Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from an African American point of view.

US Conf of Mayors Ferguson Press Release Shows Complicity, Irrelevance of Black Mayors, the Black Political Class

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

"What's wrong with this press release is that the mayors are elected officials who usually give orders to police departments..."

I got an email Friday from from former NBA star, husband of the detestable Michelle Rhee, and current mayor of Sacramento CA and chair of the US Conference of Mayors Kevin Johnson. It was a 5 sentence press release from Mayor Johnson on the situation in Ferguson MO.

The first sentence expressed "heartfelt condolence" to the family upon the death of Michael Brown. The second sentence urged a full investigation and "applauded" the president's announcement of a federal investigation. The third sentence said that the mayors have "a long track record" of commitment to community policing, and claimed that the mayors try to "identify & implement police department policies which will help prevent such incidents from occurring in the future." The fourth sentence said that they were working with President Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, and the fifth sentence said that they were the national reps of mayors of cities with over 30,000 people, and gave their Facebook and Twitter info.

What's wrong with this press release is that the mayors are elected officials who usually give orders to police departments. Mayors, hundreds of them black are elected by the people and responsible for what our disrespectful, brutal and occasionally murderous police do. Mayors don't have to wring their hands and offer condolences. Mayors, including black mayors can tell their police departments to refuse federal funding tied to the number of low level drug arrests they make, and actually get the black attorney general Eric Holder on the phone to explain why they need it. But they don't.

Mayors including the black ones don't have to mumble about community policing. They can actually can get Jeh Johnson, the Morehouse man & black head of Homeland Security, or somebody from the Pentagon on the phone and tell them to stop sending mine resistant armored vehicles, machine guns, sonic disruptor weapons, drones and storm trooper gear to their police departments when what they need is more money for jobs, schools and housing. But they won't.

"They don't have answers to poverty or gentrification or mass incarceration or the prison state,..."

Kevin Johnson and the US Conference of Mayors know very well that "My Brothers Keeper" isn't even a government program, that it's almost entirely the private charitable contributions of big corporations, some of the same big corporations that won't pay taxes to support schools and health care and infrastructure for everybody, some of the same corporations that got rich milking Detroit and other big cities before abandoning them. Whatever good it does do can dry up whenever the funders lose interest. They can count too, so they know that My Brothers Keeper's entire budget is onlh a fraction of the yearly INCREASE of the Fedeal Bureau of Prisons budget during every year of the Obama presidency.

The self-referential, self-satisfied, self-justifying press release of the US Conference of Mayors on the occasion of Ferguson is all too typical of our black black political class. They don't have answers to poverty or gentrification or mass incarceration or the prison state, even though its intake mechanism is the police departments under their control. They're not even looking for those answers. They're only looking to get contracts, to get elected, to get congratulated and to get paid.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com. And since corporate social media don't show you everything you need to know , and be sure to subscribe to our free weekly email updates at www.blackagendareport.com/subscribe, that's www.blackagendareport.com/subscribe.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report. He lives and works near Marietta GA and is a state committee member of the GA Green Party. He can be reached via this site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.
Direct download: 20140820_bd_us_conf_mayors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30 PM

Ferguson Unmasks the War on Black America

 

