2016 campaign & election

Freedom Rider: The Corporate Media Enemy

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Donald Trump and the corporate media are locked in mutual hostility, but they are both enemies of the poor and oppressed. Media tell non-stop lies about foreign leaders abroad and Black people here at home. As servants of corporate power, the media usually kow-tow to whoever wins the White House. They’ve made an exception for Trump, but that doesn’t make them honest journalists -- just flunkies for the other party.

Why it is Time to Move On from MoveOn.org and the Non-Profit Industrial Complex

by Danny Haiphong

The revolution will not be subsidized -- but well-funded facsimiles of “movements” dominate the political landscape of the U.S. “Left.” MoveOn.org “prides itself for exposing the corporate ties of the Republicans but is perfectly content with the corporate ties of the Democratic Party.” And Black Lives Matter “drew significant interest from a consortium of non-profits after receiving millions from the Ford Foundation and Google in 2015 and 2016.”

Democrats Manipulate the Movement that Should Leave Them Behind

by Ann Garrison

Much of what passes for the Left in the U.S. is either an extension of the Democratic Party or a project of non-profit organizations funded by the One Percent. As BAR’s Bruce Dixon told author Ann Garrison, the genuine left needs “to create a movement that will not be hijacked by Democrats and will not just be warming up the crowds for Cory Booker or whoever the Democratic sheepdog and corporate candidate is in 2020.”

Freedom Rider: Democrats Attack Trump from the Right

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democratic Party has devolved into complete irrationality and irrelevance, sucking its Black followers into the idiotic abyss. “Years of capitulation to corporate interests and to Barack Obama have killed black politics,” and turned the Congressional Black Caucus into mindless CIA groupies who “use the phrase ‘intelligence community’ as if they were hypnotized cult members. Democrats carry signs that threaten war, and call it “protest.”

The Women’s March in Washington D.C., as Broadcast

by Ann Garrison 

If you watched it on TV, the Women’s March on Washington seemed to be a Democratic Party, Hillary-Is-My-President affair. “It was all about protection and equal opportunity for women and all racial and religious minorities, but that didn’t include protection from predatory financial institutions, from all intrusive spying, or from sacrifice to foreign wars for resources and global hegemony.”

Good Journalism Requires Openness to Foreign Sources of Information

by Steve Cunningham

Since when has journalistic ethics prohibited accepting accurate and valuable information from foreign sources? Wikileaks has done the American public a great service by exposing corruption among high officials, including a would-be president, and in the workings of a major political party. If the Russians were involved in the revelation -- so what? The essential truth, as the Wikileaks show, is that “Hillary Clinton is, indeed, corrupt.”

“Fake News” Crisis Covers Deeper Crisis of Legitimacy

by Paul C. Bermanzohn

The deepening crisis of an illegitimate system that only serves the rich has caused a section of the ruling class to charge a sitting president -- one of their own! -- with the political crime of illegitimacy. The “fake news” imbroglio is phony excuse for keeping the United States on a permanent war footing.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 23, 2017

Irrationality Reigns: After All the Lies, Some Folks Still Believe the CIA

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party’s vice 2016 presidential candidate, said he is appalled at the spectacle of “progressives” and even self-styled radicals “parroting the Democratic line that the Russians are a threat” to U.S. democracy.  This new McCarthyism is “a strange diversion” and “a demonstration of the irrationality of politics in the U.S,” said Baraka, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. It represents “the complete abandonment of critical thought, embracing the State and propping up the intelligence agencies as authoritative sources even after the years of deception, disinformation, and psychological operations that we know is the modus operandi of the CIA. It is absolutely bizarre.”

Blacks Should Stop ‘Hitch-Hiking’ with the Democrats

Black people made political alliances “with whoever came along -- like a hitchhiker,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “When you catch a ride as a hitchhiker, you’ve got to go wherever the driver is going. That’s what being with the Democratic Party was about, and we are determined that that mess is over.” The Black is Back Coalition makes alliances based on the principles of Black self-determination and opposition to imperialism – which is why it has held together since the first year of the Obama administration. “Trump is president because of the crisis in the imperialist system,” said Yeshitela.

