The Ascent of Hillary, the $.2.5 Billion “People’s” Candidate

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Democratic Party has become a desert where nothing grows – except the One Percent’s hold on the party machinery. No need for primaries; Hillary Clinton’s rich contributors have already locked up the nomination. “Wall Street is determined that there will be no serious Democratic deviation from the corporate agenda set by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.”

 
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Walter Scott, the Million Moms March and Stop Mass Incarceration: A Call to Resistance

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The drumbeat of protest continues – as do the murderous predations of the police. “Capitalist America is dependent on these paid killers to maintain power, social order and white supremacy which forces the Black community to accept low wage jobs, poor schools, human rights abuses and cultural imperialism.”

A Slow Death for Mumia Abu-Jamal and Thousands of Prisoners in America

by Heidi Boghosian and Johanna Fernandez

Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal nearly died – and remains in grave danger – from a diabetic condition that the Pennsylvania prison system failed to diagnose in his decades behind bars. He is not alone. “The Bureau of Justice reported some 40% of prisoners and jail inmates in 2011-2012 reporting chronic medical condition such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure—and diabetes.”

Imperialism's Policy of Mass Murder and the Black Panther Party's Analysis of Survival

by Danny Haiphong

The Black Panther Party was concerned with community development and sustenance as well as self-defense – a legacy that should be explored by today’s activists. “Community programs, independent of the non-profit industrial complex and armed with political education, must be a critical component of the left's strategy toward the ultimate goal of a new political economy.”

Boycott, Divest and Sanction Corporations That Feed on Prisons

by Chris Hedges

A coalition of organizations led by the Interfaith Prison Coalition has concluded that the only way to roll back the monstrous U.S. prison gulag is to boycott the corporations that profit from mass incarceration. “Since profit is the only language the involved corporations know how to speak, we will have to speak to them in the language they understand.”

Africa’s Cuba: Eritrea Endures 13 Years of Illegal Occupation and Sanctions

by Elias Amare

Eritrea, a thoroughly secular nation of six million people that won its independence from much larger Ethiopia, has been subjected to withering sanctions imposed at the behest of the United States. The U.S. and Ethiopia make the ludicrous claim that Eritrea has aided the Islamic fundamentalist Al-Shabaab, in Somalia. “Punishing innocent Eritrea based on false premises has neither brought peace to Somalia nor security to the Horn of Africa.”

Saudi Mercenaries and the Starvation of Yemen

by Thomas C. Mountain

Saudi Arabia buys tens of billions in high-tech arms from the United States and Europe. However, the rich Saudis don’t like to serve in the military. Consequently, their armed forces are made up largely of foreigners, including huge numbers of soldiers from Yemen, whose usefulness against their impoverished homeland is questionable. The Saudis may use starvation as a weapon “to bring Yemen to its knees.”

Black Agenda Radio, Week of April 13, 2015

End the “Army of Occupation” in Black America

The Black Is Back Coalition will hold a national conference on Black Community Control of Police, in St. Louis, Missouri, April 18 and 19. “Our recognition that Black lives matter means taking matters into our own hands,” said Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. “The Sharptons and government representatives want to convince Black people that an election will solve the problem, or body cameras will solve the problem,” instead of confronting “the essence of the system, which is anti-Black and anti-freedom. That’s why the fight for community control of police is so important.”

Mumia Targeted for “Execution by Medical Neglect”

Mumia Abu Jamal’s near-fatal diabetic emergency was either a case of medical neglect “or an attempt at execution through medical neglect,” said Prof. Johanna Fernandez, a member of the political prisoner’s legal team. His supporters are demanding that Abu Jamal be examined by doctors of his choice, and that all prisoners over age 55 be immediately released. “According to the Bureau of Prisons, 40 percent of prisoners have chronic illnesses that can lead to death,” said Fernandez. “Day after day, they are neglected in a systematic way by health contractors that put profit before the health of prisoners.”

Is Killer Cop a “Punk, Predator or Pig?”

Abu Jamal is back at the same Pennsylvania prison that failed to diagnose his illness. Despite his weakened condition, Mumia submitted a commentary to Prison Radio asking, rhetorically, how one should address Michael Slager, the South Carolina cop who shot Walter Scott in the back eight times. Should he be referred to as “Mr. Slager, or Officer Slager? Is he a punk, a predator, or what Huey P. Newton used to call, a pig?”

