26 October 2011 — Black Agenda Report – News, commentary and analysis from the black left
The Butchering of Gaddafi Is America’s Crime
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Moammar Gaddafi’s last minutes gave clarity to NATO’s war in Libya. It is a mission of mass murder and theft of sovereignty through the arming of savages. “The saner sections of America’s psychological operations machinery were doubtless as horrified as anyone at the Libyan jihadis’ insistence on revealing so graphically to the entire planet the barbaric character of the ‘revolution.'” Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s “hands and gums ooze blood – a lasting impression on decent world opinion.”
Occupy Atlanta VS Kasim Reed, the Black Misleadership Class and the One Percent
Why are police across the country arresting and dispersing occupation sites? And why is the Black Misleadership Class, and its black Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed threatened by the occupy movement? Why did Atlanta send copters, hundreds of police, and spend at least $800,000 to breakup Occupy Atlanta? Where will it assemble next? Can homeless Atlanta and Occupy Atlanta work together, and if they can, will mayor Reed and his friends in the one percent like that even less?
Freedom Rider: Revoke Obama’s Peace Prize
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Never in living memory has a Noble Peace Prize recipient gone on to cause more death and misery than Barack Obama, who now puts hits on U.S. citizens. His foreign policy “successes,” as rated by his supporters, all involve assassinations – he is The Assassinator. Moammar Gaddfi is a singular victim, but so are thousands of Black Libyans and migrants. His killer drones operate in at least six countries, and his Special Forces in more than 75. Meanwhile, WikiLeak’s Julian Assange, who revealed U.S. global crimes, “probably faces a future extradition to the United States when he ought to be honored by the world community.” The whole nation of Norway should be mortified.
Russell Simmons Still Ain’t Hip-Hop and He Ain’t No Occupier Either!
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by editor and columnist Jared Ball
The experience of the last five weeks shows that Wall Street “occupiers’ fear of liberal co-optation is fully justified.” Media mogul and debit card finance capitalist Russell Simmons escorted Kanye West and Al Sharpton into the Zuccotti Park occupation mix, in yet another attempt “by the soft liberal Left to co-opt anything that has any degree of revolutionary potential.” Cooptation efforts are to be expected. However, “If the Simmons and Sharptons of the world are to be combated a more genuine Black leadership must emerge from the ranks of Black people.”
Occupy Harlem! No One Has Suffered More Than Us From Plutocracy
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The Occupation of Harlem kicks off on October 28. “Black activists have a duty to engage the Occupation phenomenon as full actors, as the voices of the men, women and children that have suffered the most wrongs at the hands of Wall Street.” Frederick Douglass is a guide to how African Americans should engage the white-initiated OWS phenomenon. “If it is an awakening, then our voices need to be in the ears of all those who are waking up, Blacks, whites, Latinos, everyone.”
FBI “Mapping”: Racial Profiling on a People-Wide Scale
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Under drastically expanded rationales of national security and crime prevention, the FBI has empowered itself to massively penetrate and gather information on whole communities. In FBI-speak, these are called “domains” – “large geographic and social spaces in which national security demanded that the Bureau make itself acutely ‘aware.'” Wholesale targeting of these communities – an “industrial-strength” form of profiling – is justified on the assumption that “Blacks, Muslims (especially Black Muslims) and Latinos are more prone to crime and acts of terror.”
Black Was The Color of His TV Tube: Asante Sana, Gil Noble and WABC-TV’s “Like It Is”
by Todd Steven Burroughs
The nation’s longest-running Black public affairs program, “Like It Is,” is no more, a casualty of host Gil Noble’s disabling stroke. Noble ran the show for 43 years. “Again and again he looked right at me/us asked me/us to do what he now cannot-to speak up, organize, get involved, save the children of our race.” What remains of Black and left forums for political exploration, is an unsatisfying mix. “Unfortunately, too many conscious Black people now depend on Google News, Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden, Russ Parr, Tavis Smiley, Amy Goodman, Youtube and, most recently, Sharpton to give them the contextual information they need.” Still, the author finds it “almost unbelievable that something this Black not only survived the 1970s, but quietly marched right into The Obama Era.”
Africa Open for Plunder Now that Libya Has Fallen
by John Pilger
The “Son of Africa” in the White House has fired the starter pistol in the next great foreign predation of the continent. “The de facto conquest of Libya by the US and its imperial partners heralds a modern version of the ‘scramble for Africa’ at the end of the 19th century.” China has been drafted as the necessary enemy of U.S. imperial aims. AFRICOM will likely soon find a home on the continent. “Libya, and now Uganda, South Sudan and Congo, provide the main chance” for a permanent AFRICOM address.
Obama’s Tragic Rorschach Perceptions of the Law, Africa and Military Intervention
by Mark P. Fancher
President Obama uses his training as a constitutional lawyer to find opportunities to spread violence and impose U.S. imperial will on Africa. He makes war against Libya and then denies having done any such thing. He sends troops to Uganda and other central African nations, at precisely the time when Uganda is discovered to possess huge reserves of oil. Are the soldiers there to protect Uganda, whose army is quite capable, or is it there to draw a line against China’s commercial “advance into the Congo basin.”
