Beyond Twelve Years a Slave

by Paul Street

At the heart of American history lies an essential truth: the U.S. became an economic superpower based on the super-exploitation of Black slaves, to whom it owes reparations. In his new book, Edward Baptist calculates that “nearly half the nation’s economy activity derived directly and indirectly from the roughly one million Black slaves.” There was nothing quaint or “peculiar” about the system. America became “great” through “a highly cost-efficient method for extracting surplus value from human beings.”

Why James Arthur Baldwin (1924-1987) Still Matters

by Anthony Monteiro

As an essayist, James Baldwin had no peer. He was a revolutionary of the highest order, refusing “to think from within the language of the positionality or intellectual geography of the oppressor.” Baldwin warned that “whiteness, while emerging within the specific time/space continuum of modern capitalism, nonetheless can outlive it, producing post modern and even post capitalist white supremacist realities.”

Socialism is Still the Way Forward: Combating Neo-Liberal Imperialist Lies

by Danny Haiphong

Socialism was knocked down, but not out, when the Soviet Union collapsed. That did not, however, change the fact that capitalism is in its late stages. “The choice for any movement that arises in this period is to chart a revolutionary path or be consumed into the reactionary politics of the neo-liberal order.”

Socialism is Still the Way Forward: Combating Neo-Liberal Imperialist Lies

​by Danny Haiphong

From Selma To Ferguson, the Continuity of Police Terror

By Mr. Davey D

The giddy, patriotic TV commentators and talking heads who brought the celebrations around the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday to us don't say much about the uniformed terrorists on the public payroll who beat down and killed nonviolent protestors 50 years ago, just as they have little to say on those who kill and maim with impunity today. But then as now, this is just what police DO.

Reviving the Fight Against Environmental Racism

by Bryan K. Bullock

The movement against environmental racism lost its way when it was subsumed into environmental “justice.” Racism remains paramount. “African descendant people are burdened by environmental issues unequally compared to their white counterparts.” The struggle demands a human rights approach. “We must recognize that although we are separated by land, sea and language, we are united in our desire to be reclaim and maintain our basic humanity.”

Black Agenda Radio, Week of March 11, 2015


Ferguson Activist: Holder Should “Go Quietly Into the Dark”

A U.S. Justice Department report accepts the St. Louis County prosecutor’s conclusion that Michael Brown didn’t put his hands up before officer Darren Wilson put a bullet in Brown’s brain – and, therefore, Wilson cannot be indicted on civil rights charges. Only a “perfect murder” would convince Holder to act, said Taurean Russell, a leader of Hands Up United, in Ferguson, Missouri. “They want a perfect victim. His hands have to be all the way up – a perfect death, a perfect killing, and you’re never gonna get that,” said Russell. What about outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder’s legacy? “He should go quietly off into the dark.”

New Yorkers Need Less Law Enforcement

Bill Bratton, New York City’s police commissioner, wants to hire 1,000 more officers. But there are already too many cops busying themselves arresting Black and brown people for minor offenses, said Josmar Trujillo, of New Yorkers Against Bratton, which favors redirecting resources to improving conditions in poor neighborhoods. Police are “harassing and ticketing us, they’re criminalizing us en masse,” said Trujillo, “We don’t want more copse, we want to move away from law enforcement” under the slogan, “Strong Communities Make Police Obsolete.”

Robert Gangi, of New York’s Police Reform Organizing Project, called Bratton’s “Broken Windows” policing philosophy “a brazenly racist practice.” Individual rogue cops are not the problem, he said: “It’s the system.”

Voices from the Gulag

Lawyers for Mumia Abu Jamal and other Pennsylvania prison inmates won the right to pursue their challenge to the state’s so-called Revictimization Relief Act, which would effectively silence the voices of those who make crime victims feel “mental anguish.” If allowed to prevail, the law could shut down Prison Radio and its roster of inmate correspondents. “We cannot cover the prison story, which is one of the biggest stories in America, without those first-person, on-the-ground voices,” said Prison Radio director Noelle Hanrahan.

Mumia: Americans “Feed on Fear”

Since 9/ll, “a kind of madness erupted in the country,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, in a commentary for Prison Radio. “Newscasts have become fearcasts, as government and media converge to sow dragons’ teeth of fear into the minds of millions. It grows, eating us, as we eat it – and we are still not full.”

Dubois Blacklisted at Temple African American Studies

The model for liberatory Black Studies was created by W.E.B. Dubois at the turn of the 20th century, said Duboisian scholar and activist Dr. Tony Monteiro. However, under chairman Molefi Asante, Temple University’s African American Studies Department no longer teaches Dubois’ works, on the grounds that “he was not Afro-centric, he was a Marxist,” said Monteiro. Asante fired Monteiro last year, and wants to change the program’s name to Department of Africology.

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.

Obama's Ferguson Commission a Joke: Why Liberal Proposals and "Solutions" Don't Cut It

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The Interim Report of the Task Force for 21st Century Policing is the crunchy, fluffy wish list of big city cops and consultants who helped bring us the current police and prison state, assembled by the corporate-funded nonprofit sector which launched President Obama's career. With only 600 -odd days left in this administration it's a gesture of contempt toward the communities most affected by the machinery of our police and prison state.

