18 May 2011 — Black Agenda Report
This week in Black Agenda Report
Harry Belafonte Explodes the Presidential “Make Me Do It” Myth
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Does President Obama really want us to “make him do it,” to organize and agitate and create the conditions that will let him end the wars, cut the military budget, create jobs and address the hyper-incarceration of black and brown youth? Or is the “make me do it” president an urban legend who lives only inside our heads? A recent presidential encounter with Harry Belafonte tells more than some of us may want to know.
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
On Thursday, the worlds most cynical rhetorician will attempt to frame regime change and political assassination as defense of civilians and promotion of democracy. Only Americans will be fooled. President Obama has discarded all but the snakeskin of international law. “The Euro-American imperialists and Arab royal mafiosa hope their joint venture will quarantine or crush the Arab Reawakening outside its (barely and tentatively) ‘liberated’ territory in Egypt and Tunisia.”
Freedom Rider: Black Mothers Face Jail
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
America is Number One in figuring out ways to put Black people behind bars. Two mothers face criminal charges for trying to enroll their children in suburban public schools – a punitive legal theory tailor-made for Black women. “Black people are always fodder for ‘get tough’ policies, meeting the needs of a racist nation always ready to make them the poster children for severe punishment.” Public education, meet The New Jim Crow.
U.S. Policy is Rooted in Lies, Injustice, and War
by Cynthia McKinney
The former Georgia Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate is “saddened that our first African-American President presents a false perception of the Black political consensus in the U.S.” She told the peace conference: “We cannot bring our country to peace and respect for human dignity without the solid foundation of the truth.”
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared Ball
The monopoly corporations that reap billions through their control over the flow of music through the cultural “marketplace” also accrue the power to define who-is-who and what-is-what in the public mind. This is a kind of piracy on the high political/cultural seas. “If these corporations can define popularity it assures that today’s Belafontes, Robesons or Miriam Makebas cannot.”
Study Shows Insured Americans Risk Health to Avoid High Co-Payments
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
With insurance companies flush with cash and their shareholders pocketing impressive dividends, rising insurance rates and punitive co-payments have terrorized much of the public into putting off visits to the doctor and postponing important tests.” Such is the “insanity of private health care,” in which insurers are allowed to charge high rates and co-payments “that prevent their own customers from obtaining needed health care.”
U.S. Policy Led to 2 Million Rapes, 6 Million Deaths in Congo
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Americans are taking note of a recent study on massive rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but most fail to connect the horror with U.S. policy in Africa. Mass rape is one aspect of a genocide that has taken six million lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. American proxies carried out Washington’s aims of creating chaos for the benefit of multinational corporations.
British Colonial War Crimes in 1950s Kenya Mau-Mau Rebellion Whitewashed
by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre
The western-manipulated International Criminal Court, which has indicted only African leaders, tries to give the world the impression that barbarity descended on the continent when the white colonists left. But four aging Kenyan “Mau Mau” freedom fighters, demanding reparations, are forcing Britain to acknowledge the savagery of white settlers and soldiers. “The generation of Africans who fought against colonialism is dying without recognition of their fight or their suffering at the hands of racist colonialism.”
Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of May 16, 2011
Kucinich: U.S. War Policies Remain the Same Under Dems or GOP
“We’re destroying our democracy, there’s no other way to put it,” says Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a 2008 presidential candidate. NATO “has blood on its hands” in Libya, where “more civilians are dying now, because NATO is accelerating the war.” Rather than protecting civilians, “NATO has taken the side of the rebels in what is clearly a policy of regime change that is being promoted by the White House.”
Spending Measure Would Authorize War With No End
Attempts to change the language governing the so-called War on Terror amounts to “a blank check to the executive branch and the military to go wherever they want, whenever they want, against anybody they think is a terrorist…forever,” says Bill Quigley, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “It could commit the United States to a worldwide war without any boundaries or time limits.” The language in question was inserted into a defense spending authorization bill.
Afghan War Fought for Pipeline
“I think the United States wants” a proposed oil and gas pipeline traversing Afghanistan “to be a means to control the pricing and the flow of fossil fuels that China would want access to,” says Kathy Kelly, of Voices for Creative Non-Violence. Kelly, who recently returned from a trip to the region, asked: “Is that why the Unites States is expected to continue the war,” and to maintain 200 bases in the country?
U.S. Bombing Fuels Taliban
Sameer Dossani, the Asia Coordinator for Action Aid International, says the effect of years of U.S. aerial bombardment has been to “build up support for the resistance – and the resistance is the Taliban and Al Qaida.”
Police Violence Against Blacks Historically Rooted
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating a broad pattern of police abuse of Black citizens in Newark, New Jersey, a city that has had a Black mayor since 1970. “The problem goes deeper than simply the skin color of whoever might be the mayor or sitting on the city council,” says Larry Hamm, of People’s Organization for Progress. Violence against African Americans “is basically a part of the socio-psychological makeup of this country.”
BAR’s Dr. Jared Ball says the “Big 3” music industry monopolies are careful to turn out products that don’t challenge global corporate control.