May 19th Versus Memorial Day in the Battle of Ideas

by Danny Haiphong

Rather than memorialize U.S. imperial wars, we should mark the birthdays and legacies of Malcolm X, who “strongly condemned US imperialism's invasion of Vietnam,” Yuri Kochiyama, who cradled Malcolm’s dying head and spent another half century as a committed “fighter for Black and anti-imperialist liberation,” and Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, who “wrote an essay on lynching in the US.”

40 Reasons Our Jails and Prisons Are Full of Black and Poor People

by Bill Quigley 

There are many paths to prison in the United States, the undisputed world leader in incarceration. The process begins with hyper-surveillance that can last a lifetime. “Not until Black men reach 50 years old do their rate of police stops for this kind of treatment dip below those of white men twenty five and under.”

I'm a Black Ex-Cop, and This is the Real Truth About Race and Policing

by Reddit Hudson

Black cops are keenly aware that racism permeates policing in the United States. “The reality of police abuse is not limited to a number of ‘very small incidents’ that have impacted black people nationwide, but generations of experienced and witnessed abuse.” Black cops often fear for their own lives when out of uniform.

Authoritarian African Leaders with a Thin Veneer of Democratic Legitimacy

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

The U.S. and its genocidal allies, Uganda and Rwanda, sought to destabilize the government of Burundi by painting its elected president as power hungry. President Pierre Nkurunziza seeks a third term in office. The leaders of Uganda and Burundi, as well as neighboring DR Congo, have all served long than Nkurunziza, but imperial stooges are accorded special privileges.

Obama’s Failed State Policy in Africa

by Thomas C. Mountain

President Obama’s is a state-destroyer, especially in Africa. Chaos, misery and failed states are his legacy on the continent. Obama’s fatal touch causes “already failing societies to begin to disintegrate, filling our screens with ever more scenes of death and destruction.” South Sudan is a state that failed before it began.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 1, 2015

A Global System of Oppression

Black Americans’ problems with the police are part of a global conflict, said Phillip Agnew, of the Dream Defenders, the youthful activist organization that emerged after Trayvon Martin’s death in 2012. “They’re all connected to one system: a system of injustice, a system of exploitation, a system of oppression that governs and controls us, nationally and internationally,” he said. “The same thing that is happening in Jacksonville, Florida, is happening in Palestine. The system isn’t broken; it’s working exactly how it was designed to work in order to oppress people around the world.”

Rulers Face Crisis of Legitimacy

Voter turnout in Philadelphia in last month’s local elections was the lowest in generations, especially in poor Black districts. This does not bode well for Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, according to scholar and activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro. Unless something happens to dramatically energize Blacks, “Hillary Clinton cannot win the state of Pennsylvania, and if she cannot win Pennsylvania, she cannot become President of the United States.” Monteiro believes “we have entered a period where there is a crisis of legitimacy, where those who govern no longer have the legitimate support of the people they govern,” he said. “The question is, How will they govern without the support of the people and call it a democracy?”

Taking Measure of the “Ferguson-Baltimore Moment”

Black resistance confronts “a financialized, monopoly capitalism, with its repressive apparatus – the police and so forth – combined with the ideological apparatus of the educational system and the entertainment system,” said Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary, on a Real News Network special program on “Building a Mass Movement.” “When folks are able to see through” the system’s ideological apparatus and “keep track of the suffering, and provide better, more liberating conceptions of what it means to be in the world, then I think we’re in a new day. I think we’re approaching that new day with what I call ‘the Ferguson-Baltimore moment,’” said West.

Marshall “Eddie” Conway, a former Black Panther Party member who spent 44 years as a political prisoner, said poor communities in cities like Baltimore have been “driven so far down, they can only go up.” Activists must help build “institutions that will sustain these communities.” The government and vested economic interests will then respond with attacks on such people’s institutions, but the community will learn that the system “doesn’t work in their interest.”

