Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 26, 2016

Prison Strike Against Slave Labor Continues

Despite a near-total lack of corporate media coverage, the national prison strike that began September 9 continues at facilities in 11 states, said Pastor Kenneth Glascow, chief outside spokesperson for the Free Alabama Movement, centered at the state prison in Holman. “Some are on hunger strike, some are doing the work stoppage” to protest involuntary servitude at slave wages, said Glascow. “In the near future, we will start boycotting some of those companies that use prison labor.” U.S. unemployment is “not just about ‘outsourcing’” jobs to foreign countries, he said. “It’s also ‘in-sourcing,’ using prison labor.”

Clinton Election Heightens Danger of World War

If Hillary Clinton wins the White House, she will likely name Samantha Power, the current U.S. ambassador to the UN and an architect of the so-called “humanitarian” military intervention doctrine, as her secretary of state or national security advisor, said Duboisian scholar and veteran social activist Dr. Anthony Monteiro. “It is clear that the Clinton foreign policy would be guided by the Pentagon and her own predisposition to settle accounts in the Middle East and with the Assad government and with Russia, militarily,” said Monteiro. “We on the Left -- and, especially, the Black Left – have to begin to raise the question of war and peace as the central question in this election.”

Uhuru Conference: “Africans Need Our Own Theory”

The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (INPDUM) held its national conference in Ferguson, Missouri, this month. “We’ve been borrowing theory from everybody else,” said Movement president Kalambayi Andenet. “What is our interest? We need our own theory, and that’s African internationalism.” INPDUM is part of the African People’s Social Party, chaired by Omali Yeshitela. “We are a revolutionary organization,” he said. “If anybody is going to govern, to rule Black people, it’s got to be Black people, themselves.”

Ethnic Cleansing in Ethiopia

Hundreds of protestors have been killed in recent months in the Amhara and Oromo regions of Ethiopia, victims of the central government’s policy of “ethnic cleansing” of the nation’s two largest population groups, said Tsigereda Mulutega, vice president of the Ethiopian People’s Congress for Struggle (SHENGO). The Ethiopia regime is dominated by people from the Tigrayan ethnic group, which comprises only 6 percent of the population. Ethiopia is the biggest U.S. foreign aid recipient, next to Israel, said Mulutega. Therefore, “it is in the interest of U.S. taxpayers to say ‘no’ to crimes against humanity in Ethiopia.”

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

Direct download: 20160926_BlackAgendaRadio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am EDT

The Obama Legacy: It’s No Crime For Corporations To Steal From the Public, or the Poor

The Obama Legacy: It’s No Crime For Corporations To Steal From the Public, or the Poor

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Today we’re going to look for the Obama legacy in how the federal government treats those who steal from the public or from the poor.

The current bankster scam in the news right now is Wells Fargo, whose bosses deliberately incentivized thousands of $12 an hour employees to buckle down and sell connected financial services to customers who did not need or want them in order to keep their jobs or be eligible for promotion. For the record, Wells Fargo is not the only bank to do this, it’s been a standard kind of corrupt bankster move all over the world for decades. Wells Fargo made billions doing it this time alone.

So how do scamming banksters get handled in the age of Obama, and is it any different from what came before?

The answer is that a thousand or two bank workers will be disciplined or fired. For a small fine, a mere fraction of what its executives stole, Wells Fargo got the Obama Justice Department to co-sign on their professed innocence of any crime and to guarantee their immunity to lawsuits filed by the people they robbed.

Obama’s first attorney general famously declared the banksters too big to prosecute or even investigate, and his second attorney general wrote the fine print on the similar “get out of jail free” and the “can’t be sued by the people I robbed” cards Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and of course Wells Fargo received in 2008-09. It wasn’t always this way. When savings and loan officials scammed the public out of billions during the first Bush administration, federal prosecutors put a couple thousand of them in prison. Obama could have done, and was expected by millions of his voters to do the same. He simply chose not to, which helped Democrats lose the Congress in 2010. In 8 years Democrat Barack Obama has gone further to protect criminal banksters and their investors than any Republican dared go before him.

Take a quick look at the Obama administration’s handling another kind of theft from the poor, wage theft.

