Snakes Alive! The ANC is on a Slippery Slope

by Ronnie Kasrils

The unpalatable reality the ANC needs to confront, if it is to mend itself -- and there are those who maintain the rot is too far gone -- is that the strategic initiative which it had in abundance in 1994 has passed to the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Politics of Fear: The Crisis in Ethiopia and the Role of the International Community

by Fikrejesus Amahazion

A massive government crackdown on protestors and dissidents is underway in Ethiopia, but the international community has turned a blind eye to this reign of terror. The first, and possibly most far-reaching and effective, response by the international community should be to openly condemn the regime in Addis Ababa and withdraw the unwavering support for the repressive government.

Black Agenda Report for Week of August 15, 2016

Greens are Alternative to “Democratic Plantation”

Ajamu Baraka, the veteran Black activist tapped as Jill Stein’s presidential running mate, said the Green Party can make a difference, this year, by “building an alternative to the Democratic plantation” and “transcending the politics of fear.” Baraka is a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network and an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “With the continued deterioration of the democratic processes, and of this economy, and the clear tendency on the part of the state to repress political opposition, our time is limited in terms of the extent we can take advantage of the limited democratic space that does exist,” said Baraka.

Neither Trump Nor Clinton Can Resolve Crisis

Although both major party candidates acknowledge that the economy is benefiting only the One Percent, the difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lies in how they “identify the source of the problem,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Duboisian scholar and Black Radical Organizing Committee activist from Philadelphia. “Clinton says that the policies of financialization, of Wall Street privilege, of trade deals like NAFTA and TPP, are not fundamentally wrong – that we should tweet them, not change them,” said Dr. Monteiro. “Trump, in essence, argues that the problem of the American economy is grounded in the export of capital, and that this is the source of the impoverishment of the American working class.” Monteiro believes “Trump’s stating of the problem is far more accurate than Clinton’s,” but neither of them “provide a solution to the problem.”

Roots of Black Movement for Self-Defense

Black scholars and activists came together, in Detroit, to celebrate the life of Robert F. Williams, the former NAACP leader in Monroe, North Carolina, who in the 1950s formed a Black Armed Guard to defend Black people from racist violence. Among the speakers was Dr. Akinyele Umoja, chair of the African American Studies Department at Georgia State University and author of the book We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement. “There were already people in the South practicing armed self-defense,” said Dr. Umoja. “The thing that distinguishes Williams is that he was an advocate. Most people were quite” members of informal protective networks, but Williams advocated self-defense in his newspaper, The Crusader, and “people began to look at the movement he and others were talking about.”

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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Hillary Stuffs Entire U.S. Ruling Class Into Her Big, Nasty Tent

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

While Democrats scream “fascist” at Donald Trump, actual fascists with real histories of mass murder at home and abroad gather in Hillary Clinton’s “Big Tent” Democratic Party. The melding of GOP and Democratic fat cats is “the most dramatic effect of the breakdown of the duopoly system set off by Donald Trump’s white nationalist, anti-‘free’ trade revolt.” Blacks and progressives will be shocked to find themselves at the margins of Hillary’s tent.

Freedom Rider: Police State Fascism

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Black people live under a fascist system, whether the occupant of the White House is a “fascist” or not. For Blacks, the “rule of law” does not exist. “It matters not whether a victim complies, or has hands up, or is armed, or is unarmed, or opens a door, or speaks, or doesn’t, or flees, or stays put, or does or doesn’t resist arrest.” None of the supposedly “non-fascist” politicians will “dare lay a finger on the modern day slave system.”

NAACP and Movement for Black Lives Call for Moratorium on Charter Schools

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“The NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives are both on the same page when it comes to charter schools.” Both organizations called for a halt to the spread of charter schools, with the NAACP charging that charters are “as destructive to poor communities as predatory lending practices by banks.” The Movement for Black Lives demands an end to President Obama’s Race to the Top program, which coerces states to allow more charters.