A Buffalo Story: How Mindless Application of Federal and State School Turnaround Mandates Undermine Communities
by Dr. Mark Naison
A bold effort to engage inner city Buffalo public school students in rebuilding and redesigning their own communities, is undermined by “reform” educational policies “which reduce students to test scores and graduation rates.” Their high school is doomed to change principals every three years and periodically shed half its teachers because of low scores that are absolutely predictable. “After magnet schools and charter schools picked their students, those who were left went to schools like East HS.”
A World without European Conquest, White Supremacy and Chattel Slavery
by Solomon Comissiong
“What if the so-called white man never viciously ventured onto lands that were not his?” The author believes such a mind exercise can lead to visions of a new world. “Reclaiming our collective identity, as human beings, will be an important first step, followed by the repudiation of any value system that glorifies slave owners, rapists, murders and plunderers.” Contemporary Black “misleaders” would be seen in a different light. “In 2011, the US has numerous black elected officials who are more than willing to serve the interests of their masters by waging wars in places like North Africa.”
Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of October 24, 2011
Gaddafi Death Puts U.S. on More Aggressive Course in Africa
“Gaddafi was slaughtered. There was no attempt to utilize the rule of law” by the NATO-backed Libyan rebels, said Prof. Vijay Prashad, director of international studies at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. “Are we going to see the same kind of retribution and bloodbath in the short term which we have already seen over the past two months?” Prashad thinks the U.S. has gained “renewed confidence in operating militarily on the African continent,” and can be expected to behave more aggressively in the future. Kenya, which recently sent a large force of troops into Somalia, “would never have moved without a [U.S.] go-ahead.”
The FBI’s “Industrial Strength” Racial Profiling Campaign
Under the guise of ferreting out national security threats, the FBI is systematically “mapping” Black, brown and Muslim communities, said Michael Germain, of the American Civil Liberties Union. For example, an October, 2009, Atlanta FBI office “threat alert” on supposed “Black separatist” activity actually “tracks census data to show the growth of the Back community” in the Atlanta area. “The Bureau uses such hypothetical ‘threats'” as “justification for collecting information on what they call racial and ethnic behavior,” said Germain. These “mapping” practices amount to “industrial strength racial profiling” of entire communities.
Direct Action to Stop Stop-and-Frisk
With police stop-and-frisks of New Yorkers on track to exceed 700,000 this year, local activists and volunteers from the ranks of Occupy Wall Street descended on the “worst” police precinct in Harlem. Thirty-three were arrested, including Princeton professor Cornel West and Rev. Stephen Phelps, interim senior minister of historic Riverside Church. “We can’t simply observe these wrong systems, we have to put ourselves on the line,” said Rev. Phelps. “Direct action is the best way to bring this to light.” Prof. West said a focus on stop-and-frisk allows the movement to “make the connection between this arbitrary police power and how it ties in with corporate greed, Wall Street…the military-industrial complex.”
Occupy All of the Hoods
“It’s critical for us to participate now” in the Occupy Wall Street movement, “and strike while the iron is hot,” said Jamal Crawford, an activist with Occupy the Hood, Boston. “Our people have been organizing around these issues for decades, at a minimum. If white people are upset about unemployment, imagine how average Black people feel when our rates are double, and in some cases triple or quadruple.” If the OWS movement were “purely a group of the worst affected, it would be a lot Blacker and browner.”
Workers’ Interests Not Necessarily the Same as Democrats
Organizers of the Million Worker March of 2004 endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement. Clarence Thomas, of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, in the San Francisco Bay Area, recalls that seven years ago unions and the Democratic Party “wanted the working class to get behind the election of John Kerry, to the denial of the workers agenda.” Since then, “the crisis has intensified and it is global. That’s why it is so critical that we find a way to connect to this movement.”
Newark Union Joins POP for “Peace, Jobs, Equality and Justice”
Local 108 of the retail workers union has assumed responsibility for some of the daily protests mounted by Newark, New Jersey’s Peoples Organization for Progress (POP). Local president Charles Hall said his members “will go to the finish line” with POP, which is in its 121st day of demonstrations for “Peace, Jobs, Equality and Justice” – and has vowed to keep it up for 381 days, the duration of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott. “We all need to come together,” said Hall. Days later, the Newark Teachers Association joined the campaign.
NPR Faulted in DC Protester’s Firing
Lisa Simeone, a freelance host for an opera show aired on National Public Radio stations, was fired after taking part in October2011 demonstrations at Washington DC’s Freedom Plaza. NPR was “frantically trying to get her out of work because they were beginning to get right-wing criticism,” said activist and writer David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site War Is A Crime. “NPR goes out of its way to kiss up to corporations and the extremely wealthy, who fund it.”
Imprison George Bush for Torture Crimes
The New York based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Canadian Centre for International Justice have teamed up to force Canada to bring charges against former president George Bush. The legal teams have provided Canada’s attorney general with a 65-page indictment of Bush and 4,000 pages of evidence, CCR senior attorney Katherine Gallagher, in hopes that Ottowa will do its duty as a signatory to the international Convention Against Torture. If not, they will initiate a private prosecution of Bush, and ultimately take the issue to the United Nations.