Ferguson Unmasks the War on Black America A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford “The military character and mission of the police is more clear today than when the Black Panther Party and others sounded the alarm in the Sixties.” The brave and besieged people of Ferguson, Missouri, have already caused serious complications for the U.S. National Security State. By virtue of simply standing their ground in their own small city, the demonstrators have forced the local, county and state police to show their true, thoroughly militarized colors. Ferguson’s righteous agitators and rebellious Black youth have succeeded in pinning down in one small space the armed forces of racist repression in full view of the corporate and the people’s media, so that the whole world can bear witness to the truth of what another generation proclaimed nearly half a century ago: that, in the Black community, the police are an army of occupation. The military character and mission of the police is more clear today than when the Black Panther Party and others sounded the alarm in the Sixties. Back then, the first SWAT teams were staking out sniper positions on city streets and the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration had only just begun to funnel millions of dollars in surveillance technology, guns, body armor and all manner of lethal equipment to local and state police departments across the country. The term “mass Black incarceration” had not yet been coined, but it was only a matter of time before a permanent, militarized police offensive against rebellion-prone ghettos would cause unprecedented numbers of Black prisoners to flow into the greatest gulag in the history of the world. A Force to Crush a People White America perceived that it was at war with Black people, who no longer knew their place – and so, places of confinement were made for them; fortified dungeons to house millions. Since America tells itself and the rest of the world that it does not make war on its own citizens, and that there is a sharp and Constitutionally defined separation between the military and civilian functions of the State, the war against Black people had to be called something else – a War on Drugs, or simply a War on Crime. Therefore, it was not long before the words “crime” and “drugs” and “Black” came to mean the same thing since, really, there was only one war going on. And, it continues, still. The young people of Ferguson, and greater St. Louis, and all of urban, suburban and rural Black America understand perfectly well that war is being waged against them. The powers-that-be every day of the year make it is crystal clear to Black people, especially Black men, that an overwhelming and lethal force is prepared to crush them – for any reason, or for no reason at all. This is the definition of a war of terror. It requires the aggressor to engage in constant and ever escalating displays of disciplined force – which is what militaries do. By refusing to disperse, the Black people of Ferguson have compelled the police to flaunt their military nature and mission before the eyes of the world. The American National Security State is embarrassed. But it will take a social transformation – that is, a revolution – to disarm the beast. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com, and sign up for email notifications of our new issues, each Wednesday. BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

own small city, the demonstrators have forced the local, county and state police to show their true, thoroughly militarized colors. Ferguson’s righteous agitators and rebellious Black youth have succeeded in pinning down in one small space the armed forces of racist repression in full view of the corporate and the people’s media, so that the whole world can bear witness to the truth of what another generation proclaimed nearly half a century ago: that, in the Black community, the police are an army of occupation. The military character and mission of the police is more clear today than when the Black Panther Party and others sounded the alarm in the Sixties. Back then, the first SWAT teams were staking out sniper positions on city streets and the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration had only just begun to funnel millions of dollars in surveillance technology, guns, body armor and all manner of lethal equipment to local and state police departments across the country. The term “mass Black incarceration” had not yet been coined, but it was only a matter of time before a permanent, militarized police offensive against rebellion-prone ghettos would cause unprecedented numbers of Black prisoners to flow into the greatest gulag in the history of the world. A Force to Crush a People White America perceived that it was at war with Black people, who no longer knew their place – and so, places of confinement were made for them; fortified dungeons to house millions. Since America tells itself and the rest of the world that it does not make war on its own citizens, and that there is a sharp and Constitutionally defined separation between the military and civilian functions of the State, the war against Black people had to be called something else – a War on Drugs, or simply a War on Crime. Therefore, it was not long before the words “crime” and “drugs” and “Black” came to mean the same thing since, really, there was only one war going on. And, it continues, still. The young people of Ferguson, and greater St. Louis, and all of urban, suburban and rural Black America understand perfectly well that war is being waged against them. The powers-that-be every day of the year make it is crystal clear to Black people, especially Black men, that an overwhelming and lethal force is prepared to crush them – for any reason, or for no reason at all. This is the definition of a war of terror. It requires the aggressor to engage in constant and ever escalating displays of disciplined force – which is what militaries do. By refusing to disperse, the Black people of Ferguson have compelled the police to flaunt their military nature and mission before the eyes of the world. The American National Security State is embarrassed. But it will take a social transformation – that is, a revolution – to disarm the beast. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com, and sign up for email notifications of our new issues, each Wednesday. BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20140820_gf_MilitaryCops.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54 PM

Is Democrats For Public Education Just a Toothless, Cynical Sound Byte?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Last month at a teachers union meeting the Democratic National Committee's Donna Brazile announced the formation of Democrats For Public Education. Supposedly DFPE will fight against the policies of elite Democrats and Republicans who want to privatize public education. As the daughter of a longshoreman from a family of teachers and a product of public schools Brazile declared herself unafraid to call out those of her own party who are demonizing teachers and privatizing public education, though as a top Democrat she did not use the p-word.

