Haiti Rises: A Time for Solidarity

by Nia Imara and Robert Roth

The Haitian people forced the cancellation of yet another U.S.-imposed electoral fraud. A transitional government promises to hold another round of elections sometime in the future. But, "How can elections proceed to a second round if the first round was hopelessly illegitimate?" If there is a full investigation of the last bogus election, as grassroots organizations are demanding, Dr. Maryse Narcisse, of Fanmi Lavalas, might sweep the field.

South Africa: An Interview with 'Red Ronnie' Kasrils

by Janet Smith

In 2013, Ronnie Kasrils, a former commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the once-outlawed African National Congress who also served as minister of intelligence in the ANC government, declared that the post-apartheid ANC had 'sold out' the poor in a 'Faustian pact' with international capital. In a recent interview, Kasrils warns that South Africa cannot fully vanquish racism unless it tackles the root causes.

The Coup Against Nkrumah and the Role of African Americans in the African Revolution

by Abayomi Azikiwe

African American political organizations played a key role in influencing Kwame Nkrumah from the 1930s, until his removal from power in 1966 and beyond. Although the coup was designed by the U.S. to halt the advance of the African Revolution and the internationalization of the struggle of African Americans, solidarity efforts accelerated from the late 1960s through the 1990s when the last vestiges of white-minority rule were eliminated in South Africa and Namibia.

AFRICOM: Protecting US Interests Disguised as 'Military Partnerships'

by Ebrahim Shabbir Deen

AFRICOM, the U.S. military command in Africa, has subverted African militaries and enmeshed the continent in Washington's 'war on terror.' It is a one-side partnership. "In many instances, these partnerships involve African militaries ceding operational command to AFRICOM." The 'scramble for Africa' could intensify. Indeed, AFRICOM is part and parcel of that 'scramble.'

Sanders Hits a Brick Wall with the Black Vote

by The Real News Network

Bernie Sanders is about to hit a wall. Polls show that the black vote in South Carolina, and across Black America is heavily skewed against him. The fearful lesser-evilism that pervades black politics will doom the Sanders candidacy long before the Democratic convention in July.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 22, 2016

When Paul Robeson Denounced a President to His Face

Dr. Gerald Horne, the prolific professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston, has turned out another book. Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary, explores the career and politics of the actor, singer, athlete, linguist, author, public intellectual and human rights activist who was, at one time, probably the most famous American in the world, yet died in state-enforced obscurity in Philadelphia. Dr Horne recounts how, at the White House, Robeson 'got in Harry Truman's face and wagged his finger and castigated and denounced the U.S. president for his lethargy in prosecuting lynchers' of Black soldiers 'at the same time that the Truman administration was vigorously prosecuting Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg.'

White and Black Joblessness: Two Separate Worlds

The lowest Black state unemployment rate (Virginia) is equal to the highest white state unemployment rate (West Virginia), at 6.7 percent, according to an analysis of employment statistics by Dr. Valerie Wilson, of the Economic Policy Institute. "When you put that in the broadest context, that 6.7 percent is the worst that whites are doing in the country, you more fully understand just how unacceptable rates of Black unemployment are," said Dr. Wilson.

Turkey Tries to Wag U.S. Dog Into Wider War

Turkish President Recep Erdogan is threatening to invade Syria, in league with Saudi Arabian military forces. "Erdogan is trying to use a tail-wagging-the-dog situation where he can force the United States and NATO into a confrontation" with Russia, said political analyst Eric Draitser, speaking on Russia Today’s "Cross Talk" program. Erdogan wants to 'double-down' in order to save his failed Syria regime change strategy, said Draitser, publisher of StopImperialism.org.

Definition of Disaster: Hillary Clinton, Commander-in-Chief

A Hillary Clinton presidency 'would be a real disaster,' said Dr. Stephen Zunes, professor of International Studies at San Francisco University. "In many ways, her thinking parallels the neoconservatives," he said. President Obama "is going to come off as downright enlightened and moderate compared to what we're going to see under a Clinton administration."

