ba radio commentary

Congressional Dems "Sit In" Is A Cynical, Hypocritical Election Year Stunt

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

The so-called “sit in” on the floor of Congress is a cynical and hypocritical joke, leveraging the image of the Southern Freedom Movement and piggybacking on secret, arbitrary terror watch and no-fly lists imposed by the Bush-Cheney administration after 911. Where was the sit-in when Congress cut $5 billion from food stamps, the sit-in for a living wage, or against police murders and mass incarceration or the stolen California primary vote?

 
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4 out of 5 Prisoners Would Have to be Released to Reduce U.S. Incarceration to 1972 Levels

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S. prison system is the true measure of how America regards its Blacks citizens. In a country that is till two-thirds white and only one-sixth Black, African Americans make up majorities of the prison population in 12 states. To bring U.S. incarceration rates down to 1972 levels, fully 80 percent of the 2.3 million current prison inmates – a total of 1,850,000 men and women – would have to be let go.

 
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Political Prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney Fears for His Life

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The Black political class is constantly congratulating itself on ancient voting rights victories in the South, yet Rev. Edward Pinkney is serving his second stretch in prison for fighting against Black disenfranchisement in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Pinkney was convicted twice by all-white juries on the flimsiest evidence, and now believes his life is in danger behind bars.

 
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Freddie Gray Case Judge Rules it is Unreasonable to Expect Cops to Obey the Law

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The prosecution in Baltimore wanted the cop that arrested Freddie Gray to be convicted of assault, because Gray had done nothing illegal. But “the judge seemed to think it would be ridiculous to treat every arrest as criminal just because there were no grounds for arrest.” The officer was acquitted, affirming the American criminal justice principle that nothing is illegal – including murder – when the cops do it.

 
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Dixiecrat Ballot Access Law Temporarily Overtuned: This is What a Voting Rights Breakthrough Looks Like

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

Georgia is one of several southern states whose Dixiecrat legislature erected high obstacles to new parties on the ballot in the 1940s to keep returning WW2 veterans from cranking up socialist or communist parties. Those laws protected Democrats and Republicans from competition for 70 years. That might end soon, first in Georgia then in the rest of the south. If we cannot vote our hopes instead of our fears, our vote doesn't mean much.

 
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If White People Love Drugs So Much, Why are the Prisons Full of Blacks?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

A new study cites huge disparities, by race, in drug use among former detainees at Chicago’s juvenile detention center. Whites were 30 times as likely to use cocaine as Blacks, and 50 times more likely to abuse opiates. The numbers are misleading. What the study really showed was that only exceptionally troubled white kids wound up in juvenile detention, while Blacks are thrown into the system in droves. Drug and crime stats are skewed by race.

 
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“Soft Coup” Finds Soft Target in Brazil

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, of the Workers Party, although free of personal corruption, is being hounded out of executive power by yelping packs of thoroughly corrupt political hyenas.” This “soft coup” is led by former partners in the national legislature, where the Workers Party holds less than one-sixth of the seats. But the debacle is a lesson for those leftists that think they can finesse and bargain their way to a social revolution.

 
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Why Obama Silenced bin Laden

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama likes to point to the killing of Osama bin Laden as a proud part of his legacy. Actually, the “hit” on bin Laden allowed the U.S. to dramatically increase its deployment of jihadists as foot soldiers in U.S. proxy wars against Libya and Syria. Al Qaida was symbolically beheaded so that it could be re-born as “freedom-loving political dissidents and patriotic ‘moderates’ deserving of U.S. arms, financing, and air support.”

 
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Obama’s Legacy: al-Qaida’s Protector-in-Chief

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama is caught in a trap of his own making in Syria. Actually, the trap was laid long ago, when the U.S. and Saudi Arabia partnered to create something the world had never seen: an international jihadist network. Now that network is facing defeat at the hands of Russia and the Syrian government, and must be saved by U.S. “boots on the ground.”

 
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Will Bernie's Burnout Lead To A New Movement? Maybe, Maybe Not.

