Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
The Whites Are Coming! The Whites Are Coming!: Gentrification Surging in U.S. Cities

The Whites Are Coming! The Whites Are Coming!: Gentrification Surging in U.S. Cities

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Twenty-one of the 50 biggest cities in the country have added significant white populations over the past four years.”

The Washington Post gleefully reported that Detroit – the nation’s Blackest metropolis, at 82 percent African American – has gotten significantly whiter. In an article last week, the Post seemed to welcome the news that 8,000 new white people set up residence in Detroit in the year 2014, increasing the overall white population by 14,000 since 2010.

This surge in white settlement in Detroit, mainly by young professionals taking advantage of the collapse of the city and its housing market, is part of a stunning acceleration in gentrification, nationwide. According to Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, 21 of the 50 biggest cities in the country have added significant white populations over the past four years.

Only five cities have lost white residents since 2010: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Sacramento, Tulsa, and Tucson. In about half of the rest, including Chicago, Houston, Boston, Miami and St. Louis, the white population has remained essentially unchanged. But Austin, Texas, has added 60,000 new white residents in the past four years, after a 20 percent increase in growth during the first decade of the century. During that same period, the Black population of Austin shrank by more than 5 percent. Blacks were pushed out to the suburbs, while whites took their places in the central city.

The surge has brought 38,000 more whites to Los Angeles, Denver and Seattle, 32,000 additional Caucasians to Dallas, 25,000 more Euro-Americans to Washington, DC, and 23,000 more to Portland, Oregon, which has been described as the most gentrifying city in country. Meanwhile, Portland’s Black community is being rapidly dispersed.

The Black population of Austin shrank by more than 5 percent.”

The white tide is running high in Omaha, New York, Raleigh and Atlanta, each of which added over 20,000 Caucasians since 2010. Charlotte drew in 17,000 white newcomers; San Antonio and San Francisco, 12,000 each; and New Orleans capped off the white recovery from the Black catastrophe of Katrina by absorbing 13,000 new Euro-Americans – while 100,000 Black Katrina refugees have been unable to return.

Oklahoma City, Kansas City, and Columbus, Ohio, each added 10 to 11,000 whites. Oakland, California, which was 47 percent Black in 1980, now stands at just 27 percent African American. The city lost fully one-quarter of its Black population to gentrification between 2000 and 2010. But the whites, they keep on coming, with 9,000 more arriving in the past four years.

Louisville, Kentucky, added 3,000 whites, and 1,000 additional Euro-Americans set up households in Baltimore, which is still 63 percent Black. It’s not yet clear what effect the recent rebellion in Baltimore will have on whites’ willingness to move there.

But of course, even though it looks to some as if white people have organized a nationwide invasion of Black communities, the reality is that Capital – Wall Street – has decided to reclaim the cities, and to create urban environments amenable to affluent white investors and professionals. That means moving the Black folks out – with lots of help from low-life, treasonous Black politicians, without whose assistance the Great Black Urban Displacement could not have occurred.

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: 20150930_gf_TheWhitesAreComing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm EDT

Jitu Brown on the end of #FightForDyett 34 day hunger strike in Chicago

In this interview by Robin Hiller of the Network for Public Education Jitu Brown, talks about the end of the 34 day hunger strike over the privatization of Dyett High School in Chicago, and the continuing struggle against school privatization being forcfed upon inner city communities across the land.

Direct download: 20150919-jitu-interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07pm EDT

Black Families Crushed Under Prison and Death

Black Families Crushed Under Prison and Death

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Not only are Black mothers much less likely to be married; but they are also much less likely to live with the fathers of their children.”

