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    ​​Respectability Politics And The Left Flank of US imperialism

    by Danny Haiphong

    In an age of savage austerity, the question is not, What will the Right do next? – but rather, How much more abuse will Black and working people tolerate? Much of what passes for a Left in the U.S. wants nothing more than acceptance by the rulers. “Solid, organized criticism and political work has been avoided for an opportunity to remain ‘respectable’ to a President and political party on a full frontal assault on oppressed people.”

    Happy 131st Birthday Hubert Harrison, Giant of Black History

    by Jeffrey B. Perry

    More race conscious than A. Philip Randolph and more class conscious than Marcus Garvey, Hubert H. Harrison’s “ideas on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy anticipated the profound transformative power of the Civil Rights/Black Liberation struggles of the 1960s.”

    Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson - A Review

    by Rhone Fraser, Ph.D.

    Eslanda "Essie" Cardozo Goode Robeson – the anthropologist-journalist wife of Paul – was an important historical figure in her own right, especially her contributions to anti-colonialism. She “condemned African Uncle Toms, these would-be Frenchmen, Britons, etc., the especially-trained Black ‘elite’ who had been allowed to speak for Africa and would be displaced by the authentic voice of the African people.”

    My Wise Country Cousin on Ol’ See-Eye- (Confidential Informant) Sebben…

    by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Whetha he wearin’ wire, Gerri-curl, or de ‘Cess

    Wen he cum, you know he cumin wit sum mess

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/28/14

    Philly Throws a Party for Mumia

    Mumia Abu Jamal’s hometown turned out for a day-long celebration of the nation’s best-known political prisoner’s 60th birthday. “This government was hell-bent on killing Mumia” for the 1981 death of a Philadelphia policeman, said Pam Africa, head of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia. The former Black Panther and radio journalist is alive because “we formulated what was known as Millions for Mumia” that unleashed “bombs of truth.”

    High Court Brings Back Old Jim Crow

    The U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold a Michigan referendum banning affirmative action “reinstitutes a policy of state’s rights that characterized the old Jim Crow,” said Shanta Driver, of Detroit-based By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), who argued the case before the High Court. Worse, the ruling means “that a white majority in any state can create unequal access to the political process and discriminate against Black, Latino and Native American communities.”

    Socialist Alternative Gears Up to Put Wage Hike on Seattle Ballot

    The Socialist Alternative party and its allies plan to collect 50,000 signatures to put a $15 an hour minimum wage proposal on the ballot in Seattle. Kshama Sawant, who won a seat on the local city council last year on a wage hike platform, warned 500 delegates to a national 15 Now conference that Seattle’s mayor is backing a watered down measure that would delay the increase for 3 to 4 years for big businesses and phase in the raise over 5 to 7 years for smaller firms, with no cost-of-living increases until the phase-ins are complete. Sawant recalled a low-wage worker’s response to the phase-ins: “Dear Mayor,” he wrote. “If I phase in my rent over 7 years, will the police not evict me?” Sawant told the crowd: “We have to continue to build a movement, never forgetting that the forces of big business, the forces of the super-wealthy, the forces of capitalism, are going to be relentless.”

    Secret Trade Treaty Aimed at China

    President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty with 11 Asian and Pacific nations “is shrouded in secrecy because the only way they can pass this is if we don’t know what’s in it,” said Kevin Zeese, co-director of It’s Our Economy. Leaks of the treaty’s text “show that there are no protections for the environment” and that “Obama is pushing the most corporate position of any country involved” in the negotiations. Zeese said the pact is linked to a U.S. military encirclement of China.

    Minorities to Lose Under Internet Pay-for-Speed Rules

    The National Hispanic Media Coalition has weighed in against the Federal Communications Commission proposal to allow big corporations to buy faster speed on the Internet. “The Internet has been a democratizing force,” said Jessica Gonzalez, the coalition’s general counsel and executive vice president. “Through the Internet, we’ve been able to tell our stories and to organize for change.” Under the FCC’s new proposal, “where there’s a fast lane, and the rest of us who can’t pay, who aren’t wealthy, have to go into the slow lane, we don’t have the same opportunity.”

