Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of September 12, 2011


NATO Legally Liable for Ethnic Cleansing of Blacks In Libya

The United States and its European allies are liable for prosecution for mass killings and ethnic cleansing of Black Africans in Libya under the principle of “command responsibility,” but “that’s not going to happen” at the International Criminal Court. The ICC, which has charged Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi with crimes against humanity, “is a joke and a fraud” and “nothing but an imperialist tool.”

EPA Chief Challenged To Resign Over Obama Pollution Retreat

Renowned federal whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo challenges Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson to resign in the wake of President Obama’s cancellation of new air pollution controls. “Blow the whistle on Mr. Obama,” urged Coleman-Adebayo, whose fight against corruption and big business influence at the EPA led to passage of the landmark NO FEAR legislation to protect whistleblowers, in 2002. EPA chief Jackson is now “in a position where there is a conflict between your conscience and what you’re called upon to do to save your job,” said Coleman-Adebayo. “This could be her Rosa Parks moment. Let’s see what she’s going to do.”

Obama Jobs Scheme Inadequate

The president’s jobs plan “is better than nothing,” but will not make much of a difference in the unemployment crisis, said Doug Henwood, editor of the Left Business Observer. “Obama never really articulated a new path, and therefore has a very, very weak political foundation,” said Henwood. “He fundamentally agrees with imperial neoliberalism.” The problem is not whether the president has backbone or not. “He is a fairly center-right politician” who is “facing an extremely rightwing party, but he is no progressive, himself.”

$300 Billion Could Employ All of the Jobless

Obama’s $450 billion jobs plan, weighed down with incentives for business, “is, at best, going to give us five months of what we need, and then it’s going to run out,” said Randall Wray, professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Wray expenditure of just $300 billion in direct federal job creation would put every unemployed person back to work. Obama’s plan, said Wray, is based on the supply side economics that came into vogue under President Reagan. “We recovered jobs at a much faster pace during the 1930s Great Depression than we are doing under President Obama.”

How to Challenge Obama in 2012

David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site “War Is A Crime,” has come up with a formula by which a progressive could run against President Obama in 2012 and escape being pummeled as a “spoiler” for the Republicans. Swanson has drawn up a list of eight executive actions that Obama could take on his own, requiring no assent from the Congress, including withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan by October 2012, casting a veto against any reduction in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and introduction of new clean air standards. The challenger would agree to withdraw if Obama took these actions. If not, the Obama would bear responsibility for creating the progressive challenge to his presidency.

Humanity of Attica Prisoners Remembered on 40th Anniversary

What Attica really showed was the humanity of the prisoners, as juxtaposed with the inhumanity and viciousness of the state,” said Atty. Elizabeth Fink, who helped win an $8 million settlement for 1,200 inmates tortured in the aftermath of the 1971 rebellion. New York State lawmen “mowed everybody down to show what happens when you rebel,” said Fink. Thirty-two inmates and 11 guards died in the massacre. “Our morality, the effectiveness of our society, is totally undermined by the prison industrial complex.”

Mother Who “Stole” Her Child’s Public Education Wants Change of Venue

The Black Connecticut mother who enrolled her five-year-old son in a suburban public school outside heavily minority Bridgeport is asking that her trial on theft of educational services be moved to another jurisdiction. Tanya McDowell’s attorney, Darnell Crosland, says statements by the mayor of Norwalk have made the venue “toxic” for his client. In addition, the prosecutor in the case is the mayor’s stepdaughter – “just like a hired gun in this particular case.”

After Years of Abuse, Obama Now Woos Democratic Base

 Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Having humiliated and marginalized the core constituencies of the Democratic Party in his first term, Barack Obama calls upon these same groups to give him four more years. For most, it would be difficult to even find the words to refuse. The president's essential conservatism, masquerading as consensus-building and bipartisanship, has helped move “the parameters of the national political conversation to a narrow spectrum, that goes from Obama, the corporate, center-right Democrat, to the Tea Party, the corporate-financed white nationalists.” Left Democrats are wholly adrift.

