Black August

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

August is a month to assess and build upon the legacy of Black people’s resistance to the armed repression of the U.S. state and its agents. The author, the nation’s best known political prisoner, wrote this article August 4, 1993.

Is This the Beginning of the End for the Private Prison Industry?

by James Kilgore

The Obama administration’s announcement that it would phase out private federal prisons is symbolically important, but will affect only a small slice of the nation’s huge incarcerated population. “Bodies will simply be relocated to existing federal prisons.” The biggest impact of private prisons is in state systems, especially immigrant detention centers, which are 62 percent private.

Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers: Race and Class Gap Widening

by Bill Quigley 

When much of Black New Orleans was forced out of town in the wake of Katrina, the powers-that-be welcomed the opportunity to make the purge permanent. Today, “there are 95,625 fewer African Americans living in New Orleans now than in the 2000 Census.” The state of Louisiana “continues to rank dead last in poverty, racial disparities and exclusion of immigrants.” 

Black Agenda Report for Week of August 22, 2016

Presidential Pollsters Ask the Wrong Question

“There’s no major poll that I know of that asks the American public who they want to be president,” said journalist and VotePact founder Sam Husseini. Instead, the five polling outfits whose surveys are used to determine if candidates have enough support to appear in televised debates ask, “If the election were held today, who would you vote for?” Husseini believes “there are probably millions of people who would want to vote for third parties,” but plan to pull the lever for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump as “a tactical maneuver.” Theoretically -- especially with Clinton and Trump rated unfavorably by majorities of Americans -- “we could have majority appeal for third party candidates right now, but we would never know it because nobody’s” asking the right question.

Clintonites Play Foul Against Greens

Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka said so-called “liberal” Clinton supporters “are trying to undermine the moral authority that we have as a campaign that stands up for the working class in this country to advance principles that transcend the limitations of liberalism; to talk about a new kind of democracy and an economic liberation that goes beyond the limitations of capitalism.” Baraka, a veteran human rights activist and editor at Black Agenda Report, said the Clintonites slime the Greens as part of the ‘loony left’ to “try to undermine this oppositional moment.”

Black Is Back Coalition Stresses Centrality of Self-Determination

For decades, the conversation around Black liberation in the United States has been missing the critical element of self-determination, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The movement that emerged in Ferguson in 2014 “wasn’t about body cameras, and it wasn’t about police-community review boards. We criticized those who could not even make a demand on the system,” Yeshitela told a gathering of the coalition, in Philadelphia. The coalition approved a list of 19 demands as the basis for a Black Agenda for Self Determination, to be submitted to the annual Black Is Back national conference in Washington, November 5 and 6.

Ralph Poynter, the veteran activist and husband of people’s lawyer and former political prisoner Lynne Stewart, assumed the chairmanship of the coalition’s Political Prisoners Working Group. “The modern death penalty -- 80 percent Black -- moved lynching indoors,” said Poynter. “The police, as the army of occupation, have taken lynching outside, again. The lynch mob is the racist system, including the courts and the media.”

Detroit Schools Activists Win Court Battle

A Michigan judge excoriated the state-run Detroit school district for attempting to bar Steve Conn and Nicole Conaway from advocating teacher strikes against the privatization and forced deterioration of the public schools. The district’s request for an injunction against Conn, a former president of the local teachers union, and Conaway, of By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), was “offensive to free speech,” said the judge. “We’re certainly going to urge more protests to defeat the governor for destroying our schools,” said Conn.

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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Why Ajamu Baraka? Why Vice President? And Why the Green Party?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

What does the Green Party nomination of longtime Black Agenda Report contributing editor Ajamu Baraka for Vice President mean for the Green Party and the 2016 presidential election?  Is he just a black face on the ticket, or is it really time to begin organizing in black and brown communities outside the matrix of the bankrupt black and brown misleadership class? 

Yes, Obama and Clinton Created ISIS – Too Bad Trump Can’t Explain How It Happened

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Clinton supporters rejected out of hand Donald Trump’s charge that she and Barack Obama “created” the Islamic State -- and even Trump seemed to retreat from his statement. But, a solid case can be made that Obama and Clinton were, indeed, the "most valuable players" in spawining ISIS. Moreover, it is an historical fact that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia created the international jihadist network from which al Qaida and ISIS sprang, almost four decades ago.

Freedom Rider: Liberal Hate for Stein and Baraka

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

So-called liberals and “progressives” have caught the Mad Democratic Cow Disease, frothing at the mouth at those who would resist the coronation of the corporate warmonger, Hillary Clinton. They flail with McCarthyite fury at both Donald Trump and the Green Party presidential ticket of Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. “Liberals are now quite deranged and applaud a woman who will crush their feeble agenda as soon as she says the oath of office.”

Blacks to Arrive at Promised Land in Year 2244

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Yet another study looks deep into the future and still cannot detect any hope that Black Americans will ever catch up to whites in household wealth. Barring a revolution, racial economic parity cannot possibly occur before all of us and our grandchildren are long dead. It would cost the equivalent of the total U.S. defense budget for the next 27 years for Blacks to reach parity with whites by 2043.


The Obama Legacy Part VII: The Deporter in Chief

by Danny Haiphong

Donald Trumps racist rants against immigrants have overshadowed the fact that “more undocumented immigrants have been deported under Obama's rule than any other in history” -- and that Hillary Clinton “has championed militarization and the deportation of Central American children alongside Obama.” The Obama administration laid the groundwork for Donald Trump’s immigrant-mania “by escalating the US government's war on the undocumented.”

