Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 29, 2016

Sanders, Trump Campaigns May Crash Both Parties

“The Bernie Sanders movement might break out into a major conflict at the convention in Philadelphia if the Sanders people feel that they’re being cheated, being swindled out of votes,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Dubois scholar and veteran activist who helped pull together a national conference on the Black Radical Tradition, in January. “The Republican Party might also collapse under the pressure of the ‘angry’ white men and women” supporting Donald Trump, said Dr. Monteiro. “The situation is so dynamic and unlike anything that we have experienced since the Civil War and Reconstruction.”

Detroit Teachers Move Towards City-Wide Strike

Steven Conn, the elected leader of the Detroit teachers union who was deposed by the union’s national leadership, said a city-wide strike is the only way to save the public schools from the machinations of Gov. Rick Snyder and his appointed emergency managers. Snyder wants to divide the Detroit’s public schools into two districts: one heavily indebted, the other debt-free. Conn said that’s a scheme “to allow the charter school operators to take over the schools without having to make any payback to the school district of the huge amount of debt that the State of Michigan has run up since its control of the district for the last 16 years.”

Teach For America’s Job Protection Racket

A new study of Teach for America contracts showed TFA collects hefty “finders’ fees” to place its neophyte teachers in classrooms in Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans and New York. Jameson Brewer, who led the study, said TFA contracts provide broad protection for its members’ jobs, while veteran traditional teachers are laid off. “Parents don’t know that their children are being taught by novice educators who’ve had two and a half days of training,” said Brewer.

Few Jobs After Jail

A n Alliance for a Just Society study documents more than 6,000 prohibitions on employment of convicted felons in states across the nation. “A lot of people know that it’s difficult for someone who comes out of jail to find a job,” said Allyson Fredericksen, an author of the report, “Jobs After Jail.” But most people don’t know that “there are laws on the books in every state in the country that ban people with felony records from specific types of employment.” Louisiana tops the list, with restrictions on 389 separate types of jobs.

Seize the Time, for Peace

Most of the people described in media as foreign policy experts “are not looking for peace; they’re looking for gain, monetary gains on some investments or something they can bank on. This is a Wall Street motive,” said lifelong activist, journalist and educator Dr. Charles Simmons, speaking at a meeting on Black Men in Unions at the Institute for Labor and Community Studies, in Detroit. “It’s going to take the little people, trade union folks, the rank and file, to come together and think about what needs to be done for peace,” said Simmons.

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