In decadence and decline, the U,S. has produced two strong strains of fascism that now vie for supremacy. The First Black President, now outgoing, represents the “cosmopolitan, global obsessed” variety of fascist. Donald Trump hails from an older fascist strain, “crude and petty, too ugly for global prime time.” At this stage in history, the two corporate parties seem incapable of producing anything other than fascists of one kind or the other
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Political hysteria has its ironies. President Obama has just signed into law a new office of government propaganda that is intended to prevent any warming of relations with Russia under a Trump administration. But, President Trump will appoint the head of the office. The Democrats apparently expect Trump to cooperate with their plan to undermine his foreign policy, “silence dissent and create a network of propaganda partners” to badmouth Russia.
White “radicals” and Black “nationalists” join with corporate Democrats and “latte” liberals” to mouth nonsense about Russians. Clinton Democrats attack Trump from the right — and sweep know-nothings of all stripes along with them. “Collaboration from the left with the new McCarthyism is providing an opening for the isolation and repression of those of us who were going to have to fight no matter who would have been elected.”
Just because Donald Trump hates the EPA doesn’t mean the agency has ever acted in the interest of Black people. “Whether the EPA is controlled by the Democratic or Republican Parties, the agency has had a consistent and negative impact on Black and Brown communities.” We’ve all seen the results: “Residents are forced to live in unsafe environments around landfills and oil refineries, and children are exposed to chronic diseases.”
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
Americans imprison big, but they pardon very small. President Obama set a record by giving clemency to 1/2000th of the 2.3million U.S. prison inmates. The Brennan Center recommends release of 40 percent of inmates. But the Black Is Back Coalition calculates that even release of twice that many – 80 percent – would still maintain mass incarceration at 1973 levels. The whole damn system has to go, for Black folks to even get close to justice.
The Democrats are attacking from the Right, desperate to stir up war fever. “The destabilization of Russia is critical to finance capital’s agenda of self-enrichment from the chaos of political catastrophe.” When Wall Street demands that the country be put on a war footing, the Democrats are eager to please. “Only strong ideological opposition to the Democratic Party can challenge the madness of the US empire’s anti-Russia campaign.”
In defeat, Democrats now cast themselves as defiant “fascist-fighters” and saviors of civil society. Yet, they were silent or supportive when Barack Obama spent eight years committing the same crimes as George Bush, and adding his own atrocities to the record. Donald Trump’s victory, “if there is anything good to say about it, will at least breathe much needed life into an antiwar sentiment that has been largely dormant since Bush left office.”
Adding yet another cruelty to the world’s most monstrous system of mass incarceration, federal prison officials restrict visitation to immediate family members. Yet, relatively few prisoners are legally married. “The practical impact of the policy for most of my clients,” says the author, a lawyer, “is that they cannot see their romantic partners and their children.” Federal jailers are trying to enforce “Leave it to Beaver” rules in the Gulag.
A Florida court may allow the voters to throw out the state’s lifetime ban against allowing convicted felons to vote – a prohibition that had disenfranchised nearly a quarter of the Black population. The court’s approval clears the way for a grassroots coalition “to move to the final phase of the campaign, which involves collecting some 600,000 additional petition signatures” — ten times the number so far gathered by the coalition.
While inequality has become a topic of increased popularity and politicization in recent years, most of the attention has focused on how 1% own an increasingly large share of the world’s wealth, rather than on inequalities between nations. In a global context in which national borders and citizenship pose few barriers to the mobility of capital, the reality is also a story of the world’s richest nations continuing to reap a disproportionate amount of the globe’s profits.
The CIA’s Phoenix assassination program slaughtered 50,000 Vietnamese, and was considered a new benchmark in international state terror. Today, the U.S. conducts a globalized kind of Phoenix Program, using high- and low-tech methods of covert and overt mass murder. Douglas Valentine’s second book on the CIA traces the growth of the world superpower’s Murder Inc.
Is there such a thing as a War Progressive? “Jeffrey St. Clair has tracked the sordid trail of every pro-war stance that Senator Sanders took and every pro-war vote he cast on the way to his failed crusade for equality at home and war abroad.” However, St. Clair has praise for Sanders’ supporters. “You didn’t cry when Bernie betrayed you. At least, not for long.”