2016 elections

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 16, 2017

The Democrats: Serving the One Percent, Blaming the Russians

The Democrats are using the Russians as a scapegoat to avoid confronting “the rightwing Wall Street-captive party that they’ve become,” said activist and educator Paul Street, author of several books on President Barack Obama. Essentially, Democrats are saying, “It’s not that we’re a rightwing, corporate, neoliberal party beholden to the nation’s unelected dictatorship of money and empire. It’s not that we abandoned the working class and the causes of social justice and peace decades ago.” Speaking at the Open University of the Left, in Chicago, Street said Donald Trump did not ride to victory on a “big rust belt rebellion of the white working class.” The real story “is that the Democrats lost those voters to non-voting.”

When Capitalism Gets Sick, the Democrats Get Mean

The Democratic Party’s sharp turn to the right is its response to the “existential crisis at the core of capitalism,” a global phenomenon that has left the ruling class and its servants with “hardly any space to reform the system,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Philadelphia-based Duboisian scholar and activist. With “no room to maneuver,” the capitalists resort increasingly to war and repression. “Monopoly capitalism must be undone, the banks broken up, and a large part of them nationalized,” said Monteiro. “In other words,” there must be “a profound and fundamental end to the neoliberal order, globally; a retreat from empire and war; and a seizing of the military budget and turning it towards economic development, jobs and a green economy.”

Political Prisoners Under Pressure in Indiana

Khalfani Malik Khaldun, serving time at Wabash Valley prison, in Indiana, said officials have carried out “a series of raids on targeted political prisoners,” including himself. Khaldun was told by “top brass” that they consider him to be the facility’s “most influential” inmate and are pressuring him to use that influence to “stop the proliferation of meth, a synthetic drug spreading throughout the prison.” Otherwise, “they had orders to put me and ten of my comrades in solitary confinement,” where he is now housed. Khaldun said prison officials “are making me out to be running some form of drug ring, in an attempt to destroy my political credibility as an activist on the inside.”

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.
 
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As the Democrats Press for War, the Left Must Demand Peace and Social Transformation

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Democrats are whipping up war hysteria and “cynically seeking to harness people’s well-founded fears of Trump’s domestic policies in order to sabotage the possibility of a relaxation of international tensions.” Some folks have taken the bait. “Leftists that think they can exploit the split between the Trump troglodytes (fascists) and the Obama/Clinton/Old Line GOP War Party (fascists) will ultimately wind up caught in a pincer between the two.”

Freedom Rider: Contradiction in the Time of Trump

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The cacophony of pre-inaugural madness is full of lies against Russia, wild exaggerations about Obama’s accomplishments, and a weird and shameful alliance of so-called “progressives” and the CIA. Anti-Trump protests turn out to be props for useless Democrats. The contradictions of late stage capitalism abound -- which should be the cue for genuine radicals to fight both corporate parties. That means kicking the Democrats “while they are down.”

Some Guidance on the Russia Question

by Danny Haiphong

Barack Obama, “has spent its last days in the White House laying the basis for World War, claiming that the Russian government had directly interfered in the 2016 elections.” The corporate media and the Democratic Party have joined in the hysteria, along with far too many so-called progressives. “If criticism of Russia at this time takes precedence over fighting US imperialism, then a reexamination of the movement’s priorities is in order.”

Pity the Sad Legacy of Barack Obama

by Cornel West

One of the few Black public intellectuals to break with the First Black President early on, Dr. Cornel West notes that “those Obama cheerleaders who refused to make him accountable bear some responsibility” for the impending Age of Trump. Obama ignored pleas to “break with Wall Street priorities and bail out Main Street” – but bailed out the banks instead, and oversaw what has become “the full-scale gangsterization of the world.”

Locating Fascism on the Home Map

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

In decadence and decline, the U,S. has produced two strong strains of fascism that now vie for supremacy. The First Black President, now outgoing, represents the “cosmopolitan, global obsessed” variety of fascist. Donald Trump hails from an older fascist strain, “crude and petty, too ugly for global prime time.” At this stage in history, the two corporate parties seem incapable of producing anything other than fascists of one kind or the other.