Economist Richard Wolff estimates the yearly value of wages which employers refuse to pay, illegally withhold or otherwise steal from their workers in this country at several times the value of all the reported burglaries and armed robberies. Employers traditionally are not prosecuted, and in Los Angeles it’s reported that 83% of workers who WIN a case filed for stolen wages against an employer never recover a cent. Wage theft seems to be an area where little has changed. Previous administrations never bothered themselves about it, and neither did the Obama administration.

Finally not even the briefest of Barack Obama legacy on elite financial crime is incomplete without noting the president’s role in the massive expansion of the charter school racket. The Obama administration spent $4 billion in federal stimulus money outside any congressional or other oversight to incentivize the closing of thousands of so-called “underperforming public schools” mostly in black and poor communities. The near-complete absence of public accountability on the part of charter schools predictably ushered in a nationwide white collar crime wave, as charter school operators, their officers, contractors and their sugar daddy investors scrambled for shares of the cash that used to go to public education.

Thus the past 8 years reveal the definitive Obama legacy on elite financial crime. It’s not just too big to jail. It’s simply not punishable, or even investigatable as long as you steal from the poor or from the public.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and the co-chair of the GA Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta Ga, and can be reached at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport.com.

Direct download: 20160921-bd-obama-legacy-elite-financial-crime.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41pm EDT

Murder by Occupation: Tulsa 2016, Baghdad 2007

“That looks like a bad dude.”

The narrators of the murder were high in the sky, circling the scene of the unfolding, racist crime in their police helicopter. Down below, a large Black man named Terence Crutcher was standing with his hands up next to his disabled car. Four Tulsa, Oklahoma cops had arrayed themselves like a firing squad; one of them, Officer Betty Shelby, was the wife of Dave Shelby, one of the cops in the helicopter. From his elevated vantage point, Officer Dave Shelby provided the voice-over to Terence Crutcher’s last moments of life. “He’s got his hands up there for her now,” said Shelby. “This guy is still walking and following commands.”

You’d think that was a good thing. But, the other cop chimes in immediately: “Time for a Taser, I think.” Officer Shelby says, “I got a feeling that’s about to happen.” His partner clearly wants some damage done to the Black man, below. “That looks like a bad dude, too,” he said. “Could be on something,” he adds -- already providing some kind of drug-crazed justification for the murder that his fellow cops are about to commit. Then, with heaven and her husband Dave watching, Officer Betty Shelby blows Terence Crutcher away. The two cops in the helicopter express no surprise, no shock, no emotion whatsoever. As Terence Crutcher lays dying, the first thing out of Officer Dave Shelby’s mouth was about re-routing traffic around the killing zone.

The helicopter police voice-over of Terence Crutcher’s execution was a ghastly reminder of the video released by Wikileaks of a 2007 mass murder of Iraqi civilians by U.S. helicopter gun crews over Baghdad. The Americans were engaged in what I’m sure some of them called “hajji-hunting,” which is the same as what the good ole boys back home call “coon-hunting” -- searching for colored folks to kill. Circling unseen way above the city, the Americans opened fire at an innocent group of unarmed men on a street corner.

Mission Unjustifiable

“Keep shootin. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’,” hollered one of the killers. “Oh, yeah, look at those dead bastards,” said his partner. “Nice. Good shootin’,” the other soldier complimented his accomplice in murder. But they weren’t through, yet. The gunship then attacked a van driven by a father with two of his children inside. The voice of American Soldier #1 is heard saying, “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”

These voices over Baghdad and Tulsa speak the same language: the language of Occupation. When spoken by Americans, this language is always racist, but it also has its own, particular quality of horror. Occupations are always justified as “peace-keeping” missions. Domestic occupiers are called “peace” officers. But their mission is war against a civilian population -- to inflict preemptive terror on an entire mass of people. Since the actual mission cannot be justified, the Occupiers lie to themselves and everybody else about the real nature of their mission. In the end, the Occupied peoples have no choice but to expel their tormentors, or become as insane and morally degraded as they are. This applies just as much in Tulsa as it does in Baghdad. We need Black community control of the police, and an end to the Occupation.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20160921_gf_TulsaToBaghdad.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:59pm EDT

Murder by Occupation: Tulsa 2016, Baghdad 2007

“That looks like a bad dude.”

