Eating Crow: US and Cuba Talk Human Rights

by Netfa Freeman

Cuba opened discussions with the U.S. on human rights, last week, with a reminder that the United States is no model for other nations. The Cubans cited “discrimination and racism patterns in U.S. society, the worsening of police brutality, torture acts and extrajudicial executions in the fight on terror and the legal limbo of prisoners at the US prison camp in Guantanamo."

Eating Crow: US and Cuba Talk Human Rights

Do Americans Really Want a Genuine US Policy that Respects an Independent Cuba?

A review by Dr. T. P. Wilkinson

By its own admission, the Obama administration’s new stance towards Cuba is not a change in policy. It still favors regime change. U.S. obsession with the island to the south is historically rooted in race; Cuba’s blackness made it impossible for the white supremacist United States to absorb, but also required that the island be prevented from providing a “good example” to the world – and to Blacks in the U.S.

The Decline of U.S. Imperialism and the Structural Crisis of Whiteness

by Walter Smolarek

White privilege “has existed as long as there have been white people,” but the material basis for it is declining in the U.S. “Large sections of white youth are undergoing a process of proletarianization.” Although this slow process “does not instantly enlighten those stricken with white chauvinism,” polling data seems to show that “white supremacist ideology has significantly weakened its hold on the consciousness of about 2 in 5 white youth.”

The fall of Cecil John Rhodes and the Rise of Black Power

by Veli Mbele

This article previously appeared in Pambazuka News.

Cecil Rhodes is back in the news, following Black student protests to have his statue removed from the University of Cape Town. Rhodes’s unparalled evil legacy is still palpable across Africa. By splashing Rhodes’s statue with human excrement, the brave Black students have hit a raw nerve in the “sensitive,” “innocent” and “pure” white body.

Black Agenda Radio, Week of April 8 2015

Attempted Murder of Mumia Through Medical Malpractice

Pennsylvania prison officials allowed the political prisoner’s condition to worsen until he was in horrific pain and on the brink of a diabetic coma, said Pam Africa, of International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal. His supporters are demanding that “specialists be allowed to go in and see Mumia,” who is back in prison after being released from a hospital that had no specialists in diabetes. The State of Pennsylvania is trying to torture and kill the world renowned former death row inmate, said Ms. Africa. “Can you imagine your body burning from head to toe, your skin erupting, and you’ve blown up to the point that your skin starts bursting open?” Supporters of Mumia should telephone their concerns to prison officials listed at FreeMumia.com.

Democrats Gang up on Seattle Socialist

Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative Party leader whose campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage won her a seat on the Seattle city council, now faces three Democratic challengers, including the head of the local Urban League. Sawant has earned broad support, but must still contend with the popular mindset that Democrats are the “lesser evils” of politics. “The problem with the logic of ‘lesser evil-ism’ is that it’s ad infinitum,” she said. If we accept that logic, “there’s never going to be a point when we can say: ‘At this moment we have to make a clean break to make sure that we build a movement independent of the two business parties.’”

Obama’s TPP Trade Pact Empowers Global Corporations

Documents recently released by Wikileaks reveal that the Trans Pacific Partnership trade treaty would rig international law to the decisive advantage of multinational corporations. “It confirms the worst of our fears,” said Patrick Woodall, research director of Food and Water Watch. “It includes language that grants powerful new avenues for corporations to attack common sense public health, environmental and consumer protections” – all to protect anticipated corporate profits. Other language would keep the contents of the treaty secret for four years, even if it is rejected by the U.S. Congress. President Obama wants Congress to pass TPP with no amendments or effective debate.

Charter Schools are for Black and Brown Kids, Only

Union County, New Jersey, has 21 municipalities, but all five of its charter schools are located in the majority Black city of Plainfield. “There’s a pattern in New Jersey, and in the country, of taking local control away from majority Black and brown cities, said David Rutherford, a member of the Plainfield board of education. State officials constantly override Black and brown school boards and encourage charter school companies to set up shop. “As a board of education, we have no say on whether there will be charter schools in our city, how many there will be, or who will run them,” said Rutherford. “Our only obligation is to pay these charter schools, per student.” If charter schools are so beneficial, he asks, why don’t white communities want them?

