police abuse

“Sanctuary Cities” and Black Community Control of the Police

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Donald Trump’s war against immigrants is a fascist-inspired offensive that is inseparable from his plans to forcefully pacify Black America.” We must oppose Trump sending in the feds to lock up immigrants or to police the Black community. “Sanctuary is only possible when the cops are directly answerable to the people.”

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.

Watch Your Back: How Chicago Cops Enforce Their Code of Silence

by Jamie Kalven

The conventional wisdom is that Chicago’s Blue Code of Silence operates at the lower ranks, on the cop-to-cop level, and has now been exposed to the public glare.  But the weight of evidence from key cases shows that corruption reaches to the highest levels of police department “bosses,” who are in turn protected by the city administration. The Code of Silence is a curtain hiding a culture of criminality.

Reckless Eyeballing in the Former Chocolate City and Rise Up October in New York

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Until this decade, Washington, DC was the quintessential “Chocolate City,” where Blackness was normal and white folks acclimated themselves to the environment. No more. Jason Goolsby became the latest victim of reckless “eyeballing of a white woman” in the former Chocolate City, because his young Black maleness made a white person nervous. Gentrification plus white privilege equals a lethal threat to Black lives.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of October 12, 2015

Atty. Gen. Lynch Backtracks on Killer Cop Stats

Black activists are outraged at Attorney General Loretta Lynch for backing away from her predecessor’s verbal commitment to require local police departments to send reports to Washington when they kill civilians. Former attorney general Eric Holder said failure to keep such data was “unacceptable.” But Lynch called the information “minutia.” “It’s an extraordinary statement,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the renowned whistleblower and activist with Hands Up Coalition-DC. “I guess she considers it bothersome to demand that these police account for the number of people they kill. Who would think, after only a few months, that we would long for Eric Holder to come back?”

Columbia Students Host “Rise Up October” Rally

Dr. Cornel West, a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, challenged Columbia University students to help build a more just society. “Unfortunately, our universities are not sites that generate the cultivation of courage,” said West, who teaches at the nearby Union Theological Seminary. Young people wind up “forgetting what they ought to be faithful to: something called justice.” The rally was a prelude to huge demonstrations planned for New York City, October 22 through 24.

Students cheered Edward “Noche” Diaz, a key organizer in the Network who was been jailed many times in the fight against police lawlessness. “The moment we’re in right now is something I haven’t seen in my lifetime,” said Diaz. “The ones who are called ‘the worst of the worst,’ the ‘thugs,’ the ‘criminals,’ those who are ‘capable of nothing,’ showed us that they are capable of tremendous courage in the face of injustice and tremendous possibility for a whole new world.”

Hillary Runs Away from TPP

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who boosted the Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade deal countless times when she was Secretary of State, now opposes the treaty. That’s “very significant,” said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, part of a broad coalition opposed to TPP. “What it shows is the politics of it,” said Zeese. “She knows which way the political wind is blowing. What she found was: TPP stands for Toxic Political Poison.”

TPP is an Anti-China Weapon

The treaty is “really about trying to build an alternative economic framework to marginalize China” and to “more deeply integrate the societies of 11 Asian Pacific nations into that of the United States,” said Joseph Gerson, author of The U.S. ‘Pivot’ to Asia and the Pacific. “At the moment, for example, in Korea more students are interested in studying in China, where they think their future lies, than in the United States,” he said. “This is an effort to reorient them away from China and towards the United States.” Gerson is director of programs for the American Friends Service Committee, New England.


Data Show Cops Growing More Aggressive Against Blacks In Missouri

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Missouri’s own statistics confirm “the general impression among Black people that the police are becoming measurably more aggressive in their dealings with African Americans.” Racial disparities in police traffic stops broke state records last year – a key indicator of police attitudes towards Blacks. However, only a handful of states keep comprehensive records on the consequences of Driving While Black.

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