Muhammad Ali and the Hypocrites that Pretend They Respected His Political Views

by Solomon Comissiong

These days, everybody claims to love Muhammad Ali – yet another proof that the United States is the ultimate revisionist nation, reshaping the past to fit its national pretenses in the present. Ali stood up to U.S. apartheid and the racist, imperialist war against Vietnam. “They called him a traitor then; yet now pretend as though they respected his political stances as courageous.”

When Malcolm X Met Cassius Clay

by Thomas C. Mountain

Two of the greatest Black icons of the 20th century crossed paths – and the world would “never be the same again.” Malcolm X “enlightened Cassius Clay and brought about his rebirth as Muhammed Ali” – driving white America to new depths of insanity.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 6, 2016

McKinney: Duopoly is Imploding, But What Comes Next?

The 2016 election is going to be “written about and studied for a very long time,” said six-term former Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential candidate. “Black voters don’t have any stake at all in the continuation of either the Democratic or Republican Parties, as presently constituted,” said McKinney, who last year earned her doctorate in Leadership and Change. “The implosion of the duopoly is of great political import to the Black community,” she said. “The problem is, however, that we have to be organized in order to have an imprint on the outcome.”

2016 “Most Consequential” Election in a Century

“The two-party duopoly is at an end,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Dubosian scholar and Black Radical Organizing Committee activist who helped put together a national conference on the Black Radical Tradition, in Philadelphia, in January. Monteiro believes that 2016 will go down as “the most consequential election, certainly, in 100 years.” Monteiro noted that Donald Trump told Bloomberg News he would turn the Republican Party into a workers party. “This is huge, said Monteiro. “He has broken every Republican orthodoxy.” Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, “is challenging the elite and the power brokers and the moneybags within the Democratic Party, but he has not gone as far as Trump to challenge American hegemony and American empire.”

Free Rev. Edward Pinkney, Political Prisoner

“The system is rigged and corrupt,” said Rev. Edward Pinkney, the Benton Harbor, Michigan, community activist serving 30 months to 10 years on bogus election tampering charges that he believes stem from his defiance of the Whirlpool Corporations domination of the mostly Black town. “We must stand and demand the government serve the interests of the people, and not the corporations,” said Pinkney, who fears he will be assassinated at the Marquette Branch Prison in the upper peninsula of Michigan. “The attack on democracy in Benton Harbor and around the country shows that the corporate power structure is determined to crush anyone that stands in its way,” he said.

Schools Annually Eject Huge Numbers of Black Girls

Education Week magazine called on experts to explore why Black girls are expelled or suspended from public school six times as often as white girls. It’s “misguided” to think that “low income kids and kids of color need to be heavily disciplined and heavily surveiled,” said Adrienne Dixson, professor of Critical Race Theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. “Schools should recognize that these behaviors aren’t just because kids want to be bad, but that they are responding to an environment that doesn’t help them feel free.”

Horne: U.S. Subversion has Venezuela on the Ropes

The government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is clearly in trouble, said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. “With government offices being shut down three days out of the week; with electricity blackouts; with shortages of consumer goods, including toilet paper, this is obviously a reflection of that fact that, number one, the elite of Venezuela have turned against the Maduro regime” and, secondly, the United States is backing the effort to bring down the socialist government.

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There is No U.S. War Against ISIS; Instead, Obama is Protecting His “Assets”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Two years ago, President Obama said he had no strategy to combat the Islamic State. The U.S. is still not waging war against ISIS or “jihadists of any brand in Syria.” The international iihadist network is a U.S. imperial asset. “The general aim of the Obama administration’s jihadist policy, now deeply in crisis, is to preserve the Islamic State as a fighting force for deployment under another brand name, under new top leadership.”

Freedom Rider: Who’s the Fascist?

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The U.S. public loves fascists; they elect them, constantly. Donald Trump, who “says he would raise the minimum wage and stop the endless efforts at regime change,” is called a fascist by some. But Hillary Clinton “is happy to bomb Libya or Syria or any other country,” and played a major role in mass Black incarceration. Barack Obama is the war-maker and deporter-in-chief. “All of the major party candidates fit the F word description in some way.”