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    Supreme Court: White Majorities Über Alles

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “Black folks have no rights that white majorities are bound to respect.” That’s the message from the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared diversity programs an option that white majorities can legally ban. The High Court also safeguards the right of the rich to dominate elections. This week’s ruling shows that the Roberts Court “knows how to serve both majorities of whites and Big Capital, too.”

    6 Reasons Why Obama's Clemency Program For Drug Offenders Doesn't Change Mass Incarceration One Bit

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    The White House is reportedly considering using clemency to release a few hundred or couple thousand federal prisoners. Better than nothing, but it's in no sense a start at dismantling the prison state. Clemency changes no laws or institutions or police, prosecutorial or prison practices. The cells will be refilled in weeks. It's a cynical, empty gesture from an administration marked by utter indifference to black suffering.

    Freedom Rider: Democracy is Dead

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    A new study confirms the obvious: the will of the people carries no weight in the United States. Within the nation’s borders democracy is everywhere proclaimed but nowhere to be found. These truths we hold to be self-evident: “ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States.”

    Ford and IBM May Have to Answer for Their Role in Apartheid

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    It’s taken 12 years, but victims of South African apartheid finally convinced a U.S. federal judge to hear their case against IBM and Ford Motor. The plaintiffs say the two multinationals sold the white regime the products it needed to torture and oppress the Black majority – and that the companies intended their vehicles and computers be used for that purpose.

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    “Chicagoland” Hero Cops Cook Books to Make Murders Disappear, CNN Pretends Not To Notice

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

    Chicagoland, the 8 part CNN campaign commercial falsely claims teacher pay and pensions have drove the city to fiscal ruin, that big league stadiums are job creators, that massive school closings are good for the city, and Chicago cops have lowered the murder rate. Except they haven't. Real Chicago journalists have revealed Chicago cops cooked the books to make dozens of murders disappear. CNN missed that, and is still missing it.

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    Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

    On the Meaning of "Progress" and "Change" in the Whitewashed Political Worldview of the Black Misleadership Class

    by Danny Haiphong

    The most left-leaning ethnicity in the U.S. is (mis)led by a class of scoundrels and servants of empire. “The Black misleadership class unapologetically shoves itself down the throats of young people of color as legitimate political role models while the white capitalist power structure happily provides the financial and political support.”

    Psycho-Cartoon Warfare: Putin as Hitler

    by Dr. T P Wilkinson

    The real Hitler was rather popular in upper class western circles, at least until the start of World War Two. The media’s use of “Hitler” as a pejorative has little to do with the actual politics of the world’s most famous fascist. The Hitlerization of Putin turns reality on its head, “making the actual aggressor appear to be a victim by accusing one's target of all the acts actually perpetrated by oneself.”

    African Currency Unit: An Urgent Question in the Midst of the Capitalist Crisis

    by Horace G. Campbell

    Massive capital drain from Africa and that Africa is a net creditor to Europe and North America. Without an African central bank functioning under democratic control and a credible African currency, the drain of resources will continue to rob Africa the means to achieve development. “It is in the interest of all to work for the new multipolar currency regime.”

    Redouble our efforts…

    by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

    When our giants go down, our spines must straighten up and create new beginnings.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/21/14

    Seattle Conference to Kick Off $15 an Hour Ballot Initiative

    So popular is the demand for a $15 an hour minimum wage, the corporate establishment and virtually the entire city council of Seattle, Washington, claim to favor the hike. To ensure that these erstwhile allies don’t water down the proposal, however, the 15 Now campaign will kick of a drive, on April 26, to collect 50,000 signatures to put the wage increase on the ballot. “We have lots of different people involved: socialists, Green Party activists, community groups, Latino organizations,” said Jess Spear, organizing director for 15 Now and also a member of the Socialist Alternative party, whose local leader, Kshama Sawant, won a seat on the council, last year. “Socialist Alternative sees the need for democratic socialism to replace capitalism so that we can really deal with all the problems that face society,” said Spear.