The narrators of the murder were high in the sky, circling the scene of the unfolding, racist crime in their police helicopter. Down below, a large Black man named Terence Crutcher was standing with his hands up next to his disabled car. Four Tulsa, Oklahoma cops had arrayed themselves like a firing squad; one of them, Officer Betty Shelby, was the wife of Dave Shelby, one of the cops in the helicopter. From his elevated vantage point, Officer Dave Shelby provided the voice-over to Terence Crutcher’s last moments of life. “He’s got his hands up there for her now,” said Shelby. “This guy is still walking and following commands.”

You’d think that was a good thing. But, the other cop chimes in immediately: “Time for a Taser, I think.” Officer Shelby says, “I got a feeling that’s about to happen.” His partner clearly wants some damage done to the Black man, below. “That looks like a bad dude, too,” he said. “Could be on something,” he adds -- already providing some kind of drug-crazed justification for the murder that his fellow cops are about to commit. Then, with heaven and her husband Dave watching, Officer Betty Shelby blows Terence Crutcher away. The two cops in the helicopter express no surprise, no shock, no emotion whatsoever. As Terence Crutcher lays dying, the first thing out of Officer Dave Shelby’s mouth was about re-routing traffic around the killing zone.

The helicopter police voice-over of Terence Crutcher’s execution was a ghastly reminder of the video released by Wikileaks of a 2007 mass murder of Iraqi civilians by U.S. helicopter gun crews over Baghdad. The Americans were engaged in what I’m sure some of them called “hajji-hunting,” which is the same as what the good ole boys back home call “coon-hunting” -- searching for colored folks to kill. Circling unseen way above the city, the Americans opened fire at an innocent group of unarmed men on a street corner.

Mission Unjustifiable

“Keep shootin. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’. Keep shootin’,” hollered one of the killers. “Oh, yeah, look at those dead bastards,” said his partner. “Nice. Good shootin’,” the other soldier complimented his accomplice in murder. But they weren’t through, yet. The gunship then attacked a van driven by a father with two of his children inside. The voice of American Soldier #1 is heard saying, “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.”

These voices over Baghdad and Tulsa speak the same language: the language of Occupation. When spoken by Americans, this language is always racist, but it also has its own, particular quality of horror. Occupations are always justified as “peace-keeping” missions. Domestic occupiers are called “peace” officers. But their mission is war against a civilian population -- to inflict preemptive terror on an entire mass of people. Since the actual mission cannot be justified, the Occupiers lie to themselves and everybody else about the real nature of their mission. In the end, the Occupied peoples have no choice but to expel their tormentors, or become as insane and morally degraded as they are. This applies just as much in Tulsa as it does in Baghdad. We need Black community control of the police, and an end to the Occupation.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20160921_gf_TulsaToBaghdad.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:59pm EDT

Black Agenda Report for Week of September 19, 2016

Kaepernick’s Example Spreads “Like Wildfire”

The same reality confronts the U.S. today as in 1776, said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston: “If you treat a people atrociously, you should not expect them to stand by you.” The third stanza of the “Star-Spangled Banner” “explicitly denounces Black people, since they fled en mass to British lines in the War of 1812 and helped to torch the White House in August, 1814,” because the British promised freedom for those who would fight the slave-holding white settlers. Football star Colin Kaepernick’s defiance of the national anthem and flag “is spreading like wildfire,” said Dr. Horne, “and hopefully it will help people to begin to interrogate our past and our present.”

Black Youth Activists “Lobby” for Legislation on Capitol Hill

Black Youth Project 100 and the National Black Justice Coalition launched a lobbying campaign, last week, coinciding with the Congressional Black Caucus’ yearly extravaganza. BYP100 spokesperson Samantha Master said the group’s legislative priorities include the College for All Act, the Health Equity and Accountability Act, the Healthy Families Act, and the Equality Act, among others. “We are going beyond just simple criminal justice reform,” said Master. “We are taking the stance to abolish the system that continually marginalizes Black people.” The lobbying work is intended to be “simultaneous with and intertwined with our base-building work and our grassroots advocacy work,” she said. The overall goal is to build “public policy agendas that create a world where Black people can live in dignity.”

Despite Video, Feds Will Not Charge Cop in Killing Jerame Reid

The police car video clearly showed Jerame Reid’s hands raised in surrender when a Bridgeton, New Jersey cop shot him dead at point blank range, on December 30, 2014.Yet, the local U.S. attorney has refused to charge the officer with any crime. “We categorically reject that decision not to bring a civil rights investigation,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, which has been holding weekly demonstrations at the Federal Building in Newark demanding “justice for Jerame Reid.” Hamm said the Justice Department sets the “bar so high” to prove police culpability, “it’s like a rigged game.”