Rebellion in Milwaukee – The Worst City in the Country to be a Black Man

BAR executive Glen Ford on The Real News Network

No one should be surprised at the furious community response to the shooting death of a young Black man by Milwaukee police, this weekend. Glen Ford reports that Wisconsin has the highest Black male incarceration rate in the country, and Milwaukee expels Black high school students at the highest rate of any city in the country.

Operation Kool-Aid: 2yr Long PSYOP AKA $campaigns & $elections…

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

In the long presidential campaign, a racist clown can run a war criminal can win. With eighty-some days till election day our poet in residence surveys the electoral landscape.

Arresting Development: The State Targets Activists to Derail a Movement

by Bakari Kitwana

The movement against police terror is spawning another generation of political prisoners, many of them virtually unknown and without organizational support. “Unknown numbers of people have slipped through the cracks and are still sitting in jail” in Ferguson, Baltimore and other cities. “Local police are using arrests and felony charges to contain a resistance movement pushing to disarm, defund and abolish their departments.”

TV Networks Should Open Up The Presidential Debates

by Jeff Cohen

The two-party duopoly not only have a stranglehold on the voting process, they control the televised debates that dominate the political conversation, despite the fact that only the barest majority of Americans are Democrats or Republicans. The TV networks should include all four national party candidates -- Clinton, Trump, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein -- in debates controlled by journalists, not the duopoly parties.

Snakes Alive! The ANC is on a Slippery Slope

by Ronnie Kasrils

The unpalatable reality the ANC needs to confront, if it is to mend itself -- and there are those who maintain the rot is too far gone -- is that the strategic initiative which it had in abundance in 1994 has passed to the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Politics of Fear: The Crisis in Ethiopia and the Role of the International Community

by Fikrejesus Amahazion

A massive government crackdown on protestors and dissidents is underway in Ethiopia, but the international community has turned a blind eye to this reign of terror. The first, and possibly most far-reaching and effective, response by the international community should be to openly condemn the regime in Addis Ababa and withdraw the unwavering support for the repressive government.

Black Agenda Report for Week of August 15, 2016

Greens are Alternative to “Democratic Plantation”

Ajamu Baraka, the veteran Black activist tapped as Jill Stein’s presidential running mate, said the Green Party can make a difference, this year, by “building an alternative to the Democratic plantation” and “transcending the politics of fear.” Baraka is a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network and an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “With the continued deterioration of the democratic processes, and of this economy, and the clear tendency on the part of the state to repress political opposition, our time is limited in terms of the extent we can take advantage of the limited democratic space that does exist,” said Baraka.

Neither Trump Nor Clinton Can Resolve Crisis

Although both major party candidates acknowledge that the economy is benefiting only the One Percent, the difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton lies in how they “identify the source of the problem,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Duboisian scholar and Black Radical Organizing Committee activist from Philadelphia. “Clinton says that the policies of financialization, of Wall Street privilege, of trade deals like NAFTA and TPP, are not fundamentally wrong – that we should tweet them, not change them,” said Dr. Monteiro. “Trump, in essence, argues that the problem of the American economy is grounded in the export of capital, and that this is the source of the impoverishment of the American working class.” Monteiro believes “Trump’s stating of the problem is far more accurate than Clinton’s,” but neither of them “provide a solution to the problem.”

Roots of Black Movement for Self-Defense

Black scholars and activists came together, in Detroit, to celebrate the life of Robert F. Williams, the former NAACP leader in Monroe, North Carolina, who in the 1950s formed a Black Armed Guard to defend Black people from racist violence. Among the speakers was Dr. Akinyele Umoja, chair of the African American Studies Department at Georgia State University and author of the book We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement. “There were already people in the South practicing armed self-defense,” said Dr. Umoja. “The thing that distinguishes Williams is that he was an advocate. Most people were quite” members of informal protective networks, but Williams advocated self-defense in his newspaper, The Crusader, and “people began to look at the movement he and others were talking about.”

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.

Hillary Stuffs Entire U.S. Ruling Class Into Her Big, Nasty Tent

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

While Democrats scream “fascist” at Donald Trump, actual fascists with real histories of mass murder at home and abroad gather in Hillary Clinton’s “Big Tent” Democratic Party. The melding of GOP and Democratic fat cats is “the most dramatic effect of the breakdown of the duopoly system set off by Donald Trump’s white nationalist, anti-‘free’ trade revolt.” Blacks and progressives will be shocked to find themselves at the margins of Hillary’s tent.

Freedom Rider: Police State Fascism

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Black people live under a fascist system, whether the occupant of the White House is a “fascist” or not. For Blacks, the “rule of law” does not exist. “It matters not whether a victim complies, or has hands up, or is armed, or is unarmed, or opens a door, or speaks, or doesn’t, or flees, or stays put, or does or doesn’t resist arrest.” None of the supposedly “non-fascist” politicians will “dare lay a finger on the modern day slave system.”

NAACP and Movement for Black Lives Call for Moratorium on Charter Schools

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“The NAACP and the Movement for Black Lives are both on the same page when it comes to charter schools.” Both organizations called for a halt to the spread of charter schools, with the NAACP charging that charters are “as destructive to poor communities as predatory lending practices by banks.” The Movement for Black Lives demands an end to President Obama’s Race to the Top program, which coerces states to allow more charters.


The Obama Legacy Part VI: The Destruction of Libya and the US military Invasion of Africa by Danny Haiphong

by Danny Haiphong

In his two terms in office, President Obama has put nearly the whole of Africa under U.S. military sway. He was the first U.S. president to bomb an African country -- Libya, whose “nationalized oil reserves and plans to use gold as the chief reserve currency in Africa threatened US capitalist penetration in Africa.” Obama rewrote international law, invoking “Responsibility to Protect” as “justification for the destruction of sovereign nations.”


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