South Africa’s EFF: Julius Malema and the Struggle to Continue the Revolution

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

For many South Africans, Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters are the answer to the neoliberal policies of the ruling African National Congress. The EFF charges that the ANC transitioned the country “from one phase of apartheid to another, neo-colonial phase where the majority of blacks are poorer than ever.” The Freedom Charter, says Malema, is “the bible” of the South African revolution. “Any deviation from that is a sellout position.”

The Centrality of Africa in the Class Struggle to Come

by Danny Haiphong

Africa – it’s natural resources and the labor of its people – built the economies of the West, which has no intention of leaving. The West drains Africa of hundreds of billions each year, while strangling its nations in debt. The U.S. military occupies much of the continent. “The movement against racism and class warfare in the US must defend Africa from imperialist attack and condemn US imperialism wherever it rears its head on the continent.”

Building a Socialist Movement in the Bernie Moment

by Ashton Rome

Some leftist organizations are betting that lots of Bernie Sanders supporters “will feel betrayed watching Sanders endorse a corporate Democrat,” Hillary Clinton, in Philadelphia this summer. Socialist Alternative, the party to which the author belongs, believes this election season provides an historic chance to build an independent political party to the left of the Democrats.“

Is There a Cure for Wrongful Convictions?

by Lorenzo Johnson

The author has spent almost 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He asks, “Why has our government yet to intervene when there have been record numbers of exonerations for the past two years?” Incarcerating the innocent is a crime. “The main reasons behind wrongful convictions are ineffective assistance of counsel, false testimony, police and prosecutorial misconduct, misidentification, junk science, false confessions, and evidence suppression.”

Silencing America as it Prepares for War

by John Pilger

The superpower that seeks to dominate the world won’t even discuss foreign policy in its national elections. Barack Obama has begun a “second cold war,” building more nukes than any other president. Hillary Clinton gets cash “from all but one of the world's ten biggest arms companies.” And Bernie Sanders “supports Obama's terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq.” War is normalized.

Kenya Needs a People’s Revolution

by Henry Makori

Kenya is ruled by a “deep state” beholden to comprador capitalists, foreign interests, and ethnic-based politicians. “Nearly everyday there are fresh reports of mysterious murders, threats or arrests of human rights defenders, journalists, student leaders, bloggers, whistleblowers, social/political activists and dissidents.” A revolution is necessary. “No one is going to bring the citizen her share of the ‘fruits of uhuru’ on a silver platter.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of May 30, 2016

Jill Stein: U.S. Electoral “House of Cards” Coming Down

Presidential candidate Jill Stein has an answer tor those Democrats that accuse the Greens of offering themselves as “spoilers” who would throw the election to Donald Trump. “I will be horrified if Donald Trump gets elected, and I will be horrified if Hillary Clinton gets elected,” Stein told a panel at the Left Forum conference, in New York City. “I’m most horrified by a political system that gives us two lethal choices and says, ‘Pick between them, and that’s it.’” The two-party duopoly electoral arrangement is in trouble because of the “inherent disfunction of the system, and the fact that the house of cards really is coming down.”

Blacks Will Be Slow to Abandon Democrats

Bernie Sanders has no interest in creating a new political party to the left of the Democrats, because he “wants to strengthen the leftish faction within the Democratic Party,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford, speaking at the same Left Forum panel as Jill Stein. However, Ford predicted that millions of Sanders’ followers will choose to join or help form such a party. Although Blacks are the most left-leaning constituency in the country, they will be slow to support any new, “social democratic” political formation, for fear of helping the “White Man’s Party” – the GOP. Blacks will only break out of the Democratic “trap” in large numbers, said Ford, when they perceive that the Republicans are no longer “a kind of monolithic threat” to Black America.

Charter Schools Take Chicanery Online

Charter school companies are now operating so-called “virtual schools” that have no physical classrooms, but only exist on the Internet. David Cohen, executive director of the advocacy group In The Public Interest, said California Virtual Academies, run by K-12 Inc., graduates less than half its students and is accused of counting pupils as “present” if they log online for as little as one minute a day. The charter’s teachers are paid only about $30,000, said Cohen. The company “needs to make a profit, they need to pay their CEOs, they also need to do whatever they need to do for their shareholders on the stock exchange,” he said. The profits are produced by paying teachers less, hiring fewer administration people, and squeezing every way they can,” he said.

