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Black Agenda Morning Report Thursday, December 23, 2010: Chokwe Lumumba speaking on Human Rights at SHROC VIII

Community Coalition Meets With GA Corrections Officials, Visits First Prison. What Would Dr. King Say or Do?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, with assistance from Ingemar Smith

Last Friday members of the Concerned Coaltion to Protect Prisoner Rights met with Georgia correctional officials. The following Monday they commenced the first of a series of fact finding visits to the state's correctional institutions, seeking the reasons and right response to the stand of inmates demanding their human rights. Dr. King's annual holiday is coming up too. What would he say about the prisoners and the nation's misguided public policy of mass incarceration? What would he do, and what should we?

Freedom Rider: A Whiter New York City

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Vast changes in urban demographics don’t just “happen” – people in power seeking profits cause them to occur. Just as government, developers and banks created the white suburbs and Black inner cities, these same forces are engineering the gentrification and whitening of New York and other major cities. “Black, Latino and immigrant groups are steadily being pushed to suburbs,” some of which “are now themselves ghettoes.

Revising Malcolm X

by J. L. Samboma

Jack Barnes, of the Socialist Workers Party, is “fomenting discord where there need be none” with his book on the politics of Malcolm X. The book argues that, after Malcolm’s split with the Nation of Islam, he made a “class break” and ceased to be a Black nationalist or Pan-Africanist. Some of Barnes’ conclusions are “supported neither by empirical evidence nor by logical exposition.”

WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Twisted Ethiopia's Arm to Invade Somalia

by Rob Prince

U.S. officials were lying when they claimed to have attempted to restrain Ethiopia from invading neighboring Somalia in late 2006. Newly unveiled documents show that “the Bush Administration pushed Ethiopia to invade Somalia with an eye on crushing the Union of Islamic Courts,” which had established relative peace in much of the country. The U.S. also tried to assemble a “coalition of the willing” to overthrow Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe.

The Humanity and Courage of the Prisoners at Pelican Bay and the Moral Responsibility to Support Their Demands

by Li Onesto

No moral human being can defend the U.S. prison system, a gulag of torture and debasement designed primarily for the mass incarceration of Blacks and browns. “Nobody—no matter what they have done—deserves to be tortured. Nobody deserves to be put in such extreme conditions of isolation where prison guards try to extinguish everything that makes you human.” The challenge is to act in solidarity with those who struggle against the horror from within the walls.

America’s Mass Incarceration Policy: Bad for Children

by Lee A. Daniels

The “New Jim Crow” that has thrown unprecedented numbers of Blacks behind bars and made crime and stigmatized an entire people, has also mangled the lives of Black children – whether a parent has been incarcerated or not. The generalized effects on Black kids include “increased physical aggressiveness, on the one hand, and, on the other, a sense of worthlessness that reaches levels warranting clinical intervention.” Inequalities are being generationally transferred on a massive scale.

The Left and Obama-Trauma

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It is amazing how many lefties are just now discovering the Obama that has always been there, the corporate politician with contempt for progressives and a very bad opinion of Black folks. Now that the Democrats have been shrunken in Congress, Obama is “in his element, where he can maneuver among fellow rightist Democrats and Republican Neanderthals, seeking ‘bipartisan’ nirvana.”

Freedom Rider: Obama and Clinton, The Evil Twins

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The two corporate political twins, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, held forth at a joint White House press conference – so tightly matched that no light could be seen to shine between them. Obama soon ceded the room to his comrade in collaboration with Republicans, the senior triangulator. Although competitors, Obama and Clinton “emerged from the same political system, and fed at the trough of the same wealthy individuals and corporate campaign check bundlers.”

What People of Color Should Know About Tax Cut and Deficit Reduction Proposals

by Dr. Maya Rockeymoore

Black and Latino lawmakers and their allies should weigh the racial impact of tax giveaways and deficit reduction schemes. Although minorities have benefitted the least from government deficit spending, they will suffer most from austerity measures. Racial wealth disparity, already extreme, can be expected to widen under measures like the Obama-GOP deal now moving through Congress, and “any weakening of Social Security would devastate communities of color.”

Is Warmaking Irrational?

by David Swanson

What’s behind our constant wars? Is it biology, culture, economic imperatives, ideology….madness? Whatever the initial motivation, wars are always sustained by lies.

Zimbabwe and the Steep Road to Vindication

by Netfa Freeman

Western corporate media assaults on Zimbabwe often center on the alleged corruption and recklessly “anti-white” nature of the country’s land reform program. But a recent British academic study tends to refute European and North American propaganda, arguing that land reform has not been a failure, and is not designed to benefit political cronies. Another study shows that, “compared to rural and urban violence in South Africa, Ireland or Brazil, the level in Zimbabwe has been quite low.”

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