“Vanguard of the Revolution” is Liberal History, Strips and Omits Socialism from History of the Black Panther Party

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Stanley Nelson's documentary on the BPP is "history" by and for lazy American liberals. He turns the BPP into a pop culture icon a T-shirt. Nelson mentions guns hundreds of times, big naturals and swagger a few dozen times but not the word “socialism” once in 2 hours. The BPP described its Breakfast For Children and Free Medical Clinics every day as "socialism" in person and in our newspaper, to each other and to the neighborhoods we served.

There’s Nothing "Transformative" About Bernie Sanders (He’s Just Not Hillary)

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Bernie Sanders’ domestic policies more clearly match Black America’s left-leaning politics – but they will still reject him in favor of Hillary Clinton, who Blacks think has a better chance against the Republicans. At any rate, Sanders is no prize. He is "incapable of challenging his own party and president on domestic economic policy, and has no substantive objections to Obama or Clinton on foreign policy."

Freedom Rider: Black Politics and Bernie Sanders

by BAR editor and columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democratic presidential primary has turned into a real battle, but not ideologically, since “there is no leftist among the Democrats.” Hillary Clinton clings to Barack Obama like a life raft, mentioning his name 21 times in a debate with Bernie Sanders, while the Congressional Black Caucus clings to Hillary like a dollar bill. The historical Black political consensus on peace and social justice is nowhere represented in the “quadrennial circus.”

The Clinton-Sanders Debate: What Was Left Unsaid?

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, BAR editor and columnist

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are expressing deep love for Black folks, who will dominate the South Carolina primary. Clinton hopes Black voters have “short or non-existent memories” of the horrors of her husband’s actual criminal justice and economic policies, while Sanders preaches that the Democratic Party can provide remedies for the crimes it has committed against Black people. It is a contest based on lies and illusions.

The West’s War Against Syria: Out of Control

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

What began as a U.S. scheme for regime-change in Syria now threatens to ignite global war. Turkey is poised to come to blows with Russia, as the U.S. revs up its “Plan B” to dismember Syria under the guise of attacking the Islamic State. “The Turks could block the Bosphorus Straits, closing off access to and from the Black Sea, bottling up Russian naval forces and provoking a world war.”

 
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Can We Have A Talk With You?

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

Prescient, pertinent and pointed questions to each other, and to our alleged betters about what we have, what we are, what we deserve, and what we settle for, posed by BAR's poet in residence.

Colonialism in Michigan’s Little Africa

by Mark P. Fancher

The rulers of Michigan believed the quickest path to economic development was to place the state’s Black cities under the control of a single, appointed emergency manager. The policy is domestic colonialism in practice, “an implicit – but distinct – embrace of the idea that people of color are inferior, incompetent” – and disposable.

The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective

by Tom Stephens 

The takeover of Michigan’s majority Black cities by emergency managers was the direct cause of the poisoning of Flint. However, the legal groundwork for the crime was laid a generation ago in two court cases that “established de facto environmental policy to allow such pollution in these communities.”  

Repeal Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law

by Shea Howell

Michigan Governor Rick Synder has agreed to testify before a congressional committee about his role in poisoning the people of Flint. The evidence is incontrovertible. Snyder’s emergency financial manager law is designed to disenfranchise local citizens, and “has been used almost exclusively on poorer African American communities that are strong sources of democratic power.”

Know Thyself? Why Individual and Internal Political Struggle Is Necessary in A Movement

by Danny Haiphong

The author traces his development as a “self-identified Asian-American” actively engaged in revolutionary politics. “It became clear that neither reactionary racist ideas nor the conditions that produce them could be eradicated without a transfer of power from the capitalist class to the oppressed.” Imperialism is in deep crisis. However, “there remains a great need to combat the politics of fear and open up room for debate and internal struggle” among those working to overturn the system.

World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor and Coddles the Rich

by Patrick Bond

Despite abundant evidence of pro-corporate bias, the Bank endorses the government’s “sound policy” on redistribution because Bank researchers cannot grapple with the core problem that best explains why South African capitalism causes poverty and inequality: extreme exploitation systems amplified after apartheid by neoliberal policies.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 15, 2016

Heads Should Roll Over Flint – Like Watergate

“What did they know, and when did they know it?” That’s the question Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo would pose to everyone involved in the poisoning of Flint, Michigan, including Gov. Rick Snyder, EPA chief Gina McCarthy and, ultimately, President Obama himself. BAR editor and columnist Dr. Coleman-Adebayo, who was a senior-level whistleblower at the EPA, said she “can’t imagine” that EPA administrator Gina McCarthy did not send President Obama a memo that essentially warned, “There is a potential that a major American city my be poisoned.” Failure to warn the public of imminent environmental danger “is a criminal offense,” she said.

