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

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-iOccupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracynitiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”

 

Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

There’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.”

In 1847, in the first issue of the North Star, Frederick Douglass explained his decision to publish his own newspaper, rather than rely solely on The Liberatorand other publications of the white-led abolitionist movement. Douglass, who was then only 29 years old, wrote: The man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand the redress—the man struck is the man to CRY OUT…!” These words can inform and guide us, today, as African Americans consider their relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mostly white-initiated grassroots upswelling that has captured the national imagination like no political phenomenon in more than 40 years.

Frederick Douglass did not launch his newspaper in order to split from white abolitionists, but to speak to and for slaves and free Blacks, to engage them directly in the great movement of the time: abolition. He remained an indispensable figure in the larger abolitionist structure, and was a staunch comrade to those whites that proved themselves capable of dealing with Black people, not simply on the basis of equality, but as the primary actors in the struggle for their own freedom. In time, it was Douglass’s words, his principled militancy, that animated the abolition movement and post-Civil War Radical Reconstruction.

In the same way, today’s Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street and the oppressive forces that protect it, and who are the most in need of redress. It is our duty to be the ones to CRY OUT – as we always have, but this time in the midst of what we hope may be a national awakening. If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.

Rangel and too many other B

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-initiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”

 

Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“There’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.”

In 1847, in the first issue of the North Star, Frederick Douglass explained his decision to publish his own newspaper, rather than rely solely on The Liberator and other publications of the white-led abolitionist movement. Douglass, who was then only 29 years old, wrote: “The man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand the redress—the man struck is the man to CRY OUT…!” These words can inform and guide us, today, as African Americans consider their relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mostly white-initiated grassroots upswelling that has captured the national imagination like no political phenomenon in more than 40 years.

Frederick Douglass did not launch his newspaper in order to split from white abolitionists, but to speak to and for slaves and free Blacks, to engage them directly in the great movement of the time: abolition. He remained an indispensable figure in the larger abolitionist structure, and was a staunch comrade to those whites that proved themselves capable of dealing with Black people, not simply on the basis of equality, but as the primary actors in the struggle for their own freedom. In time, it was Douglass’s words, his principled militancy, that animated the abolition movement and post-Civil War Radical Reconstruction.

In the same way, today’s Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and child

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-initiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”

 

Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“There’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.”

In 1847, in the first issue of the North Star, Frederick Douglass explained his decision to publish his own newspaper, rather than rely solely on The Liberator and other publications of the white-led abolitionist movement. Douglass, who was then only 29 years old, wrote: “The man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand the redress—the man struck is the man to CRY OUT…!” These words can inform and guide us, today, as African Americans consider their relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mostly white-initiated grassroots upswelling that has captured the national imagination like no political phenomenon in more than 40 years.

Frederick Douglass did not launch his newspaper in order to split from white abolitionists, but to speak to and for slaves and free Blacks, to engage them directly in the great movement of the time: abolition. He remained an indispensable figure in the larger abolitionist structure, and was a staunch comrade to those whites that proved themselves capable of dealing with Black people, not simply on the basis of equality, but as the primary actors in the struggle for their own freedom. In time, it was Douglass’s words, his principled militancy, that animated the abolition movement and post-Civil War Radical Reconstruction.

In the same way, today’s Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street and the oppressive forces that protect it, and who are the most in need of redress. It is our duty to be the ones to CRY OUT – as we always have, but this time in the midst of what we hope may be a national awakening. If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ear

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-initiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”

 

Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“There’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.”

In 1847, in the first issue of the North Star, Frederick Douglass explained his decision to publish his own newspaper, rather than rely solely on The Liberator and other publications of the white-led abolitionist movement. Douglass, who was then only 29 years old, wrote: “The man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand the redress—the man struck is the man to CRY OUT…!” These words can inform and guide us, today, as African Americans consider their relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mostly white-initiated grassroots upswelling that has captured the national imagination like no political phenomenon in more than 40 years.

Frederick Douglass did not launch his newspaper in order to split from white abolitionists, but to speak to and for slaves and free Blacks, to engage them directly in the great movement of the time: abolition. He remained an indispensable figure in the larger abolitionist structure, and was a staunch comrade to those whites that proved themselves capable of dealing with Black people, not simply on the basis of equality, but as the primary actors in the struggle for their own freedom. In time, it was Douglass’s words, his principled militancy, that animated the abolition movement and post-Civil War Radical Reconstruction.

In the same way, today’s Bl

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-initiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”

 

Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“There’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.”

In 1847, in the first issue of the North Star, Frederick Douglass explained his decision to publish his own newspaper, rather than rely solely on The Liberator and other publications of the white-led abolitionist movement. Douglass, who was then only 29 years old, wrote: “The man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand the redress—the man struck is the man to CRY OUT…!” These words can inform and guide us, today, as African Americans consider their relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mostly white-initiated grassroots upswelling that has captured the national imagination like no political phenomenon in more than 40 years.

Frederick Douglass did not launch his newspaper in order to split from white abolitionists, but to speak to and for slaves and free Blacks, to engage them directly in the great movement of the time: abolition. He remained an indispensable figure in the larger abolitionist structure, and was a staunch comrade to those whites that proved themselves capable of dealing with Black people, not simply on the basis of equality, but as the primary actors in the struggle for their own freedom. In time, it was Douglass’s words, his principled militancy, that animated the abolition movement and post-Civil War Radical Reconstruction.

In the same way, today’s Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street and the oppressive forces that protect it, and who are the most in need of redress. It is our duty to be the ones to CRY OUT – as we always have, but this time in the midst of what we hope may be a national awakening. If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.

“Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.”

It’s time to Occupy Harlem. Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad, along with the Peoples Organization for Progress and others, will kick off the occupation process this Friday evening, October 28, with a mass meeting at St. Philips Church, on 134th Street, in Harlem. (See flyer, below.) Organizer Nellie Bailey says “there’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.” That also requires confronting the “supine leadership of Black communities, not only in Harlem, but nationwide” – what we a Black Agenda Report call the “Black misleadership class.” In Harlem, that means Congressman Charles Rangel who, as Ms. Bailey puts it, “has been in office for well over 40 years, and has received more money from the real estate industry than any other person in Congress.” Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.

And so it goes in Black communities throughout the country. That’s why the People’s Organization for Progress has been demonstrating every day for more than 120 days – and will continue their daily protest in Newark, New Jersey for 381 days. And that’s why the Black Is Back Coalition was formed in September of 2009, and holds its national conference in Philadelphia on November 5. (See flyer, below.)

