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

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

In official folklore, the US armed forces are the virtuous repositories of honor, probity and moral virtue. But the real history and culture of the US military, from invading Spanish Florida to prevent its being a refuge for escaped slaves, to Wounded Knee, to massacres in Haiti and Central America, to Fallujah and marines pissing on Afghan corpses, are something else altogether.

The US Military: A Global Force, But Not For Good

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

On November 19, 2005 a squad of US Marines murdered 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians including 9 children...”

No State of the Union address is complete without multiple standing-ovation references to the steadfast courage, self-sacrifice and honor of the men and women serving in the uniform of these United States. But while some or all of these characteristics can doubtless be found among active duty members of the US military, they are notably absent among its military and civilian leaders, and consistently contradicted by the military's own longstanding traditions.

On November 19, 2005 a squad of US Marines murdered 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians including 9 children, in cold blood, not with shrapnel or random crossfire, but mostly with well-aimed rifle shots to the head and chest indoors and at close range. Three officers received written reprimands for actions after the incident, and charges were filed, then dropped against seven of eight marines. On January 24 staff sergeant Frank Wuteridge, the only remaining marine charged in the case accepted a plea deal that lets him off with a reduction in rank to private.

At the same time that killers are released with perfunctory wrist slaps, US army private Bradley Manning, a genuine hero, endures persecution and solitary confinement for releasing documentary evidence of of numerous diplomatic and military atrocities, including actual film of a US helicopter gunship mowing down unarmed Iraqi civilians including two Reuters cameramen and the children of a man who stopped his family car to help the people he saw bleeding in the street.

That's what he gets,” oinks a self-righteous American military voice on the tape, “for bringing his kids...” to a firefight.

The navy currently runs an ad campaign branding itself “a global force for good.” Few claims could be more deceitful”

Lying, justifying and covering up, not honor and self-sacrifice, seem to be guiding principles of US military and political leadership, the sure and certain paths to a successful career. When up-and-coming army major Colin Powell was detailed to look into reports of atrocities committed by the Americal Division, he knew what was expected of him. Powell minimized and dismissed the reports, overlooking among other things the massacre of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians at a place called My Lai. Twenty years later, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the US invasion of Panama, Powell ordered the bombing from the air of an undefended, largely black civilian neighborhood of Panama City in which hundreds were killed, in order to prevent them from coming into the streets to support Panamanian president Noriega.

Since Wounded Knee, since the slave and Indian-hunting expeditions of Andrew Jackson, these have been the real traditions of the US military. The navy currently runs an ad campaign branding itself “a global force for good.” Few claims could be more deceitful. The military has plenty of doctors, engineers and even chaplains. But its main jobs aren't building things, healing people or telling the truth. The core job descriptions of the US military and their civilian leaders are breaking things, killing people, and lying about it. They are indeed a global force. But not an honorable one. And not for good.

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

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and lives and works in Marietta GA, where he's on the state committee of the Georgia Green Party.

Direct download: 20120125_bd_on_US_military_honor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It is no longer unthinkable that Barack Obama could face Newt Gingrich in November. If that happens, the political lines will be unequivocally drawn around race – and only race. But Black people will have no defender. “The issue in a contest between Obama and Gingrich will be the same as between Gingrich and Juan Williams, a slimy Black right-winger who claims African Americans wallow in a culture of ‘victimhood.’” Sound familiar? Maybe that’s because “the coded language and euphemisms of white supremacy are deployed by both Republicans and Democrats, and forms the core of American political speech.”

For “cracker” references, read the story.

 

Newt Gingrich: King Cracker

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Gingrich is drawing a racial line in the sand, just as the segregated Atlanta Crackers baseball team did on their playing field.”

It now seems possible that the presidential election could wind up being a contest between the quintessential corporate Democrat, Barack Obama, and Newt Gingrich, King of the Crackers.

Now, before any radio station considers pulling this commentary from their airwaves as some kind of hate speech, let me inform the listeners that “cracker” was a label proudly worn by masses of white folks, and especially popular in Gingrich’s state of Georgia. From 1901 until 1965, the Atlanta Crackerswas one of professional baseball’s most successful minor league teams. These Crackers played out of Atlanta’s Ponce de Leon field until the Braves moved to Atlanta from Milwaukee, in 1966.

Newt Gingrich knows all about Georgia Crackers. The Atlanta Crackers baseball team was still going strong when Gingrich went to high school in Columbus, Georgia, and they played their last game the year he graduated from Emory University, in Atlanta. It was very popular to be a “cracker” in Georgia in those days…and, apparently, it still is, throughout the South, including South Carolina, where Gingrich won the Republican presidential primary.

The former House speaker from Cobb County, Georgia, just outside Atlanta, won a standing ovation when he rejected reporter Juan Williams’ suggestion that Gingrich was purposely insulting Black peoplewith his rhetoric on food stamps and his urging that African American children be put to work as janitors in public schools. That’s the kind of talk that makes unreconstructed Georgia crackers and their soul mates everywhere proud. Gingrich is drawing a racial line in the sand, just as the segregated Atlanta Crackers baseball team did on their playing field. And, it is serving him well in the Deep South Republican Party, which began its transition to the White Man’s Party with Barry Goldwater’s presidential run in 1964, followed by Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy” in 1968.

