Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 6, 2017

An Electoral School for Black Self-Determination

The Black political class has “become servants of the Democratic Party and other institutions outside of our communities,” and must be replaced, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The coalition will hold a two-day electoral school, April 8 and 9, in St. Petersburg, Florida, to begin a campaign “to unleash a new force of people, and inject them into the electoral process based on a struggle for self-determination.” The coalition last year released a 19-point National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination with positions on the widest range of domestic and foreign policy issues. Candidates that support the Agenda should get Black support -- even if they’re Democrats, said Yeshitela.

Blacks Need an Anti-War Movement, Not Anti-Russia Hysteria

The Democrats seem to have an objective interest in having us focus on Donald Trump, the person, as opposed to this system, itself,” said Ajamu Baraka, the former Green Party vice presidential candidate, a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, and an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. In this environment, anti-war views are regarded as suspect. “I’m involved in building a Black Alliance for Peace, to try to revive the Black anti-war movement -- the Black anti-war consciousness,” he said. “We think we have a perfect opportunity, now that people are waking up out of this eight-year stupor, to bring the Black community back to where we used to be, as the most consistent anti-war population in this country. But, it’s difficult to do this when our people are getting caught up in this anti-Russian hysteria, too,” said Baraka.

Beyond Black Lives Matter

Despite its success in “changing the conversation about police brutality in the United States,” the Black Lives Matter movement “shows the limitations of social movements that do not advance beyond highlighting injustice,” said Dr. Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor, the author, activist and professor of African America Studies at Princeton University. In a speech at Detroit’s Wayne State University, Taylor said: “Knowledge, alone, of abuse, injustice and oppression” is not enough. “Indeed, mass movements of millions have to be mobilized to stare down the autocratic impulses of the regime in the White House.”

In Praise of Two Exemplary “Jailhouse Lawyers”

Mumia Abu Jamal spent many years on death row before his sentence was reduced to life in prison. The nation’s best known political prisoner has high praise for two other Pennsylvania prison inmates, Craig Williams and Shaun T. Walker, who were kept on death row for years, even after their death sentences were lifted. Williams, said Abu Jamal, is “one helluva jailhouse lawyer -- still making new law.”

Mumia and other inmates “have complained about hazardous brown water for several months, and prison officials have done nothing to fix the problem,” according to a public service announcement produced by the Move organization. “Enough is enough.” Activists are urging the public to call John Wetzel, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, at 717.728.4109, and “demand that inmates are given clean water for showers and personal use.” For more information, go to FreeMumia.com.

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.  Click here to download or listen to the show.

Keith Ellison: Sheep-dogging Through Trumpland

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Russian Conspiracy theorists have not yet toppled Donald Trump, but they have neutered much of the Sandernista wing of the Democratic Party. Keith Ellison lost the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee to another warmonger, and quickly joined in ganging up on Russians. “The DNC contest scenario was politically identical to last year’s presidential primary race, with Keith Ellison taking up the role of Bernie Sanders’ sheepdog.”

Time For A Movement For Free Tuition at HBCUs and Public Colleges and Universities

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Instead of worrying about where Kellyanne Conway's feet are, or blasting Betsy DeVos's ignorance on HBCUs we should insist that black college presidents start or join a movement for free tuition at HBCUs and public colleges and universities. Millions of college grads of all colors carry unpayable debt and are frustrated by lack of opportunities. This demand earned Bernie Sanders millions of votes. It’s a mass movement in waiting
Click here to download or listen to this Black Agenda Radio commentary

Freedom Rider: Liberals Expose Themselves

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Democrats and phony progressives talk a lot about mounting a great “resistance” to Donald Trump, yet gave Barack Obama a blank check to pursue much the same policies. Trump will find it difficult to exceed Obama in deportations, and damn near impossible to best him in bailing out corporations or attacking other countries. Trump’s rise has caused the Democrats to show their true colors as the party of war and the (deep) national security state.

Contrary to White Liberal Opinion, Donald Trump is no Communist

by Danny Haiphong

Feeling not a bit ridiculous, so-called progressives carry signs depicting the right-wing billionaire Donald Trump under a hammer and sickle flag. “The Democratic Party and its loyal white liberal base have spearheaded a dangerous Neo-McCarthyist campaign that pits anyone who doesn't align with the Democratic Party line a dupe of the Russian government.” The truth is, Trump is a (ruling) classmate of Clinton. It’s a war within the One Percent.

Maryland County Commission Favors Developer Over African Burial Ground

by BAR Editor and Columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

When a planning board in a wealthy Washington suburb sided with developers that want to obliterate an African burial ground, the only concession they made to Blacks was to use ground radar to search for human remains -- as if there is a question of who lies there. One protester asked: “They going to use radar on Lincoln's tomb? Or the Unknown Soldier? Or Kennedy's grave in Arlington to determine if those sites are still holy?"

An Open Letter to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission on Their Report: “Systemic Racism Through the Lens of Flint”

by Tom Stephens

There were some positive aspects to the report on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan. But, the commission left the responsible officials off the hook, as if “racism” exists without “racists.” The Governor and his men knew exactly what they were doing to the people of Flint, just as they knew what they were doing to the people of Detroit, through their Emergency Financial Manager regimes. “There’s nothing unconscious about their racist evil.”