These organizations bring our people’s voices to the Occupation movement, and will continue whether that movement does, or not. Because, as Frederick Douglass said, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-initiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”

 

Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“There’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.”

In 1847, in the first issue of the North Star, Frederick Douglass explained his decision to publish his own newspaper, rather than rely solely on The Liberator and other publications of the white-led abolitionist movement. Douglass, who was then only 29 years old, wrote: “The man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand the redress—the man struck is the man to CRY OUT…!” These words can inform and guide us, today, as African Americans consider their relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mostly white-initiated grassroots upswelling that has captured the national imagination like no political phenomenon in more than 40 years.

Frederick Douglass did not launch his newspaper in order to split from white abolitionists, but to speak to and for slaves and free Blacks, to engage them directly in the great movement of the time: abolition. He remained an indispensable figure in the larger abolitionist structure, and was a staunch comrade to those whites that proved themselves capable of dealing with Black people, not simply on the basis of equality, but as the primary actors in the struggle for their own freedom. In time, it was Douglass’s words, his principled militancy, that animated the abolition movement and post-Civil War Radical Reconstruction.

In the same way, today’s Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street and the oppressive forces that protect it, and who are the most in need of redress. It is our duty to be the ones to CRY OUT – as we always have, but this time in the midst of what we hope may be a national awakening. If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.

“Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.”

It’s time to Occupy Harlem. Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad, along with the Peoples Organization for Progress and others, will kick off the occupation process this Friday evening, October 28, with a mass meeting at St. Philips Church, on 134th Street, in Harlem. (See flyer, below.) Organizer Nellie Bailey says “there’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.” That also requires confronting the “supine leadership of Black communities, not only in Harlem, but nationwide” – what we a Black Agenda Report call the “Black misleadership class.” In Harlem, that means Congressman Charles Rangel who, as Ms. Bailey puts it, “has been in office for well over 40 years, and has received more money from the real estate industry than any other person in Congress.” Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.

And so it goes in Black communities throughout the country. That’s why the People’s Organization for Progress has been demonstrating every day for more than 120 days – and will continue their daily protest in Newark, New Jersey for 381 days. And that’s why the Black Is Back Coalition was formed in September of 2009, and holds its national conference in Philadelphia on November 5. (See flyer, below.)

These organizations bring our people’s voices to the Occupation movement, and will continue whether that movement does, or not. Because, as Frederick Douglass said, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-initiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”

 

Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“There’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.”

In 1847, in the first issue of the North Star, Frederick Douglass explained his decision to publish his own newspaper, rather than rely solely on The Liberator and other publications of the white-led abolitionist movement. Douglass, who was then only 29 years old, wrote: “The man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand the redress—the man struck is the man to CRY OUT…!” These words can inform and guide us, today, as African Americans consider their relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mostly white-initiated grassroots upswelling that has captured the national imagination like no political phenomenon in more than 40 years.

Frederick Douglass did not launch his newspaper in order to split from white abolitionists, but to speak to and for slaves and free Blacks, to engage them directly in the great movement of the time: abolition. He remained an indispensable figure in the larger abolitionist structure, and was a staunch comrade to those whites that proved themselves capable of dealing with Black people, not simply on the basis of equality, but as the primary actors in the struggle for their own freedom. In time, it was Douglass’s words, his principled militancy, that animated the abolition movement and post-Civil War Radical Reconstruction.

In the same way, today’s Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and child

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-initiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”

 

Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“There’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.”

In 1847, in the first issue of the North Star, Frederick Douglass explained his decision to publish his own newspaper, rather than rely solely on The Liberator and other publications of the white-led abolitionist movement. Douglass, who was then only 29 years old, wrote: “The man who has suffered the wrong is the man to demand the redress—the man struck is the man to CRY OUT…!” These words can inform and guide us, today, as African Americans consider their relationship to the Occupy Wall Street movement, a mostly white-initiated grassroots upswelling that has captured the national imagination like no political phenomenon in more than 40 years.

Frederick Douglass did not launch his newspaper in order to split from white abolitionists, but to speak to and for slaves and free Blacks, to engage them directly in the great movement of the time: abolition. He remained an indispensable figure in the larger abolitionist structure, and was a staunch comrade to those whites that proved themselves capable of dealing with Black people, not simply on the basis of equality, but as the primary actors in the struggle for their own freedom. In time, it was Douglass’s words, his principled militancy, that animated the abolition movement and post-Civil War Radical Reconstruction.

In the same way, today’s Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street and the oppressive forces that protect it, and who are the most in need of redress. It is our duty to be the ones to CRY OUT – as we always have, but this time in the midst of what we hope may be a national awakening. If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.

“Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.”

It’s time to Occupy Harlem. Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad, along with the Peoples Organization for Progress and others, will kick off the occupation process this Friday evening, October 28, with a mass meeting at St. Philips Church, on 134th Street, in Harlem. (See flyer, below.) Organizer Nellie Bailey says “there’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.” That also requires confronting the “supine leadership of Black communities, not only in Harlem, but nationwide” – what we a Black Agenda Report call the “Black misleadership class.” In Harlem, that means Congressman Charles Rangel who, as Ms. Bailey puts it, “has been in office for well over 40 years, and has received more money from the real estate industry than any other person in Congress.” Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.

And so it goes in Black communities throughout the country. That’s why the People’s Organization for Progress has been demonstrating every day for more than 120 days – and will continue their daily protest in Newark, New Jersey for 381 days. And that’s why the Black Is Back Coalition was formed in September of 2009, and holds its national conference in Philadelphia on November 5. (See flyer, below.)

These organizations bring our people’s voices to the Occupation movement, and will continue whether that movement does, or not. Because, as Frederick Douglass said, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

ren that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street and the oppressive forces that protect it, and who are the most in need of redress. It is our duty to be the ones to CRY OUT – as we always have, but this time in the midst of what we hope may be a national awakening. If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.

“Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.”

It’s time to Occupy Harlem. Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad, along with the Peoples Organization for Progress and others, will kick off the occupation process this Friday evening, October 28, with a mass meeting at St. Philips Church, on 134th Street, in Harlem. (See flyer, below.) Organizer Nellie Bailey says “there’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.” That also requires confronting the “supine leadership of Black communities, not only in Harlem, but nationwide” – what we a Black Agenda Report call the “Black misleadership class.” In Harlem, that means Congressman Charles Rangel who, as Ms. Bailey puts it, “has been in office for well over 40 years, and has received more money from the real estate industry than any other person in Congress.” Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.

