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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/23/14

“Broad Social Movement” Confronts Philadelphia’s Temple University

Protests against the firing of Temple University African American Studies professor Anthony Monteiro have evolved into a “broad united front” of students, grassroots community forces, organized labor and elected officials. “Black Philadelphia, in particular, understands that Temple University is not only gentrifying the community, but is hyper-policing the community,” creating “an island of privilege in a city of poverty,” said Dr. Monteiro. “All that was necessary was for someone to stand up and say that this powerful institution must be made answerable to the community.”

CIA Plays Both Sides in Iraq

“The CIA has a long history of being on both sides of conflicts that we later sacrifice a great deal to address,” said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. The jihadist fighters of ISIS, currently on the offensive in Iraq, have benefited from U.S. and allied support for regime change in Syria. In the past, the CIA “trained the precursor of al Qaida in Afghanistan” and supported Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. Buttar, a constitutional lawyer, has produced a video titled “NSA vs USA,” a “hip hop history lesson set to music.”

Massachusetts to Have Highest State Minimum Wage

The Massachusetts state legislature has passed, and the governor is certain to sign, a bill to raise the minimum wage from $8 to $11 over three years – the highest state minimum in the country. Lew Finfer, director of the Massachusetts Community Action Network, credits the victory to a “broad coalition” of faith-based, community and labor organizations that collected over 200,000 signatures to put the wage hike on the ballot, this fall. The threat of a referendum worked. “Had we not gotten the signatures,” the legislature “would not have passed a bill or would have passed much less of a wage increase,” said Finfer.

Petition to Block Ugandan from UN Post

Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s Foreign Minister, is unfit to assume the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly, according to a petition circulating on Change.org. Kutesa is engaged in massive corruption and theft of public funds, war-profiteering in South Sudan, and is complicit in Uganda’s genocidal crimes against the Democratic Republic of Congo, said Milton Allimadi, publisher of the New York-based Black Star News. “He diminishes the legacy and the name of other Africans who have served as president of the UN General Assembly, and should resign.” Kutesa was elected to the UN post without opposition.

Syrian Election Shows People’s Determination

The recent elections in war-torn Syria, which President Bashar al-Assad won handily, were a demonstration of the Syrian people’s determination to prevail against western and jihadist “terror,” said Paul Larudee, part of an international team of election observers. The U.S. and Israel are intent on sowing “eternal conflict and death and destruction” in the region. However, “I don’t think [the Syrians] are going to lose this war,” said Larudee, a member of the International Palestine Solidarity Network. “They’re absolutely determined.”

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Top 10 Reasons Why Corporate Social Media is Not Your Friend, and Dark Social Media Is

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

For a long time now, we've all been told, and have told each other, that corporate social media is the way to build businesses, audiences and brands. What if this is about as true as the old saw about real estate prices only going up? What is “dark social media” and how is it different from Twitter, Facebook and the rest.

ISIS Iraq Offensive: Can the Empire Reassert Control of the Jihadists?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“How can the U.S. bomb ISIS jihadists in Iraq and not bomb them in Syria?” The contradictions of the West’s reliance on Muslim fundamentalist jihadis to do their dirty work have become acute with the ISIS blitzkrieg in Iraq. Despite its vast weaponry, the U.S. cannot control events on the ground if their jihadist gunmen pursue their own objectives, which are ultimately antithetical to imperialism.

Freedom Rider: America’s War Crime in Iraq

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

For the people of the Middle East, the American war never ended; it continued under the brutal, U.S.-backed jihadists who ravaged Syria, and have struck at Iraq with a vengeance. In the United States, George Bush gets the blame for the Iraq War while the First Black President reignites the region with his proxy wars and apocalyptic threats. “Imperialism is still on the move and now has a more shrewd personification in the person of Barack Obama.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Blackwashing, the Reparations Brand, and a Last Refuge For Scoundrels

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

No sensible person should doubt the fundamental justice of arguments for reparations for the historic crimes of slavery, Jim Crow, and today's prison state. Accomplishing reparations would require a massive political realignment. But is reparations today a political movement, or is it an empty brand available for African American public figures in need of a little blackwashing?

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U.S. Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Since the meltdown of 2008, U.S. universities have collaborated with the Pentagon to study dynamics of social movements, worldwide. The goal of “terrorism studies” is “to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease.” The Minerva Initiative, like NSA spying, sees the entire planet as “enemy territory.”

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We've Got Their Number: U.S. Discrimination Penalty Bill is $1 Billion and Counting - Part Two

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Rather than crack down on discrimination and illegal retaliation, the U.S. government spends megabucks to silence complaints. “Upwards of $1 billion have been doled out by federal agencies in settlement and judgment costs for discrimination lawsuits since the No FEAR Act went into effect in 2002.” In effect, the Feds are protecting the bad guys. “The sanctions built into the No FEAR Act are not significant enough to affect the widespread discrimination, retaliation or abuse of federal employees.” It’s time for No FEAR II.

Making the Case for an Election Boycott: Why the Left Should Refrain from US Imperialism's Electoral Charade

by Danny Haiphong

The left should not participate in, “and thus provide consent for, the rule of imperialism every four years.” Say “No” to the charade. “Barack Obama's two-term presidency has been a lesson for the entire left that voting for a Wall Street politician within the imperialist state can only bring more misery and political confusion, not less.”