Gingrich’s verbal weapons are simply sharper than most, but President Obama deploys a milder version of anti-Black rhetoric.”

The problem that Gingrich presents is not so much that he pollutes the public conversation with raw rhetorical racism. The coded language and euphemisms of white supremacy are deployed by both Republicans and Democrats, and forms the core of American political speech. Mass Black incarceration, mass Black unemployment, and de facto housing segregation are the domain of both major parties. Gingrich’s verbal weapons are simply sharper than most, but President Obama deploys a milder version of anti-Black rhetoric, sometimes even on Fathers Day.

The real problem is that the issue in a contest between Obama and Gingrich will be the same as between Gingrich and Juan Williams, a slimy Black right-winger who claims African Americans wallow in a culture of “victimhood” and who blames teachers unions for what ails the public schools. Sounds very much like President Obama. Juan Williams is worth $3 million to FOX News. Barack Obama’s re-election is worth trillions to Wall Street, which will back the corporate Democrat, just as they did in 2008. Gingrich, by drawing a racial line in the sand, only helps Obama draw attention away from his own service to Wall Street. So, the King Cracker from Cobb County actually has done a great service to corporate America, whose candidate will reap the votes of most folks who don't think of themselves as crackers.

Except for those of us who know that building a movement is much more important than voting for evil.

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: 20120125_gf_Crackers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It’s not enough that President Obama has Wall Street in his back pocket – or, is it the reverse? – but he also has loyal operatives among what passes for the Left. Daily KosIn These Times and Democracy Now! misrepresented, and miscounted, last week’s Occupy Harlem-led protest at the Apollo Theater. In These Times writer Allison Kilkenny took a step backward in time, treating white Occupy Wall Street demonstrators like “outside agitators” for protesting Obama in Harlem. “Kilkenny doesn’t think Black progressives have the right to ask white and Latino progressives to attend Black-led demonstrations in Black neighborhoods.”

 

Lying About the Harlem Protest Against Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The turnout was larger than even the organizers had hoped, and heavily Black and Latino.”

Last Thursday’s demonstration, in New York's Harlem, against President Obama’s foreign and domestic policies was a great success, with about 400 protesters massed across the street from an Obama fundraiser at the Apollo Theater. But, you would not know that from reading the Daily Kos or In These Times, or from watching Democracy Now! That’s because these outfits represent the left flank of Obama’s apologists and protectors, whose self-assigned job is to perpetuate the fantasy that the First Black President is not a servant of Wall Street and the Pentagon. These publications and programs are also in thrall to another fantasy: that they have some kind of entree or influence with the Obama administration, when in fact, this White House is an annex of finance capital.

Nellie Bailey, the veteran Harlem organizer and member of Occupy Harlem, has already set the record straight: that this was a Black-led demonstration called for by Occupy Harlem, which enlisted the support of the larger Occupy Movement, Stop Stop-and-Frisk, MoveOn, the Black Is Back Coalition, and other progressive organizations. The turnout was larger than even the organizers had hoped, and heavily Black and Latino. But Democracy Now!, whose politics has undergone a palpable turn to the right during Obama’s time in office, told its audience that only about 100 people protested, when in reality, the MoveOn section of the demonstration alone approached that number. In this sense, Democracy Now! is worse than the police at reporting demonstrations it doesn’t support.

Democracy Now told its audience that only about 100 people protested.”

Daily Kos, which often behaves like an arm of the administration, published the rantings of someone calling himself Brooklyn Bad Boy, who admits he isn’t a “fan of street protests” but goes ballistic over the effrontery of protesting Obama. He claims the demonstrators ignore the pro-banker policies of Republican candidates. But then, the Brooklyn Bad Boy doesn’t show up at too many demonstrations, by his own admission, so how would he know? No matter, his pro-Obama stance qualifies for space onDaily Kos.

Allison Kilkenny’s In These Times article was the most insidious example of a hit-piece. She offered no crowd estimate, but made reference to a “handful” of Occupy Wall Street activists, thus belittling the turnout. Much worse, Killenny highlighted the uninvited presence of a few Lyndon LaRouche supporters in order to tar the whole demonstration – as if Occupy Harlem can dictate who shows up on the street. Then Kilkenny – a white woman – argues that white people from Occupy Wall Street should have stayed away from Harlem, on the grounds that their presence did not take “into account the city’s tense race relations” and the fierce gentrification of the neighborhood – gentrification fueled by Wall Street bankers.

As Occupy Harlem’s Nellie Bailey writes, Kilkenny is talking like old school southern white racists, accusing whites in Occupy Wall Street of being “outside agitators.” Kilkenny doesn’t think Black progressives have the right to ask white and Latino progressives to attend Black-led demonstrations in Black neighborhoods. She wants a segregated Occupy Wall Street movement, in which Blacks that oppose Obama’s corporate policies would get no meaningful solidarity from whites in the movement. Or, maybe she’ll just say anything to avoid confronting the corporate president.