Black and Brown Cities Disenfranchised

The poisoning of Flint began with the theft of democracy, through the imposition of state appointed emergency financial managers. “This is a form of taxation without representation,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, which held protests in solidarity with the people of Flint. “I don’t know of any white cities in America where this has occurred,” said Hamm, noting that local schools in Black and brown districts have long been targeted for state takeover.

Move Members Up for Parole, Again

Janine, Debbie and Janet Africa, members of the Move 9, will go before a Pennsylvania prison parole board, once again, in May, having spent 37 years behind bars in the 1978 shooting of a cop. The women are not even alleged to have possessed any guns. “In their fervor to kill our family, they ended up killing one of their own,” said Move spokesperson Ramona Africa. “”All of the evidence shows that.” Seven years after the 1978 confrontation, Philadelphia police bombed the Move residence, killing 11 men, women and children.

Black Lives Matter Network Supports Reproductive Rights

Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network, joined with two Black women’s organizations to combat right-wing groups that rail against abortion as “genocide” against African Americans. Or, as Garza put it: “the co-optation of Black Lives Matter language as a way to talk about restricting the ability of women to make the best decision for their own unique situation.” Garza held a joint press conference with La’Tasha Mayes, founder of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Monica Simpson, director of the Trust Black Women Partnership.

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Black Political Discussion On the 2016 Presidential Race is Wider and Deeper Than in 2008 or 2012

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

2008's black political discussion around presidential politics was all about silencing black noise over housing, jobs, unemployment, education, justice and peace. Be quiet we told each other. White folks will hear you and not vote for Obama. By 2012 we shut each other up to keep from embarrassing or the First Black President. Radical activists are now pushing for a wider black conversation about our people's needs that includes socialism.

Throw Off the Dead Weight of the Democratic Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Blacks haven’t transformed the Democratic Party by our overwhelming presence. Instead, the Party has transformed us – and overwhelmed our radical politics.” The best result that can occur from the Sanders campaign would be that it leads to a split in the Democratic Party, and an end to the Rich Man’s Duopoly.

Freedom Rider: America’s Endless Wars

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

There is no “peace” wing in either the Democratic or Republican parties. “Not only has Obama declared unending war against the rest of the world, but so has the rest of the two party duopoly.” When the warmongers scream “Jump,” the only question leaders of either party ask is, “How high?” It’s a matter of tone, not substance. “The Republicans openly brag about aggressions while Democrats dissemble and use weasel words to pretend they won’t do the same thing.”

Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Beyonce and her dancers perform in pseudo-Panther gear, pretending that resistance to the state is a matter of fashionability.  “It is incredibly naive to think that anything subversive or even remotely oppositional to the interests of the capitalist oligarchy would be allowed expression on a stage that it controlled.” Assata Shakur is an example of “total resistance that can’t be co-opted by bourgeois culture.”

Beyoncé, James Brown and Black Movements

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Beyoncé has wowed her public again with the YouTube and Superbowl versions of “Formation” – but it’s really all about capital formation. “Beyoncé wants to be perceived as being down with the new movement” – the same motivation that led James Brown to release “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud,” in 1968. Neither artist is the least bit radical, but both “know how to ride the waves of popular culture” and to masquerade as change-makers.

 
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EPA’s Deliberate Poisoning of Flint’s Children

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Flint, Michigan, was declared a “sacrifice zone” because its majority Black and poor population’s “presence is no longer required and their lives are considered a hindrance to economic progress,” writes the author, who blew the whistle on EPA complicity in U.S. corporate poisoning of South African vanadium mine workers.  The EPA is a serial criminal that has “utterly failed the Flint community and must be held accountable.”

Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital

by Mumia Abu-Jamal 

The adage that there are different systems of justice for rich and poor, Black and white, is horrifically confirmed in Flint, Michigan, where the white supremacist, capitalist state poisoned a majority Black and poor population. Yet, in U.S. society there is no punishment to fit such a crime. “In Michigan’s prisons, there ain’t a single prisoner who committed a more vicious crime than the Governor of that state.”

Pentagon Request of 582 Billion in 2017 another Indication of Imperialism's Desperation

by Danny Haiphong

Washington’s hyper-aggressive rhetoric is backed up by a Pentagon budget that promises never-ending war for the foreseeable future. The world will pay a horrific price. U.S. wars “no longer stimulate a recovery of imperialism’s economic base, but rather exacerbate crisis.” As a result, Washington’s worldwide warfare “has ignited global chaos to the point where economic development of any form is difficult to manage.”

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