 
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The Obama Legacy Part VI: The Destruction of Libya and the US military Invasion of Africa by Danny Haiphong

by Danny Haiphong

In his two terms in office, President Obama has put nearly the whole of Africa under U.S. military sway. He was the first U.S. president to bomb an African country -- Libya, whose “nationalized oil reserves and plans to use gold as the chief reserve currency in Africa threatened US capitalist penetration in Africa.” Obama rewrote international law, invoking “Responsibility to Protect” as “justification for the destruction of sovereign nations.”

Hillary Clinton and the Big (Neoliberal) Lie

by Eric Draitser

Although she tries to deny it, “Hillary Clinton has for more than two decades been one of the loudest and most resolute voices championing neoliberalism and free trade.” Beginning with NAFTA, Clinton has been the High Priestess of the Church of Free Trade and Neoliberalism, a proponent of the free flow of money and jobs. The Lords of Capital know where her loyalties lie, which is why “Clinton has the near unanimous endorsement of the One Percent.”

Anatomy of a Neoliberal Racist Killing Machine

by Ramor Ryan

The U.S. exports to the rest of the world an industrial-strength strategy of policing that is rooted “in counterinsurgency campaigns.” The “Broken Windows” philosophy of policing dramatically expands the number of people “churned through the criminal justice system,” more deeply embeds structural racism, and “leads to more violence against marginalized communities.” Communities of color become urban prison spaces.

Black Agenda Report for Week of August 8, 2016

Voters Have Choices Outside the Duopoly

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both “evil” people, but U.S. voters do have choices this election season, said South Carolina activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray. “It’s good that people are running on various third parties, to give Americans a little bit of education,” as opposed to watching them make one or the other bad choice,” said Gray, author of Waiting on Lighting to Strike. “One of the good things about Barack Obama leaving office, particularly for Black people, is that perhaps they’ll pick up their signs, pick up their feet, and follow behind the youth that are out here in the streets challenging the system.”

Low Wage Workers to Converge on Richmond

The U.S. labor movement made an historic error in the post-World War Two era in failing to commit sufficient resources to organizing in the heavily Black South. But activists in the current movement to unionize low-paid workers and raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour vow not to repeat that mistake. “We will highlight that low wages and racial inequality is not only hurting Black and brown people, it’s hurting the working poor white people, as well,” said Terrance Wise, a leader of Fight for 15, which will hold a national conference of low-wage workers in Richmond, Virginia, the former capital of the Confederacy, August 12 and 13. “Until we can build our movement and bring all workers together to demand economic justice and racial equality, we won’t gain any ground,” said Wise, a Burger King employee from Kansas City.

Russell “Maroon” Shoatz Wins Solitary Confinement Settlement

Pennsylvania prison officials have agreed to pay a monetary settlement to political prisoner Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, and to never again place the former Black Panther in solitary confinement, where he spent 22 of the past 44 years. His daughter, Theresa Shoatz, is “elated because it opens the door to other prisoners who are still in solitary confinement in Pennsylvania.” The legal action was spearheaded by the Pittsburg-based Abolitionist Law Center, with virtually no assistance from Black elected officials. “Our state representatives are useless,” said Ms. Shoatz.

Afro-Colombian Rights Recognized in Peace Talks

FARC guerillas and the government of Colombia have agreed in principle to “make sure the rights and interests of Afro-descended and indigenous peoples will be respected” in the resolution of the South American country’s two generations-long civil war, said Charo Mina-Rojas, of the National Afro-Colombian Peace Council. Representatives of the Colombian government and demobilizing guerillas agreed to include such assurances in the peace document being hammered out at negotiations in Havana, Cuba. However, Mina-Rojas said some elements of FARC have not agreed to lay down their arms and “do not fully recognize” Afro-Colombians’ collective land rights.

