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Why Elections Still Matter, Except When They Don't

 

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Martin Luther King once talked about how a black person in the south was unable to vote, while one in the north had nothing to vote for.  50 years later, the south as become the north too.  The two capitalist parties have gamed and subverted the electoral process to exclude real opposition and to make it meaningless, except for bestowing legitimacy upon their stooges.  So why and when to elections still matter for the left, and when not?

Freedom Rider: Democratic Blame for SCOTUS Rulings

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

With corporations firmly in control of the electoral process, and the federal judiciary packed with right-wing judges, all three branches of government are in hostile hands. “Americans are fighting for their lives against corporate greed, white supremacy and misogyny because they are at the mercy of the two conservative political parties which control this country.”

At the Core of the U.S. Supreme Court, A Cabal of Corporate Hit Men

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S. Supreme Court’s concept of corporate “personhood” apparently means that corporate religious rights – corporate gods – trump “the religious or secular beliefs of working people – specifically, working women.”

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What is July 4th to US imperialism? What is it to the Oppressed?

by Danny Haiphong

What does America’s national celebration mean to those under the heel of “Manifest Destiny,” at home and abroad? “For the victims of US imperialism, the 4th of July is indeed a ‘hollow mockery’ and ‘mere bombast, fraud, and deception’ as Frederick Douglass so eloquently put it in his famous speech.”

Sixty Five Million Left Out of July 4 Celebration

by Bill Quigley

America’s incarcerated, homeless, poor – including four million subsisting on less than $2 a day – undocumented migrants and dispossessed aboriginal peoples are excluded from the “patriotic” festivities.

"The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro"

by Frederick Douglass

The great abolitionist Frederick Douglass “spoke truth to Power” most unforgettably on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York. “There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Save the Internet! July 8 Atlanta Town Hall Meeting

Click here to download the flyer for this event, Find the Facebook event here.

Second-Generation African-Canadian Youth: Setting a Research Agenda

by Rita Nketiah

African youth experience Canada differently than their immigrant parents, who “often express a desire to counteract the perceived ‘negative influence of African-American popular culture.’” Such youth possess multiple ethnic and racial labels to identify themselves while facing discrimination in Canada.”

MSNBC 2016

by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

What happens when political seasons change on the plantation?

Skin-game

by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

No-win game, leading bassackwards to “Thom-Ass Clarence...Temples of Afrocentric Professors” and “Pinocchio politicians.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/30/14

 

Detroit Financial Dictator Uses Water as Weapon

The water cut-offs that could soon affect 30,000 Detroit households are “an effort on the part of the Emergency Financial Manager to intimidate people, to drive even more people out of the city – but, moreover, it is aimed at privatizing and breaking up the Detroit Water and Sewage Department,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, an organizer for the Moratorium Now Coalition and editor of the Pan African News Wire. A United Nations panel of experts called the shut-offs “an affront to human rights.”

Empower the Urban Renting Majority

A new report on housing calls for a change in government policies that favor homeowners over renters. Titled “Renter Nation: Solutions to the Housing Affordability Crisis,” the report outlines “models of cooperative housing that allow for people to build wealth and also maintain an investment in the community they live in, and to maintain the housing that they live in as affordable for the people who come after them,” said Rachel LeForest, executive director of the Right to the City Alliance.

Socialist Takes on Washington State Speaker of House

“What’s lacking in state houses across the country are unambiguous fighters for working people and others who are disenfranchised,” said Jess Spear, the Socialist Alternative candidate for Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp’s seat. In 2012, Chopp won 70 percent of the vote against Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant, who went on to win a seat on the Seattle City Council and passage of a $15 an hour municipal minimum wage. Spear said Chopp has failed to move a $12 an hour state minimum wage out of committee. “It really exposes him and the rest of the Democratic Party as just grandstanding and paying lip service to what working people need and deserve,” she said.

Mass Conspiracy Charges in Harlem

Residents of two Harlem housing projects remain outraged over a 400-officer police raid that resulted in attempted murder, weapons and conspiracy charges against more than 100 young people. “They’re charging everybody with the crimes of a couple of people. It’s like you’re guilty by association,” said Angela Dunmore, at a press conference called by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. New York City authorities “feel threatened by two or more Black men together – and that is not fair.”

H. Rap Brown/Jamil al-Amin Seriously Ill in Super-Max

The former chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Minister of Justice of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, and revolutionary icon formerly known as H. Rap Brown, is seriously ill with a gum infection that has spread through his body. Jamil al-Amin’s “outspoken defense of self-defense earned him the eternal enmity of the government,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. Al-Amin is serving a life sentence at the federal super-max prison in Florence, Colorado, in the shooting of two Atlanta policemen.

Why “Freedom Summer” Activists Chose Voter Registration over Direct Action

Fifty years ago, organizers with SNCC and other civil rights organizations brought 1,000 mostly white students to Mississippi to assist in registering Black voters. On The Real News Network, former SNCC field director Bob Moses told host Paul Jay that activists considered mounting a direct action civil disobedience campaign instead of voter registration. “They were faced with whether they wanted to do the Nelson Mandela,” said Moses. “If they were going to do direct action, then they’ve got to stay in jail for a long time.”

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Serial School Privatizer "Chainsaw Paul" Vallas Gets Ready For His Next Job

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Neoliberalism holds that all human interactions should to be disciplined and mediated by the market. Paul Vallas is the nation's neoliberal chainsaw man on public education. After savaging public education in Chicago, Philly, New Orleans and Bridgeport, he has been summoned home to Illinois by the Democrat governor as his running mate.

Freedom Rider: Detroit and Iraq

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Race to the Bottom under global, militarized capitalism creates communities of shared misery. Increasingly, it is almost as dangerous to be inside U.S. borders as on the outside. “Iraq was invaded with soldiers, guns and bombs. Detroit was invaded by the corporate ‘suits’ who made a fast buck for themselves.” Both are plundered by the same bandits.

White Supremacy and the Central Park 5

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Although New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has OK’d a $40 million settlement with the Central Park 5, who were wrongfully imprisoned for brutal rape, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg insists the police acted in “good faith.” “In a sane, non-racist society, the fact that five innocent children had been made to confess to a horrible crime that they did not commit would be viewed as a prima facie case of police misconduct.”

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What Black Lobbyists & CBC Members Mean When They Say “We Are Not A Monolith”

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

When I hear the word monolith I think of the mumbling, floating slab of rock left behind by ancient extra terrestrials in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Are black lobbyists & CBC members being mistaken for alien artifacts? If not, what does “we are not a monolith” mean in the mouths of black faces in high places?

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