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: 20120125_gf_HarlemDemo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:12am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

By signing the preventive detention law that his operatives in Congress helped to craft, President Obama has nullified the pillars of the Bill of Rights: due process of law and freedom of speech. Journalist Chris Hedges is suing the would-be King Obama, while Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan dares the president to charge him with “sedition and treason.” Every potential political dissenter can now be “locked up for the rest of their lives without charge or trial – essentially, on the president’s say-so.”

 

Barack Obama vs. Farrakhan, Hedges and the Bill of Rights

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

That act signed into law by our president is an act that is destined to stop those of us who speak truth to power.”

When it comes to preventive detention, journalist Chris Hedges and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan agree: President Obama has signed and codified into law a measure that would abolish free speech and due process of law in the United States.

Chris Hedges, the author and former New York Times correspondent, suspects that the real purpose of this bill is to thwart internal, domestic movements that threaten the corporate state.” He has sued President Obama in the Southern District Court in New York City, challenging the National Defense Authorization Act that Obama signed when most people were celebrating New Years Eve. Hedges is especially troubled, and with good reason, by the language in the law that describes who can be locked up for the rest of their lives without charge or trial – essentially, on the president’s say-so.

The people that may be deprived of their fundamental rights are those that “substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” The key words are “substantially supported” and “associated forces.” In legal terms, “substantial” support, as opposed to “material” support, could easily be applied to speech that the government decides gives “aid and comfort” to al Qaeda or the Taliban. And “associated forces” could be anybody that the president’s men claim have some kind of association with terrorists – and that, too, could be in the form of speech.

This is a dungeon big enough to throw all kinds of people into, including reporters and citizens simply expressing their political opinions. “Dissent,” says Hedges, “is increasingly equated in this country with treason.”

The real purpose of this bill is to thwart internal, domestic movements that threaten the corporate state.”

Minister Farrakhan told a Chicago radio host, That act signed into law by our president is an act that is destined to stop those of us who speak truth to power.” The Nation of Islam’s lawyer said the law might be interpreted as a “justifiable basis to detain [Farrakhan] in military custody without benefit of his constitutional right to trial” if he dissents with official U.S. policy. Farrakhan noted that the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad was imprisoned during World War Two for advocating resistance to the draft. “If America goes to war,” he said, President Obama may be forced “to take Farrakhan off the streets; and charge him with ‘sedition’ and ‘treason.’”

The point here, of course, is not that Louis Farrakhan or Chris Hedges is in imminent danger of preventive detention in perpetuity, but that everyone is, because the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which provides for due process of law, and the First Amendment’s guarantees of free speech, no longer exist if a president finds them inconvenient.

Black America has always championed civil liberties, and could not possibly support preventive detention. But too many African Americans have failed to pay attention to Obama’s actual policies. They have treated him like an icon, or worse, a king. Now, with preventive detention the law of the land, he has become King Obama, a monarch with no constitutional bounds. Next year, it could be King Mitt, or King Newt – and it really doesn't matter which.

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: 20120118_gf_Detention.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Obama administration is, arguably, already at war with Iran by most legal and civilized standards – a war of economic strangulation and covert aggression. African Americans have historically opposed U.S. wars against the developing world, but Obama has “blurred the lines between war and not-war,” claiming that his 7-month bombing campaign against Libya was not really a war. Meanwhile, the corporate media “is full of fake news about Iranian threats, when it is the Americans who are doing all the threatening, all the killing.”

 

Obama Provoking War with Iran

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Obama has been as methodical in his buildup to war with Iran as George Bush was with Iraq almost nine years ago.”

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which represents the views of the American corporate establishment, says “The probability of armed conflict between the United States and Iran is higher now than at any point since 1988.” That’s because the Obama administration has methodically steered the U.S. military juggernaut towards war with Iran since the day Obama entered the White House. Washington is busily organizing a world economic war against Iran, bullying other countries, and even pressuring the Chinese – so far, unsuccessfully – to boycott Iranian oil, which is an act of war. The U.S. and its allies are hell bent on regime change in Syria, Iran’s neighbor and ally, covertly supporting armed insurgents that have killed more than 1,500 Syrian soldiers and police, while western corporate media blow the bugles of armed intervention. U.S. warships commit daily provocations in the Persian Gulf, hoping to create a pretext for a shooting war. And, just this month, another Iranian scientist was assassinated, either by the Israelis or the CIA, the fifth such murder in the last two years. Such targeted aggressions would be considered acts of war if the Iranians committed them against the US. or Israel.