 
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Freedom Rider: Trump, Russia and Democratic Lies

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The real story was that the Democrats rigged the primary elections. The manufactured story that has dominated corporate media is that Russia may hack the U.S. elections and Donald Trump is a “fascist” guilty of “treason” for failing to demonize Vladimir Putin. But the Republican nominee fails the fascist test, since the hard corporate Right is with Hillary and “Trump has no filter or political acumen and has run afoul of the Republican rulers.”

Baltimore: Impunity for the Police and Prison for the Resisters

 

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

President Obama’s justice department intervened to bring the full weight of federal law down on those that resisted killer cops in the streets. “The real ‘America’ is the America of Baltimore where six cops escape accountability for severing the spinal cord of Freddie Gray.” The fake America resides in the “liberal notion that the current state can actually render “justice” to a captive, surplus population.”

Coalition Declares Black Self-Determination Back on the Agenda

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford 

After two generations of “Black social disintegration, economic retrogression and political confusion” ushered in through the collaboration of the Black Misleadership Class, “Black people have rediscovered and revived the Black Radical Tradition, with self-determination at the core.” The Black is Back Coalition is promulgating a groundbreaking 19-point Black political agenda entirely “formulated through the prism of Black self-determination.”

The Obama Legacy Part V: Waging War on Civil Liberties

by Danny Haiphong

Liberals and leftists supported candidate Barack Obama largely because they thought he would be good for civil liberties. Instead, Obama introduced “indefinite military detention without trial or cause,” increased wiretaps 34 percent in his first two years, imprisoned more whistleblowers than all his predecessors combined. The First Black President spends Tuesday evenings on his Kill List.

Stop Trump Fundamentalists Can Bite Me

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

The duopoly electoral system causes shrinkage of the American mind, compelling otherwise intelligent people to conclude that critics of corporate Democrats must be supporters of Donald Trump. The author, who will vote Green, has a rhetorical question for the afflicted. “You trust Hillary, she of the 30,000 deleted e-mails, the $250,000 Goldman Sachs speeches, and the poverty pimping and corruption empire otherwise known as the Clinton Foundation?”

Rev. Pinkney’s Appeal Denied

by David Sole

A Michigan court ruled that Rev. Edward Pinkney’s political activism was enough motive to send him to prison for 2 ½ to 10 years charges. By such warped judicial reasoning, courts “can condemn every political activist in the country to be guilty of any political crime just for being an activist. In Rev. Pinkney’s words: "We are living in a time when the court system and the prosecutor don't need evidence to send a man to prison.”

The Financial Firm That Cornered the Market on Jails

by Arun Gupta 

The financial services industry is ruthlessly exploiting America’s vast captive market of jail and prison inmates with fee-heavy cards. Corporate vultures have seized market shares in every sector of the prison gulag. JP Morgan Chase “has a ‘lock’ on the Federal Bureau of Prisons population,” JPay dominates state correctional systems, and an outfit names Numi rips off inmates -- especially immigrants -- at county jails.

Breaking the Camouflage Wall of Silence: When AFRICOM Evaluates Itself, the News Is Grim

by Nick Turse

The U.S. Military Command in Africa, AFRICOM, claims it is a force against “terror” on the continent. Yet armed groups have proliferated at much the same pace as the U.S. military expansion in Africa. “Over these last years, the number of personnel, missions, dollars spent, and special ops training efforts as well as drone bases and other outposts on the continent have all multiplied.”

Haiti 101 Years After US Invasion, Still Resisting Domination

by Justin Podur

Europe and its settler colony, the United States, never forgave Haiti’s Blacks for liberating themselves in 1804. The U.S. got its revenge, occupying Haiti in 1915. Washington intervened again under presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, creating an ongoing crisis that “will no doubt provide pretexts for the next US intervention.”

Obama Prepares to Reinforce the Militarized Police Occupation of Black America

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Barack Obama is “responsible for the biggest escalation in the history of the one-sided war against Black America." He increased militarization of local police 24-fold before banning some kinds of Pentagon weapons transfers, but is now preparing to send more battlefield weaponry to the streets of our cities. “Clinton or Trump will surely build on Obama’s lethal legacy.”

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