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Martin Luther King

Examining the Existence of Fascism in the United States

by Danny Haiphong

Is the U.S. a fascist society? It’s a classic fit – a country where “the relationship between the state and corporation becomes indiscernible,” militarism is the highest value, and demonization of the Other is the organizing principle of the ruling circles and state.

Obama Ticket Prices and the Invisible Ruling Class

by Paul Street

Frederick Harris’ very useful book on the “high price” – to Black folks – of the nation’s First Black President has been reissued in paperback. However, Harris gives Obama too much credit as a president of all the people. “Like the great majority of U.S. presidents,” writes Paul Street, “Obama has been first and foremost a representative of the American white ruling class.”

…In his head

by Raymond Nat Turner

Dr. King’s Dream come true,

In his head! Black folks way better

Off, in his head, Rev. Wright was

Wrong, in his head!

Amiri Baraka Has Died: Long Live Baraka

by Anthony Monteiro

To truly honor Amiri Baraka, one must examine his travels, the political journeys he undertook in search of paths to self-determination for his people and all humanity. He sought a liberatory synthesis of culture and politics. “We need a Cultural Revolution in the US and internationally, to reorient the world and ultimately transform it where we and everybody else is self-determining.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 10/14/13

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.”

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The Black Budget and the Shadow National Security State

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The “Black Budget” isn’t the sole domain of conspiratorialists, anymore. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know that the taxpayers dole out $52.6 billion a year to finance the “shadow” government of spies, provocateurs, hit men, human network trackers, drone operators, secret armies and domestic and international destabilization specialists. But the country can’t afford to save Detroit.

Cornel West and the Fight to Save the Black Prophetic Tradition

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.”

The 2013 March, the “Tranquilizing Drug of Gradualism”

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

The 1963 and 2013 marches on Washington shared many of the same issues, but took place in very different political contexts. Fifty years ago, a deep and broad movement pressured Congress and presidents to accede to Black demands. President Obama’s speech at last week’s gathering “did not propose any substantive legislative initiatives to address the suffering of today.”

Remembering the Night before The March On Washington: When Dr. W.E.B Du Bois Was Called Home By the Ancestors

by Obi Egbuna Jr.

A giant passed into history the day before Dr. Martin Luther King made his “Dream” speech in 1963. W.E.B. Du Bois had broken with a Democratic president 15 years before. “This put Dr. Du Bois in the exact same position that Dr. King was in when he decided losing back door access to Lyndon Johnson's White House was a small price to pay in order to stand on the side of peace and justice.

The Best Americans: Black Americans

by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

MLK wouldn’t be smiling at him

He’d be crying

Present-day marches

In DC he would not attend

If he had to share a dais with Obama

He would defy the views of Obama

He’d pray for him

Call him a stone-cold killer

The Dreamer With a Kill List

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The most powerful – and violent – man in the world was made the star of the commemoration of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King. “The grave-markers of the martyrs of the Black Freedom Movement – in their thousands – have been reduced to cobblestones on the road to the Obama presidency.”

King, Obama, and the Inner Core of Despotism

by Paul Street

Dr. Martin Luther King was a social revolutionary who preached that “a storm is rising against the theprivileged minority of the earth” that will result in a “just distribution of the fruits” of the planet. Barack Obama “has made it clear that Dr. King’s unpaid promissory note will remain un-cashed under his watch.” The First Black President disgraces the podium from which Dr. King spoke 50 years ago.

The Black Mis-Leaders' Love-Fest with Power on the Mall

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The commemoration of the March on Washington has been ruined. President Obama, the global assassin, protector of Wall Street, and reigning Great Mass Incarcerator, will star in the production on the National Mall. “Dr. Martin Luther King serves as a mere prop in the ceremony.” In their embrace of Power, the organizers have desecrated the Black American legacy of struggle.

RUN SNOWDEN RUN! Dirty Lies, Dirty Wars, Dirty Secrets

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and King Downing

Whistle-blowing can consist of more than simply telling a newspaper about wrongdoing by the State. Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange join the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, in opposing the rule of the unjust. “Some whistleblowers survive, others are murdered or imprisoned, but all are eventually destroyed.”

Race, Politics, and Late Obamanism

by Paul Street

We can’t wait to wave the tail end of Obama goodbye – a president who “has said and done less about racial inequality than any American chief executive in recent memory.” Obama has proved one thing beyond question: “If we’re going to get a radical politics, including a radical black politics, back in this country, we have to drop out of major party electoral-ism and bourgeois identity politics once and for all.”

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by Dr. Radut