UNAC to Hold National Conference May 8 – 10

The United National Anti-War Coalition will hold a national conference in Secaucus, New Jersey – just outside New York City – under the banner “Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad.” UNAC used the same slogan at its founding conference, said spokesman Joe Lombardo. “It’s become more and more clear as time went on that there’s been militarization of the police, more heavy-handed intervention into the Black and brown communities, more people deported, more austerity, more assaults on civil liberties. So, these wars have had a real impact on the people of the United States.”

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.
 
00:00

When the Jihadists Turn on Their Masters

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The filthy rich hereditary rulers of the Gulf wage war on secularists and Shia. But, the greatest danger to Saudi Arabian royalty is the Frankenstein they have nurtured for nearly four decades: Islamic jihadists. “The prospect of physical annihilation by Sunni jihadists hangs over the House of Saud and all its royal brethren.” The scourge they let loose on the world will destroy them.

Call GA Governor, Prison Officials, Demand End to Deliberate Malnourishment & the "Tier Step Down" Program

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Several years after peaceful prison hunger strikes asking for decent medical care, educational programs, an end to the incarceration of juveniles with adults and other reasonable demands, Georgia prison authorities continue to viciously retaliate against past and future dissenting prisoners with what they call Tier Step Down, a program that apparenlty includes deliberate malnourishment of prisoners and other brutal and inhuman treatment.

 
00:00

Freedom Rider: American Hell for Yemen

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The U.S.-spawned whirlwind of carnage and destruction has wrecked the societies of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, yet most Americans feel themselves blameless. “The people, the corporate media and the political system all accept that their government has the right to intervene in the affairs of other nations and that it is always right and moral in its claims.” They behave like zombified cogs in an imperial death machine.

Black Is Back Coalition to Hold National Conference on Black Community Control of Police

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

There is no possibility for even a semblance of justice for Black people until they control the police in their communities. Not oversight, but control: the power to “discipline, direct, and hire and fire the police in their community.” It is a self-determinationist necessity. “If Black people fail to define for themselves the functions and obligations of policing in Black communities, then others will continue to do it for us.”

 
00:00

Physical Murder and Political Asphyxiation: The Story of Danielle Hicks-Best

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

An 11 year-old Black girl is raped twice by men and winds up jailed and institutionalized for years by a callous and predatory system. The abomination lays bare the thin line that many African-American children and families tread “between physical murder and spiritual death.” Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier must be made to answer for the crime. Meanwhile, “behind the scenes in the courts and judicial system, the bodies are piling up.”

Danny Schechter (1942-2015): Media Activist and Clandestine Courier

by Ronnie Kasrils

Danny Schecter, the “media dissector,” prolific writer and tireless activist, once acted as a secret courier for the South African freedom movement, and “forged strong personal links with many South African comrades such as Joe Slovo, Ruth First, Pallo Jordan, Zanele Mbeki, Sue Rabkin, and Nelson Mandela himself.”

Common's Song for Black America: Extend a Hand of Love to White Supremacy

by Danny Haiphong

The rapper/actor Common’s “plea to Black America to get past white supremacy is actually a request for support for his endeavors from the Empire's Black corporate club.” Race and class betrayal is a highly profitable enterprise in America. Common’s “Daily Show comments place him in the same plane as those working to murder Assata Shakur and erase hip-hop's radical roots.”

Feds Rediscover Police Brutality In City of Brotherly Love…er…Beat City

by Linn Washington, Jr.

The U.S. Justice Department’s latest report on police brutality in Philadelphia reveals much the same pattern of excessive use of lethal force as charged in a 1979 lawsuit and confirmed by a Human Rights Watch study in 1998. The city registered “an average of one citizen shot by police per week between 2007 and 2013” – five times the rate of their counterparts in New York City.

