Eshu’s blues: Launching a Teacher’s Fightback Newsletter in Seattle

by michael hureaux perez

If there is one organized force with the potential to resist Barack Obama’s corporate offensive, it is the teachers unions. Yet the multi-million-member American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association seem not to understand that they have been targeted for destruction by the man they fought so hard to elect. It’s up to rank and file teachers like Seattle’s Social Equality Educators to sound the alarm, before it’s too late.

 

Trial Delayed in New Fake Terror Case

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Carl Strock

The Obama administration manufacturers phony terror plots with just as much enthusiasm as its Republican predecessor. Prosecutors in the Newburgh, New York case of four Black Muslim men charged with planning mayhem have been ordered to turn over more evidence to the defense. The case for entrapment could not be clearer, so why not drop the charges? “Yes, it's grounds for acquittal -- except in cases of alleged Muslim terrorism, and then all rules are suspended.”

 

Dr. Peniel Joseph: Peoples Historian or Establishment Courtier? Part One of Two

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Helping us explain the lineup of the social forces that impact our individual and collective lives is the job of people's intellectuals. Selling us clever marketing constructs is the job of intellectuals in the service of empire. But what would a loyal and disciplined servant of the establishment look like, if his aim was to pretend to be a people's intellectual?

Good Riddance Artur Davis, Rahm Emmanuel's U.S. House Negro

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"No one deserved rejection by Black voters more than Artur Davis," the caricature of a right-wing Black congressman who lost his bid for governor by a landslide. Davis "decided he could win tons of white votes in Alabama by blatantly giving Blacks the finger." But then he extended a digit to Obama, master of a game Davis was ill-equipped to play.

Chicago Teachers Wise Up to Obama School Privatizations

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Reformists won control of the teachers union in the town where Barack Obama became a fan of corporate schooling: Chicago. The new union leadership seems prepared to confront privatization and high stakes testing head on. The tests measure the accumulated results of deprivation, not academics, said Karen Lewis: "Class sizes rose, schools were closed. Then standardized tests...measured that slow death by starvation."
 

Bend It Like Imperialism! The World Cup 1, African Liberation Nil

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.
So many Black American entertainers and luminaries flocked to the World Cup opening ceremonies in South Africa, one veteran activist was prompted to remark that "these folks are crossing the picket line." It is a line that separates South Africa's poor Black majority from the real beneficiaries of the "gold" -  "the soccer elites of FIFA, the elites of domestic and international corporate capital and the political elites who are making billions and who will be benefiting at the expense of the poor."

No Facts, No Peace in Rwanda, No More Free Elections in California, No Blacks on Juries in the South, & Prison Gerrymandering -- Listen to BA Radio on the Progressive Radio Network


Ralph Nader, Jacqueline Jones-Peace, Christan Davenport and Daniel Ho on BA at PRN

Nader: Proposition 14 Has Killed "Free Elections" in California

The passage of Prop 14 in California last week, Ralph Nader explains to BAR, locks down the electoral process for everyone but celebrities and the wealthiest business-backed candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties. It's the end of free elections in California.

Rwanda Regime is “Dictatorship, a Totalitarian State,” Says Colleague of Jailed American Lawyer

With Rwanda now a close ally of the US in East Africa, raising fact and evidence-based questions on the Rwandan genocide story can earn you prison or worse in that unhappy land, says Christian Davenport, a young black professor of Peace Studies at Notre Dame who has conducted research in Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Northern Ireland, Turkey and beyond. The “Hotel Rwanda” story doesn't begin to tell the whole tale of what went on in Rwanda in those days, Davenport tells BAR.

Black Exclusion From Juries is Endemic in the U.S.

Atty Jacqueline Jones-Peace outlines how the how Blacks are rejected from juries for reasons ranging from appearing “arrogant,” to having a goatee. Atty. One prosecutor rejected a Black juror because he “shucked and jived when he walked,” according to a study of eight southern states done by the Equal Justice Initiative,

NAACP Legal Defense Fund: Prison-Based Gerrymandering Resembles “3/5s Man” Rule

LDF attorney Dale Ho told BAR “the parallels between prison-based gerrymandering and the three-fifths compromise are strong and eerie.” The practice counts prison inmates as “residents” of the jurisdiction in which they are incarcerated, rather than their home cities.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey.  Click the player below to listen.  About 50 minutes.

Freedom Rider: Killing Children

a child's funeral

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Western corporate media’s antennae are super-sensitive to atrocities committed against children – except when their own countries are the perpetrators. The deaths of tens of thousands – even millions – of children by bombings and blockades and other mega-aggressions are treated as non-events, while the alleged beheading of one seven-year-old by the Taliban makes international headlines. A genuine concern for the world’s children requires that “we must first acknowledge our own nation‘s history of violence.”

 

Not Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Black Atheists, Urban America

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Enormous pressures push African Americans to embrace a Black “hyper-religiosity” – or, at least, to profess to it – despite the fact that “the proliferation of storefront churches in urban black communities is a symptom of economic underdevelopment.” However, “a growing segment” maintains that “morality is defined by just deeds, fairness, equality and respect for difference; not by how blusteringly one claims to adhere to ‘Godly’ principles.”

 

Cultural Extinction: Louisiana’s Coastal Communities Fear They May Never Recover

by Jordan Flaherty

Even before the latest catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, Big Energy had laid waste to Black and Native American communities along the coast. At least five all-Black towns were wiped from the face of the earth by corporate pollution, and the last redoubt of the Pointe-au-Chien tribe is under petrochemical assault. “It doesn’t matter how much money they give you, if we don’t have our shrimp, fish, crabs and oysters,” said one bayou native.

