Black Agenda Report for Week of Oct 24, 2016

20 Years of Genocide in Congo

Friends of Congo marked the 20th anniversary of the invasion and genocide that has killed at least six million Congolese with an all-day event at Thoughtworks, in New York City. “We’re not just fighting against our own government,” said Nita Evele, of the Congo Global Action Coalition. “We’re fighting against our neighboring countries” in the Great Lakes region of the continent “who figured out that they can make tons of money by helping the big multinationals and the big powers, the United States, France and Canada,” who are allied with the invaders, Rwanda and Uganda.

The Black Panther Party at 50, Bobby Seale at 80

On the same weekend that the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding, in Oakland, California, hundreds gathered to roast and toast former Party chairman Bobby Seale on his 80th birthday. Seale put forward a far less revolutionary version of the Party’s origins and history. “When we went out there to patrol the police, it was a tactic to capture the imagination of the people,” he told the crowd. However, it was Seale’s intent all along to “organize a political-electoral unit and to take over some of these damn cities. My objective was to get more Black politicians, and that’s what happened.” Seale also supports Hillary Clinton for president.

Better a Dog Than Clinton for President, Says Haiti Activist

“The only reason that Hillary Clinton is not in jail; the only reason that the Clinton Foundation is not shut down, is precisely because they are protected by the highest levels of government,” said Daoud Andre, a Haitian community activist and radio host in New York City. Andre said the Clintons have stolen billions from the Haitian people. “It’s like Barack Obama gave Haiti to the Clintons as a gift,” he said. “With regard to this election, whatever is able to stop Hillary Clinton, we have to support that; if it’s a dog running against Hillary Clinton, you have to vote for that dog because of the harm that this family has caused to our people.”

Theater in the Service of the Struggle

The National Black Theater, in New York’s Harlem, hosted a radical political theatrical production titled “Survival Crimes,” produced by the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC). The plot focuses on two current cases:  Mumia Abu Jamal’s legal battle to force the state of Pennsylvania to provide medical treatment for the thousands of prison inmates suffering from Hepatitis C, including himself; and the arrest in The Bronx of 120 people on gang-related conspiracy charges -- the biggest such roundup in New York City history. Activist Kyle Fraser said the play points out the “theatrics of the state, swooping in with helicopters to this neighborhood, using Shock and Awe tactics,” and perverting the rule of law in the Pennsylvania prison system.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

Trump’s Disintegration Means It’s Not Just Safe to Vote Green, It’s Mandatory

A BAR radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Hillary’s most potent argument among most people isn’t her own record, positions or abilities. It’s the proclaimed need to keep her opponent Donald Trump out of the White House. It’s only this need to prevent a disastrous President Trump that keeps many leftists and progressives in Hillary’s big stinking tent. But the self destruction of the Trump campaign frees them from worry that they might throw the election to the Donald, and opens up the possibility that millions can finally vote their hopes, not their fears.


Black Is Back Coalition to Hold a People’s Convention on Self-Determination

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

On November 5 and 6, a coalition of Black organizations will put forward a 19-point National Agenda for Self-Determination, to chart a pathway to real democracy and freedom. “Every central demand, every strategy of struggle, must be formulated with the goal of self-determination in mind.” Otherwise, the movement will be “drowned in reformist schemes and projects that bind Black people even more tightly to structures of outside control.”

Freedom Rider: Henry Louis Gates' $10 Million Scam

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, “the supreme hustler-in-chief of black America,” has sold his white corporate friends on a $10 million scheme to advise the rich on how to end Black poverty. The project claims to be “non-ideological” -- another way of saying that only pro-business ideas will be entertained. Gates is helping his sugar daddies obscure the truth: “Black people are poor because of two things, capitalism and racism.”

Unspeakable America

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The range of “speakable” political subjects is dwindling fast in the U.S. Even billionaire Donald Trump is treated as beyond the pale when he speaks of a “’global elite’ that has ‘stripped’ the U.S. of its wealth in order to line the pockets of corporate and political interests.” The New York Times calls that “anti-Semitic,” while Wikileaks is slimed as a stooge of Russian intelligence for reproducing Hillary Clinton’s own words.


South African Students March on the Chamber of Mines to demand #Fees Must Fall

by BAR Editor and Columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

The Freedom Charter, the socialist document that united South Africans in the battle against apartheid, has become the focus of a new wave of activism among the nation’s students. Protests have shut down most of the country’s universities. “Activists are demanding that the mining industry and the profits from the minerals of South Africa be invested in the future of Black youth.”

Advancing Black Liberation Through Economic Justice

by Benjamin Woods

Black America has always revered education as a stairway to progress, but the data show that “education has not created social mobility for Black people, and it has done little to close the Black-white wage gap.” Black millennials put far less trust in the U.S. electoral system, but are open to the kind of “clear, bold and intersectional policy demands” put forward in the Vision for Black Lives policy platform.

The Black President and the Black-on-the-Inside Preacher, A Bad Day for Identity Politics

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

The man most responsible for the death of six million Congolese – the worst genocide since World War Two – holds periodic celebrations in cities all around the world to celebrate the accomplishments of his regime. Rwandan President Paul Kagame is armed, financed and protected by the United States. When Kagame showed up in San Francisco last month, the author was there to mark the occasion.

A Canadian Vote for Trump: Let America Get a Taste of It’s Own Medicine

by Oscar Wailoo

Hillary Clinton is right; she does have the experience to be a U.S. president: a track record in slaughtering unlimited numbers of people. Donald Trump, the bombastic, “utterly cold psychopath,” is also well suited to the American presidency. He would build walls and set loose the police. The Americans deserve to be inflicted with Trump, so they can “get a taste of what other countries have had to accept at their own country’s hand.”