Freedom Rider: Obama’s Propaganda Gift to Trump

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Political hysteria has its ironies. President Obama has just signed into law a new office of government propaganda that is intended to prevent any warming of relations with Russia under a Trump administration. But, President Trump will appoint the head of the office. The Democrats apparently expect Trump to cooperate with their plan to undermine his foreign policy, “silence dissent and create a network of propaganda partners” to badmouth Russia.

Trump’s Neo-Fascism will be Built on Neo-Fascism of Obama and Democrat Party

by Ajamu Baraka

White “radicals” and Black “nationalists” join with corporate Democrats and “latte” liberals” to mouth nonsense about Russians. Clinton Democrats attack Trump from the right -- and sweep know-nothings of all stripes along with them. “Collaboration from the left with the new McCarthyism is providing an opening for the isolation and repression of those of us who were going to have to fight no matter who would have been elected.”

Message to the Movement Against Donald Trump: Let the Empire Die

by Danny Haiphong

The Democrats are attacking from the Right, desperate to stir up war fever. “The destabilization of Russia is critical to finance capital's agenda of self-enrichment from the chaos of political catastrophe.” When Wall Street demands that the country be put on a war footing, the Democrats are eager to please. “Only strong ideological opposition to the Democratic Party can challenge the madness of the US empire's anti-Russia campaign.”

Message to the Movement Against Donald Trump: Let the Empire Die

Delusions Shattered: How Democrats Lost Claims to a Moral High Ground by Ignoring Obama's Transformation Into Bush

by Jon Reynolds

In defeat, Democrats now cast themselves as defiant “fascist-fighters” and saviors of civil society. Yet, they were silent or supportive when Barack Obama spent eight years committing the same crimes as George Bush, and adding his own atrocities to the record. Donald Trump’s victory, “if there is anything good to say about it, will at least breathe much needed life into an antiwar sentiment that has been largely dormant since Bush left office.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 2, 2017

Obama, Trump, Clinton, Bush – They All Serve the Same Masters

When Donald Trump recently stated a willingness to escalate the arms race, it caused a great media stir. But President Obama set in motion a trillion dollar nuclear weapons upgrade with barely a peep from the corporate press. “It really shows that it’s the U.S. system, it’s the Pentagon as a military institution, and corporations that must expand or they suffocate,” that are the source of endless war policies, said Sara Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition. “Although the media always acts like there is a choice, that there are huge differences” between the candidates of the two major parties, “both carry out the interests of U.S. corporate power.”

Haitians Take to Streets to Defy U.S. – and Americans Should Do the Same

Jovenel Moise, the rightwing candidate that elections officials claim won 55 percent of the vote in a four-way presidential race, “is the individual that the United States understands will continue the plunder, the pillaging that they’ve been doing in Haiti,” said Daoud Andre, a Brooklyn-based Haitian community activist and radio host. Charging the November 20 vote was rigged, tens of thousands of Haitians have engaged in nearly daily protests. U.S. progressives should take note, and “not take on Donald Trump from a defensive position,” said Andre. “I think we have to go back to the militant movements of the Sixties, movements for people to take their destinies in their own hands. We cannot be afraid of a clown. These are paper tigers.”

Obama’s “Legacy”: A Boon for the Rich

“We are in a ‘post-hope’ era,” BreakingBrown.com publisher Yvette Carnell told Counterpunch Radio host Eric Draitser. “He saved the financial industry and neutralized working people’s politics, especially Black politics, and left us far worse off than we were before he came.” The outgoing president “was a creature of Wall Street and finance capital from the beginning,” said fellow guest Pascal Robert, a lawyer and frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. “He had complete control of the Senate and the House” but “expended no political capital to push a jobs agenda at any time in his presidency.”

