As the Democrats Press for War, the Left Must Demand Peace and Social Transformation

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Democrats are whipping up war hysteria and “cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions.” Some folks have taken the bait. “Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.”

Freedom Rider: Contradiction in the Time of Trump

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The cacophony of pre-inaugural madness is full of lies against Russia, wild exaggerations about Obama’s accomplishments, and a weird and shameful alliance of so-called “progressives” and the CIA. Anti-Trump protests turn out to be props for useless Democrats. The contradictions of late stage capitalism abound -- which should be the cue for genuine radicals to fight both corporate parties. That means kicking the Democrats “while they are down.”

Obama’s Last Presidential Lies

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Nobody lies with the style and aplomb of Barack Hussein Obama, soon to be an ex-president of the United States. In his last address to the nation, Obama lied about his support for labor; economic and social justice for Black people; climate change and, of course, the rightwing Republican program that is his shameful legacy, Obamacare. Virtually everything the man says is a form of lie. But he does it so well, and some folks want so badly to believe.

 
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Some Guidance on the Russia Question

by Danny Haiphong

Barack Obama, “has spent its last days in the White House laying the basis for World War, claiming that the Russian government had directly interfered in the 2016 elections.” The corporate media and the Democratic Party have joined in the hysteria, along with far too many so-called progressives. “If criticism of Russia at this time takes precedence over fighting US imperialism, then a reexamination of the movement’s priorities is in order.”

Black Awakening, Class Rebellion

by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and George Ciccariello-Maher

“The Black movement has been and will continue to be the foundation for the emergence of other liberation movements” in the U.S., says Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, whose Black Awakening in Obama’s America has been described as “the most important book of 2016.” However, the Black Misleadership class stands with corporate power. “Black officials uphold a status quo that is institutionally racist and incapable of delivering the goods to Black people.”

Pity the Sad Legacy of Barack Obama

by Cornel West

One of the few Black public intellectuals to break with the First Black President early on, Dr. Cornel West notes that “those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility” for the impending Age of Trump. Obama ignored pleas to “break with Wall Street priorities and bail out Main Street” – but bailed out the banks instead, and oversaw what has become “the full-scale gangsterization of the world.”

The New Black Maroons to America: “We Quit!”

by Mark P. Fancher

Just as slave runaways made common cause with Native Americans in resistance to white settlers, U.S. Blacks should reciprocate the solidarity offered by Cuba, Venezuela and Palestinians, as well as providing whatever assistance is possible to progressive and revolutionary forces in Africa. However, “the task of political disengagement” from the rigged U.S. process “demands assurance that the community is not embarking on a journey into the abyss.”

Journalism and Pornography: Real Crime is Always Organized

by Dr. T.P. Wilkinson

Douglas Valentine latest study of the CIA shows him to be “an excellent history teacher” – which is high praise from the reviewer, an excellent teacher, himself. The CIA is a banditry on a huge scale, “invented not simply as an advisory and coordinating instrument for spying but as a criminal organization to cover for the fundamental criminal activity of US corporations and those who own them.”

The Untold Story of the Black Radical Tradition in Canada

by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

The author is a veteran of the Black political struggle on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border, having emigrated to Canada in the Sixties. He points out the similarities -- and differences – in Black radical politics in the two countries. For example, early on, “Africans born in Canada organized as Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Barbadians or Black Canadians.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 9, 2017

Rally in DC for Black Self-Determination

Self-determination is the “missing ingredient” in contemporary Black politics, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition will hold a rally on January 14 at Freedom Plaza, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, to advance “an independent Black agenda for our people, and not have us joined at the hip to the Democratic Party.” The time is ripe for a Black self-determinationist strategy, said Yeshitela, because “the Democrats, the Republicans, and the electoral process, itself, have fallen into disrepute.”

Reforming the Green Party

“We have to take our movement away from the non-profits, and the only way we can do that is if we can transform the Green Party into something more like the working class, socialist parties overseas,” said Georgia Green Party co-chair Bruce Dixon, speaking on a telephone call-in with party members across the country. “All of these parties are based on membership dues,” with their officers accountable to the membership -- something our current Green Party does not do,” said Dixon, who is also managing editor of Black Agenda Report. Some members warned that a dues structure might discourage involvement of low-income people, while others cautioned against “infiltration” of the Party by other groups. The Green Party garnered only about one percent of the vote in November.

Judge Orders Hep-C Cure for Mumia

A federal judge ruled that, within three weeks, Pennsylvania prison officials must begin administering a Hepatitis-C cure to the nation’s best known political prisoner. Atty. Bob Boyle, of Mumia Abu Jamal’s legal team, told BAR producer Kyle Fraser: “This judge ruled that the 8th Amendment guarantees people in prison adequate health care under the ‘cruel and inhuman treatment’ clause.” Boyle said “upwards of 40 percent of the prisoners in the Pennsylvania system have chronic Hepatitis-C,” and could benefit from the ruling.

