A World War has Begun. Break the Silence

by John Pilger

The United States is constantly preparing to launch a global holocaust, under the guise of “defense.” It is a country singularly unfit to hold the destiny of humanity in its unstable hands. America has put the whole species on a war footing. “At present, it is a war of propaganda, of lies and distraction, but this can change instantaneously with the first mistaken order, the first missile."

Obama in Cuba: How “Political Prisoners” Made the Media Headlines

by Arnold August

The U.S. propaganda machine is always primed to attack Cuba. However, President Obama could not, himself, publicly raise the question of Cuban political prisoners, which would have been a breach of trip protocol. Instead, CNN’s Jim Acosta performed his imperial duty. Had Acosta asked Obama the same question regarding U.S. political prisoners, “would he have even been around to travel to Havana with the President?” But that, of course, is fantasy.

Fidel’s Letter to “Brother Obama”

by Fidel Castro Ruz 

In Havana, President Obama behaved as if the United States – and he, himself – were a gift to Cuba and the world. Fidel Castro disagrees: “We don’t need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet.”

America, We Have a Problem: Homelessness is Out of Control

by Cynthia McKinney

Cities throughout the United States, and especially up and down the west coast, are locked in a crisis of homelessness. Yet, “not one word is uttered about the criminalization of the poor” in this presidential election season. Luxury housing is booming, while rapacious developers snuff out inner-city neighborhoods and the last stocks of affordable dwellings.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 28, 2016

Colonial Chickens Come Home to Roost in the West

In the wake of the Brussels bombing, we hear variations of the same old theme: “They [Muslims] hate us [the ‘West’] because of our freedoms.” However, “the reality is, it’s not who we are, but what we do” – wage war in Muslim lands – “that is the problem. It’s our foreign policy, not our cultural values,” said Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror. Kundnani, a British citizen of Indian extraction who lectures at New York University, said polls consistently show that “people in the Middle East do not have any antagonisms to the United States, itself, or its values. What they have antagonisms to is U.S. foreign policy in the region.”

No Slavery Remembrance Day at the White House

The United Nations marked a Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade, March 25, but there was no sign of the occasion – “no commemoration, not even rhetoric, nothing” – at the White House, said BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. Baraka also attended this month’s 15th anniversary of the UN World Conference Against Racial Discrimination, whose ongoing activities are widely known as the Durban Process. Since the genocide of Native Americans and enslavement of Africans “served as the material base for the ascendancy of Europe, then justice demands that some type of repair – reparations – needs to be considered,” said Baraka. However, Europe, the United States and other white settler states have resisted the Durban Process at every turn.

Newark City Council Approves Police Review Board

In a unanimous vote, the city council of Newark, New Jersey, authorized the creation of a Civilian Complaint Review Board, with subpoena powers. The council’s action means the board will not go out of existence when its initiator, Mayor Ras Baraka, leaves office. However, “the implementation will still be stymied because the police unions have vowed to go to court to stop it,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, one of the community groups with a seat on the review board.

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The Democratic Road to Black Ruin

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Democratic Party operatives claim that Blacks are voting “strategically” when they support the corporate warmonger Hillary Clinton for president. The reality is, Blacks believe only Clinton has the money and organization to beat the White Man’s Party – the GOP.  But, only two outcomes are possible from such a “strategy”: “either the triumph of the White Man’s Party, or electoral victory for Black people’s worst enemies among the Democrats.”

Freedom Rider: Democrats and the SCOTUS Scam

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Obama “legacy” will likely include the appointment of a U.S. Supreme Court justice that Republicans would welcome – if only Obama hadn’t been the appointer. Federal judge Merrick Garland is a former prosecuctor whose politics suits Obama’s core conservative instincts. The president is leaving office just like he came in, pulling a “bait and switch” on his Democratic base and blaming the Republicans for making him do it.

Raul Castro Should Ask Obama: What About U.S. Political Prisoners?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The man who presides over the largest prison population in the world, a system that is still holding political dissidents captured a half century ago, has the nerve to demand – or have his flunkies in the corporate press demand – that Cuba account for who it puts in jail, and why. It would never even occur to the White House press corps to inquire on the status of U.S. political prisoners.

 
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Good News, Bad News as Post-Obama Fight For Public Education Goes Local

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

There's a video of a little black girl weeping when told that Barack Obama will soon leave office. If she and her parents knew what the First Black President had done to public education, she wouldn't be crying. The Obama administration closed and privatized thousands of public schools, fired over a hundred thousand qualified teachers, and handed over tens of billions in public property and funds to charter operators and testing companies.

 
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EPA Officials Didn’t “Want to go Out on a Limb” for the People of Flint

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The federal and state actors that poisoned Flint, Michigan’s water tried to pin the crime on each other at a congressional hearing, last week. Governor Rick Synder, who set the crime in motion, failed in his attempt to concoct an ignorance-of-the-facts alibi. And the federal EPA chief could not escape the fact that she neglected to use her “authority to protect the citizens of Flint from situations of ‘imminent and substantial endangerment.’”

Black Study, Black Struggle

by Robin D.G. Kelly

Robin D.G. Kelley opened a debate published by the Boston Review. “The fully racialized social and epistemological architecture upon which the modern university is built cannot be radically transformed by ‘simply’ adding darker faces, safer spaces, better training, and a curriculum that acknowledges historical and contemporary oppressions.” But campuses can become resources “for anti-racist struggles ‘dedicated to the principle of thinking in order to act.’”