Milwaukee Cops Pressure Panther Feed-the-People Program

Activists and parents say Milwaukee police hit a 10 year-old girl in the face while targeting a community feeding program operated by the Revolutionary Black Panther Party, last week. “This is the first time since the 1960s that they have attacked a Black Panther food program,” said Dr. Alli Muhammad, Chief General Commander of the RBPP. The police seem angered that the Panther group held an armed march -- legal, under Wisconsin law -- and organized an African Holocaust Human Rights Tribunal, the week before. “It appears that they are trying to intimidate the people, to make them afraid to support us,” said Dr. Muhammad.

Mumia on the “Magic of Black Music”

The nation’s best known political prisoner noted the passing of Sharon Jones, lead singer for Dap-Kings, and British pop star George Michael. “It was in the magical realm of music that Black folks found their closest vision of freedom -- to be, to become, themselves,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, in a commentary for Prison Radio. Of George Michael, he said: “Black musical beats and rhythms liberated him, freed him to be his self, because in Black music one finds that yearning for freedom.”

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.
 
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Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 26, 2016

Greens Vs. Lesser-Evilism

The Green Party must learn how to “differentiate ourselves from the Democrats.” Otherwise, said Dr. Margaret Flowers, the party’s recent candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland, “If Trump runs again, it will be another ‘anybody-but Trump’ year, and whoever the Democrats throw up there, no matter how bad, will be considered better than Trump” -- and we’ll have the same old problem. “If we, ourselves embrace ‘lesser-evilism,’ then it only makes sense for other people to do that, as well.” Dr. Flowers said Green presidential candidate Jill Stein failed to think “strategically” before launching her voter recount effort, which was ultimately an expression of lesser-evilism.

Police Reformer Weighs Run for NYC Mayor, Cites Courts Full of “Crap” Cases

When Robert Gangi, director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, sends observers into the New York City court system, they see mainly “crap cases” based on minor offenses rarely, “if ever, involving anyone who we could possibly characterize as being dangerous or predatory.” Gangi said the court dockets prove “the cops are engaged in blatantly racist practices that do little, if anything, to contribute to public safety, and that do harm to people.” He’s considering running for mayor as a “protest candidate” against Bill de Blasio, who has bought into an intrusive and aggressive “Broken Windows” policing policy.

Technology Makes Universal, Quality Employment Possible – But Not Under Capitalism

“The task right now, is how we rethink work, rethink distribution, and rethink ownership –- fundamentally,” said Dr. J. Phillip Thompson, professor of Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Speaking on a podcast hosted by Dr. Michael Dawson, the nation’s premier Black social demographer and director of the University of Chicago’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, Dr. Thompson said President Obama missed the chance in 2008 to “use the takeover of General Motors as an opportunity to change ownership or the way manufacturing happens in America.” Thompson said studies show it would cost $600-$700 billion a year “to gainfully employ every able-bodied person in the U.S.” at a good job paying about $50,000 annually –- about one-twentieth of the cost of Obama’s bailout of the financial industry.

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.
 
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The Democratic and Republican Paths to Fascism

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The masks have come off, revealing the face of fascism among the Democrats. With War Fascism supreme in one party, and White Supremacist Fascism at the helm in the other (also warlike) party, it appears that “the winner of the 2016 election was the bipartisan, multi-ethnic War Party.” The Left can’t “game” this situation, or fool with the CIA. “For Black and brown folks and white progressives, there can be no alliance with either faction.”

Under Amazon’s CIA Cloud: The Washington Post

by Norman Solomon

When the national political “newspaper of record” is owned by a business partner of the CIA, every word on its pages should be suspect. Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is in financial bed with a cloak and dagger agency that tells lies for living, yet the public is expected to believe his newspaper. Bezos’ technicians at Amazon are building information “clouds” for the CIA -- while his reporters discharge clouds of disinformation at the Post.

U.S. Corporate Media: Liar, Liar, with Pants on Fire

by Ron West

Among the multiplying fables and fake news eagerly disseminated by U.S. corporate media is the claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the alleged hacking of U.S. Democrats. Sources within U.S. intelligence agencies are cited. Why anyone would believe anything out of a U.S. spook’s mouth is a mystery. The major U.S. media are so heavily infiltrated with spies, they are totally discredited, too.

