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Escaping the Corporate Hip Hop Plantation: Building a Nation of Revolutionary Emcees

by Solomon Comissiong

It’s come-to-meeting time in the world of Hip Hop. “It is imperative that politically conscious and revolutionary minded Emcees of the Golden Era of Hip Hop, and of today, organize a closed-door summit.” Cultural and economic liberation should top the agenda.

…Double life

by Raymond Nat Turner

Accepted a prize

The preacher paid his life for

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/31/14

Black Preachers Say Marissa Alexander Should Cop a Plea

Calling her case a “distraction,” a group of Black ministers in Jacksonville, Florida, are urging Marissa Alexander, who has already served three years in prison for firing a gun to deter her abusive husband, to plead guilty. Prosecutor Angela Corey is threatening to put Alexander away for 60 years. Opio Sokoni, president of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said Corey and the ministers make “strange bedfellows.” “Some of these pastors are the same ones that said, not too many weeks ago, that Black people should received the death penalty in greater numbers,” said Sokoni.

Moral Mondays Move to Georgia and South Carolina

Nearly 40 people were arrested in demonstrations demanding that southern states expand Medicaid to cover more poor people, in line with Obamacare. Moral Mondays protests, which began in North Carolina, have taken root in Georgia and South Carolina. Author and activist Kevin Alexander Gray said “the poorest of the poor” are hard to organize. “That group doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to come to a protest,” he said. “They’re not thinking about a protest, they’re thinking about survival.”

Oil and Environmental Racism in Albany, NY

Huge numbers of railroad oil tanker cars are parked only feet from a poor housing project in Albany, New York, prompting fears of an explosion like the one that claimed dozens of lives in Quebec, Canada, last year. “Since the expansion of fracking in North Dakota” and elsewhere, “ports have received a lot more oil,” said Vivian Kornegay, an Albany councilwoman. “We’re talking about an environmental injustice against low income people living in a housing project,” said Kornegay. “That community hasn’t been given a voice or any consideration” in the shale oil fracking boom.

Temple University Firings Bode Ill for Black Studies

“Temple is a pivotal institution for African American Studies, and what’s happening there may be a bellwether” for other campuses, said Dr. James Turner, founding director of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. The recent firings of professors Anthony Monteiro and Muhammad Ahmed (also known as Max Stanford) provoked intense opposition in North Philadelphia’s Black community, which also blames the university for encouraging gentrification.

Obama, Deporter-in-Chief

President Obama “must be made accountable” for deporting more immigrants than any other president in U.S. history, said Jesus Iniguez, of Presente, a Latino organization that claims 300,000 members. Obama doesn’t have much time left to save his legacy, said Iniguez. “The only thing that has evolved these past six years has been more intrusive and toxic laws” targeting immigrant communities.

Afro-Colombians Displaced

“The main demand of Afro-Colombians is land,” said Charo Mina-Rojas, director of the Afro-Colombian Women’s Human Rights Defender Project. “We have been living for centuries on this ancestral land” but are often forced out by paramilitaries and government soldiers in service of multinational corporations, she said. Colombia has the largest population of internally displaced persons in the world, most of them Black.

Mumia on the Mother of All Death Sentences

In a report filed for Prison Radio from Frackville State Prison, in Pennsylvania, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal noted the 528 bulk death sentences imposed by an Egyptian court against members of the Muslim Brotherhood, “a group that has existed longer than Egypt’s government has been independent. It seems to me the war aint’ over,” said Abu Jamal.

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Obama: Putin-Baiter and Preventive Detainer

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama has thrown international law into history’s dustbin, torn up the U.S. Bill of Rights, and is mapping millions for possible future detention. “One court order + one suspect number + three hops = everybody remotely involved in anti-war activity.”

Freedom Rider: America’s Aggressions Rewarded

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The United States is a military superpower in economic decline. Consequently, its foreign policy resembles that of the mafia extortionist who “offers protection when it is in fact the only threat in the neighborhood.” Old bullies do not fade away; they must be confronted. “Who will insist on punishing the United States?” – by far the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world, today.”

 

Rwanda’s Formula for Success: Murder Your Neighbors and Steal Their Wealth

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The New York Times touts Rwanda as a place of economic miracles, a country with almost no mineral resources that nevertheless plans to “leapfrog” straight to an information economy. What the Times fails to mention is that Rwanda’s relative prosperity is based on the extermination of its Congolese neighbors and the expropriation of their natural resources.

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Democratic Compromises, Capitalist “Market Discipline:” The Real Reasons For Unemployment Cuts

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Those who blame evil, immoral Republicans for unemployment and food stamp cuts should take a longer, closer look at elected Democrats. Current food stamp and unemployment cuts were actually proposed by Democrats, not imposed by Republicans. The notion that elected Democrats stand for the poor is just a brand, not reality.

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Latest GM Scandal is Business As Usual, But What Would a Green Jobs GM Look Like?

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

Nobody should be the least bit surprised when mining companies make their millions polluting drinking water, when energy companies make their billions destroying the climate, or when automakers ignore safety defects in their own products, figuring the deaths and injuries a normal cost of doing business.

