Black Agenda Report 16 June, 2010: Killing Children / Peniel Joseph, Corporate Courtier / Good Riddance Artur Davis…

Dr. Peniel Joseph: Peoples Historian or Establishment Courtier? Part One of Two
Helping us explain the lineup of the social forces that impact our individual and collective lives is the job of people’s intellectuals. Selling us clever marketing constructs is the job of intellectuals in the service of empire. But what would a loyal and disciplined servant of the establishment look like, if his aim was to pretend to be a people’s intellectual?

Freedom Rider: Killing Children

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Western corporate media’s antennae are super-sensitive to atrocities committed against children – except when their own countries are the perpetrators. The deaths of tens of thousands – even millions – of children by bombings and blockades and other mega-aggressions are treated as non-events, while the alleged beheading of one seven-year-old by the Taliban makes international headlines. A genuine concern for the world’s children requires that “we must first acknowledge our own nation’s history of violence.”

Good Riddance Artur Davis, Rahm Emmanuel’s U.S. House Negro

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“No one deserved rejection by Black voters more than Artur Davis,” the caricature of a right-wing Black congressman who lost his bid for governor by a landslide. Davis “decided he could win tons of white votes in Alabama by blatantly giving Blacks the finger.” But then he extended a digit to Obama, master of a game Davis was ill-equipped to play.

Click here to listen to this BA Radio commentary.

Chicago Teachers Wise Up to Obama School Privatizations

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Reformists won control of the teachers union in the town where Barack Obama became a fan of corporate schooling: Chicago. The new union leadership seems prepared to confront privatization and high stakes testing head on. The tests measure the accumulated results of deprivation, not academics, said Karen Lewis: “Class sizes rose, schools were closed. Then standardized tests…measured that slow death by starvation.”

Click here to listen to this BA Radio commentary.

Bend It Like Imperialism! The World Cup 1, African Liberation Nil

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.
So many Black American entertainers and luminaries flocked to the World Cup opening ceremonies in South Africa, one veteran activist was prompted to remark that “these folks are crossing the picket line.” It is a line that separates South Africa’s poor Black majority from the real beneficiaries of the “gold” –  “the soccer elites of FIFA, the elites of domestic and international corporate capital and the political elites who are making billions and who will be benefiting at the expense of the poor.”

Click here to hear this BA Radio commentary.

No Facts, No Peace in Rwanda, No More Free Elections in California, No Blacks on Juries in the South, & Prison Gerrymandering — Listen to BA Radio on the Progressive Radio Network

Nader: Proposition 14 Has Killed “Free Elections” in California
The passage of Prop 14 in California last week, Ralph Nader explains to BAR, locks down the electoral process for everyone but celebrities and the wealthiest business-backed candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties. It’s the end of free elections in California.

Rwanda Regime is “Dictatorship, a Totalitarian State,” Says Colleague of Jailed American Lawyer
With Rwanda now a close ally of the US in East Africa, raising fact and evidence-based questions on the Rwandan genocide story can earn you prison or worse in that unhappy land, says Christian Davenport, a young black professor of Peace Studies at Notre Dame who has conducted research in Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Northern Ireland, Turkey and beyond. The “Hotel Rwanda” story doesn’t begin to tell the whole tale of what went on in Rwanda in those days, Davenport tells BAR.

Black Exclusion From Juries is Endemic in the U.S.
Atty Jacqueline Jones-Peace outlines how the how Blacks are rejected from juries for reasons ranging from appearing “arrogant,” to having a goatee. Atty. One prosecutor rejected a Black juror because he “shucked and jived when he walked,” according to a study of eight southern states done by the Equal Justice Initiative,

NAACP Legal Defense Fund: Prison-Based Gerrymandering Resembles “3/5s Man” Rule
LDF attorney Dale Ho told BAR “the parallels between prison-based gerrymandering and the three-fifths compromise are strong and eerie.” The practice counts prison inmates as “residents” of the jurisdiction in which they are incarcerated, rather than their home cities.

Not Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Black Atheists, Urban America

by Sikivu Hutchinson
Enormous pressures push African Americans to embrace a Black “hyper-religiosity” – or, at least, to profess to it – despite the fact that “the proliferation of storefront churches in urban black communities is a symptom of economic underdevelopment.” However, “a growing segment” maintains that “morality is defined by just deeds, fairness, equality and respect for difference; not by how blusteringly one claims to adhere to ‘Godly’ principles.”

Cultural Extinction: Louisiana’s Coastal Communities Fear They May Never Recover
by Jordan Flaherty

Even before the latest catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, Big Energy had laid waste to Black and Native American communities along the coast. At least five all-Black towns were wiped from the face of the earth by corporate pollution, and the last redoubt of the Pointe-au-Chien tribe is under petrochemical assault. “It doesn’t matter how much money they give you, if we don’t have our shrimp, fish, crabs and oysters,” said one bayou native.

African American Mississippi Man Starts Record Sixth Murder Trial

by Bill Quigley, Audrey Stewart and Davida Finger
White prosecutors in a rural Mississippi county won’t rest until they send Curtis Flowers to prison for life. Flowers faces his sixth trail for the same murder – unprecedented in the history of the United States – after five previous trials ended in hung juries or overturned convictions. The Mississippi Supreme described one of the trials as the worst case of racial discrimination it had ever seen.

Music Education in Detroit’s Public Schools: The Struggle to Survive

by George Shirley
Please, don’t stop the music. That’s the theme sounded by a host of Detroit citizens, as budget cutters move to shut down most of the Motor City’s public school music program. Under the new regime, only students with high test scores would be eligible to take part in music programs. “A musical education is not meant to be elitist,” says Dr. George Shirley. “This is the message we must pound incessantly into the awareness of bottom-liners tasked with reducing education to a robotic exercise devoid of creativity and imagination.”

Political Prisoners: What Will We Do About It?
by Kwasi Anokye
Americans – including some African Americans – rant about political prisoners held in countries they cannot even identify on a map, yet seem oblivious to the fact that fellow Americans languish in U.S. prisons for political reasons. Others know full well the plight of political prisoners, but fear to be associated with them, or despair that they will ever be freed.

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