The Brookings Institution, an establishment think tank in Washington, DC, commissioned a team of researchers to answer the question: Is there a shortage of marriageable men in the United States? Black women have long claimed that there is a shortage of potential Black husbands. The Brookings study shows that they were right. It is, indeed more difficult for Black women to find a Black mate of roughly of the same age, income and education level. No such shortage exists among white Americans except, ironically, among the most highly educated. Women of all races are better educated than their mothers, and earn more money. However, male earnings on average have been stagnant or falling, especially for less skilled workers. For highly educated white women, finding a husband of comparable status has, indeed, become more difficult, according to the Brookings researchers.

The masses of Black women face a mating problem of a whole different order. Black mass incarceration and inner city violence have taken a devastating toll on the pool of potential husbands. According to the Brookings report, “Among black male high school dropouts, 60 percent will be dead or incarcerated before the age of 35.” These Black men won’t be marrying or moving in with anybody, or paying child support, or acting as role models or protectors for their girlfriends’ children.

Black mass incarceration and inner city violence have taken a devastating toll on the pool of potential husbands.”

Seventy-two percent of Black births occur outside of marriage, compared to 29 percent of white births. But, lots of couples form meaningful partnerships without getting married. In a majority of out-of-marriage births, the two parents nevertheless live in the same home. Sixty-eight percent of white and Hispanic mothers who give birth out of wedlock are cohabiting with the fathers of their babies. However, only about 35 percent of the Black women who give birth outside of marriage are cohabiting with the baby’s father. The lesson of statistics is unmistakable: Not only are Black mothers much less likely to be married; but they are also much less likely to live with the fathers of their children.

A 2011 Pew Research study showed that Black fathers who don’t live with their children nevertheless spend more time with the kids than their white counterparts do, which demolishes the myth that Black men don’t care about their children. But the stark fact remains that Black men and women have been less successful than whites and Hispanics at living in the same household, whether married or not. The cause lies in the economic chaos and insecurity that this racist system has imposed on Black people since Emancipation, an historical crime that gets worse by the day under a capitalist system that no longer needs Black labor.

Black people are not supermen and women. They cannot create economically viable households with only one-twentieth of the wealth that white households possess. And they can’t build families when they are dead or in prison.

This is not about morality; it’s about power, and up-ending a power structure that has created a hostile environment for Black life and Black families.

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: 20150923_gf_BlackFamilies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:18am EDT

Yale's Lucrative Wet Kiss Anoints Deray McKesson Their Kind of “Transformational” Leader

Yale's Lucrative Wet Kiss Anoints #BlackLivesMatter's Deray McKesson Their Kind of “Transformational” Leader

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

What does it mean when Yale Divinity School bestows a fat check on former Teach For America alum, #BlackLivesMatter activist and CampaignZero honcho Deray McKesson for two days of guest lecturing on “Transformational Leadership in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement?” It's not complicated. It simply means that Mr. McKesson exemplifies the kind of “transformational leader” whatever that means, that our elites have decided to laud, to prop up and to place in front of us. It certifies that Deray is their kind of leader, offering their kind of leadership.

Deray McKesson is the kind of deep thinker who, during the same week that Apple, apparently through the US Chamber of Commerce succeeded in overturning a law that would have obliged Apple and its competitors to disclose what percentage of their products originated in places like the Eastern Congo, where 6 or 7 million Africans have perished since the late 1990s to ensure the free flow of strategic minerals like gold, tantalum, tungsten and coltan, to the West. Coltan is a vital component of every cell phone, every computer, every car and aircraft manufactured on this planet. Transformational leader that he is instead served his two hundred thousand Twitter followers brain farts about the massive market share of Apple products. Evidently some black lives matter a lot less than others.

Deray McKesson is the kind of slavish “thought leader” whose tweets have likened liken the privatization of education via the wave of unaccountable charter schools forced upon parents and communities across the country, to the free breakfast for children programs of the 1960s Black Panther Party. But what should one expect from a “transformational leader” spit out by Teach For America, a corporate funded outfit that specializes in replacing experienced black teachers with younger and usually whiter temps, who either go on to careers in banking, law and finance, as consultants to the testing and school privatization industry, or as school administrators devoted to running public schools more like businesses.