Iranians know what can happen when the U.S. Navy maneuvers in the Gulf. In 1988, an American missile cruiser shot down an Iranian civilian passenger airliner over the Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard. It was a crime against humanity – and the Iranians remember it well, even if the self-contained American public, does not. The American media, addicted to lying in the service of the U.S. State Department, is full of fake news about Iranian threats, when it is the Americans who are doing all the threatening, all the killing, and subjecting Iran to economic strangulation. Cuba’s Fidel Castro is correct in his assessment that world peace is hanging by a thread.

Wars, once set in motion, have momentums of their own.”

President Obama has blurred the lines between war and not-war. No sane person could deny that the United States and its NATO allies were at war with Libya during seven months of non-stop bombing, until they finally achieved regime change. But President Obama defied U.S. law and the U.S. Congress, denying that a state of war ever existed. He will doubtless make the same claim when and if he attacks Iran with bombs and missiles. This is a lawless government.

Obama has been as methodical in his buildup to war with Iran as George Bush was with Iraq almost nine years ago, moving step by step to the brink. He might want to avoid pushing gasoline prices to six or eight dollars in an election year, but wars, once set in motion, have momentums of their own.

In February of 2003, only weeks before George Bush invaded Iraq, the Zogby polling agency asked the question: “Would you support or oppose a war against Iraq if it mean thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties?” A large majority of white males and more than a third of white females said, “Yes,” go ahead with the invasion. Only 7 percent of Blacksfavored an invasion that would kill thousands of Iraqi civilians. Today, with a Black commander-in-chief, I would hope that African Americans would be just as solidly against a full-blown war against Iran. Very soon, that question may rendered moot by the relentless warmongering of our First Black President.

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: 20120118_gf_WarIran.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38am EST

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

A vote is a terrible thing to waste, they say. But exactly when are votes wasted? Are they thrown away when cast for the least of multiple evils. Are they squandered when cast for what people really need and want, even if that means a Democrat might not win? Are they lost when people with few or no good choices stay home? Or have voters already been robbed when the menus is limited to corporate-funded Republicans vs. corporate-funded Democrats?

How To Waste Your Vote In 2012

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

They would never dream of allowing us to vote on the price of gas, food, housing, credit or college tuition. But they don't mind at all letting us choose between corporate-funded Republicans and corporate-funded Democrats...”

It's true enough. Your vote really is your voice, and in the modern era, every government on earth claims to rule with the consent of the people. This bestows upon the vote a unique kind of legal and symbolic power. The gap, however, between this legal, this symbolic power of the vote and any real ability to change things for the better is a vast one. The authorities rightly fear the people's voice, and so have contrived law and custom to ensure that we are seldom heard and almost never heeded.

They would never dream of allowing us to vote on the price of gas, food, housing, credit or college tuition. But they don't mind at all letting us choose between corporate-funded Republicans and corporate-funded Democrats. The powers that rule our economy, our media and our politics won't let us vote on whether to bring the troops home from 140 countries and the seven seas, or whether to continue spending more on weapons of death and destruction than the other 95% of humanity combined. But they will let us choose between an ignorant, crazy or racist Republican who promises to give banksters, polluters and corporate criminals a free pass, and a sane, smart, level-headed free market liberal Democrat who does exactly the same thing, no matter what he promised.

The authorities won't let us vote on whether the broadcast spectrum should be privatized, whether we should have the right to start and join unions, whether to create millions of good-paying green jobs. They won't allow voters to decide whether corporations deserve more rights than flesh and blood people, or whether the president should be able to kidnap, torture, imprison and murder people without trials or even charges. But they will let us choose between a white guy and a black guy. As long as it's their white guy, and their black one as well.

This is how the game is played. This is how the legal and symbolic authority of millions of our wasted votes is hijacked every election cycle...”

This imposition of false and meaningless choices is how, in these United States, our voices are suppressed, our votes wasted and made irrelevant, with the black vote rendered most irrelevant of all.

The gaps between black and white employment and household wealth are greater, and expanding faster than at any time in the last six decades. But the black vote will go to a man who doesn't believe black unemployment or dispossession or even black mass incarceration merit any special attention. Though black voters are historically more opposed to foreign wars and military intervention, their votes this time are pledged to a president who made a war speech while receiving a peace prize, who invaded Arab and African countries with drones and special forces, and who heartily endorses Israeli apartheid.

This is how the game is played. This is how the legal and symbolic authority of millions of our wasted votes is hijacked every election cycle, making possible wars we do not endorse, ratifying policies we never wanted, and pretending to believe promises we know, or should know will never be kept. This is what Eugene Debs referred to a century ago, when he declared he would rather cast a meaningful vote for what did want, and not get it, than a fake and hollow one for what he didn't want, and get that.

And so, a hundred years later, the game is still the game. If we want our votes to have any meaning, it's time to reject the fake choices between the two corporate parties. It's time to wise up, to grow up and like adults, to take a view longer than dessert, or the next two or three elections.

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

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report. He lives and works in Marietta GA, where he also serves on the state committee of the Georgia Green Party.

