John Lewis

Cory Booker, Corporate Hooker: The Perfect Establishment Opposition to Donald Trump

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

After losing the White House to the most unpopular president in history, Democrats have lots to say, but even more to avoid saying, lest they expose themselves as every bit as much corporate tools as their Republican foes. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is their ideal spokesperson, a cynical, photogenic and utterly dependable corporate whore who can be counted on to keep the anti-Trump rabble safely inside the Democrats' big stinky tent.

Is It Time To Revoke John Lewis’s Lifetime Civil Rights Hero Pass?

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

John Lewis was a hero 52 years ago. What’s he doing nowadays with his Lifetime Civil Rights Hero pass? He’s a 14 term Atlanta congressman with nary a word to say on gentrification or the privatization of schools, roads, nature and the commons. He’s a pacifist with a US Navy ship named after him who votes for the NSA, Pentagon budgets, and re-arming apartheid Israel. Now his sainthood is useful again. But to whom and for what?


Freedom Rider: No Tears for John Lewis

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

John Lewis has parlayed his 1965 beating at the hands of Alabama police into a phony sainthood, and “now exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Congressional Black Caucus, the Democratic Party and the black misleadership class.” He “parrots every word” of the CIA in blaming Russia for Hillary Clinton’s defeat. There are many reasons to boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration, but “Russia” is the only one mentioned by Lewis, the party hack.

What Constitutes a "Legitimate President" in the United States?

by Danny Haiphong

The furor over Donald Trump’s “legitimacy” as president presumes that the U.S. system of rule is, itself, legitimate, at home and abroad. The Democrats maintain “a legitimate President certainly cannot have peaceful relations with Russia.” They are attempting to continue the momentum of the Obama period, which “has been the highest expression of the Democratic Party's transformation into the War Party and the most legitimate party of imperialism.”

Congressional Black Caucus: Deep in the Israel Lobby’s Pocket

by Jeffrey Blankfort

The Congressional Black Caucus is a bought-and-paid-for political ally of the planet’s last remaining apartheid state, Israel. “That the CBC has consistently, as a bloc, voted to send billions of US taxpayers dollars to provide weapons for a foreign government that oppresses another people of color, the Palestinians, is nothing less than shameful.” Cynthia McKinney was the last CBC member to take a principled stand on Palestine.

Congressional Dems "Sit In" Is A Cynical, Hypocritical Election Year Stunt

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

The so-called “sit in” on the floor of Congress is a cynical and hypocritical joke, leveraging the image of the Southern Freedom Movement and piggybacking on secret, arbitrary terror watch and no-fly lists imposed by the Bush-Cheney administration after 911. Where was the sit-in when Congress cut $5 billion from food stamps, the sit-in for a living wage, or against police murders and mass incarceration or the stolen California primary vote?


Why Did America’s Ruling Elites Declare War on the Black Movement?

by Abayomi Azikiwe

1966 was a watershed year, the historical juncture when the “civil rights” movement, which had been largely victorious in ending legally-mandated apartheid in the U.S., was overshadowed by the “Black Power” movement. Stokely Carmichael, later known as Kwame Ture, of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, was at the center of the transformation that led to the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense the same year.

The Bogus Power of the Black Vote Within the Confines of the Democratic Party

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

"Black Power" has been turned on its head on the electoral front, put at the service of corporatists like Hillary Clinton. "Paralyzed by fear of the White Man's Party, Black voters find a false sense of power in clustering around the perceived 'winners'" on the Democratic Party menu. "The mantra is, effectively, 'All Power to the Democratic Party!'" – brokered, of course, by the Black Misleadership Class.

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 October 5, 2015

Reps. John Lewis and Terri Sewell Scheme to Keep Racist’s Name on Selma Bridge

State Sen. Hank Sanders and lots of other people in Selma, Alabama, want to name the Edmund Pettus Bridge for Amelia Boynton Robinson, the “Mother of Voting Rights” who died in August at the age of 110. Ms. Boynton Robinson was an activist in the 1920s, registered to vote in 1934, brought both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and SNCC to Selma, ran for Congress in 1964, was beaten and left for dead by police on Bloody Sunday, 1965, and continued her political work until a month before her death. Edmund Pettus, on the other hand, was a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon. Hank Sanders won unanimous State Senate support for a bill to remove Pettus’s name, but “Congresswoman Terri Sewell interacted to try and prevent that name from being changed, and so did Congressman [John] Lewis,” said Sanders. “There was a concerted effort to keep the white supremacist’s name on the bridge.” Some in Selma believe the goal is to ultimately have the bridge named for John Lewis, who was also badly beaten on March 7, 1965. Rep. Sewell was rated Worst Black Congressperson on the CBC Monitor Report Card.

