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    18 Days: Still shaking the world… 

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    You’re the ones we’ve been waiting for—

    Fiery deeds thawing souls on ice, awakening wise 

    Old revolutionaries, political prisoners, smooth-

    Skinned activists, looking, listening, cheering and

    Studying solidarity

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/14/14

    Global Capitalist Champion Barack ‘Insane’ Obama

    “If African people are going to be free, it’s going to be because we’ve made a revolution,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), at its headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida. The APSP kicked off a month-long period of intensive study for party cadre from around the Diaspora. “Finance capital presides over a world economy where 80 percent of human beings on Earth are trying to exist on far less than ten U.S. dollars a day,” said Yeshitela. “This is the relationship that Barack Hussein Obama – we ought to call him Barack ‘Insane’ Obama – is protecting” with his drone strikes, military aggressions and sanctions campaigns.

    Marissa Alexander Supporters to Hold “Stand Our Ground Week”

    Supporters of Marissa Alexander, the Black mother sentenced to a long prison term for using a firearm to warn off an attack by her estranged husband, will hold a “Stand Our Ground Week” in Jacksonville, Florida, July 25 through August 1. Alisa Bierria, one of the organizers, said the issues at stake go beyond the injustice done to one Black woman. “Her case reflects many different kinds of urgent issues,” she said, “including the need to end domestic violence and to take a serious look at the impact of mass incarceration and mandatory minimums in Black communities.”

    Beyond Innocence: Excessive Sentencing

    The Beyond Innocence Project – not to be confused with Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project – is a national coalition of family members of imprisoned people. Organizer Carolyn Esparza, in El Paso, Texas, said the group’s main concern isn’t guilt or innocence, but sentences that far outweigh the crime. “Families are frightened to speak out,” said Esparza, “because when we speak out against the system there’s retaliation against our loved ones in prison.

    Millions Press for Internet Neutrality

    “It’s the plutocrats versus the people,” said Kevin Zeese, of Popular Resistance, assessing the battle to keep the Federal Communications Commission from turning the Internet over to huge corporations. Millions of people have registered their outrage and demanded that the FCC treat the Internet as a “common carrier,” like a public utility. “We have to get mobilized in the streets and show them that we’re going to stop government if they destroy the Internet,” said Zeese.

    Mumia: Palestinian “David” versus Israeli Goliath

    The story of David and Goliath depicted the biblical Jews as underdogs, but the opposite is true in today’s Middle East, said Mumia Abu Jamal, America’s best known political prisoner. “Israel has the most powerful military in the region, and Palestine – an occupied people, a captive people – is David,” said Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. “David has little more than a stone and a prayer.”

    Obama Lets Mass Killers of Africans Off Hook

    The Obama administration claims it will sanction all those guilty of destabilizing the Democratic Republic of Congo, where at least six million people have died since 1996. However, Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of Congo, said the administration is only going after “small time players” and giving immunity to high officials of Rwanda and Uganda, the U.S. allies most culpable in the slaughter. Obama’s Africa policy, said Musavuli, “is even worse than the Republicans, bringing AFRICOM onto the continent, supporting ‘strong men’ and inviting dictators to the White House.”

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    Political Prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin in Declining Health, Urgently Needs Medical Care

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Politcal prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin was one of the leading lights of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960s rural Alabama. Wrongfully accused and falsely convicted of murder in the shooting of two Atlanta deputies, he has been buried alive in the hellhole solitary supermax prison of Florence CO the last dozen years. Though his spirits remain high, he is 70 and in declining health, and urgently needs moving to a medical facility for appropriate care.

    Freedom Rider: Who Prosecutes the Prosecutors?

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    There are many tens of thousands of prisoners unjustly serving sentences “twice as long as any of the Central Park Five victims.” Mass Black incarceration is inseparable from official and societal corruption. Cops and, especially, prosecutors “are never charged when they suborn perjury, falsify evidence, threaten witnesses and use the power of the state in a myriad of ways to prevent mostly poor, black people from getting justice.

     

    4th of July Fireworks, In Marietta GA, and in Gaza

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

    There were flag waving fireworks displays in Marietta GA, where they make the Lockheed F-16s. Some of those F-16s took part in another fireworks display last weekend over Gaza. The fireworks in Marietta smelled like gunpowder and burnt paper. What do white phosphorus, high explosives, depleted uranium, burning libraries and schools smell like?

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    Coming to America: Mercenary Justice

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    There is as yet no legal barrier to wholesale deployment of mercenary soldiers to U.S. cities. Such forces occupied New Orleans in 2005, two years before Blackwater troops massacred Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. Could Times Square be next?

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    The Illusion of Foreign Investment Growth? Africa Must Break With the World Capitalist System

    by Abayomi Azikiwe

    African economic growth may be irrelevant, if the fruits of its bounty never reach its people. “If Africa cannot effectively stabilize its own internal situation then no one can honestly say that actual progress is being made which is sustainable.”

