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    Renisha was on Trial All Along

    by Thandisizwe Chimurenga

    Ted Wafer’s defense lawyers spent his entire trial trying to convince 12 jurors that Renisha McBride was guilty in her own murder.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/11/14

    Wall Street is Milking Detroit Dry

    Mass water cutoffs are set to resume on August 25, a prelude to privatization of Detroit’s water and sewage department, while plans are afoot to put public parking up for auction. “The underlying agenda” of the state-imposed bankruptcy process is the “sell off of public assets; the destruction of the strength – to the extent it exists – of the labor movement; and the expropriation of public pension funds,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, of the Moratorium Now Coalition. A similar fate awaits other cities across the country, because “the crisis of the overall American capitalist system has worsened and, therefore, there’s more pressure being put on municipalities to extract more wealth for the benefit of Wall Street.”

    Black Is Back Coalition to Gather in Philadelphia

    The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which has consistently opposed the corporatist and warlike policies of the Obama administration since its founding in 2009, holds its annual conference in Philadelphia, August 16 and 17. “More and more people are being awakened to the catastrophe that the Obama regime has become, not only for the struggle and rights of African people here in the United States, but for people around the world,” said Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela. The Coalition plans to mount another march on the White House on November 1.

    Black Liberation in the Age of Climate Change

    Cooperation Jackson, a campaign to bring cooperative economics to Jackson, Mississippi, is one of the legacies of the late Chokwe Lumumba’s brief tenure as mayor of the mostly Black city. The grassroots effort has joined forces with the Climate Justice Alliance, according to veteran organizer Kali Akuno. “We’re looking not only to control the means of production in Jackson – and eventually throughout Mississippi, and beyond – but we’re trying to make sure that we produce goods and services differently than the standard capitalist methods, which are over-reliant on petrochemicals and unhealthy products,” said Akuno.

    Mumia: Immigrant-Bashing is Part of Americana

    Resentment of new immigrant groups is “as old as the country, itself,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. “Every generation, anxious about their place in this turbulent society, gives new arrivals hell,” said Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. Anti-immigrant sentiment helped fuel a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan. “It doesn’t take much to spark it back up again, as we see with the children of Central America.”

    CIA Battles to Keep Its Torture Secrets

    Congress adjourned without resolution of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s attempt to declassify a 6,000-page report on CIA torture programs. Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, said the agency “destroyed the evidence of its crimes – obstructing justice in the process – and then, when investigated by the Senate, hacked the Senate servers, infiltrated the Senate computer system, stole documents from the Senate, and then filed false allegations with the Justice Department seeking prosecution of Senate staffers.” Arguably, the CIA is “the world’s most successful terror organization,” said Buttar.

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    Time For The CBC and our Black Political Class Denounce Apartheid and Ethnocracy in Israel-Palestine

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The contradiction between the supposed origin of our black political class out of the struggle against Jim Crow and its collaboration with Israeli apartheid can't be resolved. We can only save the good name of our own people by calling out the black US collaborators with apartheid, holding them up to derision and ridicule, by sustaining a storm of disapproval and opprobrium until they and the ethnocratic regime in Israel are no more. 

    James Brown: The Hardest Working Asshole in Show Business

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    James Brown’s music and lyrics are woven into the politics of Black America’s most productive decade, the Sixties. However, JB’s “relationship to the Black people he touched most directly – those who worked for him – was cruel, petty, and contemptuous.”

    Freedom Rider: Climate Change – Point of No Return

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Russian Arctic belches deadly methane as global warming pushes the biosphere beyond the tipping point. We have a choice: revolution or extinction. “The profit motive must be eliminated in favor of managed economies that limit growth, fairly distribute resources, regulate the polluting industries and activities, and end the gross inequalities of this gilded age.”

    Long Live Gridlock and Paralysis of Both Big Business Parties

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    With Wall Street in firm control of both major political parties, why would anyone on the Left want the Republicans and Democrats to make nice with each other and collaborate more closely to pass legislation? We should thank our lucky stars for gridlock, which has prevented President Obama from consummating a Grand Bargain with the GOP.

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    Sanctions for Russia and a Green Light for Israel to Continue War Crimes

    by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

    The U.S. is a rogue state whose organs of government at every level are controlled by war criminals and their cheerleaders. That includes “the new liberal darlings Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren” who “give moral and political support to Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Meanwhile, Washington prepares for war against Russia.

