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Freedom Rider: Democracy is Dead

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

A new study confirms the obvious: the will people of the people carries no weight in the United States. Within the nation’s borders democracy is everywhere proclaimed but nowhere to be found. These truths we hold to be self-evident: “ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States.”

Ford and IBM May Have to Answer for Their Role in Apartheid

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

It’s taken 12 years, but victims of South African apartheid finally convinced a U.S. federal judge to hear their case against IBM and Ford Motor. The plaintiffs say the two multinationals sold the white regime the products it needed to torture and oppress the Black majority – and that the companies intended their vehicles and computers be used for that purpose.

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Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

On the Meaning of "Progress" and "Change" in the Whitewashed Political Worldview of the Black Misleadership Class

by Danny Haiphong

The most left-leaning ethnicity in the U.S. is (mis)led by a class of scoundrels and servants of empire. “The Black misleadership class unapologetically shoves itself down the throats of young people of color as legitimate political role models while the white capitalist power structure happily provides the financial and political support.”

Psycho-Cartoon Warfare: Putin as Hitler

by Dr. T P Wilkinson

The real Hitler was rather popular in upper class western circles, at least until the start of World War Two. The media’s use of “Hitler” as a pejorative has little to do with the actual politics of the world’s most famous fascist. The Hitlerization of Putin turns reality on its head, “making the actual aggressor appear to be a victim by accusing one's target of all the acts actually perpetrated by oneself.”

African Currency Unit: An Urgent Question in the Midst of the Capitalist Crisis

by Horace G. Campbell

Massive capital drain from Africa and that Africa is a net creditor to Europe and North America. Without an African central bank functioning under democratic control and a credible African currency, the drain of resources will continue to rob Africa the means to achieve development. “It is in the interest of all to work for the new multipolar currency regime.”

Redouble our efforts…

by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

When our giants go down, our spines must straighten up and create new beginnings.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/21/14

Seattle Conference to Kick Off $15 an Hour Ballot Initiative

So popular is the demand for a $15 an hour minimum wage, the corporate establishment and virtually the entire city council of Seattle, Washington, claim to favor the hike. To ensure that these erstwhile allies don’t water down the proposal, however, the 15 Now campaign will kick of a drive, on April 26, to collect 50,000 signatures to put the wage increase on the ballot. “We have lots of different people involved: socialists, Green Party activists, community groups, Latino organizations,” said Jess Spear, organizing director for 15 Now and also a member of the Socialist Alternative party, whose local leader, Kshama Sawant, won a seat on the council, last year. “Socialist Alternative sees the need for democratic socialism to replace capitalism so that we can really deal with all the problems that face society,” said Spear.

Supreme Court Decision Renders U.S. a “Zombie Democracy”

The U.S. electoral system has entered the realm of the living dead, said Ajamu Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. The recent McCutcheon ruling, which allows the rich to spend virtually unlimited funds on political campaigns, confirms that the “system doesn’t really function, it has no internal life – but that’s been the case from the very beginnings of the Republic,” said Baraka. “The only elements in society that were allowed to participate were white men with property. What we have now is a full circle back to that reality.”

Fusion Spy Centers Target Activists

Human rights activists in 7 cities recently protested against U.S. intelligence Fusion Centers that allow local law enforcement and contractors to share information on political dissent. “There is this guise that they’re trying to keep us safe from terrorists,” said Jamie Garcia, of Stop LAPD Spying, “but we’re finding out that they’re actively targeting social justice organizers” through these “mega spy centers.”

Black Lives Endangered in Detroit, Chicago, Congo

The crowds that come to hear about the slaughter of six million Congolese since 1996 – the biggest genocide since World War Two – “don’t make a distinction between what’s taking place on the South Side of Chicago, or in Detroit, and what’s happening in the Congo,” said Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of Congo. “They immediately recognize that getting involved” in defending the lives and rights of Congolese “is an indication of the value they hold for Black life,” said Carney.

Blacks and “Bio-Sexual Politics”

David Austin, the Montreal-based activist, educator and author of Fear of a Black Nation, said “bio-sexual politics” is “a primeval fear of Black folks that is rooted in the recurring need to control Black bodies…a phenomenon that is intimately connected to fear of Black rebellion and the spread of Blackness as a political contagion.” Austin took part in “Black Folk in Dark Times: A Workshop on Sovereignty, Citizenship and Freedom,” at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville.

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Are Black "Success Stories" Really Holding Us Back?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Is it time to critically interrogate the black “success stories” of pro atheletes and near-billionaires? Should we be identifying with the Junior Bridgemans and Magic Johnsons or with their thousands of underpaid and cheated workers? And what would a more reproducible black “success story” really look like?

Stop Blaming Black Parents for School Achievement Gaps

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Helping your kids, or neighbors’ kids, do their homework almost certainly will not improve their school performance, according to a new study. “The idea that parental involvement will address one of the most salient and intractable issues in education, racial and ethnic achievement gaps, is not supported by the evidence.” However, a demonstrable commitment to social values can change a child’s whole outlook on life.

Freedom Rider: NYPD Punishes Black Victims

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

It is truly astounding how the U.S. criminal justice system finds infinite opportunities to array straightforward statutes in ways that disproportionately disadvantage Black people. “The purpose of American criminal injustice is to keep certain groups, black people most obviously, vulnerable to any form of attack the system can devise.”

NAN, NAACP & Other Hypocritical "Civil Rights" Organizations Assert "Constitutional Right" To Conceal Their Corporate Funding Before the FCC

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

When NAN, the Urban League, LULAC, Rainbow PUSH & the NAACP claim a "constitutional right" to hide the extent of their dependence on broadcaster & telecom funding, whose rights are they protecting?  Those of wealthy corporate donors or those of their supposed constituents?  

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Kagame: Murderer of Millions in Congo and Rwanda

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

In what may be the world’s most bizarre spectacle, notables from around the globe this year pay homage to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, as if he is the savior of Africa. “For 20 years, Kagame has posed as the soldier who stopped the Rwandan genocide, when all evidence and logic point to him as the main perpetrator of the crime.”

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Nelson Mandela and Collective Power

by Kevin Alexander Gray

Whatever verdict history decrees on three decades of nominal Black rule in South Africa, one thing is certain: Nelson Mandela is not the only person responsible. The unfinished struggle was a collective effort. “Moderates and radicals, ANC members and non-members, martyrs, marchers, clergy, secular, individuals and organizations made up the collective.” Indeed, lots of the change-makers weren’t even South African.

Death, US Capitalism, and Huey Newton’s Theory of Suicide

by Danny Haiphong

Class and race oppression brings death by many means. “The person or movement partaking in revolutionary suicide has chosen to confront death by fighting for liberation.”

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