Cornel West

Molefi Asante’s Insane War on BAR and the Black Radical Tradition

Submitted by Glen Ford on Wed, 06/04/2014 - 03:41

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Molefi Asante, promoter of Systematic Nationalism, poses as the consummate Race Man but is in practice an agent of white corporate power. In fear of exposure for his backstabbing at Temple University, Asante has lashed out at the Black Radical Tradition and all its practitioners as “dupes” of white Marxists – an extraordinary assault on a great Black political legacy.

Dr. Anthony Monteiro and the Assault on the Black Radical Tradition

Submitted by Eric Draitser on Mon, 03/10/2014 - 20:15

by Eric Draitser

Dr. Anthony Monteiro was targeted for termination by the rightward politics of corporate higher education, with the help of an opportunistic fellow Black academic, Dr. Molefi Asante. “At best, Asante shows a complete disregard and utter betrayal of a colleague who, just a year earlier, led the charge to have him reappointed” as chairman of Temple University’s African American Studies Department.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 11/27/13

 

Black Man Fights Death Sentence Based on Racial Predisposition to Murder

A broad-based campaign is demanding a new sentencing hearing for Duane Buck, who was sentenced to death in a 1997 murder in Houston, Texas. “Testimony was elicited by the trial prosecutor from a psychologist indicating that Mr. Bucks was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black,” said Christina Swarns, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Buck had no prior violent offenses and has not been cited for a single infraction in his 15 years on death row. “People should not be executed based on their race or any other immutable characteristic that has nothing to do with sentencing,” said Swarns.

Dr. Cornel West: Stop U.S. Murders by Drone

“We want our fellow citizens to know that those precious babies who are killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have exactly the same value as those priceless white children who were killed in New Town, Connecticut,” said Dr. Cornel West, of the Union Theological Seminary, speaking at the Drone Summit, in Washington, DC. “We will not allow callousness to catastrophe and indifference to criminality to become the norm and routine in America.”

Seattle Socialist Calls Her Victory a “Political Earthquake”

Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative Party member who won a seat on the Seattle city council, this month, said her win “represents the embryonic beginnings of what could eventually be the triumph over capital. It’s a political earthquake.” Sawant defeated an entrenched Democratic machinery on a platform to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and tax the rich for more extensive city services. “I hope that people see this campaign’s success as a rallying cry to urgently get into the nuts and bolts of building mass movements,” she said.

DC Busses to Get Snowden “Thank-You” Ads

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund will purchase ad space on busses in the Nation’s Capital thanking Edward Snowden for his revelations of NSA spying on citizens. “There’s been a huge effort from the establishment in Washington to demonize him when, in fact, what he’s done is heroic,” said Fund director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard. “You can’t have the basic format of a democracy when you have a government that is collecting complete data on each one of us that allows them to have a detailed, personal profile on our lives, our thoughts and our associations.”

Corporate Spies Run Amok

The Center for Corporate Policy has issued a new report titled, “Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage Against Non-Profit Organizations.” Big business fears that non-profits “can do a lot of damage to corporations’ bottom lines and to their most valuable asset, their brand,” said Center director Gary Ruskin. Corporations like Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Burger King and others often use the services of former CIA, NSA, military and law enforcement officers. “We will be asking that the Justice Department investigate in cases where there is wrongdoing,” said Ruskin.

Corporate Dominion Over a Black Town

The mostly Black and poor city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, must borrow millions of dollars a year to pay its bills under the dictatorship of an Emergency Financial Manager. Activist leader Rev. Edward Pinkney says the giant Whirlpool Corporation, which has long dominated the town, “doesn’t pay any taxes, and they also pay nothing for the water” consumed at their corporate headquarters and celebrity golf course. Whirlpool backed defeat of a bill that would have taxed the income of all those who work in Benton Harbor, most of whom live elsewhere. “They have no intention of doing anything to help this Black community,” said Rev. Pinkney.

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.