Direct download: 20120118_bd_how2_waste_yr_vote.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:32am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama would have you believe that 100 elite U.S. Special Forces soldiers are running around in the African Bush looking for what’s left of the Lord’s Resistance Army. “The real target is South Sudan, where the United States is setting the stage for an African proxy oil war with China.” The Green Berets are in central Africa to coordinate military operations by Washington’s African clients. “The United States and Europe can no longer compete economically with China in Africa, and must now resort to raw force, through African puppet armies.”

 

Coming Soon: Obama’s Big Move in Central Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The U.S. needs its own Special Forces units in place to coordinate its puppet African armies.”

It’s now becoming apparent why President Obama sent 100 U.S. Special Forces troops to central Africa, back in October of last year. The president’s official explanation was that the Green Berets would be helping Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the new nation of South Sudan to hunt for remnants of the Lord’s Resistance Army. The L.R.A., which has a reputation for killing civilians, was driven from its home in Uganda and now numbers only a few hundred scattered fighters. It poses no threat to any government in the region, and is not a plausible cause to dispatch significant numbers of U.S. Special Forces. Obama is using the L.R.A. to give his military mission a humanitarian cloak – that he’s going after rogue bad guys in the bush who threaten African civilians. The actual mission has to be something much larger.

It looks like the real target is South Sudan, where the United States is setting the stage for an African proxy oil war with China. Last July, South Sudan won independence from northern Sudan, a country that has been targeted for regime change by presidents Bush and Obama. Sudan’s oil lies right at the border between North and South, and the fields are under production by Chinese companies. The South Sudanese fought a decades long war against the north, during which they were heavily armed and financed by the U.S., Europeans and Israel. The newly independent nation is among poorest and least developed in the world – and broke. South Sudan is also already engaged ethnic civil wars of its own that have killed or displaced many tens of thousands. But chaos is precisely the environment that Washington prefers, in Africa – so that it can establish a new order that is to U.S. advantage.

Obama is using the L.R.A. to give his military mission a humanitarian cloak.”

Reporter Thomas C. Mountain, who calls himself the only independent western journalist in the Horn of Africa, points out in a recent article that the United States pays the salaries of South Sudan’s army, and also pays the costs of the thousands of United Nations so-called “peacekeepers” who have been sent to South Sudan to help contain the ethnic violence. Those UN peacekeepers are mostly soldiers from Ethiopia, a U.S. client state that, along with Kenya and Uganda, is waging a proxy war under U.S. sponsorship in Somalia. The Ethiopians worked very closely with U.S. Special Forces, right down to the company level, in the 2006 invasion of Somalia.

Now, in the heart of central Africa where South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Congo, and the Central African Republic meet – all of them U.S. client states – the U.S. needs its own Special Forces units in place to coordinate its puppet African armies, and to keep all of them focused on the larger mission. Reporter Thomas C. Mountain says that mission is to destabilize northern Sudan and China's oil operations, there.

That makes perfect imperial sense. The United States and Europe can no longer compete economically with China in Africa, and must now resort to raw force, through African puppet armies. The U.S. has mobilized all its proxies in East and Central Africa for a big push that will need close coordination on the ground. Obama's Green Berets aren't hunting for the rag-tag Lord’s Resistance Army; they're out to control the resources of half the continent.

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: 20120111_gf_SouthSudan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:42am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The horrific squandering of Haitian lives and earthquake relief and aid dollars by the occupying powers over the past two years are direct consequences of previous imperial crimes. “Since 2004, Haiti has been methodically stripped of its sovereignty, made into a protectorate of the United Nations,” which is merely a front for the United States. “The earthquake of January 2010 was a natural phenomenon that happened to take place while a rape was in progress.”

 

Haiti, Raped by the U.S. Since 2004, and Still Bleeding

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The United States has flexed every superpower muscle to prolong Haiti’s agony.”

In the American media, Haiti is most often spoken of as a tragedy – when it is actually the scene of horrific crimes, mainly perpetrated by the United States over the span of two centuries. For the past two years, since the earthquake that shook the life out of hundreds of thousands of already deeply wounded people, the United States has flexed every superpower muscle to prolong Haiti’s agony.

Half a million people are still homeless, two years after the quake, despite the billions in relief and recovery aid pledged by international donors. Sixty percent of the rubble has yet to be removed from the capital and its suburbs, and 6,000 people have died from a cholera epidemic brought into the country by United Nations troops. The UN has still not seen fit to apologize for being the vector of disease, because the UN is not accountable to the people of Haiti – only to the United States. The Americans used a huge chunk of their so-called aid money to reimburse themselves for the cost of their military occupation of the country. Dead, dying, sick, starving, homeless Haitians are made to pay for their own imprisonment in their native land, while Washington gloats that it is Haiti’s last, best hope, and that the catastrophic earthquake might have been a good thing, a chance for a “new beginning” under Washington's firm guidance.

Millions were spent to choreograph crooked elections that brought to office a government with no power, even less money, and not a shred of dignity – a puppet regime held in absolute disrespect by its American puppeteers.

Washington gloats that it is Haiti’s last, best hope, and that the catastrophic earthquake might have been a good thing.”

