Katrina, Climate Justice and Fish Dinners: Social Justice Lawyer Colette Pichon Battle

by Bill Quigley 

A young corporate lawyer returned to Louisiana to immerse herself in the post-Katrina struggles of her people. “People were being asked, in the middle of trauma, to sign away rights and legal documents on property and your land that are going to have ramifications for generations.” In New Orleans, Atty. Battle learned that “rebuilding since the storm favors privileged private enterprise and this illusion of recovery is not progress."

South Africa: The Hyenas are Gathering to Defend Themselves

by Zwelinzima Vavi

The author, the former head of the Congress of South African Trade Unions, says the ruling African National Congress has “hammered another nail in the coffin of the revolutionary morality and values,” and “cannot make the claim that it is a leader of society.” Corruption and neoliberalism have been allowed to triumph, and “those currently in the driving seat have abandoned any notion of transforming our society in favor of the poor.”

Western Sahara: Another Misinformed Imperial Analysis

Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

The same imperial nations that colonized most of the rest of the world now try to sit in judgement of which countries should be “allowed” their independence. U.S. operatives argue that Western Sahara should not be granted self-rule, because it would become a “failed state,” like Eritrea. But Eritrea has made great social strides, despite relentless U.S. subversion, while the U.S. has fomented misery and terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Millions Starve as Ethiopia Rejects Aid Through Eritrean Ports

by Thomas C. Mountain

Ethiopians faces mass starvation. Drought is the immediate cause of the catastrophe, but the ruling minority regime has exacerbated the crisis by refusing to take up neighboring Eritrea’s offer of free use of its ports, to receive needed foodstuffs. “What kind of government sits back and allows tens if not hundreds of thousands of its own people to die of starvation because of some political dispute with its neighbor?”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of April 4, 2016

Carolina Youths Demand Black Community Control of Police

The city of Greenville, South Carolina witnessed two large funerals in recent weeks: one for a white cop, the other for 17 year-old Deontaye Mackey, who police claim killed the officer and then committed suicide. Black young people don’t buy the cops’ version, and believe the deaths occurred as part of a police scheme to flood the community with drugs and guns. “This was a dirty cop, he harassed the Black community,” said Efia Nwangaza, director of Greenville’s Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination. Black youth “are committed to developing their own patrols and calling for Black community control of police,” and plan to “launch their own ‘people’s investigation’ into what actually happened.”

Cornel West Blasts Neoliberalism, Jesse Jackson Redefines “Socialism”

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., the Rainbow-PUSH leader who ran for president in 1984 and 1988, and Dr Cornel West, the nation’s best known Black public intellectual, discussed “Politics, Black Lives Matter and the 2016 Election” at Columbia University, in New York City. Rev. Jackson has endorsed no one in this year’s Democratic presidential primaries, but praised Bernie Sanders’ goal to “democratize capital” – which Jackson said means “the same thing” as socialism. Dr. West, who has been stumping for Sanders, described Hillary Clinton this way: “When you hear the word integrity, her name is not the first one that comes to mind. Granted, Hillary Clinton is better than the neofascist in-the-making, Donald Trump,” said West. “But neoliberals are still dangerous.”

Flint Water was Poisoned on Purpose

BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, a former federal Environmental Protection Agency official who blew the whistle on her bosses nearly two decades ago, said the massive contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water system was “intentional.” “We know that the EPA and the State of Michigan knew this community was being poisoned for at least nine months,” but refused to do anything about it, said Coleman-Adebayo. “The Flint crisis makes the Tuskegee Experiment look like child’s play.” In light of Black people’s experience in this country, “How many times are we going to keep saying, ‘Oops, they made a mistake?’”

Don’t Confuse DeRay McKesson with Black Lives Matter

“I would separate DeRay McKesson from the founders of Black Lives Matter,” said Umi Selah, the former Phillip Agnew, of the Florida-based Dream Defenders. “McKesson is a self-proclaimed activist from an Ivy League school and from Teach for America, that created an online persona for himself and is now able to parlay that into huge revenue and a fledgling campaign for mayor of Baltimore,” he said, in an interview with Pascal Robert, a frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi “have a history of doing deep grassroots organizing. What they created is something we haven’t seen since Occupy,” said Selah.

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Trump Way to the Left of Clinton on Foreign Policy – In Fact, He’s Damn Near Anti-Empire

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

First, Donald Trump’s campaign showed that his white supporters couldn’t care less about the Republican elite’s economic agenda – in fact, they hated it. Now, “if Republican voters accept Trump’s assault on the ideological rationale undergirding U.S. foreign policy and its imperial structures, there will be nothing left of the GOP for the corporate rulers to defend.” If only the Democrats would split along the same lines.

Just What We Need: More Black Celebrity Charter School Crooks... I Mean 'Entrepreneurs'

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

Sean “Diddy” Combs, with accomplices Iyanla Vanzant and privatization hustler Steve Perry are fronting the Capital Prepatory Harlem Charter School. When black celebs put their names on a charter school what does that mean? Are they “giving back” or are they cashing in on the drive to convert public assets into their private property? Are they siding with parents, teachers and communities, or with their own investment portfolios?

 
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Freedom Rider: Hillary Clinton is No Worse than Barack Obama

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Progressive enthusiasm for Bernie and antipathy for Hillary is impressive – until one recalls that most of these folks were ga-ga over Obama not so long ago, and that Clinton and Obama are political twins. Obama is revered like a saint, “despite his record of neo-con imperial murder, bankster bail outs, destruction of the public school system, and maintaining mass incarceration while pretending that he doesn’t.” Hillary is Obama – with a cackle.