Cancel Detroit’s Debt

Predatory bank lending policies destroyed the tax base of Detroit, and now these same Wall Street institutions want to confiscate the city’s public assets through forced bankruptcy. The debt should be cancelled, said Abayomi Azikiwe, an organizer of the First International People’s Assembly Against Banks and Against Austerity, held in Detroit last week. “It’s illegitimate. It’s based on the systematic destruction of the city,” said Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. “We believe that people in other cities have to adopt a similar strategy.”

Leave Cornel West and Tavis Smiley Alone

Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP chief Ben Jealous and broadcaster Tom Joyner should halt their attacks on scholar/activist Cornel West and broadcaster Tavis Smiley, said Rev. Anthony Evans, director of the National Black Church Initiative. “Take your hands off these brothers. They are defending the integrity and worthiness of the Black community,” said Evans. Prominent Obama supporters, he said, have told the White House: “You don’t have to worry about Black folks getting out of line; we will keep them in line for you.”

A Socialist Win in Minneapolis?

Even the corporate media admit that Socialist Alternative candidate Ty Moore has a chance of winning a seat on the city council, this November. “If we win this race, it’s not because a majority of working class residents of Ward 9, South Minneapolis, are socialists, but because they are angry at the system and they see that the people who are running this city are clearly sided with the rich and big business,” said Moore. “Our organization has built roots in this community, by fighting back.” Another Socialist Alternative city council candidate is running well in Seattle.

UN Sued Over Haiti Cholera

The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti filed suit in federal court, demanding the United Nations take responsibility for the cholera epidemic that has killed at least 8,000 Haitians and sickened hundreds of thousands more. The world body claims it is immune from legal action, although it is widely accepted that UN ‘peacekeepers’ were the nexus of the disease. “The UN’s refusal to accept the rule of law in this case obviously undermines its ability to promote the rule of law, elsewhere,” said Institute director Brian Concannon. He notes that the UN, which claims lack of funds to eradicate cholera in Haiti, spent $500 million last year for ‘peacekeeping’ soldiers “in a country that has not had a recognized war in our lifetime.”

US Finances Congo Carnage

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni told a UN Security Council delegation that bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo is not their responsibility. Maurice Carney, of Washington-based Friends of Congo, agrees. “Kagame and Museveni can never be responsible for peace,” said Carney. “What they can be responsible for is stopping the war of aggression that they have been waging against the Congolese people, with U.S. financial and military support and training, and U.S. diplomatic and political cover.” Rwanda and Uganda invaded the mineral-rich eastern region of the Congo 17 years ago, resulting in the deaths of six million people – and counting.

Demonizing Assad

American peace activists recently returned from a visit to Syria, where they met with President Bashir Al-Assad. Sara Flounders, of the International Action Center, said it was important to counter U.S. government and media attempts to “demonize” the Syrian leader, as an excuse for arming thousands of jihadist “rebels.” “It was Syria that proposed making the whole region into a nuclear-free and chemical-free weapons zone,” said Flounders. “It was the U.S. who refused.”

China as U.S. Banker

Washington is “pivoting” to confront China militarily in Asia, while at the same time Beijing holds the largest share of Washington’s huge foreign debt. “It is quite ironic that the United States is seeking to escalate tensions with its bankers,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American studies at the University of Houston. “I’m not sure that’s a sound strategy. With an impending debt default,” said Horne, the dollar “as the principal world reserve currency comes into question.”

Philadelphia Declaration: War = Poverty

Grassroots activists held a Conference to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. “Our declaration of the rights of our people must demand an end to war, threats of war, and preparations for war,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University. “You cannot answer the pressing social problems of this country, uppermost being poverty, without dismantling the warfare state,” he told the gathering at Philadelphia’s historic Church of the Advocate.

Herman Wallace: A Free Man

Mumia Abu Jamal, a former Black Panther and the country’s best known political prisoner, saluted Herman Wallace, who was released from prison after 41 years of solitary confinement, earlier this month, only to die two days later of liver cancer. Wallace and two other inmates established a Black Panther Party chapter at Louisiana’s infamous Angola Prison. “He remained a soldier for the people and an opponent to the system,” said Abu Jamal. “Herman Wall truly died free.”

