Corporal Punishment Use Found in Schools in 21 States, with Blacks Punished Twice as Often

by Sarah D. Sparks & Alex Harwin

A long list of states -- centered in but not confined to the South -- continue to engage in the largely unregulated practice of physically punishing students. “Black students are disproportionately likely to experience physical discipline, which some consider a “piece of the school-to-prison pipeline.” Class plays a role. “Wealthier students are less likely than low-income students to attend a school that actually uses the practice.

Black Agenda Report for Week of September 7, 2016

20th Anniversary of Clinton’s War Against the Poor

It’s been 20 years since President Bill Clinton and the U.S. Congress destroyed “welfare as we knew it” by replacing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the “workfare” regime called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The result, said Maureen Taylor, chairperson of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, is growing poverty in the United States. Taylor says TANF should be changed to DANF, standing for “Disappearing Aid for Needy Families.” Residents of Michigan are only eligible for cash assistance for five years in their lifetimes. It’s a shame, said Taylor, how the political class is “turning, not against poverty, but trying to turn the nation against poor folks.”

Judge Finds Way to Avoid Ordering Hep C Cure for Mumia

A federal judge agreed that it is unconstitutional for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to deny curative medical treatment to Mumia Abu Jamal and thousands of other prisoners suffering from Hepatitis C. However, the court then ruled that Abu Jamal’s suit was technically flawed. Noelle Hanrahan, a director of Prison Radio who works closely with Mumia, was outraged that the state has condemned thousands of prisoners to early and unnecessary deaths. “You can’t construct a situation that is more grossly inhumane,” she said.

Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, was more upbeat about the ruling. “It’s a good beginning that a federal judge recognizes that what the Commonwealth is doing, and has been doing for years, is not only unjust but unconstitutional, a violation of fundamental fairness and the human right to life,” he said.

Clinton and Trump Fear TV Debate with Stein and Johnson

“Our view is that if you have the potential for 270 Electoral College votes -- if you are on enough ballots to achieve that -- then you should be in the debate,” said Kevin Zeese, the veteran activist recently named as senior advisor to the Green Party’s Jill Stein-Ajamu Baraka presidential ticket. Zeese notes that polls show half the American public wants the televised debates open to Stein and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate. However, the debates are a joint venture of the Democratic and Republican parties, who call the shots. “It’s a disgrace to democracy,” said Zeese, “that they can choose who they will debate.”

Obama Neutralized Blacks for Most of His Term

Barack Obama’s presidency has been “the highest expression” of the U.S. government’s long campaign to “neutralize the Black liberation movement,” said BAR regular contributor Danny Haiphong, who this week posted the ninth in his ten-part series on the Obama legacy. “It really wasn’t until 2014, when Obama was in his last years, that any semblance of a movement against issues like police brutality and racism began to come back to the fore,” said Haiphong. Black liberationist politics has been suppressed for two generations, said Haiphong, “with the help of a Black misleadership class that has diluted, sanitized and almost destroyed, up until recently, the Black Radical Tradition.”

U.S. Anti-War Movement Under Attack

A recent article by Terry Burke in the leftish magazine In These Times attacked a broad range of anti-war activists and groups for opposing the U.S. war against Syria. Burke claims U.S. activists aren’t listening to “the Syrian people.” In response, Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, said the U.S. insists on regime change in Syria, and “anyone who has any confusion as to where that leads has only to look at Libya and at Iraq and see the howling wasteland that has been created” by U.S. intervention.

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.

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Why Black Self-Determination Matters

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Malcolm X correctly anticipated that narrowly conceived “civil rights” could ultimately be curtailed. He therefore urged Black people to demand their human right to self-determination. We are now living in the age of Black rights “give-backs” – or no Black right to life, at all. The Black Is Back Coalition’s newly formulated political agenda “insists that the principle of self-determination must be central to all arenas of Black struggle.”

The Imperial Consensus, Part 1: Hillary and Trump, Republicans and the Congressional Black Caucus Agree on Israeli Apartheid

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Whether it’s gentrification, privatization, environmental destruction, threatening the planet with nukes or maintaining global empire, differences between the parties of the one percent are often less important than the bipartisan disasters upon which our masters agree. In the first of several installments, we look at the issues elite Republicans and Democrats agree on. This week it’s Israel, the world’s premiere apartheid state.

 
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Don’t Let the Russians Ruin the U.S. Elections System! (Don’t Make Me Laugh)

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Hillary Clinton isn’t simply trying to beat the hapless and disintegrating Donald Trump: she wants a mandate to rule the world as she (and her bankers) see fit. To achieve this, she must run against the dreaded Russian “threat,” which requires entangling the Russians with Trump and spreading the nonsense that Moscow is attempting to rig the elections. As if U.S. elections haven’t always been hopelessly racist and corrupt.