Hillary Clinton, The Democratic Party Plantation and The Black Political Pundits Who Do Their Bidding

by Solomon Comissiong

The Democrats and Republicans are both proven evils. “Donald Trump is a devoted racist and xenophobe and Hillary Clinton is an imperialist who has a track record of destroying human life.” Now if the time for Black people to “take possession of the politics within our communities and put forth our own revolutionary candidates who represent our collective interests.”

Why East Africa Should Reject an Economic Deal with Europe

by Horace G. Campbell

Europe is in crisis, and yet countries in East Africa are ready to sign on a poorly understood trade agreement with the EU whose overall impact will be disastrous for years to come. The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will favor trade in the direction of Europe and stunt African progress. Tanzania has hesitated and called for public debate. Tanzania should provide the bold leadership required in the region to reject the EPA.

Black Agenda Report for Week of Oct 17, 2016

If Trump is a Fascist, What is Clinton?

Speaking to a gathering of the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, in Atlanta, Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford challenged those who maintain that progressives are obligated to support Hillary Clinton for president to counter a “fascist” threat from Donald Trump. “I’d like to know how Donald Trump is supposed to build fascism when the ruling class is mostly with the Democrats this election season,” said Ford. “If you are worried about 21st century fascism, you need to check out the tent where the ruling class congregates -- and that’s Hillary’s tent. Most of all, if you’re looking for fascists, go to the sound of the war drums” -- which are also pounding in Hillary’s tent. For voters that are looking for a real anti-fascist and pro-peace presidential ticket, the only choice on the ballot in most states is Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka of the Green Party, said Ford.

In Some States, 20 to 25 Percent of Blacks Disenfranchised by Felonies

A new report by The Sentencing Project shows that six million Americans have been disenfranchised because of felony convictions, with huge consequences for Black America. In four states -- Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia -- one out of every four or five African Americans has lost the right to vote. “These are states with high rates of incarceration and, as is true in every state, the rate of incarceration of African Americans dwarfs that of whites, usually by about a five to one ratio,” said Project executive director Marc Mauer. “The combined effect of high rates of incarceration and the fact that many, if not most, of the people who have completed their sentences are still disenfranchised means that it is a lifetime ban.” Mauer said the U.S. stands alone among industrialized countries in its zeal to disenfranchise ex-felons. “Nothing we know of comes close to this.”

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

Apocalypse Hillary

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Donald Trump is a dead racist walking; there’s no reason for “progressives” to vote for Clinton for fear of Trump. But everyone “should be terrified of Hillary Clinton getting the kind of landslide that she will interpret as a mandate for war with Russia.” Even though Hillary is unstoppable, she can be slowed down in her rush to war, which will begin as soon as she imposes her “no fly zone” in Syria. Vote Green, no mater what state you live in.

Freedom Rider: Anti-Trump Hypocrisy

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

By immensely helpful coincidence, Donald Trump’s 11-year-old sexist rant tape surfaced on the same day that Wikileaks revealed Hillary Clinton’s support for hemispheric “free trade” and cuts in Social Security. But Trump’s campaign may be doomed, while Clinton rides high in the polls. The Donald is “a better foil for the Democratic party than any other Republican could possibly be.” Both sides of the duopoly connive to fill Hillary’s big tent.

Soft Porn Tape Trumps Wikileaks Truths: Hillary’s “Private” Lies Prevail

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

It pays to have friends in corporate media. NBC spared Hillary Clinton potentially catastrophic damage by releasing an old Donald Trump sex-talk tape at “precisely the right moment to suck the air out” of new Wikileaks documents that “reveal her as a methodical, cynical liar who wants to cut Social Security and send millions more jobs overseas.” Hillary and Big Media – the solidarity of the 1% -- now join in sliming Wikileaks as Russian agents.


Ruling Class Food Fights: Trump vs. Bushes

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Adebayo

It would be nice if the old adage, “What goes around, comes around” applied to the larger world of gross inequality and race and class oppression. However, the ruling classes do have the resources to exact pay-back within their ranks. Donald Trump may now “rue the day” that he insulted the Bush family.

Left-Wing Paralysis and the Decay of Lesser Evil Politics

by Danny Haiphong

Lesser-evilism has rendered the U.S. Left incapable of resisting the forces of imperial war and bankster rule when they come in the form of Democrats. “What is most important is not where the Democratic Party and Republican Party differ, but how both parties work in harmonious service to the ruling class.” A vote for the Greens is a break with the parties of white supremacy, war and the rule of the rich.

The New Slave Revolt

by Chris Hedges

Severe state repression and a near-total press blackout make it impossible to determine how many prisoners are continuing the national work strike that began on September 9th. The core demand is an end to prison slavery: the forced low-or-no-wage employment extracted from inmates. “Once we take our labor back,” said an organizer, “prisons will again become places for correction and rehabilitation rather than centers of corporate profit.”

Watch Your Back: How Chicago Cops Enforce Their Code of Silence

by Jamie Kalven

The conventional wisdom is that Chicago’s Blue Code of Silence operates at the lower ranks, on the cop-to-cop level, and has now been exposed to the public glare.  But the weight of evidence from key cases shows that corruption reaches to the highest levels of police department “bosses,” who are in turn protected by the city administration. The Code of Silence is a curtain hiding a culture of criminality.

Will U.S. Troops Become the Ethiopian Government’s Thugs?

by Mark P. Fancher

Ethiopia’s authoritarian regime, dominated by elites of the Tigrayan ethnic group, faces growing protest by the Oromo and Amhara people, who together make up the majority of the population. Even the U.S. admits that the regime is a serious violator of human rights, yet the U.S. is Ethiopia’s main military ally. Given the glaring contradictions, it is fair to ask: “Will U.S. troops be called into Ethiopia to do battle with civilian protesters?”


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