Mother of Drowned Girl Finds Comradeship in Uhuru Movement

Kunde Ngudi Mwamvita, whose 16 year-old daughter, Dominique, and her two 15 year-old best friends drowned to death when the car they were driving was forced into a pond by Pinellas County, Florida, sheriff’s deputies, was a featured speaker at the Independent People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement’s annual conference and 25th anniversary, this past weekend, in Ferguson, Missouri. Ms. Mwamvita is suing the county. “We have to be strong,” she said. “But, I can’t be strong by myself. I had to join a group of people who said, ‘Enough is enough -- not one more Black life!’”

Darren Seals is Sixth to Die Suspiciously in Ferguson

Upstairs from the Uhuru Movement conference at Ferguson’s Greater St. Marks Church, family, friends, and “movement” folks attended the funeral of Darren Seals, the 29 year-old activist, rapper and General Motors worker whose body was found in his car, shot and incinerated. Seals’ passing was noted on Kiilu Nyasha’s San Francisco Bay Area television show, “Freedom is a Constant Struggle,” by Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, whose January 1, 2009, killing by a transit cop set off demonstrations that many believe mark the beginning of the current mass movement against police terror. “Darren Seals is the sixth young man since Michael Brown to be assassinated in Ferguson,” said Mr. Johnson. “It appears to be an assassination that is directly related to the police.”

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.

Direct download: BlackAgendaRadio_20160919.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:26pm EDT

Georgia’s Governor Wants To Turn His Public Schools Into Post Katrina New Orlean

Georgia’s Governor Wants To Turn His Public Schools Into Post Katrina New Orleans

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

There’s a constitutional amendment on the ballot in Georgia this November. The word voters will see on their machines election day read thusly:

Amendment #1: Provides greater flexibility and state accountability to fix failing schools through increasing community involvement.

"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?"

It’s Georgia Governor Nathan Deal's cynically misnamed "Opportunity School District" or OSD, the latest atrocity in the bipartisan right wing drive to privatize public education in the United States.

The so-called “Opportunity School District,” as its corporate funded multimillion dollar advertising campaign calls it, empowers the governor, through an agency he appoints, to decide what schools are “failing”, usually by low scores on standardized tests. It authorizes the closing of a hundred Georgia public schools, almost entirely in black Georgia.

The governor then gets to fire up a virtual school district stretching across the entire state, a district in which he alone appoints all the officials on whatever basis at what ever salary suits him. OSD lets the governor create up to a hundred new charter schools in his virtual district to eat the funds which used to go to those public schools. The new OSD charter schools will make fortunes for their investors and contractors, who have already and will continue to donate generously to the governor and his friends. OSD’s charter schools will only be responsible to their own boards and investors, and of course the governor.

There is no “flexibility” or “community involvement” whatsoever. It’s simple school privatization. OSD will strip locally elected school boards, along with parents, teachers and communities of any and all rights to control their schools and the educational destiny of their children.

The only opportunity in Governor Deal’s opportunity school district is a business opportunity for his friends, not an educational opportunity for our children.

The leading candidate to head this contraption is said to be Illinois Democrat Paul Vallas, who shredded the public schools of Chicago and Philly before being named the first head of the post-Katrina New Orleans Recovery School District, an all charter operation created when one-percenters closed all 127 New Orleans public schools. So it’s not metaphor when we say Governor Deal wants to turn Georgia’s schools into those of post-Katrina New Orleans.

Some Democrats DO oppose, though they only criticize Republican privatizers, not Democrats. Some Republicans oppose it too, because OSD will strip locally elected school boards of any semblance of control over the educational futures of children. But the most powerful politicians of both parties do want school privatization. They just don’t like to use p-word, it has “high negatives.” So their privatization amendment is on the ballot, nicely wrapped up to look like something else entirely.

Unlike Democrats and Republicans, many of whom are deep in the pockets of charter school sugar daddies, the Green Party is the only political party which unequivocally opposes school privatization in general and the OSD in particular. If the amendment passes, it will be the biggest set of school closures since Katrina, and Chicago a few years back when Rahm Emanuel shut down 50 schools at once. The eyes of the nation, for a little while will be on Georgia.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report and the co-chair of the GA Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta GA and can be reached via email at bruce.dixon@blackagendareport.com.


