A Roller Coaster Week in the Anti-Amusement Park of Radical Politics

thought crime

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

The bad news has come hot and heavy, lately: leniency for a killer cop, a draconian sentence for a people’s lawyer, no parole for political prisoners, and death. “But this is the life to which we have been consigned by the dysfunction and disarray of the movements these women and men represent.”


James Edward “Billy” McKinney Laid to Rest

Billiy McKinneyby Cynthia McKinney

Former Georgia Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney spoke at the funeral of her father and co-struggler, July 19. Thousands attended the ceremonies at Atlanta’s Jackson Memorial Baptist Church. “Billy” McKinney, born February 23, 1927, was one of Atlanta’s first Black policemen (1947) and a 30-year veteran of the state legislature.


U.S.-backed War in Somalia Comes to Uganda, Threatens to Set Whole Region Aflame

horn of africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The U.S. war against Somalia expands outwards and “has now blown back to Uganda,” the U.S. ally that, “along with the minority Tutsi dictatorship in Rwanda, is America's most reliable mercenary force in Black Africa.” Ethiopia and Kenya prepare to join Uganda in an offensive against the Somali resistance, to save America’s puppet mini-state in Mogadishu.


Reparations…for Present Injustice

by Paul Street

The author’s problem with African American reparations is that some of the demands seem to stop with the demise of Jim Crow. “Why stop with the 20th century?” Racist crimes that cry out for repair are constantly committed in the United States. “The very distinction between past and present racism ought to be considered part of the ideological superstructure of contemporary white supremacy.”


DNA and “the Banality of Evil”

by Sikivu Hutchinson

First, the criminal justice system failed the Black victims of an LA serial killer. Now, the system embraces a family DNA aggregator approach that is certain to further stigmatize African Americans through shared genetic markers. “The wholesale over-incarceration of African American communities means that many African Americans are related to someone who has been convicted of a felony.”


An Open Letter to the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement: Suggestions on Next Steps, Strategy and Unity Building

by Kali Akuno

A veteran activist wants the “movement” to debrief itself – engage in criticism and self-criticism – in the wake of the Oscar Grant killing verdict. “This small contribution is an attempt to help ignite conversation, share reflections from critical movements of the past, and offer suggestions in the hope of helping to facilitate strategic and programmatic development within the movement.”

Lynne Stewart Gets Ten Years – The Progressive Movement Gets Lethal Injection

lynee and ralph

by U-Savior

It’s time to regroup, rethink, and possibly re-boot the “movement,” which has been gravely damaged from inside and out. “The back biting and murmuring amongst the agenda-less, corrupted, dysfunctional and disheveled ‘grass root progressives’ has led us to exactly where we are today.”


Black Rage; Lynne Stewart Sentenced; a Red Black & Green Party; Counting Black Jobs; Southern Black Co-ops – Black Agenda Radio on PRN, the Progressive Radio Network

ba radio on the progressive radio networkRage in Black America

Killer cops are the most powerful agents of Black enragement. As in the case of Oscar Grant, not even the presence of live witnesses and cameras seems to deter the hit men in blue. BAR’s Dr. Jared Ball reminds us that Malcolm X “once said that simply being Black in America ‘radicalizes you.’ We hope so because it certainly does continue to enrage.”

People’s Lawyer Sentenced

Lynne Stewart has been “made an example of” because she defends the people’s “right to resist – the ultimate human right,” says activist and educator Ward Churchill. Stewart was re-sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly providing “material support” to her client, an accused terrorist.

Towards a Red Black & Green Party

Blacks have given blind allegiance to the Democratic Party over the last 75 years, just as they did with Republicans in the previous 65 years since Emancipation, says BAR’s Bruce Dixon. “Our 1870 political strategy makes us unable to discern an enemy when he is a professed Democrat, all the more a Democrat with a black face.”

Black Jobs by the Numbers

Steven Pitts, of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California, at Berkeley, worries that “we begin to pit low wage workers against the unemployed” at times of economic trouble, and “put unemployed workers into bad jobs.” Pitts and his colleagues have recently begun issuing monthly reports on Black employment prospects.

A 43-Year Cooperative Venture

Since 1967, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund has helped Black farmers achieve self-sufficiency. The federation celebrates its work with 30,000 families in 75 cooperatives across the South with festivities in Birmingham, Alabama, August 19-21, says executive director Ralph Paige.

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 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.


Black American Politics in the 21st Century: Is It Time For A New Plan?

We all love and respect our ancestor and freedom fighter Frederick Douglass. But in the 21st century, nobody is trying to imitate his haircut or wear his 19th century clothes. So why is 21st century black America still stuck with Frederick Douglass's political strategy, 140 years later? And how's that old stuff working out for us, anyway?

