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Bruce A. Dixon's blog

What Corporate Media and Corporate Latino Politicians Won't Tell You About Central American Child Refugees

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Why can't Latino politicians and corporate media call the current wave of Central American children refugees, when that's what they plainly are? What's the role of the US drug war, US trained cops and military, and US funded death squads in the violence and poverty that sent them here, and why won't Latino politicians mention that either? And why are none fleeing Nicaragua, which is just as poor as Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador?

Political Prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin in Declining Health, Urgently Needs Medical Care

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Politcal prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin was one of the leading lights of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960s rural Alabama. Wrongfully accused and falsely convicted of murder in the shooting of two Atlanta deputies, he has been buried alive in the hellhole solitary supermax prison of Florence CO the last dozen years. Though his spirits remain high, he is 70 and in declining health, and urgently needs moving to a medical facility for appropriate care.

Why Elections Still Matter, Except When They Don't

 

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Martin Luther King once talked about how a black person in the south was unable to vote, while one in the north had nothing to vote for.  50 years later, the south as become the north too.  The two capitalist parties have gamed and subverted the electoral process to exclude real opposition and to make it meaningless, except for bestowing legitimacy upon their stooges.  So why and when to elections still matter for the left, and when not?

Serial School Privatizer "Chainsaw Paul" Vallas Gets Ready For His Next Job

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Neoliberalism holds that all human interactions should to be disciplined and mediated by the market. Paul Vallas is the nation's neoliberal chainsaw man on public education. After savaging public education in Chicago, Philly, New Orleans and Bridgeport, he has been summoned home to Illinois by the Democrat governor as his running mate.

Top 10 Reasons Why Corporate Social Media is Not Your Friend, and Dark Social Media Is

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

For a long time now, we've all been told, and have told each other, that corporate social media is the way to build businesses, audiences and brands. What if this is about as true as the old saw about real estate prices only going up? What is “dark social media” and how is it different from Twitter, Facebook and the rest.

Black Lobbyists, Black Legislators Leverage Their “Brands” For Banksters, Military Contractors, Corporate Interests

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

When black politics emanated from the streets, not the suites, it was a force against imperial war, for full employment, better housing and public education. But now, black politics is a hollowed out brand, an empty signifier deployed by black lobbyists and congresscreatures to cover whatever their corporate donors want, while the black political class ceaselessly celebrates the civil rights era to renew its own legitimacy.

Always Low Wages, More Pollution: Why Barack & Michelle Obama Relentlessly Shill For Wal-Mart

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Democrats in labor unions and figures like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and others were justly outraged at Barack Obama's latest wet kiss to Wal-Mart earlier this month. But First Lady Michelle Obama has been in bed with the giant retailer for years. Is this a nasty bug in the Obama presidency, or a corrupt core feature?

Jackson Rising: Black Millionaires Won't Lift Us Up, But Cooperation & the Solidarity Economy Might

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

“320 activists from all over the country, including 80 or more from Jackson and surrounding parts of Mississippi converged on the campus of Jackson State University for Jackson Rising. ”

Has raising up more black millionaires been a successful economic development strategy for our communities?  Evidently not. What's the alternative to gentrification, to stadiums, to ruthless exploitation? It's the solidarity economy. It's cooperation. It's democratically owned, worker-run cooperatives for child care, retail, auto repair, factories, health care, you name it. It's already rising in Jackson Mississippi, and soon, near you.

6 Reasons Why Obama's Clemency Program For Drug Offenders Doesn't Change Mass Incarceration One Bit

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The White House is reportedly considering using clemency to release a few hundred or couple thousand federal prisoners. Better than nothing, but it's in no sense a start at dismantling the prison state. Clemency changes no laws or institutions or police, prosecutorial or prison practices. The cells will be refilled in weeks. It's a cynical, empty gesture from an administration marked by utter indifference to black suffering.

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?

CNN's Chicagoland: An 8 Part Miniseries Campaign Commercial For Rahm Emanuel and Urban Neoliberalism

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

CNN's Chicagoland "documentary" is an 8 part wet kiss for Rahm Emanuel & neoliberalism by the same crew that made Brick City, a propaganda flick to boost the career of Newark's Corey Booker prior to his re-election campaign.  Black Agenda Report talked to a few real Chicagoans about what it does and doesn't show or tell, and why.

Striking GA Prisoners Name Names, Allege Sexual Abuse, Ongoing Threats, Maltreatment by Staff

Striking GA Prisoners Name Names, Allege Sexual Abuse, Ongoing Threats & Maltreatment by Staff

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Not quite a month ago, I wrote that we at Black Agenda Report had received word of a new self-organized hunger strike among prisoners in Georgia's notorious Diagnostic & Classification Prison at Jackson, the same place where Troy Davis was murdered by the state a couple years ago.  We had no details beyond a single brief note and a list of prisoners who'd signed a letter.

3 Years After 2010 GA Prison Hunger Strike, Another Erupts, But Still No Organizing For Prisoners Outside the Walls

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

In December 2010 GA prisoners staged a brief strike, asking for their rights as men and human beings. They depended, and still depend on support from outside, support that is yet to be organized. How much longer will they wait?

Federal Prosecutors Declare Mass Incarceration is Fine Will Continue; Obama & Holder Pretend Not to Notice

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

While the Attorney General grants interviews promising significant action on mass incarceration, federal prosecutors openly declare that there's nothing wrong with mass incarceration or the prison state. The Obama administration does nothing, and why should it? Who needs to roll back the prison state when you've got black faces in all those high places?

Barack Obama, the State of the Union and the Prison State

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

For a generation now, predatory policing, the war on drugs and the prison state have been government's most frequent intersection with young black Americans. The gossip before this year's State of the Union was that the president would now do by executive order all those good things Republicans have blocked him on the last 3 years. Does that include reining in or rolling back the prison state? Should we hold our collective breath?

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