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Coming Home to Roost: American Militarism, War Culture, and Police Brutality

by Colin Jenkins

The endemic violence of a society born of genocide, slavery, misogyny and ruthless capitalism is institutionalized in modern American structures. “The equipment and machinery regularly utilized by local police forces across the US now mimics that of a war zone,” while the “violence that is perpetrated abroad mimics the violent culture at home” – an awesomely deadly cross-pollination.

Why We Are REALLY Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex In the Age of Neo-liberal Monopoly Capitalism

by Danny Haiphong

The ruling class deploys ostensible do-gooders as agents of social destruction and control. “Non-profits have played a large role in channeling revolutionaries into comfortable careers that promote liberalism and collaboration with monopoly capital.” Although outfits like Teach for America aren’t on the stock exchange, they are vastly beneficial to finance capital.

Make me do it…

by Raymond Nat Turner

Make me do it, one Hellfire Missile each—

They’ll all be in a better place: with you

Lord, make me do it! Make me do it!

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 3/24/14

CIA Losing Friends in Congress

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s recent denunciation of CIA spying on her Intelligence Committee “suggests that criticism of the national security state has reached such a fever pitch that even its entrenched allies in Congress are starting to peel off,” said Shahid Buttar, of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Feinstein’s committee is considering whether to release a report on CIA torture and detention programs. “It’s up to us to force the institutional actors to grapple with these issues,” said Buttar.

Omnivorous Banks Seek to Devour Detroit

Activists are encouraging Detroiters to send a bankruptcy court their formal objections to state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr’s plans to restructure the city. Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman, pastor of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and a key member of D-REM, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, said the banks are Detroit’s ultimate nemesis. “They’re eating out the city from below, at the base,” through predatory home lending, and “extracting wealth from above, as well,” through derivatives deals that bury the municipality in debt,” he said.

Booker T. Obama’s Black Bourgeois Song

The My Brother’s Keeper initiative, President Obama’s project for young Black males, is mainly concerned with “Black behavior, about the need to make good choices, the need of teenagers not to have children, to stay in school,” said historian and activist Paul Street, author of the new book They Rule: The 1% vs. Democracy. “I don’t see any real call for significant resources to seriously tackle” the material conditions that afflict young Blacks, said Street. Obama’s approach resembles “the longstanding conservative Black bourgeoisie’s ‘politics of respectability’ that was trotted out to great white approval by Booker T. Washington and the early Urban League” at the start of the 20th century.

Book is “Hatchet Job” Against Carmichael/Ture

Dr. Peniel Joseph’s book on Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, leader of the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, is “part of a continuing COINTELPRO and disinformation mission against Kwame Ture and our wing of the movement,” said Bob Brown, a close confident of the Black Freedom Movement activist. Brown said Joseph wrongly “condemns” Ture “for having left the country” to live in Guinea, West Africa, where he died in 1998 – although W.E.B. Dubois also left the U.S. for Ghana, where he died in 1963. Brown unsuccessfully tried to halt publication of Stokely: A Life, charging Joseph falsely claimed to have interviewed him for book.

Mumia: Hypocrisy on Venezuela

In a report for Prison Radio, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal blasted congressional supporters of “rightwing and corporate-backed forces” that are “trying to stir up a popular revolt” against the socialist government of Venezuela. Abu Jamal notes that the U.S. Congress was largely silent when police, “corporate greed and the brutality of the One Percent” shut down the Occupy Wall Street Movement in the U.S.

Cuba’s Role in African Liberation

“For Fidel Castro, the struggle against apartheid was ‘the most beautiful cause of mankind,’” said Dr. Peiro Gleijeses, professor of U.S. foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. Cuba’s early intervention in Angola’s liberation struggle, in 1975-76, allowed South African and Namibian revolutionaries to open training camps in Angola, said Gleijeses, author of Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa. He was interviewed for Your World News by host Solomon Comissiong.

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Striking GA Prisoners Name Names, Allege Sexual Abuse, Ongoing Threats, Maltreatment by Staff

Striking GA Prisoners Name Names, Allege Sexual Abuse, Ongoing Threats & Maltreatment by Staff

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Not quite a month ago, I wrote that we at Black Agenda Report had received word of a new self-organized hunger strike among prisoners in Georgia's notorious Diagnostic & Classification Prison at Jackson, the same place where Troy Davis was murdered by the state a couple years ago.  We had no details beyond a single brief note and a list of prisoners who'd signed a letter.

U.S. Prepares to Gas Russia Into Submission

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S., now number one in oil and gas, is preparing to destroy Russia’s economy. “Washington will move to crush, or at least seriously disrupt, Russia under its ‘sanctions as war by other means’ machine, by targeting its energy exports, while simultaneously boosting the foreign markets for U.S. natural gas.”

Freedom Rider: Kwadir Felton and Cory Booker

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Kwadir Felton, one of Sen. Cory Booker’s constituents, faces 30 years in prison for allegedly assaulting the Jersey City police who shot and blinded him. But Felton can expect no constituent services from Booker. Black people demand next to nothing from their politicians. “Booker has no reason to lift a finger for this young man unless he knows he will pay a price for inaction.”

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