And so it goes in Black communities throughout the country. That’s why the People’s Organization for Progress has been demonstrating every day for more than 120 days – and will continue their daily protest in Newark, New Jersey for 381 days. And that’s why the Black Is Back Coalition was formed in September of 2009, and holds its national conference in Philadelphia on November 5. (See flyer, below.)

These organizations bring our people’s voices to the Occupation movement, and will continue whether that movement does, or not. Because, as Frederick Douglass said, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

ack activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street and the oppressive forces that protect it, and who are the most in need of redress. It is our duty to be the ones to CRY OUT – as we always have, but this time in the midst of what we hope may be a national awakening. If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.

“Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.”

It’s time to Occupy Harlem. Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad, along with the Peoples Organization for Progress and others, will kick off the occupation process this Friday evening, October 28, with a mass meeting at St. Philips Church, on 134th Street, in Harlem. (See flyer, below.) Organizer Nellie Bailey says “there’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.” That also requires confronting the “supine leadership of Black communities, not only in Harlem, but nationwide” – what we a Black Agenda Report call the “Black misleadership class.” In Harlem, that means Congressman Charles Rangel who, as Ms. Bailey puts it, “has been in office for well over 40 years, and has received more money from the real estate industry than any other person in Congress.” Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.

And so it goes in Black communities throughout the country. That’s why the People’s Organization for Progress has been demonstrating every day for more than 120 days – and will continue their daily protest in Newark, New Jersey for 381 days. And that’s why the Black Is Back Coalition was formed in September of 2009, and holds its national conference in Philadelphia on November 5. (See flyer, below.)

These organizations bring our people’s voices to the Occupation movement, and will continue whether that movement does, or not. Because, as Frederick Douglass said, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

s of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.

“Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.”

It’s time to Occupy Harlem. Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad, along with the Peoples Organization for Progress and others, will kick off the occupation process this Friday evening, October 28, with a mass meeting at St. Philips Church, on 134th Street, in Harlem. (See flyer, below.) Organizer Nellie Bailey says “there’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.” That also requires confronting the “supine leadership of Black communities, not only in Harlem, but nationwide” – what we a Black Agenda Report call the “Black misleadership class.” In Harlem, that means Congressman Charles Rangel who, as Ms. Bailey puts it, “has been in office for well over 40 years, and has received more money from the real estate industry than any other person in Congress.” Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.

And so it goes in Black communities throughout the country. That’s why the People’s Organization for Progress has been demonstrating every day for more than 120 days – and will continue their daily protest in Newark, New Jersey for 381 days. And that’s why the Black Is Back Coalition was formed in September of 2009, and holds its national conference in Philadelphia on November 5. (See flyer, below.)

These organizations bring our people’s voices to the Occupation movement, and will continue whether that movement does, or not. Because, as Frederick Douglass said, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

ren that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street and the oppressive forces that protect it, and who are the most in need of redress. It is our duty to be the ones to CRY OUT – as we always have, but this time in the midst of what we hope may be a national awakening. If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.

“Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.”

It’s time to Occupy Harlem. Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad, along with the Peoples Organization for Progress and others, will kick off the occupation process this Friday evening, October 28, with a mass meeting at St. Philips Church, on 134th Street, in Harlem. (See flyer, below.) Organizer Nellie Bailey says “there’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.” That also requires confronting the “supine leadership of Black communities, not only in Harlem, but nationwide” – what we a Black Agenda Report call the “Black misleadership class.” In Harlem, that means Congressman Charles Rangel who, as Ms. Bailey puts it, “has been in office for well over 40 years, and has received more money from the real estate industry than any other person in Congress.” Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.

And so it goes in Black communities throughout the country. That’s why the People’s Organization for Progress has been demonstrating every day for more than 120 days – and will continue their daily protest in Newark, New Jersey for 381 days. And that’s why the Black Is Back Coalition was formed in September of 2009, and holds its national conference in Philadelphia on November 5. (See flyer, below.)

These organizations bring our people’s voices to the Occupation movement, and will continue whether that movement does, or not. Because, as Frederick Douglass said, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

lack officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.”

It’s time to Occupy Harlem. Harlem Fightback Against War at Home and Abroad, along with the Peoples Organization for Progress and others, will kick off the occupation process this Friday evening, October 28, with a mass meeting at St. Philips Church, on 134th Street, in Harlem. (See flyer, below.) Organizer Nellie Bailey says “there’s a desperate need to focus on Wall Street’s total economic strangulation of our communities.” That also requires confronting the “supine leadership of Black communities, not only in Harlem, but nationwide” – what we a Black Agenda Report call the “Black misleadership class.” In Harlem, that means Congressman Charles Rangel who, as Ms. Bailey puts it, “has been in office for well over 40 years, and has received more money from the real estate industry than any other person in Congress.” Rangel and too many other Black officials are beholden to the very plutocrats that rule New York City and its political life.

And so it goes in Black communities throughout the country. That’s why the People’s Organization for Progress has been demonstrating every day for more than 120 days – and will continue their daily protest in Newark, New Jersey for 381 days. And that’s why the Black Is Back Coalition was formed in September of 2009, and holds its national conference in Philadelphia on November 5. (See flyer, below.)

These organizations bring our people’s voices to the Occupation movement, and will continue whether that movement does, or not. Because, as Frederick Douglass said, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.” For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contact atGlen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20111026_gf_OccupyHarlemEtc.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:57am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Under drastically expanded rationales of national security and crime prevention, the FBI has empowered itself to massively penetrate and gather information on whole communities. In FBI-speak, these are called “domains” – “large geographic and social spaces in which national security demanded that the Bureau make itself acutely ‘aware.’” Wholesale targeting of these communities – an “industrial-strength” form of profiling – is justified on the assumption that “Blacks, Muslims (especially Black Muslims) and Latinos are more prone to crime and acts of terror.”

 

FBI “Mapping”: Racial Profiling on a People-Wide Scale

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

A Black Separatist threat turned into an investigation of the growth characteristics of Blacks in the Atlanta area.”