Paul Kagame’s Rwanda Murder Inc.

by Theogene Rudasingwa

Washington’s go-to warlord in Africa, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, has turned his country’s embassies into nests of assassins, targeting dissidents around the globe. His foreign and domestic policies are “founded on the premise that opponents, whether heads of state or ordinary citizens, must die or be jailed.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/16/14

Nation’s First All-Charter School System Restores Segregation

The last conventional public school in the New Orleans Recovery District closed last month, a harbinger of what may be in store in systems across the country. “Apparently, this model means taking education out of the public realm and putting it into the hands of private, non-profit boards and for-profit corporations,” said Karran Harper Royal, a parent advocate with the city’s Coalition for Community Schools, one of several groups that have filed a civil rights suit against the district and the Louisiana Board of Education. “It seems that white kids are disproportionately taking up the seats in the A- and B-rated schools,” while Black children are clustered in failing schools, said Ms. Harper Royal. “After all these years, we’re back in a segregated school system, only now it is also along class lines.”

Haiti Activists Urge Rejection of Both Congressional Candidates in Harlem

Incumbent Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel and his main challenger, State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, are both guilty of supporting “apartheid” policies against Dominicans of Haitian descent, charged demonstrators outside a televised campaign debate. Under a law passed by the Dominican Republic and endorsed by Rangel and Espaillat, less than 10 percent of 200,000-plus people with roots in Haiti will quality for Dominican citizenship, even though most have never set foot outside the country and speak only Spanish. Daoud Andre, a Haitian community activist, called on Harlemites “not to vote for either of these supporters of apartheid,” and for “people of conscience around the world to boycott Dominican products and services,” including tourism.

Black Is Back Coalition: Obama “Worse Than Bush”

Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, said Barack Obama has been “worse than Bush” for Black people, and for the cause of peace. “Bush couldn’t have gotten away with the things Obama did without some kind of response” from the Black community,” said Yeshitela. Obama “has neutralized so many forces, taken them out of action. It wasn’t understood that part of Obama’s function was to act as a cover for white power and for imperialism. He’s escalated war, he’s signed off on assassinations, and he’s done it with a neutralized Black community.” The Black Is Back Coalition holds its annual international conference in Philadelphia, August 16-17.

U.S. Pushes Russia and China into Closer Alliance

Washington’s provocations are driving Russia, the world’s top energy exporter, and China, soon to be the world’s largest economy, into a deeper economic and political alliance, said Eric Draitser, of StopImperialism.org. “It would seem a self-defeating strategy,” said the independent political analyst. “But, the reality is that the United States doesn’t have control anymore. Obama and his blundering foreign policy have provided the impetus” for closer Sino-Russian collaboration, which can only increase with development of a “New Silk Road stretching from China all the way through Turkey and into Europe.”

Mumia on the Passing of Ruby Dee

Actress and activist Ruby Dee, who died at age 91, supported many radical causes and political prisoners, including Mumia Abu Jamal. “One would be hard pressed to find a role where she played anything less than the best of Black people,” said Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. Ruby Dee and her late husband Ossie Davis’ “work was a theater of Black dignity, Black family and Black love.”

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The White Right’s Impunity

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

If a thousand armed Blacks had gathered in one place, pointing rifles at federal officers, and two of them later cold-bloodedly assassinated policemen, the federal response would touch every Black neighborhood in America. But the armed white Right gets a pass. Racists are resources to those in power. “The national security state’s legitimacy is based on (white) mass fear and loathing of the Other.”

Black Leadership Response to the Koch $25 Million “Gift” Should Be a Movement For Free College Tuition

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

Seven generations after the founding of our first historically black colleges and universities, they are still dependent on the whims of white philanthropy, just begging smarter and/or harder. If black leaders won't pick the necessary fight and demand higher ed as a human right for everybody HBCUs will not survive the current crisis. Do they have the vision, the will, the courage? Do we?

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Freedom Rider: Working Families Party Betrayal

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

As the Democrats bear steadily rightward, their so-called “progressive” camp followers do likewise. In New York, the Working Families Party endorses businessman’s champion Andrew Cuomo and, in Chicago, an SEIU local donates $25,000 of the members’ money to corporate mayor Rahm Emanuel. From compromise to collapse, the left-liberals and union careerists are on the road to oblivion.

CA Supermax Prisoners Win Right To Sue As A Class Over Torture, Decades-Long Solitary

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The state of California may soon have to defend the indefensible. A federal judge has allowed inmates at the dreaded Pelican Bay supermax prison to challenge the constitutionality of decades-long terms of solitary confinement. The state will be compelled to prove that it is not in the business of mass torture.

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Act NOW! Obama FCC "Fast Lane Internet" Proposals Are The End of the Open Internet

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The pending “internet fast lane” proposal advanced by President Obama's FCC chairman and telecom lobbyist Tom Wheeler isn't the end of the world, but it is the end of the internet as we know it. The FCC's proposal establishes the legal right of telecom monopolies to apply “market-based” charges for any kind of internet service they choose, for any reason they might invent.

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