Blogs

Philadelphia’s Killer Cops Prove the Necessity of Black Community Control of Police

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the U.S. Justice Department has attempted to position itself on the side of “reform.” Its new report on the Philadelphia police is one example. However, their version of reform is designed to perfect the system of mass Black incarceration, and to derail the movement. “It is critical that the movement put forward its own proposals that would fundamentally alter the power relationships between the police and the Black community.”

Freedom Rider: Uncle Tom Celebrities

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

A young singer who dresses like a bellhop considers himself to be the “new black.” A rapper-actor-songwriter operates under the delusion that racism is like a love affair gone bad. A TV and movie heartthrob invites whites to call him “nigger.” Where do we get these celebrity mutants, and “what good are awards and ratings and record sales if the people who gain these successes stab us all in the back?”

Eugene Puryear: A Revolutionary Perspective on Why the Left Should Engage in Electoral Politics

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

“Radicals should not simply support the ‘best available’ candidates in elections, but present themselves for office,” says Eugene Puryear, the Washington, DC, activist profiled by in this issue by Dr. Coleman Adebayo. Puryear believes radicals engaged in electoral politics must “advocate and agitate as loudly and clearly as possible for our ‘side’ in the struggle, the side of the exploited and oppressed.”

Netanyahu’s Victory is a Victory for Palestinian Solidarity Movement

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Netanyahu’s racism was never a secret to Israelis, but his election outbursts may have put the final kibosh on the “two-state” diversion, and given new life to the demand for “one, democratic, secular state for all of the people who live in the territory.” The boycott Israel movement has also gotten a big boost. Meanwhile, Black U.S. apologists for Israel have some serious explaining to do.

Obama's War Plans Against Venezuela: Another Act of Imperial Desperation

by Danny Haiphong

U.S. manic belligerence towards Venezuela may seem counterproductive, given Washington’s growing isolation in Latin America. But the logic of imperialism dictates that it must destroy the Venezuelan model of economic and political development. “Venezuela is no threat to US ‘national security,’ but its resistance to Empire is a threat to US hegemony.” 

Has Terrorism Stepped into Africa’s Political Void?

by Mark P. Fancher

As AFRICOM, the U.S. military command, wraps its tentacles around the continent and jihadist organizations spread mayhem and massacre, Africa sometimes seems to have lost its internal political compass. “In the absence of sustained revolutionary organizing, desperate, confused, oppressed individuals have unfortunately responded to terrorists’ calls to arms.”

The NYT Turns a Blind Eye While the Clintons and Mexico's Richest Man Feast on Haiti

by Ezili Dantò

The corruption that surrounds U.S.-backed Haitian President Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly is deeply entwined with the billion dollar deals revolving around Bill and Hillary Clinton and a Mexican billionaire. Martelly now rules by decree, while the Clintons prepare to reoccupy the White House. President Obama’s legacy is that he and Hillary “finished the Bushes’ project to destroy democracy and installed outright dictatorship back into Haiti.”

Translating Malcolm X into Irish: Malcolm X Film Festival’s First Historic Event in West Belfast

by Sukant Chandan

For some of the younger people of Northern Ireland, “it was the first time they heard Malcolm X’s own words speaking about ‘rejecting the white man,’ developing independence Black liberation organizations, rejecting the dehumanization from the white man, and being inspired by the ‘darker nations’ of Africa and Asia uniting against European colonialism.”

U.S. Blames Others for its Own Crimes

by Ken Peeples

Like the thief who lives in fear of his wallet being stolen, the United States routinely commits the very crimes it accuses its rivals and victims of perpetrating. The U.S. ruling elite project their own criminal impulses on other nations, and then “invest a ton of time, effort and treasure into misleading the masses with benevolent rationales for all things war, imperialism and neoliberalism.”

Depravity at the Highest Level: Obama Prepares the Boil from Selma – PART II and Black Code Alert

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends

The Obama administration has no intention of tampering with police immunity from prosecution for the slaughter of Black people. “We have by now seen the only real policy the government has to offer – waiting us out until the storm blows over.” Obama seasons the pot with “commemorative platitudes” on historically significant occasions.

The Israeli Election: The Obamafication of Israeli Oppression

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Whichever of the main Israeli parties gets to form a new government, the Jewish State’s colonial policy towards Palestinians will not change. Benjamin Netanjahu’s Likud and the rival Zionist Union are in fundamental agreement on expanding the Jewish presence in the occupied territories and denying Palestinians a right to return to their homeland.

Exuberant Irrationality Driving Afrikan-Canadians’ Support for Deputy Police Chiefs

by Ajamu Nangwaya

The late Maya Angelou supported Clarence Thomas for U.S. Supreme Court Justice, because he’s Black. Afro-Canadians are making the same mistake in endorsing two Black cops for police chief in the nation’s largest city, Toronto. Both Black officers are supporters of “carding,” the Canadian version of stop-and-frisk.

Testing Public Education to Death in New York

by George Joseph and John Tarleton

The real teaching crisis in New York is “the failure to keep experienced and highly capable teachers and allow them to do their jobs.” The exodus of veteran teachers is by design. So-called “reformers” want to “transform teaching into a deskilled, low-wage job performed mostly by middle-class whites for a few years after college before moving on to other work.”

No Justice, No Peace, Without Black Community Control of Police

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Police, prosecutors, politicians and corporate propagandists seized on the shooting of two cops in Ferguson, to claim that the Black Lives Matter movement had suffered a “setback” – as if they have the moral authority to judge. But the movement is not about keeping its enemies happy, but to establish the power of the Black community over the police.

