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?
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.
The 41 full-voting Black Democratic members of the U.S. House scored higher than last year on the new CBC Monitor Report Card, but that’s mostly because there were far fewer controversial bills crossing their desks in a presidential election season. However, some Caucus members’ names seem to forever live in infamy: Terri Sewell, Marc Veasey, Sanford Bishop and David Scott. None of the Caucus is excellent, but there’s plenty of good, bad and ugly.
The Congressional Black Caucus is a bought-and-paid-for political ally of the planet’s last remaining apartheid state, Israel. “That the CBC has consistently, as a bloc, voted to send billions of US taxpayers dollars to provide weapons for a foreign government that oppresses another people of color, the Palestinians, is nothing less than shameful.” Cynthia McKinney was the last CBC member to take a principled stand on Palestine.
After smashing the Black Liberation Movement, the U.S. ruling class” proceeded “to bury Black politics in the graveyard of the Democratic Party.” They met with great success in nurturing a Black misleadership class to counter the Black radical tradition. The Black caucus in Congress collaborated in mass incarceration and imperial war, offering not to slightest resistance to Wall Street’s Black servant in the White House, Barack Obama.
The so-called mothers of the movement being trotted before national audiences to vouch for the motherly sincerity of Hillary Clinton are not players at the game of politics. They’re being played by Hillary and the cynical sharp tongued operatives of the black political class, and they speak for themselves and their handlers, not for the movement..
CNN talking head Bakari Sellers is a mercenary for the rich and powerful, a veteran operative of the Israel lobby, and a receptacle for whatever words kings and queens of corruption like Hillary Clinton put in his mouth. It’s all part of Sellers’ upward mobility strategy. “He has eagerly deployed himself as one of Zionism’s Black up-and-coming political stars. In return, AIPAC has helped bankroll his political career.”
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Sean “Diddy” Combs, with accomplices Iyanla Vanzant and privatization hustler Steve Perry are fronting the Capital Prepatory Harlem Charter School. When black celebs put their names on a charter school what does that mean? Are they “giving back” or are they cashing in on the drive to convert public assets into their private property? Are they siding with parents, teachers and communities, or with their own investment portfolios?
"Black Power" has been turned on its head on the electoral front, put at the service of corporatists like Hillary Clinton. "Paralyzed by fear of the White Man's Party, Black voters find a false sense of power in clustering around the perceived 'winners'" on the Democratic Party menu. "The mantra is, effectively, 'All Power to the Democratic Party!'" – brokered, of course, by the Black Misleadership Class.
Bernie Sanders is about to hit a wall. Polls show that the black vote in South Carolina, and across Black America is heavily skewed against him. The fearful lesser-evilism that pervades black politics will doom the Sanders candidacy long before the Democratic convention in July.
You'd think a “Yes She Can” piece about Hillary Clinton from a supposed black “public intellectual” would explain what and how she might do and why we should support her. You'd be wrong. That might be the job of an Official Spokenegro, but Michael Eric Dyson hasn't landed that post with the Clinton administration yet. “Yes She Can” isn't talking to black people, it's aimed at flattering Dyson's prospective bosses in the Clinton camp.
Stung by growing public recognition of Teach For America's heinous role in destabilizing communites and destroying public education, CampaignZero/BlackLivesMatter activist & TFA's Brittney Packnett took to Huffington Post last week to defend herself and TFA's mission. But school privatization is so unpopular she had to resort to misdirection and mumbling about her St. Louis orgins and supposed conspiracy theories against her instead.
Getting on the bus to DC this October 10? BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon wishes you safe travels, but he ain't coming. “Justice or Else” is a meaningless slogan, he says, and MMM continues a century old tradition of black leadership dependent on an unprincipled pretense of “black unity” so empowered leaders can speak for us while we serve as their mute (unless commanded otherwise) backdrop.
It's been several years since the Black Agenda Report team issued what used to be our annual report card on the Congressional Black Caucus, the cream of our glittering and prosperous black political class. We apologize, and promise you that will not happen again.
The Charleston church massacre has occasioned a revival of symbolic and “reconciliation” politics by old school Black preachers. “They forgive, they call for reconciliation, and they make symbolic demands whose acceptance or rejection will not seriously alter the balance of power.” The Black political class would much rather fight the Confederate flag than confront the police.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
Voter suppression plays an important role in keeping Black turnout below that of whites, but does not explain why overall U.S. voter participation is far below most developed countries on the planet. The reason is simple: the rich control both political parties and, as a result, “the U.S. offers the narrowest spectrum of electoral choices in the industrial world.” Voting has relatively little impact on how the country is run.
Like the NAACP, the NAN and other corporate funded dinosaur civil rights outfits, the National Urban League mostly says and does what its wealthy donors need. So how surprising is it that Seattle's well-connected Urban League CEO on her first run for public office, thinks she needs to knock out the city council's only socialist? What's wrong with that picture?