Black Agenda Radio for Week of May 15, 2017

UNAC and Black Alliance for Peace Blast U.S. Subversion of Venezuela

The newly founded Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) and the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) issued a joint statement denouncing U.S. “destabilization” and “attempts to cause regime change” in Venezuela. “We share the objective to revive the anti-war movement -- the anti-imperialist movement in the U.S.,” said BAP organizer Ajamu Baraka, the veteran human rights activist and 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate. “We are, of course, committed to peace, but we understand that there can be no peace without justice, and that means people have to be prepared for struggle,” said Baraka.

Bizarro World: Faux “Leftists” Shill for the FBI

Purported “progressives,” apparently driven mad by Donald Trump, demonstrated this month in support of former FBI director James Comey. “It was disheartening to see left forces so anxious to combat Trump, they were actually supporting Comey,” said UNAC activist Sara Flounders. This strange strain of “leftists” seem to have forgotten the oppressive history and practice of U.S. spy outfits. “We have to be clear,” said Flounders. “All of these agencies are about absolute repression, subversion and assassination.”

U.S. Prisons: Geriatric Injustice

One out of every 7 of the nation’s prison inmates is serving a life sentence, according to a report by The Sentencing Project. For Blacks, the proportion of lifers is in 1 in 5. Despite a growing consensus for prison reform, “We see life sentences continue to accumulate,” said senior research analyst, Ashley Nellis. Most people “age out of bad behavior” in their 20s and 30s, “so incarcerating them for decades past that point serves no public safety benefit,” she said.

Mumia on Neoliberal Barbarism

Noting that Pennsylvania has locked up more juveniles for life than any other state, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal excoriated Bill Clinton for pushing through his draconian anti-crime bill of 1994. “Children were cast into the hells of adult prison while the newly rich neoliberal class drank champagne and enjoyed the good life,” said Abu Jamal.

Don’t You Dare Call Malcolm X a “Civil Rights” Leader

What Malcolm X “was saying 50 years ago is just as relevant today as it was then,” said Imam Talib Abdur-Rashid, an advisory board member of New York City’s Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Educational and Memorial Center, where the martyred leader’s 92nd birthday will be celebrated on May 19th. A “homogenized version” of his life and work depicts Malcolm X as a “civil rights leader of the 1960s,” said Imam Rashid, but Malcolm “used to make it clear that he was not a civil rights leader, but rather, a human rights leader.”

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.

Trump Picks the Al Capone of Vote-Rigging to Investigate Federal Voter Fraud

by Greg Palast

The 2016 election was stolen -- not by some Russian-Wikileaks plot, but the old-fashioned, made-in-the-racist-USA way, by massive suppression and theft of the Black vote. Donald Trump has chosen the architect of the “Crosscheck” scheme to head a commission to investigate election fraud. “As Crosscheck spreads, it will undoubtedly poison the count in the fight for Congress in 2018.”

Malcolm X in the 21st Century

by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali

Had he not been assassinated, Malcolm X might still be among us, speaking Truth to Power and marking his 92nd birthday. If you want to emulate Malcolm, you might start by carrying around his recommended list of exploratory equipment: “a notebook, a dictionary, a thesaurus, a book of synonyms and antonyms, an etymology text, a library card, and an open, willing mind.”

A Certain Amount of Madness: From Endless Protests to Revolution

by Henry Makori

Often too reform-oriented, current activism is incapable of mid-wifing radical transformation. Today’s activism is only mildly disruptive, is fragmented and addresses symptoms, not systems. Its aims are short-term and it doesn't engage the masses. No coherent and convincing alternative visions are proffered. Instead, activists are busy petitioning the same oppressive powers they should be fighting. Africa needs a revolution.

Criminal Nation: Obama and Trump Both Should Be Jailed for War Crimes

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The corporate media feed us fake news and the lawyers provide us with fake legality. A group of former Obama White House lawyers -- the same guys that defended the U.S. bombing of Libya, drone wars, and the “proxy” war against Syria -- say Trump has not legally justified his attack on a Syrian airbase. The truth is, the U.S. has waged illegal wars with impunity for most of its existence. Obama’s former lawyers want only to whitewash the crimes.

Freedom Rider: Democratic Party Death Spiral

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democrats are locked in a fatal contradiction: they cannot serve the people and their rich paymasters, too. The people want higher wages, affordable education and the right to healthcare. Instead, the Democrats “engage in wishful thinking that the same tired nostrums would work one more time.” The Democrats only run for office so they can “make deals on behalf of the corporate interests which feed them.”

War, Militarism and No Mainstream Opposition: Different Administration, Same Story

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

If asked, most Americans will say they want peace. But they consistently vote for the two parties of war. “Imperial privilege” allows “the U.S. public to ‘shrug off’ the consequences of U.S. wars. They will destroy whole societies while ostensibly rescuing a few “beautiful babies” -- preferably white ones. We must build a new politics around the provable principle that killing other people is dangerous to one’s own moral and physical health.

Bernie Sanders: Loyal Democrat, Stalwart for Empire

by Danny Haiphong

Bernie Sanders will never break with the Democratic Party and its finance capitalist masters. Progressives have no choice but “to take the genuine demands for a living wage, socialized healthcare, and free higher public education out of the two-party duopoly and into the streets.” Sanders is also totally useless in the fight to save the planet from nuclear conflagration; he “has made his peace with war.”

2 Poems - About How and Why Some Things Work. And Some Others Don't

By BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

In two works of poetry this week, Turner offers cogent observations on two phenomena, one that pretty much works as intended, and another enterprise that despite the wishes of many consistently and predictably goes awry.

Diana Johnstone: Financial Elite Created France's New President, Emmanuel Macron

An interview by Ann Garrison

Three out of four of the top vote-getters in the first round of French elections ran against the economic policies of the European Union. Yet the French and U.S. corporate media claim the election was all about race and “fascism.” Emmanuel Macron is “the whole globalizing elite’s own special candidate” – and bad news for the working class.


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