Meanwhile, Haiti’s most popular political party remains, for all official purposes, an outlaw, effectively banned from civic participation. The Haitian people are not allowed to speak. And this is the heart of the crime, from which all the grand and petty assaults on the Haitian nation, flow. This week’s anniversary of the killer earthquake is full of morbid statistics on physical destruction, death and disease, but the appalling numbers cannot separate these two years of horror from the crimes that came before: the isolation and armed extortion of Haiti by United States and Europe following her 1804 victory against French slavery, leaving the Black republic with a debt that was not paid off until the 1940s; the 26 separate invasions of Haiti by the United States from 1849 to 1915, followed by a nearly 20-year occupation that lasted until 1934; and the U.S. overthrow of Haiti's popularly elected president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, in 2004, the 200th anniversary of Haiti's independence. Since 2004, Haiti has been methodically stripped of its sovereignty, made into a protectorate of the United Nations, which is merely a front for the real rulers, the United States and its junior partners, France and Canada.

The earthquake of January 2010 was a natural phenomenon that happened to take place while a rape was in progress. The rapists in Washington take their greatest pleasure in Haiti's degradation. Haiti needs nothing from the United States, except to be left alone, as a free nation in the world, to make friends as it chooses. It is not natural disaster that holds her back, but naked U.S. aggression – because all people have the capacity to rise, unless they are held down by overwhelming force.

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

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

Direct download: 20120111_gf_Haiti.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

White racists have always been known to “cut off their own noses to spite a Black man's face.” In a variation on that theme, rural white farmers in Alabama and Georgia elected the racist lawmakers who passed the anti-immigrant legislation that scared away the Hispanic agricultural workers the farmers depended on to harvest their crops. They might as well have burned their own fields. But southern-fried racism is making Alabama's foreign automakers nervous. “They like Alabama’s anti-union environment, but they don’t want to be associated too closely with white supremacists.”

 

White Supremacists: Hating Themselves Into Bankruptcy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Two upset big-shot foreigners beats 33 imprisoned Black American citizens any day, in Alabama.”

Alabama’s anti-immigration law, like similar legislation in Arizona, Georgia and elsewhere, reveals a truth that racists always seem to forget. When you set out to create circumstances that hurt other people, you are liable to wind up harming yourself, as well. Arizona got its wish, creating an environment so ugly and hostile to human intelligence that 100,000 Hispanics left the state. The loss of so many consumers couldn’t have happened at a worse time, to the detriment of lots of white businesses and employees. In Georgia, white farmers found that so many Latino immigrants had been scared out of the state, there was no one to pick the crops. Of course, these redneck farmers might as well have burned the crops, themselves, since it was their Republican lawmakers who passed the bills that drove the immigrant workers into hiding or out of state.

In generations past, the fathers and grandfathers of these Dumb Ole Boys treated their Black workers so badly, many of them left the state, too. Others stayed, but swore never to work for white people of that kind, again, especially not in the dirt. So, when the white Georgia farmers attempted to get Black folks to do their stoop labor, despite the poor economy, few volunteered. Then, the farmers tried to figure out how to coerce mostly Black people on probation to work in the fields. However, the white farmers soon discovered that simply being born Black doesn't prepare a person to efficiently harvest crops. Stoop labor isn’t really in the blood, although it seems that moral depravity and an inability to get along with people of other races and cultures is often passed from one generation to the next, judging by the behavior of the white Georgia farmers and their ancestors.

These redneck farmers might as well have burned the crops, themselves, since it was their Republican lawmakers who passed the bills that drove the immigrant workers into hiding or out of state.”

Alabama, whose resident racists are proud of having passed an even more draconian anti-immigration bill than neighboring Georgia, has suffered much the same problems of unpicked crops. The staA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

White racists have always been known to “cut off their own noses to spite a Black man's face.” In a variation on that theme, rural white farmers in Alabama and Georgia elected the racist lawmakers who passed the anti-immigrant legislation that scared away the Hispanic agricultural workers the farmers depended on to harvest their crops. They might as well have burned their own fields. But southern-fried racism is making Alabama's foreign automakers nervous. “They like Alabama’s anti-union environment, but they don’t want to be associated too closely with white supremacists.”

 

White Supremacists: Hating Themselves Into Bankruptcy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“Two upset big-shot foreigners beats 33 imprisoned Black American citizens any day, in Alabama.”

Alabama’s anti-immigration law, like similar legislation in Arizona, Georgia and elsewhere, reveals a truth that racists always seem to forget. When you set out to create circumstances that hurt other people, you are liable to wind up harming yourself, as well. Arizona got its wish, creating an environment so ugly and hostile to human intelligence that 100,000 Hispanics left the state. The loss of so many consumers couldn’t have happened at a worse time, to the detriment of lots of white businesses and employees. In Georgia, white farmers found that so many Latino immigrants had been scared out of the state, there was no one to pick the crops. Of course, these redneck farmers might as well have burned the crops, themselves, since it was their Republican lawmakers who passed the bills that drove the immigrant workers into hiding or out of state.