Until the events of 9/11, Black America seemed to be winning lots of battles in the fight against racial profiling. The term “Driving While Black” had become almost a household word due to heavy media exposure of wildly disproportionate stops of Black drivers by police on Interstate highways. Racial profiling had become politically and socially unacceptable, with few public advocates even among law and order Republicans. And then the Twin Towers came down. Almost instantaneously, racial profiling was back, with a vengeance – directed most dramatically against people who “appeared” to be Muslim, whatever that looks like, but with renewed vigor against African Americans, the historical targets. The FBI, which was never a respecter of the rights of darker peoples, repositioned itself to aggressively pre-empt any threat to national security. That means going after people even when there is no evidence of a crime. Although it remained against the rules for FBI agents to launch investigations based solely on race, religion of ethnicity, those factors could be taken into account. It was a loophole big enough to drive a busload of Knights of the Ku Klux Klan through. By asserting that certain racial, religious and ethnic groups – Blacks, Muslims (especially Black Muslims) and Latinos – were more prone to crime and acts of terror, the FBI cold justify all manner of methods to massively penetrate these groups in the interest of national security.

The vocabulary changed to suit the mission. Ethnic, racial and religious communities became “domains” in FBI parlance, large geographic and social spaces in which national security demanded that the Bureau make itself acutely “aware.” Thus, the new strategy was called “domain awareness” – meaning, the FBI’s job was to learn everything about the people who lived in these ethnic, religious and racial “domains.” All that was required to launch massive intelligence gathering campaigns against, say, Black people in the state of Georgia, Arabs in the Detroit area, Chinese and Russians in the San Francisco Bay Area, or almost any group in New York City, was the invocation of a vague criminal or national security “threat.”

The Bureau is studying racial and ethnic ‘behaviors’ and ‘facilities.’”

Like magic, threats started appearing all over the place. In October 2009, the Atlanta office of the FBI sent out a threat “alert” about supposed “Black Separatist” groups. It turned out that the alert involved peaceful protests and support of a congressional candidate, but the FBI set about collecting information on the growth of the entire Black population in the Atlanta area, the better to understand the “domain.” The FBI has used the presence of street gangs like MS13 in some Latino communities to launch domain-wide dragnets of information on area Hispanic populations. Muslims of any extraction – but especially Black American Muslims – are considered domains worthy of endless mapping. According to the ACLU, which is urging people to tell the FBI “Don't Map Me or My Community,” the Bureau is studying racial and ethnic “behaviors.” That means “behaving while Black” - or behaving while Latino, or behaving while Muslim. The FBI also studies racial, ethnic and religious “facilities” - that is, the places where people...exist. The ACLU says the FBI's own behavior is unconstitutional. It also seems very much like the FBI is preparing to put the people it is studying under some kind of siege.

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: 20111026_gf_FBImapping.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

The experience of the last five weeks shows that Wall Street “occupiers’ fear of liberal co-optation is fully justified.” Media mogul and debit card finance capitalist Russell Simmons escorted Kanye West and Al Sharpton into the Zuccotti Park occupation mix, in yet another attempt “by the soft liberal Left to co-opt anything that has any degree of revolutionary potential.” Cooptation efforts are to be expected. However, “If the Simmons and Sharptons of the world are to be combated a more genuine Black leadership must emerge from the ranks of Black people.”

 

Russell Simmons Still Ain’t Hip-Hop and He Ain’t No Occupier Either!

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

Simmons is the cultural version of the Black ‘misleadership class’ so often described in these pages.”

More than a decade ago Rosa Clemente alerted much of the world to the fact, as she said, that “Russell Simmons: You are Not Hip-Hop!” Her commentary caused a stir back then as many in the hip-hop community and beyond had taken a view of Simmons similar to the one many continue to have today of Barack Obama: A Black man who had taken over an aspect of the world mostly reserved for Whites and who would now make it better for us all. But in each case the man became the mirage he always was and in each case became a browner conduit of people’s hopes, dreams and, of course, money all of which continues to flow outwardly and only in benefit of the same White power elite. So it seemed perfect to see Simmons heckled at a recent Occupy Wall Street gathering and to note the particular Black womanhood of the leading heckler.

Initially the heckling occurred during a stand-up interview Simmons was giving from the crowd to CNN and the initial heckler was a White male challenging the hypocrisy of CNN conducting interviews about the occupation while having previously misreported the event. It was also sadly appropriate that it was Black on-lookers who attempted to defend Simmons’ right to speak. And that is what ultimately made the beauty of the sister’s interruption as she stepped in to say loud and clear to Simmons that, “you are part of the problem Russell!” Simmons is the cultural version of the Black “misleadership class” so often described in these pages. As Clemente pointed out ten years ago Simmons rose to prominence by promoting the worst forms of what he narrowly defined as hip-hop. From bling-bling to anti-human images of women and of Black and Brown people Simmons slung his wares in the streets and has been paid well for it. But he and his executive buddies used hip-hop and, as Clemente noted, “closed ranks” against the more radical and honest elements of the hip-hop community. He cut them off, refused support and used his position to reassure his sponsors and pacify his unwitting but frustrated supporters. And now his desire to bring Kanye West and Al Sharpton into the occupation mix had to be exposed for what it was and is; an attempt by the soft liberal Left to co-opt anything that has any degree of revolutionary potential.

The sister stepped in to say loud and clear to Simmons that, ‘you are part of the problem Russell!’”

And it is obvious in this case that the occupiers’ fear of liberal co-optation is fully justified. Simmons’ presence and his bringing the likes of West and Sharpton serves as a people’s testimony against themselves and stands in direct opposition to the involvement in the occupying movements of those like Rebel Diaz, Immortal Technique and Jasiri X. Simmons is there to be the hip-hop representation that negates today’s representatives of those he previously “closed ranks” against. And those who caught this travesty were right, from multiple angles, to challenge that. CNN would have to give him camera time as they would certainly want to convey his brand of hip-hop activism. He would have to be there to position himself, or be positioned, as an appropriate spokesperson for hip-hop, young people and, of course, all of the world’s colorful people. Simmons is no better than, and is indeed only a browner version of, the White liberals who are often criticized for their mostly White middle-class “occupations.” And this anonymous sister represents precisely why more Black and Brown people should be involved in these kinds of events but also why they need to be ardent supporters of their own more “indigenous” struggles and organizers.

That sister’s presence allowed for an important challenge to Black usurpers of Black radicalism and could serve as a reminder to White liberals that they too must beware of their own trappings and their own selections of those deemed appropriate representatives of blackness. And the very need for her role there speaks to the more important need of Black and Brown people to involve themselves in greater numbers in their own movement-building. If the Simmons and Sharptons of the world are to be combated a more genuine Black leadership must emerge from the ranks of Black people.