McKinney On Israeli Nukes; Swanson on Peace Movement; Lynne Stewart Resentencing; No “Democracy” in Dem Party; the Black Disaster in Gulf – Black Agenda Radio on PRN, the Progressive Radio Network

ba radio on PRNMcKinney: Obama “Backtracks” on Israeli Nukes

Cynthia McKinney accuses President Obama of “backtracking” on his previous position on a nuclear-free Middle East, with his statement that Israel has the right to deploy whatever “security” measures it sees fit. It is the “height of hypocrisy” and “pusillanimous” for the White House to “threaten war” against Iran while condoning Israel, the region’s only nuclear power, says the former Georgia congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate.

Peace Movement Growing

The peace movement has been slowly growing since “bottoming out in late 2008” when Democrats won the White House, said David Swanson. The noted activist and author, who coordinates efforts to deny funding to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has compiled a list or organizations that only actively oppose wars when the GOP is in power.

Resentencing for Lynne Stewart

Human rights lawyer Lynne Stewart, whose sentence to 28 months in prison is opposed as too lenient by federal prosecutors, could be resentenced to as long as 30 years behind bars on July 15. Ralph Poynter, her companion in struggle for 48 years, told a rally, “We will win this because we must!” Atty. Stewart is charged with providing “material support” to terrorists in the process of defending her client.

Democrats Have No “Substance”

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans address the “substance” of people’s democratic rights, says Tony Monteiro, Temple University professor of African American Studies. These are the rights “Martin Luther King was talking about in the latter years of his life: economic rights, social rights, the right to real health care, to education, the right to a home.”

Oil Gusher Adds to Katrina Catastrophe

The Obama administration’s failure to provide leadership in the post-Katrina Gulf “meant there would be no infrastructure to deal with anything else in the region.” So says Gulf Coast reconstruction activist Kali Akuno. There has been a “total dereliction of government duty” in the Gulf in the five years since Katrina, with the goal to “get rid of poor Black people from New Orleans and the region.”

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 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

Obama Can't Say "No" to the Rich

 Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Having transferred trillions of public treasure for the sake of Wall Street's health, Obama now picks up where George Bush left off on Social Security. Obama's deficit commission is pre-programmed to assault the last vestiges of the social safety net. The president "is the right wing's most potent weapon, the one before which liberal Democrats throw up their hands in surrender without the dignity of a fight."

Black Faith VS Black Reality in the Age of Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

An objective reading of the data from the Pew Research Center leads to one conclusion: Black Americans are suffering cognitive delusions regarding their actual condition, brought on by the advent of a Black president. But one Black writer has a different view. He sees a leap of faith.

The Gulf Region as a New “Sacrifice Zone”

Dr. Marsha Coleman Adebayo

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The Obama administration has a double BP problem: the oil giant and the other BP: Black People. “It appears that BP and the Obama administration find it easier to stanch the flow of information than they do the deepwater gusher,” which at some point may cause great stretches of the Gulf to be written off as “sacrifice zones,” like atomic testing sites in the 50s and inner cities in the 70s. The author knows something about the inner workings of the Environmental Protection Agency, having won the largest award ever against the EPA for sexual and racial discrimination.


The Ugly Underside of World Cup Mania

children playing soccer in SAby Linn Washington, Jr.

In South Africa, pride over national soccer recognition combines with outrage that the poor are having to defer their needs for the sake of the global show. Apartheid at times seems to be only a legalism away. “Some people fought with rocks and guns. Some fought with music and poetry. Some fought with football.”


What To Do With The Negroes?

K. Accord

by Kalamu ya Salaam

A people more wedded, more rooted than any other to New Orleans, is ejected like an alien intrusion. “Although poor blacks controlled none of the city’s major resources, we were blamed for everything that was wrong.” When all the code words and obfuscations are said and done, what is demanded is our absence, which has largely been achieved. “What is gone, what we miss most of all is us.”


Dr. Peniel Joseph: Peoples Historian or Establishment Courtier? Part Two of Two: Peniel Joseph vs Hubert Harrison on Democracy

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

It's not that hard to tell an honest people's intellectual from a brand name huckster. One is engaged in making and propagating brands, terms with no fixed meaning of their own crafted to evoke unanalyzed, but useful feelings in an audience. The other is about the business of helping clear the cobwebs, cutting through received wisdom and official deceptions, explaining how the lives of ordinary people affect and are affected by the lineup of social forces, and what we can do about it. A quick look at how Dr. Joseph treats the word “democracy” in his latest work illustrates which side of the divide he is on.

Freedom Rider: Obama and the Nadir of Black America

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

For Black America, it is the worst of times, but a kind of collective insanity leads African Americans to believe they live in the best of times. A Pew Research Center study shows Blacks are the most upbeat on the economy of any major group, despite being the group most negatively affected by the economy. The root cause of the delirium: Obama.



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