    Supreme Court Decision Renders U.S. a “Zombie Democracy”

    The U.S. electoral system has entered the realm of the living dead, said Ajamu Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. The recent McCutcheon ruling, which allows the rich to spend virtually unlimited funds on political campaigns, confirms that the “system doesn’t really function, it has no internal life – but that’s been the case from the very beginnings of the Republic,” said Baraka. “The only elements in society that were allowed to participate were white men with property. What we have now is a full circle back to that reality.”

    Fusion Spy Centers Target Activists

    Human rights activists in 7 cities recently protested against U.S. intelligence Fusion Centers that allow local law enforcement and contractors to share information on political dissent. “There is this guise that they’re trying to keep us safe from terrorists,” said Jamie Garcia, of Stop LAPD Spying, “but we’re finding out that they’re actively targeting social justice organizers” through these “mega spy centers.”

    Black Lives Endangered in Detroit, Chicago, Congo

    The crowds that come to hear about the slaughter of six million Congolese since 1996 – the biggest genocide since World War Two – “don’t make a distinction between what’s taking place on the South Side of Chicago, or in Detroit, and what’s happening in the Congo,” said Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of Congo. “They immediately recognize that getting involved” in defending the lives and rights of Congolese “is an indication of the value they hold for Black life,” said Carney.

    Blacks and “Bio-Sexual Politics”

    David Austin, the Montreal-based activist, educator and author of Fear of a Black Nation, said “bio-sexual politics” is “a primeval fear of Black folks that is rooted in the recurring need to control Black bodies…a phenomenon that is intimately connected to fear of Black rebellion and the spread of Blackness as a political contagion.” Austin took part in “Black Folk in Dark Times: A Workshop on Sovereignty, Citizenship and Freedom,” at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville.

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    Are Black "Success Stories" Really Holding Us Back?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Is it time to critically interrogate the black “success stories” of pro atheletes and near-billionaires? Should we be identifying with the Junior Bridgemans and Magic Johnsons or with their thousands of underpaid and cheated workers? And what would a more reproducible black “success story” really look like?

    Stop Blaming Black Parents for School Achievement Gaps

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Helping your kids, or neighbors’ kids, do their homework almost certainly will not improve their school performance, according to a new study. “The idea that parental involvement will address one of the most salient and intractable issues in education, racial and ethnic achievement gaps, is not supported by the evidence.” However, a demonstrable commitment to social values can change a child’s whole outlook on life.

    Freedom Rider: NYPD Punishes Black Victims

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    It is truly astounding how the U.S. criminal justice system finds infinite opportunities to array straightforward statutes in ways that disproportionately disadvantage Black people. “The purpose of American criminal injustice is to keep certain groups, black people most obviously, vulnerable to any form of attack the system can devise.”

    NAN, NAACP & Other Hypocritical "Civil Rights" Organizations Assert "Constitutional Right" To Conceal Their Corporate Funding Before the FCC

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

    When NAN, the Urban League, LULAC, Rainbow PUSH & the NAACP claim a "constitutional right" to hide the extent of their dependence on broadcaster & telecom funding, whose rights are they protecting?  Those of wealthy corporate donors or those of their supposed constituents?  

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    Kagame: Murderer of Millions in Congo and Rwanda

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    In what may be the world’s most bizarre spectacle, notables from around the globe this year pay homage to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, as if he is the savior of Africa. “For 20 years, Kagame has posed as the soldier who stopped the Rwandan genocide, when all evidence and logic point to him as the main perpetrator of the crime.”

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    Nelson Mandela and Collective Power

    by Kevin Alexander Gray

    Whatever verdict history decrees on three decades of nominal Black rule in South Africa, one thing is certain: Nelson Mandela is not the only person responsible. The unfinished struggle was a collective effort. “Moderates and radicals, ANC members and non-members, martyrs, marchers, clergy, secular, individuals and organizations made up the collective.” Indeed, lots of the change-makers weren’t even South African.