     

    The Role of US Corporate Entertainment in the Social Control Element of Imperialism

    by Danny Haiphong

    Don't expect truth or wisdom from entertainers. They work for monopoly media corporations, not for their adoring publics. With a few exceptions, Black entertainers conform to the dictates of Power and view their own “fans” as lower forms of life. “Jay-Z rejected an invitation to speak to [Harry] Belafonte, calling him a ‘boy’ who needed to understand that the rapper's very presence was 'charity' to the Black community.”

     

    Reparations – the 800 lb. Bail of Cotton in the Room

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

    It is incontrovertible that the American State and society owes a huge debt to Africans and African Americans. Formulas of calculation and methods of repayment are open to debate, but not the fact of the debt, which is undeniable. White America only escape its vast liabilities by denying the essential humanity of the Black injured parties.

     

    BRICS Bank Challenges the Exorbitant Privilege of the US Dollar

    by Horace G. Campbell

    Over 65 percent of the world’s nations keep their foreign exchange reserves in the US dollar, the dominant world currency. The creation of the BRICS Bank and other financial interventions will likely weaken the dollar’s dominance and contribute to the creation a new international economic order.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/04/14

    The Chosen People – for Incarceration

    “They’ve created a permanent caste from which people cannot escape,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress (POP), referring to America’s system of mass Black incarceration. POP supports the New Jersey Decarceration Act, aimed at drastically reducing prison populations. Historically, police forces and prisons have expanded to contain Black people, socially and geographically. “What they’re worried about now is there’s a potential for us to build alliances with other groups that have been economically disenfranchised in the last few decades, and that there could be an even wider societal response to the suffering that’s going on in this country,” said Hamm.

    Challenge to Arbitrary Solitary Confinement

    Prison inmate Lester Alford has hauled New Jersey into court, charging prison officials with arbitrarily locking him in solitary under appalling conditions. “They only gave him one set of clothing for three years, and didn’t let him clean his cell for three years,” said Jean Ross, a lawyer who has advised many state prisoners. The state accused Alford, now middle-aged, of being a gang leader. “There is no excuse, no defense to the fact that they placed him under isolated confinement without any kind of due process of law, and under conditions that we would not keep animals in,” said Ross, who is also an organizer with the People’s Organization for Progress.

    Former Panther Blasts Huey Newton

    Wayne Pharr, a former captain in the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, has just published a book titled Nine Lives of a Black Panther: A Story of Survival. “I don’t bash anybody but Huey Newton,” the Panther co-founder who, Pharr writes, set himself up as Supreme Commander and sent hit squads against members considered disloyal. “That’s what turned me off from the whole thing, because that spoke of ego and no humility,” said Pharr, who now makes his living in real estate. The FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO played a role in the party’s demise. “We knew were under surveillance with COINTELPRO,” said Pharr, “and COINTELPRO is still working, right now.”

    U.S. Complicit in Israeli Crimes

    “Not a minute of this war would be possible without complete and total U.S. funding, political support, and diplomatic support every step of the way,” said Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center. But, “the world has not been silent” to the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza, nearly 2,000 of whom – overwhelmingly civilians – have died at Israeli hands. What the Israeli’s want, said Flounders, “is the silence of the grave; that’s their only plan.” A huge demonstration is set for this Saturday, August 9, at the United Nations building in New York, said Flounders, who is also an organizer with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition.

    Mumia: Zionists Lust for Land

    America’s best known political prisoner says “Israel intentionally targets civilians, which is a war crime.” Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio, called Israel “a settler colonialists state which has no use for the indigenous people of Palestine, yet lusts for its land.” President Obama claims Israel “has the right to defend itself. But, one wonders: doesn’t Palestine have that right, as well?”

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    Cowardly, Hypocritical, Subservient Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Israeli Apartheid and Current War Crimes in Gaza

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Only 2 of over 40 Congressional Black Caucus members voted against legitimizing the 2009 Israeli massacre of 1400 mostly civilians in Gaza, with seven CBC members abstaining. Last week, with the Gaza death toll climbing toward 1,000 not a single CBC member could be bothered to lift a voice against Israel's genocidal assault of the moment or its ongoing apartheid state in general. Black America should hang our collective heads in shame.

