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    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.”

    Unanimous Supreme Court Backs Whistleblowers over White House Objections

    by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    In an important ruling, the nation’s highest court shot down an Obama administration attempt to shield governments from whistle-blowing employees. Nevertheless, the decision “still sends a chilling message” because it fails to adequately protect whistleblowers’ jobs.

    Homelessness in the United States is A Crime of Neo-liberal imperialism

    by Danny Haiphong

    The wealthiest nation in the world cannot house its own people. Capitalist greed has eroded the stock of affordable housing, while bankers’ servants in government have systematically demolished public housing. State “homeless” programs blame the victims, assuming “that people experiencing homelessness are in some way individually inept.”

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November

    by the N. O. Equity Roundtable

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November from N.O. Education Equity Roundtable on Vimeo.

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November from N.O. Education Equity Roundtable on Vimeo.

    A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools is the first in series of short videos, that reveals the real story behind the creation of the nation's first all charter school district. These videos are made possible with the support of the The Schott Foundation and The New Orleans Education Equity Roundtable. They are produced in partnership with Bayou and Me Productions.

    Twenty Years of Democracy in South Africa: Should We Celebrate?

    by Mpoletsang Raymond Montshosi

    Twenty years of nominal Black rule has failed to change relationships of wealth and economic power in South Africa – the world’s most unequal country. “An average African man earns in the region of R2,400 per month, whilst an average white man earns around R19,000 per month.”

    Everything But the Struggle: White Liberals, Exploitation & Hip Hop Music

    by Solomon Comissiong

    Black America has a genius for creating cultural forms, but quickly loses control of its own inventions. African American Hip Hop enthusiasts have failed to resist “the infestation of fraudulent white liberals who have co-opted large areas of Hip Hop in the same way white developers ethically cleanse/gentrify communities of color.”

    Tri-tanic

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    On the “road to slavery, for the third time,” straw-bossed by “a Quisling Black bourgeoisie.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/23/14

    “Broad Social Movement” Confronts Philadelphia’s Temple University

    Protests against the firing of Temple University African American Studies professor Anthony Monteiro have evolved into a “broad united front” of students, grassroots community forces, organized labor and elected officials. “Black Philadelphia, in particular, understands that Temple University is not only gentrifying the community, but is hyper-policing the community,” creating “an island of privilege in a city of poverty,” said Dr. Monteiro. “All that was necessary was for someone to stand up and say that this powerful institution must be made answerable to the community.”

    CIA Plays Both Sides in Iraq

    “The CIA has a long history of being on both sides of conflicts that we later sacrifice a great deal to address,” said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. The jihadist fighters of ISIS, currently on the offensive in Iraq, have benefited from U.S. and allied support for regime change in Syria. In the past, the CIA “trained the precursor of al Qaida in Afghanistan” and supported Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. Buttar, a constitutional lawyer, has produced a video titled “NSA vs USA,” a “hip hop history lesson set to music.”

    Massachusetts to Have Highest State Minimum Wage

    The Massachusetts state legislature has passed, and the governor is certain to sign, a bill to raise the minimum wage from $8 to $11 over three years – the highest state minimum in the country. Lew Finfer, director of the Massachusetts Community Action Network, credits the victory to a “broad coalition” of faith-based, community and labor organizations that collected over 200,000 signatures to put the wage hike on the ballot, this fall. The threat of a referendum worked. “Had we not gotten the signatures,” the legislature “would not have passed a bill or would have passed much less of a wage increase,” said Finfer.

    Petition to Block Ugandan from UN Post

    Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s Foreign Minister, is unfit to assume the presidency of the United Nations General Assembly, according to a petition circulating on Change.org. Kutesa is engaged in massive corruption and theft of public funds, war-profiteering in South Sudan, and is complicit in Uganda’s genocidal crimes against the Democratic Republic of Congo, said Milton Allimadi, publisher of the New York-based Black Star News. “He diminishes the legacy and the name of other Africans who have served as president of the UN General Assembly, and should resign.” Kutesa was elected to the UN post without opposition.

    Syrian Election Shows People’s Determination

    The recent elections in war-torn Syria, which President Bashar al-Assad won handily, were a demonstration of the Syrian people’s determination to prevail against western and jihadist “terror,” said Paul Larudee, part of an international team of election observers. The U.S. and Israel are intent on sowing “eternal conflict and death and destruction” in the region. However, “I don’t think [the Syrians] are going to lose this war,” said Larudee, a member of the International Palestine Solidarity Network. “They’re absolutely determined.”

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    Top 10 Reasons Why Corporate Social Media is Not Your Friend, and Dark Social Media Is

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    For a long time now, we've all been told, and have told each other, that corporate social media is the way to build businesses, audiences and brands. What if this is about as true as the old saw about real estate prices only going up? What is “dark social media” and how is it different from Twitter, Facebook and the rest.

    ISIS Iraq Offensive: Can the Empire Reassert Control of the Jihadists?

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “How can the U.S. bomb ISIS jihadists in Iraq and not bomb them in Syria?” The contradictions of the West’s reliance on Muslim fundamentalist jihadis to do their dirty work have become acute with the ISIS blitzkrieg in Iraq. Despite its vast weaponry, the U.S. cannot control events on the ground if their jihadist gunmen pursue their own objectives, which are ultimately antithetical to imperialism.

    Freedom Rider: America’s War Crime in Iraq

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    For the people of the Middle East, the American war never ended; it continued under the brutal, U.S.-backed jihadists who ravaged Syria, and have struck at Iraq with a vengeance. In the United States, George Bush gets the blame for the Iraq War while the First Black President reignites the region with his proxy wars and apocalyptic threats. “Imperialism is still on the move and now has a more shrewd personification in the person of Barack Obama.”

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, Blackwashing, the Reparations Brand, and a Last Refuge For Scoundrels

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

    No sensible person should doubt the fundamental justice of arguments for reparations for the historic crimes of slavery, Jim Crow, and today's prison state. Accomplishing reparations would require a massive political realignment. But is reparations today a political movement, or is it an empty brand available for African American public figures in need of a little blackwashing?

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    U.S. Funds “Terror Studies” to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Since the meltdown of 2008, U.S. universities have collaborated with the Pentagon to study dynamics of social movements, worldwide. The goal of “terrorism studies” is “to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease.” The Minerva Initiative, like NSA spying, sees the entire planet as “enemy territory.”

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    We've Got Their Number: U.S. Discrimination Penalty Bill is $1 Billion and Counting - Part Two

    by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Rather than crack down on discrimination and illegal retaliation, the U.S. government spends megabucks to silence complaints. “Upwards of $1 billion have been doled out by federal agencies in settlement and judgment costs for discrimination lawsuits since the No FEAR Act went into effect in 2002.” In effect, the Feds are protecting the bad guys. “The sanctions built into the No FEAR Act are not significant enough to affect the widespread discrimination, retaliation or abuse of federal employees.” It’s time for No FEAR II.

    Making the Case for an Election Boycott: Why the Left Should Refrain from US Imperialism's Electoral Charade

    by Danny Haiphong

    The left should not participate in, “and thus provide consent for, the rule of imperialism every four years.” Say “No” to the charade. “Barack Obama's two-term presidency has been a lesson for the entire left that voting for a Wall Street politician within the imperialist state can only bring more misery and political confusion, not less.”

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