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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Freedom Rider: UNAC Shows the Way

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Early in the 21st century, the United States appeared to have a large anti-war movement. But, the huge crowds melted away when a Democrat took his turn as Imperialist-in-Chief. UNAC, the United National Anti-War Movement that was created in 2010, “doesn’t waver and doesn’t make exceptions regardless of who in the two party duopoly occupies the White House.” UNAC also opposes U.S. wars against people of color and the poor, here at home.

Mass Protests Trigger On-Going Investigations of Police Homicides

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

The Washington Post’s effort to tabulate police killings of civilians has discovered that, “among the unarmed victims of police homicides, African-American and Hispanics represent 67% or 2/3rd of all victims.” So far this year, cops have already killed more people than the FBI’s annual estimate. “If police continue to kill citizens at this rate, over 1,000 people will die at the hands of police by the end of this year.”

US imperialism's Stamp is All over Chaos around the World

by Danny Haiphong

U.S. imperialism attempts to forestall its terminal decline by waging war against much of the world. It is an accomplice in all of Israel’s crimes, and “much, if not all, of Saudi Arabia's destruction of Yemen is made in the USA.” Washington threatens war against Russia and “pivots” its military towards China. Domestically, “the Black Lives Matter mobilization has brought the daily murder of Black people by police to the forefront of the US political landscape.”

Feeding the Frenzy: The Sanders Syndrome Hits Home Court

by Paul Street

Attending an Iowa event for Bernie Sanders, Paul Street notes that his crowd is mostly aging left white Democrats who shunned the 2012 Occupy movement, that Bernie Sanders denounces only Republican plutocrats, never Democratic ones or the military budget, and that Sanders' presence ultimately legitimizes Hillary as victor in some kind of "democratic" process.

“Am I free to go?”: The Refuseniks’ Campaign to Resist Police Street Harassment

by Ajamu Nangwaya

“Carding,” Toronto’s version of stop-and-frisk, is opposed by a huge and growing proportion of the city’s population, as well as influential actors among the corporate elite. Yet, the local police oversight body “has given the cops a virtual license to carry out street harassment and racial profiling.” What’s needed are neighborhood-based structures “to permanently organize against the violent behavior and street harassment of the cops.”

Empty Boxes – The West and Ethiopia’s Elections

by Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

The ruling party in Ethiopia has gotten away with another sham election, this time with very little protest from the western powers, with whom the regime in Addis Ababa is strategically aligned. “The international community provides the regime with carte-blanche to continue its repressive rule,” including suppression of rival parties and oppressed nationalities, and massive land giveaways.

World Soccer Corruption, Africa’s “Illicit Financial Flows” and Elite Silences

by Patrick Bond

Corruption is built into the ruling structures of the United States, which has launched globe-trotting prosecutions of soccer bribery, and South Africa, which is suspected of paying bribes to host the World Cup. But the real costs of sports extravaganzas in South Africa could be as high as $10 billion. “Brazil suffered far worse, with more graft and many more forced removals from Rio’s favelas.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 8, 2015

Black Lives Matter Movement is Dominant Theme at Left Forum

“The powerful movements that have raised the slogan ‘No Justice-No Peace’ in Ferguson, Baltimore and across the country have shaken American politics out of its lethargy,” said Paul Jay, senior editor at The Real News Network, at the annual Left Forum conference at John Jay College, in New York City. However, the wealthy classes are unable to respond to a changing nation and world. “War is the only answer they have. Our ruling elites are dysfunctional: they’re not fit to rule,” said Jay, moderator of the discussion on “Indicting and Transforming the Systems of State and Capitalism: From Ferguson to Baltimore and Beyond.”

#BlackLivesMatter: More Than Just a Slogan

“#BlackLivesMatter is about Black liberation; it was intended to encompass the struggle for human dignity and self-determination,” said Alicia Garza, a co-creator of the slogan and special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We understand state violence as criminalization, but we also understand state violence as austerity, patriarchy, white supremacy and imperialism.”