The current historical moment is marked by young people’s “rejection of traditional leadership, the outright disdain for those leaders who have served to temper the social movement,” said Rev. Osagyefu Sekou, of the Fellowship for Reconciliation. “Internal work” in Black communities will be key. “What are the ways that Black communities are going to self-organize, outside of the specter of the State, through cooperatives and feeding programs, cop-watches, self-patrols, those kinds of things where folks feel that they have a buy-in in the geography they occupy?”


Cops Continued “Coon Huntin’” in Cleveland Despite 2004 Federal Consent Decree

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

No sooner had a Cleveland judge acquitted the only cop charged in the “mass firing squad execution” of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams, than the Feds announced their second consent decree with the city in recent years. “It appears the Justice Department’s role is to restate the law and then call it ‘reform’ and a ‘model’ for urban America.”

Freedom Rider: Gentrification and the Death of Black Communities

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Gentrification – the displacement of Black and brown urban residents by more affluent whites – is a function of the same forces that emptied the cities of much of their white populations, generations ago: the movement of capital. Capital wants the cities back, and clears spaces for whites. “The system is stacked in favor of moneyed interests and white people.”

Obama Invokes U.S. Civil Rights Movement to Defend Israel

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

What should one expect when the First Black President of the world’s first apartheid state attempts to defend Israel, the planet’s last surviving apartheid state? Pure nonsense. President Obama managed to entangle the U.S. Civil Rights movement in a butt-kissing magazine article on the Zionist state.


Holder’s Legacy: Corporations Too Big to Jail, Mass Incarceration, Gentrification and Protection of Killer Cops

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The first Black U.S. Attorney General, like the president who appointed him, entered office with high expectations among Black folks. “We now know what to expect from the Obama administration – nothing.” After years of betrayal, “the families of John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and all the other victims around the country must let go of any illusions that DOJ or the White House is in their corner.”

Susan Rice and Museveni Shake Hands on Crimes in Central Africa

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by Ann Garrison, with Milton Allimadi

The U.S. project to make South Sudan an independent country has descended into catastrophe and mass death. Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Washington’s hit man in the region, intervened in the South Sudanese civil war. “Now what we have in South Sudan is a conflict between an invading army, Gen. Museveni’s army and a South Sudanese army.” Museveni’s previous interventions in the Congo left millions dead.

2015 Memorial Day: Praying for Peace While Waging Permanent War?

by Bill Quigley 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967 declaration that the U.S. was the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world” remains true, today. “We must commit ourselves and organize others to a true revolution of values and confront the corporations and politicians who continue to push our nation into war and inflate the military budget with the hot air of permanent fear mongering.”

The American Liberal vs. The Revolutionary: Exposing the Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

by Solomon Comissiong

Liberals, despite their protestations, remain wedded to U.S. imperial rule in the world. They wish only that it morph into a kinder, gentler imperialism. A Revolutionary knows that the only way change will ultimately come is by way of a sustained social revolution, one that engages a critical mass to work collectively in dismantling injustice and oppression.”

Black Agenda Radio, Week of May 27, 2015

Tanks Don’t Kill Blacks – It’s the Racist System

President Obama’s executive order “banning” the transfer or sale of certain weapons, gear and vehicles to local police departments is “based on a false narrative” that the conflict between police and Black communities is “non-racial,” said Justin Hansford, an associate professor at the University of St. Louis School of Law. “The armed occupation of Black communities by police has been going on for many decades before they brought out the tanks,” said Hansford, a Washington, DC native. “It’s an attempt to create an easy fix and a non-racial fix.” Michael Brown, Eric Garner and countless others were not killed by cops shooting automatic rifles from the tops of armored vehicles. “They were killed by a false narrative of Black criminality” and “the idea that Black life is more disposable.”

