What does Saudi King Abdullah have to do with Boston's Local Mayor?

by Danny Haiphong

No matter how many heads the Saudi Arabian regime cuts off, its place in the U.S. imperial alliance remains secure. And, no matter how much Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh “gentrifies the city, militarizes the police, and impoverishes working class people, American exceptionalism gives his rule the benefit of being seen as a ‘lesser evil’ within the ‘civilized’ system of governance in the US.”

Arrogant Western Military Coordination and the New/Old Threat to Africa

by Mark P. Fancher

Euro-American imperialism is now prepared to use raw military force to once again dominate the African continent – with Washington and Paris taking the lead. “In recent years, threats to western economic hegemony in Africa by China, new African self-determination initiatives, terrorism and other developments have prompted western governments to return to Africa with their armies.”

American Sniper: Dirty Harry Goes Hunting

by Dr. T. P. Wilkinson

The director who made a mint from glorifying killer cops, two generations ago, cashes in once again on American racism and imperial pathology. “Is it accidental that a film about a white assassin hits the box offices on the weekend of Martin Luther King Day?”

Loretta Lynch's Shame: International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda

Ann Garrison's picture

by Ann Garrison

Brooklyn federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s choice for the next attorney general, took off a few years in early 2000s to serve as a prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda. Lynch is proud of strong-arming Hutu defendants for a tribunal that failed to indict a single Tutsi – despite the fact that Tutsi invaders won the war and more Hutus than Tutsis died in the bloodbath.

Black Agenda Radio, Feb 3, 2015

NYPD Creates Machine Gun-Toting Anti-Protest/Terror Unit

New York City police commissioner William Bratton announced formation of a 350-officer, machine gun-equipped Strategic Response Group unit to deal with Black Lives Matter protests as well as terror attacks. “That’s outrageous.” said Carl Messineo, legal director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a DC-based outfit that has won millions of dollars in damages against police departments that abuse protesters’ civil rights. “The police always conflate terrorism and protest.” The mayor needs to “disband this unit before it is put into place,” said Messineo. “This is a mission that is doomed to disaster.”

Ferguson Protest Leader Speaks on Holder’s Tricks and Oprah’s Insults

Taurean Russell, one of the leaders of Hands Up United, has been a key protest organizer since the day Officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown on a street in Ferguson, Missouri. Asked how Blacks in Ferguson reacted to word that Attorney General Eric Holder will not indict Wilson on civil rights charges, Russell said: “We really don’t care if the system brings charges or indicts him. The community has indicted him.” The protests “woke up a lot of people to the hypocrisy that is the system.” On media Tycoon Oprah Winfrey’s criticism, that young leaders of the new movement don’t know what they want, Russell said protesters’ demands have been widely circulated since August. “I assume that she has a billion distractions – literally,” he said.

Black Judas at the Justice Department

For months, the U.S. Justice Department has been telling selected media that there will be no federal civil rights indictment of former cop Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. The latest leak prompted whistleblower and BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo to author an article titled, “Eric Holder’s Final Betraying Kiss to the People of Ferguson.” “The symbolism is obviously the kiss between Judas and Christ,” said Coleman-Adebayo. In a sense, the leak liberates the Brown family from an eternity of waiting. “Trayvon Martin’s family has been waiting for three years,” she said. All the martyrs’ families “should know they’ll get the same response” from Holder’s Justice Department as Michael Brown’s family.

Marissa Alexander Out of Prison on House Arrest

After spending three years and 65 days in a Florida prison, Marissa Alexander has been placed under house arrest. The Black mother had faced as much as 60 years in prison for firing a shot to ward off her abusive husband. Her supporters convened a People’s Movement Assembly to welcome Alexander back to Jacksonville. “When we got rid of capitalism and the prison system, we also have to dismantle patriarchy,” said Aleta Alston-Toure, co-leader of the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign. “The National Rifle Association supports people having guns in their homes to protect themselves. But, why wasn’t Marissa in that equation? Because she’s a Black woman,” said Alston-Toure.