Letter from Brazil: Before There Was Liberation Theology There Was Candomblé

by Julian Cola

“Liberation theology,” a progressive interpretation of Christianity that gained traction in the mid-20th century, was long preceded by African-based religions such as Brazil’s Candomblé. “The emergence of African-based, syncretic religions caused an abrupt split from the religious and social status quo championed by the dominant class.” Candomblé’s sister-beliefs moved oppressed people towards resistance elsewhere in the Americas, including the U.S.

Why a United Front Against Trump is Dangerous Territory for the Left

by Danny Haiphong

The Democrats would love to see the entire political spectrum united with Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump – but that would mean Trump has “scared the left back under the Democratic Party umbrella.” The Donald defames Mexicans, but Barack Obama has actually deported more of them than any president in history. Trump threatens to keep Muslims out of the country, but Obama kills them by the thousands. “Trump is indeed evil, but Obama and the Democratic Party remain the far more effective evil.”

Confessions of a Neo-Caucasian

by Mark P. Fancher

Human rights attorney and frequent BAR contributor Mark Fancher recently had a close encounter of the white supremacist kind. He learned that Donald Trump plans to use his awesome powers to turn a select number of Black people white – which would, of course, be HUGE!

What if Most Trump Supporters Were People of Color or Muslims?

by Solomon Comissiong

European global expansion has been marked by white crimes against humanity for half a millennium. In the U.S. white settler state, non-whites and Muslims are profiled as potential criminals and terrorists. However, “if a white person carries out an act of domestic terrorism there is never a frenzied vilification of all white people within a certain age demographic or social marker.”

It Wasn't Just Republicans: How the EPA's own poisoned politics failed to protect the people of Flint

EPA whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo explains how the regulatory body allowed internal politics and outright negligence to turn Flint into a sacrifice zone, and ties the current crisis to America's long history (and present) of ignoring environmental threats to communities of color.

Marsha is an EPA whistleblower, and wrote the recent pieces Water crises like Flint's will continue until the EPA is held accountable for the Guardian and McCarthy and Snyder to Testify before House Oversight Committee on the Poisoning of Flint’s Children for Black Agenda Report.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 21, 2016

Black Power Matters in 2016

“Fear of fascism being ‘right around the corner’ – this time in the form of Donald Trump – always means a vote for some kind of Democrat, as opposed to building our own independent political power,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition will hold a national conference on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election and the Struggle for Black Self-Determination, in Harlem, New York City, on April 9. “What we’re seeing with this election is real evidence of the political weakness” of Black revolutionary forces, who have failed to keep Black self-determination at the forefront, said Yeshitela.

All Power to the Disrupters

Bernie Sanders apparently believes socialism can be achieved without much disruption of the prevailing order. The Democratic presidential candidate recently denounced all “disruptions” of political gatherings, including Donald Trump events. Veteran activist and historian Paul Street, author of They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy, called “disruption” a “legitimate part of American life.” Said Street: “I guess Bernie needs to go back and re-read Howard Zinn’s best selling, classic People’s History of the United States.” Or anything by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Flint Isn’t EPA’s Only Victim

A Virginia Tech professor of Environment and Water Resources accused the federal Environmental Protection Agency of being “willfully blind to the pain and suffering of Flint residents, unremorseful of their role in causing this man-made disaster, and unable to learn from their mistakes.” Prof. Marc Edwards testified before a congressional hearing on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s water. “Malfeasance at the EPA from 2001 to the present has harmed cities all over the United States,” said Edwards.

Death of a Political Poet and Prisoner

Mondo Welanga, born David Rice 68 years ago, died in a Nebraska penitentiary cell after spending the past 46 years serving a life sentence, along with Ed Poindexter, in the death of an Omaha cop. Amnesty International recognized Welanga and Poindexter as Prisoners of Conscience. Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, called them “soldiers for the people, dedicated to their defense and security.”

Walanga was a poet, some of whose works appeared on Prison Radio. His 2015 poem When It Gets To This Point condemns those who “replace facts with spin” as

“the beatings and the chokings and shootings
of our boys and men
by these wrong arms of the law
proceed in orderly fashion
before the sometimes sad
sometimes angry faces of
our uncertain
our hesitant
disbelief.”

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Hillary Wants a Crusade to Defeat Trump’s “Bigotry” – and Leave Her Bankers Alone

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

If Hillary Clinton can make the general election into a crusade against “bigotry” and “intolerance” as embodied by Donald Trump, she can win with an otherwise issue-less campaign, thus shielding the 1% from harm. Black folks will be happy, imagining the election is all about them. “The great task of independent Black politics is to pry Black folks loose from the Democratic Party’s lethal embrace.” For that, we need a movement in the streets.

Freedom Rider: Protesting Trump and Hillary Too

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democrats want to make Donald Trump’s racism the only campaign issue, to divert attention from their imperial wars and the global race to the bottom. Trump is a GOP outsider, but the Democrats “eagerly conspire with Republicans on governmental austerity and none of them are anti-war.” The left shouldn’t be suckered into making Trump the paramount issue. “The low hanging fruit of open bigotry should not be the only galvanizing force for progressives.”

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