Rich Countries Drain Trillions from Developing World

Global banking expert James Henry said rich countries siphon more than $12 trillion a year from China, Russia and other developing nations. “Collectively speaking, the world has to worry about this because it means that, oddly enough, the developing world is actually a net creditor of western Europe and the United States.” Much of the huge cash outflow is diverted to secretive offshore banking outlets, but soon finds it way back into rich western portfolios. The loss of wealth is disastrous for the developing world, said Henry. “It’s a tremendous opportunity cost for developing countries.”

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Seats on the 2016 Democratic Platform Committee Are NOT a "Political Revolution"

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The Sanders campaign named Cornel West, and 4 others to the Democratic party 2016 platform committee. But platform promises to Democratic voters have always been worthless. Bill Clinton's 1992 platform promised inner city job programs, reinvestment of military spending and much else. Obama's 2008 platform pledged relief to homeowners in the foreclosure crisis and more. The 2016 platform committee is a dead end for the "political revolution" leveraging the credibility of Brother West behind empty pledges neither the platform committee nor Democratic voters can enforce, promises which Hillary Clinton has no intention of keeping.

Crime “Prediction”: The Algorithms of Racist Injustice

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Mass Black incarceration wound up ensnaring too many white people in the gulags, bringing forth calls from within the establishment for “reform” to spare those undeserving of imprisonment.  Digital science came to the rescue. “The U.S. criminal justice system now deploys algorithm-based technology to predict who will be criminalized in the future, and to systematically push whites out of the path of the New Jim Crow juggernaut.”

Freedom Rider: Georgetown Should Pay for Slavery

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If ever there was a clear path to reparations for the descendants of slaves, it is in compensation to the progeny of the 272 men and women sold South to save the Jesuit school that became Georgetown University. The institution’s $1.5 billion endowment is at least partially owed to an identifiable group of Black people. “If Georgetown pays up like it ought to they can go to any college or make whatever financial decisions they choose.”

Freddie Gray Case Judge Rules it is Unreasonable to Expect Cops to Obey the Law

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The prosecution in Baltimore wanted the cop that arrested Freddie Gray to be convicted of assault, because Gray had done nothing illegal. But “the judge seemed to think it would be ridiculous to treat every arrest as criminal just because there were no grounds for arrest.” The officer was acquitted, affirming the American criminal justice principle that nothing is illegal – including murder – when the cops do it.

 
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On the Challenges of Building a Principled Left Movement in Our Time

by Danny Haiphong

These are exciting – and frustrating – times. “The crisis of US empire has created ripe conditions for a revolutionary movement, yet no such movement exists.” Social forces opposed to capitalism’s predations multiply, yet too often fail to unify. “The task from here is to engage those who have been propelled into action by the crisis of US Empire, whether it is the Sandernistas or Black Lives Matter activists.”

Layers of Islamophobia: Rep. Keith Ellison Says He’s “Unaware” of Clinton Having Returned “Muslim Money”

by Sam Husseini

The only two Muslim members of Congress, Keith Ellison and André Carson, both Black, seem oblivious to Hillary Clinton’s history of distancing herself from Muslim Americans, and share her militaristic vision for the Middle East. U.S. discussions of Islamophobia “largely excludes discussion of U.S. foreign policy, the dehumanization of Muslim lives lost, especially in U.S. attacks.” The only good Muslim is one who supports U.S. imperial policy.

Prisoners’ Voices Blocked and Censorship in U.S. Prisons

by Jaan Laaman

Like many political prisoners, the author’s freedom of speech rights are routinely curtailed. “While prisoners do have a legal right to express their thoughts and report on issues and abuses, actually getting your words out is often very hard or impossible.” U.S. prisons operate their own “kangaroo courts” that often shut down inmate communications “even if the prisoner ultimately wins appeal and has his or her communications restored.”

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