Direct download: 20160914-bd-opportunity_school_dist01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:36pm EDT

Philippines President Has U.S. Target on His Back

“Duterte does not accept being lectured to by the United States, a country with so much Filipino blood on its hands.”

Don’t be surprised if Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte winds up being overthrown or murdered by his own military or national police, acting on behalf of the United States. All most Americans know about President Duterte is that he called President Obama a “son of a whore” – a term Duterte throws around a lot. Duterte later clarified his remarks, saying the object of his anger wasn’t Obama, personally, but “America,” in general. And, that’s quite understandable, because the United States killed as many as one million Filipinos when it colonized the country back in 1898, and still treats the island nation of about 100 million people like a colony. The U.S. holds great influence with the Filipino military, which operates in close collaboration with U.S. Special Forces troops stationed in the country.

Duterte started cursing when he was told that Obama was planning to lecture him at the G-20 Summit meeting in Laos, last week. Duterte does not accept being lectured to by the United States, a country with so much Filipino blood on its hands. Obama, who has ordered the death of tens of thousands in the bombing of six countries, was preparing to criticize Duterte’s policy of killing accused drug dealers on-the-spot, which has so far resulted in about 3,000 deaths. When the Philippines president found out that he was in for a scolding, he exploded:

“You must be kidding,” he said. “Who is he to confront me? America has one too many to answer for the misdeeds in this country … As a matter of fact, we inherited this problem” – meaning, the drug problem – “from the United States. Why? Because they invaded this country and made us their subjugated people … Can I explain the extrajudicial killing? Can they explain the 600,000 Moro massacred in this island?” Duterte was speaking of Mindanao, where he was born.

Americans = No Peace

The U.S. troop presence inflames tensions with the local Muslim population. “The special forces, they have to go,” he said. “They have to go in Mindanao, there are many whites there.”

But, the Black Americans have to go, too. “For as long as we stay with America,” said the Philippine president, “we will never have peace in that land.”

Duterte thinks Obama has some nerve waving his finger about “human rights.”

"Why are you Americans killing the black people there, shooting them down when they are already on the ground?" he asked.

Duterte is popular with his people largely because he is not a puppet of the United States. He calls himself a socialist, and has honored an extended cease fire in the nearly 50-year war with communist guerillas. Duterte says he may begin buying weapons from Russia and China, who offer “soft loans” and better terms. He said he will stop allowing joint patrols of Philippine and U.S. naval forces in the South China sea, and will “follow an independent foreign policy.” And, Duterte says his country doesn’t need American F-16 jets and other expensive weapons.

This is more than enough to get him killed, most likely by the Philippines military, But the hit will be commissioned by the United States, which is not about to allow a president of one of its former colonies to stand in the way of America’s “pivot” to Asia and looming confrontation with the China.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

 

Direct download: 20160914_gf_DuterteTargeted.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36pm EDT

Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 12, 2016

Networks Need to “Do Their Jobs” and Hold 4-Way Debates

RootsAction.Org is circulating a petition urging the television networks and cable news operations to “do their job, to hold a presidential debate with all the candidates that should appropriately be in it,” said veteran antiwar activist David Swanson. The Democrat- and Republican-controlled debate commission “was created to keep other candidates out and to keep any serious questions out,” while the petition demands that the debates be “open to any candidate who is already on ballots in enough states to win and who is either at 5 percent in the polls or has a majority saying they should be in the debates,” said Swanson. “Just adding Jill Stein would create an entirely different conversation, that just won’t be there with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,” he said.

Baraka: Clinton is “Lying” About Her Support for TPP

Speaking at a Green Party rally in Chicago, vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka urged voters to dismiss Hillary Clinton’s claim that she no longer supports the Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade deal. “If you understand her history, her ideological orientation, you know that she is lying. She is a neoliberal capitalist and she supports TPP,” said Baraka. “This campaign is about building a movement, it’s about building an alternative to the status quo. It is recognizing that we are in a protracted struggle for fundamental change,” he said.

Priority in Pittsburgh: Community Control of the Police

“We have a police union that is at the forefront of maintaining a violent and white supremacist type of police presence,” said Khalid Raheem, of the New Afrikan Independence Party, which recently held its annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “In order for any serious change to come about,” he said, “we really have to have community control of the police, and that means we have to dismantle the current system and replace it with something that’s controlled and run by the people, themselves.” The New African Independence Party is part of the Black Is Back Coalition.