 
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The Blood-Spangled Banner: An Anthem for Slavery, Genocide and Empire

by Jon Schwarz and Sam Husseini

The U.S. was born in slavery and genocide, so it is no wonder that its anthem puts to music its claim to stolen land on behalf of the “free” – as opposed to the slave and the vanquished native. But the U.S. was also conceived as a White Man’s Empire, primed for endless expansion. Thus, the same anthem celebrates the defeat of the “turban’d head” of Muslims in North Africa. Two articles address the racist, imperial obsessions of Francis Scott Key.

The Obama Legacy Part IX: The Highest Expression of Counter Insurgency

by Danny Haiphong

After smashing the Black Liberation Movement, the U.S. ruling class” proceeded “to bury Black politics in the graveyard of the Democratic Party.” They met with great success in nurturing a Black misleadership class to counter the Black radical tradition. The Black caucus in Congress collaborated in mass incarceration and imperial war, offering not to slightest resistance to Wall Street’s Black servant in the White House, Barack Obama. 

fear--fear--fear--fear

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

For a long time now, the politics of fear is all that Dems and Repubs have to offer us. But as Jill Stein observes, voting for what you fear a little less has a track record. It delivers still more of what we fear, not less.

What Does Black Lives Matter Want?

by Robin D.G. Kelley

“A Vision for Black Lives” is a plan for ending structural racism, saving the planet, and transforming the entire nation—not just black lives,” writes the author, a noted Black public intellectual. The wide-ranging document, prepared by the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) with input from 60 organization, “emphasizes community control, self-determination, and ‘collective ownership’ of certain economic institutions,” as well as police violence.

Provoking Nuclear War by Media

by John Pilger

Washington’s so-called “humanitarian” military intervention policy dates to its demonization of Yugoslavian socialist leader Slobodan Milosevic, who has since been judged innocent of war crimes. The corporate media is a tool of the War Party. “It is they who dispense the propaganda and videos that becomes news in the US and Europe, guarantee a one-sided ‘coverage’ of Syria,” and create a climate for war with Russia and China.

Western Corporate Media ‘Disappears’ over 1.5 Million Syrians and 4,000 Doctors

by Eva Bartlett

The corporate media claim there are almost no doctors in left in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. That’s a lie. More than 4,000 doctors actively serve the 1.5 million people in government-controlled Aleppo, and the Syrian government continues to pay doctors in the terrorist-controlled eastern area. Civilians die every day from jihadist attacks, but “nobody speaks about what is happening in the western part of Aleppo.”

Unworthy Victims: Houthis in Yemen and Hutus in Burundi

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

The U.S. reserves for itself the right to decide which nations and peoples are worthy to exist. Washington gives thumbs down to Hutus, who make up the vast majority in Burundi and Rwanda, and condemns the Houthis, a significant part of Yemen’s population. “The U.S. and its allies have deemed the Tutsis to be ‘worthy victims,’ the Hutus ‘unworthy victims.’” The same goes for Houthis targeted for death by the Saudis.

Black Agenda Report for Week of August 29, 2016

Rights Lawyers Target Arkansas Debtors Prison

The district court in Sherwood, Arkansas, is in gross violation of a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it is unconstitutional to imprison people for debt, according to a class action suit filed by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Arkansas ACLU. Much like the pattern of abuse documented by the U.S. Justice Department in Ferguson, Missouri, Sherwood derives as much as 12 percent of its revenues from “imposing mounting fines or fees tied to very low level offenses,” said Lawyers Committee president Kristen Clarke. One of Clarke’s clients wound up spending 25 days in jail and owing nearly $3,000 to the courts because she bounced a $28.93 check. “Our hope is that we can bring national attention to this problem, and that we might inspire action by the Congress to breathe life back into this Supreme Court ruling,” said Clarke.

Reformers Hope Private Prison Phase-Out Will Spread

The Obama administration’s announcement that it will phase out contracting with private prisons in the federal system is “a real notable moment,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, in Washington. “It’s yet another indication that the growing critique and challenge to mass incarceration is really gaining ground,” said Mauer. The vast bulk of the nation’s 2.4 million inmates are held in local and state institutions, and most immigrants under detention are not affected by the  executive order. However, Mauer is “hopeful” that there will be a “spillover effect.”

