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

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