No Justice, No Peace, Without Black Community Control of Police

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Police, prosecutors, politicians and corporate propagandists seized on the shooting of two cops in Ferguson, to claim that the Black Lives Matter movement had suffered a “setback” – as if they have the moral authority to judge. But the movement is not about keeping its enemies happy, but to establish the power of the Black community over the police.

Freedom Rider: 47 Republicans and Israeli Control of Congress

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

When it comes to Israel, the line separating Democrats from Republicans is essentially non-existent. Not one congressperson of either party will risk the wrath of the pro-Israel lobby. “To date, 15 Democrats have at various times expressed a willingness to go along with the Republicans and end any chance for negotiations with Iran.” If Obama’s own administration was not engaged in the talks, he’d probably be opposed, too, in deference to Israel.

Burkina Faso Courts Allow Exhumation of Thomas Sankara Remains

by Abayomi Azikiwe

During his four years as head of a revolutionary government in Burkina Faso, Captain Thomas Sankara captured the imaginations of Marxists and Pan-Africanists throughout the world. He was assassinated by treacherous comrades in 1987. The exhumation of his body could shed light on the circumstances of Sankara’s death, and breathe new life into his program for African liberation.

Obama's Selma Celebration Speech: Another Brand For US Imperialism

by Danny Haiphong

President Obama milked the Selma commemoration for all it was worth, depicting the events of 1965 “as a symbol of American exceptionalism.” For this month’s participants, the contradictions of the occasion were acute. “While some didn't march in the Selma celebration because of GW Bush's presence, it is equally deplorable that these same critics marched alongside Obama.”

Obama’s Selma Song: America Is Not Racist – It’s Just Ferguson

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

No matter how many Black people are shot down in the streets by cops, no matter how far Black people fall in the relative to whites in the economy, Barack Obama has always denied that racism is endemic to the United States. He amended that slightly, in Selma this weekend. “Obama now admits that racism had once been endemic to the country, but that it is now limited to Ferguson-like localities.”

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Final Insult to Michael Brown

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder bestowed impunity on the killers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, and then journeyed to Selma, Alabama, to explain how great it is to have Black faces in such high places. Half a century has passed since “Bloody Sunday,” yet Black people’s life prospects remain irrelevant to the powers-that-be.

Depravity at the Highest Level: Obama Prepares the Boil from Selma – Part I

by BAR editor and Columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends

Barack Obama journeyed to Selma, Alabama, one of the poorest places in a very poor state, to urge Black people to reflect on how much progress has been made over the past 50 years. If they had actually done so, they might have run the president out of town, along with the “Black Misleadership roosters” who “strutted their egos across Edmund Pettus Bridge and crowed about THEIR accomplishments.”

Beyond Twelve Years a Slave

by Paul Street

At the heart of American history lies an essential truth: the U.S. became an economic superpower based on the super-exploitation of Black slaves, to whom it owes reparations. In his new book, Edward Baptist calculates that “nearly half the nation’s economy activity derived directly and indirectly from the roughly one million Black slaves.” There was nothing quaint or “peculiar” about the system. America became “great” through “a highly cost-efficient method for extracting surplus value from human beings.”

Why James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) Still Matters

by Anthony Monteiro

As an essayist, James Baldwin had no peer. He was a revolutionary of the highest order, refusing “to think from within the language of the positionality or intellectual geography of the oppressor.” Baldwin warned that “whiteness, while emerging within the specific time/space continuum of modern capitalism, nonetheless can outlive it, producing post modern and even post capitalist white supremacist realities.”

Socialism is Still the Way Forward: Combating Neo-Liberal Imperialist Lies

by Danny Haiphong

Socialism was knocked down, but not out, when the Soviet Union collapsed. That did not, however, change the fact that capitalism is in its late stages. “The choice for any movement that arises in this period is to chart a revolutionary path or be consumed into the reactionary politics of the neo-liberal order.”

Socialism is Still the Way Forward: Combating Neo-Liberal Imperialist Lies

​by Danny Haiphong

From Selma To Ferguson, the Continuity of Police Terror

By Mr. Davey D

The giddy, patriotic TV commentators and talking heads who brought the celebrations around the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday to us don't say much about the uniformed terrorists on the public payroll who beat down and killed nonviolent protestors 50 years ago, just as they have little to say on those who kill and maim with impunity today. But then as now, this is just what police DO.

Reviving the Fight Against Environmental Racism

by Bryan K. Bullock

The movement against environmental racism lost its way when it was subsumed into environmental “justice.” Racism remains paramount. “African descendant people are burdened by environmental issues unequally compared to their white counterparts.” The struggle demands a human rights approach. “We must recognize that although we are separated by land, sea and language, we are united in our desire to be reclaim and maintain our basic humanity.”

Obama's Ferguson Commission a Joke: Why Liberal Proposals and "Solutions" Don't Cut It

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The Interim Report of the Task Force for 21st Century Policing is the crunchy, fluffy wish list of big city cops and consultants who helped bring us the current police and prison state, assembled by the corporate-funded nonprofit sector which launched President Obama's career. With only 600 -odd days left in this administration it's a gesture of contempt toward the communities most affected by the machinery of our police and prison state.

Obama’s Dead End Criminal Justice “Reforms”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama administration shot double-barreled blanks in its response to the Black Lives Matter movement, “Both the Justice Department’s action in Ferguson and the Task Force report are indicative of the ineffectuality of what passes for criminal justice “reform” in 21st century America.” The Mass Black Incarceration State is incapable of meaningful reform. What’s needed is Black community control of the police.

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