At Least Some Ministers Tell the TRUTH: Hip-Hop, Social Media and Revolutionary Politic


Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

Theoretically, “any Black woman or man is a potential revolutionary.” But here’s another truth: No organization, no revo – whether the potential revolutionaries are Internet-connected or not. A wired populace may hold in their hands the tools of mass political action, but those same tools are wielded by huge corporations and the governments that protect them, as San Francisco Bay transit cops showed when they shut down the cell phones of potential “flash” demonstrators. The end requires more than just the technological means.

LAUSD’s Apartheid Hall of Shame, Part 2: A View from the Classroom

by Sikivu Hutchinson

The Black student “push-out” phenomenon is directly related to Black mass incarceration. Studies show that “African Americans go to the dean’s office for less serious offenses than do Latinos and whites.” Disruptive behavior is in the subjective perception of the beholding teachers, some of whom “go off about ‘these black kids’ and what are you going to do with these black kids ‘cause I can’t teach in my classroom with these black kids going out of control.” Predominantly Black schools and faculty are often no better. “South L.A. schools with significant or majority black faculty and administrators are just as culpable.”

Blacks and Obama: Unconditional, Unrequited Love?

by Kevin Alexander Gray

The jilted lover is the last to know. Although African Americans cling desperately to the hope that Barack Obama is, in his heart of hearts, on their side, “it is clear whom he is actually beholden to: Wall Street, corporations, the dirty energy industries, the Pentagon, and the power elite.” Will the inner Obama finally show up in his second term? Not likely. “The longer he is in office, the less he seems to care about the expanding crisis in communities of color and among the poor.” Are Blacks really seeking social transformation, or just a vicarious hand on the steering wheel of state?The dilemma of black politics is whether it is about changing the system or running it.”

The Ethnic Cleansing of Historically Black Colleges & Universities in the Age of Obama, Part 1 of 3

by Jahi Issa, Ph.D.

Despite the long and loud verbal commitment of the Black Misleadership class to HBCUs, the deference and dependence of black leadership to corporate ethics and on corporate donations has caused them to endorse policies that are effectively phasing out HBCUs.  Within a generation we may see the end of historically black institutions of higher learning.

Huffington Post-AOL “Black Voices” Are Just More Corporate White Noise


A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Only a generation ago, seeing or hearing black voices on the broadcast airwaves was a rare treat. Those were the days when segregation created a Jim Crow market that white corporate entities pretty much left alone. But no longer. Corporate media have become expert at targeting black audiences, in using black faces and voices to push its disempowering message of consumption and acquiesance to injustice and empire.


Remembering Attica, 40 Years Later

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

It has been more than a generation since the historic prison uprising at New York's Attica penitentiary. Since then, both much and little have changed, not all for the better. If there is one lasting lesson of the Attica uprising for our day, what is it?


Los Angeles Schools’ Apartheid Hall of Shame (Part One)

by Sikivu Hutchinson

It sounds like racial profiling in education, on a massive, institutional scale. “Black students are targeted, penalized and pushed-out in dizzyingly obscene numbers that predict and mirror their disproportionate numbers in L.A. County juvenile detention centers and adult prisons.” Those are the conclusions of a recent report on schools in the Los Angele Unified District, where Black kids are grossly overrepresented among students ejected from classrooms. What’s more, such collective punishment occurs “regardless of the racial background of the faculty and administration or racial demographics and socioeconomic background of a given school.”

Freedom Rider: How to Remember 9/11

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

In a few weeks, it all begins again: the howling scream-whine of a narcissistic nation oscillating wildly between fits of megalomania and depressive woe-is-me-ism. “Will there be calls for a true investigation into what the government knew and how that knowledge might have prevented the tragedy?” Not a chance – that would spoil the pity-party. But you can be sure that “anyone who dares suggest that our country also inflicts terror will not be given serious consideration.” Is the United States capable of serious – and civilized – collective thought? Not in the last ten years, certainly.