February 20 Event for Lynne Stewart and All Political Prisoners

On New Year’s Eve, 2013, people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart was released from federal prison on compassionate grounds, suffering from Stage Four cancer. “We are celebrating the year that Lynne has had out. The life expectancy was six months,” said her husband and lifelong comrade in struggle, Ralph Poynter. The celebration, at 6:pm on Friday, February 20, at St. Peter’s Church, 54th Street and Lexington Avenue, in Manhattan, will call for freedom for all political prisoners. “These are the people who gave their all, and we have to recognize them,” said Poynter. A new movement is afoot. But, how can young people be expected to put their liberty at risk, when the prisoners of two generations ago are still behind bars? “We cannot expect them to join in under those circumstances,” said Poynter. “So, let us do something about it, if we truly are a movement people.”

Three Arrested as Obama Tries to Ram Secret Trade Treaty Through Congress

Capitol Hill police charged three protesters with disrupting the Senate Finance Committee’s hearings on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a huge trade treaty that is being negotiated in secret. President Obama wants Congress to give him authority to sign the pact, sight unseen. “It’s going to strip jobs out of the country; it will lower wages and increase the wealth divide; it’s going to deregulate banking; it’s terrible for food and health and water – it’s just a monster,” said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance. He urged opponents to go to StopFastTrack.com to pressure their congresspersons.

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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

Changing the Guard in Black America

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It’s been so long since Black America has experienced a grassroots movement, most folks don’t have a clue how to measure its success. The Black Lives Matter campaign has already accomplished a fundamental task, despite the lack of indictment against Michael Brown’s killer. “The movement has unmasked Obama as the Oppressor-in-Chief and exposed the Black Misleadership Class as fawning accomplices to the dehumanization of the rest of us.”

Freedom Rider: Chris Kyle and Media Propaganda

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

America, the historical mass murder machine, remains unrepentant, as verified by the phenomenal box office success of American Sniper. The real life Iraq War psychopath, who died by another veteran’s bullet in 2013, was accorded hero status by reporters, “none of them asked hard questions about what he and our political leaders did to Iraqis.”

Insane U.S. Oil Glut Wars

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The world economy is falling into stagnation, putting downward pressures on gas and oil prices. So, what is the response of the United States, the world’s biggest energy producer? The Americans flood the globe with millions more barrels per day of unneeded oil, in order to break the backs of rivals Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The U.S. is playing chicken with the fate of humankind, betting that it is the most fit to survive the crash.

Holder’s Final Betraying Kiss to the People of Ferguson: The Wholesale Abandonment of Decency

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

Eric Holder’s Justice Department has definitively leaked that it will not indict the former Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown. That also means “the families of John Crawford III, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and all the other victims around the country must let go of any illusions that DOJ is in their corner.” Black America has reached the point of no return. “We now know what to expect from the Obama administration – nothing.”

Our Girls are Still Not Home: Boko Haram and the Politics of Death

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Nigeria’s neighbors have pledged military help in the fight against Boko Haram, which continues its offensive in the northeastern corner of the country. The civil war threatens to destabilize Africa’s most populous nation. Boko Haram certainly does engage in terror, but folks should not “ignore the social/economic conditions and religious ideological factors that still provide the foundation for Boko Haram’s recruitment and popular support.”

Mass Killings of Blacks by Cops: An Absence of Outrage

by Paul Street

After two generations of mass Black incarceration, hyper-surveillance and police militarization as national policy, a nascent movement has finally arisen to demand that Black Lives Matter. But most whites feel no compassion for the victims of state carnage in the ghetto. “Where is the outrage outside the Black community over such atrocious police killings of Black people in the US?”

Expanding on Selma and the Politics of Martin Luther King Jr.

by Danny Haiphong

“It should come as no surprise that Selma concluded by promoting King as a peaceful pacifist who led a movement that gave individual leaders like John Lewis a seat at the table of US imperialism.” At core, the screenplay must be viewed as Hollywood-scale historical revisionism. “Selma completely evades the existence of the Black liberation movement.”

