Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

Lawmen converged on St. Petersburg’s Black community in military-strength following the shooting death of a local policeman – the third in less than a month. For the cops, Black St. Pete was enemy territory, says Chimurenga Waller, of the African People’s Socialist Party, headquartered in the heart of the Black community. Waller was interviewed by BAR’s Glen Ford.

Direct download: ChimuregnaWallerStPeteFL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

With unbounded hypocrisy, the United States shrieks “democracy!” at the world while denying Haitians every political right of citizenship in their own land. Having deposed and kidnapped the popularly elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in 2004, the U.S. now pretends not to be the main party standing in the way of his return from South African exile. But, “if South Africa gave its blessing to an Aristide flight to Haiti, the U.S. would then be forced to abandon the charade and give Aristide a yes or a no, in its own voice.”

 

Washington’s Cynical Campaign to Keep Aristide in South Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

All the Haitian people have to look forward to is this month's elections that they didn't want, anyway.”

If diplomacy is a form of lying, then the United States’ efforts to delay indefinitely the return to Haiti of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is a triumph of the most foul diplomacy. Aristide has a passport, but no permission to land in Haiti and, it appears, no permission to take off from South Africa, where he has lived in exile since his overthrow in a U.S.-backed coup in 2004.

The passport was provided by the outgoing government of Aristide’s onetime ally, President Rene Preval. But the U.S., which really runs the country in a troika with France and Canada, is unalterably opposed to an Aristide comeback. After last year’s devastating earthquake, the Americans said Aristide would be a distraction from the job of national reconstruction. Very little in the way of reconstruction has gotten done since then, but the Americans now claim that Aristide would distract from the runoff elections scheduled for March 20. Three out of four Haitians were already distracted from taking part in the first round of elections in November, without Aristide’s presence. That was undoubtedly because Aristide’s party, Fanmi Lavalas, by far the most popular political grouping in the country, was prohibited from participating – also at the insistence of the Americans and the tiny Haitian elite with which they are allied.

Brazil acts as rent-a-cop for the United Nations mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, but Wikileaks documents show the United States has pressured Brazil to use its influence with South Africa to keep Aristide’s feet planted firmly on African soil. Brazil dearly wants to get a seat on the United Nations Security Council, and feels it cannot afford to make the Yankees angry. South Africa claims its under no pressure from anybody, but then claims it has an obligation to consult “all the role-players to work out the ideal conditions for him to go back.” Clearly, those “roll-players” are the Americans and their French and Canadian co-conspirators. Aristide's lawyer says he will not attempt to leave South Africa without permission.

In hopes of putting the U.S. on the spot, a group of social activists sent a letter to South African President Jacob Zuma.”

Of course, if South Africa gave its blessing to an Aristide flight to Haiti, the U.S. would be forced to abandon the charade and give Aristide a yes or a no, in its own voice – which would expose Washington as the occupying power in Haiti. Gone would be all pretensions that the Americans favor Haitian democracy. In hopes of putting the U.S. on the spot, a group of social activists, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, Randall Robinson, Dick Gregory, and 11 others sent a letter, last week, to South African President Jacob Zuma. The letter expressed hope that President Zuma “can assist the Aristides in making their transition as soon as possible.” It said, “All the last remaining obstacles to the Aristides' return have been removed” and expectations have been raised among Haitians that Aristide will soon arrive.

But even Aristide's lawyer, Ira Kurzban, who was wildly optimistic only a few weeks ago, seems resigned that Aristide won't be going home any time soon. So, all the Haitian people have to look forward to is this month's elections that they didn't want, anyway, for candidates that were essentially forced on them by the United States – an exercise that nobody but Americans believes has anything to do with democracy.

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

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

Direct download: 20110302_gf_Aristide.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

America’s oldest psy-op is the centuries-long campaign to torture and manipulate the minds of Black people. “Anti-Black images are so prevalent that even ten year old girls in Baltimore are reduced to begging popular rappers to stop depicting women as they often do.” This “permanent psyop” is essential to [white] American “full spectrum dominance” – on sea, land, air and all the space inside captive skulls.

 

Anti-Black Psy-Ops and The Propaganda of History

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

Black America has suffered one constant ‘Shock Doctrine’ after another.”

Noam Chomsky says that “propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism.” The freer a society believes it is the more it must be propagandized into that belief. So naturally even its political elite must have their views of the world properly formed for them, and especially those supposedly overseeing this country’s longest-running invasion, Afghanistan. According to a report last week fromRolling Stone magazine, “The U.S. Army illegally ordered a team of soldiers specializing in ‘psychological operations’ to manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war…” Yep. From war hero and former presidential hopeful John McCain to former funnyman and liberal talk show host Al Franken, all got a good dose of psyops! But yet again Black America sets an awful trend, because psychological operations against this community have been going on for centuries and that particular brand of terrorism shows no signs of slowing down.

It is important to note the similarity in perspective between how the military and the founders of this country’s academic field of communication studies see communication. In short both see it as a weapon. And a big one too. Propaganda and bombs have routinely been used interchangeably as forms of “communication” and each with the same end in mind, dominance. And that is “full spectrum dominance,” as one scholar describes it, or the complete and total ideological control by the United States of “land, sea, air, space, outer space and cyberspace.” Or as another scholar describes it, propaganda as an “‘ideological offensive’ has been at least as central to U.S. national security strategy since 1945 as the atomic bomb. For one thing, one could actually use ideological offensives on a day-to-day basis, as distinct from atomic warfare.” These ideological offensives are also seen as “adaptable for use against one’s own population” and are, again, absolutely necessary in managing the potential for free thinking to occur.