The Pan-African Cultural Revolution

by Benjamin Woods

“Our common oppression is not what makes us African, it is our movement for freedom that give us consciousness of our identity.” Black people’s political and cultural revolutions go hand in hand. It’s cultural component “is a class struggle in the realm of ideas and culture wherein our current leaders must transform or be replaced.”

Rahm Emanuel & Bruce Rauner On Jihad to Eliminate Unions in Chicago, says Former Union Organizer Jane McAlevey

by Doug Henwood at KPFA's Behind The News

US living standards for ordinary people have deteriorated the last 40 years because Democrats and Republicans have systematically de-unionizeds the country, says former union organizer Jane McAlevey.  Illinois governor Bruce Rauner and Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel are on a jihad to kill the last unions in Chicago, the better to impose more privatizations, cuts in child care, wages, education and more austerity.

 
00:00

Surviving Climate Disaster in Africa's Sahel

by Thomas C. Mountain

The small, fiercely independent nation of Eritrea has mobilized its entire population to combat the effects of climate change. “When the rains failed in 2013, we had enough to eat while in much of the rest of the Sahel hundreds of thousands starved to death.” Reforestation and reservoir-building are key to surviving drought in new climate disorder.

Black Agenda Radio, Week of April 1, 2015

Bottom Line: Fire Some Cops

A U.S. Justice Department report shows Philadelphia police are five times as trigger happy as cops in New York City. The report contains 49 findings and 91 recommendations on better training and community relations, but Linn Washington Jr., a professor of journalism at Temple University, isn’t impressed. Over the past 25 years, the city’s police department has been the subject of “two dozen reports, federal consent decrees and executive orders,” said Washington. “The issue is not the ideas, the issue is implementation and enforcement. The bottom line is, you have to make police accountable. The police who engage in misconduct need to be fired.” But, that seldom happens in Philadelphia.

The Limits of Criminal Justice Reform

Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka held a third public hearing on his proposal to create a Civilian Complaint Review Board with subpoena powers. Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, which would be empowered to appoint one member to the board, has no illusions that the board will compel cops to respect Black people’s rights. “We fight for reforms in the hope that these reforms will ameliorate the suffering of the people,” said Hamm. “But, we also fight for reforms because we believe that people have to go through the reform process to deepen their understanding of the need for more fundamental, structural social change.”

Black Martyrs, Old and New

Cinque S. Djahspora, a 20 year-old online MIT student shot in the back by a policeman last November, is among the many victims of racist violence who will be honored on April 4, in Jackson, Tennessee. The town is near the site of Fort Pillow where, on April 12, 1864, hundreds of Black soldiers and civilians were massacred by Confederates under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who went on to become the first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. “What we want folks to understand is that the killing of one person, based on his membership in a group, is genocide,” said Dr. Randy Short, one of the organizers of Black Martyrs’ Day, in Jackson.

“Black Lives Matter” Resonates in Johannesburg

South African labor and social activists marched on the American embassy in Johannesburg in solidarity with the U.S.-based Black Lives Matter mobilization. United Front organizer John Manana said South African Blacks are all too familiar with police brutality. “Our protesters everywhere in South Africa continue to suffer the same way from the capitalist regime.” Police killed 34 striking miners at Marikana in the summer of 2012, accelerating a split between leftists and the ruling African National Congress regime.

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.

 
00:00

Philadelphia’s Killer Cops Prove the Necessity of Black Community Control of Police

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the U.S. Justice Department has attempted to position itself on the side of “reform.” Its new report on the Philadelphia police is one example. However, their version of reform is designed to perfect the system of mass Black incarceration, and to derail the movement. “It is critical that the movement put forward its own proposals that would fundamentally alter the power relationships between the police and the Black community.”

