A Lesson on Peace in our Troubled Trump Times from W.E.B. DuBois

by Werner Lange

In the last chapter of his brilliant life, W.E.B. DuBois was a leading anti-war activist. At the height of McCarthyism, DuBois and his comrades in the Peace Information Center were denounced as “traitors” and “anti-American” for declaring that first-use of nuclear weapons is a crime against humanity.

An Afar Wedding in Eritrea

by Thomas C. Mountain

Eritrea, a small African nation on the Red Sea, is surrounded by sectarian religious strife, yet maintains a remarkable amity and unity among its various peoples. Roughly half Christian and half Muslim, Eritrea shuns military alliances and economic dependency on the West. To keep the peace, the government makes sure that “no Da'esh or Pat Robertson ‘born again’ foreign funded religious centers are allowed.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 30, 2017

Obamacare is Doomed; It’s Time for Single Payer

Instead of attempting to salvage the doomed and fatally flawed Affordable Healthcare Act, progressives should seize the time and push for single payer health care, said pediatrician and political activist Dr. Margaret Flowers. “Eighty percent of Democratic voters want a single payer health care system, and now polls are showing that even Republicans, particularly those with lower incomes, are moving into majority support for National Improved Medicare for All.” The push, however, must come from the people, not the Democrats. “Even Sen. Sanders has backed down and is saying, Let’s protect the Affordable Care Act now and we’ll fight for single payer later,” said Flowers. The HOPE campaign -- “Health Over Profit for Everyone” -- begins February 1.

On Reparations, It’s Not a Question of “If,” but “How”

There’s been a substantive change in H.R. 40, the Reparations legislation Rep. John Conyers has introduced every year since 1989. Originally, the bill called for a study of whether Black Americans had been injured by slavery and Jim Crow. But now, according to Kamm Howard, chairman of the legislative committee of N’COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, the bill “begins with the focus that reparations are due, and how does this government engage in reparative initiatives.” He said the 2001 United Nations World Conference on Racism, in Durban, South Africa, made clear the enslaving nations’ “obligation to make repairs” to descendants of the victims. Howard helped Rep. Conyers’ staff reframe the legislation.

Will Democrats Help Trump Renegotiate NAFTA?

“If President Trump wants to enact a renegotiated NAFTA, he’s going to have to work with the Democrats to figure out how to build a majority” on Capitol Hill, “which will be comprised of most of the Democrats and a handful of Republicans,” said Lori Wallach, director of Global Trade Watch for Public Citizen. President Bill Clinton pushed the NAFTA corporate trade deal through Congress against the wishes of majorities of Democrats. “The reality is, you will never get a majority of the Republicans in Congress to change the old NAFTA,” said Wallach. NAFTA might not end in a renegotiation. “If President Trump continues to be so disrespectful to other world leaders,” Mexico or the U.S. might simply withdraw from NAFTA.

Courtrooms as Political Forums

Veteran Black activist Efia Nwangaza had been looking forward to a jury trial on charges of blocking a Greenville, South Carolina, intersection two years ago to protest a Missouri grand jury’s failure to indict the cop that killed Michael Brown, in Ferguson. However, Greenville authorities dropped the charges the day before her trial, depriving Nwangaza of the opportunity to put on a political defense. “The purpose of the demonstration was to call attention to police impunity and their slaughtering of us from one end of the country to the other,” said Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination and a leader of the state’s Stop Mass Incarceration Network. With the courtroom venue no longer available, Nwangaza and her defense team will now bring the issues before a people’s tribunal and “strengthen the cause that has been advanced by the Uhuru Movement for Black community control of the police.”

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.
 
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Cory Booker, Corporate Hooker: The Perfect Establishment Opposition to Donald Trump

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

After losing the White House to the most unpopular president in history, Democrats have lots to say, but even more to avoid saying, lest they expose themselves as every bit as much corporate tools as their Republican foes. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is their ideal spokesperson, a cynical, photogenic and utterly dependable corporate whore who can be counted on to keep the anti-Trump rabble safely inside the Democrats' big stinky tent.

Trump Will Probably Dump Police Department “Consent Decrees”

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Donald Trump is unlikely to approve of any more “consent decrees” to “reform” police departments. But this will be no great loss. As practiced, “the scheme very much resembles former Attorney General Holder’s coddling of criminal banks, under which the offending institutions were fined, but not criminally charged or compelled to admit guilt.” In most cities, police killings of Blacks actually increased or stayed the same after federal intervention.

