Black Agenda Radio for Week of April 25, 2016

Charter Schools: Bad for Education

“On the whole, charter schools do not perform better than public schools, even though public school are being defunded and demonized all the time,” said Dr. Shawgi Tell, professor of education at Nazareth College, Rochester, New York, and author of Charter School Report Card. Whether test scores improve or not, charter schools are bad schooling policy because “they represent privatization and marketization of education.”

Youth Incarceration Down, But Racial Disparities Increase

In the past decade, overall rates of youth incarceration have been cut in half, but disparity in Black youth incarceration has gone up by 15 percent, according to Josh Rovner, of The Sentencing Project. Rovner is an author of the new report, “Racial Disparities in Youth Arrests and Commitments.” He said young people are committing less crime. “There’s fewer kids being driven into the system in the first place,” said Rovner. However, Black teenagers are still more likely to be detained, prosecuted and committed to juvenile facilities than whites.

Million Student March Against Massive Debt

“Just last year, a million students defaulted on their student loan payments,” said Darletta Scruggs, an activist with the Million Students March and a member of the Socialist Alternative Party. “You can’t file bankruptcy on it, and our government will start garnishing your wages after a certain time. There are people whose Social Security checks are being garnished because of past student debt,” said Scruggs, speaking to host Solomon Comissiong, of Your World Report.

Global Rich Play “Shell Games” with Wealth

The now infamous “Panama Papers” revealed how elites from around the world hide their money in offshore tax havens. Americans were conspicuous by their relative absence because the U.S. provides lots of hiding places for ill-gotten gains. “The United States is a tax haven for global wealth,” said Chuck Collins, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of the article, “Panama Papers Expose the Hidden Wealth of the World’s Super-Rich.” Said Collins: “If you’re a small business in the U.S. and you have to compete against a global company that’s playing these shell games, and you’re paying your fair share of taxes and they’re not, that’s an unlevel playing field.”

Hillary’s Conspiracies Against Democracy in the Americas

Back in 2009, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “pretended it wasn’t a coup” when the Honduran military overthrew the country’s elected president, said Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Clinton’s charade “helped the coup government dictatorship consolidate itself.” The U.S. has encouraged the “silent coup” in Brazil, where corporatist lawmakers are trying to impeach the left-wing  president. “We know that the United States has always wanted to get rid of the left governments” in the region, said Weisbrot.

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The Sandernista Journey: An Epic Confrontation with Corporate Power, or a Slow Fade

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Will Bernie Sanders’ supporters “collapse from demoralization, or resolve to confront the corporate beast with ferocity” in Philadelphia and beyond? The real battle of 2016 is about the duopoly, which tells Blacks there is “no contradiction in being in the same party as the former president who put more Blacks in prison than any other,” and urges staunch unionists to support the clique that has exported their jobs. Sanders and Trump are mere players in the larger drama.

Will Bernie's Burnout Lead To A New Movement? Maybe, Maybe Not.

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

Will there be a new movement born from the ashes of Bernie Sanders' failed campaign? Some think so, citing the broad popularity of his issues and the growing numbers of his core demographic. But few of those imagining new political formations outside the two capitalist parties talk much about how such movements and parties will be financed or led.

 
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Freedom Rider: Not Feeling the Bern

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democratic Party liberals that have rallied around Bernie Sanders see awesome meaning and world-shaking significance in their champion’s most mundane actions and mealy-mouth statements. It’s easy to root for anyone that runs against Clinton, one of America’s least-liked personalities. “Her presence creates mass revulsion, and first Obama and now Sanders moved up in voter preference when given an opportunity to make a case before the public.”

There’s Only One Cure for Chicago Police Lawlessness: Black Community Control

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel thinks he can squelch Black rage against the police by appointing a Black cop as superintendent. But the new top cop climbed the ranks of a force that has “no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.” He’s part of the problem, not the solution. Young activists demand nothing less than community control of the police.

 
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Was Libya a Mistake or a Planned Imperialist Catastrophe?

by Danny Haiphong

The U.S.-led regime change in Libya failed to create a new regime, but did succeed in killing thousands of people and destroying the economy and infrastructure of Africa’s most prosperous society. “Imperialism’s Libya debacle ignited chaos throughout the region that it can no longer control.” Obama’s “mistake” was his failure to harness the events he set in motion. “Obama wasn't regretful because it happened, but because he got caught.”

Libya: Hillary’s War, the Empire’s Mistake

by Farooque Chowdhury

There is no question that Hillary Clinton was the main culprit in the destruction of Libya. However, it was the Empire’s war, not Hillary’s. She was simply the chief instigator in the Obama regime. One can also identify the Libya aggression as a part of Obama’s Africa War, which has claimed millions of lives. Obama blames his allies and his advisors, but the Libya disaster shows the Empire – while still horribly lethal – is in a state of decay.

Hundreds Arrested in Washington’s “Democracy Spring”

by Chris Hedges

The corporate media has staged a blackout of massive protests against the rule of the rich, involving “the largest number of arrests at the Capitol in decades” – just one more example that the nation is in the grips of a “corporate coup d’état.” This “Democracy Spring” sets the stage for a summer of popular discontent. “It is imperative to protest in Cleveland and Philadelphia during the Republican and Democratic conventions later this year.”

Denying Discrimination: Clintonian Political Calculus and the Culture of Hooey

by Linn Washington Jr.

Bill Clinton has been talking B.S. – “hooey” – about race his entire career. At every political juncture, from his days as governor of Arkansas through his two terms as president and including his more recent “apologies” for his mass Black incarceration policies, “Slick Willie” has ignored pleas for criminal justice reform.

