Ajamu Baraka's blog

Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Masters Tools

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Malcolm X understood that “oppressed peoples must commit themselves to radical political struggle in order to advance a dignified approach to human rights.” What’s needed is a bottom-up mass movement for People(s)-Centered Human Rights,

Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama

by BAR editor Ajamu Baraka

The 2008 campaign t-shirts depicted Barack Obama clasping hands with MLK, as if the two men were politically joined. Yet, one was a radical opponent of militarism and the rule of the rich, while the other served Wall Street, the Pentagon and American Exceptionalism. Dr. King loved humanity, and died in its service. In contrast, “for Obama, there is a hierarchy of humanity where a peoples’ worth is directly related to their value to the empire.”

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.”

Baltimore: Impunity for the Police and Prison for the Resisters


by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

President Obama’s justice department intervened to bring the full weight of federal law down on those that resisted killer cops in the streets. “The real ‘America’ is the America of Baltimore where six cops escape accountability for severing the spinal cord of Freddie Gray.” The fake America resides in the “liberal notion that the current state can actually render “justice” to a captive, surplus population.”

We Must Resist Attempts to Silence Our Voices on Police Violence

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The man who targets people for assassination every Tuesday has no moral authority to counsel Black folk on how to resist oppression. “We know that Obama, the Black Mis-Leadership Class, and the majority of the U.S. public really does not believe in the equal value of all life, and certainly not in the value of poor, working class black life.” We are a peaceful people, but this will not be “a one-sided war.”

Paris, Orlando and Turkey: Displacing the Narrative of Western Innocence

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Far from innocent, the U.S. is complicit in ISIS outrages through its longstanding “strategy to bolster Islamic jihadist forces working with and through Turkey, the Saudi’s, and other Gulf monarchs and repressive states, including Israel.” ISIS is America’s Frankenstein. “It is the people who suffer when these destructive forces unleashed on the world by their Western governments double back on their masters and bring the terror “home.”

Muhammad Ali and Dylann Roof: Contested Meanings and Contested Lies

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

In the space of a week, Muhammad Ali was eulogized by “the rapist and petty opportunist politician” Bill Clinton, and the U.S. government announced it would pursue the death penalty for the Charleston shooter. Nothing in America is innocent. The first event represents the rulers’ attempt to “Americanize” Black icons. The second cynically seeks to undermine opposition to the death penalty among Blacks, the group most opposed to capital punishment.

Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Beyonce and her dancers perform in pseudo-Panther gear, pretending that resistance to the state is a matter of fashionability.  “It is incredibly naive to think that anything subversive or even remotely oppositional to the interests of the capitalist oligarchy would be allowed expression on a stage that it controlled.” Assata Shakur is an example of “total resistance that can’t be co-opted by bourgeois culture.”

Why African Americans Should Stand with Muslims and Arabs

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The methods of repression that are now directed against Muslims and Arabs in the United States were developed to oppress Black Americans and will return tomorrow “when the state and public opinion turns against the latest expressions of black opposition popularly characterized as the black lives matter movement.” For collective self-interest and in the spirit of the Black Radical Tradition, Blacks should reach out to Arabs and Muslims and “share with them our experiences surviving racial totalitarianism.”

The Neo-Liberal Assault on Black Lives from Baltimore to Buenaventura Colombia

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Black people in Baltimore, USA, and Buenaventura, Colombia, are oppressed by the same monster. “In both cases, the effects of capitalist globalization have resulted in massive displacement of black populations; increased poverty; economic marginalization of black labor and state and private violence.” Colombian death squads have sent Danelly Estupiñan a message.

The Paris Attacks and the White Lives Matter Movement

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The white world views French victims of ISIS as more valuable – more human – than the thousands of Arabs, Kurds and Africans murdered in terror attacks, or the billions of people exploited, enslaved and exterminated by Europeans over the past five centuries. “The ‘lie of white supremacy’ has distorted the personalities, lives and the very ability of many white people to grasp reality.” France is anything but innocent. Neither is the U.S.