Blacks Suspect Police Involvement in Ferguson Activist’s Death

Darren Seals, who gained national attention as part of community resistance to massive police repression in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of Michael Brown, in 2014, was found shot to death and incinerated in his car last week. “The word on the streets is that somebody paid $10,000 for it to happen, it was police-motivated,” said Edwin Chanell, who collaborated on various projects with Seals. “He was an activist from the streets, trying to bring the community together.” Chanell’s New Generation Black Council works with gang members in Greater St. Louis.

Black Teacher Shunned the Flag Before Colin Kaepernick was Born

Back in 1985, Hardy Williams was fired from his coaching position at a Los Angeles high school for turning his back on the national anthem. Williams won a $25,000 settlement in a suit against his principal and the school district. Now turning 70, he said he’s been shunning the American flag and anthem since 1973. “I don’t honor it. In my opinion, American doesn’t honor us,” said Williams, who was “elated” to hear of Colin Kaepernick’s game-time actions. “I think, hopefully, that I’ll be able to meet him.”

Black Colombians Prepare for Peace Deal Signing

On September 26, FARC guerillas and the Colombian government will sign an historic accord to end a more than half-century of civil war, to be followed by a popular referendum on the agreement, October 2. Charo Mina-Rojas, a national coordinator of the Black Communities Process in Colombia, said Afro-Colombians worry that demobilized guerillas will be relocated close to Black and indigenous people’s territories, and that right-wing paramilitaries show signs of stepping up their activities. “We are concerned about how the implementation of these agreements is going to happen, and how we are a part of the process,” she said.

Mumia: Give Generously to Prison Radio

The nation’s best known political prisoner is asking his supporters to help Prison Radio “keep the wolf from the door.” Prison Radio distributes regular commentaries by Mumia Abu Jamal and reports from other activists in America’s Gulag. “Prison Radio has brought you the voices behind the walls -- the fastest growing public housing development in America,” said Abu Jamal.

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

Direct download: blackagendaradio_sept12_16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

Black Agenda Radio for Week of September 12, 2016

Networks Need to “Do Their Jobs” and Hold 4-Way Debates

RootsAction.Org is circulating a petition urging the television networks and cable news operations to “do their job, to hold a presidential debate with all the candidates that should appropriately be in it,” said veteran antiwar activist David Swanson. The Democrat- and Republican-controlled debate commission “was created to keep other candidates out and to keep any serious questions out,” while the petition demands that the debates be “open to any candidate who is already on ballots in enough states to win and who is either at 5 percent in the polls or has a majority saying they should be in the debates,” said Swanson. “Just adding Jill Stein would create an entirely different conversation, that just won’t be there with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,” he said.

Baraka: Clinton is “Lying” About Her Support for TPP

Speaking at a Green Party rally in Chicago, vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka urged voters to dismiss Hillary Clinton’s claim that she no longer supports the Trans Pacific Partnership corporate trade deal. “If you understand her history, her ideological orientation, you know that she is lying. She is a neoliberal capitalist and she supports TPP,” said Baraka. “This campaign is about building a movement, it’s about building an alternative to the status quo. It is recognizing that we are in a protracted struggle for fundamental change,” he said.

Priority in Pittsburgh: Community Control of the Police

“We have a police union that is at the forefront of maintaining a violent and white supremacist type of police presence,” said Khalid Raheem, of the New Afrikan Independence Party, which recently held its annual conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “In order for any serious change to come about,” he said, “we really have to have community control of the police, and that means we have to dismantle the current system and replace it with something that’s controlled and run by the people, themselves.” The New African Independence Party is part of the Black Is Back Coalition.

Blacks Suspect Police Involvement in Ferguson Activist’s Death

Darren Seals, who gained national attention as part of community resistance to massive police repression in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of Michael Brown, in 2014, was found shot to death and incinerated in his car last week. “The word on the streets is that somebody paid $10,000 for it to happen, it was police-motivated,” said Edwin Chanell, who collaborated on various projects with Seals. “He was an activist from the streets, trying to bring the community together.” Chanell’s New Generation Black Council works with gang members in Greater St. Louis.