Obama’s Dead End Criminal Justice “Reforms”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama administration shot double-barreled blanks in its response to the Black Lives Matter movement, “Both the Justice Department’s action in Ferguson and the Task Force report are indicative of the ineffectuality of what passes for criminal justice “reform” in 21st century America.” The Mass Black Incarceration State is incapable of meaningful reform. What’s needed is Black community control of the police.

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Final Insult to Trayvon Martin

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Eric Holder and Barack Obama have shown themselves incapable of delivering elementary justice to Black people. Instead of indicting Trayvon Martin’s killer, the president invited the teenager’s parents to the White House for Black History Month. The nation’s two most powerful Black men get lots of love from African Americans but give nothing in return. “It is an awfully vicious cycle and people like the late Trayvon Martin pay the price.”

Netanyahu Punks Obama as Congress Grovels

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

It was easy for Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to emasculate Barack Obama on Capitol Hill. All he had to do was expand on the lies that both Israel and the U.S. tell about Iran – lies that Barack Obama cannot effectively rebut without exposing himself as... a liar. Since neither co-conspirator can rat out the other, the smaller party gains an advantage over the larger one. The most brazen liar wins, and the loser cannot complain.

Interview with Manolo De Los Santos, Part 2, and Black Code Alerts

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The author, a noted whistleblower and activist, recently returned from a trip to Cuba, where she engaged in an intensive dialogue with Manolo De Los Santos, a Dominican American studying in Cuba. De Los Santos said Cuba has made great progress in uplifting its people and reversing centuries of slavery and racism. “People need to come to Cuba to see it for themselves.”

W.E.B. Du Bois and the Radicalization of 21st Century Black Studies

by Dr. Anthony Monteiro

Last month marked the 147th birthday of W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the towering intellects of the 20th century and the founder of Black Studies as an “emancipatory” discipline. But today, Black scholars have largely “become disengaged, self-centered and in many instances a misleadership class.” The author calls for “a return to the Du Boisian idea of Black Studies as a part of the struggle for Black liberation.”

Capitalist Cotton Slavery and a Case (One Would Think) for Reparations

by Paul Street

Black chattel slavery made the United States an economic powerhouse and a beacon to European immigrants. “By 1836 nearly half the nation’s economic activity derived directly and indirectly from the roughly 1 million Black slaves. The descendants of that cauldron of torture and death deserve “a massive federal program of reparations in partial and belated compensation for the massive horror and theft.”

The Memory of Malcolm and the End of Neo-liberal Imperialism

by Danny Haiphong

If Malcolm X had survived to the present day, the U.S. secret police would have to assassinate him, again. “Malcolm would have condemned imperialism's endless wars in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and continued to build alliances with the victims of imperialism abroad.” The survival of humanity “depends on a radical movement that can revive Malcolm's revolutionary spirit.”

Beating Trial of LAPD Officer Begun, Then Delayed By “Peace Officer's Bill of Rights”

Thandisizwe Chimurenga's picture

by BAR special correspondent Thandisizwe Chimurenga

In a rare instance of a Los Angeles police officer actually being tried for the brutal beating of a black woman in 2012, the state's so-called “Peace Officer Bill of Rights” is a once again significant barrier to revealing the histories of abuse on the part of the cops involved. Federal legislation guaranteeing cops similar immunities nationwide were introduced repeatedly by Vice President Joe Biden when he was in the US Senate.

#Gitmo2Chicago2Burge2Vietnam: How Police Abuse in Chicago Extends Way Beyond Homan Square

#Gitmo2Chicago2Burge2Vietnam: How Police Abuse in Chicago Extends Way Beyond Homan Square

courtesy of our friends at This Is Hell

Attorney Flint Taylor connects the Homan Square ‘black site’ story to a larger history of secrecy, violence and abuse that spans decades, continents and wars. Flint was quoted in the much talked-about, Spencer Ackerman article The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’ at the Guardian. Taylor also wonders whether mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia has a position on the closing of Homan Square.

Malcolm X’s Internationalism and the Struggle for Liberation in Haiti Today

by Ajamu Nangwaya

Malcolm X sought international unity among the non-white world based on the “common experience of colonialism and white supremacy.” If he were alive today, Malcolm “would encourage people outside of Haiti to stand with the people of Haiti.”

Black Agenda Radio Week of March 2, 2015

Black Agenda Radio Week of March 2, 2015

Triumph for Internet Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission last week ruled that the Internet should be regulated like a public utility, with no fast or slow traffic lanes. “The Verizons and Comcasts of the world wanted to create a class system on the Internet,” said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. Far from opening the way for a government “takeover” of the Internet, “this is more like the First Amendment for the Internet, where people have freedom of speech and equal access.”

Black Self-Determination Requires Control of Police

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations has issued a call for Black community control of police. “We need to have the ability to hire, fire, train, set standards of behavior, fund, defund and establish the role of this force, so that it becomes a part of the fabric of the community, itself,” said chairman Omali Yeshitela. Control of police is a right of self-determination, he said.

