Black Agenda Radio for Week of April 18, 2016

Elections are a “Distraction” – Take it to the Streets

A spokesperson for the group that confronted Bill Clinton on his mass Black incarceration and anti-welfare policies, provoking a 13-minute tirade by the former president, said Bernie Sanders’ campaign is “another distraction, another cop-out from getting in the streets to demand justice.” Megan Malachi, of the Philly Coalition for Racial, Economic and Legal (REAL) Justice, told BAR: “As a coalition, we will not and have not endorsed any candidates, because we believe that electoral politics will not liberate the Black and poor communities. But, we definitely want to take the politicians to task for constantly and consistently betraying the aspirations of poor people.”

“Renounce and Reject” the Black Misleadership Class

Pennsylvania holds its primary election on April 26. Veteran activist and scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro, a co-founder of the Philadelphia-based Black Radical Organizing Committee (BROC), calls it a contest between “Hillary Clinton versus the people.” Monteiro is “convinced that Black people in Philadelphia will express their opposition, not only to Hillary and her corporate 1% backers and her war plans, but they will renounce and reject the Black Misleadership Class.”

Coalition Will Craft a National Black Agenda

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations “intends to move our general struggle forward by initiating an independent Black agenda for self-determination,” said chairman Omali Yeshitela, speaking at a Coalition conference in New York’s Harlem. The process will “culminate with our traditional November rally, march on the White House and national conference, where we will unveil our own agenda, created independent of the participation and wishes of either of the bourgeois political parties.”

One of the Coalition’s principal demands is Black community control of the police. “There has clearly been an intensification of oppression of African people since the Ferguson rebellion, and since Baltimore,” said Diop Olugbala, of the African People’s Socialist Party, a coalition member organization. “Marching, demonstrating, protesting is extremely important,” but not “if it is separated from strategic goals and demands.”

Nellie Bailey, longtime tenants activist and co-host of Black Agenda Radio, told the conference that “housing activists are engaged in class warfare with finance capital for living space. We have to build a national movement that is a broad tent, that will bring in progressive forces” that can unite around principles of unity.

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Bill Clinton Insults Blacks in Order to Build Hillary’s “Big Tent” Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Bill Clinton’s premeditated assault on Black Lives Matter was part of the strategy to woo White Republican voters to his wife’s “big tent” campaign, in November. Bill jumped the gun, itchy for the Democrats to make their classic rightward shift. He and Hillary share the same political brain. “At some point in the campaign, she was bound to stage a dramatic display of ‘independence’ from Black Lives Matter – or have her husband do it.”

Bernie Sanders Has His Plan B. What's Yours?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

With a crushing Clinton lead in super-delegates it will take a string of miracles for Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination.  Little children and true believers relying on miracles don't need a Plan B, but Sanders has one.  If he doesn't win the nomination, Bernie has pledged to back the right wing Democrat Hillary Clinton. For those grownups still feeling the Bern, it's time to ask the question. What's YOUR Plan B?

Freedom Rider: Barack, Hillary and the Libya Crime

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

It took two warmongering politicians to unleash the “shit storm” that the U.S. created in Libya: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Yet, Clinton, the number two player in the aggression, takes all the weight, while Obama acts as if he was nowhere near the scene of the war crime. Obama takes no responsibility for the terror he has loosed on Africa. “Boko Haram’s strength and ability to terrorize Nigerians is the direct result of the Libyan crime.”

COINTELPRO Alive and Well in Los Angeles

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The rulers of the United States – especially the ones that call themselves Democrats – pretend they are seeking an accommodation with the grassroots movement against police terror. In reality, the State “is intent on breaking the back of the movement” through selective arrests and prosecutions, dirty tricks, disruptions, hyper-surveillance, the mapping of activist social networks and “gathering evidence for conspiracy charges in the future.”

 
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Why Self-Defense Must be Put Back into the Movement Equation

by Danny Haiphong

All peoples have the inherent right to self-defense against the violence of their oppressors. “From the first African slave rebellion in the colonies to the formation of the Black Panther Party, self-defense has been an essential component of the struggle for self-determination.” The Panthers represented a threat to the U.S. state because they exposed the violence that is built into the capitalist system.

O.J.’s Journey From Super Nigger to Bad Nigger

by Mark P. Fancher

In hindsight, the OJ Simpson trial – the real one, not the flurry of recent documentaries – marked a watershed for White America and its privileges. It was a time when a wealthy former super nigger with a “smooth-talking” Black lawyer won acquittal in the death of two whites over the near-unanimous objections of white people, nationwide.  “The unthinkable occurred when a bunch of bad niggers on a jury let a bad nigger go free.”

No Lawyers? No Jail. Judge Demands Constitution Be Respected in Louisiana Public Defender Catastrophe

by Bill Quigley 

The state that incarcerates more people per capita than any other is in blatant violation of the Constitution for failing to provide defendants with an adequate – or any – legal defense. So says a (Black) New Orleans judge, who has ordered the release of defendants that have been denied their right to a lawyer. However, Louisiana seems unrepentant. The state Public Defender’s office is targeted for an additional 66 percent funding cut in a few months.