Freedom Rider: Democrats Attack Trump from the Right

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democratic Party has devolved into complete irrationality and irrelevance, sucking its Black followers into the idiotic abyss. “Years of capitulation to corporate interests and to Barack Obama have killed black politics,” and turned the Congressional Black Caucus into mindless CIA groupies who “use the phrase ‘intelligence community’ as if they were hypnotized cult members. Democrats carry signs that threaten war, and call it “protest.”

Imagine a Women’s March Against Black Genocide and the Struggle of Tennie White

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Adebayo

The myth of Barack Obama’s concern for Black people masks the reality of his administration’s cynical service to corporate criminals. Tennie White, a heroic whistleblower, was railroaded to prison by Obama’s EPA for defending her community from environmental racism. Her persecution “must be seen as a part of a pattern and practice of criminalizing people who challenge corporate power.”

Build and Fight: Beyond Trump and the Limitations of the United Front

by Kali Akuno and Doug Norberg

At this time of great crisis, there are fevered calls for the Left to forge a “united front.” However, “these calls rarely take into account the inequality or lack of political parity of the ‘uniting’ forces,” or the difference between strategic alliances and the temporary or limited unity of tactical alliances. Moreover, what is to be gained from such unity, and for whom? “At best, ‘united fronts’ are instruments for restoring the status quo ante.”

Flint’s 1000-Plus Days Without Safe Drinking Water

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

If you believe public health officials, lead levels in Flint, Michigan’s water have finally fallen to acceptable levels. The problem is, nobody in Flint has any faith in official pronouncements, and there’s a lot more wrong with the city’s water than just lead. It’s been more than 1000 days since the water has been safe to drink. An investigative report shows nearly 3,000 communities across the country have more lead contamination than Flint.

 
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Cuba and Our Common Future

by Danny Haiphong

With the Left in the U.S. in such obvious disarray, it is more critical than ever to examine the experience of the Cuban revolution. “It was power in the hands of the working class and oppressed that gave Cuba the ability to assist national liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, and Namibia against South African apartheid.” In the U.S., however, much of the Left is completely obsessed with Donald Trump, which “ultimately distracts the movement from the need to organize a struggle against the entire state apparatus.”

The Women’s March in Washington D.C., as Broadcast

by Ann Garrison 

If you watched it on TV, the Women’s March on Washington seemed to be a Democratic Party, Hillary-Is-My-President affair. “It was all about protection and equal opportunity for women and all racial and religious minorities, but that didn’t include protection from predatory financial institutions, from all intrusive spying, or from sacrifice to foreign wars for resources and global hegemony.”

Good Journalism Requires Openness to Foreign Sources of Information

by Steve Cunningham

Since when has journalistic ethics prohibited accepting accurate and valuable information from foreign sources? Wikileaks has done the American public a great service by exposing corruption among high officials, including a would-be president, and in the workings of a major political party. If the Russians were involved in the revelation -- so what? The essential truth, as the Wikileaks show, is that “Hillary Clinton is, indeed, corrupt.”

“Fake News” Crisis Covers Deeper Crisis of Legitimacy

by Paul C. Bermanzohn

The deepening crisis of an illegitimate system that only serves the rich has caused a section of the ruling class to charge a sitting president -- one of their own! -- with the political crime of illegitimacy. The “fake news” imbroglio is phony excuse for keeping the United States on a permanent war footing.

Obama’s Legacy In Africa: Terrorism, Civil War and Military Expansion

by Eric Draitser

No American president has done more to destroy African independence than Barack Obama. “Within two years of his pledge to let Africans resolve their own problems, U.S.-NATO jets were dropping bombs on Libya in support of al-Qaida-linked terrorists who would topple and brutally assassinate Moammar Gadhafi.” Most African militaries are now subordinate to and dependent on the U.S. Pentagon.

Haitian People’s Court Will Put 100 Years of U.S. Occupation on Trial

by AlterPresse

Since 1915, the United States has directly or indirectly occupied Haiti, smothering the nation’s sovereignty and corrupting its institutions. This year, a People’s Court will begin hearing testimony from Haitians on the crimes of the U.S. occupiers. The tribunal is a response “to the generalized demand to fight for justice and against the constant impunity that harms the entire population.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 23, 2017

Irrationality Reigns: After All the Lies, Some Folks Still Believe the CIA

Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party’s vice 2016 presidential candidate, said he is appalled at the spectacle of “progressives” and even self-styled radicals “parroting the Democratic line that the Russians are a threat” to U.S. democracy.  This new McCarthyism is “a strange diversion” and “a demonstration of the irrationality of politics in the U.S,” said Baraka, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. It represents “the complete abandonment of critical thought, embracing the State and propping up the intelligence agencies as authoritative sources even after the years of deception, disinformation, and psychological operations that we know is the modus operandi of the CIA. It is absolutely bizarre.”