 

African American Mississippi Man Starts Record Sixth Murder Trial

new trial

by Bill Quigley, Audrey Stewart and Davida Finger

White prosecutors in a rural Mississippi county won’t rest until they send Curtis Flowers to prison for life. Flowers faces his sixth trail for the same murder – unprecedented in the history of the United States – after five previous trials ended in hung juries or overturned convictions. The Mississippi Supreme described one of the trials as the worst case of racial discrimination it had ever seen.

 

Music Education in Detroit's Public Schools: The Struggle to Survive

by George Shirley

Please, don’t stop the music. That’s the theme sounded by a host of Detroit citizens, as budget cutters move to shut down most of the Motor City’s public school music program. Under the new regime, only students with high test scores would be eligible to take part in music programs. “A musical education is not meant to be elitist,” says Dr. George Shirley. “This is the message we must pound incessantly into the awareness of bottom-liners tasked with reducing education to a robotic exercise devoid of creativity and imagination.”

 

Political Prisoners: What Will We Do About It?

by Kwasi Anokye

Americans – including some African Americans – rant about political prisoners held in countries they cannot even identify on a map, yet seem oblivious to the fact that fellow Americans languish in U.S. prisons for political reasons. Others know full well the plight of political prisoners, but fear to be associated with them, or despair that they will ever be freed.

 

Michelle & Leslie Alexander, Cynthia McKinney, and Detroit's Dr. George Shirley

 

 
* Dr. Jared Ball interviews the dynamic political scholars Michelle and Leslie Alexander. The sisters discuss how mass Black incarceration has become “the New Jim Crow,” and why Black leadership is so reluctant to do anything about it.
 
* “The Israelis have gone absolutely stark raving mad” in their attempts to defend their murderous assault on a humanitarian fleet on its way to Gaza” says former Georgia Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, herself a former captive of the Israelis.
 
* Please, don’t let them stop the music in Motown! Music and arts classes are scheduled to be all but eliminated from Detroit’s public schools. “As an African American, I find this criminal,” says 90 year-old Dr. George Shirley, the first Black to serve as a music teacher in the Detroit system.

Michelle Alexander, Glen Ford, Dr. Jared Ball, Cynthia McKinney

Listen to this week's Black Agenda Radio, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, on the Progressive Radio Network:

* Dr. Jared Ball interviews the dynamic political scholars Michelle and Leslie Alexander. The sisters discuss how mass Black incarceration has become “the New Jim Crow,” and why Black leadership is so reluctant to do anything about it.


 

* “The Israelis have gone absolutely stark raving mad” in their attempts to defend their murderous assault on a humanitarian fleet on its way to Gaza” says former Georgia Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, herself a former captive of the Israelis.


 

* Please, don’t let them stop the music in Motown! Music and arts classes are scheduled to be all but eliminated from Detroit’s public schools. “As an African American, I find this criminal,” says 90 year-old Dr. George Shirley, the first Black to serve as a music teacher in the Detroit system.


mic Click the mic at left to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio show from the Progressive Radio Network.

Could International Criminal Court Deploy U.S. as World Law Enforcer?

more AFRICOMby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The chief prosecutor of the court that purports to bring the rule of law to the planet is actively campaigning to appoint the United States – ‘the world’s most prolific perpetrator and sponsor of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide’ – as chief law enforcement agent. This, despite the fact that the United States is not, and does not intend to become, a member of the International Criminal Court, nor subject to its jurisdiction. But, no matter: thugs rule.

 

Time For A Corporate Death Penalty

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

There are more than 40 federal offenses for which the death penalty can be applied to human beings, most of them connected to homicide of one kind or another. But countless homicides committed by the artificial persons we call corporations go unpunished every day. Apparently “personal responsibility” applies only to humans who are not operating behind the legal shield of corporate personhood.

South Africa On the Potomac: Washington, D.C. and Black Incarceration

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

Washington, DC, like other majority-Black metropolises, squeezes African Americans out of its borders through gentrification, while trapping growing proportions of those who remain in a rapacious criminal justice system. Activists charge that DC’s policy of hiring more white officers from surrounding states amounts to “coon hunting” in the nation’s capital.

Two Black Caucus Members Ask Gaza Flotilla Probe, the Rest are Silent

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Terrified of offending the Israel lobby, Black congresspersons routinely vote for anti-Palestinian resolutions as “if they represented some Arab-hating constituency in Utah.” Two Black Representatives – Barbara Lee (CA) and Keith Ellison (MN) – last week dared to ask President Obama to support lifting Israel's blockade of Gaza and an investigation into last week's savage attack on the aid flotilla – but were careful to note they did not speak for the Congressional Black Caucus as a body.

Freedom Rider: The Trouble with Arizona, and Obama

Brewer and Obama

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The history of the state of Arizona is as much stained by the Confederacy as by the usual Old West pathologies, having once been claimed as a territory of the breakaway Slave Republic. Reconstruction never reached Arizona, which has enacted what might be called “Brown Codes” to shackle its Latino residents. “What Governor [Jan] Brewer and her anxious citizens really fear is too many brown faces.”

 

“Felony is the New ‘N-Word”: Michelle Alexander on Mass Incarceration as “The New Jim Crow” in the Age of Obama

by Paul Street

The author – himself a renowned Left, anti-racist scholar and activist – calls Alexander’s work “as close to being a perfect book as you are going to see.” While established Black leadership spent most of its political capital defending affirmative action programs that never reached the masses of Black people, the U.S. was busy establishing a “new racial caste system” based on mass Black incarceration and “unimpeded by the Fourteenth Amendment and federal civil rights legislation”

 

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