Poor People’s Campaign Tackles MLK’s Unfinished Work

The scourge of poverty has increased since the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was interrupted by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said Willie Baptist, a veteran of the welfare and homeless movements, and now an organizer of the 21st century version of the campaign. “Poverty has gotten worse, with huge sections of the middle strata being rendered homeless and a good section of the poor rendered superfluous,” said Baptist, now based in New York City at the Union Theological Seminary’s Kairos Center. Changes in technology are “not just saving labor, it’s actually eliminating labor,” he said. “The world’s productive capacity totally outweighs its purchasing capacity. As a result, you have poverty in the midst of plenty.”

Afro-Colombian Leader Beheaded

Rightwing paramilitaries are suspected in the murder of Emilsen Manyoma, a leader of a network of Black and indigenous community organizations. “Her assassination was a response to the work she was doing, defending the rights of Black people,” said Charo Mina-Rojas, an Afro-Colombian political activist who reports that over 200 Black and indigenous leaders were killed last year, despite a peace agreement between the government and FARC guerillas. Blacks and natives in Ms. Manyoma’s region are under pressure from coca producers and illegal mine operators and their gunmen.

Where Did All the Black and Latino Teachers Go?

Back in 2002, 27.2 percent of the teachers hired by the New York City public schools were Black or Latino. By 2012, the proportion had shrunk to 11.6 percent. What happened? “When you look at what’s been going on for the past 15 years, you see a picture that requires people to point to the real causes of the disappearances, and to change those policies,” said Sean Ahern, a political activist who teaches juvenile prisoners at the giant Rikers Island jail. Ahern blames the drop in minority teachers on “mayoral control” of the schools, “high stakes testing, school closings, charter school push-ins” -- essentially, the whole program of so-called “reform” that was pushed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and championed by the Obama administration.

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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Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 16, 2017

The Democrats: Serving the One Percent, Blaming the Russians

The Democrats are using the Russians as a scapegoat to avoid confronting “the rightwing Wall Street-captive party that they’ve become,” said activist and educator Paul Street, author of several books on President Barack Obama. Essentially, Democrats are saying, “It’s not that we’re a rightwing, corporate, neoliberal party beholden to the nation’s unelected dictatorship of money and empire. It’s not that we abandoned the working class and the causes of social justice and peace decades ago.” Speaking at the Open University of the Left, in Chicago, Street said Donald Trump did not ride to victory on a “big rust belt rebellion of the white working class.” The real story “is that the Democrats lost those voters to non-voting.”

When Capitalism Gets Sick, the Democrats Get Mean

The Democratic Party’s sharp turn to the right is its response to the “existential crisis at the core of capitalism,” a global phenomenon that has left the ruling class and its servants with “hardly any space to reform the system,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and activist. With “no room to maneuver,” the capitalists resort increasingly to war and repression. “Monopoly capitalism must be undone, the banks broken up, and a large part of them nationalized,” said Monteiro. “In other words,” there must be “a profound and fundamental end to the neoliberal order, globally; a retreat from empire and war; and a seizing of the military budget and turning it towards economic development, jobs and a green economy.”

Political Prisoners Under Pressure in Indiana

Khalfani Malik Khaldun, serving time at Wabash Valley prison, in Indiana, said officials have carried out “a series of raids on targeted political prisoners,” including himself. Khaldun was told by “top brass” that they consider him to be the facility’s “most influential” inmate and are pressuring him to use that influence to “stop the proliferation of meth, a synthetic drug spreading throughout the prison.” Otherwise, “they had orders to put me and ten of my comrades in solitary confinement,” where he is now housed. Khaldun said prison officials “are making me out to be running some form of drug ring, in an attempt to destroy my political credibility as an activist on the inside.”

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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As the Democrats Press for War, the Left Must Demand Peace and Social Transformation

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Democrats are whipping up war hysteria and “cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions.” Some folks have taken the bait. “Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.”

