Political Prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney Marks Year Behind Bars

by Geraldine Matthews

The United States has many political prisoners. Rev. Edward Pinkney, railroaded for trying to empower the mostly Black population of Benton Harbor, Michigan, “stands as the most glaring example of imprisonment for political activity in Michigan, and possibly in the Midwest.” The 67 year-old activist’s “phone use is suspended until July 2016,” and he believes a hit has been placed on him and that “his life is in danger.”

Low Hanging Fruit: Curbing Police Violence in Georgia Would Be A Good Start

by Hugh Esco

This weekend the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a front page report acknowledging the fact of police violence and impunity in Georgia. While the AJC didn't make the source data public, and didn't include strong and specific recommendations on how to curb killer cops and their enablers, its publication is a milestone that would not have been reached without the persistent and popular pressure from below.  That's a good thing, but only a start.

Hubert H. Harrison’s When Africa Awakes: The “Inside Story” of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World

by Jeffrey B. Perry

The works of the finest mind in early 20th century Harlem, a man who was more class-conscious than Marcus Garvey and more race-conscious than A. Philip Randolph, are now available in a new, expanded Diasporic Africa Press Edition. Hubert H. Harrison was the “Black Socrates,” according to historian Richard B. Moore. He was “ahead of his time,” said Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, and “an advanced thinker and prophet,” in the words of John Henrik Clarke.

Marcha das Mulheres Negras: The Myth of a Racial Democracy in Brazil

by Sokari Ekine

Last month, upwards of 20,000 Brazilians of African descent, predominantly women, came together to protest the deep seated racism, including the targeting and murder of Black youth by the police, and gender based violence in Brazil. This single act of protest shatters the myth of a racially harmonious nation.

Elvis, Donny Hathaway and the Daft Hollywood Paradigm

by Julian Cola

Hollywood is one of U.S. imperialism’s greatest assets, hyping a world in which all things “super” are white – and speak English. “Media exploitation had famished many of my students’ outlook to humanity's potential for achievement and excellence, reducing it to an almost exclusive white hero and heroine archetype.” Critical analysis doesn’t stand a chance against the mega-fantasy. “White superiority is the primordial thread holding this model intact.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 21, 2015

Michigan Water Crisis Rooted in Crisis of Democracy

In majority Black Flint, Michigan, the mayor has declared a state of emergency due to unsafe water, while in mostly Black Detroit tens of thousands of poor people have been shut out of the water system. Both jurisdictions were plunged into crisis under the dictatorial powers of state-appointed emergency financial managers. Thomas Stephens, a people’s lawyer and activist, blames corporate governance. “The problems with water affordability and access in Detroit, leading to a public health crisis, and the problems with lead and other contaminants in Flint actually have the same root cause: treating water, a necessity of life in our communities, as if it were a widget, something to be dealt with pursuant to the corporate bottom line.”

Exploring the Black Radical Tradition

Activists and intellectuals will converge on Temple University, in Philadelphia, for a conference on “The Black Radical Tradition In Our Time,” January 8 through 10. Keynote speakers include Angela Davis, Cornel West, Anthony Monteiro and Charlene Carruthers, of Chicago’s Black Youth Project 100. Larry Hamm, chairman of Newark, New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress, will speak at one of the conference panels. “The conference is needed,” he said, “because we do need a theoretical understanding of what is happening, and at the same time, those who are involved in theoretical work need to hear from people who are involved in the actual organizing on the ground, so that we can have a synthesis of the two.”

Prison as an Incubator for Hepatitis C

About 100 supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal gathered at a Scranton, Pennsylvania, courthouse where a federal judge heard arguments to compel the state prison system to treat the nation’s best known political prisoner for Hepatitis C, which caused complications that almost killed him earlier this year. Joe Piette, of Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, said 8,000 Pennsylvania inmates carry the infection. “People are tested routinely for HIV, but they’re not tested for Hep C,” said Piette. “So they go back to the community when they get out of prison and it just spreads throughout the community.”

Venezuelan Revolution Down, But Not Out

The Socialist Party founded by the late Hugo Chavez was soundly defeated in legislative elections, earlier this month. The voting took place amid raging inflation and deep shortages of consumer goods. “The reality is that this was a deliberately constructed scarcity for the purpose of psychological warfare against the people of Venezuela,” said Eric Draitser, a New York-based political analyst who recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela. After the victory of the U.S.-backed parties, said Draitser, “all of a sudden, those items began magically returning to store shelves.” Draitser’s most recent article on Venezuela is titled “The Revolution That Will Not Die.”

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How Democrats and Republicans Collude to Block the Vote -- And How We Can Un-Block It

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

We hear lots of outrage about how Republicans block the vote. But blocking the vote by keeping third parties off the ballot with unjust laws in more than a dozen states is a project Democrats share with Republicans. Both capitalist parties know you can't vote against gentrification or mass incarceration or for a peace and justice candidate if no such candidates or parties are allowed on the ballot.

