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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of February 13, 2012

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Bank Settlement “Doesn’t Go Far Enough”

The $25 billion bank payout to homeowners announced by the Obama administration “doesn’t go far enough” to address the problem of hundreds of billions in overvalued homes, said Jordan Estavao, of the New Bottom Line coalition. Obama’s new task force on bank fraud is also open to question. “There has been a bank fraud task force set up by the Obama administration in place for the past two years, and they have done very little to bring the law to the banks,” said Estavao. “Certainly, no high level bank executives have indicted, to this point.”

Black Churches Target BB&T Bank

The National Black Church Initiative, representing 15.7 million African Americans in 34,000 churches, announced a seven-year boycott of BB&T, a regional bank centered in the Southeast. “They are not doing anything for the Black community in terms of community development,” and have “foreclosed on hundreds of Black churches,” said Initiative president Rev. Anthony Evans. He predicts BB&T will “suffer loss of at least 40 percent of their profits over the next seven years.”

Restaurant Chain Biased Against Black Workers

Armed with data showing Blacks make $4 an hour less than whites in the restaurant industry, the Restaurant Opportunity Center United brought a class action suit against Darden Restaurants, owners of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille. Blacks and other people of color are grossly under-represented in higher paid industry jobs, such as bartenders, said Center co-director Saru Javaraman. “Whites have twice the chance of getting front-of-the-house positions.” The Center is also pushing to raise the minimum wage for (mostly female) workers who depend on tips, which has been stuck at $2.13 for over 20 years.

Contraception Controversy is a “Phony Debate”

The recent battle over who should pay for female employees' contraceptives is “really a symptom of a dysfunctional health care system,” said Chicago-based labor activist and writer James Thindwa. “In societies where there is national health care, including Italy, which is heavily Catholic, they’re not having this debate, because the government is paying for health care,” he said. “This is an opportunity for those of us who champion single payer to point to this phony debate.”

Tim Wise: “A Perfect Storm for White Anxiety"

A combination of cultural, demographic, and economic challenges to white supremacy and privilege – plus the advent of a Black president – has created “a perfect storm for white anxiety,” said anti-racist activist and lecturer Tim Wise, author of the new book Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority. “As the economic system is crumbling,” many whites are locked into their own supremacist myths and “really don’t know how to cope.” Whites need to “take personal responsibility” to make the U.S. a better and more equal place, said Wise – and that means “fighting injustice.”

U.S. Imperial Policy Leads to War Crimes

Not a single Marine was sentenced to prison in the 2005 massacre of 24 unarmed Iraqi children, women, men and elderly, in the town of Haditha. “The lesson is that the United States government should refrain from invading other countries in illegal, imperialistic wars that then lead to the torture of prisoners and war crimes,” said Marjorie Cohn, professor at the Thomas Jefferson Law School, in San Diego, California, who has written extensively on the Haditha massacre.

 

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Tuesday at 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

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The work of Marjorie Cohn and Tim Wise

Tim Wise has supported TakeBackWBAI , as do I.  See www.takebackwbai.org.

Marjorie Cohn is a regular guest of Hugh Hamilton, "Talk Back", on Monday's 3:10pm to 3:30pm, when the station is not in fundraising mode.  Her website is www.marjoriecohn.com

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ECONOMIC IGNORANCE

One of my long standing critiques of the most segments of the Black church was its inability or unwillingness to acknowledge that the quality of life matters as much as the afterlife does. Too much of its teaching is rooted in a kind of thinking which seems to accept the powerlessness of Black people as a permanent and unchangeable given. Because of that, real solutions to our problems are ignored or not enacted with any genuine fervor.  

For generations, countless millions of dollars have flowed from the Sunday morning collection plates straight into the coffers of the very same banks and other financial institutions which have systematically redlined Black neighborhoods and practiced every form of predatory lending possible. Long ago, every major Black religious domination should risen to this challenge and come together to create an association of credit unions. There is certainly more than enough intellectual talent in the pews, in the seminary schools, and among those in the traditional Black colleges to administer and to maintain such institutions. There is also a crying need for them.

Here's another idea, why doesn't the church make use of some of the its time to educate its "captive" audiences about how money works, and about how to use the (mostly) free sources of information to manage one's economic house?

The real question is why so many of us would prefer to continue to wallow in the kind of fake financial integration which has us begging (hostile) others to give us a financial break. The slave mentality of many who preach and practice the old time religion dies hard. And it's killing many of us.



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