Plenty of Black Faces in High Places, But No Justice

“We’ve got a Black president, a Black attorney general, a Black cabinet secretary of Homeland Security, but we haven’t had one federal prosecution of a policeman for killing” a Black civilian, said activist and educator Dr. Cornel West, at a rally on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Four years ago, West and Carl Dix co-founded the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, which has organized protests against police murders in cities around the country, April 14.

Somalis Can Defeat al-Shabaab

The western governments that finance the foreign occupation of Somalia should “train and raise the quality of Somali security forces so that they can do their own fighting against al-Shabaab,” said Dr. Abdi Ismail Samatar, chair of the Department of Geography, Environment and Society at the University of Minnesota, and a native of Somalia. “It doesn’t seem that there is the good will on the part of the U.S. government to help Somalis help themselves.” Al-Shabaab recently massacred nearly 150 students in neighboring Kenya, whose troops invaded Somalia three years ago. The Kenyans should “withdraw their forces to the border,” said Samatar.

U.S. Backs Saudi Bombing of Yemen

Saudi Arabia may be the nominal leader of the coalition of Muslim nations that has been bombing neighboring Yemen for the last three weeks, but the United States is the superpower at the heart of the operation, BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka told Press TV. “The fact that the targeting, the logistics, and the equipment are all provided by the U.S. translates, for me, into a U.S. operation,” said Baraka, a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. He called the assault on Yemen “an ongoing international crime.”

Reparations Summit: “They Stole Us, They Sold Us, They Owe Us”

Advocates of reparations for slavery and the African slave trade gathered in New York City last weekend for an International Reparations Summit, organized by the Institute for the Black World. “The success of this gathering will be measured by what we do when we leave here to take the idea of reparations and tie it to the economic realities facing our people, so that the mass of our community takes it up as a demand which we can no longer ignore,” said Atty. Roger Wareham, whose December 12 Movement has been pressuring the United Nations on reparations-related issues since 1989.

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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Killer Cops Boost Body Count in War on Black America

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

March was a very good month for killer cops: they racked up at least 111 bodies, the majority of them unarmed Black and brown men. “Any genuine movement for criminal justice ‘reform’ must aim to abolish the Mass Black Incarceration State, root and branch, by removing the ‘occupation’ army from Black areas and replacing it with a force of Black people’s own choosing.”

Blame the Black Political Class For Re-Electing Obama's Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Rahm Emanuel's victory wasn't a battle for the soul of the Democratic party, and it wasn't just about big money and big media.  It was the victory of the black misleadership class, just about all Democrats in Chicago, who followed President Obama, Bobby Rush, the banksters, the privatizers and the rest to endorse Rahm over Chuy Garcia.  Garcia could not explain why practically no black Democrat from the president down endorsed him, and Emanuel narrowly carried every majority black ward in Chicago.

Freedom Rider: Why Al-Shabaab Kills

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The whole world knows of the horrors inflicted on Kenyan civilians by Somalia’s Al-Shabaab. But, the “corporate media tells Americans little if anything about Somalia’s road to ruin,” paved by the United States and its Ethiopian and Kenyan allies. “If there were true justice in this world the United States and its puppets would not only have to leave that country but make restitution as well.”

The Vocabulary of Struggle

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The nationwide mobilization against police oppression will soon enter its first full summer season. Aside from LA’s Rodney King rebellion, there hasn’t been a “long hot summer” in Black America for nearly half a century. The vocabulary of mass movements needs replenishing, too.

 
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Jesus Garcia Loses Chicago Mayoral Election to Obama's Mayor, Rahm Emanuel

by the Real News Network

Chicago mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia rode a wave of public outrage against Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but fell short in Tuesday's election. BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon explains that the black political class, Democrats all from the president down lined up with Emanuel for privatization, austerity and worse.

Eating Crow: US and Cuba Talk Human Rights

by Netfa Freeman

Cuba opened discussions with the U.S. on human rights, last week, with a reminder that the United States is no model for other nations. The Cubans cited “discrimination and racism patterns in U.S. society, the worsening of police brutality, torture acts and extrajudicial executions in the fight on terror and the legal limbo of prisoners at the US prison camp in Guantanamo."

Eating Crow: US and Cuba Talk Human Rights

Do Americans Really Want a Genuine US Policy that Respects an Independent Cuba?