Black Teacher Shunned the Flag Before Colin Kaepernick was Born

Back in 1985, Hardy Williams was fired from his coaching position at a Los Angeles high school for turning his back on the national anthem. Williams won a $25,000 settlement in a suit against his principal and the school district. Now turning 70, he said he’s been shunning the American flag and anthem since 1973. “I don’t honor it. In my opinion, American doesn’t honor us,” said Williams, who was “elated” to hear of Colin Kaepernick’s game-time actions. “I think, hopefully, that I’ll be able to meet him.”

Black Colombians Prepare for Peace Deal Signing

On September 26, FARC guerillas and the Colombian government will sign an historic accord to end a more than half-century of civil war, to be followed by a popular referendum on the agreement, October 2. Charo Mina-Rojas, a national coordinator of the Black Communities Process in Colombia, said Afro-Colombians worry that demobilized guerillas will be relocated close to Black and indigenous people’s territories, and that right-wing paramilitaries show signs of stepping up their activities. “We are concerned about how the implementation of these agreements is going to happen, and how we are a part of the process,” she said.

Mumia: Give Generously to Prison Radio

The nation’s best known political prisoner is asking his supporters to help Prison Radio “keep the wolf from the door.” Prison Radio distributes regular commentaries by Mumia Abu Jamal and reports from other activists in America’s Gulag. “Prison Radio has brought you the voices behind the walls -- the fastest growing public housing development in America,” said Abu Jamal.

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

Direct download: blackagendaradio_sept12_16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

Trump Might Call for Four-Way Debates – But Only If He Thinks He Can’t Win

“Trump might do the right thing, but only to protect his own fragile ego.”

On Tuesday night, just as I was preparing to do a commentary on whether Donald Trump might threaten to drop out of the televised debates if the candidates for the Green and Libertarian Parties weren’t allowed to participate, I ran across a story that claimed Trump had already done just that. A website called the Santa Monica Observer reported the Trump decision as fact, but without naming a source. Nobody else ran the story, and the Trump campaign said it wasn’t true, so it was probably a hoax. However, a Trump threat to boycott the debates remains a tantalizing prospect, given that, back in 2000, he said it was “disgraceful” that the Democrats and Republicans were able to shut the smaller parties out of the presidential debates. Green Party campaign senior advisor Kevin Zeese has all but dared Trump to live up to his principled stance of 16 years ago.

Principles aside, Trump has some self-centered reasons to want Jill Stein and Gary Johnson standing next to him and Hillary on September 26th. Very few Green Party supporters would vote for Trump under any circumstances, so a good showing by Stein doesn’t come at his expense. But, according to recent polls, voters that now plan to pull the lever for Gary Johnson’s Libertarian campaign would otherwise be split about evenly between Trump and Clinton. Therefore, Trump would appear to have a relative net advantage over Clinton if there were a vigorous, four-way presidential contest.

“Back in 2000, Trump said it was ‘disgraceful’ that the Democrats and Republicans were able to shut the smaller parties out of the presidential debates.”

I personally don’t think that such mathematical calculations are central to the way Donald Trump thinks. He really is a narcissist who always talks about winning and can’t stand to lose. And, unless that comb-over has affected his brain cells, he should know that Clinton is even better at lying on her feet than he is. She studies her lies, while Trump just makes things up as he goes along. If Trump becomes convinced that he is going to lose this election badly or be humiliated in the debates, he will seek to muddy the waters by introducing other actors into the contest, so that Clinton can’t say she beat him one-on-one. That is, he’ll do the right thing, and call for Stein and Johnson’s participation in the debates, but only in order to protect his own fragile ego. Right now, some polls are showing Trump even with Clinton, which is probably bad news for Stein and Johnson’s chances of getting in the first debate – but that could change quickly.

There is little hope that Stein and Johnson will average 15 percent in the polls – the arbitrary cut-off the Republicans and Democrats have imposed to keep third parties out. That’s because the media corporations that both commission the polls and monopolize the news dedicate only one half of one percent of their election coverage to the Green and Libertarian Parties. As a result, about one-third of the public has never even heard of Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. This is what elections have come to in an age when monopoly capital has a monopoly on information and defines what is and isn’t news and who is and isn’t worthy of public office. Both Trump and Clinton are products of this dictatorship of capital. It’s a crime that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson won’t be seen by the debate’s huge audience unless Donald Trump is convinced he can’t win.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20160907_FourWayDebate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:12pm EDT