Deray says he loves your blackness, and his own, and issues scores of tweets and retweets to that effect daily. What he doesn't seem to love is bottom-up local leadership. Going into the 30th day of a hunger strike by Chicago parents and community leaders resisting the forced privatization of south side Dyett High School, nobody's haven't heard a word from Deray on the subject yet.

Deray McKesson is the kind of shallow activist who shows up at the scene of the latest police atrocity to take selfies, maybe with cops and demonstrators in the background, huff a little tear gas and live tweet to his two hundred thousand twitter followers about the persistence of racism.

Deray McKesson's brand of “transformational leadership” led him to be the first prominent figure in #BlackLivesMatter to eagerly seek and accept private meetings with Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and with the campaign of Hillary Clinton, as it led him to co-found, along with Teach For America's Brittney Packnett and a couple others, to establish CampaignZero, a pseudo ”movement” outfit that is just as non-transparent and undemocratic as #BlackLivesMatter, though unlike #BlackLivesMatter it has more specific and updated demands.

The bottom line is that corporate shot callers at Yale are gifting Deray McKesson because he's their kind of leader, of their kind of movement, a movement based on what the owners of Twitter, Facebook and the like want us to call social media, but which are really online corporate marketing tools. Deray can probably use the money, having left his six figure a year job in the Minneapolis school system, the kind of school administration gig Teach For America grads who stay in education typically end up with.

Though it happened just last week, the fact that Yale Divinity School is taking Deray on as a visiting professor of black twitter, or whatever isn't new news, it's old news, part of an old pattern. McKesson is the latest in a long line of black “leaders,” so-called movement leaders who emerge not from the people's struggle, but from the gut of their corporate sponsors, leaders put in place by our rulers to speak not for us but to us, with their sponsors' mouths.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com, and be sure to subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter at www.blackagendareport.com/subscribe.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a state committee member of the GA Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta GA and can be reached via email at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com
Direct download: 20150916-bd-deray-blacklivesmatter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:18pm EDT

Former Leader of Chad and CIA Tool Denounces U.S. Imperialism at His Trial

 

Former Leader of Chad and CIA Tool Denounces U.S. Imperialism at His Trial

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

 

Habré was a willing asset of both the United States and the French former colonial masters of Chad.”

 

When the trial of former Chadian president Hissène Habré began, this week, in Dakar, Senegal, the judges and the guards treated the defendant like Bobby Seale, at the Chicago Seven trial, back in 1969. The 72 year-old Habre was carried into the courtroom by four guards and forced to sit still in his seat, as he shouted “Mercenaries!” and “Scofflaws!” at the judges. It was much the same scene as back in July, when the Extraordinary African Chambers court first attempted to try Habré for alleged crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes. The former strongman yelled “Down with imperialism!” and denounced Senegalese politicians as “African traitors!” and “Valets of America!”

 

Which is quite interesting because Hissène Habré used to be a client of America and tool of U.S. imperialism, himself, between the years 1982 and 1990, when he is alleged to have committed all those crimes. Habré was a willing asset of both the United States and the French former colonial masters of Chad, who made good use of him in their proxy war against Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s government in the neighboring country of Libya. With the CIA’s help, Habré managed to defeat Gaddafi’s forces in the 1987 so-called “Toyota War,” and to kill 40,000 of his own countrymen in his vast political prison system, where another 200,000 were held and tortured. Habré served the Americans so well, Gaddafi gave up trying to influence events in Chad, leaving it the Americans and Europeans. Soon, Hissène Habré was no longer needed, and in 1990 was overthrown by Idriss Déby, a warlord from an ethnic group that had suffered greatly under Habré. But nothing has changed in Chad except the name and tribe of the puppet. The U.S. and France remain the real powers in charge.

 

A Test for Africa?