    Death, US Capitalism, and Huey Newton’s Theory of Suicide

    by Danny Haiphong

    Class and race oppression brings death by many means. “The person or movement partaking in revolutionary suicide has chosen to confront death by fighting for liberation.”

    End the Left-Right White Solidarity Against Haiti

    by Ezili Dantò

    The U.S, France and Canada aren’t the only countries engaged in stripping Haiti of its national sovereignty. “Even ‘progressive’ Venezuela is investing in Haiti tourism at Ile a Vache, instead of pushing to end the US occupation and the use of Haitian resources and lands to make foreigners wealthy.”

    AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly

    by Nick Turse

    The U.S. military “pivot” to Africa quickens, albeit under a “veil of secrecy.” AFRICOM “now averages far more than a mission a day on the continent, conducting operations with almost every African military force, in almost every African country, while building or building up camps, compounds, and “contingency security locations.”

    Neo-Confucian Wisdom in the Age of – Austerity & Informants

    by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Confucius say he who wear wire

    May go undetected in East River…

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/14/14

    Haitians Need National Sovereignty Most of All

    Framing Haiti as a charity case is insulting and wrong, said Pierre Labossiere, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee. “The kind of support we need is to denounce the repression that has been imposed on the people of Haiti” since the U.S.-backed coup of 2004. Haiti doesn’t need handouts, said Labossiere; it needs solidarity in the struggle to resist the foreign “conspiracy to rob the country of its resources.”

    Black Folk in Dark Times

    Black academics and activists gathered at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, for a “Workshop on Sovereignty, Citizenship and Freedom.” Organized by Dr. Jemima Pierre, an anthropologist, and historian Dr. Peter Hudson, the event was titled “Black Folk in Dark Times.” Author and community organizer Kevin Alexander Gray, from Columbia, South Carolina, looks forward to Barack Obama’s exit from the White House, in two years. Under the First Black President, “we bought into this idea of endless war, and we bought into the idea of star chambers where people are denied due process,” said Gray, author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics.

    Dr. Christina Sharpe, a professor of English at Tufts University, spoke of “ways of seeing and imagining responses to terror in the varied and various ways that our Black lives are lived under occupation.” She is author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects.

    Dr. Maboula Soumahoro, an English professor born in France to Ivory Coast parents, told the gathering that “Afropea, Black Europe, is in the making.” “In my view,” she said, “Arabs and Muslims, sub-Saharan Africans, Afro-descended people born in France, people from the Caribbean…Asians of all kinds, Roma communities and all people of color are all Black” in France. Soumahoro is editor of the acclaimed essay collection, Constructing Black France: A Transatlantic Dialogue.

    Mumia: A Half-Century of Civil Wrongs

    “For the Black bourgeoisie,” the 50 years since passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act “has been a rush of opportunity and entre into doors once closed to them,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. However, “for the Black poor and working class,” mass incarceration has made “civil rights as ancient and distant as Reconstruction.”

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    CNN's Chicagoland: An 8 Part Miniseries Campaign Commercial For Rahm Emanuel and Urban Neoliberalism

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    CNN's Chicagoland "documentary" is an 8 part wet kiss for Rahm Emanuel & neoliberalism by the same crew that made Brick City, a propaganda flick to boost the career of Newark's Corey Booker prior to his re-election campaign.  Black Agenda Report talked to a few real Chicagoans about what it does and doesn't show or tell, and why.

    Freedom Rider:Charter School Corruption

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Charter schools are the inventions of rightwing corporations and foundations, and serve as profit centers for the filthy rich. Given that these are the people who run American society, it is no surprise that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio “got his head handed to him” when he clashed with charter school interests. “The mayor’s little nod to protecting public education was no match for big money.”

    Al Sharpton: King Rat

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The fact that Al Sharpton is the administration’s “made man” tells us a great deal about what President Obama’s team really thinks about Black people. The White House seems drawn to Sharpton’s amorality and infinite capacity for corruption – his usefulness as pit bull and King Rat.

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