But Donna Brazile didn't call out anybody, not then and not in the month since. Because if she did name names, number one would have to be her president, Barack Obama, and number two would be his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Cabinet appointments are not accidents. Presidents pick appointees with proven commitment and track records of accomplishing the very policies a president wants imposed, and President Obama was deeply in the pocket of the charter school sugar daddies.

As Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan ravaged, savaged and privatized. He fired thousands of mostly black teachers with little or no due process, and handed big chunks of public resources over to the operators of private charter schools. This record and his personal friendship with the president got Duncan appointed Secretary of Education.

Over the last six years, President Obama, Secretary Duncan and their Department of Education have let representatives of the private charter schools, testing companies, and consultants from the Walton Family, Eli Broad, Bill & Melinda Gates and other foundations ideologically committed to running schools like businesses and education like a market write the federal guidelines school districts must follow to receive federal funds – something they call the Race To The Top program. The same consultants have also been allowed to deeply embed themselves embed themselves in the supposedly impartial private institutions officially recognized by the Department of Education which evaluate schools, school districts.

By now the processes of privatization have an institutional momentum backed up by billions of public and private dollars. You can't fight that juggernaut if you cannot name its name and the names of the politicians it buys and rents. But Democrats don't publicly criticize each other much, black Democrats even less, and a prominent black Democrat contradicting the black president is unthinkable, it's just not in their DNA.

So why does DFPE exist? It can raise money, but nothing compared to the vast sums its opponents can. Apart from possible interference in next year's Chicago mayoral contest, its only conceivable purpose is an utterly cynical one. DFPE will house surrogates for Hillary Clinton's 2018 campaign who will give the credulous faithful an excuse to believe that Hillary, unlike Barack, is not on the side of the privatizers and charter school sugar daddies, the same way Obama had unofficial spokespeople everywhere assuring us that he was pro net neutrality, against the Patriot Act, the Iraq war, torture, wanted to renegotiate NAFTA, and whatever else some of us wanted to hear. Democrats For Public Education is just that, the cynical sound byte that some self-deceiving Democrats need to hear.

Teachers unions after all, don't just provide big checks to Democratic presidential candidates, its rank and file activists are the foot soldiers, the door to door and phone canvassers, the flesh and blood of a nationwide street operation which a successful Democratic presidential candidate needs to mobilize the Democratic base. You want to make that happen you've got to tell those foot soldiers what they want to hear, whether your candidate means it or not. That's called a campaign field operation.

For Black Agenda Radio I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com, and while you're there be sure to subscribe to our free weekly email updates at www.blackagendareport.com/subscribe. That's www.blackagendareport.com/subscribe.

Bruce A. Dixon used to do campaign field operations, and is now managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a state committee member of the GA Green Party. He lives and works in Marietta GA and can be reached via this site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.

 

Direct download: 20140813_bd_dfpe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46 PM

America: Young Black Men Have No Right to Life

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

They can be arrested for nothing, or shot down in the streets with impunity.”

There are lots of pictures coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, a two-thirds Black town just outside St. Louis, where a policeman shot down Michael Brown, this past weekend. The 18 year-old’s last words before dying were: “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting.” The cop kept shooting anyway. The pictures show Brown’s body in the middle of the street, where it was left for four hours in the baking sun.

Other pictures show Brown’s grief-stricken mother, and his stepfather carrying a sign that said, “Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son.” There are plenty of images from the two nights of disturbances in the town, where there isn’t really much to loot. However, I think the most poignant picture shows young Blacks blocking the street in front of the Ferguson police department, their upraised arms signaling surrender, just as young Michael did before the cop administered the coup de grace.

How different that picture would have been in 1966, when young Black people in California responded to murderous police violence with armed patrols of their own, under the newly formed Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The Party declared that Black people had just as much right to defend themselves as white people, including the right to defend themselves from the police, who act as an occupying army. Which is, of course, a self-evident truth.