Propaganda and bombs have routinely been used interchangeably as forms of ‘communication.’”

So it stands to reason that the first brand-in-chief would also keep his predecessor’s Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Bryan Whitman, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Relations, aka, chief military propagandist who has already been exposed as having continued Bush’s propaganda campaign designed to win public support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But moreover it stands to reason because this country is itself one big psyop targeting its captive inhabitants who might indeed leave, as is often encouraged of those who see it this way, were it not for the massive psyops preventing them from thinking it either desirable or possible. And particularly Black people. From enslavement to sharecropping to debt peonage and prison lease systems, Black Codes and Jim and Jane Crow to today’s ghettoes, prisons and unemployment lines, Black America has suffered one constant “Shock Doctrine” after another – a permanent psyop targeting the identity of Black as human.

Free thinking is to democracy what revolutionary violence is to a dictator. And hence the consistent assault on the African psyche and Black consciousness. Today, six film companies and three music studios determine that popular anti-Black images are so prevalent that even ten year old girls in Baltimore are reduced to begging popular rappers to stop depicting women as they often do and many well-meaning people are reduced to believing these rappers have anything to do with it. Popular rappers exist themselves as psychological operations waged by the state against a potentially threateninginternally-held target population. Capitalism is its own perfect propagandist.

But it was DuBois who made the point as early as any of those who would develop these studies into the sciences they are today. We can call it the fundamental or archetypal propaganda, he called it “The Propaganda of History.” Today’s wave of propaganda is only truly understood when viewed in terms of what DuBois said of this country’s propaganda and its “fidelity against the Negro since emancipation in this land, [where] we face one of the most stupendous efforts the world ever saw to discredit human beings, an effort involving universities, history, science, social life and religion.” To this we need only add mass media.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Jared Ball. Visit us online at BlackAgendaReport.com.

Dr. Jared A. Ball can be reached via email at freemixradio@gmail.com.

Direct download: 20110302_jb_Propaganda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:32am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The U.S. government and media, are making all the familiar noises preliminary to an invasion of Libya. It is amazing how arch villains think themselves heroes. “The U.S. is the last country in a moral position to criticize Khadafi for his treatment of Arab civilians. Remember Fallujah.” Meanwhile, Americans express little concern that “hundreds of Black migrant workers have already been killed by anti-Khadafi forces.”

 

U.S. Prepares to Make Its Lunge at Libya’s Oil Fields

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It is time for the American anti-war movement to remember who is the biggest enemy of peace on planet Earth.”

American progressives and peace forces have been in a state of joyous delirium in recent weeks as they experienced vicarious, televised popular victories in Tunisia and Egypt. Watching unarmed crowds achieve tentative victories against entrenched, U.S.-backed regimes produced a kind of giddiness on this side of the ocean – an otherworldly feeling that somehow, the foreign outposts of U.S. empire might suddenly disintegrate by popular demand. But now, the U.S. naval war machine lies off the coast of Libya, and it is time for the American anti-war movement – such as it is – to remember who is the biggest enemy of peace on planet Earth: U.S. imperialism.

It is certainly not Muamar Khadafi, no matter what you think of him. And the conflict that is raging in Libya seems in important ways very much unlike the events in Tunisia and Egypt. The anti-Khadafi forces were armed from almost the very beginning of the uprising, and included elements of the military. Unlike the opponents of Egypt’s President Mubarak, we know very little about who these rebel Libyans are – except that they have been getting lots of material help from the Americans and the French and other Europeans. It is also becoming clearer by the day that a vicious, racist pogrom is raging against the 1.5 million sub-Saharan Black African migrant workers who do the hard jobs in Libya, work that is rejected by the relatively prosperous Libyans. Hundreds of Black migrant workers have already been killed by anti-Khadafi forces – yet the U.S. corporate media express absolutely no concern for their safety. One western report noted that large numbers of Black Africans were seized in Bengazi, and were assumed to have been hanged. That is a war crime, whether these men were soldiers or migrant workers, but the western correspondent seemed unconcerned. One suspects there are many atrocities occurring in the rebel-held areas of Libya, especially against people that are not members of the locally dominant tribe. Bengazi is not Harir Square, in Cairo.

A vicious, racist pogrom is raging against the 1.5 million sub-Saharan Black African migrant workers who do the hard jobs in Libya.”

How convenient that most of the Libyan voices we hear on corporate media call for armed western intervention. How in synch with the increasing American and European threats of “no-fly zones” and amphibious naval actions – all, of course, for humanitarian reasons, rather than having something to do with the fact that Libya is a major producer of some of the world’s sweetest crude oil.

American United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who is at least as warlike as Condoleezza Rice, is visibly eager to invade Libya under humanitarian pretexts. The U.S. is the last country in a moral position to criticize Khadafi for his treatment of Arab civilians. Remember Fallujah, the Iraqi city of a quarter million people that the U.S. leveled after first bombing its hospitals, inflicting many thousands of casualties. If most Americans don't remember Fallujah, the Arab world certainly does.

Many Americans that claim to be anti-war are actually just looking for a U.S. military action that is to their liking. Fortunately, the United National Anti-War Committee, UNAC, understands that U.S. imperialism is the ultimate enemy of peace, and says “no” to the U.S. invasion of Libya.

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

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

Direct download: 20110302_gf_Libya.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:16am EDT