Nigerian Military: “The Real Boko Haram”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

When the United States and Saudi Arabia partnered to spread global jihadist terror, they set the stage for massacres throughout Asia and Africa. The latest atrocity has claimed as many as a thousand Shia Muslim lives in Nigeria, a nation that has joined Saudi Arabia’s bizarre coalition against terror. “For the Saudis to be leading a war against terror is like the Pope leading a war against Catholicism.”

 
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Freedom Rider: Rich Countries Subvert Climate Change Talks

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The recent Paris talks on climate change failed utterly to slow the planetary slide towards extinction. The human-induced heat wave will continue to build. President Obama and other world leaders “say they want to reverse fossil fuel emissions and yet they agreed to what amounts to a 3 degree Fahrenheit temperature increase.”

Why African Americans Should Stand with Muslims and Arabs

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The methods of repression that are now directed against Muslims and Arabs in the United States were developed to oppress Black Americans and will return tomorrow “when the state and public opinion turns against the latest expressions of black opposition popularly characterized as the black lives matter movement.” For collective self-interest and in the spirit of the Black Radical Tradition, Blacks should reach out to Arabs and Muslims and “share with them our experiences surviving racial totalitarianism.”

Venezuela's Election Results Hold Global Significance

by Danny Haiphong

The stunning defeat of the Socialist Party in Venezuela is a threat to leftist governments and movements around the world, especially in Latin America. “The oligarchy would undoubtedly move to dissolve the ties of solidarity the Bolivarian movement has institutionalized with Palestine, Haiti, China, and numerous African nations.” Hugo Chavez’s party “will have to return to the streets to defend the movement's gains and move forward with the objectives of the revolution.”

Rotten Orchards Givin’ Apples a Bad Name

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

Rotten apples aren't unique, points out our poet, and ain't caused by bad barrels. The rot's at the root, and roots run deep and true...

Assessing Venezuela’s Elections: The Good, the Bad, and the Indifferent

by Eric Draitser

The unthinkable happened in Venezuela this month: Hugo Chavez’s party was decisively defeated in legislative elections. “The wealthy and middle class neighborhoods of Caracas erupted in cheers and celebrations, while the poor and working class sections of the city seemingly went silent.” The right wing could not have won without votes from disaffected poor Venezuelans, who “want socialism and the Bolivarian Revolution, they simply want it to be improved.”

Big Business, Big Guns and Big Lies in Africa

by Mark P. Fancher

Africa has been invaded and re-occupied, militarily and commercially. “Non-African superpowers are competing for and staking claims to Africa’s resources while Africans look on with helpless resignation.” The U.S. military holds sway from the Cape to Cairo. But, “in the 21st Century ‘scramble for Africa’ China leads the race.”

Democracy Denied: US Turning Haiti into Another Vassal State

by Cynthia McKinney

The goal of U.S. imperialism is to subordinate all other nations to the demands of capitalists, often destroying those nations in the process. U.S. foreign policy is deemed “successful” when the targeted nations and peoples are stripped of every vestige of national sovereignty – every possibility of self-determination. By this standard, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was very successful in Haiti.

The Dangerous Game of Identity Politics: How the Black Community Continues to Vote Against Their Interests

by Solomon Comissiong

Far too many Black folks will vote for their worst enemy, if he or she looks like them. That’s why identity politics, which masquerades as a Black Power strategy, winds up disempowering African Americans every election cycle. Identity politics makes Black people politically passive. “The African/black folks that voted for Obama made no demands, nor did they present Obama with any kind of agenda regarding their concerns.”

Dyson's “Yes She Can” Is Another Lazy, Shameless Official Spokesnegro Audition Tape

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

You'd think a “Yes She Can” piece about Hillary Clinton from a supposed black “public intellectual” would explain what and how she might do and why we should support her. You'd be wrong. That might be the job of an Official Spokenegro, but Michael Eric Dyson hasn't landed that post with the Clinton administration yet. “Yes She Can” isn't talking to black people, it's aimed at flattering Dyson's prospective bosses in the Clinton camp.

 
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Freedom Rider: Syria and World War

Freedom Rider: Syria and World War

by BAR Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

Boundless American greed, warlike hubris and imperial muscle flexing are at the bottom of the wave of regfugees fleeing sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, at the roots of genocidal wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, and behind the simmering crisis in Ukraine.  For the world's only superpower there seem to be no limits, no counting of costs or consequences

Chicago: Another Department of Justice Investigation?

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

Deja vu all over again?  The announcement of a pending Justice Department investigation of the Chicago Police Department, Dr. Coleman-Abedayo notes, should provoke yawns at best, and at worst outright suspicion of pending whitewash.  It's hard to believe an attorney general with such close ties to police unions that the national chair of the FOP and Rudi Guliani campaigned for her Senate approval, will find much wrong with cops in Cleveland, Chicago or anywhere else "under investigation".

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