Cops Kill Sisters, Too

The “Say Her Name” campaign is necessary to “bring into the mix of this discussion of police getting away with murder the fact that police kill sisters, too,” said Carl Dix, a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Protesters took to the streets and public transportation systems of Chicago, Detroit, Oakland and Philadelphia, last week, to highlight police violence against women and girls.

Death By Demonization

Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal told Prison Radio that the recent deaths of nine bikers in Waco, Texas, the 1993 massacre of Branch Davidian men, women and children in Waco, and the 1985 bombing of the MOVE house in Philadelphia “all have something in common: they’d been demonized.” Abu Jamal remains seriously ill from untreated diabetes and other, unknown ailments.

Settlement to Curtail “Trap-and-Detain” Arrests

In what the Washington-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund calls an “unprecedented” settlement, the U.S. Department of the Interior has agreed to abide by strict standards for policing demonstrators on federal property. Fund executive director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard said the agreement “requires that they not use police lines to surround demonstrators, and stop the ‘trap-and-detain’ kettling tactic that was used around the country.” If police are contemplating making arrests at protests, “they must give people complete notice and opportunity to comply with any lawful police orders,” said Verheyden-Hilliard. The settlement also awards $2.2 million to 400 protesters arrested in 2002, in Washington.

Socialist Alternative Exploring Electoral Possibilities in St. Louis

Seeking to expand from its base in Seattle, Washington, the Socialist Alternative party is considering fielding candidates or backing other leftist political aspirants in St. Louis, Missouri, said organizer Ashton Rome. Campaigns could be centered on demands to “tax the rich” and for a civilian police oversight board “that actually has teeth.”

Malcolm X Set the Stage for Sixties Rebellion

The Sixties “was the high tide of Black intellectual and political thought around the world” – much of it influenced by the work of Malcolm X, who would have been 90 years old on May 19, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African Peoples Socialist Party. In a birthday salute to Malcolm at the Uhuru House, in St. Petersburg, Florida, Yeshitela said: “They assassinated him, but they killed him too late; it was his influence that created the Black Panther Party...and that was the most influential throughout the country.”

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.

Sign the Petition! Tell the Congressional Black Caucus to Resist President Obama's “Race Card” Appeal to Accept Fast Track for TPP and TTIP!


by the Editors

Two decades ago, Bill Clinton did what his Republican predecessors could not -- he passed NAFTA with a Republican congressional majority and a handful of Democrat votes.  Now President Obama hopes to do the same, and is reportedly demanding that the Congressional Black Caucus support the first black president in privileging investor rights over human rights.  We demand the CBC reject him on this one.


Obama, Master of Diversion, Proposes Bogus Reforms of Militarized Police

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama’s “ban” on certain military hardware and gear is both fraudulent and a diversion from the real issue: the oppressive mission of the police in Black America. The cops who killed Michael Brown and Freddie Gray and countless others “weren’t wearing battlefield outfits, firing automatic rifles, or riding around in tanks. They murder quite efficiently with handguns, batons and their hands and feet, as cops always have done.”

Freedom Rider: Russia Wins

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The leaders of the greatest land and people masses in Eurasia are forging a military, economic and political alliance that will fundamentally alter the world in both the near and long term. Meanwhile, the U.S. remains the bully that many fear, but no one trusts. “America will always turn friends to enemies and suddenly declare that enemies are friends because it is not a true friend to anyone.”

Hey Toni Morrison! If Clinton Was Our First Black President, Is Bill de Blasio NYC's Second Black Mayor?

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

Toni Morrison named Bill Clinton America's “first black president.” Her effusive praise of NYC mayor Bill de Blasio's “progressive agenda” fits neither its sketchiness, its glaring omissions, nor the impact of de Blasio's actual policies, which don't differ greatly from his predecessor Mike Bloomberg, or the trickle-down gentrification and vicious policing regimes of urban Democrats in big cities around the country.