In generations past, the fathers and grandfathers of these Dumb Ole Boys treated their Black workers so badly, many of them left the state, too. Others stayed, but swore never to work for white people of that kind, again, especially not in the dirt. So, when the white Georgia farmers attempted to get Black folks to do their stoop labor, despite the poor economy, few volunteered. Then, the farmers tried to figure out how to coerce mostly Black people on probation to work in the fields. However, the white farmers soon discovered that simply being born Black doesn't prepare a person to efficiently harvest crops. Stoop labor isn’t really in the blood, although it seems that moral depravity and an inability to get along with people of other races and cultures is often passed from one generation to the next, jA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

White racists have always been known to “cut off their own noses to spite a Black man's face.” In a variation on that theme, rural white farmers in Alabama and Georgia elected the racist lawmakers who passed the anti-immigrant legislation that scared away the Hispanic agricultural workers the farmers depended on to harvest their crops. They might as well have burned their own fields. But southern-fried racism is making Alabama's foreign automakers nervous. “They like Alabama’s anti-union environment, but they don’t want to be associated too closely with white supremacists.”

 

White Supremacists: Hating Themselves Into Bankruptcy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“Two upset big-shot foreigners beats 33 imprisoned Black American citizens any day, in Alabama.”

Alabama’s anti-immigration law, like similar legislation in Arizona, Georgia and elsewhere, reveals a truth that racists always seem to forget. When you set out to create circumstances that hurt other people, you are liable to wind up harming yourself, as well. Arizona got its wish, creating an environment so ugly and hostile to human intelligence that 100,000 Hispanics left the state. The loss of so many consumers couldn’t have happened at a worse time, to the detriment of lots of white businesses and employees. In Georgia, white farmers found that so many Latino immigrants had been scared out of the state, there was no one to pick the crops. Of course, these redneck farmers might as well have burned the crops, themselves, since it was their Republican lawmakers who passed the bills that drove the immigrant workers into hiding or out of state.

In generations past, the fathers and grandfathers of these Dumb Ole Boys treated their Black workers so badly, many of them left the state, too. Others stayed, but swore never to work for white people of that kind, again, especially not in the dirt. So, when the white Georgia farmers attempted to get Black folks to do their stoop labor, despite the poor economy, few volunteered. Then, the farmers tried to figure out how to coerce mostly Black people on probation to work in the fields. However, the white farmers soon discovered that simply being born Black doesn't prepare a person to efficiently harvest crops. Stoop labor isn’t really in the blood, although it seems that moral depravity and an inability to get along with people of other races and cultures is often passed from one generation to the next, judging by the behavior of the white Georgia farmers and their ancestors.

“These redneck farmers might as well have burned the crops, themselves, since it was their Republican lawmakers who passed the bills that drove the immigrant workers into hiding or out of state.”

Alabama, whose resident racists are proud of having passed an even more draconian anti-immigration bill than neighboring Georgia, has suffered much the same problems of unpicked crops. The state has also managed to imprison 66 American citizens for not having papers proving they were legally in the country. This being Alabama, half of those arrested were Black – but, again, it being Alabama, that wasn’t even considered much of an embarrassment. However, two of the people arrested for going paperless were executives for foreign auto companies – Mercedes Benz and Honda – that have factories in state. Two upset big-shot foreigners beats 33 imprisoned Black American citizens any day, in Alabama, so state lawmakers promised to fix the anti-immigrant bill so as not to offend foreign factory executives.

But, the problem is deeper. Multinational corporations that sell expensive consumer goods tend to be protective of their reputations among the civilized people of the world. They like Alabama’s anti-union environment, but they don’t want to be associated too closely with white supremacists. In that sense, they are much like U.S. corporations in the early Sixties. Places like Atlanta yearned to become major headquarters cities and international hubs, but that couldn’t happen under Jim Crow. National and multinational corporations were often allies in forcing the desegregation of the South. Today, Georgia and Alabama might not give a damn about the opinions of mankind, but they do kiss up, big-time, to money.

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.udging by the behavior of the white Georgia farmers and their ancestors.

“These redneck farmers might as well have burned the crops, themselves, since it was their Republican lawmakers who passed the bills that drove the immigrant workers into hiding or out of state.”

Alabama, whose resident racists are proud of having passed an even more draconian anti-immigration bill than neighboring Georgia, has suffered much the same problems of unpicked crops. The state has also managed to imprison 66 American citizens for not having papers proving they were legally in the country. This being Alabama, half of those arrested were Black – but, again, it being Alabama, that wasn’t even considered much of an embarrassment. However, two of the people arrested for going paperless were executives for foreign auto companies – Mercedes Benz and Honda – that have factories in state. Two upset big-shot foreigners beats 33 imprisoned Black American citizens any day, in Alabama, so state lawmakers promised to fix the anti-immigrant bill so as not to offend foreign factory executives.