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.

Cornel West and the Fight to Save the Black Prophetic Tradition

Submitted by Chris Hedges on Tue, 09/10/2013 - 13:20

by Chris Hedges

African Americans have historically been the most progressive U.S. constituency because of the Black prophetic tradition, best personified today by Dr. Cornel West. This tradition has also saved the United States from itself. “America without the black prophetic tradition, from Frederick Douglass to Fannie Lou Hamer, means an American authoritarian regime, American fascism.”

NSA Could Ensnare Anyone in National Security Trap

“Every single person in this country owes Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning a debt of gratitude,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, renowned whistleblower and a founder of the No FEAR Coalition. The NSA program that tracks human networks endangers all Americans, said Coleman-Adebayo, “because everyone is only a person or two or three or four away from being implicated in some scheme that the National Security State comes up with.” She called Bradley Manning’s 35-year prison sentence for exposing government secrets an example of growing “tyranny.”

Ray Kelly’s Rise Halted By Stop-and-Frisk Ruling

It is highly unlikely that New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly will be appointed head of Homeland Security, said Robert Gangi, of the Police Reform Organizing Project of the Urban Justice Center. A federal court found that the city’s stop-and-frisk practices routinely violate the constitutional rights of Blacks and Latinos. “There is now a big black eye on the face of New York City policing,” said Gangi. “Ray Kelly is no longer the iconic law enforcement figure he was a short two years ago.”

Black Is Back Coalition Magnifies Grassroots Forces

The betrayals and predations of the Black Misleadership Class can be overcome by out-organizing them. “Our objective is to replace that misleadership, not just to complain about it,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Black is Back seeks to “provide the ability for all of these” grassroots organizations “to come together and to magnify their presence many times over,” said Yeshitela. The coalition recently held its national conference in Harlem.

Cornel West on Obama and the New Jim Crow

The Obama administration seems to believe it is immune from effective Black criticism. “It’s sad to see us pimped like that,” said Dr. Cornel West, the activist and academic currently based at Union Theological Seminary, in New York. “All of our suffering is rendered invisible because they know we will be highly protective of them.” The administration has “that kind of power, that kind of bully pulpit, but they can’t say a mumbling word about the New Jim Crow – and they’ve been in office for five years. That’s disgusting!” Dr. West spoke on the latest edition of Black Agenda TV.

Nursing Students Charge Fraud in Philadelphia

Six Black women, who call themselves the Liberation of Students Rights Group of Philadelphia, charge the now defunct St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing cheated them out of $22,000 each and a year of their lives. Sabrina Whitaker said she and her fellow students, all college graduates at the time, had heard that the school had a Black dean, and “wanted to work in an area that was African American.” But the school turned out to be unaccredited. “We had to share gloves, we had to share needles when learning how to do IVs,” said Whitaker. The women hope to prevail in court, to prove that “if you keep fighting, keep striving for what you believe in, your dream too can come true.”

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.

Dr. Cornel West to March Organizers: Get Off the Obama Plantation

“If Martin Luther King Jr. were to show up” at this month’s commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, said academic and activist Dr. Cornel West, “what he would say would be so subversive that those on the Obama plantation would be revealed for who they are, which is obsessed with career, obsessed with access, and obsessed with status as opposed to being obsessed with the suffering of poor Black brothers and sisters.” Appearing on the latest edition of Black Agenda Television, Dr. West said Rev. Al Sharpton “and so many others” will not address the New Jim Crow, privatization of education and gentrification because of their ties to the White House. Preacher-educator Michael Eric Dyson and MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry have “become sycophants” of the administration, said West.