Malcolm X Would Wage Righteous Struggle Against Black America’s “House Negro” Leaders

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Malcolm X “made it legitimate and virtuous to engage in full-throated, soul searching, icon-searing debate” about the internal workings of the Black American polity, setting the stage for the most productive decade in African American history. He “wielded his ‘House Negro’ analogy like a sword, shaming and delegitimizing those Blacks who indentify with and serve oppressive institutions.”


The Political Economy of Black Opposition to Free-Trade Neoliberalism

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Despite President Obama’s fierce defense of his rigged trade treaty, “African American organizations have rallied in opposition to the TPP and established its defeat as an immediate priority for black people.” The realities of Black life demand that the job destroying pact be rejected. Already, “large numbers of African American workers and the poor are destined to not be able to secure full time employment during their entire lives.”

Cuba’s Kenia Serrano: U.S. Has No “Moral Authority” to Criticize Anybody on Race

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, editor and columnist

Cuba, like the United States, has a long history of slavery and racial discrimination. However, unlike the U.S., Cuba has undergone a revolutionary transformation. “The US government has no moral authority to criticize any other country,” said Kenia Serrano, a Member of the Cuban National Assembly and Director of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples.

Cuba is Fanon in the Flesh: A Living Example of A New Humanity

by Danny Haiphong 

There have been many revolutionaries, and many revolutionary thinkers, but few revolutionary societies have survived as long as Cuba’s. The genius of Frantz Fanon, the Black revolutionary doctor from Martinique, strives to become social reality in Cuba, where “national law enforced strict policies against racism and the Federation of Cuban Women was created to lead the charge to eradicate the sexism.”

Dump “Carding” into the Cesspool of History by Refusing to Talk to the Cops

by Ajamu Nangwaya

In the U.S., it’s called “stop-and-frisk.” In Canada, it’s called “carding,” a practice that “should be cast into the cesspool of history through a mass refusal carding campaign that organizes Afrikans, other racialized peoples, Indigenous peoples, and the white working-class.” Just as importantly, “we need supportive programs to defend members of the community when they assert their right to not give the requested information to the police.”

Studying in the Streets: The Pedagogy of Throwing Bottles at the Cops

by Derek R. Ford

What’s going on the streets and neighborhoods of an awakened and outraged Black America? The author believes the “skirmishes with the cops” in Baltimore “weren't leading up to a big finale; they were rehearsals for a revolutionary event, for something that we can't quite envision yet, but we know is immanent in the present.”

How America’s ‘News’ Media Killed America’s Democracy: TPP & TTIP

by Eric Zuesse

The corporate news media largely ignored the deal forged by the White House and key U.S. Senators to ram through Obama’s world corporate governance bill, TPP, and its transAtlantic counterpart, TTIP. Under the president’s Trans Pacific Partnership, “corporate panels will constitute a new international government, with the power to fine countries for exceeding the regulations that are set forth in these international ‘trade’ treaties.”

British Elections: Deliverance of Liars and the Summoning of Imperial War

by Nu’man Abd al-Wahid

The British Conservative Party won a majority of the Parliament in this month’s elections largely because English voters feared a government that might include Scottish leftists. British imperialism is, if anything, more aggressive than the Americans. “The morning after the news of the election victory, the London Times editorialised a demand for more war on Arabs because it is “time for Mr. Cameron to find his inner Churchill.”

Black Agenda Radio, Week of May 19, 2015

“Corinthian 100” Reject For-Profit School Debt

Former students of the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges are on debt strike, despite pressures from the U.S. Department of Education to continue repaying loans. “These students were systematically defrauded, preyed upon, and lied to” by the for-profit college enterprise, said Laura Hanna, of the Debt Collective, an Occupy Wall Street outgrowth that represents the Corinthian 100. “They’ve already paid: once, in the form of their own tax dollars, and again by spending years going through a fraudulent system, and the idea that they would have to pay monthly for this disservice is just baffling,” said Hanna. Half a million students, disproportionately Black and brown, have attended Corinthian Colleges, and could claim billions of dollars in any bankruptcy settlement.