    Obama Summons Africa to Washington to Talk Trade (and How to Cut Out China)

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    All of Africa’s leaders “in good standing” with the U.S. will gather in Washington, this weekend. On the continent, AFRICOM is boss, with a mission “to stymie, at will, the integration of Africa into a multi-polar world in which China is the center of gravity.” China’s trade with Africa far exceeds the U.S. However, “just as the Americans strong-armed the Europeans into sanctioning Russia, the U.S. will soon flex its AFRICOM muscles against China.”

    Freedom Rider: The Causes of World War III

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The world is being enveloped by chaos, dragged towards an apocalypse of unknown proportions by its sole superpower. “The absence of a competing power only emboldened the United States to renew its long history of intervention, invasion and aggression.” Washington is huffing and puffing a grotesque ultimatum to the planet: submit, or we will bring down all of humanity’s houses.

    Wafer Takes Stand in His Own Defense in Trial for the Death of Renisha McBride

    Shooter describes incident as 'devastating' and happening 'too fast'

     

    Thandisizwe Chimurenga

     

    Theodore Paul Wafer took the stand in his own defense today. Charged with 2nd degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of 19-year old Renisha McBride, the 55-year old airport maintenance worker faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the first charge and 15 years for the manslaughter charge if convicted.

    Black Is Back Coalition Holds National Conference in Philadelphia

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The Black is Back Coalition came together in 2009, “determined that the first politician in history to spend a billion dollars to win the presidency would not get a free pass from all of Black America.” The Coalition’s upcoming national conference will map strategies to confront Power in the waning days of the Age of Obama, and beyond.

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    From Victim to Colonial Settler: Shifting the Paradigm on Israel

    by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

    U.S. and western European popular support for Israeli aggression against Arabs is rooted in racist, colonial notions of “’white man’s burden,’ ‘manifest destiny,’ the ‘doctrine of discovery,’ and ‘American exceptionalism’ – expressions of the arrogant pathology of the white supremacist worldview.” It is imperative to undermine the “innocent settler” narrative “that justifies Israeli state and settler violence.”

    Truth and Politics as an Alternative to Despair in the Last Stage of US imperialism

    by Danny Haiphong

    “Both the corporate ruling class on one side and much of the proclaimed ‘left’ on the other are caught up in fact-manipulation.” For differing reasons, neither tells the truth about Zionism’s mission to create a ‘Greater Israel’; of U.S. and Israeli support for jihadists such ISIS – which claimed credit for killing the three teenage Jewish settlers; or U.S. schemes to contain China and foment war against Russia.

    US Foreign Policy –Wrong Side of History, Wrong Side of World Opinion

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

    President Obama has turned his back on his 2009 promises to the Palestinian people, and instead ratcheted up support for Israeli wars, bigotry and racism. “The NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus, and other organizations should be front-and-center in condemning the Israeli government’s actions and the Obama administration’s support and encouragement of them.”

    Connecting the Dots: Palestine, Israel, the United States and Apartheid

    by Solomon Comissiong

    Black and genuinely progressive Americans should be in righteous motion against Israel’s murderous attack on Gaza. “If you were against Apartheid in places like South Africa or Zimbabwe, then you must stand against Apartheid in Israel/Palestine.” But then, the United States, like Israel, “ is ultimately a white settler nation.”

    Running Orders

    by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

    You live in the wrong place
    and now is your chance to run
    to nowhere.
     

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/28/14

    World Opinion Turns Against Israel – But Not in Congressional Black Caucus

    Israelis “can no longer frame themselves as the victims” in the conflict with occupied Palestinians, said veteran human rights activist and BAR columnist Ajamu Baraka. However, “it now appears that Black leadership has lost its moral compass and are standing shoulder to shoulder with something as brutal and backward as the assault on Palestine,” said Baraka. Every member of the Congressional Black Caucus this month joined in a unanimous House resolution siding with Israel.

    U.S. Academics Largely Silent on Israeli Crimes

    American academics are largely mum on Israeli brutality in Gaza, said Dr. Johnny Williams, professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. “They are scared to talk about the kinds of war crimes that are being committed with this unprovoked war by Israel,” he said. Except for Cornel West, Noam Chomsky “and a few others,” academics are “essentially folks who tell the stories of rich people and the people who have power.”

