If You Embrace Assata, You Must Fight the Black Misleadership Class

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Donald Trump’s lynch party seeking the extradition of Assata Shakur from Cuba includes every U.S. president -- most especially Barack Obama, who doubled the bounty on her head and demanded “that a home-grown Black revolutionary and escaped political prisoner be returned to captivity.” As for the Congressional Black Caucus, there is “no chance that the CBC as a body will protest either Trump’s persecution of Shakur or his general policy on Cuba.”

Freedom Rider: UNAC Brings Power to the People

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The United National Anti-War Coalition, which held a national conference last weekend in Richmond, Virginia, “does not change its organizing principles based on who controls Congress or who sits in the White House Oval Office.” All oppressions are intertwined. “The fight for a living minimum wage and the fight against interventions abroad must therefore be addressed together because they are in fact part of a whole.”

Philando Castile, Charleena Lyles: The Body Count in the U.S. War against Black People Continues

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Add the name of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant woman from Seattle, to the list of victims of the U.S. State. Her name will soon move down the column, since killer cops “are inherent in the logic of repression that has always characterized the relationship between the U.S. racist settler-state and black people.” Killing Black people comes easily, especially at this stage of capitalism in which their labor is no longer needed.

Capitalism Kills, Socialism Heals

by Danny Haiphong

Death is a for-profit enterprise. In defense of capitalism, the ruling classes are prepared to kill on a staggering scale. “It is estimated that since World War II, US wars have murdered between 20-30 million people worldwide.” The rich wage economic and political warfare against public health systems in every country under their control. In contrast, Cuban “life expectancy has gone up decades” since the 1959 revolution.

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, and the UK’s Socialist Surge

by Ann Garrison

The resurgence of a more genuinely “left” Labor Party under Jeremy Corbyn has lefty Americans wondering if the magic can be exported. It’s not likely, as long as the Democrats can sucker almost everyone to the left of Citibank. The UK may have a leftist prime minister before the U.S. gets a real left party. New elections could be called late this year, “which raises the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister sooner rather than later.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of June 19, 2017

Time for a Constitutional Right To Vote

“We need visionary demands,” said Bruce Dixon, speaking at the Black Agenda Report panel at the annual Left Forum conference in New York City. A constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote would “invalidate” all the restrictions that disenfranchise so many in the United States. “If it’s not in the Constitution, any sheriff, any mayor, any governor or state legislature, any county official, can make a rule that interferes with your right to vote,” said Dixon. Democrats had “the moral high ground” to pass such an amendment in the 70s and 80s, but instead decided to rely on the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard voting rights.

Democrats Spread Confusion in Black America

“We need revolutionary change in this country,” said Ajamu Baraka, the veteran human rights activist who ran for vice president on the Green Party ticket and is currently organizing the Black Alliance for Peace. The Democratic Party has been “the main impediment for us developing the kind of radical, oppositional politics and consciousness that we have to build,” said Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “Most of our community understand where the Republicans are coming from, but it has been the Democratic Party that has been the source of ideological confusion” in Black America.

The Rulers are in Crisis

The rulers of the U.S. face a “crisis of legitimacy,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “All of the institutions of governing and ruling the people are being rejected by the people,” said Monteiro. This crisis exists in “all the major centers of global capitalism,” and demands that the left make “strategic decisions about how we move forward.”

Don’t Get Paranoid About Infiltrators

At a Left Forum panel on “Infiltration and Cooptation of the Left,” veteran activist Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, said a “security culture” to identity agents of the state is “useful” to movement organizations. But, “we don’t want to create paranoia.” Zeese advocates a “nothing to hide” approach, based on the fact that “what we are doing is right, we’re on the right side of the issue.” If an organization does become hopeless infiltrated, however, “it’s OK to just leave and start” another one.

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.

It's Time To Make Audacious Demands -- Ending War & Gentrification, a Constitutional Right To Vote

“We need visionary demands,” said Bruce Dixon, speaking at the Black Agenda Report panel at the annual Left Forum conference in New York City. A constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote would “invalidate” all the restrictions that disenfranchise so many in the United States. “If it’s not in the Constitution, any sheriff, any mayor, any governor or state legislature, any county official, can make a rule that interferes with your right to vote,” said Dixon. Democrats had “the moral high ground” to pass such an amendment in the 70s and 80s, but instead decided to rely on the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard voting rights.

The Rulers are in Crisis

The rulers of the U.S. face a “crisis of legitimacy,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “All of the institutions of governing and ruling the people are being rejected by the people,” said Monteiro. This crisis exists in “all the major centers of global capitalism,” and demands that the left make “strategic decisions about how we move forward.”