Black Brooklyn DA’s Leniency for Killer Cop Shows the “Whole System is Guilty as Hell”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Black faces in high prosecutorial places do not equal criminal justice reform. The first Black district attorney for Brooklyn, New York, is hell bent on negating the guilty verdict won by his own office against a killer cop. District Attorney Ken Thompson is a “career Democratic politician whose allegiance is to the party and the system that appointed him, not to Black people.”

 
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Investigation into Flint: Children in the Crosshairs

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The crime against humanity that was committed in Flint, Michigan, has been silently replicated in cities all across the nation. Investigations show 2,000 water systems in all 50 states register excessive lead levels, with Ithaca, New York’s water hovering at “the threshold of hazardous waste.” The nation – especially its Black and brown communities – has been utterly betrayed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Hillary Clinton: Predictably Zionist

by Danny Haiphong

The Republicans have no monopoly on warmongering and support for apartheid. “Hillary Clinton's stance on Israel is further to the right of the US left's primary target at the moment, Donald Trump.” Clinton vows to take the U.S.-Israeli alliance to the “next level,” through deepening Washington’s military footprint in the Middle East and closer collaboration with the Zionist State, whose ultimate goal is extermination of the Palestinians.

Class Struggle and National Liberation in the Movement for Black Lives

by Benjamin Woods

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) must recognize the dynamic relationship between race and class in Black America – contradictions that “can only be resolved through explicit, conscious class struggle” within the community. What’s needed is a socialist, mass-based Black Workers Party “that replaces the neoliberalism of the Black Bourgeoisie with the hegemony of the Black working class.” 

The Racist Dawn of Capitalism: Unearthing the Economy of Bondage

by Peter James Hudson 

Capitalist historians and other political actors attempt to treat chattel slavery as a “pre-capitalist” system that was extirpated in the Americas by its supposed nemesis, the enlightened forces of the “free” market. But slavery created the riches that “kick-started” capitalism – “the grim transubstantiations through which men are converted into machines, flesh and land turned into capital, and capital rendered as the very history of modernity.”

A World War has Begun. Break the Silence

by John Pilger

The United States is constantly preparing to launch a global holocaust, under the guise of “defense.” It is a country singularly unfit to hold the destiny of humanity in its unstable hands. America has put the whole species on a war footing. “At present, it is a war of propaganda, of lies and distraction, but this can change instantaneously with the first mistaken order, the first missile."

Obama in Cuba: How “Political Prisoners” Made the Media Headlines

by Arnold August

The U.S. propaganda machine is always primed to attack Cuba. However, President Obama could not, himself, publicly raise the question of Cuban political prisoners, which would have been a breach of trip protocol. Instead, CNN’s Jim Acosta performed his imperial duty. Had Acosta asked Obama the same question regarding U.S. political prisoners, “would he have even been around to travel to Havana with the President?” But that, of course, is fantasy.

Fidel’s Letter to “Brother Obama”

by Fidel Castro Ruz 

In Havana, President Obama behaved as if the United States – and he, himself – were a gift to Cuba and the world. Fidel Castro disagrees: “We don’t need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet.”

America, We Have a Problem: Homelessness is Out of Control

by Cynthia McKinney

Cities throughout the United States, and especially up and down the west coast, are locked in a crisis of homelessness. Yet, “not one word is uttered about the criminalization of the poor” in this presidential election season. Luxury housing is booming, while rapacious developers snuff out inner-city neighborhoods and the last stocks of affordable dwellings.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of March 28, 2016

Colonial Chickens Come Home to Roost in the West

In the wake of the Brussels bombing, we hear variations of the same old theme: “They [Muslims] hate us [the ‘West’] because of our freedoms.” However, “the reality is, it’s not who we are, but what we do” – wage war in Muslim lands – “that is the problem. It’s our foreign policy, not our cultural values,” said Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror. Kundnani, a British citizen of Indian extraction who lectures at New York University, said polls consistently show that “people in the Middle East do not have any antagonisms to the United States, itself, or its values. What they have antagonisms to is U.S. foreign policy in the region.”

No Slavery Remembrance Day at the White House

The United Nations marked a Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade, March 25, but there was no sign of the occasion – “no commemoration, not even rhetoric, nothing” – at the White House, said BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. Baraka also attended this month’s 15th anniversary of the UN World Conference Against Racial Discrimination, whose ongoing activities are widely known as the Durban Process. Since the genocide of Native Americans and enslavement of Africans “served as the material base for the ascendancy of Europe, then justice demands that some type of repair – reparations – needs to be considered,” said Baraka. However, Europe, the United States and other white settler states have resisted the Durban Process at every turn.

Newark City Council Approves Police Review Board

In a unanimous vote, the city council of Newark, New Jersey, authorized the creation of a Civilian Complaint Review Board, with subpoena powers. The council’s action means the board will not go out of existence when its initiator, Mayor Ras Baraka, leaves office. However, “the implementation will still be stymied because the police unions have vowed to go to court to stop it,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, one of the community groups with a seat on the review board.

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The Democratic Road to Black Ruin

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Democratic Party operatives claim that Blacks are voting “strategically” when they support the corporate warmonger Hillary Clinton for president. The reality is, Blacks believe only Clinton has the money and organization to beat the White Man’s Party – the GOP.  But, only two outcomes are possible from such a “strategy”: “either the triumph of the White Man’s Party, or electoral victory for Black people’s worst enemies among the Democrats.”

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