So, for just two examples, come out November 5 in Philadelphia and support the Black Is Back Coalition’s rally there to “Stop the Wars and Build the Resistance.” And then stand in solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal on the eve of International Human Rights Day on December 9, also in Philadelphia, as activists gather there to support political prisoners and an end to mass incarceration, prisons and the death penalty.

For Black Agenda Radio I’m Jared Ball. On the web go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

Dr. Jared A. Ball is an associate professor of communication studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore and is the author of I Mix What I Like! A Mixtape Manifesto (AK Press). He can be found online at: IMIXWHATILIKE.COM.


Direct download: 20111026_jb_RussellSimmonsOWS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:32am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

Dr. Martin Luther King was made to suffer the indignity of being drafted into a corporate president’s campaign and corporate sponsors’ image-making. At the memorial ceremony in Washington, “it was clear Obama’s re-election bid was to be a primary function of the spectacle.” The edifice itself is stripped of any quotes that the race-neutral might find discomforting. “The words ‘Black’ and ‘racism’ make zero appearances at a memorial dedicated to a man who spoke of the essentialness of Black pride and an end to White supremacist notions of race.”

 

Memorials and Spectacles: The Anti-Dr. King Monument

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

All we are left with is a memorial that will permanently impose itself, as spectacle, preventing actual discussion of the man or his ideas.”

This week’s dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C. was a quintessential display of what Guy Debord called “spectacle.” In his words, what we prefer to refer to as “media” is really the communication of “orders” whereby “those who give them are also those who tell us what [to] think of them.” These orders, Debord says, “permeate all reality,” and form a “crushing presence” so as to assure that “no place [is] left where people can discuss the realities which concern them…” And by so doing we are left with only the “unanswerable lies [which] have succeeded in eliminating public opinion.” In fact, Debord says, the “spectacle” is “the end of history [which] gives power a welcome break.” Such displays as we witnessed this weekend operate under the orders of ending critical thought and radical reflection and gave us a parade of characters who, as Debord also says, are the “experts [who] serve the state and the media and only in that way do they achieve their status.”

And just who were delivered by General Motors, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, Boeing, Phizer, Tommy Hilfiger and AT&T? Well, of course, the big prize delivery was the president himself and with at least 4 of his previous top campaign contributors also sponsoring the monument (GE, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs) it was clear his re-election bid was to be a primary function of the spectacle. And why not? Banksters and war profiteers don’t sponsor events meant to commemorate anti-war and wealth redistribution. So no, Dr. King could not be present at his own memorial, spectacle erases memory to preserve an ignoble present. And Obama played his role beautifully. He implicitly accepted, as he has always done, the simultaneous honor of being the culmination of King’s movement and its refutation. How else can a movement reach its conclusion and still require so much work, as the president reminded us, to achieve its goals? How else can a movement achieve the highest office and still be told by its leader that those who put him there have not worked hard enough? Only in America can so much work, for so many centuries, with so much blood, loss and suffering produce so little for so many. But this, for a president seeking re-election as opposed to a genuine product of a revolutionary movement, has to be the message even when all involved know that none of this has anything to do with King or his ideas. And while some delivered impressive comments all of the speakers let Obama get away with it.

Andrew Young again reduced persistent poverty to a lack of ‘financial literacy’ among Black people.”

The usually conservative, anti-progressive, anti-gay friend of Eddie Long, Bernice King was strong in calling out the fact that the distribution of wealth in this country is sickeningly disparate, while her brother Martin Luther King, III warned against an erasure of his father by a selection of “idol over ideas” and “brand over belief.” But the cavalcade of usurpers of King’s throne and their sponsors washed away any good those comments could have done. Jesse Jackson, still fraudulently adorning himself in King’s blood, told us yet again to “keep hope alive.” Andrew Young again reduced persistent poverty to a lack of “financial literacy” among Black people and said explicitly that a refusal to vote for Obama in 2012 was a turning over of gains won by King’s movement to the Republican party. And Al Sharpton, again, made White middle-class liberals look like revolutionaries by reducing their “occupations,” and worse King’s plans for permanent protests in 1968, to a slogan of “we will occupy voting booths” next year for Obama.

So by the time the corporate sponsors spoke themselves and after all the choirs sang all we are left with is a memorial that will permanently impose itself, as spectacle, preventing actual discussion of the man or his ideas. In fact, the words “Black” and “racism” make zero appearances at a memorial dedicated to a man who spoke of the essentialness of Black pride and an end to White supremacist notions of race. So having served the state and its media apparatus the “experts” this week assured that all that was and is Dr. King will be “crushed” beneath the orders they’ve communicated; orders that discourage the radical interventions that come, as King said, with a “divine dissatisfaction” with the world as it is.

For Black Agenda Radio I’m Jared Ball. On the web go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

Dr. Jared A. Ball is an associate professor of communication studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore and is the author of I Mix What I Like! A Mixtape Manifesto (AK Press). He can be found online at: IMIXWHATILIKE.COM.

Direct download: 20111019_jb_MLK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:56am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Africa, under President Obama, is an expanding theater of war for the United States. There are few points on the African map where the U.S. military does not operate, independently, through proxies, or by agreement with local governments and militaries. AFRICOM has penetrated the armed forces of the continent to a degree no single European power could have ever aspired. Indeed, “the U.S. has so thoroughly infiltrated African armies, many, if not most, would be of no use for national defense against the Americans.”

 

Somalis Under Relentless Drone Attack as U.S. Tightens Military Grip on Continent

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The overlapping entanglements have allowed the U.S. military to achieve deep penetration of the armed forces of most African nations.”

Scores of Somali civilians have been killed in U.S. drone attacks in the southern region of the country, as Washington tightens its military grip on much of the continent. The current offensive involves thousands of Kenyan troops that are threatening the major Somali city of Kismayo. The American drones are supporting the Kenyan invasion. The drones’ origins are officially secret, but it is known that the U.S. operates drone bases in Ethiopia and Djibouti, which is home to a huge American base.

For all practical purposes, the U.S. has made proxies of Ethiopia and the five member states of the East African Community: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. The Ugandans and Burundians safeguard the airport that is the lifeline for Somalia’s puppet regime in Mogadishu, where the CIA operates a major facility. In September, the militaries of the East African Community held joint exercises with AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command.

Such exercises with American forces have become commonplace. The U.S. Defense Department is busily training the militaries of Mali, Chad, Niger, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, Zambia, Uganda, Senegal, Mozambique, Ghana, Malawi, and Mauretania. ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, is considering asking the U.S. navy to help it out with its pirate problem. Most of the militaries of the African Union already communicate with American command-and-control equipment, requiring U.S. advisors. The overlapping entanglements have allowed the U.S. military to achieve deep penetration of the armed forces of most African nations.

