncomplaining black victims and white saviors. “The idea of glamorizing the fact that these women didn’t complain plays into the narrative that ‘free will’ was involved in their decision,” when, in fact, raw white state power dictated the terms of racial interaction. “What is missing is the power of the resistance movement in the 1960’s, the invisible hand moving behind the benevolence.”

Inauguration Amnesia: The Context of Obama's Failure to Pardon US Political Prisoners

by Danny Haiphong

Barack Obama commuted the sentences of a few political prisoners, but pardoned none, leaving countless activists behind bars on trumped up federal charges. The very existence of political prisoners is not only a crime, but also a product the “rise of the mass incarceration state and the non-profit industrial complex, permanent austerity and joblessness, the growth of a new class of Black misleaders to soil the political waters,” and endless war.

Democrats, Including Bernie Sanders, Won’t Fight for Medicare for All

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

If there is one political project that commands overwhelming support among Democrats -- plus large minorities of Republicans – it is Medicare for All. But Democratic leaders insist that all their energies should be directed at salvaging bits and pieces of Obamacare. The truth is, the party bosses oppose single payer health care -- which is why they have backed fraudulent, bait-and-switch schemes based on private insurers.

 
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Democrats Manipulate the Movement that Should Leave Them Behind

by Ann Garrison

Much of what passes for the Left in the U.S. is either an extension of the Democratic Party or a project of non-profit organizations funded by the One Percent. As BAR’s Bruce Dixon told author Ann Garrison, the genuine left needs “to create a movement that will not be hijacked by Democrats and will not just be warming up the crowds for Cory Booker or whoever the Democratic sheepdog and corporate candidate is in 2020.”

The State of Revolutionary Movements and Marxism in South Africa

by Patrick Bond

In South Africa, even the neoliberal Black ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), speaks the rhetorical language of Marxism. The ANC is challenged by NUMSA, the continent’s biggest union, which vows to launch a United Front for genuine socialism, while the Economic Freedom Fighters party has made steady electoral gains. However, South Africa’s “far left has failed to attract working-class membership, much less leadership.”

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