War, Repression and International Gangsterism: U.S. State Policy from Benghazi to Baltimore

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

When it comes to maintaining U.S. imperial power and the rule of the rich, impunity is absolute. The congressional Benghazi hearings exposed not a single official crime, while suppressing vast violations of U.S. and international law. The domestic Obama doctrine makes inner city teenage “rioting” a federal concern, but the people that supply weapons to al-Qaeda in Syria and Libya are untouchable. Crime isn’t crime when it’s imperial policy.

The Obama Two-Step on Syria

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

President Obama is disavowing his failed strategy to train “moderate” rebels to fight ISIS, claiming the Republicans made him do it. Under Washington’s plan for regime change in Syria, radical jihadists would be used as the ‘boots on the ground’ for the U.S. in Syria,” as they were in Afghanistan. The West’s plans for ISIS and al Qaeda have gone awry, as have U.S. schemes to deploy “moderates” proxies of imperialism.

The Yemen Tragedy and the Ongoing Crisis of the Left in the United States

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

With their support for Bernie Sanders, much of the Left has decided that “lives in the White West matter more than others.” The Democratic presidential candidate encourages Saudi Arabia to “get its hands dirty,” when the Wahabbist monarchs are already killing thousands in Yemen, oppressing the people of Bahrain, and funding jihadists in Syria – all with U.S. support. The Sanders campaign “is an ideological prop of the logic and interests of the capitalist-imperialist settler state.”

Why is Cornel West Sheep-Dogging for the Democrats – Once Again?

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Cornel West has thrown his support to Bernie Sanders, the nominal socialist – but unquestionable Democrat – running for president. Dr. West says Sanders “tells the truth about Wall Street, white supremacy, empire, patriarchy and homophobia.” Really? The author says West has some explaining to do. “Brother West, you can’t quote King on his stance against militarism and support a candidate that is unable to utter a word against U.S. militarism.”

Making Black Lives Matter in Riohacha, Colombia

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The organized descendants of Africans in Colombia have some lessons to share with Blacks in the U.S. For one thing, it would be “inconceivable” for any Afro-Colombian organizer, “no matter how inexperienced, to get into a meeting with a presidential aspirant and frame a question around what that person ‘felt’ about their role as an oppressor.”

The Assassination of Sandra Bland and the Struggle against State Repression

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The Black Lives Matter movement has another martyr, as it prepares for a national conference in Cleveland, this weekend. Sandra Bland’s murder in Texas shows, once again, that “defending one’s dignity in an encounter with the police is a crime that that can lead to a death sentence.” The emerging movement must be clear on the political nature of Bland’s death, and that only real power in the hands of the people can break the cycle of oppression.

No ‘Je Suis Charleston’?: The De-Politicization of Black Oppression

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Where was the worldwide revulsion at the racist terror attack in Charleston? “Obama sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and lulled into a stupefying silence black voices that should have demanded answers as to why the Charleston attack was not considered a terrorist attack, even though it fit the definition of domestic terrorism.” As a result, “the political space for international solidarity with the plight of African Americans was significantly reduced.”

Closing the Historical Circle: White Terrorism at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

The commander-in-chief of the greatest purveyor of violence in the world laments the massacre in Charleston. But “Obama just wants to make sure that the violence is state-sanctioned.” He is happy to “send arms to known Islamic extremists in Syria, provide logistical and political support to the Saudi’s brutal and illegal war in Yemen, arm and train neo-Nazi fascists in Ukraine while militarily pivoting to Asia.” The founding slaveholders would approve.

The Political Economy of Black Opposition to Free-Trade Neoliberalism

by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

Despite President Obama’s fierce defense of his rigged trade treaty, “African American organizations have rallied in opposition to the TPP and established its defeat as an immediate priority for black people.” The realities of Black life demand that the job destroying pact be rejected. Already, “large numbers of African American workers and the poor are destined to not be able to secure full time employment during their entire lives.”


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