Build and Fight: Beyond Trump and the Limitations of the United Front

by Kali Akuno and Doug Norberg

At this time of great crisis, there are fevered calls for the Left to forge a “united front.” However, “these calls rarely take into account the inequality or lack of political parity of the ‘uniting’ forces,” or the difference between strategic alliances and the temporary or limited unity of tactical alliances. Moreover, what is to be gained from such unity, and for whom? “At best, ‘united fronts’ are instruments for restoring the status quo ante.”

Flint’s 1000-Plus Days Without Safe Drinking Water

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

If you believe public health officials, lead levels in Flint, Michigan’s water have finally fallen to acceptable levels. The problem is, nobody in Flint has any faith in official pronouncements, and there’s a lot more wrong with the city’s water than just lead. It’s been more than 1000 days since the water has been safe to drink. An investigative report shows nearly 3,000 communities across the country have more lead contamination than Flint.

 
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Cuba and Our Common Future

by Danny Haiphong

With the Left in the U.S. in such obvious disarray, it is more critical than ever to examine the experience of the Cuban revolution. “It was power in the hands of the working class and oppressed that gave Cuba the ability to assist national liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, and Namibia against South African apartheid.” In the U.S., however, much of the Left is completely obsessed with Donald Trump, which “ultimately distracts the movement from the need to organize a struggle against the entire state apparatus.”

The Women’s March in Washington D.C., as Broadcast

by Ann Garrison 

If you watched it on TV, the Women’s March on Washington seemed to be a Democratic Party, Hillary-Is-My-President affair. “It was all about protection and equal opportunity for women and all racial and religious minorities, but that didn’t include protection from predatory financial institutions, from all intrusive spying, or from sacrifice to foreign wars for resources and global hegemony.”

Good Journalism Requires Openness to Foreign Sources of Information

by Steve Cunningham

Since when has journalistic ethics prohibited accepting accurate and valuable information from foreign sources? Wikileaks has done the American public a great service by exposing corruption among high officials, including a would-be president, and in the workings of a major political party. If the Russians were involved in the revelation -- so what? The essential truth, as the Wikileaks show, is that “Hillary Clinton is, indeed, corrupt.”

“Fake News” Crisis Covers Deeper Crisis of Legitimacy

by Paul C. Bermanzohn

The deepening crisis of an illegitimate system that only serves the rich has caused a section of the ruling class to charge a sitting president -- one of their own! -- with the political crime of illegitimacy. The “fake news” imbroglio is phony excuse for keeping the United States on a permanent war footing.

Obama’s Legacy In Africa: Terrorism, Civil War and Military Expansion

by Eric Draitser

No American president has done more to destroy African independence than Barack Obama. “Within two years of his pledge to let Africans resolve their own problems, U.S.-NATO jets were dropping bombs on Libya in support of al-Qaida-linked terrorists who would topple and brutally assassinate Moammar Gadhafi.” Most African militaries are now subordinate to and dependent on the U.S. Pentagon.

Haitian People’s Court Will Put 100 Years of U.S. Occupation on Trial

by AlterPresse

Since 1915, the United States has directly or indirectly occupied Haiti, smothering the nation’s sovereignty and corrupting its institutions. This year, a People’s Court will begin hearing testimony from Haitians on the crimes of the U.S. occupiers. The tribunal is a response “to the generalized demand to fight for justice and against the constant impunity that harms the entire population.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 23, 2017

Irrationality Reigns: After All the Lies, Some Folks Still Believe the CIA

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party’s vice 2016 presidential candidate, said he is appalled at the spectacle of “progressives” and even self-styled radicals “parroting the Democratic line that the Russians are a threat” to U.S. democracy.  This new McCarthyism is “a strange diversion” and “a demonstration of the irrationality of politics in the U.S,” said Baraka, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. It represents “the complete abandonment of critical thought, embracing the State and propping up the intelligence agencies as authoritative sources even after the years of deception, disinformation, and psychological operations that we know is the modus operandi of the CIA. It is absolutely bizarre.”

Blacks Should Stop ‘Hitch-Hiking’ with the Democrats

Black people made political alliances “with whoever came along -- like a hitchhiker,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “When you catch a ride as a hitchhiker, you’ve got to go wherever the driver is going. That’s what being with the Democratic Party was about, and we are determined that that mess is over.” The Black is Back Coalition makes alliances based on the principles of Black self-determination and opposition to imperialism – which is why it has held together since the first year of the Obama administration. “Trump is president because of the crisis in the imperialist system,” said Yeshitela.

Poor People’s Campaign Tackles MLK’s Unfinished Work

The scourge of poverty has increased since the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was interrupted by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said Willie Baptist, a veteran of the welfare and homeless movements, and now an organizer of the 21st century version of the campaign. “Poverty has gotten worse, with huge sections of the middle strata being rendered homeless and a good section of the poor rendered superfluous,” said Baptist, now based in New York City at the Union Theological Seminary’s Kairos Center. Changes in technology are “not just saving labor, it’s actually eliminating labor,” he said. “The world’s productive capacity totally outweighs its purchasing capacity. As a result, you have poverty in the midst of plenty.”

Afro-Colombian Leader Beheaded

Rightwing paramilitaries are suspected in the murder of Emilsen Manyoma, a leader of a network of Black and indigenous community organizations. “Her assassination was a response to the work she was doing, defending the rights of Black people,” said Charo Mina-Rojas, an Afro-Colombian political activist who reports that over 200 Black and indigenous leaders were killed last year, despite a peace agreement between the government and FARC guerillas. Blacks and natives in Ms. Manyoma’s region are under pressure from coca producers and illegal mine operators and their gunmen.

