Kagame's Economic Mirage in Rwanda, an Interview with David Himbara

by Ann Garrison

If you believe Paul Kagame, his minority Tutsi government has created unprecedented prosperity since seizing power in 1994. Economist David Himbara, who once served as secretary to Kagame, says that his old boss’s “economic miracle is in fact an economic mirage.” Rwanda subsists on foreign aid and plunder from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, and “remains the poorest country in East Africa, except for Burundi.”

Valedectorian

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

Lynne Stewart was a a diligent and resourceful peoples lawyer, a movement lawyer, the kind of attorney who defended the poor and indigent, and unpopular and hopeless political cases and always went the last mile for her clients and her principles.  To  make an example of her that might frighten other attorneys, the Justice Department jailed Stewart for four years under provisions of the infamous USA Patriot Act.  Given a few months to live in 2014, she was released from federal prison, and went home to Brooklyn with her husband, friends and family.  She joined the ancestors this week.

What is Fascism in Our Times? A Global South Perspective

by Yash Tandon

In this final essay of a seven-part series, Yash Tandon depicts fascism as a systemic phenomenon arising from the incompatibility of democracy and capitalism. For capitalism to persist, as is the case now, democracy is dispensed with. Hegemonic imperialist powers embody fascism in their relations with the rest of the world. Leaders of African neo-colonies administer the fascist system on behalf of the global corporate and financial fascism.

Would the CIA frame Russia in DNC attack, yet wiretap Trump Tower?

by Steve Cunningham

The new release from Wikileaks shows the CIA has all the tools it needs to leave “Russian” footprints behind its own hacking jobs. The spooks at Langley can pretend to be “Cozy Bear” and “Fancy Bear” at will. Therefore, “the question we ought to ask is, would the CIA frame Russia and hack the DNC?”

Anti-Imperialism, Pan-Africanism and Nkrumah’s Ghana: The Historic Role of Shirley Graham Du Bois

by Abayomi Azikiwe

A longtime leftist, Shirley Graham Du Bois had as much influence on her famous spouse he did on her. Both their lives ended in exile. Shirley Graham Du Bois explained to Africans: “Not only have the imperialists and racists robbed, plundered and ravaged this fruitful continent, but they have employed every means of degradation, oppression and shame to humiliate Africans and all the children of Africa.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 13, 2017

UNAC Advocates “Independent Path” to Peace

It is “ridiculous” to believe that the Russians somehow tipped the November election to Donald Trump. “What was Hillary Clinton offering,” asked Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “She was promising, ‘You’re going to have more of the same for the next eight years,’ plus all kinds of military threats. And, they also moved farther to the Right. That was rejected.” UNAC is gearing up for its yearly conference, June 16 to 18, in Richmond, Virginia, under the theme: The Need for an Independent Path. “We don’t place a bit of confidence in the Republicans or Democrats,” said Flounders. “They both represent Wall Street and corporate power.”

NYPD Wields “Precision Policing” Like a Mass Incarceration Bomb

Community organizations are demanding a halt to massive police sweeps of New York City public housing projects, which have resulted in the arrest of hundreds of residents on RICO conspiracy charges. The cops call it “precision policing.” “They are charging people with laws that were designed to take on the Mafia in the 70s,” said Josmar Trujillo, of the Coalition to End Broken Windows. “That’s where the department has stared to focus in the ‘post-stop and frisk era,’ and that’s the scenario where we’re preparing to meet them head on.” The term “precision policing” is “very much an echo of the kind of overseas counter-insurgency the military” conducts, he said.

Mumia: “Lynne Stewart, Freedom Fighter, Presente”

Funeral services were held this weekend for the revered and indomitable attorney Lynne Stewart, who succumbed to breast cancer at age 77. “For decades, she and husband Ralph fought for New York’s political activists and revolutionaries, but mostly they fought for the freedom of the poor and dispossessed,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. Stewart served four years of a ten-year federal prison sentence for vigorously defended her client. “Lynne Stewart was a people’s lawyer, beloved and respected,” said Abu Jamal. “May she ever be so.”