Freedom Rider: Uncle Tom Celebrities

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

A young singer who dresses like a bellhop considers himself to be the “new black.” A rapper-actor-songwriter operates under the delusion that racism is like a love affair gone bad. A TV and movie heartthrob invites whites to call him “nigger.” Where do we get these celebrity mutants, and “what good are awards and ratings and record sales if the people who gain these successes stab us all in the back?”

U.S. Voter Turnout is Low Because There’s Little to Vote For

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Voter suppression plays an important role in keeping Black turnout below that of whites, but does not explain why overall U.S. voter participation is far below most developed countries on the planet. The reason is simple: the rich control both political parties and, as a result, “the U.S. offers the narrowest spectrum of electoral choices in the industrial world.” Voting has relatively little impact on how the country is run.

 
00:00

Eugene Puryear: A Revolutionary Perspective on Why the Left Should Engage in Electoral Politics

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

“Radicals should not simply support the ‘best available’ candidates in elections, but present themselves for office,” says Eugene Puryear, the Washington, DC, activist profiled by in this issue by Dr. Coleman Adebayo. Puryear believes radicals engaged in electoral politics must “advocate and agitate as loudly and clearly as possible for our ‘side’ in the struggle, the side of the exploited and oppressed.”

Netanyahu’s Victory is a Victory for Palestinian Solidarity Movement

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Netanyahu’s racism was never a secret to Israelis, but his election outbursts may have put the final kibosh on the “two-state” diversion, and given new life to the demand for “one, democratic, secular state for all of the people who live in the territory.” The boycott Israel movement has also gotten a big boost. Meanwhile, Black U.S. apologists for Israel have some serious explaining to do.

Obama's War Plans Against Venezuela: Another Act of Imperial Desperation

by Danny Haiphong

U.S. manic belligerence towards Venezuela may seem counterproductive, given Washington’s growing isolation in Latin America. But the logic of imperialism dictates that it must destroy the Venezuelan model of economic and political development. “Venezuela is no threat to US ‘national security,’ but its resistance to Empire is a threat to US hegemony.” 

Has Terrorism Stepped into Africa’s Political Void?

by Mark P. Fancher

As AFRICOM, the U.S. military command, wraps its tentacles around the continent and jihadist organizations spread mayhem and massacre, Africa sometimes seems to have lost its internal political compass. “In the absence of sustained revolutionary organizing, desperate, confused, oppressed individuals have unfortunately responded to terrorists’ calls to arms.”

The NYT Turns a Blind Eye While the Clintons and Mexico's Richest Man Feast on Haiti

by Ezili Dantò

The corruption that surrounds U.S.-backed Haitian President Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly is deeply entwined with the billion dollar deals revolving around Bill and Hillary Clinton and a Mexican billionaire. Martelly now rules by decree, while the Clintons prepare to reoccupy the White House. President Obama’s legacy is that he and Hillary “finished the Bushes’ project to destroy democracy and installed outright dictatorship back into Haiti.”

Translating Malcolm X into Irish: Malcolm X Film Festival’s First Historic Event in West Belfast

by Sukant Chandan

For some of the younger people of Northern Ireland, “it was the first time they heard Malcolm X’s own words speaking about ‘rejecting the white man,’ developing independence Black liberation organizations, rejecting the dehumanization from the white man, and being inspired by the ‘darker nations’ of Africa and Asia uniting against European colonialism.”

U.S. Blames Others for its Own Crimes

by Ken Peeples

Like the thief who lives in fear of his wallet being stolen, the United States routinely commits the very crimes it accuses its rivals and victims of perpetrating. The U.S. ruling elite project their own criminal impulses on other nations, and then “invest a ton of time, effort and treasure into misleading the masses with benevolent rationales for all things war, imperialism and neoliberalism.”

Black Agenda Radio, Week of March 25, 2015

Black Agenda Radio, week of March 25, 2015

“Liberal” Israeli Zionists Hoped to Prolong the Farce of Negotiations

Had the “liberal” Zionist Union defeated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last week’s elections, they hoped to “force the Palestinians back to the table for some more endless negotiations” and thus “reverse the shift in public opinion that has emerged from the last few years of Netanyahu,” said BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka. Netanyahu’s declaration that he will never agree to a Palestinian state lays bare Israel’s colonialist intentions and long history of duplicity.