Without Enchanted Followers: Eusi Kwayana’s Reconsideration of the Jonestown Fiasco

by Matthew Quest

The tragedy of Jonestown was not just an American saga. Most renditions of the Jonestown story tend “to obscure a sincere (but failed) effort at having faith in working toward a new society by one select group of American visitors to Guyana, while papering over the cooperative and internationalist experiments of Guyanese themselves in this same historical period.” The author reviews a new book – and takes a broader look – at the Jonestown experience.

Panama Papers: Denials Expose More Than the Original Exposé

by Farooque Chowdhury

The leak once again reveals how states collude with private interests to protect the criminality of the powerful. How could journalists uncover the Panama Papers while states which carry on surveillance on millions of people, listen to billions of phone calls and read billions of e-mails were apparently unaware of the underhand dealings?

Black Agenda Radio for Week of April 11, 2016

Mississippi Schemes to Dismember Tax Base of Black Capital City

The Republican-run State of Mississippi has moved to seize the City of Jackson’s two airports and a medical services corridor, and is maneuvering to take over the municipal water treatment facility that provides the bulk of the 80 percent Black city’s budget. “They have a full-blown plan for dismembering this city,” said Kali Akuno, of Cooperation Jackson and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The GOP plan went into overdrive with the election of Chokwe Lumumba, arguably the most radical Black mayor in the country, in 2013. But Lumumba died after less than a year in office. If the state succeeds, “there will be very little left to actually govern and to deliver goods and services to the community.”

Blacks Should Stop Going Down the Democratic Party “Rabbit Hole”

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations packed St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, in New York’s Harlem, for a National Conference on the 2016 Elections and Black Self-Determination. BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley told the crowd that Black people have supported “Democrat after Democrat, demeaning and insulting and imprisoning Black people, none of them willing to fight on our behalf, and we pay the price of continuing down the same old rabbit hole, time and time again.”

“Dead End” Capitalism Can’t Provide a Recovery for Workers

Boston-based writer and activist Danny Haiphong said that fractures in both the Republican and Democratic parties are reflections of the general crisis of capitalism. The system is at a “dead end” and cannot “provide a recovery for workers while at the same time exploiting these workers for the surplus value – the profit – it is desperately needs,” said Haiphong, a regular contributor to BAR. “If Bernie Sanders were to win, his ‘New Deal’ program could never be implemented in such an historical epoch.” This creates “so many opportunities for revolutionary struggle.”

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Sports Bar Politics and Corporate Duopolies

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

You don’t have to feel “The Bern” to root for Sanders in the primaries, nor must you be a white supremacist to hope that Trump wins the GOP contest. Both campaigns have the potential to fracture the duopoly electoral system that “ensnares the whole U.S. electoral apparatus and ensures that one of the rich men’s parties will triumph at the end of each electoral cycle.” So, cheers for whatever brings chaos and fracture to the duopoly.

Are African Americans “Strategic Voters” Or Are We A Captive Constituency?

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

Who drives the Democratic party? Not the black, brown and poor who are its base voters, trapped in its trunk. Black voters in particular are not “strategic voters” so much as captive constituents of the privatizers, gentrifiers, jailers, banksters and military contractors who steer the Democratic party. Our only strategic decision is whether to remain captives or pull the latch and escape from the Democratic wing of the party of the rich.

 
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Freedom Rider: The Panama Papers Problem

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Panama tax haven leaks reveal a lot about the lawlessness of the rich, as well as the ideological bias of the western press. “Vladimir Putin’s name appears nowhere, but the corporate media used his image repeatedly to drum up interest in what is an otherwise newsworthy story.” Americans are conspicuous by their absence from the story. That’s because rich people in the U.S. can avoid taxes “legally in Wyoming, Delaware or Nevada.”

A Few Black Caucus Members Have Some Questions About Israel

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The duopoly parties have little tolerance for criticism of Israel. Even the mildest congressional critique can bring on a primary challenge. Not one member of Congress failed to back a resolution in support of Israel, “even as it was slaughtering more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza.” However, “three Black congresspersons have joined Rep. Hank Johnson in questioning why the U.S. spends billions to arm the last apartheid state on Earth.”

 
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Petition to Fire Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy for Gross Negligence in the Flint Water Crisis

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The U.S. government had ample time, evidence and powers to protect the people of Flint from being poisoned. Three recent presidents provided federal protection when states refused to do so. “The Flint experience, given political will, could have represented an historic opportunity for the president to intervene as did Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson” in civil rights cases. At the very least, President Obama should fire the EPA chief.

The 2016 Elections Reflect General Crisis of Imperialism

by Danny Haiphong

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders represent no danger to U.S. imperialism, but “the two-party establishment has not been kind to the Trump and Sanders development because it reflects the general crisis in the system.” This election cycle has “opened up room for debate that didn't previously exist in the Obama era. It is what principled forces of revolutionary struggle do with this room that matters.”

My Wise Country Cousin on Mule Dung at the Apollo

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

The poet's wise cousin from the country offers his view from Harlem, where folks is linin' up to touch the yoke of ol' Hillree, Massa Willie's best mule..."

They Call Me MISTER Picasso!

by Dan De Leon

A Latina high school student created the art work, above, inspired by a previous work titled A Tale of Two Hoodies. However, she was later ‘persuaded’ by the Denver schools’ public relations director that the picture did not foster good police-community relations. “Notice he didn’t say it could be done by having killer cops arrested, charged, convicted and sent to prison.” Apparently, her elders had never seen Picasso’s Guernica.

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