Marchers Mark 1985 Police Bombing of MOVE

Thirty years ago, under the watch of Wilson Goode, Philadelphia’s first Black mayor, police bombed a house occupied by the MOVE organization, killing six adults and five children and burning down two blocks of the neighborhood. Pastor Pamela K. Williams, of the Ark of Refuge Tabernacle, spoke at a march and rally marking the May 13th anniversary of the mass killing. Williams and her mother were witnesses: “We saw the police officers hoisting up the canisters of heavy artillery on their shoulders.... We were there when they decided to kill members of our neighborhood.” Williams’ mother had to identify some of the burned bodies. Today, “We must identify everybody that is affected by the atrocities that are perpetrated against us,” she said.

Mumia: Why the Bombing Matters

What happened 30 years ago in West Philadelphia was a “harbinger” of police killings to come, said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, who covered MOVE-police confrontations as a young radio reporter. “The visceral hatreds and violent contempt once held for MOVE is now visited upon average people – not just radicals and revolutionaries,” he said, in a commentary for Prison Radio. “When many people stood in silence, or worse, to the bombing, shooting and carnage of May 13th, 1985, they opened the door to the ugliness of today’s police terrorism.”

Abu Jamal is himself deathly ill, held incommunicado at a medical center in Danville, Pennsylvania. “The Department of Corrections is releasing no information about his whereabouts, or his condition, and they’re not letting his lawyer talk to him, his wife see him,” or allowing his doctor to speak with prison doctors, said Prison Radio’s Noelle Hanrahan. Abu Jamal almost died from complications of untreated and undiagnosed diabetes. Prison doctors continue “doing things that are not adequate or correct, so we need to have all our eyes on his care,” said Hanrahan.

Youthful Leaders Emerge from Baltimore and Ferguson

The ongoing struggle in Ferguson “is the second-longest resistance in modern history, second only to the Montgomery bus boycott,” said Rev. Osagyefu Sekou, speaking before a crowd of 1,000 at Baltimore’s Metropolitan United Methodist Church. “This new generation of leadership” represents “all of our children, even when they’re throwing stones at police officers,” said Rev. Sekou, who until recently pastured in Massachusetts. The mass meeting was convened by Baltimore United for Change.

UNAC Conference: Free All Political Prisoners

Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer and former political prisoner who was released from federal custody on compassionate medical parole, in January of last year, addressed a national conference of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition, in Secaucus, New Jersey. “The fact that there are so many political prisoners betrays the weakness and ineffectiveness of our movement,” said Stewart, who told the gathering that her cancer is no longer advancing. She called on doctors and lawyers to lend their “pro bono” services to the movement.

Peace activist Johnny Achi, of Arab Americans for Syria, said the U.S. proxy war is buttressed by “the vicious media campaign against Syria,” which circulates stories that are “the reverses of facts.” If the Syrian army falls, said Achi, “then you will have a true genocide in Syria” at the hands of U.S.-supported jihadists and mercenaries.

Good News: TPP in Trouble

President Obama’s forces in the U.S. Senate were first beaten, then regrouped, in his bid to “fast track” the still-secret Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal through Congress. Most Democrats oppose TPP. Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, a key organizer against TPP, believes the scheme can be stopped in the U.S. House. “We already have about 60 to 75 Republicans on our side,” he said. “If we can add 10 or 15 to that, it becomes almost insurmountable.”

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.

TPP, Obama's "NAFTA on Steroids" Fails First Senate Test

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama looked more like the leader of the Republican Party, as Senate Democrats overwhelmingly rejected “fast track” passage of his Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal. “Obama is even more dependent on the GOP on trade issues than was his mentor, Bill Clinton,” who pushed through the disastrous NAFTA deal in 1993. Obama retains his hold on the corporate faction within the Congressional Black Caucus.


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