Most of the militaries of the African Union already communicate with American command-and-control equipment.”

In such a web of dependency, few standing African armies are capable of defending themselves – if the aggressor is the United States. But in most cases, the U.S. would likely get its way without a fight, since the officer class of so many African militaries have direct ties with their American counterparts. The U.S. has so thoroughly infiltrated African armies, many, if not most, would be of no use for national defense against the Americans.

The Americans are almost everywhere, but the French never left Africa. Although France and the U.S. were longtime rivals in Africa, waging proxy wars against each other through their African flunkies, their joint actions against Haiti and Libya, and in bringing down the government in the Ivory Coast, signal that the French and Americans are full partners in neocolonialism.

Now President Obama has officially sent 100 U.S. Special Forces troops to Uganda and neighboring countries, ostensibly to track down a rebel force. They will also operate in the new nation of South Sudan.

Meanwhile, the NATO attack on Libya threatens to set the whole northern tier of Africa ablaze, a pretext for further U.S. and French operations. American penetration of Africa has reached the point that any nation – such as Eritrea – that does not have a military relationship with the United States is marked for regime change. Instead of the pan-Africanist dream of a United States of Africa, we are seeing an Africa under the military thumb of the United States. 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: 20111019_gf_USinAfrica.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:22am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

After two years of existence, the Black Is Back Coalition is witnessing – and has been part of – what is beginning to look like a watershed moment in the U.S. and the world. “For the first time in four decades the word ‘revolution’ is heard outside the context of the newest consumer product.” Yet, many Blacks wonder about the actual inclusiveness of the revolt of the 99 percent. “In the United States, especially, homogenization always tends, in practice, to result in a whitening of the process.” A progressive movement requires the exertion of strong Black leadership. That’s the challenge for the Black Is Black Coalition at its November 5 national conference – and for the entire Black polity.

 

Black Is Back Coalition: Defining Our Own Place in the 99%

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Achieving the meaning of the phrase “Power to the people” requires new strategies and tactics to suit new conditions on the ground.”

It’s been two years since the formation of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The original coalition of fifteen organizations was formed in the close quarters of a Washington, DC, apartment in late September 2009, and in just seven weeks pulled together the first national Black march and rally against President Obama, at the White House. Back then, the Black Is Back Coalition occupied a very lonely place, not just in Black America, but in the larger spectrum of the U.S. Left. Sisters and brothers who had long opposed U.S. imperial wars and the rule of the rich, who had for decades proudly proclaimed themselves fighters in the Black liberation struggle, turned their backs on their own lives, their own words, their own experiences and on the historical wisdom of our greatest leaders, to become apologists and cheerleaders for a Black corporate Democratic warmonger. It was, possibly, the lowest point in Black political history, a comprehensive collapse of the last remnants of what had once been a mighty movement.

Twenty-four months later, the Black Is Back Coalition prepares to hold its national conference, on November 5, in a vastly different political environment. The Obama delirium has broken, like a fever that has spent itself. The First Black President has proven with sickening consistency to be a tool of Wall Street and the Pentagon, and as contemptuous of Black people in word and deed as any president in modern times. His verbal attacks on Black culture and Black character have been vicious in the extreme, a series of egregious, hurtful harangues cynically designed to signal to whites that he, too, rejects the legitimacy of Black grievances – both historically, and in the here and now.

Those of us in the Black Is Back Coalition have a right to say “I told you so” – and we do. But it takes more than just being right, to win the battle. One must constantly take advantage of changes on the battlefield.

The Obama delirium has broken, like a fever that has spent itself.”

The political terrain has changed, decisively. People's “occupations” are the watchword all across the nation and the world, there is a general disgust and rejection of the rule of finance capital, and for the first time in four decades the word “revolution” is heard outside the context of the newest consumer product. There is a ferment, a great stirring, that has Black Americans speaking in a language that was once so familiar we thought we owned it: “All power to the people!” Variations of the old war cry are on everyone's lips. But achieving the meaning of the phrase “Power to the people” requires new strategies and tactics to suit new conditions on the ground.

The sudden appearance of a still very amorphous movement under the loose heading “Occupy” presents a huge challenge. That is especially true for those of us at the Black Is Back Coalition, whose analysis was essentially correct in 2009. We should be a lot smarter now, and share our insights and experiences with the new forces that have suddenly emerged. The slogan “the 99% versus the 1%” is fine and catchy and quite effective, for now, but real revolutions are made up of their constituent parts. In the United States, especially, homogenization always tends, in practice, to result in a whitening of the process. And that would be a tragedy for the emerging movement.

The Black Is Back Coalition's responsibility, on November 5 in Philadelphia, is to put forward a strong, unabashedly Black analysis and program for the world revolution, and share it with everybody.

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: 20111019_gf_BlackIsBack.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:14am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Mumia Abu Jamal’s days on Death Row may be nearing an end, with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that his sentence – but not conviction – is unconstitutional. Without a new trail, which is not on the horizon, Mumia faces life with no possibility of parole. Long time supporter Pam Africa does not consider the ruling “a victory,” and “remembers that some opponents of the death penalty abandoned the movement to free Mumia when his death sentence was first revoked.”

 

High Court Allows Mumia to Breathe, But He is Still Condemned to Social Death

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The ruling allows the Philadelphia district attorney to once again seek the death penalty in a new sentencing hearing.”

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty imposed on Mumia Abu Jamal, the world’s most famous political prisoner, is unconstitutional because the sentencing jury was not allowed to consider evidence that supported a sentence of life in prison. But the ruling allows the Philadelphia district attorney, Seth Williams, a Black man who has based his career on executing Mumia, to once again seek the death penalty in a new sentencing hearing. If Williams does not seek, or fails to get, a another death penalty, Mumia Abu Jamal will automatically be sentenced to life with no possibility of parole in the 1981 death of a Philadelphia police officer.

Mumia was “understandably very, very happy” to hear the news, early Tuesday morning, according to his attorneys at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, which has been representing him since early this year. The LDF says it will continue representing Mumia until there are “absolutely no further avenues appeal” available to him. He has been on death row for 29 continuous years, despite the fact that a federal district judge ordered a new sentencing hearing back in 2001.