The Mass Incarceration State

The Black Panther Party’s vigorous assertion of the right to self-defense prompted the U.S. government to double-down on its monopoly on the use of force – first, with a massive campaign of assassination and false imprisonment against Black radical leadership, many of whom still remain behind bars. Then, as the decade of the Seventies began, mass Black incarceration became the universal policy of the United States – north, south, east and west. A new class of Black politicians filled the void that police repression had created. These were men and women who were quite amenable to corporate rule and made comfortable homes in the Democratic Party. Even as the prison population rose to nine times 1970 levels, the Black Misleadership Class blissfully celebrated its own upward mobility.

Meanwhile, the Mass Incarceration State consumed millions of Black lives and consigned most Black communities to Constitution-free zones, where young Blacks could be arrested for nothing, or shot down in the streets with impunity, as was Michael Brown, and as happens to other young Blacks every day of the year.

The people who rule America no longer need Black labor. What they do need is a class that is forcibly anchored at the bottom of U.S. society, who can be scapegoated for whatever is wrong with America, and whose very presence serves as an excuse for massive urban dislocation and the steady erosion of civil liberties. Michael Brown and countless others have died in order to keep America deeply stratified. That’s the only use the United States has for young Black men.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com to sign up for email notifications of our new issues, each Wednesday.

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

 

 

Direct download: 20140813_gf_DontShoot.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:10 PM

America: Young Black Men Have No Right to Life

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

They can be arrested for nothing, or shot down in the streets with impunity.”

There are lots of pictures coming out of Ferguson, Missouri, a two-thirds Black town just outside St. Louis, where a policeman shot down Michael Brown, this past weekend. The 18 year-old’s last words before dying were: “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting.” The cop kept shooting anyway. The pictures show Brown’s body in the middle of the street, where it was left for four hours in the baking sun.

Other pictures show Brown’s grief-stricken mother, and his stepfather carrying a sign that said, “Ferguson police just executed my unarmed son.” There are plenty of images from the two nights of disturbances in the town, where there isn’t really much to loot. However, I think the most poignant picture shows young Blacks blocking the street in front of the Ferguson police department, their upraised arms signaling surrender, just as young Michael did before the cop administered the coup de grace.

How different that picture would have been in 1966, when young Black people in California responded to murderous police violence with armed patrols of their own, under the newly formed Black Panther Party for Self Defense. The Party declared that Black people had just as much right to defend themselves as white people, including the right to defend themselves from the police, who act as an occupying army. Which is, of course, a self-evident truth.

The Mass Incarceration State

The Black Panther Party’s vigorous assertion of the right to self-defense prompted the U.S. government to double-down on its monopoly on the use of force – first, with a massive campaign of assassination and false imprisonment against Black radical leadership, many of whom still remain behind bars. Then, as the decade of the Seventies began, mass Black incarceration became the universal policy of the United States – north, south, east and west. A new class of Black politicians filled the void that police repression had created. These were men and women who were quite amenable to corporate rule and made comfortable homes in the Democratic Party. Even as the prison population rose to nine times 1970 levels, the Black Misleadership Class blissfully celebrated its own upward mobility.

Meanwhile, the Mass Incarceration State consumed millions of Black lives and consigned most Black communities to Constitution-free zones, where young Blacks could be arrested for nothing, or shot down in the streets with impunity, as was Michael Brown, and as happens to other young Blacks every day of the year.

The people who rule America no longer need Black labor. What they do need is a class that is forcibly anchored at the bottom of U.S. society, who can be scapegoated for whatever is wrong with America, and whose very presence serves as an excuse for massive urban dislocation and the steady erosion of civil liberties. Michael Brown and countless others have died in order to keep America deeply stratified. That’s the only use the United States has for young Black men.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com to sign up for email notifications of our new issues, each Wednesday.

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

 

 

Direct download: 20140813_gf_DontShoot.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06 PM

Long Live Gridlock and Paralysis of Both Big Business Parties

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Since the Left is non-existent on Capitol Hill, and barely evident in the society at large, nothing good can possibly emanate from the executive and legislative branches of government.”