The Decadent Veil: Black America's Wealth Illusion

by Antonio Moore

The constant flashing of Black celebrity wealth – much of it earned in sports, entertainment and media – “has allowed for a broad swath of America to become not just desensitized to black poverty, but also hypnotized by black celebrity.” But, the real Black economic condition ranges from bad to hopeless. “Thirty-five percent of Black households have Negative or No Net Worth. Another 15 percent have less than $6,000 in total household worth.”

Charlie Hebdo and the “Wild West”

by Dr. T P Wilkinson

Charlie Hebdo propagandists are sending a cowboys-and-Indians media message. “The image of the fanatical Muslim ‘Indians’ – on the warpath – attacking a tiny, helpless intellectual family in the Parisian prairie is pure fantasy cultivated by the mass media presentation of events.” The cartoonists may have been civilians, but they were hardly non-combatants.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/26/15

The $10 billion pledged by international donors for Haiti earthquake relief, five years ago, was “enough money to give every Haitian a check for $1,000,” said Jake Johnston, principal author of the Center for Economic and Policy Research report, “Haiti by the Numbers, Five Years Later.” Yet, 300,000 people are living on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince in appalling conditions, while “only 9,000 homes have been built by the international response.” Cholera, brought into the country by United Nations soldiers, is unchecked, and a U.S.-backed president rules largely by decree. Most American aid money was spent on U.S. firms, said Johnston. “Less than one percent of it went to Haitian organizations or Haitian government institutions.”

Newark to Get Cop Review Board

Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka unveiled a draft plan for the city’s first Citizens Complaint Review Board, last week. The proposed board would have the power to subpoena witnesses and recommend punishment of abusive officers. However, the police director could, under some circumstances, veto the board’s recommendations – a serious point of contention, according to Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress. “We’re going to need the most effective review board possible, in order to change police behavior,” said Hamm. “They see themselves as special, above the law, and above reproach. They don’t think citizens have the right to judge them.”

Charges Dropped Against Crusading Black Educator

Three years ago, Professor Jahi Issa was arrested while observing a student protest against the rapid “whitening” of Delaware State University, a nominally Black institution. A judge this month overrode prosecution objections and dismissed the misdemeanor resisting arrest charge. “My attorney wrote that the president of Delaware State and his chief of police need to go see Selma, the movie, because they neither understand nor respect history,” said Dr. Issa, who lost his job teaching history and Africana Studies. “If this is the new crop of HBCU leadership, then we are seriously in trouble.”

Mumia on MLK’s Ordeal

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was “hounded and tormented” by the United States government “until his dying day,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. The pressure increased after King’s 1967 Riverside Church speech in which he denounced the Vietnam War “and criticized capitalism.”

U.S. Constitution Legalizes Slavery

Another correspondent for Prison Radio, Kerry Shakaboona Marshall, who has served more than 25 years of a life sentence imposed when he was a juvenile, said the U.S. government has “perpetrated a fraud” on the public for the pat 150 years, with the claim that the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery. “While the 13th Amendment abolished the chattel labor form of slavery, it simultaneously legalized slavery as a punishment for a criminal offense conviction,” said Marshall. The result was “penal slavery, the prison slave labor system.”

Rev. Edward Pinkney Awaits Hearing in Prison

Benton Harbor, Michigan’s imprisoned community leader, Rev. Edward Pinkney, is “doing very well, they have not broken his spirit,” said his wife, Dorothy. Rev. Pinkney was sentenced to 2 ½ to 10 years in prison for an elections petition offense stemming from a campaign to recall the local mayor, an ally of the giant Whirlpool corporation, which dominates the mostly Black town. A hearing is scheduled for February 24 on two defense motions, including that one of the jurors was a close associate of the prosecution. Veteran activist Larry Pinkney – no family relation – is media contact for Rev. Pinkney. “He’s not getting his mail, they’ve moved him way up to Marquette, Michigan,” said Larry Pinkney. “But the brother is a warrior, he’s a fighter, he’s standing tall.”