A review by Dr. T. P. Wilkinson

By its own admission, the Obama administration’s new stance towards Cuba is not a change in policy. It still favors regime change. U.S. obsession with the island to the south is historically rooted in race; Cuba’s blackness made it impossible for the white supremacist United States to absorb, but also required that the island be prevented from providing a “good example” to the world – and to Blacks in the U.S.

The Decline of U.S. Imperialism and the Structural Crisis of Whiteness

by Walter Smolarek

White privilege “has existed as long as there have been white people,” but the material basis for it is declining in the U.S. “Large sections of white youth are undergoing a process of proletarianization.” Although this slow process “does not instantly enlighten those stricken with white chauvinism,” polling data seems to show that “white supremacist ideology has significantly weakened its hold on the consciousness of about 2 in 5 white youth.”

The fall of Cecil John Rhodes and the Rise of Black Power

by Veli Mbele

This article previously appeared in Pambazuka News.

Cecil Rhodes is back in the news, following Black student protests to have his statue removed from the University of Cape Town. Rhodes’s unparalled evil legacy is still palpable across Africa. By splashing Rhodes’s statue with human excrement, the brave Black students have hit a raw nerve in the “sensitive,” “innocent” and “pure” white body.

Black Agenda Radio, Week of April 8 2015

Attempted Murder of Mumia Through Medical Malpractice

Pennsylvania prison officials allowed the political prisoner’s condition to worsen until he was in horrific pain and on the brink of a diabetic coma, said Pam Africa, of International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal. His supporters are demanding that “specialists be allowed to go in and see Mumia,” who is back in prison after being released from a hospital that had no specialists in diabetes. The State of Pennsylvania is trying to torture and kill the world renowned former death row inmate, said Ms. Africa. “Can you imagine your body burning from head to toe, your skin erupting, and you’ve blown up to the point that your skin starts bursting open?” Supporters of Mumia should telephone their concerns to prison officials listed at FreeMumia.com.

Democrats Gang up on Seattle Socialist

Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative Party leader whose campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage won her a seat on the Seattle city council, now faces three Democratic challengers, including the head of the local Urban League. Sawant has earned broad support, but must still contend with the popular mindset that Democrats are the “lesser evils” of politics. “The problem with the logic of ‘lesser evil-ism’ is that it’s ad infinitum,” she said. If we accept that logic, “there’s never going to be a point when we can say: ‘At this moment we have to make a clean break to make sure that we build a movement independent of the two business parties.’”

Obama’s TPP Trade Pact Empowers Global Corporations

Documents recently released by Wikileaks reveal that the Trans Pacific Partnership trade treaty would rig international law to the decisive advantage of multinational corporations. “It confirms the worst of our fears,” said Patrick Woodall, research director of Food and Water Watch. “It includes language that grants powerful new avenues for corporations to attack common sense public health, environmental and consumer protections” – all to protect anticipated corporate profits. Other language would keep the contents of the treaty secret for four years, even if it is rejected by the U.S. Congress. President Obama wants Congress to pass TPP with no amendments or effective debate.

Charter Schools are for Black and Brown Kids, Only

Union County, New Jersey, has 21 municipalities, but all five of its charter schools are located in the majority Black city of Plainfield. “There’s a pattern in New Jersey, and in the country, of taking local control away from majority Black and brown cities, said David Rutherford, a member of the Plainfield board of education. State officials constantly override Black and brown school boards and encourage charter school companies to set up shop. “As a board of education, we have no say on whether there will be charter schools in our city, how many there will be, or who will run them,” said Rutherford. “Our only obligation is to pay these charter schools, per student.” If charter schools are so beneficial, he asks, why don’t white communities want them?

UNAC to Hold National Conference May 8 – 10

The United National Anti-War Coalition will hold a national conference in Secaucus, New Jersey – just outside New York City – under the banner “Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad.” UNAC used the same slogan at its founding conference, said spokesman Joe Lombardo. “It’s become more and more clear as time went on that there’s been militarization of the police, more heavy-handed intervention into the Black and brown communities, more people deported, more austerity, more assaults on civil liberties. So, these wars have had a real impact on the people of the United States.”