The corporate media, whose job is to create impressions of reality while revealing nothing of actual substance, is full of scorn for the now adjourned 113th Congress, which, according to the New York Times, is “in a race to the bottom” with the previous Congress as the most “do nothing” ever. Media associated with the Democratic wing of the ruling duopoly are especially upset that the Republican faction has not cooperated with President Obama to get something – anything! – done, as if the nation and the world would be a better place if the two big business parties would only collaborate more closely with one another. The current state of congressional gridlock is, according to the pundits, the worst of all worlds.

The truth is, were it not for gridlock, President Obama would have engineered the utter annihilation of what’s left of the social safety net in a Grand Bargain with the Republicans during his first term office. That was his plan from the very beginning, when the new president announced that all entitlements, including Social Security, were on the chopping block. Before his first year was out, Obama had crushed the jellyfish that call themselves progressive Democrats in the health care debate. With his arms spread wide to embrace the Republicans as partners in the Age of Austerity, Obama offered to lead the wrecking crew that would finally demolish Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. But, the Republicans were so consumed with racially fueled fervor to destroy the First Black President, they rejected the Grand Bargain and chose gridlock, instead. Lucky for us! Given the circumstances, it was the best thing that could happen.

We need more ill feeling and deeper paralysis.”

Gridlock has been the order of the day for the past four years, dramatically inhibiting the flow of legislation. Since the Left is non-existent on Capitol Hill, and barely evident in the society at large – and with Black America, historically the most progressive constituency in the nation, now in its seventh year of self-imposed political irrelevance – nothing good can possibly emanate from the executive and legislative branches of government. The only kinds of measures that can sail through the gridlocked Congress are those designed to start a war with Russia or increase the killing power of the Israeli apartheid regime.

Given that we have, mainly, the Republicans to thank for the blessedly constipated condition of Congress, it follows that it is the Democrats, who keep harping on the need to “do something” to get the infernal legislative machinery rolling, who represent the greatest threat to the people’s interests.

In any event, it is definitely NOT in the interest of ordinary Americans for Democrats and Republicans to become more collaborative on the legislative agenda. On the contrary, we need more ill feeling and deeper paralysis in the ranks of the two big business parties. Until a movement can be created that will fight for the overthrow of Wall Street and its duopoly – Long Live Gridlock!

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com to sign up for email notification of new issues of our magazine, each Wednesday.

 

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

Direct download: 20140806_gf_Gridlock.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:33 PM

Black Is Back Coalition Holds National Conference in Philadelphia

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The Coalition has been a singular example of independent Black political action and analysis.”

In November of 2009, the newly-formed Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations marched from Malcolm X Park through the gentrifying streets of Washington to the White House, loudly denouncing the First Black President of the United States. Barack Obama had been in office only ten months, but the militarist and corporatist trajectory of his regime was already quite clear. Obama had retained George Bush’s Secretary of Defense, escalated the drone wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, placed Bill Clinton’s Wall Street operatives in charge of the economy, announced his intention to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, even as he pushed through Congress a health care bill that was largely written by private drug and insurance companies. Like George Bush before him, Obama sabotaged the Durban II World Conference Against Racism, in order to derail demands for reparations for slavery and colonialism. And, only 100 days into his administration, Obama had served notice to African Americans that he would propose no programs to alleviate the suffering of Black America, which had been hit hardest by the economic meltdown.