But, the problem is deeper. Multinational corporations that sell expensive consumer goods tend to be protective of their reputations among the civilized people of the world. They like Alabama’s anti-union environment, but they don’t want to be associated too closely with white supremacists. In that sense, they are much like U.S. corporations in the early Sixties. Places like Atlanta yearned to become major headquarters cities and international hubs, but that couldn’t happen under Jim Crow. National and multinational corporations were often allies in forcing the desegregation of the South. Today, Georgia and Alabama might not give a damn about the opinions of mankind, but they do kiss up, big-time, to money.

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.te has also managed toimprison 66 American citizens for not having papers proving they were legally in the country. This being Alabama, half of those arrested were Black – but, again, it being Alabama, that wasn’t even considered much of an embarrassment. However, two of the people arrested for going paperless were executives for foreign auto companies – Mercedes Benz and Honda – that have factories in state. Two upset big-shot foreigners beats 33 imprisoned Black American citizens any day, in Alabama, so state lawmakers promised to fix the anti-immigrant bill so as not to offend foreign factory executives.

But, the problem is deeper. Multinational corporations that sell expensive consumer goods tend to be protective oftheir reputations among the civilized people of the world. They like Alabama’s anti-union environment, but they don’t want to be associated too closely with white supremacists. In that sense, they are much like U.S. corporations in the early Sixties. Places like Atlanta yearned to become major headquarters cities and international hubs, but that couldn’t happen under Jim Crow. National and multinational corporations were often allies in forcing the desegregation of the South. Today, Georgia and Alabama might not give a damn about the opinions of mankind, but they do kiss up, big-time, to money.

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: 20120104_gf_AlabamaImmigration.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

We all know that prisons are not for rehabilitation, and that the dynamic of mass Black incarceration has little to do with actual crime. Massive police stop-and-frisk campaigns in urban America are concerned with more than merely controlling Black and brown populations. They are “a regimented, calibrated mechanism for adding value to urban land by making city life untenable for young Black and brown men” and their families. Stop-and-frisk is a tool for Black removal.

 

Stop-and-Frisk As a Weapon of Gentrification

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

There is ample anecdotal evidence that the relentless pressures of stop-and-frisk have substantially contributed to the mass exile of Blacks from New York.”

The massive, industrial-strength stop-and-frisk policies of big cities like New York and Philadelphia must be viewed as part and parcel of urban gentrification – the systematic removal of Blacks from the cities. What began as a straightforward intake valve for the forty year-old national policy of mass Black incarceration, has evolved into a regimented, calibrated mechanism for adding value to urban land by making city life untenable for young Black and brown men. The constant threat of being snatched up by police for no reason within the individual’s control, on the basis of his profile and the policeman’s whim, forces thousands of young men and their parents to make a choice. They can exit to a less hostile police environment, or stay and risk that life-changing encounter with the criminal injustice system, from which they may never recover.

There is no way to tabulate the impact that stop-and-frisk has had on the Black exodus from New York City. Such decisions are made in the midst of whirlpools of stress in besieged Black neighborhoods. But there is ample anecdotal evidence that the relentless pressures of stop-and-frisk have substantially contributed to the mass exile of Blacks from New York.

They can exit to a less hostile police environment, or stay and risk that life-changing encounter with the criminal injustice system, from which they may never recover.”

How could it be otherwise? The New Year is less than a week old, but already more than 6,000 people have been subjected to stop-and-frisk, on top of the more than 700,000 or so last year, and the three million since 2004 – overwhelmingly Black and brown men. The last yearly data showed that 132,000 Black males between the ages of 16 and 24 were stopped for no good constitutional reason – which was a shocking number to the Community Service Society since there were only 120,000 Black males of that age living in New York City at the time. Police stops of Black males in that age group amounted to more than the total population of the entire local demographic cohort. Official New York is saying to these young men and their families: you can leave by way of prison after some fateful run-in with the cops, or you can find some other place to go, but we are going to make it very risky to live here.

Two women came to a meeting of Occupy Harlem last month, in rage and in tears at the prospect of losing their sons to the predatory police stop-and-frisk patrols, where literally anything can happen to your child. One of the mothers was in emotional agony. Her son was threatening to leave New York to live with relatives in Atlanta, so that his life would no longer be subject to the arbitrary, racist or corrupt character of whatever policeman was the next to stop him on Harlem's streets. The mother was in torment. She loved her teenage son and wanted to keep him by her side, but if he didn't leave for Atlanta, he might be snatched away some sunny afternoon, like the son of the other mother on the stage, who was led away in handcuffs after his last stop-and-frisk. Should the whole family leave for Atlanta?

Back in the day, we called the police an army of occupation in the ghetto. Today, they are an army under orders to make it as difficult and dangerous as possible for Black males and their families to continue to occupy their old neighborhoods. There are other people whose presence would be much better for land and housing values. Stop-and-Frisk provides an incentive for a quick racial and economic transition: Harlem without the Harlemites.

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.co

Direct download: 20120104_gf_StopFrisk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:14am EST