Beyoncé Video is Capitalist-Minded

In her "Formation" video, Beyoncé "talks about being a 'Black Bill Gates in the making,' clearly a reference to the hegemony and importance of a capitalist value framework," said Ajamu Baraka, BAR editor and co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network. She tells oppressed people to "seek revenge through accumulating 'paper,' meaning money. These messages are quite conservative, quite accommodationist," said Baraka, speaking on Jared Ball's "I Mix What I Like" program on The Real News Network.

Kathleen Cleaver: Origins of a Panther

Former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver, honored at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, in Detroit, recounted how she was drawn to the Black movement in 1963 when, as a high school student, she saw a photo of three Black girls in the back of a paddy wagon, singing on their way to jail for protesting racial injustice in Georgia. "I wanted to be like them, I wanted to be in that organization," she said. Three years later, Cleaver joined the Black Power-era SNCC, and met her future husband, Eldridge Cleaver, a top leader in the Black Panther Party.

Mumia Plugs Angela Davis Book

The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, gave a boost to former political prisoner Angela Davis’ new book, Freedom is a Constant Struggle. “At times history lesson, political education, world studies and gender theories, Angela Y. Davis gives us all a lot to ponder,” said Abu Jamal, in a Prison Radio commentary.

The Movement Needs Dragons

Khalil Bennet, one of several thousand prison inmates sentenced to life for offenses committed when they were juveniles, said many of his comrades “have been detained since the late 1970s, “raised and trained by the best revolutionaries in the worst conditions that America produced.” Many are now eligible for release in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that such sentences are cruel and unusual punishment. The former “juvenile lifers” could become the cadre for an emerging movement. “When the prison gates open,” said Bennet, “the real dragons fly out.”

 
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“Vanguard of the Revolution” is Liberal History, Strips and Omits Socialism from History of the Black Panther Party

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Stanley Nelson's documentary on the BPP is "history" by and for lazy American liberals. He turns the BPP into a pop culture icon a T-shirt. Nelson mentions guns hundreds of times, big naturals and swagger a few dozen times but not the word “socialism” once in 2 hours. The BPP described its Breakfast For Children and Free Medical Clinics every day as "socialism" in person and in our newspaper, to each other and to the neighborhoods we served.

There’s Nothing "Transformative" About Bernie Sanders (He’s Just Not Hillary)

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Bernie Sanders’ domestic policies more clearly match Black America’s left-leaning politics – but they will still reject him in favor of Hillary Clinton, who Blacks think has a better chance against the Republicans. At any rate, Sanders is no prize. He is "incapable of challenging his own party and president on domestic economic policy, and has no substantive objections to Obama or Clinton on foreign policy."

Freedom Rider: Black Politics and Bernie Sanders

by BAR editor and columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Democratic presidential primary has turned into a real battle, but not ideologically, since “there is no leftist among the Democrats.” Hillary Clinton clings to Barack Obama like a life raft, mentioning his name 21 times in a debate with Bernie Sanders, while the Congressional Black Caucus clings to Hillary like a dollar bill. The historical Black political consensus on peace and social justice is nowhere represented in the “quadrennial circus.”

The Clinton-Sanders Debate: What Was Left Unsaid?

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

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are expressing deep love for Black folks, who will dominate the South Carolina primary. Clinton hopes Black voters have “short or non-existent memories” of the horrors of her husband’s actual criminal justice and economic policies, while Sanders preaches that the Democratic Party can provide remedies for the crimes it has committed against Black people. It is a contest based on lies and illusions.

The West’s War Against Syria: Out of Control

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

What began as a U.S. scheme for regime-change in Syria now threatens to ignite global war. Turkey is poised to come to blows with Russia, as the U.S. revs up its “Plan B” to dismember Syria under the guise of attacking the Islamic State. “The Turks could block the Bosphorus Straits, closing off access to and from the Black Sea, bottling up Russian naval forces and provoking a world war.”

 
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Can We Have A Talk With You?

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

Prescient, pertinent and pointed questions to each other, and to our alleged betters about what we have, what we are, what we deserve, and what we settle for, posed by BAR's poet in residence.

Colonialism in Michigan’s Little Africa

by Mark P. Fancher

The rulers of Michigan believed the quickest path to economic development was to place the state’s Black cities under the control of a single, appointed emergency manager. The policy is domestic colonialism in practice, “an implicit – but distinct – embrace of the idea that people of color are inferior, incompetent” – and disposable.