Freedom Rider: Contradiction in the Time of Trump

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The cacophony of pre-inaugural madness is full of lies against Russia, wild exaggerations about Obama’s accomplishments, and a weird and shameful alliance of so-called “progressives” and the CIA. Anti-Trump protests turn out to be props for useless Democrats. The contradictions of late stage capitalism abound -- which should be the cue for genuine radicals to fight both corporate parties. That means kicking the Democrats “while they are down.”

Some Guidance on the Russia Question

by Danny Haiphong

Barack Obama, “has spent its last days in the White House laying the basis for World War, claiming that the Russian government had directly interfered in the 2016 elections.” The corporate media and the Democratic Party have joined in the hysteria, along with far too many so-called progressives. “If criticism of Russia at this time takes precedence over fighting US imperialism, then a reexamination of the movement’s priorities is in order.”

Pity the Sad Legacy of Barack Obama

by Cornel West

One of the few Black public intellectuals to break with the First Black President early on, Dr. Cornel West notes that “those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility” for the impending Age of Trump. Obama ignored pleas to “break with Wall Street priorities and bail out Main Street” – but bailed out the banks instead, and oversaw what has become “the full-scale gangsterization of the world.”

Locating Fascism on the Home Map

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

In decadence and decline, the U,S. has produced two strong strains of fascism that now vie for supremacy. The First Black President, now outgoing, represents the “cosmopolitan, global obsessed” variety of fascist. Donald Trump hails from an older fascist strain, “crude and petty, too ugly for global prime time.” At this stage in history, the two corporate parties seem incapable of producing anything other than fascists of one kind or the other.

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Propaganda Gift to Trump

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Political hysteria has its ironies. President Obama has just signed into law a new office of government propaganda that is intended to prevent any warming of relations with Russia under a Trump administration. But, President Trump will appoint the head of the office. The Democrats apparently expect Trump to cooperate with their plan to undermine his foreign policy, “silence dissent and create a network of propaganda partners” to badmouth Russia.

Trump’s Neo-Fascism will be Built on Neo-Fascism of Obama and Democrat Party

by Ajamu Baraka

White “radicals” and Black “nationalists” join with corporate Democrats and “latte” liberals” to mouth nonsense about Russians. Clinton Democrats attack Trump from the right -- and sweep know-nothings of all stripes along with them. “Collaboration from the left with the new McCarthyism is providing an opening for the isolation and repression of those of us who were going to have to fight no matter who would have been elected.”

Message to the Movement Against Donald Trump: Let the Empire Die

by Danny Haiphong

The Democrats are attacking from the Right, desperate to stir up war fever. “The destabilization of Russia is critical to finance capital's agenda of self-enrichment from the chaos of political catastrophe.” When Wall Street demands that the country be put on a war footing, the Democrats are eager to please. “Only strong ideological opposition to the Democratic Party can challenge the madness of the US empire's anti-Russia campaign.”

Message to the Movement Against Donald Trump: Let the Empire Die

Delusions Shattered: How Democrats Lost Claims to a Moral High Ground by Ignoring Obama's Transformation Into Bush

by Jon Reynolds

In defeat, Democrats now cast themselves as defiant “fascist-fighters” and saviors of civil society. Yet, they were silent or supportive when Barack Obama spent eight years committing the same crimes as George Bush, and adding his own atrocities to the record. Donald Trump’s victory, “if there is anything good to say about it, will at least breathe much needed life into an antiwar sentiment that has been largely dormant since Bush left office.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 2, 2017

Obama, Trump, Clinton, Bush – They All Serve the Same Masters

When Donald Trump recently stated a willingness to escalate the arms race, it caused a great media stir. But President Obama set in motion a trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade with barely a peep from the corporate press. “It really shows that it’s the U.S. system, it’s the Pentagon as a military institution, and corporations that must expand or they suffocate,” that are the source of endless war policies, said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition. “Although the media always acts like there is a choice, that there are huge differences” between the candidates of the two major parties, “both carry out the interests of U.S. corporate power.”