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

Will there be a new movement born from the ashes of Bernie Sanders' failed campaign? Some think so, citing the broad popularity of his issues and the growing numbers of his core demographic. But few of those imagining new political formations outside the two capitalist parties talk much about how such movements and parties will be financed or led.

 
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There’s Only One Cure for Chicago Police Lawlessness: Black Community Control

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel thinks he can squelch Black rage against the police by appointing a Black cop as superintendent. But the new top cop climbed the ranks of a force that has “no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.” He’s part of the problem, not the solution. Young activists demand nothing less than community control of the police.

 
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COINTELPRO Alive and Well in Los Angeles

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The rulers of the United States – especially the ones that call themselves Democrats – pretend they are seeking an accommodation with the grassroots movement against police terror. In reality, the State “is intent on breaking the back of the movement” through selective arrests and prosecutions, dirty tricks, disruptions, hyper-surveillance, the mapping of activist social networks and “gathering evidence for conspiracy charges in the future.”

 
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Are African Americans “Strategic Voters” Or Are We A Captive Constituency?

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

Who drives the Democratic party? Not the black, brown and poor who are its base voters, trapped in its trunk. Black voters in particular are not “strategic voters” so much as captive constituents of the privatizers, gentrifiers, jailers, banksters and military contractors who steer the Democratic party. Our only strategic decision is whether to remain captives or pull the latch and escape from the Democratic wing of the party of the rich.

 
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A Few Black Caucus Members Have Some Questions About Israel

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The duopoly parties have little tolerance for criticism of Israel. Even the mildest congressional critique can bring on a primary challenge. Not one member of Congress failed to back a resolution in support of Israel, “even as it was slaughtering more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza.” However, “three Black congresspersons have joined Rep. Hank Johnson in questioning why the U.S. spends billions to arm the last apartheid state on Earth.”

 
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Just What We Need: More Black Celebrity Charter School Crooks... I Mean 'Entrepreneurs'

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?

 
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Black Brooklyn DA’s Leniency for Killer Cop Shows the “Whole System is Guilty as Hell”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Black faces in high prosecutorial places do not equal criminal justice reform. The first Black district attorney for Brooklyn, New York, is hell bent on negating the guilty verdict won by his own office against a killer cop. District Attorney Ken Thompson is a “career Democratic politician whose allegiance is to the party and the system that appointed him, not to Black people.”

 
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Raul Castro Should Ask Obama: What About U.S. Political Prisoners?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The man who presides over the largest prison population in the world, a system that is still holding political dissidents captured a half century ago, has the nerve to demand – or have his flunkies in the corporate press demand – that Cuba account for who it puts in jail, and why. It would never even occur to the White House press corps to inquire on the status of U.S. political prisoners.

 
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Good News, Bad News as Post-Obama Fight For Public Education Goes Local

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

There's a video of a little black girl weeping when told that Barack Obama will soon leave office. If she and her parents knew what the First Black President had done to public education, she wouldn't be crying. The Obama administration closed and privatized thousands of public schools, fired over a hundred thousand qualified teachers, and handed over tens of billions in public property and funds to charter operators and testing companies.

 
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Black Is Back Coalition Holds National Conference on Self-Determination and 2016 Elections

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Election seasons are consumed by talk of which candidates and parties are “winning.” But, Black people never win, even if one of them is at the top of the ticket, unless they are organized to seek power. The Black Is Back Coalition’s upcoming conference on electoral politics and self-determination “will explore the possibilities and the dangers that the current electoral scene presents for the future of Black people and the world.”

 
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Turkey and Europe: Human Trafficking on a Scale Not Seen Since the Atlantic Slave Trade

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The agreement between Europe and Turkey to keep millions of refugees from entering Europe is a deal between devils. Europe, which has fattened itself on other people’s lands and blood for half a millennium, is allowed to wall out the “invaders.” Meanwhile, Turkey “springs its vast protections racket trap – agreeing to insulate Europe from further incursions from the formerly colonized peoples.” A human trafficking and protection scheme from Hell.

 
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