Black Agenda Report 17 January 2013: Obama / MLK / Haiti / FCC / Africa / Django Unchained…

17 January 2013Black Agenda Report

New this week at Black Agenda Report

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

If Dr. King were alive today, there might be a Black president, but he or she would certainly not get MLK’s support if he behaved like Barack Obama. Dr. King would oppose Obama’s wars, “make Wall Street scream and attempt to render the nation ungovernable under the dictatorship of the Lords of Capital.”

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

No allegation against Iran is too wild for the U.S. corporate media megaphone. The fact that Iran’s modest arms industry makes a small proportion of the bullets floating around Africa is made to seem the equivalent of a mushroom cloud. “While the U.S. spins its AFRICOM web and plans to send troops to 35 different countries, Iran alone is accused of bringing violence to the continent.”

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

One of the most accurate predictors of which prisoners will be re-incarcerated is the number and depth of their connections maintained with family on the outside. Jailers on the federal state and local level have long cut deals with phone companies to make huge profits on calls between prisoners and their families. Thanks to years of patient grassroots activism, that might be about to end.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The United States and France, once thought of as imperial competitors, act as military tag team partners in Africa. France puffed up like a hyper-aggressive peacock in the assault on Libya, and now strikes unilaterally against Islamists in Mali. But the junior imperialist’s brashness comes with the confidence that the superpower has its back.

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

News reports this week tell us that African Union peacekeeping troops are on the way to the Central African Republic. But why are more men with guns the only aid African nations seem willing or able to offer one another? Why not doctors and medical schools, why not farming cooperatives, teachers and schools? And why is the US equipping and training the armies of more than 50 African nations?

 

by C. Liegh McInnis

It was never correct to group much of African American-themed cinema under the heading “Blacksploitation.” The latest blockbuster of the genre deserves to be examined as serious social commentary. “Django Unchained exposes well the complex classes of slaves, the complex relationships between slaves, and the complex relationships between slaves and whites within the ‘peculiar institution.’”

013 Style: White Hipsters Invade Bed-Stuy and Put Petite Bourgeois Buppies out of Business

 by Yusuf Nuruddin

In Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant section, a previous decade’s crack craze paved the way for white “hipster” invasion. “Elders who had been the anchors of community willingly sold their homes to conniving real estate dealers who used high pressure sales tactics, i.e., constant mailings and leafleting, promising to buy houses ‘all cash.’”

 by Ama Biney

Disaster capitalism operates in the raw in Haiti, where foreign governments, corporations and non-governmental organizations conspire with a venal local elite to mass poverty and brazen resource theft. “It is highly debatable as to whether the lives of most Haitians have markedly improved, if at all, since these NGOs arrived.”

 by Jesse Hagopian

Under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, Haiti has been deprived of its sovereignty and ability to defend herself from natural disaster and human predators. “The world’s most powerful governments and institutions have imposed policies that have compounded the damage done by the earthquake.”

 by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner

In what stilettos will they Electric Slide

On thin ice, above fiscal cliffs of foreclosure,

Joblessness and poverty?”

013

 What Would Dr. King Do?

Were he alive today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would “highlight Wall Street criminality,” “war crimes coming out of the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department” and “the social crimes of the New Jim Crow, the criminal justice system, which is itself criminal,” said Dr. Cornel West, of the Union Theological Seminary, in New York. “Martin would be very, very sad when he looked at the fraudulent character of Black leadership, the massive capitulation to the White House.”

The slain civil rights leader “would be in righteous opposition to the American regime of austerity and war, and to a president and his administration that is in the vanguard of it,” according to Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “King was, at the end of the day, a democratic revolutionary. He was calling for an uprising to the forces of injustice and war,” said Monteiro. In contrast, today’s “Black petit bourgeoisie are more interested in their own comfort than they are in social justice.”

Black Women’s Wage Gap

The wage gap between men and African American women is 70 cents on the dollar, according to a study of U.S. Census Bureau data by the National Partnership for Women and Families. Sarah Crawford, the group’s director of workplace fairness, said “nearly 40 percent of households headed by African American women are living in poverty, so this lost pay in particularly critical for those families. The difference in earnings amounts to more than $14,000 each year.”

Fictional Fiscal Crisis

The conservatives, the Republicans, the business lobby, have been allowed to control the debate” over fiscal policy “because they’ve created the idea that we have this big deficit crisis,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research. “And it really is a fiction.” Such false assumptions are why “programs like Medicare and Social Security are on the chopping block.”

Pace of Police Killings of Blacks Increases

Kali Akuno, one of the authors of last year’s Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report on extrajudicial killings of Blacks, said “we are already noticing that, by our count, there’s been ten Black men who’ve been killed by police in 2013, and that’s faster than the pace of 2012.” Akuno spoke earlier this month on a National Forum on Police Brutality and Institutional Racism, on Your World News, hosted by Solomon Comissiong and Peter Fowler.

Obama’s War Mongers

Virtually everybody on the top echelon of the Obama foreign policy team, they all backed the Iraq War,” points out Sam Husseini, communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, tapped for Secretary of Defense, fits the bill. John Brennan, the White House intelligence advisor who got the president’s nod to head the CIA, meets every week with Obama “to decide who they are going to kill,” said Husseini. “He at one point claimed that there were no civilian deaths from the drone program, though we know there are civilian deaths.”

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Posted 17th January 2013 by InI in category Black Agenda Report

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