    Rethinking the Role of Global Investment in Africa’s Development

    by Yash Tandon

    So-called development “aid” from corporations and banks is inherently corrupt. Genuine development and independence can only be achieved by breaking as much as possible from the global capitalist web. “At the heart of the contemporary civilizational crisis is the reductionist logic that values everything in terms of money.”

    Washington’s Corporate Media and the Imperial War on Korea

    by Danny Haiphong

    There is no limit to the slanders spewed by U.S. corporate media – from so-called journalists to filmmakers to comedians – against North Korea, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. “The racist and inaccurate discourse around the DPRK helps justify the almost daily military operations the US backs in South Korea.” The 60-year long propaganda campaign is “part and parcel of the US imperialist agenda to militarize the Asia Pacific.”

     

    Millions of Soldiers and Veterans in Trouble

    by Bill Quigley 

    The most recent crop of veterans is in trouble, especially in terms of joblessness, homelessness and mental health. Is it because vets find it harder to re-enter society, or is the society they are re-entering an increasingly hostile and dysfunctional place?

    Ready for the Wicked Witch of the West?

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    She flies in 2016 with a fleet of “monkeys spring from the mule.”

    Aftermath of a Venezuela-Style Lynching

    by Arlene Eissen

    The assault of white Venezuelan contra demonstrators on medical student William Muñoz doesn't tell us all we need to know about social cleavage and race in today's Venezuela, but it tells us plenty.  Muñoz was apparently profiled a Chavista because of his dark skin, and nearly lynched, first on the spot, and afterwards in the racist, right-wing and pro US press, which doubled down on behalf of the lynch mob.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 7/7/14

    The White Settler “Patriots” Pro-Slavery Revolt

    Contrary to popular mythology, the white settler rebellion of 1776 was staged, not to establish democracy, but to forestall the abolition of slavery in Britain’s American colonies, according to a new book by Dr. Gerald Horne, a University of Houston professor of history and African American Studies. In The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America, Horne said the American rebels’ motivations were much like those of Ian Smith, the white Rhodesian leader who declared unilateral independence from Britain in 1965 to “forestall decolonization” and an end to white rule. Smith himself said he was “walking in the footsteps of 1776.”

    “Killing Trayvons”

    “Trayvon Martin’s murder wasn’t an anomaly; it’s something that happens all the time, all day, every day,” said South Carolina political activist Kevin Alexander Gray, co-author of the soon to be released book, Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence. The volume features a wide range of authors, including Robin D.G. Kelly, Cornel West, Vijay Prashad, bell hooks and many others. “We wanted to cover, not just the trial, but the epidemic of killings by police and the fact that Black women are also killed,” said Gray. “We even went so far as having some people who may even agree with the jury’s verdict because they thought the prosecution put on such a weak case.”

    Race Casts “Long Shadow” on Education and Employment Prospects

    A longitudinal study of 790 low-income young people in Baltimore found that only 4 percent of Blacks earned a four-year college degree by age 28, far fewer than whites from similar family backgrounds. According to Johns Hopkins University sociologist Dr. Karl Alexander, co-author of the report on the 23-year study, titled “The Long Shadow,” about 15 percent of Blacks in the study group attended four-year college programs, and another 15 to 20 percent spent time in two-year programs, but “the vast majority were unable to see it through” to a bachelors degree for various reasons. “Where race most clearly comes into play is in employment opportunities in the high-skill, high pay employment sector in the construction crafts and skilled trades,” said Alexander. By age 28, 45 percent of white males in the Baltimore study were working in that sector, compared to only 15 percent of Blacks, with whites earning twice as much pay.

    Mumia: Corporate Media “Learned Nothing” from Iraq War

    The U.S. corporate media is once again showing “not even the pretense of objectivity” in its war-mongering coverage of Syria and Iraq, said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. “They have become heralds of hell” who have “learned nothing” since 2003, when they sold the public on the Iraq invasion.

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    The Superpower and the Caliphate

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Don’t believe the hype that the CIA is behind ISIS’s declaration of an Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. “The Caliphate threatens, not only its immediate adversaries, but the potentates of the Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and the Mother of All Monarchist Corruption in the Arab Sunni heartland, the Saudi royal family.” It also signals the collapse of U.S. strategy in the region.

     

    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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    Iraq, Libya, Syria: Three reasons African Americans should oppose U.S. intervention in Africa

    by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

    As the U.S. tightens its military grip on Africa, “it is absolutely imperative that we embark on a massive educational campaign with our folks that will expose the real intentions of the U.S. on the continent and worldwide.” There is nothing “humanitarian” about U.S. intentions. “The plan for Africa is being written in the blood of the people in Iraq, Syria and Libya.”

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