24 August 2011 — Black Agenda Report – News, commentary and analysis from the black left
CBC: Impotent, Irrelevant, and Tied to the President in 2012, Even If Obama is the Black Herbert Hoover
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Why does the Congressional Black Caucus, forty of the most senior members of the House of Representatives, pretend that touring the country with a phony, embarrassing “job fair” is a substitute for the massive jobs and poverty-reduction programs they should have fought for during the four years they held an overwhelming majority in the Congress, two of them with a black Democrat in the White House? What kind of Colt 45 bottle has the CBC and the black political class crawled into? And is there a way out?
Freedom Rider: How to Remember 9/11
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
In a few weeks, it all begins again: the howling scream-whine of a narcissistic nation oscillating wildly between fits of megalomania and depressive woe-is-me-ism. “Will there be calls for a true investigation into what the government knew and how that knowledge might have prevented the tragedy?” Not a chance – that would spoil the pity-party. But you can be sure that “anyone who dares suggest that our country also inflicts terror will not be given serious consideration.” Is the United States capable of serious – and civilized – collective thought? Certainly not in the last ten years.
The Corporate King Memorial and The Burial of a Movement
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball
The newly unveiled MLK Memorial is designed to ensure that “King be forever separated from his anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-patient work for a genuine revolution.” The great leader’s image and narrative have been walled in by the likes of “JP Morgan, Murdoch’s Direct TV, Exxon, Target and Wal-Mart – other bastions of workers’ rights and liberty.”
The Libyan Soldier: The True Heroes of NATO’s War
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
NATO has proven it has the capacity to kill thousands of Libyan soldiers from the skies, but it cannot “convey honor and legitimacy” to the rebels under its killer wings. “They are little more than extras for imperial theater, a mob that traveled under the protective umbrella of American full spectrum dominance of the air.” The incinerated bodies of her soldiers have secured Libya’s place in history.
Obama’s “Responsibility to Protect” is a License to Kill – In Libya, Haiti and Beyond
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Believing the Libya assault to have been a shining success, the United States will feel confident in launching new aggressions under the insidious rubric of R2P – Responsibility to Protect. The 2004 invasion of Haiti was the precedent, “when the United Nations Secretary General lent his seal of approval to the occupation and endorsed Washington’s interpretation of the Responsibility to Protect.” Washington has turned international law on its head.
Los Angeles Schools’ Apartheid Hall of Shame (Part One)
by Sikivu Hutchinson
It sounds like racial profiling in education, on a massive, institutional scale. “Black students are targeted, penalized and pushed-out in dizzyingly obscene numbers that predict and mirror their disproportionate numbers in L.A. County juvenile detention centers and adult prisons.” Those are the conclusions of a recent report on schools in the Los Angele Unified District, where Black kids are grossly overrepresented among students ejected from classrooms. What’s more, such collective punishment occurs “regardless of the racial background of the faculty and administration or racial demographics and socioeconomic background of a given school.”
Katrina Pain Index 2011: Race, Gender, Poverty
by Bill Quigley and Davida Finger
There may never be a moral reckoning or a just payback for the crimes that are gathered under the heading, Katrina, but we can at least attempt to weigh and measure the abominations. For example, less than ten percent of the 3,000 families whose homes in public housing were bulldozed have “made it back to into the apartments built on the renovated sites.” The disaster also drove away proportionately more African American women and girls.
by Dady Chery
The key military – and political – component of the U.S.-engineered occupation of Haiti by forces nominally controlled by the United Nations, may be on the way out. “The departure of the Brazilian troops should spell the beginning of the end for MINUSTAH,” the acronym for the UN contingent in Haiti. Brazil’s role in Haiti’s subjugation has long been opposed by much of the Brazilian Left. “One is tempted to ask why South American states, with presumably leftist and nationalistic governments, like Bolivia and Ecuador support the occupation of Haiti.”
California Progressive Caucus Opts Out On Obama
Karen Bernal, chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, said her members had no other option than to back a possible primary challenge to President Obama. The decision came at the height of the debt ceiling debacle, when caucus members were “in a state of absolute outrage and shock” that Obama was “giving up $685 billion in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid which the Republicans hadn’t even asked for,” said Bernal. “We could no longer be silent about what was going on, no longer look the other way, anymore.” As a result of the action, the Caucus’ certification as an official Democratic Party body is on hold until November.
Rep. Waters: Black Caucus Growing “Tired” of Defending Obama
Declaring that she and her Black Caucus colleagues are “tired” of standing by Obama while African Americans suffer “horrendous” unemployment levels, Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters told a Detroit crowd: “If we go after the president too hard, you’re going after us. When you let us know it’s time to let go, we’ll let go.”
Full Speed Ahead to “Occupation” of Washington’s Freedom Square
To date, 3,000 people have signed on to a planned occupation of Freedom Square, in the nation’s capital, on October 6, said Margaret Flowers, a national organizer for the October 2011 Movement. Conventional demonstrations “are easily ignored by the powers-that-be,” said Flowers, but an open-ended occupation will call attention to the struggle to put “human needs above corporate profits.”
Verizon Wants to Snatch Back $20K Per Worker
“Everyone has a stake in the outcome” of the strike by 45,000 union workers against telecom giant Verizon, said Steve Early, a veteran organizer for the Communications Workers of America and author of Civil Wars in U.S. Labor. “These particular workers have a long history of militancy and effective resistance to contract concessions,” he said. Verizon is demanding give-backs in wages and benefits equal to $20,000 per employee. Telephone workers are also vulnerable to foreign outsourcing. “Verizon is trying to turn the workers of the world against each other.”
“No Stop-and-Frisk Day” in NYC
Carl Dix, the Revolutionary Communist Party activist who organized recent strategy sessions to combat mass incarceration, announced a protest for mid-October against New York City’s infamous police “stop-and-frisk” practices. Last year, 600,000 people were accosted by police on the streets, 85 percent of them Black and Latino. “Some of the people who are coming out” for the protest, said Dix, “will have declared in advance that they are willing to risk arrest,” while others will bear witness and record police behavior.
Time for Durban III
With the Durban III Conference on racism and discrimination set to convene at the United Nations in late September, the United States, Israel and some of the old colonial powers are gearing up to defame the gathering. Presidents Bush and Obama attempted to scuttle Durban I and Durban II, in 2001 and 2009. Such pressures have succeeded in “keeping the Congressional Black Caucus quiet, for the most part, because they don’t want to get in bad with the boss [Obama], or with the Zionist forces,” said Kali Akuno, of the U.S. Human Rights Network.