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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When the Jihadists Turn on Their Masters

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The filthy rich hereditary rulers of the Gulf wage war on secularists and Shia. But, the greatest danger to Saudi Arabian royalty is the Frankenstein they have nurtured for nearly four decades: Islamic jihadists. “The prospect of physical annihilation by Sunni jihadists hangs over the House of Saud and all its royal brethren.” The scourge they let loose on the world will destroy them.

Call GA Governor, Prison Officials, Demand End to Deliberate Malnourishment & the "Tier Step Down" Program

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Several years after peaceful prison hunger strikes asking for decent medical care, educational programs, an end to the incarceration of juveniles with adults and other reasonable demands, Georgia prison authorities continue to viciously retaliate against past and future dissenting prisoners with what they call Tier Step Down, a program that apparenlty includes deliberate malnourishment of prisoners and other brutal and inhuman treatment.

 
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Freedom Rider: American Hell for Yemen

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The U.S.-spawned whirlwind of carnage and destruction has wrecked the societies of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, yet most Americans feel themselves blameless. “The people, the corporate media and the political system all accept that their government has the right to intervene in the affairs of other nations and that it is always right and moral in its claims.” They behave like zombified cogs in an imperial death machine.

Black Is Back Coalition to Hold National Conference on Black Community Control of Police

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

There is no possibility for even a semblance of justice for Black people until they control the police in their communities. Not oversight, but control: the power to “discipline, direct, and hire and fire the police in their community.” It is a self-determinationist necessity. “If Black people fail to define for themselves the functions and obligations of policing in Black communities, then others will continue to do it for us.”

 
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Physical Murder and Political Asphyxiation: The Story of Danielle Hicks-Best

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

An 11 year-old Black girl is raped twice by men and winds up jailed and institutionalized for years by a callous and predatory system. The abomination lays bare the thin line that many African-American children and families tread “between physical murder and spiritual death.” Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier must be made to answer for the crime. Meanwhile, “behind the scenes in the courts and judicial system, the bodies are piling up.”

Danny Schechter (1942-2015): Media Activist and Clandestine Courier

by Ronnie Kasrils

Danny Schecter, the “media dissector,” prolific writer and tireless activist, once acted as a secret courier for the South African freedom movement, and “forged strong personal links with many South African comrades such as Joe Slovo, Ruth First, Pallo Jordan, Zanele Mbeki, Sue Rabkin, and Nelson Mandela himself.”

Common's Song for Black America: Extend a Hand of Love to White Supremacy

by Danny Haiphong

The rapper/actor Common’s “plea to Black America to get past white supremacy is actually a request for support for his endeavors from the Empire's Black corporate club.” Race and class betrayal is a highly profitable enterprise in America. Common’s “Daily Show comments place him in the same plane as those working to murder Assata Shakur and erase hip-hop's radical roots.”

Feds Rediscover Police Brutality In City of Brotherly Love…er…Beat City

by Linn Washington, Jr.

The U.S. Justice Department’s latest report on police brutality in Philadelphia reveals much the same pattern of excessive use of lethal force as charged in a 1979 lawsuit and confirmed by a Human Rights Watch study in 1998. The city registered “an average of one citizen shot by police per week between 2007 and 2013” – five times the rate of their counterparts in New York City.

The Pan-African Cultural Revolution

by Benjamin Woods

“Our common oppression is not what makes us African, it is our movement for freedom that give us consciousness of our identity.” Black people’s political and cultural revolutions go hand in hand. It’s cultural component “is a class struggle in the realm of ideas and culture wherein our current leaders must transform or be replaced.”

Rahm Emanuel & Bruce Rauner On Jihad to Eliminate Unions in Chicago, says Former Union Organizer Jane McAlevey

by Doug Henwood at KPFA's Behind The News

US living standards for ordinary people have deteriorated the last 40 years because Democrats and Republicans have systematically de-unionizeds the country, says former union organizer Jane McAlevey.  Illinois governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel are on a jihad to kill the last unions in Chicago, the better to impose more privatizations, cuts in child care, wages, education and more austerity.

 
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Surviving Climate Disaster in Africa's Sahel

by Thomas C. Mountain

The small, fiercely independent nation of Eritrea has mobilized its entire population to combat the effects of climate change. “When the rains failed in 2013, we had enough to eat while in much of the rest of the Sahel hundreds of thousands starved to death.” Reforestation and reservoir-building are key to surviving drought in new climate disorder.

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