Can Cuban Medicine Help Solve American Inequality?

by Sam Loewenberg and Allison Shelley

Cuba, despite its poverty, has achieved its goal of becoming a medical superpower and a model for the world to follow. To date, 134 U.S. citizens have graduated from Cuban medical schools, with 50 more currently in residency.  They get a free, humanitarian education. As one said: “Here, students learn to be both a doctor of science and a doctor of conscience.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of April 18, 2016

Elections are a “Distraction” – Take it to the Streets

A spokesperson for the group that confronted Bill Clinton on his mass Black incarceration and anti-welfare policies, provoking a 13-minute tirade by the former president, said Bernie Sanders’ campaign is “another distraction, another cop-out from getting in the streets to demand justice.” Megan Malachi, of the Philly Coalition for Racial, Economic and Legal (REAL) Justice, told BAR: “As a coalition, we will not and have not endorsed any candidates, because we believe that electoral politics will not liberate the Black and poor communities. But, we definitely want to take the politicians to task for constantly and consistently betraying the aspirations of poor people.”

“Renounce and Reject” the Black Misleadership Class

Pennsylvania holds its primary election on April 26. Veteran activist and scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro, a co-founder of the Philadelphia-based Black Radical Organizing Committee (BROC), calls it a contest between “Hillary Clinton versus the people.” Monteiro is “convinced that Black people in Philadelphia will express their opposition, not only to Hillary and her corporate 1% backers and her war plans, but they will renounce and reject the Black Misleadership Class.”

Coalition Will Craft a National Black Agenda

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations “intends to move our general struggle forward by initiating an independent Black agenda for self-determination,” said chairman Omali Yeshitela, speaking at a Coalition conference in New York’s Harlem. The process will “culminate with our traditional November rally, march on the White House and national conference, where we will unveil our own agenda, created independent of the participation and wishes of either of the bourgeois political parties.”

One of the Coalition’s principal demands is Black community control of the police. “There has clearly been an intensification of oppression of African people since the Ferguson rebellion, and since Baltimore,” said Diop Olugbala, of the African People’s Socialist Party, a coalition member organization. “Marching, demonstrating, protesting is extremely important,” but not “if it is separated from strategic goals and demands.”

Nellie Bailey, longtime tenants activist and co-host of Black Agenda Radio, told the conference that “housing activists are engaged in class warfare with finance capital for living space. We have to build a national movement that is a broad tent, that will bring in progressive forces” that can unite around principles of unity.

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Bill Clinton Insults Blacks in Order to Build Hillary’s “Big Tent” Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Bill Clinton’s premeditated assault on Black Lives Matter was part of the strategy to woo White Republican voters to his wife’s “big tent” campaign, in November. Bill jumped the gun, itchy for the Democrats to make their classic rightward shift. He and Hillary share the same political brain. “At some point in the campaign, she was bound to stage a dramatic display of ‘independence’ from Black Lives Matter – or have her husband do it.”

Bernie Sanders Has His Plan B. What's Yours?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

With a crushing Clinton lead in super-delegates it will take a string of miracles for Bernie Sanders to win the Democratic nomination.  Little children and true believers relying on miracles don't need a Plan B, but Sanders has one.  If he doesn't win the nomination, Bernie has pledged to back the right wing Democrat Hillary Clinton. For those grownups still feeling the Bern, it's time to ask the question. What's YOUR Plan B?

Freedom Rider: Barack, Hillary and the Libya Crime

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

It took two warmongering politicians to unleash the “shit storm” that the U.S. created in Libya: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Yet, Clinton, the number two player in the aggression, takes all the weight, while Obama acts as if he was nowhere near the scene of the war crime. Obama takes no responsibility for the terror he has loosed on Africa. “Boko Haram’s strength and ability to terrorize Nigerians is the direct result of the Libyan crime.”

COINTELPRO Alive and Well in Los Angeles

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The rulers of the United States – especially the ones that call themselves Democrats – pretend they are seeking an accommodation with the grassroots movement against police terror. In reality, the State “is intent on breaking the back of the movement” through selective arrests and prosecutions, dirty tricks, disruptions, hyper-surveillance, the mapping of activist social networks and “gathering evidence for conspiracy charges in the future.”

 
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Why Self-Defense Must be Put Back into the Movement Equation

by Danny Haiphong

All peoples have the inherent right to self-defense against the violence of their oppressors. “From the first African slave rebellion in the colonies to the formation of the Black Panther Party, self-defense has been an essential component of the struggle for self-determination.” The Panthers represented a threat to the U.S. state because they exposed the violence that is built into the capitalist system.

O.J.’s Journey From Super Nigger to Bad Nigger

by Mark P. Fancher

In hindsight, the OJ Simpson trial – the real one, not the flurry of recent documentaries – marked a watershed for White America and its privileges. It was a time when a wealthy former super nigger with a “smooth-talking” Black lawyer won acquittal in the death of two whites over the near-unanimous objections of white people, nationwide.  “The unthinkable occurred when a bunch of bad niggers on a jury let a bad nigger go free.”

No Lawyers? No Jail. Judge Demands Constitution Be Respected in Louisiana Public Defender Catastrophe

by Bill Quigley 

The state that incarcerates more people per capita than any other is in blatant violation of the Constitution for failing to provide defendants with an adequate – or any – legal defense. So says a (Black) New Orleans judge, who has ordered the release of defendants that have been denied their right to a lawyer. However, Louisiana seems unrepentant. The state Public Defender’s office is targeted for an additional 66 percent funding cut in a few months.

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