Don’t Get Paranoid About Infiltrators

At a Left Forum panel on “Infiltration and Cooptation of the Left,” veteran activist Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, said a “security culture” to identity agents of the state is “useful” to movement organizations. But, “we don’t want to create paranoia.” Zeese advocates a “nothing to hide” approach, based on the fact that “what we are doing is right, we’re on the right side of the issue.” If an organization does become hopeless infiltrated, however, “it’s OK to just leave and start” another one.

Mayor-elect Lumumba: Jackson “to be the Most Radical City on the Planet”

by Anna Wolfe

Chokwe Antar Lumumba and his supporters won a second chance to make Jackson, Mississippi, the city that tests the limits of what can be accomplished in a mostly Black city under U.S. bourgeois democracy. Like his father, who died less than a year before capturing city hall, the young Lumumba embraces the radical label. “We all need to be prepared to be as radical as the circumstances dictate we should be."

A Case for Reparations at the University of Chicago

by Ashley Finigan, Caine Jordan, Guy Emerson Mount, Kai Parker

The University of Chicago, the famous center of laissez-fair capitalist economics on the city’s South Side, was endowed by one of Mississippi’s worst slaveholders. Reparations are in order, but the process must be “a function of what black communities demand as payment to forgive an unforgivable debt.” The thief does not have the right to choose the method of restitution.

Trump Cuba Policy: What Will Happen in Coming Months?

by Arnold August

Donald Trump’s position on Cuba flies in the face not only of national and world opinion, but also the wishes of the U.S. corporate class, which generally wants more trade with the island. For example, “the powerful accommodations-networking firm Airbnb is not expected to take this lying down, nor are the major U.S. airlines companies or the giant online travel company Expedia.”

Ethiopia: Collective Punishment by Internet Clampdown

by Alemayehu G. Mariam

Shutting down and criminalizing use of the internet has become a weapon in the government’s cyber warfare strategy against the Ethiopian people, particularly the youth. The internet is making it exceedingly difficult for dictatorships to cling to power and rule tyrannically. It has created a walless, borderless, wireless, seamless, restless and fearless world.

Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Leftish Democrats insist they can reform the corporate-run, Russia-obsessed Democratic Party from the inside, but most pay little attention to war. However, “War is not a side issue in the United States; it is the central political issue, on which all the others turn.” Some think Bernie Sanders should run with the Peoples Party. But, “Sanders is a warmonger, not merely by association, but by virtue of his own positions.”

Peoples Summit: Berniecrats Purposefully Ignore War and US Empire

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

The good news about last weekend’s Peoples Summit, the annual gathering of Berniecrats in Chicago, was that 4,000 Democratic party activists were in one place howling for Medicare For All and not leaving anybody behind. The bad news was that not a word was said of the 16 year war in Afghanistan, the thousand US military and drone bases around the planet, and the crushing burden global empire lays upon ordinary citizens.

Freedom Rider: Under the Democrats’ Bus

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democrats continue their decades-long lurch to the right. The party funds right-wing congressional candidates in hopes of appealing to Trump voters, but resists its own supporters’ calls for single payer health care and other reforms. The treachery provokes hardly a peep of complaint from Black politicians, who are busy searching for lurking Russians. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has been “hanging out with royalty in the United Kingdom.”

What is "the Resistance," Anyway?

by Danny Haiphong

Who is “resisting” what, and on whose behalf? Among folks that claim to be leftists, resistance has become a catch-all term that is “useless” – or worse – “without definition.” Much of the so-called resistance owes allegiance to Hillary Clinton, a true champion of the One Percent. The War Party’s troops also claim to be “resisters” -- resisting the very idea of peaceful coexistence with Russia and an end to U.S. regime-change wars.

Victory for the Black Struggle in Buenaventura, Colombia

A Report from the Black Alliance for Peace

The three-week strike in Buenaventura was a collective human rights struggle which challenged neoliberalism head on. “The strike involved 117 social organizations, from cargo boat operators, to taxi drivers, to business people, evangelical churches, women’s groups, young people’s and student groups and national and local organizations dedicated to the defense of the ethno-territorial rights of Afro-descendant and indigenous communities.”

Jeremy Corbyn Wants to Lay the White Man’s Burden Down

by Ann Garrison

There was a time when the sun never set on Britain’s aggressions and thefts around the world. But Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbin rejects that role for his nation. Is that quaint or corny? “Not to the Yemeni families dying of cholera, U.S.-made cruise missiles, British-made cluster bombs, or other Western weapons of mass destruction. Or to Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Palestinians, Somalis, North Koreans, Rwandans, Burundians, or Congolese.”

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