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

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

At least five Black Democratic congresspersons are in Israel, part of the one-fifth of the U.S. House that accepted an expensive vacation paid for by AIPAC, the Israel lobby. Clearly, it is thought wiser to take blood money from the Israelis, than to anger them. Meanwhile, Rep. Ron Paul is the lone presidential contender in either party that opposes America’s widening wars.

 

Black Democrats Go to Israel, Ron Paul Puts Democrats to Shame

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Black lawmakers, who represent the American constituency that is most sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians, apparently do not feel they have compromised themselves by taking the equivalent of $8,000 from AIPAC.”

Nearly one out of five members of the U.S. House of Representatives – 81 of them – this month accepted an invitation to Israel, the biggest congressional junket to the Jewish apartheid state, ever. The entire tab for congressperson and spouse, was paid for by AIPAC, the American Israel Political Action Committee, the most feared lobby on Capitol Hill. Among the 26 Democrats that put themselves at the disposal of the Israelis are at least five members of the Congressional Black Caucus. There may be more, but at press time AIPAC had not released the full roster. The Black members reportedly on the junket are:

Yvette Clarke, of New York; Jesse Jackson, Jr., of Chicago; Gwen Moore, from Milwaukee; Frederica Wilson, of Miami; and Hank Johnson, of suburban Atlanta.

Again, this is not a U.S. government trip; it is a gift of the Israel lobby. These congresspersons will not be speaking to Hamas, the Palestinian faction that runs Gaza and won the 2006 elections for the Palestinian Parliament. The Israelis have been blockading Gaza ever since, and killed 1,500 Palestinians when they attacked Gaza just before President Obama took office. Americans have been imprisoned for giving what authorities call “material assistance” to Hamas, but it’s quite alright for members of the U.S. Congress, who make the laws that funnel billions of dollars to the Israeli state and military, to accept gifts from Israel’s lobbyists on Capitol Hill. And Black lawmakers, who represent the American constituency that is most sympathetic to the plight of Palestinians, apparently do not feel they have compromised themselves by taking the equivalent of $8,000 from AIPAC. Rather, the real nightmare in Washington is to get on the wrong side of AIPAC and Israel, as former Black congresspersons Cynthia McKinney, of Atlanta, and Earl Hilliard, of Alabama, learned in 2002, when pro-Israel money contributed heavily to their defeats. Hank Johnson, who took the AIPAC trip to Israel, now holds McKinney’s seat.

McKinney went on to run for president on the Green Party ticket, and is now one of the guiding lights in the U.S. peace movement.

Ron Paul drew loud applause, as well as boos, when he blasted ‘war propaganda’ against Iran.”

But you won’t find any such anti-war lights illuminating Democratic presidential politics, where most believe it is a foregone conclusion that the warmongering Barack Obama will be effectively unopposed for his second nomination.

All the peace talk is in the Republican presidential primary, where Congressman Ron Paul drew loud applause, as well as boos, when he blasted “war propaganda” against Iran. “Iran does not have an air force that can come here,” said Paul. “They can't even make enough gasoline for themselves.” He slammed the war hawks in both parties for leading the nation into yet another war. “They're building up this case…just like we did in Iraq.  There was no al Qaeda in Iraq,” said the old, libertarian from Texas.

Now, until Ron Paul can put thousands of white, right-wingers and Tea Partyers into the streets in opposition to U.S wars, we shouldn’t take any so-called conservative peace movement seriously. But we also can’t take seriously Black lawmakers that take $8,000 vacations from AIPAC, which is the same thing as taking a kickback on blood money from Israel.

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: 20110817_gf_IsraelJunket_RonPaul.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:40 PM

Latinos overwhelmingly voted for the First Black President. And why not? He wrapped himself in the mantle of Dr. King, made explicit promises to humanize the immigration system, and even spoke out against some of the racist scapegoating of immigrants. But that was then, as a candidate. After two and a half years as president, Obama's record marks him out as the bait-and-switch president.

Deported 1 Million, Separated Countless Families Since 2009, to Latinos Obama is the Bait & Switch President

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

In 2008, Latinos delivered a whopping two thirds of their vote to the candidate of Hope and Change, to Barack Obama, who opposed the building of border walls who spoke out against the politics of demonizing immigrants, and who promised a clear path to citizenship for millions living in the shadows. The well-funded layer of corporate and Democratic Party Latino leaders whose careers and condo payments depend on it hope to turn out a massive Latino vote for Obama in 2012. But the tide may be against them.

Despite concrete promises and lofty rhetoric the Obama administration has built and extended border walls, massively increased the numbers of workplace audits and raids at firms suspected of hiring the undocumented. President Obama has declared that states like his home Illinois can no longer opt out of the so-called Secure Communities program, and must send fingerprints and identifying data on everybody they arrest to the feds to be checked against immigration databases. The First Black President has deported an all time high of more than 1 million immigrants since taking office in 2009, and tens of thousands on any given day more await similar fates in his vast, and often privatized, network of immigration prisons and jails.