There is no victory, today,” said Pam Africa, of the International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal. The Supreme Court, she says, is only “giving an illusion of fairness,” and has itself behaved criminally in Mumia’s case. Back in 1999, the High Court refused to review an appeal of his conviction, based on evidence of Mumia’s actual innocence. It was only after massive, worldwide demonstrations, including a call by Amnesty International for a new trial, that a federal judge ordered a new sentence in the case. But he still refused to overturn the conviction.

Life in prison without the possibility of parole is still a death sentence.”

We are not winning,” said Pam Africa. “We’ve got to step up the pressure” on the whole rotten criminal justice system. She remembers that some opponents of the death penalty abandoned the movement to free Mumia when his death sentence was first revoked. That's why “there has got to be a new movement in support of these brothers and sisters who are spending their lives in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. Life in prison without the possibility of parole,” says Pam Africa, “is still a death sentence.”

She is, of course, correct. The U.S. prison system is an abomination to the planet specifically because it is rooted in the American system of Black chattel slavery, which reduced human beings to a social death. The U.S. penal system seeks to reproduce those slave conditions in modern times, and to entrap as many Black bodies in its web as possible, through a national policy of mass Black incarceration – now extended wholesale to Latinos. Such a system cannot be reformed; it must be eradicated and abolished, root and branch.

The hunger strikers at California’s Pelican Bay prison and tens of thousands like them throughout the U.S. Prison Gulag have been marked for annihilation, in all the ways that matter for human beings. This is not an issue for reformist tinkering, but a fundamental question of human rights. Human rights goals cannot be effectively pursued within the context of institutions that are designed to destroy humanity.

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: 20111012_gf_MumiaPelicanBay.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:02am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

To foment hysteria against Iran, “the administration is cooking up an almost comically infernal witches brew just in time for Halloween.” So fantastic is the American story of an Iranian assassination scheme, one is tempted to laugh – except that the farce shows how eager the Obama administration is to create war scenarios out of thin air. It is a psychological operation of the absurd, one that only “the typical American” will believe.

 

What a Whopper! U.S. Throws All the Demons in the Mix for the Mother Of All Anti-Iran Psy-Ops

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The whole thing smells more like the FBI’s schemes to frame Black men in Miami and Newburgh, New York, for terroristic attacks that never did, or could, happen.”

Who said Barack Obama would bring sobriety and dignity to U.S. foreign policy? The president’s men, and Top Woman Hillary Clinton, have thrown every stereotypical demon of middle American nightmares into the psychological operations gumbo, to create a war hysteria against Iran. No reflexive terror button is left unpushed, no racial hysteria unexploited. Bubble, bubble, boil and trouble, the administration is cooking up an almost comically infernal witches brew just in time for Halloween.

What a confabulation! There’s the Mexican drug cartel hit men, the specter of a bomb exploding in a crowded, upscale Washington eatery, plus attacks on Israelis and, of course, in the background, the elite Quds unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. And if you believe the government story - well, that proves you are the typical America, and any idiot can keep you in a state of endless war.

How convenient this alleged plot is, to weave together the interests of the Mexican narco-regime, which is at war with some of its drug billionaires and in league with others, and a permanent lackey of the United States; Saudi Arabia, the most reactionary regime on the planet, where one family demonstrates its fitness to control the world’s largest oil reserves by building a skyscraper three times the height of the Empire State Building in the middle of a vast desert, and is also a collaborator with the United States in turning back the Arab Spring; and Israel, the uncontested champion violator of international law and United Nations resolutions, which maintains its supremacy in the Middle East and unique relationship to the United States by keeping the region permanently on the brink of Armageddon.

It turns out that a Drug Enforcement Administration 'confidential source' came up with the bombing idea, and that the restaurant doesn't even exist.”

All four players now claim Iran has all but declared war on virtually everybody by plotting to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. But the whole thing smells more like the FBI’s schemes to frame Black men in Miami and Newburgh, New York, for terroristic attacks that never did, or could, happen.

Attorney General Eric Holder, the American entrapper-in-chief, says the Iranians wanted to pay $1.5 million to Mexican hit men to kill the ambassador, possibly by blowing up a DC restaurant where lots of congresspersons also dined. But it turns out that a Drug Enforcement Administration “confidential source” in Mexico was the guy the Iranians supposedly contacted for the hit, and that he came up with the bombing idea, and that the restaurant doesn't even exist. A naturalized American who also kept his Iranian passport is now in custody. His alleged partner is an Iranian who has left the country and, if you believe the U.S. government, was connected somehow to the Iranian Quds force. We are supposed to accept that this is how the Iranians make war against the western world.

Mexico says the plot was a threat to its national security, although it is not alleged that even one Mexican hit man was actually contacted. Israel – well, the Israelis are always trying to get the U.S. to attack Iran, so there’s nothing new, there. And the Saudis are pretending to be the injured party, even though they years ago promised the use of their airspace to Israel and the United States for the purpose of bombing Iran.

Iran calls the tale “a children’s story.” Which pretty much sums it up, except these American, Saudi, Mexican and Israeli children are vicious, straight out of Lord of the Flies.

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: 20111012_gf_IranPlot.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:57am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Black soldiers are fighting for survival against the world’s biggest lynch mob, armed to the teeth by the United States and Europe.” When it comes to Blacks – whether Libyans or immigrant workers - NATO-backed rebels have shown no respect for the rules of war, or for women and children. If surrender means torture and debasement or summary execution at the hands of racist killers, the only option is a battle to the bitter end.

 

Black Libyans Make Their Stand in Sirte and Bani Walid

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Black defenders of Sirte and Bani Walid fight like lions because they have no choice.”

Both NATO and their Libyan rebel surrogates express wonder at the fact that loyalist forces continue to fight so fiercelyin the contested cities of Sirte and Bani Walid, despite being vastly outnumbered on the ground and unceasingly pummeled from above by the world’s largest air armada. But one look at a picture of Gaddafi loyalist prisoners, captured at a hospital in Sirte, tells the story: they are all Black. The assault on Libya has largely devolved into a race war, and the Black soldiers are fighting for survival against the world’s biggest lynch mob, armed to the teeth by the United States and Europe.