 

Needless to say, the United States and France are not sitting in the dock with Hissène Habré, who faces the consequences of their mutual crimes, alone. Habré might have escaped judgment, entirely, had pressures for his arrest not caught up with him. The out-of-work warlord has spent most of the last 25 years in quiet exile in Senegal. The Belgians had claimed “universal jurisdiction” to prosecute him – but what kind of justice would that be, given that the King of Belgium killed as many as 12 million Congolese and countless other Africans during the colonial period? The Senegalese refused to hand Habré over to the Belgians. Then, in 2010, the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, asked the African Union to create a special tribunal to try Habré. In 2013, Habré was arrested.

 

The Extraordinary African Chambers court is thought by some to be a “test” of whether Africa can dispense justice to its own current and former politicians. But, I think the question is posed incorrectly. Africa is full of presidents that have killed and imprisoned their own people – most of them while working as agents and “mercenaries” for U.S. imperialism, the main source of the crime wave. Until the American, British and French are made to sit in the dock with the Hissène Habrés of the continent, there can be no justice.

 

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: 20150909_gf_HabreOnTrial.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59am EDT

Killed and Killer Cops

Killed and Killer Cops

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The civilized world is aghast at the bloodthirstiness of U.S. police.”

Harris County, Texas, Sheriff Ron Hickman claims that one of his deputies, Darren Goforth, was shot to death “because he wore a uniform.” Goforth was gunned down while filling up his tank at a Houston gas station. Shannon Miles, the 30 year-old Black man charged in the killing, has a history of mental illness. Of course, a Black person doesn’t have to be crazy to want to harm a cop. But, cop-killing in the United States is actually quite rare, when compared to the huge number of civilian lives snuffed out by folks that wear “the uniform.” If there is some kind of war with the cops, as Sheriff Hickman deceptively infers, then it’s a very one-sided conflict.

We will never know the full historical extent of police mayhem and murder, since U.S. authorities have never compelled local police departments to keep records of who they kill, and why. Withholding information is part of police impunity from punishment – or even criticism – in this country. But, the cops are keen to keep track of their own casualties “in the line of duty” – which, it turns out, are at historically low levels. An FBI study of police fatalities shows that an average of 64 police officers per year were feloniously killed between 1980 and 2014. Only 27 cops were killed in 2013, the lowest death toll for the whole 35-year period. The next year, 2014, cop killings went up, with 51 officers dead. But, that’s still way below the average of 64 a year. This year, the number of felonious police deaths from all causes is on track to be about the same as in 2014. So, the statistics tell us that there has been no rash of attacks on cops. Those who try to portray cops as victims of what Sheriff Hickman calls “dangerous national rhetoric” are simply attempting to silence the real victims of police terror.

U.S. cops are already by far the most lethally aggressive and demonstrably racist in the developed world.”

Thanks to a process begun by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s 2012 “Operation Ghetto Storm” study of extrajudicial police killings of Black people, the civilized world is aghast at the bloodthirstiness of U.S. police. As the Guardian newspaper reported earlier this summer, U.S. police kill more people in days than other countries kill in years. For the first time, the names and pictures of the fallen are posted for planetary observation, so that the rest of the species can know how the U.S. government really feels about human rights. The figures are not yet in on the civilian body count for August, but July was the deadliest month this year for people who found themselves on the other side of police guns, tasers, chokeholds, and batons.

Civilians are also killing each other in large numbers, with homicides up in many cities. The cops want you to believe that’s because officers are being less aggressive in fear of being charged with brutality. That’s insane. First of all, U.S. cops are already by far the most lethally aggressive and demonstrably racist in the developed world, which is why one out of every eight prison inmates on the planet is an African American, and why the U.S. stands alone in police violence against civilians. Secondly, in the Black community, the cops’ job is not to protect the residents. It is to contain, control and terrorize the population. Sheriff Hickman wants to get on with the business of police terror, because that’s all he’s good at.

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: 20150902_gf_KillerCopsKilled.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:48am EDT