Where Did All the Black and Latino Teachers Go?

Back in 2002, 27.2 percent of the teachers hired by the New York City public schools were Black or Latino. By 2012, the proportion had shrunk to 11.6 percent. What happened? “When you look at what’s been going on for the past 15 years, you see a picture that requires people to point to the real causes of the disappearances, and to change those policies,” said Sean Ahern, a political activist who teaches juvenile prisoners at the giant Rikers Island jail. Ahern blames the drop in minority teachers on “mayoral control” of the schools, “high stakes testing, school closings, charter school push-ins” -- essentially, the whole program of so-called “reform” that was pushed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and championed by the Obama administration.

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.
 
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Is It Time To Revoke John Lewis’s Lifetime Civil Rights Hero Pass?

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

John Lewis was a hero 52 years ago. What’s he doing nowadays with his Lifetime Civil Rights Hero pass? He’s a 14 term Atlanta congressman with nary a word to say on gentrification or the privatization of schools, roads, nature and the commons. He’s a pacifist with a US Navy ship named after him who votes for the NSA, Pentagon budgets, and re-arming apartheid Israel. Now his sainthood is useful again. But to whom and for what?

 
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The Obama Legacy: A Temporary Deformity of Black Minds on War and Peace

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

When Barack Obama’s legacy is fully measured, it must include his role in eroding Black America’s historical position as the nation’s most anti-war constituency. He was a Pied Piper of war, and most of Black political leadership, as well as a portion of the Black public at large, followed him into the abyss. However, “we can expect this gross deformity to be corrected once the artificial aura of “Blackness” is removed from the White House.

Freedom Rider: No Tears for John Lewis

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

John Lewis has parlayed his 1965 beating at the hands of Alabama police into a phony sainthood, and “now exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Party and the black misleadership class.” He “parrots every word” of the CIA in blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. There are many reasons to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration, but “Russia” is the only one mentioned by Lewis, the party hack.

Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama

by BAR editor Ajamu Baraka

The 2008 campaign t-shirts depicted Barack Obama clasping hands with MLK, as if the two men were politically joined. Yet, one was a radical opponent of militarism and the rule of the rich, while the other served Wall Street, the Pentagon and American Exceptionalism. Dr. King loved humanity, and died in its service. In contrast, “for Obama, there is a hierarchy of humanity where a peoples’ worth is directly related to their value to the empire.”

What Constitutes a "Legitimate President" in the United States?

by Danny Haiphong

The furor over Donald Trump’s “legitimacy” as president presumes that the U.S. system of rule is, itself, legitimate, at home and abroad. The Democrats maintain “a legitimate President certainly cannot have peaceful relations with Russia.” They are attempting to continue the momentum of the Obama period, which “has been the highest expression of the Democratic Party's transformation into the War Party and the most legitimate party of imperialism.”

An Ever-Smaller Circle of Billionaires Controls the Planet’s Wealth

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

As humanity by the hundreds of millions is forced into a Race to the Bottom, the super-rich expand their dominance of the Earth’s wealth. Eight individuals now own as much wealth as the bottom half of the planetary population. “How can a society call itself civilized, when half the value of all of humanity’s labor -- which is what those fortunes actually represent -- is at the disposal of eight men?”

 
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Mocking, Marching, Stopping the Hate and Dumping Trump Are Not Enough

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Mocking, protesting and ridiculing Big Cheeto before and after inauguration will be big fun. But storms of ridicule did not drive Ronald Reagan or Dubya from office. Mockery that only undermines the legitimacy of evil persons rather than the capitalist system makes us nothing more than the warm up for Corey Booker or whoever Democrats nominate next. Left messages, memes and hashtags need to eviscerate Trump but also to educate people.

Black Lives Matter Wants to #ReclaimMLK’s Radical Legacy

by TeleSUR

Several Black organizations across the U.S. have launched a campaign to reject the mainstream image of Martin Luther King, Jr., which they call “capitalist revisionism.” Dr. King “became increasingly anti-capitalist/imperialist and was killed for it,” said the groups gathered under #ReclaimMLK. “We have conflated nonviolence with passivity, and we have forgotten that King’s legacy is meeting incredible violence with masses in the street.”

Report: Chicago Police Use Excessive Force

by German Lopez

The long-awaited U.S. Justice Department report on Chicago police behavior in Black and brown communities shows cops frequently abuse their monopoly on the use of lethal force, and act out their racist prejudices on the job. “Black youth told us that they are routinely called ‘nigger,’ ‘animal,’ or ‘pieces of shit’ by CPD officers.” Cops use stun guns on kids with regularity, and engage in cover-ups enveloped in a “blue code of silence.”

Young Black Men Again Faced Highest Rate of US Police Killings in 2016

by Jon Swaine and Ciara McCarthy

The number of unarmed people fatally shot by police in the U.S. declined last year, according to data compiled by The Guardian newspaper, but young Black men remain far more likely than whites to die at the hands of cops. Recent moves to keep better track of lethal police use of force could be undermined by the incoming president Donald Trump, who has balked at withholding funds from local departments that fail to report killings.

As Obama Exits the White House, Never Forget His Destructive Imperialist Legacy

by Solomon Comissiong

A mythology of lies was built around Barack Obama, even before he walked into the White House. He got a peace prize for no good reason -- and then made war against at least seven countries. Obama “even joked about the use of predator drones at a White House Correspondents Dinner.” Obamites cried when he gave his last speech, “yet can find little reason to shed tears over the masses of civilians who were destroyed as a result of Obama’s policies.”

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