Haitians Take to Streets to Defy U.S. – and Americans Should Do the Same

Jovenel Moise, the rightwing candidate that elections officials claim won 55 percent of the vote in a four-way presidential race, “is the individual that the United States understands will continue the plunder, the pillaging that they’ve been doing in Haiti,” said Daoud Andre, a Brooklyn-based Haitian community activist and radio host. Charging the November 20 vote was rigged, tens of thousands of Haitians have engaged in nearly daily protests. U.S. progressives should take note, and “not take on Donald Trump from a defensive position,” said Andre. “I think we have to go back to the militant movements of the Sixties, movements for people to take their destinies in their own hands. We cannot be afraid of a clown. These are paper tigers.”

Obama’s “Legacy”: A Boon for the Rich

“We are in a ‘post-hope’ era,” BreakingBrown.com publisher Yvette Carnell told Counterpunch Radio host Eric Draitser. “He saved the financial industry and neutralized working people’s politics, especially Black politics, and left us far worse off than we were before he came.” The outgoing president “was a creature of Wall Street and finance capital from the beginning,” said fellow guest Pascal Robert, a lawyer and frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “He had complete control of the Senate and the House” but “expended no political capital to push a jobs agenda at any time in his presidency.”

Milwaukee Cops Pressure Panther Feed-the-People Program

Activists and parents say Milwaukee police hit a 10 year-old girl in the face while targeting a community feeding program operated by the Revolutionary Black Panther Party, last week. “This is the first time since the 1960s that they have attacked a Black Panther food program,” said Dr. Alli Muhammad, Chief General Commander of the RBPP. The police seem angered that the Panther group held an armed march -- legal, under Wisconsin law -- and organized an African Holocaust Human Rights Tribunal, the week before. “It appears that they are trying to intimidate the people, to make them afraid to support us,” said Dr. Muhammad.

Mumia on the “Magic of Black Music”

The nation’s best known political prisoner noted the passing of Sharon Jones, lead singer for Dap-Kings, and British pop star George Michael. “It was in the magical realm of music that Black folks found their closest vision of freedom -- to be, to become, themselves,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, in a commentary for Prison Radio. Of George Michael, he said: “Black musical beats and rhythms liberated him, freed him to be his self, because in Black music one finds that yearning for freedom.”

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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Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 26, 2016

Greens Vs. Lesser-Evilism

The Green Party must learn how to “differentiate ourselves from the Democrats.” Otherwise, said Dr. Margaret Flowers, the party’s recent candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland, “If Trump runs again, it will be another ‘anybody-but Trump’ year, and whoever the Democrats throw up there, no matter how bad, will be considered better than Trump” -- and we’ll have the same old problem. “If we, ourselves embrace ‘lesser-evilism,’ then it only makes sense for other people to do that, as well.” Dr. Flowers said Green presidential candidate Jill Stein failed to think “strategically” before launching her voter recount effort, which was ultimately an expression of lesser-evilism.

Police Reformer Weighs Run for NYC Mayor, Cites Courts Full of “Crap” Cases

When Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, sends observers into the New York City court system, they see mainly “crap cases” based on minor offenses rarely, “if ever, involving anyone who we could possibly characterize as being dangerous or predatory.” Gangi said the court dockets prove “the cops are engaged in blatantly racist practices that do little, if anything, to contribute to public safety, and that do harm to people.” He’s considering running for mayor as a “protest candidate” against Bill de Blasio, who has bought into an intrusive and aggressive “Broken Windows” policing policy.

Technology Makes Universal, Quality Employment Possible – But Not Under Capitalism

“The task right now, is how we rethink work, rethink distribution, and rethink ownership –- fundamentally,” said Dr. J. Phillip Thompson, professor of Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Speaking on a podcast hosted by Dr. Michael Dawson, the nation’s premier Black social demographer and director of the University of Chicago’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Dr. Thompson said President Obama missed the chance in 2008 to “use the takeover of General Motors as an opportunity to change ownership or the way manufacturing happens in America.” Thompson said studies show it would cost $600-$700 billion a year “to gainfully employ every able-bodied person in the U.S.” at a good job paying about $50,000 annually –- about one-twentieth of the cost of Obama’s bailout of the financial industry.

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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