Mumia and Other Inmates Endangered by Tainted Prison Water

The State of Pennsylvania is intent on appealing a court ruling favorable to Mumia Abu Jamal’s demand that he and 5,000 other inmates be treated for hepatitis-C, a life-threatening, but entirely curable infection. Mumia’s condition is exacerbated by a water crisis that appears to afflict much of the prison system, as well as public schools in Philadelphia, said Sophia Williams, of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, in an interview with BAR producer Kyle Fraser. Abu Jamal nearly died last year from complication related to hepatitis-C. By exposing him to foul, tainted water, the authorities are “continuing their project of slowly killing him.”

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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Corporate Media Counting Cadence to Fascism

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The ruling class/War Party/corporate media campaign for regime change in Washington has moments of pure silliness, with grown men claiming that U.S. presidents don’t have the power to wiretap people. Someone should have informed Dr. Martin Luther King. But, if self-described “progressives” can believe that the CIA is a benign, democratic institution, they can believe anything. “The destabilization of the U.S. bourgeois state is a project, not of the Kremlin, but of multinational and finance capital headquartered in the U.S.”

Freedom Rider: Trump and Russia, the Perfect Lie

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The latest New York Times article is proof that outgoing president Obama “was looking not for intelligence he knew didn’t exist, but anything that could be used against Trump and his team.” When it comes to intrigue, Donald Trump is grossly outmatched by the Democrats, the spooks and the corporate media. “Team Obama has the most adept spies in the world while Trump has his son-in-law and untested staff who are completely out of their league.”

Democrats Fight Trump, the Man, But Not His Austerity and Militarism

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Democrats would surely like to replace Donald Trump at the earliest opportunity. But they show no inclination to fight Trump and his fellow Republicans over obscene military budgets funded by cuts to social programs. Even Bernie Sanders has refused to push for Medicare for All, despite the looming health care catastrophe. It is up to grassroots activists to seize the time -- but too many are caught up in the Democrats' Great Russian Diversion.

Leading Black Democrats Love School Privatization Too

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Since voters nearly always reject privatization initiatives on the ballot, Republicans and Democrats, both in the pay of charter school sugar daddies, are obliged to make it happen without them. In the maze of double dealing we call legislative processes, leading Democrats in most state legislatures have thrown their bipartisan weight behind school privatization bills. Georgia and its leading black Democrats are no exception.

When the Fox Becomes a Wolf: Understanding the Election of DNC Chairman Tom Perez

by Danny Haiphong

Neither the wolves nor the foxes of the corporate parties can offer any real relief from the crisis their capitalist masters have created. Donald Trump offers only racist rhetoric against immigrants, while the Democrats are “equally, if not more responsible, for the crisis conditions that afflict the majority of workers and oppressed peoples around the world.“ The imperialist system is all teeth, and “no longer has the capacity to self-correct.”

How to Reverse Incarceration in Louisiana: Thirteen Steps to Stop Being First in Being Last

by Bill Quigley

Louisiana is the world capital of incarceration, with more prisoners than China. Racial profiling is endemic, sentences are draconian, and jury decisions need not be unanimous. Not coincidentally, Louisiana has the worst record of providing its citizens with the means to defend themselves in court. “When people get constitutional defense they usually are less likely to be convicted and if convicted receive less harsh sentences.”

Xenophobia: South Africa is Disgracing Itself and Its Friends

by Cameron Duodu

Attacks against resident non-South African Blacks are particularly disturbing, given the great assistance poor Black nations gave to South Africans during their struggle against white rule. One wonders if African “outsiders” are being “used by politicians who have become unpopular due to their lack of performance, to distract attention from problems such as massive unemployment and lack of housing in the townships?

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.

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