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. Click here to download the show. Length: One hour.

State of the Union 2015: Lethal, Predatory, Delusional

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama says things are looking up for America – which is exactly how Wall Street sees it. For the seventh time, Obama assessed the state of the nation from the perspective of a “center-right presidency whose real accomplishment has been to re-inflate the Wall Street casino, flush the last vestiges of secure employment out of the economy, and put the imperial war machine back on the offensive.”

Freedom Rider: Jeffrey Sterling: A Black Man and the CIA

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Former New York Times reporter James Risen got most of the coverage in the Obama administration’s latest espionage trial, but the defendant is a Black man. Jeffrey Sterling is not guilty of espionage – none of the defendants in Obama’s cases are – but he is an accessory to the crimes of his former employer, the CIA. “ Sterling lay down with dogs and got up with fleas.

Selma: Black History According to Oprah

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Most Black folks are just grateful that there is finally a big box office movie about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But, of course, Selma is historical fiction, carefully crafted to make some people and ideas look good and wise, and others to appear petty, narrow or stupid. Who decides? The money-people, the producers, like Oprah Winfrey.

Not Charlie Hebdo: Why Anti Muslim “Jokes” Are Often War Propaganda

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Depicting pregnant Muslims as “Boko Haram sex slaves” howling for welfare checks, and the prophet Muhammad doing things you wouldn't want your own kids to see while drones and cops target innocent Muslims isn't simple satire. Asking, in this context, why “those backward Muslims” are so easily insulted, or can't or won't separate their religion from civic and political life is the worst kind of historical ignorance, bullying and chauvinism.

Kymone Freeman: #DC Ferguson, Poet, Playwright and Guerilla Artist

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

As prime mover at Washington DC’s independent We ACT Radio station, Kymone Freeman wrestles with the burning issues of Black life, daily. “How do we enforce demands? How do we escalate the calls for justice? How do we protect ourselves? Who are our allies? How do we force the police to share power with the community? How do we fund an organization truly committed to these values?” Being a poet helps, too.

Movement Ferguson, Beware the Nonprofit Industrial Complex

by Netfa Freeman

A recent, but deeply flawed, article on George Soro’s foundation’s support of some organizations involved in anti-police violence campaigns nevertheless raises important questions about movement dependency on “philanthropic” funding. “No one – particularly those of us working in the non-profit industry – can deny the influence funders have on what not-for-profit formations do or won’t do, what political positions they take or don’t take.”

Police Unions VS the Public, Torture and Mass Incarceration VS Restorative Justice

A radio interview by Chuck Mertz on This is Hell Radio.

Flint Taylor, co-founder of the Peoples Law Office in Chicago, who has represented the victims of police and political violence for 45 years explains the role of police unions, public defenders, the problems of supposedly progressive candidates who claim more cops will solve problems, and what restorative justice might look like.

Making Movements Matter

by Michelle Renee Matisons

People talk about building mass movements, but which “masses” do they actually intend to mobilize? It’s a difficult, but central, question for serious organizers. “How do we balance the particular (group identity) and the universal (broader agenda) tensions inherent in mass movement organizing?

What is the Real Reason Behind Obama’s New Cuba Policy?

by Pascal Robert

There’s nothing “enlightened” about President Obama shift in policy on Cuba. Growing U.S. isolation from Latin America has opened opportunities for Washington’s global rivals. Russia has proposed a raft of agreements with Cuba and other Latin countries, and “China has now strongly entered the Latin nations with its plan to build a canal through Nicaragua to rival the Panama Canal.”

Charlie Hebdo, the Free Press and Racism

by Sara Flounders

If France is a citadel of freedom of the press, then why does it ban demonstrations against Israel and in support of Palestinians? “Charlie Hebdo is protected because it hardens the population against Muslim people in order to divide the population.” For its service to French imperialism, the government awarded Charlie Hebdo a million euros. But, non-white lives count for nothing in France.