Mumia: Trump or Clinton – Choose Your Poison

The nation faces “incredibly grim” choices for president, according to America’s best known political prisoner. Mumia Abu Jamal said Donald Trump is “an overt racist” while Hillary Clinton is a neoliberal that “supported one of the most poisonous public policies in decades: the prison industrial complex.” Neoliberalism, he said, is the “politics of repression with a smile.”

A Green Foreign Policy Against Permanent War

“Permanent war is a central part of the elite agenda,” said Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, in an interview on Pacifica radio station KPFA. Since the presidency of George W. Bush, the U.S. has tried to impose “full spectrum dominance” over the entire planet, said the veteran human rights activist and editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “That policy was adopted and embraced by the Obama administration, and it is also embraced by Hillary Clinton.” Obama’s so-called “free trade” agreements are “the economic arm of full spectrum dominance,” said Baraka.

Confused Writer Claims Anti-War Movement is “Imperialist”

In an article in the leftish magazine In These Times, Terry Burke denounced activists that oppose the U.S. proxy war against Syria as being, themselves, “imperialist.” Burke lashed out at a long list of activists and organizations, including UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “That’s illogical,” said Margaret Kimberley, an editor and senior columnist for Black Agenda Report who serves on UNAC’s administrative committee. Burke and her ilk “are not opposed to U.S. intervention,” and are “pro any intervention run by a Democratic president,” said Kimberley, while UNAC “is steadfast in opposing American intervention abroad. That means we must oppose the 5-year-long war of terror waged against the country and the people of Syria.”

Philippines War May Be Nearing Resolution

The Philippine government and communist guerillas of the New People’s Army wrapped up the first phase of negotiations to end a 50-year-long war in the former U.S. colony. Bernadette Ellorin, chairperson of Bayam USA, which represents the above ground and armed resistance forces, said the breakthrough occurred because President Rodrigo Duterte “was not elected as the usual U.S. hand-picked candidate of the Philippines.” The country’s army and police, however, have “historically been a proxy army for the U.S...to kill off the longest armed revolution in the region against the U.S. – the Philippine revolution,” said Ellorin. Phase Two of the talks begins in October. In the meantime, President Duterte has ordered his armed forces to respect the mutual ceasefire.

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.

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Clintonite Conspiracy Theories

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Hillary Clinton’s agents warn darkly of “conspiracy theories” that might trip up her presidential bid. What they really fear is the release of more damaging facts in the next round of Wikileaks documents. Therefore, the Clintonites are attempting to “poison the well of public discussion,” preemptively, “in order to immunize Clinton from future factual disclosures.” The real conspirators – to make war on the world – reside in Hillary’s “Big Tent.”

Freedom Rider: The Clinton and Powell War Criminal Charade

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Hillary Clinton, with help from her collaborators in corporate media, is trying to shift the blame for her email crimes to her predecessor, Colin Powell. The two exchanged private server notes at a “reunion of war criminals,” including Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Henry Kissinger. Clinton’s sycophants scurry to her defense, since she is the meal ticket for those “beholden to Democratic Party success to stay on the gravy train.”

Katrina and Other Catastrophes

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The Lords of Capital learned a great deal from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They learned that the Black Misleadership Class was incapable of organizing resistance to even the most public crimes committed against the Black poor. Not only could African Americans be removed en mass from valuable urban property with no push-back from the Black political class, but many of them would join in celebrating the catastrophe as a “renaissance.”
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The Obama Legacy Part VIII: The War Summation

by Danny Haiphong

By any rational measure, Barack Obama has been the consummate War President, having “accelerated the growth of the US military state in all regions of the globe.” Obama “mastered the murderous art of drone warfare in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and surrounding nations to an extent unseen in the Bush era,” mobilized legions of jihadists as foot soldiers of imperialism, provoked China and Russia, occupied most of Africa and subverted Latin America.

Assuming the Risk of Blackness

by Bryan K. Bullock

The purported “risks” that police voluntarily take are transferred to their Black and brown victims, who have no practical protections.  Legal settlements do not balance the scales. “They only serve to transfer the risk of policing onto the backs of tax payers or unto the insurance policy the municipality may have for such occasions.” Black and brown people “must lead the charge and make concrete, enforceable demands given the stakes at hand.”

Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism

by Eric Draitser

CNN’s Chris Cuomo acted as if Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka had committed a crime in calling President Obama an “Uncle Tom.” However, “even a cursory analysis of the term, the context in which it was used, and Cuomo’s intent in raising the issue, not only vindicates Baraka’s usage of Uncle Tom, it reveals the deep-seated racism of Democratic party shills, and American liberals in general.”

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