Wed, 18 February 2015
Cowardly Black Caucus Reacts to Israeli Insults, Ignores Israeli Apartheid
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Nobody celebrates victories against racism and apartheid a generation or two back more often and more lavishly than the Congressional Black Caucus. It's something they must do constantly not just because some of those victories made their careers possible, but because apart from their own careers, they haven't accomplished much in the last 40 years.
From the 1990s onward, most of them voted for legislation that doubled down on the war on drugs, and to intensify overpolicing and mass incarceration in their communities. When it became clear that Katrina was the excuse to dispossess and disperse into exile a couple hundred thousand black people on the Gulf Coast, the black caucus called no hearings, sounded no alarms. And despite their relentless celebrations of victories over racism the entire caucus has consistently turned a blind eye to brutal settler-state apartheid in Israel.
The CBC's promise to skip out when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses the US Congress on March 5 is not an act of vision or moral courage. When Israel demolishes Palestinian houses, lynches and deports Africans, when Israel passes more discriminatory laws and steals Palestinian land the Congressional Black Caucus says nothing. When successive US administrations of both parties endorse Israeli punishment of civilians with water and power cuts and blockades of medical and construction supplies, books and even toys, the CBC is silent then too. When Israel threatens all its neighbors with nukes, and makes the false claim that Iran has nuclear weapons, the CBC are quiet. When Israeli fighter jets, armored copter gunships and tanks rain white phosphorus and shellfire on Palestinian neighborhoods the CBC, with the rest of Congress, unanimously endorsed the aggressor's right defend themselves by murdering children, and voted to resupply the expended Israeli munitions.
So let's be clear. Netanyahu is a demagogic racist. He heads the planet's most vicious apartheid regime, a US supported and funded client state engaged in the conquest and occupation of neighboring territories and the genocidal dispossession and exile of their populations, all with US tax dollars and US diplomatic cover. But that ain't the CBC's problem with him or with Israel.
Like the rest of the US ruling elite the CBC has no problem with Israeli apartheid. The CBC's problem is that Republican House leader John Boehner invited Netanyahu, not President Obama, so the Netanyahu visit is a violation of protocol, a kind of insult to the First Black President.
We shouldn’t be surprised. The CBC's tunnel vision works the same way at home as it does abroad. Thanks to the large numbers of blacks pushed out of homes and the workforce in recent years, the rate of black child poverty stands now at 38.2%, an all time high. The CBC isn't calling daily press conferences over that either. Detroit is executing its own slow motion Katrina, and pursuing water cutoffs and evictions that will affect over 100,000 residents, just abhout all black, and the CBC hasn't noticed that either. But let somebody insult or disparage the first lady, and they'll be all over that.
It's because the CBC, like the rest of the black political class, are self-serving cowards. Their failure is symptomatic of the shrinkage of black politics from one of vision and struggle to a politics of protecting their own privilege.
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 serves on the state committee of the GA Green Party. Contact him via this site's contact page, or at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com.
Tue, 17 February 2015
Black Agenda Radio February 18
Black Agenda Radio – February 16, 2015
KKK-Style Lynching of Haitian in Dominican Republic
Police were quick to dismiss race as the motive for the lynching of a 24 year-old Haitian man despite anti-Black riots and the burning of Haitian flags on that same day in Santiago, the Dominican Republic’s second largest city. “They specifically did this to terrorize, and to make it clear that this is KKK-style stuff that’s going on here,” said Dahoud Andre, a Haitian community activist who helped organize a New York City protest against the murder. A 2013 court decision paved the way for expulsion of many Dominican descendants of immigrants from neighboring Haiti. However, Andre blamed the turmoil on multinational corporations that control the country “lock, stock and barrel. Dominicans,” he said, “are used as proxy racists to do what is happening to Haitians.”
Newark Police Review Board Won’t Replace Protests
Mayor Ras Baraka’s draft plan for Newark, New Jersey’s first Citizens Complaint Review Board “is pretty good, and we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress (POP). The board would be empowered to subpoena witnesses, investigate police wrongdoing and recommend punishments, but its recommendations could be vetoed by the city’s police director. POP and four other community organizations would name members to the board. Asked if POP’s involvement with the board might lead it to hold back on protests, Hamm said: “This is not in any way going to change the activist nature” of POP. “If we did such a thing we would betray the very people we say we’re fighting for.” Public feedback on the plan continues until the end of the month.
U.S. to Answer at UN for Treatment of Political Prisoners
Veteran human rights lawyer Efia Nwangaza and other activists are preparing to meet with U.S. and international diplomats on the plight of former Black Panthers Assata Shakur and Russell “Maroon” Shoatz. Nwangaza said the U.S. must respect Shakur’s rights as a political exile in Cuba, and provide necessary medical care to Shoatz, who is suffering from prostate cancer. Since 2010, Nwangaza has been a lead activist in focusing international attention on U.S. treatment of political prisoners from the COINTELPRO and civil rights eras, which will culminate in a United Nations Periodic Review of U.S. behavior on May 11 in Geneva, Switzerland. Contributions to support the effort should be sent to the Malcolm X Center for Self Determination, in Greenville, South Carolina, where Nwangaza is director.
Obama Wants Unlimited Powers to Expand Wars
President Obama’s request for congressional authorization to engage in combat against the so-called Islamic State and its “associates” for three years “could very easily lead to an expansion of the U.S.-led war on ISIS to neighboring countries...and where the whole world is a potential battlefield,” said Sarah Lazare, a staff writer with CommonDreams.org. Lazare wrote a recent article titled “Obama Seeks Broad Powers to Wage Geographically Limitless War.”
Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: One hour.