Trayvon Martin Case Closed

Three years after George Zimmerman killed Black teenager Trayvon Martin, the U.S. Justice Department has leaked that it will not bring federal charges against the vigilante. “The feds are held out as that dangling thing that will give you justice after you’ve just been punched in the gut by the local cops,” said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. “But, Malcolm told us that “the federal foxes cannot be relied on to deal with the injustice that the local wolves are bringing down on you.” The whole system needs to be dismantled.

No Quick Fix in Movement-Building

Kevin Alexander Gray, the Columbia, South Carolina activist and author who edited Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence, cautions that it takes time to build a movement. “The police are about introducing people into the criminal justice system, where they are tracked all their lives,” said Gray. “It’s about making people cower to power.” Building a sustainable movement to ensure that Black lives really matter, is a process. “It’s going to take a little bit longer than just two or three years,” said Gray.

No Justice in Benton Harbor

Rev. Edward Pinkney, the Benton Harbor, Michigan, activist who was sentenced to 2 ½ to 10 years in prison for allegedly tampering with an elections petition, said judges and prosecutors must be made to answer for their crimes against Black people. “In Berrien County, they have one job: to send every single Black person to prison,” said Pinkney, now housed at the state prison in Marquette. “In the Sixties, it was called Negro Removal. In Bosnia, it was called ethnic cleansing.” Pinkney incurred the wrath of police and prosecutors when he resisted the Whirlpool Corporation’s gentrification efforts in mostly Black Benton Harbor.

Denver Cops Kill Transgender Latino Youth

The People of Chicago Stun Obama's Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Now It's Round 2

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Despite support from local black & Latino politicians former Obama chief of staff and Rahm Emanuel failed to win re-election as Chicago mayor on Feb. 24. He faces an April 7 runoff election against Jesus Garcia, longime community activist who was part of the Harold Washington team in 1983 and 87. Anti-Rahm turnout was boosted by public outrage at school closings and other privatizations, and advisory referenda on an elected school board.

Free the Corinthian15 – From Student Debt

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama administration claims it wants to halt the predatory practices of for-profit colleges that “exploit the poor and bilk the state.” But, even as it shuts down Corinthian Colleges, the administration continues to demand that its students repay their federal loans. The Corinthian 15 refuse to pay for having been robbed and exploited.

Freedom Rider: Media Silence on Libya

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Four years ago, the United States and its NATO and royal Arab allies destroyed the government of Libya and handed the country over to jihadists, who now include factions aligned with the Islamic State. Thousands of heads have rolled in the wake of Obama’s 2011 air war – none of them American. “Libyans and Egyptian migrant workers pay the price for western aggressions.”

The Ultimate Corruption

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

When petty officials in foreign lands make it difficult for corporations to do business, or when rich individuals avoid paying taxes agreed upon by their wealthy fellows, reformers raise the cry of corruption. But the greatest corruption lies in allowing the rich to make the rules.

End the US Blockade of Cuba and Military Occupation of Guantanamo Bay! An Interview with Manolo De Los Santos

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The move towards normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations is a victory of the Cuban people, but also presents great challenges. In a recent visit to the island, the author spoke with a former resident of The Bronx, now studying liberation theology in Cuba. One thing that will not change, he said, is Cuba’s historical commitment to Black people. For example, “Cuba has educated more Blacks from Honduras than were educated in their own country.”

Was Malcolm X a political Islamist?

by Nu’man Abd al-Wahid

Although there is no doubt that Malcolm X was a fervent Muslim to the moment he was assassinated, his beliefs bore no resemblance to that of today’s “Islamist” militants. “Malcolm had an inclusive secular approach to the African-American struggle and not an exclusive religious approach rooted in the superiority of any given religion.”

What is Neo-Liberalism? A Revolutionary Analysis of the Final Stage of Imperialism

by Danny Haiphong

Neoliberalism is “the ideology of corporate domination and the plunder of finance capital.” To preserve itself domestically, the modern system has created both the Mass Black Incarceration State and the National Security State. Internationally, “terrorism, ‘humanitarian intervention,’ and economic sabotage are the primary means of maintaining US hegemony of the neo-liberal variety.” 

Haiti Carnival Tragedy: What Was Planned, What Was An Accident?

by Ezili Danto

Even national celebrations turn out badly in occupied Haiti. Officials say a Mardis Gras electrocution accident left 17 dead, but as many as 100 are feared to have perished in panic. Haiti needs infrastructure and, most of all, the return of its national sovereignty. “But the Martelly regime prioritizes carnival drinking, dancing and singing.”

Cowardly Black Caucus Reacts to Israeli Insults, Ignores Israeli Apartheid

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The CBC is silent when Israel passes discriminatory laws, steals Palestinian land, or punishes Palestinian civilians with power and water cutoffs and blockades. Like the rest of Congress, the CBC endorsed the murderous Israeli assault on Gaza. CBC's threatened walkout on Netanyahu's address to Congress isn't because they disapprove of Israeli apartheid funded by US tax dollars. It's only because Bibi insulted the First Black President.


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