The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective

by Tom Stephens 

The takeover of Michigan’s majority Black cities by emergency managers was the direct cause of the poisoning of Flint. However, the legal groundwork for the crime was laid a generation ago in two court cases that “established de facto environmental policy to allow such pollution in these communities.”  

Repeal Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law

by Shea Howell

Michigan Governor Rick Synder has agreed to testify before a congressional committee about his role in poisoning the people of Flint. The evidence is incontrovertible. Snyder’s emergency financial manager law is designed to disenfranchise local citizens, and “has been used almost exclusively on poorer African American communities that are strong sources of democratic power.”

Know Thyself? Why Individual and Internal Political Struggle Is Necessary in A Movement

by Danny Haiphong

The author traces his development as a “self-identified Asian-American” actively engaged in revolutionary politics. “It became clear that neither reactionary racist ideas nor the conditions that produce them could be eradicated without a transfer of power from the capitalist class to the oppressed.” Imperialism is in deep crisis. However, “there remains a great need to combat the politics of fear and open up room for debate and internal struggle” among those working to overturn the system.

World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor and Coddles the Rich

by Patrick Bond

Despite abundant evidence of pro-corporate bias, the Bank endorses the government’s “sound policy” on redistribution because Bank researchers cannot grapple with the core problem that best explains why South African capitalism causes poverty and inequality: extreme exploitation systems amplified after apartheid by neoliberal policies.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 15, 2016

Heads Should Roll Over Flint – Like Watergate

“What did they know, and when did they know it?” That’s the question Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo would pose to everyone involved in the poisoning of Flint, Michigan, including Gov. Rick Snyder, EPA chief Gina McCarthy and, ultimately, President Obama himself. BAR editor and columnist Dr. Coleman-Adebayo, who was a senior-level whistleblower at the EPA, said she “can’t imagine” that EPA administrator Gina McCarthy did not send President Obama a memo that essentially warned, “There is a potential that a major American city my be poisoned.” Failure to warn the public of imminent environmental danger “is a criminal offense,” she said.

Black and Brown Cities Disenfranchised

The poisoning of Flint began with the theft of democracy, through the imposition of state appointed emergency financial managers. “This is a form of taxation without representation,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, which held protests in solidarity with the people of Flint. “I don’t know of any white cities in America where this has occurred,” said Hamm, noting that local schools in Black and brown districts have long been targeted for state takeover.

Move Members Up for Parole, Again

Janine, Debbie and Janet Africa, members of the Move 9, will go before a Pennsylvania prison parole board, once again, in May, having spent 37 years behind bars in the 1978 shooting of a cop. The women are not even alleged to have possessed any guns. “In their fervor to kill our family, they ended up killing one of their own,” said Move spokesperson Ramona Africa. “”All of the evidence shows that.” Seven years after the 1978 confrontation, Philadelphia police bombed the Move residence, killing 11 men, women and children.

Black Lives Matter Network Supports Reproductive Rights

Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network, joined with two Black women’s organizations to combat right-wing groups that rail against abortion as “genocide” against African Americans. Or, as Garza put it: “the co-optation of Black Lives Matter language as a way to talk about restricting the ability of women to make the best decision for their own unique situation.” Garza held a joint press conference with La’Tasha Mayes, founder of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Monica Simpson, director of the Trust Black Women Partnership.

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Black Political Discussion On the 2016 Presidential Race is Wider and Deeper Than in 2008 or 2012

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

2008's black political discussion around presidential politics was all about silencing black noise over housing, jobs, unemployment, education, justice and peace. Be quiet we told each other. White folks will hear you and not vote for Obama. By 2012 we shut each other up to keep from embarrassing or the First Black President. Radical activists are now pushing for a wider black conversation about our people's needs that includes socialism.

Throw Off the Dead Weight of the Democratic Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“Blacks haven’t transformed the Democratic Party by our overwhelming presence. Instead, the Party has transformed us – and overwhelmed our radical politics.” The best result that can occur from the Sanders campaign would be that it leads to a split in the Democratic Party, and an end to the Rich Man’s Duopoly.

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