The Black is Back Coalition was determined that the first politician in history to spend a billion dollars to win the presidency would not get a free pass from all of Black America – even if his father was an African. One of the biggest contingents in that first anti-Obama march and rally was the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, “POP” – perhaps Black America’s most dynamic regional grassroots organization. POP’s membership, after much debate, had endorsed Obama in the 2008 election, but that did not stop them from chanting their outrage at his policies at the gates of the White House. The African People’s Socialist Party, whose chairman first proposed formation of the Black is Back Coalition, had reduced candidate Obama to stuttering confusion when they challenged him with the simple question, “What about the Black community?” at campaign stop in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Unity in Struggle

The Black is Back Coalition has since marched loudly and often against Obama and the decadent imperial system that he serves. In yearly conferences and year-round political work, the Coalition has been a singular example of independent Black political action and analysis. As the Age of Obama draws to a close, the Black is Back Coalition is approaching its 5th anniversary and preparing for its Annual Conference, August 16 and 17, in Philadelphia. Affiliated organizations and individuals will gather to assess the state of Black people across the Diaspora, and to map strategy in the perilous months ahead.

After more than five centuries of European dominance of the world, a new epoch is dawning. Black people must fight to shape the contours of this new world, or be consumed in the spasms of the old imperial order’s chaotic demise. In Philadelphia, on August 16 and 17, the Coalition will gather once again to advance Black people’s unity in struggle – and to celebrate the fact...that Black is Back!

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com, and sign up for email notifications of each new issue, every Wednesday.

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

 

For information on the Black Is Back Coalition Annual Conference, go to http://www.blackisbackcoalition.org/

Direct download: 20140730_gf_BlackIsBack.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24 PM

Obama’s Hot War

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Washington’s policy is the constant fomenting of war for the subjugation of the planet – or the world’s destruction, if the U.S. cannot remain Number One.”

The United States has set the world on fire. It is nonsense to talk of a “new” Cold War, when what the world is witnessing is multiple conflagrations as intense and horrifically destructive as at any period since World War Two. Virtually every one of these armed conflicts has been methodically set in motion by the only power capable of perpetrating such massive, simultaneous mayhem: the United States, along with its underlings in London, Paris and Tel Aviv – the true Axis of Evil.

Washington is embarked on a mad, scorched earth policy to terrorize the planet into submission through relentless escalation into a global state of war. Unable to maintain its dominance through trade and competition, the U.S. goes beyond the brink to plunge the whole planet into a cauldron of death. As Russia is learning, it is extremely difficult to avoid war when a great power insists on imposing it. That was a lesson inflicted on the world 75 years ago, by Nazi Germany.

Whoever coined the phrase “No Drama Obama” should be sentenced to a lifetime of silence. The First Black U.S. President systematically brought swastika-wearing fascists to power in Ukraine to start a war on Russia’s borders. The passengers of the Malaysian airliner are victims of Obama’s carefully crafted apocalypse, a pre-fabricated conflict that could consume us all. Obama methodically and without provocation laid waste to Libya and Syria, and now the jihadists unleashed by the United States and its allies are destroying Iraq all over again and threatening to erase Lebanon and Jordan and even the oil kingdoms of the Gulf. Obama has signed yet another blank check for Israel’s ghastly war of ethnic annihilation in Gaza – a crime against humanity for which the U.S. is fully as culpable as the apartheid Jewish State, which could not exist if it were not part of the U.S. superpower’s global war machine.

Wars “R” Us

Those who say the United States is adrift or has no coherent foreign policy are colossally wrong. Washington’s policy is the constant fomenting of war for the subjugation of the planet – or the world’s destruction, if the U.S. cannot remain Number One.

The Americans have made Africa into a killing field. Somalia and its people have been smashed and dispersed, setting the whole Horn of Africa ablaze. Ethiopia commits multiple genocides under U.S. sponsorship, while Washington’s mercenaries in Rwanda and Uganda grow fat on the bones of six million Congolese. South Sudan thrashes in agony, the result of dismemberment by American, European and Israeli ghouls. The sounds of chaos and mass murder reverberate from the Magreb in the North, through the vast Sahel region, and now deep into West Africa, a direct result of criminal U.S. aggressive war and regime change in Libya.

Obama “pivots” to East Asia with the goal of turning Japan into a militaristic state with an invitation to rejoin, after all these years, the game of global conquest. Poor Afghanistan and Pakistan have no future at all, unless the U.S. leaves their region and allows them to develop an organic partnership with China. But a world based on mutually beneficial relations among peoples has no room for empire – which is why the empire wages war against the world.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com and sign up for email notification each Wednesday, when a new issue of BAR appears.