Mumia Abu Jamal suffered a near-death crisis in mid-2015 due to complications from the disease. When told of the judge’s ruling, he urged activists to “spread the word, because this is not what the Commonwealth wants people to know about -- that they engage in unconstitutional medical practices designed, not to cure, and not even to treat,” a deadly illness. “Here we have a cure, and the government of Pennsylvania refused to give it to thousands of people for years, until they got to the brink of death.”

Rev. Edward Pinkney Appeals for Help

“I was convicted with absolutely no evidence, no witness, no confession, no crime scene, by an all-white jury,” said human rights activist Rev. Edward Pinkney, serving his second stint in prison for helping Black people in Benton Harbor, Michigan, effectively exercise their right to vote. “I was given the death penalty for a 68 year-old man: 30 months in the prison system, with absolutely no evidence.” Pinkney has already served 25 months of his current sentence. “I am an innocent man, threatened, tried Nazi-style and convicted in an effort to isolate and silence me against the power of the land-grabbing, job outsourcing, blood-sucking, criminal Whirlpool Corporation, that has its headquarters in Benton Harbor. I need the people’s help,” said Pinkney. He can be contacted at the Muskegon state prison, inmate #294671.

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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Locating Fascism on the Home Map

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

In decadence and decline, the U,S. has produced two strong strains of fascism that now vie for supremacy. The First Black President, now outgoing, represents the “cosmopolitan, global obsessed” variety of fascist. Donald Trump hails from an older fascist strain, “crude and petty, too ugly for global prime time.” At this stage in history, the two corporate parties seem incapable of producing anything other than fascists of one kind or the other.

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Propaganda Gift to Trump

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Political hysteria has its ironies. President Obama has just signed into law a new office of government propaganda that is intended to prevent any warming of relations with Russia under a Trump administration. But, President Trump will appoint the head of the office. The Democrats apparently expect Trump to cooperate with their plan to undermine his foreign policy, “silence dissent and create a network of propaganda partners” to badmouth Russia.

Trump’s Neo-Fascism will be Built on Neo-Fascism of Obama and Democrat Party

by Ajamu Baraka

White “radicals” and Black “nationalists” join with corporate Democrats and “latte” liberals” to mouth nonsense about Russians. Clinton Democrats attack Trump from the right -- and sweep know-nothings of all stripes along with them. “Collaboration from the left with the new McCarthyism is providing an opening for the isolation and repression of those of us who were going to have to fight no matter who would have been elected.”

Communities Betrayed and Sick, the EPA Office of Civil Rights Under the Spotlight

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

Just because Donald Trump hates the EPA doesn’t mean the agency has ever acted in the interest of Black people. “Whether the EPA is controlled by the Democratic or Republican Parties, the agency has had a consistent and negative impact on Black and Brown communities.” We’ve all seen the results: “Residents are forced to live in unsafe environments around landfills and oil refineries, and children are exposed to chronic diseases.”

Obama’s Pardons Distract from the Horror of Mass Black Incarceration

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Americans imprison big, but they pardon very small. President Obama set a record by giving clemency to 1/2000th of the 2.3million U.S. prison inmates. The Brennan Center recommends release of 40 percent of inmates. But the Black Is Back Coalition calculates that even release of twice that many – 80 percent – would still maintain mass incarceration at 1973 levels. The whole damn system has to go, for Black folks to even get close to justice.

 
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Message to the Movement Against Donald Trump: Let the Empire Die

by Danny Haiphong

The Democrats are attacking from the Right, desperate to stir up war fever. “The destabilization of Russia is critical to finance capital's agenda of self-enrichment from the chaos of political catastrophe.” When Wall Street demands that the country be put on a war footing, the Democrats are eager to please. “Only strong ideological opposition to the Democratic Party can challenge the madness of the US empire's anti-Russia campaign.”

Message to the Movement Against Donald Trump: Let the Empire Die

Delusions Shattered: How Democrats Lost Claims to a Moral High Ground by Ignoring Obama's Transformation Into Bush

by Jon Reynolds

In defeat, Democrats now cast themselves as defiant “fascist-fighters” and saviors of civil society. Yet, they were silent or supportive when Barack Obama spent eight years committing the same crimes as George Bush, and adding his own atrocities to the record. Donald Trump’s victory, “if there is anything good to say about it, will at least breathe much needed life into an antiwar sentiment that has been largely dormant since Bush left office.”

This Cruel New Policy Makes It Near Impossible for Kids to See Their Incarcerated Parents

by Dana Bazelon

Adding yet another cruelty to the world’s most monstrous system of mass incarceration, federal prison officials restrict visitation to immediate family members. Yet, relatively few prisoners are legally married. “The practical impact of the policy for most of my clients,” says the author, a lawyer, “is that they cannot see their romantic partners and their children.” Federal jailers are trying to enforce “Leave it to Beaver” rules in the Gulag.

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