Where are the people of Tawurgha, the mostly Black Libyan city that was wiped from the face of the earth by the rebels? Many of those who were not killed or captured have clearly made their way to Sirte and Bani Walid, to make a last stand against the racist killers that westerners like Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now! call “revolutionaries.” The rebels are brazen – absolutely without shame – in their determination to cleanse Libya of its Black population. They are like Arab Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, backed by a European and American air force, a racist militia whose fighters have vowed to “purge Black skin” and who scrawl the Arabic equivalent of “nigger” on the homes of their vanquished Black countrymen. Their rationalizations for ethnic cleansing and summary executions of Black prisoners are quite familiar to the American ear, identical to our own practitioners of White Terror. The Tawurghans raped women, the rebels claim, even as international observers report that it is the rebels and the riff-raff that surrounds them who have systematically raped captured Black girls and women. The Tawurghans, say the rebels, tried to “slaughter all the Misuratans” – and “this is something they have to answer for.”

Many of those who were not killed or captured have clearly made their way to Sirte and Bani Walid, to make a last stand against the racist killers.”

Of course, the town of Tawurgha, with only 30,000 mostly Black Libyan citizens, could not possibly have terrorized Misurata, the third biggest city in the country, 25 miles away. But racists always claim to be the victims of crimes in which they, themselves, specialize. So, the Tawurghans – standing in for all Blacks – are labeled rapists, to justify the racist rampages of the Misurata Brigade.

According to a report by none other than the Voice of America, one-third of all prisoners of the rebels are Black. And they appear to be the lucky ones. The captured Tuwarghan men are nowhere to be found, an indication that the rebels don’t give them a chance to surrender, or keep them long after they do. Wounded Blacks that have made their way to hospitals are snatched from their beds, to an unknown fate.

NATO says it will keep bombing until the last resistance to their Libyan rebel surrogates, is crushed. That appears to mean, until the last free Black men in Libya are captured or killed, their families caged at the mercy of racist brutes and sexual marauders. Black civilians are clearly not the kind of people that the Euro-Americans had in mind, when they claimed to be on a mission to protect civilians.

No wonder, then, that the defenders of Sirte and Bani Walid fight like lions, against all odds. They are heroes, but they also have no choice. The racist death squads will have no mercy. Black skin will be purged, Black women raped and then killed. The First Black President of the United States has unleashed a hell on Black Libya. No decent person can ever forgive him.

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

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

Direct download: 20111012_gf_LibyaSirte.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

The admittedly thrown-together film Black Power Mixtape provides some rare footage of the period, but is otherwise a lightweight. “Other than professor Robin Kelley’s short but powerful comments, the only interviewees representing today’s generation are the slightly more left-than-normal musicians like Talib Kweli, Questlove and Erykah Badu.”

 

The Black Power Mixtape Remix of Black Power

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball

Those carrying on the ideological and programmatic work of the Black Power Movement seemingly do not exist.”

It would be difficult to argue that the filmmakers of the recently-released documentary Black Power Mixtape did not intend the irony that came with some concluding comments from singer Erykah Badu. Her point was that Black people had to document and tell their own stories or disappear. That these comments came at the end of a Swedish film about Black Power, a film that both inspires and frightens a Black radical sensibility, made those comments stand out even among the many powerful statements made by those captured in the film. The fact that in 2011 Black people still struggle to tell their own story and, most importantly, to tell the story of the Black radical tradition encumbers this Black Power Mixtape documentary in ways the filmmakers are perhaps ill-prepared to realize.

The film comes at a time when, says Dr. Quito Swan – author of Black Power in Bermuda (2009) – we are in a moment of heightened “commercialization of Black Power” which often “includes a ‘sanitizing’ of revolutionary, anti-capitalist elements of Black Power while alternatively linking the Movement to ‘master narratives’ of ‘Black progress.’ The Black Power Movement (BPM) has in some spaces been softened to a definition more akin to that of Richard Nixon’s than of Stokely Carmichael and in others it has been entombed as ancient history museum artifact as was the case a couple of years ago at the Smithsonian. The message is clear; while the Black Power Movement was too big then and too iconic today to be ignored, it must only be viewed as a relic of history not as a programmatic guide for improving the world today. Praise the movement in its time only. The ideas, strategies and tactics that once challenged the world and inspired millions are of no use in 2011 despite the fact that every single solitary thing those women and men fought to eradicate is still here and worse than ever.

Those carrying on the ideological and programmatic work of the Black Power Movement seemingly do not exist.”

This is essentially the shortcoming of the film. Even the term “mixtape,” while probably inadvertent, is inappropriately applied. In an email communication with one of the film’s promoters I was told that this term was selected because the filmmakers, while working on a project about 1970s soul music, stumbled upon all of this Black Power footage and that the documentary features contemporary Black American musicians. But the mixtape, in the context of Black American history, has a specific relationship, origin and application – unlike any other – that is also lost in this discussion. The mixtape emerged as what is often described as the Black Power era came to an end. It was rap music’s original mass medium and served during its emergence in the 1970s as it does today as a site of anti-colonial music and journalistic content, a liberated mass medium for still-oppressed communities to express themselves. It is also a contested site in that it today suffers higher degrees of corporate co-optation where major companies use mixtapes to surreptitiously adorn themselves in the robes of the legitimating underground while actually promoting their own musical property.

The value of Black Power Mixtape, particularly in its rare footage of many of the era’s brightest leaders, is far outweighed by what has to be considered the film’s light or lazy research. For instance, why are there no contemporary interviews in the film with the political heirs of the Black Power Movement? The contemporary interviews with Angela Davis focus on her historical role as a Black Power era icon but say little of her current work or the relevance of her analysis in 1975 to 2011. Kwame Ture is similarly left in 1968 despite having lived another 30 years and leaving any number of admirers and members of his organization – still in existence – the All African People’s Revolutionary Party, none of whom are interviewed in the film. In fact, other than professor Robin Kelley’s short but powerful comments, the only interviewees representing today’s generation are the slightly more left-than-normal musicians like Talib Kweli, Questlove and Erykah Badu. Those carrying on the ideological and programmatic work of the Black Power Movement seemingly do not exist.

In the film a young Stokely Carmichael says that the assassination of Dr. King was the state’s “declaration of war against us.” But the question remains, even after a film about Black Power, “who called off that war and when?” The film, in its absence of attention to those still doing Black Power and those still incarcerated for having done Black Power, answers emphatically, that Black Power isn’t here now and apparently isn’t necessary.

For Black Agenda Radio I’m Jared Ball. On the web go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

Dr. Jared A. Ball is an associate professor of communication studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore and is the author of I Mix What I Like! A Mixtape Manifesto (AK Press). He can be found online at: IMIXWHATILIKE.COM.

Direct download: 20111005_jb_blackpower_mixtape.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26am EDT