    Kucinich: America Must Quit “Imperial Pretensions”

    The U.S. is on the wrong side of history, said Dennis Kucinich, the former Ohio congressman, Cleveland mayor, and two-time presidential candidate. “Our policies of intervention, of regime change, of covert action, of linking up with groups that seek to destabilize and annihilate governments, are policies that are doomed to defeat,” said Kucinich, who fought unsuccessfully to halt U.S. bombing of Libya in 2011, before he was redistricted out of his seat. “We have to quit these imperial pretensions and take care of business at home.”

    NYPD Reform Impossible Under Bratton

    The choke-hold death of a Black New Yorker accused of selling loose cigarettes shows that Mayor Bill de Blasio should never have brought Bill Bratton back as police commissioner, said Josmar Trujillo, of New Yorkers Against Bratton. The group had warned that Bratton’s obsession with so-called “quality of life” offenses would lead to disaster. “Back then, we said that his history and his policies were the exact opposite of reform,” said Trujillo. “I think now people are starting to have the conversation, after the death of Eric Garner, about what’s going on with Bratton’s ‘Broken Windows’ policing.”

    Prisoners Have Voting Rights, Too

    Back in 2008, Rev. Kenneth Glascow won a lawsuit affirming the right of many incarcerated people to vote, in Alabama. Glascow and his Ordinary People Society have been making the rounds of county jails, to determine if they are in compliance with the law. “Anybody who is in jail in Alabama for a crime that is not a crime of moral turpitude – meaning, they caused harm or danger to someone else – never loses their voting rights,” said Glascow, who is the half-brother of Rev. Al Sharpton.

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    Why Our Black Political Class is Paralyzed and Silent on Gaza Massacres and Israeli Apartheid

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    How did the NAACP wrap up its national conference this weekend without saying a mumbling word about the genocidal bombing of Gaza? Why did Moral Monday's Rev. Barber appear on HBO's Real Time with notorious Islamaphobe Bill Maher and not speak to the morality of apartheid in Israel? Why are the black political class and the black church, invisible on the invasion of Gaza and the fact of Israeli ethnocracy in general?

    The Siege of Detroit: A War of Black Urban Removal

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The “pause” in the draconian Detroit water shut-off is just a lull in “an escalating trajectory of systematically inflicted mass punishment and pain designed to make life in the city unbearable for a huge proportion of the population.” Wall Street has declared war against America’s “Chocolate Cities,” demanding “the shrinkage of Black urban populations as a prerequisite for full-scale investment.”

     

    Freedom Rider: Putin in America’s Crosshairs

    by BAR editor and columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Why did 300 people plummet to their deaths over Ukraine? The answer is not in the minutia of one small battlefield, but in the wild and frenzied behavior of the superpower that is intent on global rule. “There would be no BUK missiles in Ukraine, no uprooted refugees, and no bloodshed if the United States and other NATO nations had not picked a fight with Russia.”

    Obama’s Hot War

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The deeper the U.S. slips into economic decline, the higher it ratchets up the pace and stakes of armed conflict. Washington appears to have crossed some kind of Rubicon, to embark “on a mad, scorched earth policy to terrorize the planet into submission through relentless escalation into a global state of war.”

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    Age of Liberty, Age of Slavery

    by Paul Street

    The “Age of Liberty” for whites was an age of expanding slavery and genocide for the New World’s Black and Native American victims. “Of the known 10,148,288 Africans put on slave ships bound for the Americas between 1514 and 1866 (of a total historians estimate to be at least 12,500,000), more than half, 5,131,385, were embarked after July 4, 1776.”

    The Migrant Crisis and the Dead-end of US imperialism

    by Danny Haiphong

    “Deporter-in-Chief” Obama’s policies towards Latin American immigrants are incontrovertible proof that both major parties serve the same neoliberal master. Neither party tells the truth about the migration crisis: “US imperialism's dual military and economic assault in the Central American region is the primary reason thousands of youth are being forced to flee from the conditions of their native countries.”

     

    Radical Black Reading: Summer 2014

    by The Public Archive

    For your Summer edification: the works of “Black writers, scholars, artists, and activists” explore how “the policies of the Israel towards the Palestinian people mirror the historic regimes of apartheid in South Africa and Jim Crow in the United States.”

    Afro-Uruguay: A Brief History

    by George Reid Andrews

    Afro-Uruguayans have contributed to the construction of Uruguay as a consequence of enslavement. They have set up important organisations such as Mundo Afro to lobby the national government to recognise its black minority as an equal member of the national community.

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