by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The Republican Party presidential campaign has been relegated to a sideshow in the American power game. The white nationalist masses recoil at the scent of Wall Street denizens like Mitt Romney. “A deeper atavism is at play in Republican ranks, a far less malleable strain of reaction that is no respecter of the GOP establishment’s brand of bling.” Wall Street money is once again betting on Obama, the man that delivered them “resurrection from the 2008 meltdown and a pipeline in perpetuity to the financial innards of the U.S. treasury.”
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
New York is a majority non-white city with a liberal reputation that keeps electing illiberal white mayors. Pundits often fault Blacks and Latinos for failing to find common cause, and losing by default. That may or may not have merit, but one thing is sure: “Stop-and-frisk should be the deal breaking issue for black and Latino voters and all people of conscience in 2013.”
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
We all know that prisons are not for rehabilitation, and that the dynamic of mass Black incarceration has little to do with actual crime. Massive police stop-and-frisk campaigns in urban America are concerned with more than merely controlling Black and brown populations. They are “a regimented, calibrated mechanism for adding value to urban land by making city life untenable for young Black and brown men” and their families. Stop-and-frisk is a tool for Black removal.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
White racists have always been known to “cut off their own noses to spite a Black man’s face.” In a variation on that theme, rural white farmers in Alabama and Georgia elected the racist lawmakers who passed the anti-immigrant legislation that scared away the Hispanic agricultural workers the farmers depended on to harvest their crops. They might as well have burned their own fields. But southern-fried racism is making Alabama’s foreign automakers nervous. “They like Alabama’s anti-union environment, but they don’t want to be associated too closely with white supremacists.”
by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre
Despite the fact that Barack Obama’s “approach to domestic economic and social policy has savaged the U.S. Black community on every front,” the election season will see increased demands that Blacks circle the wagons around “their” president. Narrow group thinking leads African Americans to behave as if “it does not matter that targeted assassinations and indefinite detention are the order of the day, or that a Black man is helping to foment war on the African continent.” Ignoring both the lessons of history and Obama’s role in the current Black economic catastrophe, “our establishment Blacks continue to be imprisoned in an imperialist capitalism.”
by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, PhD
Barack Obama has not just dribbled away the progressive mandate of 2008, he has emerged over the past three years as a politician “to the right of President Ronald Reagan, the Tea Party hero” on at least some issues. The U.S. continues its steady decline in all the indices that count for the average person. “Only three developed countries – Albania, Russian and Moldova – had a worse maternal mortality rate.” African Americans are in free fall under the First Black President.
by Bill Quigley and Amber Ramanauskas
Billions in public and private aid was earmarked, promised or thought to be on the way to the Haitian people, yet the the physical and human landscape of the country shows few signs that such treasure ever existed. In fact, “almost none of the money that the general public thought was going to Haiti actually went directly to Haiti.” Some went to the U.S. war machine. “Thirty three cents of each of these US dollars for Haiti was actually given directly back to the US to reimburse ourselves for sending in our military.” Less than a penny per dollar went to the Haitian government.
by Angola 3 News
The U.S. State demonized the Black Panther Party as thugs bent on killing police, and even the narratives of Panther supporters tended to emphasize the Party’s paramilitary aspects. Yet the Panthers championed the people’s fundamental right to health care – a contribution explored in a new book. “The BPP exposed the misuse of power whether it was at the hands of police officers or physicians,” says the author. “So, it’s also useful to think of the Panthers as being engaged in medical self-defense.”
by The G-Man
With the U.S. in its fifth decade of mass Black incarceration, and preventive detention for American citizens now codified into law, it’s way past time for every person of color or political dissident to get prepared to “meet The Man.” A crusading legal analyst and activist has written a book that could serve as a first line of defense. Her advice: “Never feel that you can negotiate with the police. Keep your mouth shut!”
U.S. Waging Two-Prong War of Repression
With the signing of preventive detention legislation, Washington is “upping the stakes, where the United States homeland is now part of this so-called global war on terror,” said Tony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “All of us who are in one way or another in solidarity with the Cuban revolution, with 21st Century socialism in Venezuela, are now at the top of a hit list of ‘terrorist supporters’ who could be arrested an detained indefinitely.” He expects the emergence of a “great global movement that has to oppose this international thrust of finance capital and the Obama administration and the other NATO countries. They have to crush the rising class conflict in the United States and in other western capitalist countries,” said Prof. Monteiro. “So you have this two-sided project What they are proposing is a regime of domestic and global repression, of fascism.”
Blacks Will Vote for Obama, But Without Enthusiasm
Most Blacks will still vote for President Obama this year, “but it will be different, this time,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “Before, people thought they had a real champion who was going to make a difference in the lives of Black people, but it didn’t happen. We’re not going to see the same kind of enthusiasm for Obama this time around.” In 2008, “we heard many of our Black leftist friends and many nationalists who were predicting that if Obama didn’t get elected, we would see a police state – but people have experienced that with Obama. We were told there would be economic catastrophe, but that has occurred even with Obama there.” In a lot of ways, said the Black Is Back chairman, “Obama has outdone Bush,” including “the declaration of the right to kill even U.S. citizens any time he wants to.”
UNAC Conference Against Preventive Detention
Preventive detention without trial “is the most serious blow to the Bill of Rights that we have experienced, and it’s no accident that it is occurring while” the U.S. is “expanding military adventures abroad,” said Chris Gavreau, a spokesperson for UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “The language is so broad, they will use these laws against anyone that they seriously think is a threat to their ability to implement foreign policy.” UNAC will hold a conference March 23-25 in Stanford, Connecticut, to plan “a broad campaign to fight around indefinite detention” and other civil liberties violations.
For Whom The Whistle Blows
“While there is still a myth of freedom of speech, journalists’ voices worldwide are being drowned out” by imprisonment of those “that speak truth to power,” said veteran whistleblower Marsha Coleman-Adebayo. “We have a state-run media in this country – what we call the corporate media – that is influenced more by corporate pressures and by money and politics, than by a search for truth,” said the former Environmental Protection Agency official whose battle with the agency led to landmark protections for federal employees that speak out. “Journalists as whistleblowers, whistleblowers as journalists – at some point it would be lovely to see those communities merge.”
UN Force Should Leave Haiti
The United Nations has failed to acknowledge its responsibility for the cholera deaths of 6,000 Haitians and the sickening a half a million others, despite the fact that the world body’s “own report is the most persuasive evidence of the UN’s culpability,” said Fran Quigley, director of the Health and Human Rights Clinic at the University of Indiana Law School. Quigley recently returned from a fact-find trip to Haiti, where “a lot of people think its long past time for the peacekeepers to leave, even before this deadly cholera outbreak.” Haitians should have their rights protected, including from the United Nations,” said the law professor.