Unlike black Americans, who can still get misty-eyed at the sight of Michelle Obama and her pretty kids walking across the White House lawn to the Marine helicopter, Latinos have a much harder time fooling themselves about the fundamental nature of the Obama presidency. In that community, almost everybody has recent immigrants in the immediate family or among the in-laws, recent immigrants living downstairs or across the street, and more recent immigrants among the people they work, worship or go to school with.

Thus nearly everybody has neighbors, relatives and co-workers who've been stopped for traffic offenses or arrested for misdemeanors and disappeared into the maze of immigration detention. Hundreds of thousands know people at workplaces that have been audited by ICE and the bosses forced to fire undocumented employees, people whose workplaces were raided, and employees arrested on the job. Thousands have taken in children of parents facing deportation, and hundreds of thousands actually know the names and faces of family members, co-workers, neighbors and friends whose families are being cruelly separated.

in a National Day of Action on Tuesday, August 16 hundreds of immigrants and citizens delivered thousands of petitions demanding an end to the Secure Communities Program at Democratic party offices in Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami, and Barack Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago.

If the President continues to alienate Latino voters he will lose the election, plain and simple," said Carlos Roa from Presente.org, a national online advocacy group that seeks to empower Latinos nationwide.  " He cannot expect Latino voters and an entire community to simply stand by and watch...”

The threat is not an idle one. Can corporate funded and Democratic Party Latino leaders bring out a huge vote for Obama a second time, despite his abominable record on immigration? I wouldn't bet on it.

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

Direct download: 20110817_bd_barack_on_immigration.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32 PM

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Given the extreme violence of American life, when compared to other rich nations, why would the Brits consider for even an instant emulating the U.S. criminal justice system? What could American cops teach them? How to fill prisons to overflowing, make millions of citizens hate authority, and saturate the nation with guns and drugs? But then, why do white Americans tolerate such a system? The answer: the aim of white supremacy is not efficiency or justice, but to keep non-whites in their place. White racists in Britain “are jealous of the absolute savagery of the U.S. criminal justice system’s treatment of Black people.”

 

British Regime Jealous of America’s Savage Police

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

For white racists in Britain, just like their counterparts in the U.S., it’s not about efficient and effective policing, or any civilized notion of justice. It’s about hate.”

In the wake of rebellions that spread to much of urban Britain, the ruling Conservative Party government is not only sounding like their racist American cousins, they were at least toying with the idea of importing William Bratton, the former police chief of New York, Los Angeles and Boston, to put the fear of the law into the U.K.’s darker residents. On first examination, it seems counterintuitive that anyone would look to the United States for role models in the criminal justice arena. The U.S. is by far the most violent among the wealthy nations of the world. Gangs are endemic, the U.S. is the drug marketplace of the planet. Guns are everywhere, both legal and illegal. It’s a scary place to live. What could the British possibly find to envy about America, when it comes to law and order?

The United States is the Great Gulag Nation, the planetary prison dungeon, home to 25 percent of its prison inmates. One out of every eight imprisoned persons in the world is a Black American….

Wait a minute! That’s got to be the allure to the white racists in Britain. They are jealous of the absolute savagery of the U.S. criminal justice system’s treatment of Black people. They look with awe on American cops like Bill Bratton whom, they imagine, would punish British Blacks in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester as he did it America’s big cities.

When it comes to shooting Blacks and Latinos down in the street like dogs, nobody beats the American cop.”

Not that the Brits aren’t trying to live up to American standards of racist law enforcement. Blacks in the U.K. are 26 times more likely to be stopped and frisked on the streets than whites, and seven times more likely to go to prison. But it’s all in the scale of things. The Americans stop, arrest, and imprison far larger numbers of people, both by percentage and in raw numbers. Whereas 150,000 people were stopped and frisked on all the streets of England and Wales in 2008, nearly 600,000 were stopped in New York City alone. Britain’s total incarcerated population is less than 100,000 people. The U.S. is only five times as large as Britain, but imprisons 24 times as many people: 2.4 million. Andwhen it comes to shooting Blacks and Latinos down in the street like dogs, nobody beats the American cop, in eagerness to fire his weapon or the number of bullets he’s willing to pump into a Black body.

The Brits, having a “special relationship” with the United States, know all this, but they want to follow in America’s bloody footsteps, anyway. Because, for white racists in Britain, just like their counterparts in the U.S., it’s not about efficient and effective policing, or any civilized notion of justice. It’s about hate. It’s about racial dominance. It’s about keeping Black people in their place.

That’s why the British courts are sending 60 percent of people arrested in the rebellion to jail to await trial, rather than the usual ten percent. That’s why a single mother who accepted the gift of a pair of shorts that turned out to be looted got five months behind bars. And that’s why the prime minister is spouting racist nonsense about the inferior culture of non-whites – especially Blacks – in Britain.

It’s all so very familiar to us on the western side of the Atlantic, in the nation that was built on genocide, slavery and racial supremacy. To the Black people of Britain we say, “Welcome to America.” Welcome to the Terrordome.

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: 20110817_gf_BritRiots.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30 PM