Stop-and Frisk Ruling is Blow to Bloomberg and His Top Cop

Last week’s federal court ruling puts Mayor Michael Bloomberg on notice that “you can’t just lump all Black or Latino New Yorkers together with the criminal population of the city and say, We can now stop you because members of your community may have committed crimes in the past,” said Darius Charney, the lead attorney in the class action suit. The decision should also remove Police Commissioner Ray Kelly from consideration to head the Department of Homeland Security, “given his utter disrespect and disregard for people’s fundamental constitutional rights.”

But, Court Keeps Foxes and Wolves in Charge of Henhouse

Although the judge provided a “service” by declaring the NYPD’s practices unconstitutional, said Stop Stop-and-Frisk co-founder Carl Dix, the court’s order “sets up a system through which the NYPD will reform itself with oversight from the federal government.” As Malcolm X advised, 50 years ago, said Dix, “They’re saying that the foxes are going to reform their approach to the chicken coop, and the wolves will oversee that reform in the approach to the chicken coop. What is that going to mean to the chickens?”

Black Federal Employees Blast EEOC

The Coalition for Change (C4C), an organization of minority federal employees, issued an angry rebuttal to an EEOC assessment that workplace discrimination is largely a problem of “perceptions” and “unintentional bias.” The EEOC, said C4C founder Tanya Ward Jordan, “seeks to downplay the pain, anguish, and the attacks that are going on right now under the Obama administration.” Fifty years after the March on Washington, “we still don’t have any measure to hold these managers accountable,” said Jordan. “At the end of the day, even if we are successful in proving our claim, and there is a finding against these public officials, there is no mandatory discipline.”

Huge “Regression” on the Black Education Front

“We are in a period of regression” in the educational arena, said Dr. Donald Smith, a founder of the National Alliance of Black School Educators. Black and Latinos “hardly exist” in the core curriculum being promulgated to public schools throughout the nation. “In fact, if you look at the fifth grade curricular suggestion, not a single writer of African or Hispanic descent is included,” said Dr. Smith. “The gains that we made in attempting to help our people understand our African heritage and how important that heritage is to the strengthening of our students, is being evaporated.”

Left and Secular Supporters of Egyptian Coup Do Great Harm

The military coup in Egypt is a disaster for the country’s people, said Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “It’s so unfortunate to see, in Egypt and reflected here in the United States, those who because they had differences with the Muslim Brotherhood actually siding with the oppressive arms of the state,” said Flounders. “The revolutionary ferment is now in danger. And those who stood with the military have created the greatest danger, because they disoriented people in a massive way.”

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.

Rise Up or Die

Submitted by Chris Hedges on Tue, 05/21/2013 - 12:28

by Chris Hedges

As more and more of the nation is transformed into “sacrifice zones” like Detroit and Camden, New Jersey, with civil liberties stripped bare, the biosphere pushed to the point of no return, and the corporate security estate triumphant, “it is time to employ the harsh language of open rebellion and class warfare.”

The Historical Failure of Black Leadership

Submitted by Pascal Robert on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 14:49

by Pascal Robert

There’s something wrong with the process by which Black leadership is selected. “Black people are trapped in a viscous cycle of looking at their favorite leaders and revering them like baseball cards.” What’s needed is democracy in struggle. “People must be trained with the organizational and political capital to advocate and fight for policy and economic models that best serve their needs.”

 

Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk

The police racial profiling practice known as stop-and-frisk is “wrong, it is immoral, it is racist and unconstitutional” said social activist Dr. Cornel West, announcing a “Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk” campaign starting September 13. “This struggle is going to intensify. We want to connect it to the military industrial complex,” the Wall Street complex, the prison industrial complex, and “we want to connect it to this election, where you see the farce between one oligarchic part and another.”

Noche Diaz, an activist facing multiple trials for confronting stop-and-frisk, asked “By is that I have to look at 15 year-olds in the playgrounds of the Bronx, who tell me that if you’re not a white person in this world, you don’t matter?”