Obama’s Responsibility to Protect is a License to Kill

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Believing the Libya assault to have been a shining success, the United States will feel confident in launching new aggressions under the insidious rubric of R2P – Responsibility to Protect. The 2004 invasion and of Haiti was the precedent, “when the United Nations Secretary General lent his seal of approval to the occupation and endorsed Washington’s interpretation of the Responsibility to Protect.” Washington has turned international law on its head.


The Libyan Soldier: The True Heroes of NATO’s War

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

NATO has proven it has the capacity to kill thousands of Libyan soldiers from the skies, but it cannot “convey honor and legitimacy” to the rebels under its killer wings. “They are little more than extras for imperial theater, a mob that traveled to battle under the protective umbrella of American full spectrum dominance of the air.” The incinerated bodies of her soldiers have secured Libya’s place in history.


CBC: Impotent, Irrelevant, and Tied to the President in 2012, Even If Obama is the Black Herbert Hoover

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Why does the Congressional Black Caucus, forty of the most senior members of the House of Representatives, pretend that touring the country with a phony, embarrassing “job fair” is a substitute for the massive jobs and poverty-reduction programs they should have fought for during the four years they held an overwhelming majority in the Congress, two of them with a black Democrat in the White House? What kind of Colt 45 bottle has the CBC and the black political class crawled into? And is there a way out?

Black Democrats Go to Israel, Ron Paul Puts Democrats to Shame

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

At least five Black Democratic congresspersons are in Israel, part of the one-fifth of the U.S. House that accepted an expensive vacation paid for by AIPAC, the Israel lobby. Clearly, it is thought wiser to take blood money from the Israelis, than to anger them. Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul is the lone presidential contender in either party that opposes America’s widening wars.

Black Democrats Go to Israel, Ron Paul Puts Democrats to Shame


British Regime Jealous of America’s Savage Police

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Given the extreme violence of American life, when compared to other rich nations, why would the Brits consider for even an instant emulating the U.S. criminal justice system? What could American cops teach them? How to fill prisons to overflowing, make millions of citizens hate authority, and saturate the nation with guns and drugs? But then, why do white Americans tolerate such a system? The answer: the aim of white supremacy is not efficiency or justice, but to keep non-whites in their place. White racists in Britain “are jealous of the absolute savagery of the U.S. criminal justice system’s treatment of Black people.”


Freedom Rider: Bachmann for President

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Most Democrats are so fixated on the prospect of another Republican in the White House, they are oblivious to the actual crimes of the current resident. “It is true that [Texas Gov. Rick] Perry called Social Security a ponzi scheme, but it is Barack Obama who has made common cause with Republicans to cut the program.” As for the Neanderthalian Rep. Michelle Bachman. Democrats “only care that Bachmann confuses Massachusetts with New Hampshire or Elvis Presley’s birthday with his death day” – not that Obama confuses the difference, in Libya, between war and not-war.

Black Libya City Said to Fall to Rebel Siege

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Western-backed rebels have made good their vow to “purge slaves, black skin,” with their reported capture of Tawurgha, a black Libyan city, after a long siege. Elsewhere, just 30 miles from the capital city of Tripoli, NATO bombed 85 civilians to oblivion. Facing a September 27 United Nations deadline on its “humanitarian” mission, “NATO has resorted to terror bombing to clear the way for the rebel advance.”

The Falling Veneer of the Great Black Hope

by Ron Kipling Williams

Despite some decline in his Black approval rating, most African Americans that voted for President Obama behave like “tourists star struck at the vision of the micro palace on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” In this period of deep crisis, we must “remove his black face and peer into the actions of Obama.” He is not our champion, or even our friend. “No president – black or not – should ever be juxtaposed to Dr. King if he himself does not oppose war, and does not call for the radical redistribution of the wealth, and does not fight vigorously for poor people.”


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