Blacks Should Stop ‘Hitch-Hiking’ with the Democrats

Black people made political alliances “with whoever came along -- like a hitchhiker,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “When you catch a ride as a hitchhiker, you’ve got to go wherever the driver is going. That’s what being with the Democratic Party was about, and we are determined that that mess is over.” The Black is Back Coalition makes alliances based on the principles of Black self-determination and opposition to imperialism – which is why it has held together since the first year of the Obama administration. “Trump is president because of the crisis in the imperialist system,” said Yeshitela.

Poor People’s Campaign Tackles MLK’s Unfinished Work

The scourge of poverty has increased since the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was interrupted by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said Willie Baptist, a veteran of the welfare and homeless movements, and now an organizer of the 21st century version of the campaign. “Poverty has gotten worse, with huge sections of the middle strata being rendered homeless and a good section of the poor rendered superfluous,” said Baptist, now based in New York City at the Union Theological Seminary’s Kairos Center. Changes in technology are “not just saving labor, it’s actually eliminating labor,” he said. “The world’s productive capacity totally outweighs its purchasing capacity. As a result, you have poverty in the midst of plenty.”

Afro-Colombian Leader Beheaded

Rightwing paramilitaries are suspected in the murder of Emilsen Manyoma, a leader of a network of Black and indigenous community organizations. “Her assassination was a response to the work she was doing, defending the rights of Black people,” said Charo Mina-Rojas, an Afro-Colombian political activist who reports that over 200 Black and indigenous leaders were killed last year, despite a peace agreement between the government and FARC guerillas. Blacks and natives in Ms. Manyoma’s region are under pressure from coca producers and illegal mine operators and their gunmen.

Where Did All the Black and Latino Teachers Go?

Back in 2002, 27.2 percent of the teachers hired by the New York City public schools were Black or Latino. By 2012, the proportion had shrunk to 11.6 percent. What happened? “When you look at what’s been going on for the past 15 years, you see a picture that requires people to point to the real causes of the disappearances, and to change those policies,” said Sean Ahern, a political activist who teaches juvenile prisoners at the giant Rikers Island jail. Ahern blames the drop in minority teachers on “mayoral control” of the schools, “high stakes testing, school closings, charter school push-ins” -- essentially, the whole program of so-called “reform” that was pushed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and championed by the Obama administration.

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.
 
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Is It Time To Revoke John Lewis’s Lifetime Civil Rights Hero Pass?

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

John Lewis was a hero 52 years ago. What’s he doing nowadays with his Lifetime Civil Rights Hero pass? He’s a 14 term Atlanta congressman with nary a word to say on gentrification or the privatization of schools, roads, nature and the commons. He’s a pacifist with a US Navy ship named after him who votes for the NSA, Pentagon budgets, and re-arming apartheid Israel. Now his sainthood is useful again. But to whom and for what?

 
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The Obama Legacy: A Temporary Deformity of Black Minds on War and Peace

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

When Barack Obama’s legacy is fully measured, it must include his role in eroding Black America’s historical position as the nation’s most anti-war constituency. He was a Pied Piper of war, and most of Black political leadership, as well as a portion of the Black public at large, followed him into the abyss. However, “we can expect this gross deformity to be corrected once the artificial aura of “Blackness” is removed from the White House.

Freedom Rider: No Tears for John Lewis

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

John Lewis has parlayed his 1965 beating at the hands of Alabama police into a phony sainthood, and “now exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Party and the black misleadership class.” He “parrots every word” of the CIA in blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. There are many reasons to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration, but “Russia” is the only one mentioned by Lewis, the party hack.

Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama

by BAR editor Ajamu Baraka

The 2008 campaign t-shirts depicted Barack Obama clasping hands with MLK, as if the two men were politically joined. Yet, one was a radical opponent of militarism and the rule of the rich, while the other served Wall Street, the Pentagon and American Exceptionalism. Dr. King loved humanity, and died in its service. In contrast, “for Obama, there is a hierarchy of humanity where a peoples’ worth is directly related to their value to the empire.”

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