100 Relatives of Police Victims Will Attend Rise Up October in NYC

Organizers will bring 100 family members of victims of police violence to New York City for Rise Up October protests, October 22 through 24. “It’s very important that people remember the names of those victims, but also see those who are left behind,” said Rev. Jerome McCorry, director of the Adam Project, which deals with incarceration issues in Dayton, Ohio, and Faith and Social Justice Advocate for the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, founded four years ago by Carl Dix and Dr. Cornel West. “We’re talking about more than seizing a moment; we’re creating a movement,” said McCorry.

Tens of Thousands of Prisoners Suffer Same Medical Neglect as Mumia

Pennsylvania prison authorities continue to resist Mumia Abu Jamal’s demand that he get adequate treatment for hepatitis C, the untreated underlying condition that led to his near death, earlier this year. The nation’s best known political prisoner’s skin resembles “elephant hide,” according to close confidant Dr. Johanna Fernandez, professor of History and Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College, in New York City. “This is a form of cruel and unusual punishment through medical neglect,” said Fernandez, who reports that other inmates afflicted with hepatitis C in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Massachusetts have filed class action suits.  Fernandez said 40 percent of the nation’s prisoners suffer from serious, chronic diseases brought on by prison diets and conditions. “We’re dealing with human rights violations of epic proportions.

Prison Phone Call Prices to Drop

The Federal Communications Commission will soon finalize its order to dramatically reduce the rates private monopoly companies can charge for telephone services to prisoners. Calls at some jails and prisons currently cost as much as $14 a minute, with the companies kicking back some of the profits to prison authorities. The FCC’s new rates would range from 11 to 22 cents a minute, but the kickbacks would remain, said Alex Friedmann, associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center. Prison phone calls are privatized, as are prison money transfers, medical services, food, transportation – “all of these have been contracted out to for-profit companies,” said Friedmann. “In effect, we have monetized virtually every aspect of our corrections system.”

People’s Lawyer Mourned by Attica Brothers

Elizabeth Fink, the People’s Lawyer, died of cardiac arrest in Brooklyn, New York, at the age of 70, last month. Fink defended survivors of the police massacre that followed the Attica prison rebellion of 1971, winning a $12 million settlement for the victims, and secured the release of Black Panther political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahhad. Every prosecutor “had to respect the bearing, the presence, the integrity and the ferocity of Elizabeth Fink, who we will miss, dearly,” said Zayid Muhammad, press officer for the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee.

NYPD’s New Guidelines Just “Window Dressing”

New York City police commissioner Bill Bratton has issued new guidelines on reporting the use of non-lethal force against civilians, including striking, maceing, and take-downs. “We are unimpressed,” said Robert Gangi, of the Police Reform Organizing Project. It’s “primarily window dressing – as if most officers will comply with those policies,” or that the department will actually enforce them. “We know from NYPD practices that they don’t punish officers who don’t follow their own guidelines.” Officers are also banned from using force for intimidation or retaliation against civilians. “It would be foolish to believe that,” said Gangi.”


“When Other Folks Give Up Theirs…” Black Freedom and the Gun Control Debate

by Akinyele Umoja

Contrary to Congressman John Lewis’ revision of history, “the notion that the Civil Rights movement was exclusively nonviolent is a popular mythology.” In fact, “Some members of Lewis’s Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee picked up weapons and worked with community people to defend their lives against white terrorists.”

Call Out Their Names! The Black Caucus Roster of Shame

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

A handful of Black lawmakers have joined with Blue Dog Democrats to call for $4 trillion in federal spending cuts over 10 years – far more than the congressional “Super-Committee” is required to make this month. $4 trillion happens to be the figure both President Obama and his deficit reduction commission proposed to cut. The six Black congressmen are attempting to help the First Black President seal his “Grand Bargain” with the GOP by defunding what’s left of the New Deal and Great Society.


Congressman John Lewis Betrays Black Cherokee Freedmen

by Dr. Ron Daniels

Deep ties of blood and history bind African Americans and Native Americans. But a great injustice was done to the Black Freedmen of the Cherokee Nation, who were stripped of the right to vote. Black Congressman John Lewis rubbed salt in the Freedmen's wounds by honoring tribal Chief Chad Smith, the man who engineered the disenfranchisement, an act that “was tantamount to expelling” Blacks from the tribe.

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