Hillary’s Missing Emails Hide Her and Bill’s Haiti Corruption

Protesters from the Committee to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti demonstrated at Clinton family headquarters, in Manhattan, last Thursday. The former Secretary of State kept her emails under a private server – and deleted tens of thousands of them – to hide details of the Clintons’ corrupt financial dealings in Haiti, said organizer Dahoud Andre. “We see that the Obama administration is covering up for Hillary, but the more they try to protect Hillary, the more they get themselves covered in that stuff.” Sec. Clinton’s brother was named a board member of a corporation prospecting for gold in Haiti.

In Johannesburg and Ferguson, Black Lives Matter

The United Front and Democratic Left Front of South Africa and the nation’s largest trade union marched on the U.S. consulate in Johannesburg in solidarity with the Black Lives Movement. “After 50 years of apartheid system racism, we understand fully what it means to be on the receiving end of racist police brutality,” said Trevor Ngwane, national secretary of the Democratic Left Front. Blacks have also suffered brutality under the Black-led African National Congress government, which was complicit in the 2012 massacre of 34 mine workers at Marikana. “The present government is actually dancing to the tune of the big capitalists,” said Ngwane.

Mumia: “Homicides of Black People are Always “Justifiable”

Speaking from Frackville State Prison, in Pennsylvania, political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal recalled the night in 1969 when Chicago police, aided by the FBI, killed 21 year-old Panther leader Fred Hampton in his sleep. A grand jury called it “justifiable homicide” – just as grand juries would rule the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner justifiable, 45 years later.

Prison Radio Targeted

Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall, serving a life sentence in Pennsylvania’s Rockview State Prison, said prison authorities are disrupting inmate telephone access to Prison Radio, where he – like Mumia – is a correspondent. “What the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections is doing is effectively preventing 54,999 prisoners from calling Prison Radio to express their views” – a violation of their freedom of speech.

Tivoli Gardens Victims Demand Reparations

In May of 2010, Jamaican security forces killed at least 73 people in a siege of Tivoli Gardens, and then looted the Kingston apartment complex. Journalist Lloyd Aguilar has directed a video of survivors’ demands for reparations. Two of Nadine Sutherland’s nephews were gunned down after soldiers ordered them to run from her apartment. “I never saw them again until I identified [their bodies] on the computer,” she said.

Daughter of Hit Squad Victim Blames Rwanda’s Paul Kagame

Rwandan exile leader Col. Patrick Karegeya, a former high official in Paul Kagame’s Rwandan military dictatorship, was gunned down on New Years Eve, 2013, in South Africa – one of many dissidents to meet a similar fate. His daughter, Portia Karegeya, told Phil Taylor, of CIUT radio, in Toronto, Canada: “Once he and his colleagues formed a formal opposition party, it was pretty much written in stone that your life is under threat.”

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.
 
00:00

Seattle Urban League Leader to Run Against Socialist Seattle City Council Member. Why?

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Bruce A. Dixon

Like the NAACP, the NAN and other corporate funded dinosaur civil rights outfits, the National Urban League mostly says and does what its wealthy donors need. So how surprising is it that Seattle's well-connected Urban League CEO on her first run for public office, thinks she needs to knock out the city council's only socialist? What's wrong with that picture?

 
00:00

Thirty Years of Black Economic Regression

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Black progress in the United States – the kind you can measure in numbers – is a myth. A new study confirms that Blacks have been steadily falling further behind whites in wealth for the past 30 years – which means the Great Black Regression has lasted about twice as long as the brief period of progress in the wake of the Sixties. Short of a revolution, Blacks will never achieve parity with whites.

 
00:00

Pages

Subscribe to Black Agenda Report  RSS