Another Round of Imperial Lies on Kagame’s Crimes in Rwanda

by Christopher Black

There is no shortage of imperial operatives eager to defend Paul Kagame’s dictatorial Tutsi regime in Rwanda. Kagame’s role in the Rwandan slaughter and the Congo genocide that followed is thoroughly documented in the book, Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later. But facts mean nothing to Kagame apologist Alex Obote-Odora, whose arguments are shredded by the author.

The Moment of Truth: African Americans’ Nonsensical  Support for Barack Obama

by Solomon Comissiong 

After January, 2017, “the delusional fantasy will be over for most African/black people in this country.” What will Black folks have to show for their near-absolute loyalty to Barack Obama? Nothing more than, maybe, a historically revisionist t-shirt “with Obama’s face wedged in between Malcolm X and MLK.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/19/15

MLK Would be “Shutting It Down”

If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were alive, he would have joined in the 96-hour direct action and civil disobedience campaign coordinated by the ONYX Organizing Committee, in Oakland, California, this past weekend, according to activist Cat Brooks. “He’d be shutting it down” at federal buildings and taking over freeways,” said Brooks. “As in the later part of his life, he’d be connecting, loudly, the bloody dots of capitalism and gentrification with the systematic oppression and violence against Black and brown people in the cities.”

Man Who Recorded Eric Garner’s Death Has Court Date

Ramsey Orta, the Staten Island, New York, man who videotaped Eric Garner’s death by chokehold at the hands of a cop, appears in court January 25 on weapons charges. Orta maintains police set him up in retaliation. His lawyer, Alton Maddox, said “It’s time for a reawakening of the people in New York City as to how grand juries should be employed.” As it stands, prosecutors use grand juries as an excuse NOT to indict cops, said Maddox, whose license to practice law was revoked in 1990, in the wake of the Tawana Brawley case.

French Celebrate White Supremacy and Racist Values

“’Je Suis Charlie’ has become an arrogant rallying cry for white supremacy,” wrote Ajamu Baraka, editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report and co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. The French “values” that are supposedly under attack are, in reality, “grounded in a colonial division between people who are recognized as humans, and those who have been consigned to the category of sub-humans and are eligible to be murdered, to have their lands taken, to be enslaved,” said Baraka. “Those are the values that many of those people who embraced ‘Je Suis Charle’ were, in fact, upholding.”

Right On! to Franz Fanon on His 90th Birthday

Dr. Lewis Gordon, professor of philosophy and African American Studies at the University of Connecticut, spoke at the Pan-African Bazara, in Nairobi, Kenya, on the 90th birthday of Franz Fanon, the psychiatrist from Martinique who fought alongside the Algerians against French colonialism and wrote The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks. Fanon taught that “every group has to understand that it has the responsibility to set the conditions for its own freedom and emancipation,” said Dr. Gordon. “He argues that it is not enough to fight for material change; you need also to set the conditions for very new concepts” of human existence. Fanon died of leukemia in 1961.

Black Colombian Women Defend Ancestral Land Rights

Illegal gold mining operations are poisoning the environment and infringing on the land rights of African-descended people in Colombia, South America. Charo Mina-Rojas, an organizer of women’s resistance to the incursions, said local authorities are collaborating with the mechanized mining operators. “They are armed, but we have to expose ourselves to make sure that these people understand that these are our territories, we have rights there, and we are ready to protect them by all means necessary,” said Mina-Rojas.

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. Click here to download this show.

Freedom Rider: Charlie Hebdo: “Je Suis White People"

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Millions of citizens of one of the bloodiest empires known to man – the French colonial state – this weekend pretended to be the most enlightened, yet maligned, people on earth. “The convenient selective amnesia of the French people is as stunning as their sense of feeling more aggrieved than anyone else in the world.” Tell that to the Haitians, Libyans, Algerians, Vietnamese and the peoples still dominated by France in sub-Saharan African.


Subscribe to Black Agenda Report  RSS