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

Direct download: 20140723_gf_ObamaHotWar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30 PM

The Big Sell-Out: The Congressional Black Caucus and the Internet

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Ten Black lawmakers have written letters against Internet neutrality, and eight in support of free access to all.”

ColorOfChange.org, which aims to “strengthen Black America’s voice” through skillful use of the Internet, is confronting ten Black congresspersons for representing the interests of giant telecom corporations that are seeking to destroy Internet neutrality. The corporations have purchased the Black lawmakers services, in hopes of making the Internet a toll road on which the rich always have the right of way. The ten congresspersons signed a letter parroting their corporate benefactors’ line: that regulation is bad for the economy. These Black turncoats claim they are for what they call “an open Internet” – which actually means an Internet that is open for the business of providing the best services to the richest customers, while starving the rest of us of vital information on subjects like which of our Black congressmen are selling out to the highest bidder.

We’re always glad when Color of Change names the bad actors in the Black Misleadership Class. In this case, it’s the usual rogue’s gallery of the Congressional Black Caucus: Sanford Bishop and David Scott, of Georgia; G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina; Bobby Rush of Illinois; Corrine Brown and Alcee Hastings, from Florida; Bennie Thompson, from Mississippi; Dallas, Texas, congressman Marck Veasey; Lacy Clay, of Missouri, and Gregory Meeks, the corporate sell-out from New York.

Color of Change also gives credit to those 36 Democratic lawmakers that wrote a letter demanding the FCC protect Internet neutrality. The eight Representatives on the right side of the issue are: Keith Ellison, of Minnesota; Barbara Lee, of California; Andre Carson, of Indiana; John Conyers, of Michigan; John Lewis, of Georgia; Charles Rangel, of New York; and Bobby Scott, of Virginia.

Massive Rightward Shift

The Black Agenda Report team has been tracking the steady slide to the Right in the Congressional Black Caucus since 2002. Back in June of 2006, when the BAR team was writing for The Black Commentator, we reported the massive sell-out to corporations by Blacks on Capitol Hill. Huge telecommunications firms took the lead in buying off Black lawmakers – most notably, AT&T’s successful capture of Chicago congressman Bobby Rush, the former Black Panther, who sold his vote for a million dollars and the promise of a technology center for his district that never materialized.

Internet neutrality was at stake in 2006, as it is today. In an article titled “Black Caucus Caves to Corporate Power,” Bruce Dixon reported that all but 13 of 40 voting members of the Black Caucus sided with the corporations, and against Internet neutrality. In fact, the Black Caucus was deeper in the corporations’ pockets than the rest of the Democratic Party in the House. It seemed to be almost a package deal, with only 13 holdouts.

Because of such treachery, Congress failed to protect Internet neutrality in 2006. Now, the issue is before the FCC. Ten Black lawmakers have written letters against Internet neutrality, and eight in support of free access to all. My guess is that, eight years after the great sell-out, the majority of the Black Caucus remains firmly on the telecommunications plantation.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com, and sign up for email notification each Wednesday, when a new issue of BAR appears.

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

Direct download: 20140716_gf_CBCinternet.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01 PM

The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is having its annual conference 10AM to 6 PM on August 16 and 17 in Philadelphia and you are invited.  

It's all happening at Uhuru Furniture and Colectibles, 832 North Broad Street.  The theme of the conference is 

"Resist US wars and occupations in the US and abroad, and reparations now!"

Hear African Socialist International chairman Omali Yeshitela, on resistance, and Glen Ford on Ukraine and the crises of empire.  See Ron Bobb-Semple as Marcus Garvey.  Meet Pam Africa of the Friends of Mumia, Kamm Howard, and Lisa Davis, and enjoy a weekend of cooperation on the road to something better.

Information and registration at 727-821-6621, or at http://BlackISBackCoalition.org.

Direct download: Black_Is_Black_Intl_Conference_Philly_Promo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:43 PM