The African Union Needs a Total Overhaul, Not Mere Reform

by Henry Makori

The fundamental problem of the African Union is ideological. And no one typifies this crisis better than Paul Kagame, the terrifying tyrant and imperialist stooge of Rwanda. His new report proposing remedies for reforming the Union belongs in the dustbin. The AU does not need reform. It needs a radical transformation taking it back to its Pan-Africanist roots.

What Explains the Racial Wealth Divide?

by Josh Hoxie

Despite mountains of facts, two-thirds of Americans continue to insist institutional racism is not the root of social inequality. Instead, they locate the problem in individual behavior, or in lack of education, or single-parent households. Yet, “white two-parent households turn out to have ten times more wealth than the equivalent black families,” Black folks are no more spendthrift than whites, and education counts for less than white skin.

On Trump's Pro-Policing Executive Orders: Keep Fighting, Keep Resisting

by Critical Resistance

Increases in policing produces these results: insecurity; broken families and occupied communities; divestment of public resources for education, health, recreation, housing; disenfranchisement for communities targeted by policing and courts; fear and hatred; more inequality; more racism; more human rights abuses; more violence; public debt as the militarized state redoubles itself; and environmental injustice.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 27, 2017

No Justice to be Found in Louisiana

“Louisiana has the most broken public defender system of any state in the country,” said Kristen Clark, president of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which joined with the Southern Poverty Law Center to bring a class action suit charging Louisiana with depriving defendants of their constitutional rights.

“They lock people up a alarmingly high rates, and then fail to provide lawyers to navigate their way through the criminal justice system,” said Clark. “Many of our clients have, literally, spent months in jail without any contact with an attorney.” Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the nation.

“They Want to Exterminate Us”: MOVE to Hold Conference in Philly

The MOVE organization will hold a three-day conference, beginning May 5, in Philadelphia, to set the historical record straight on “what MOVE really believes in, who [founder] John Africa is, and why the government wants to exterminate us,” said the organization’s minister of communications, Ramona Africa. Ms. Africa is the sole survivor of the 1985 police bombing raid on the MOVE residence that left 11 members dead, including 5 children, and destroyed an entire city block. In 1978, 9 MOVE members were sentenced to life in prison in the death of a policeman, a confrontation that began with petty police harassment. “They said there were housing code violations,” Ms. Africa remembers. “But, since when has this government cared about Black people living in what they say is substandard housing?”

Good News: Trump Does Not Yet Have an Africa Policy

U.S. military intervention in Africa rose dramatically under President Barack Obama, who established an “Atrocity Prevention Board” at the U.S. State Department “to decide which country has the most important atrocities.” However, according to Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of the Congo, the Atrocity Prevention Board doesn’t consider the genocide in Congo to be much of an atrocity, since the main culprits are Washington’s allies, Rwanda and Uganda, which have been destabilizing the Democratic Republic of Congo since 1996. “Because of U.S. policy to support that invasion,” said Musavuli, “we have lost over six million Congolese.” In light of this history, Musavuli would prefer less, rather than more, attention to Africa from Washington. “What is unclear,” he said, “is whether Donald Trump will continue with the Atrocity Prevention Board, or what his Africa policy will be.”

Download this week's show here.

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.

Black Misleadership Class: High-Speed Sell-Outs

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The NAACP and the Urban League want to leave Internet neutrality to the tender mercies of the Republican-controlled Congress. But that’s nothing new. The Black Misleadership Class has been selling out the people’s interests to giant telecom companies since 2006, in exchange for organizational and campaign funding. Eminently buyable, they constantly seek to position themselves close to Power -- and then cash out.

EZ Pass -- Tip of the Road Privatization Vacuum Cleaner

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Since EZ Pass has made toll collection possible without stopping traffic. The Obama administration increased the number of interstate highways where toll lanes are allowed, and the Trump administration is expected to rely even more heavily on borrowing from the rich for infrastructure projects rather than taxing them.

Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Masters Tools

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Malcolm X understood that “oppressed peoples must commit themselves to radical political struggle in order to advance a dignified approach to human rights.” What’s needed is a bottom-up mass movement for People(s)-Centered Human Rights,

Continued Desecration of Bethesda African Cemetery: We Shall Stay in Our Resistance! Part II

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

Ethnic cleansing is endemic in the U.S., from the cradle to the grave – and beyond. An African burial ground in Bethesda, Maryland, already paved over for a parking lot, now faces total destruction at the hands of developers. “Can anyone imagine the outrage that would ensue if the Arlington National cemetery or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was being treated with the same disrespect as the Bethesda African cemetery?”

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.”

The Global Dimensions of the Life and Legacy of Malcolm X

by Abayomi Azikiwe

The world cannot realize stability unless the drive for global domination by imperialism is overthrown. This truism was at the heart of Malcolm X?s struggles. The awareness and activism of people inside and outside the U.S. must be harnessed into a movement committed to fundamental transformation of the exploitative and oppressive system.

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