Corporate Democrats Stir Up War Fever Against Russia to Turn Election

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The orchestrators of the anti-Russian war hysteria “have shown over the past several weeks that they are willing, and even eager, to bring down the whole edifice of U.S. social and political ‘checks and balances’ -- freedom of speech and other civil liberties -- to sustain the momentum of their neoliberal offensive in the world.” White Republicans stole the election, as usual, not Russians. Corporate Democrats want to steal the Bill of Rights.

Freedom Rider: Black Fear in the Age of Trump

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Having accepted the unacceptable and defended the indefensible when it came from Democrats, Blacks must now confront the white people’s president, Donald Trump. As in dark days of the past, we must cast off fear and cast out Black misleaders who are loyal only to themselves. “Creating political crisis should be the order of the day. That has always been the game changer, not necessarily getting Democrats into office instead of Republicans.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 5, 2016

Donald Trump’s Corporate Bait-and-Switch

A new report by Public Citizen shows 70 percent of Donald Trump’s presidential transition “landing team” members are affiliated with corporations. Trump’s rank-and-file supporters should be “furious that here we have corporate insider after corporate insider taking over the administration,” said Public Citizen research director Rick Claypool. Steven Mnuchin, the former Goldman Sachs banker slated to become Secretary of the Treasury, “is the appointment we would expect a president to have picked, if he intends to forge a plutocratic alliance” with Wall Street, said Claypool, who warned: “We can expect a return to the kind of Wild West of anything goes risk-taking that led to the 2008 crisis.”

A Movement Sorely in Need of Science

“The importance of the discussion of analysis has grown since the election,” said Nandita Chaturvedi, one of the organizers of a conference on Revolutionary Science for Radical Times, December 9 and 10, at Philadelphia’s Church of the Advocate.  “You see that there is so much confusion on the left, and you see activists that are aligning with the liberal media and aligning with the Clinton machinery.” Without a disciplined political analysis, social movements lose their moorings. “In order to see clearly what we are trying to oppose, and what is the system that we are dismantling, I think analysis is really needed,” said Chaturvedi.

RICO Prosecutions as a Tool of Gentrification

“They came to my house in the pre-dawn hours with all the elements of war,” said Paula, mother of one of 120 young men swept up in a police raid centered on two housing projects in The Bronx, last April, and charged with a wide range of crimes under RICO conspiracy laws. It was the biggest such sweep in New York City history -- larger than a raid that netted 103 youths from two Harlem housing projects, in 2014. Paula has withheld her last name in fear of retaliation against her son, whose mental health has deteriorated under solitary confinement. “They are not mafia, as they are charged under RICO,” she said. “None of these youth had arsenals of firearms.” Most had no money for defense lawyers. Paula sees the raids as part of gentrification pressures to empty public housing. Many of the mothers, she said, “have their sons in jail and, at the same time, they’re going through an eviction process.

U.S. is Lying Aggressor in Syria...

The United States has no right to interfere in the affairs of other countries, period, said BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley, speaking to a gathering of the Hands Off Syria Coalition, last week. The U.S. carries out regime change under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention to “protect” people from their own government, but “the claim is always a lie, a ruse to make real the Project for a New American Century,” said Kimberley, who is also active with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “The United States never has a humanitarian purpose in mind, in Syria or anyplace else -- any more so than it does here at home.”

...Just Like in Libya and Iraq

Michael Sampson, a co-founder of the Florida-based Dream Defenders who is now a labor organizer in the Washington, DC area, was among those that testified at a People’s Tribunal on the Iraq War, December 1 and 2, at the University of DC Law School. “The same tanks, the same police equipment, the same tear gas canisters that the war profiteers are spending billions of dollars on, are being thrown on the streets of Ferguson and Baltimore and Milwaukee and Charlotte,” said Sampson. “The wars that occur everywhere are all connected to war at home -- the war on working class people and Black and brown people. All these movements must connect. The people who colonized Iraq are the same people who colonized African Americans, here.” The Real News Network covered both days of testimony, live.

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.
 
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