Push for $10 Minimum Wage

Democrats are “dialing for the same dollars” as Republicans, seeking corporate campaign contributions and “rejecting Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy,” said social activist Ralph Nader. “Polls show over 70 percent of the American people consistently want a minimum wage kept up with inflation.” Adjusted for inflation, the 1968 minimum wage would now be $10.35, rather than the current $7.25. The United States, said Nader, has “the lowest minimum wage in the western world.”

Black Is Back Coalition Examines Electoral Strategies

We want to take this conversation beyond an examination of Obama, to an examination of the electoral process, itself,” said Ayesha Fleary, at the recent conference of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in Newark, New Jersey.

Let us use the electoral process as one form of struggle,” said Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. “Our future depends on our willingness to build a real capacity to utilize every form of struggle in the quest for liberation.”

Black people were ill-served by the “misleadership class” that arose after the collapse of the Sixties mass movements, said Glen Ford. “The same class of Black opportunists who has risen to local power through the Blackening of America’s cities, presided over the demographic reversal of fortunes, later on,” with the mounting loss of Black urban majorities.

Corporate American and the banks have a death grip on Harlem, that will produce an even greater forced migration out of Harlem,” said Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants Council.

U.S. rulers have placed Black and brown “neocolonialists” in positions of nominal power “to make it appear that people are making progress,” said Charles Barron, the Brooklyn city councilman. What’s needed are “African-conscious, radical, revolutionary people” elected to city councils, nationwide.

Do we want to participate” in elections “just to raise issues…or to actually get people elected?” asked Larry Hamm, leader of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. “We’ve got to be able to come up with candidates, and when we put people in office, we’ve got to keep them accountable.”

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.

 

Black Politics Neutered by Corporate Democrats

The business-friendly African American politicians that came to prominence under President Clinton “prioritized electoral politics over mass movements and grassroots politics,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. In more recent years, “a good part of the soft Black Left, the weak Black Left – they call themselves the ‘pragmatic’ Black Left – capitulated to the Obama movement,” allowing corporate politicians to achieve unchallenged leadership among Blacks.

Inventing Security Threats

In the wake of 9/11, we have made policing into a business,” said Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon, speaking on Press TV. The Department of Homeland Security is mostly private contractors who are chiefly concerned with drumming up business. “It’s a growth industry,” said Dixon. “So, look out – you might be the next threat.” The U.S. government has been inventing threats to internal security “for at least 100 years,” said journalist Don DeBar, of CPRmetro.org.

Servants of Empire in “Human Rights” Garb

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are, essentially, weapons in the imperial arsenal,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford. “Who better than self-styled human rights activists to justify ‘humanitarian’ war?”

Prof. Cornel West on Black Mass Incarceration

If our precious white brothers and sisters were going to jail at the intensity” that African Americans are incarcerated, “it would be a national emergency,” said Dr. Cornel West, speaking at a benefit for the Brecht Forum, at New York City’s Hunter College. “If Black middle class brothers and sisters were going to jail at the same level of intensity” as lower class Blacks, “we’d have a different kind of Black leadership.”

Liberal” Contradiction: Support for Charter Schools

Liberals” are seduced by “this virtuous narrative, that these ‘reforms’ are going to make things better for poor kids,” said journalist Liza Featherstone. She singled out Black New York State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, a “progressive” congressional candidate who is “at the forefront of efforts to open up the public school system to private interests” – a position that is “fundamentally at odds” with the progressive agenda. The fact that there’s lots of campaign money behind charter schools expansion “doesn’t hurt,” said Featherstone.

A “Human Rights” Approach to Public Education

The “business model” of education holds that “the student is a product, the teacher is a production line worker, and the parent is a consumer who has ‘choices,’” said Dr. Sam Anderson, of New York's Independent Commission on Public Education, ICOPE. The business model is an attempt by hedge funders and other business interests to “exploit the trillion dollar trough of public education.” ICOPE advocates a “human rights approach to education that “promotes the intellectual development of children to their maximum capability,” with “direct parental involvement in decision making at the public school level.”

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialise correctly.

Syndicate content
Drupal theme by Kiwi Themes.