Policing in U.S. is Illegitimate

“The purpose of policing in this country is to control Black bodies, to control poor people, and to protect the interests and property of the wealthy,” said Thenjiwe McHarris, director of the Human Rights at Home campaign of the U.S. Human Rights Network. “So, it is essential for us to not just talk about reforming policing in the United States, but to challenge the legitimacy, the existence of policing in the United States.”

The Oppressed Must Lead the Struggle

The Left Forum panel included Makayla Gilliam-Harris, a 17 year-old Baltimore City College High School senior and organizer with City Block and the youth-led think tank Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. “If we truly want to see change from this movement,” said Gilliam-Harris, “we need to listen to those who are from the communities that are struggling, listen to the young, Black, clear women – and then to act, not for, not on behalf of, but with us. Stop making careers out of my struggle.”

Black Community Control of Police

“The mass Black incarceration regime was the United States government’s response to the Black liberation movements of the Sixties. And, today’s emerging movement is Black people’s response to the Mass Black Incarceration State,” said Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report. “The police must be subordinated to, answerable to, and chosen by the Black communities that they serve – that means Black community control of police.”

Ossified “Misleaders” Shoved Aside

“There is nothing more clarifying than the Black Lives Matter movement to show us who are the agents of social change, who are the agents of a fight-back against a brutal social and economic order,” said Kshama Sawant, the Seattle city councilwoman and Socialist Alternative leader. “It is not the Democratic Party establishment; it is not the Black misleaders. It is the young Black people, young people of color, who not only put out a clarion call for militant struggle, but they have proudly rejected these ossified layers of the so-called ‘leadership.’”

 
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This is What Happens When We Follow the Democrat Sheepdog. And What Can Happen If We Don't

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

It's time for a realistic plan to lift left electoral choices out of the “lesser of two evils” dilemma. The tools and opportunity to escape this perennial trap are here, but only if activists turn their backs on the lure of sheepdog Bernie Sanders and his corporate shepherds Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

Rand Paul Makes More Sense than the Democrats’ “Left” Champion

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

U.S. rulers have designated Hillary Clinton as the Democrats’ next front person, while Sen. Bernie Sanders has volunteered to be the loyal “lefty” opposition – who will step aside and endorse Clinton at the proper time. Sanders will refuse to indict Obama or Hillary for embarking “on a war against world order and civilization, itself, in which Salafist death cults are its frontline storm troopers.” But Rand Paul, the right-winger, will.

Freedom Rider: Who is on the Left?

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Much of what calls itself “left” in the United States is phony – “left” only in the most relative, but not substantive, sense. It exists only in juxtaposition to the Republican boogieman, and has made no real break with “America’s horrendous tale of conquest, race based terrorism and numerous other oppressions.”

Data Show Cops Growing More Aggressive Against Blacks In Missouri

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Missouri’s own statistics confirm “the general impression among Black people that the police are becoming measurably more aggressive in their dealings with African Americans.” Racial disparities in police traffic stops broke state records last year – a key indicator of police attitudes towards Blacks. However, only a handful of states keep comprehensive records on the consequences of Driving While Black.

 
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Mass Protests Trigger Washington Post Study of Police Killings

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

The federal government has never gathered meaningful statistics on police killings of civilians. Now the Washington Post has begun an ongoing examination of deaths at the hands of police, in cooperation with two existing web sites that have tried valiantly to fill in the gap. The Post’s count shows “385 people were shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of this year, more than two a day.”

A Hurricane without Water: Detroit’s Foreclosure Disaster

by Dianne Feeley

Public policy in Detroit, the nation’s largest majority Black city, seems structured to create blight and force the current population out of their homes. Sixty-two thousand properties are set for foreclosure, this year, more than half of them occupied. “This could result in the displacement of as many as 100,000 Detroiters, or about one seventh of the city’s population.”

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