Black Agenda Report for Jan 9 2013: Race 2 The Top Drives School Closings, Obama's Road To Austerity…

10 January 2013Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

Obama’s Race To The Top Drives Nationwide Wave of School Closings, Teacher Firings

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Among Obama supporters, the gap between popular perceptions of the president’s policies and the actual content of those policies is nowhere wider than in public education. While the president pays lip service to the centrality of public education, teachers and parent input, his Race To The Top is paving the road to privatization, closing more public schools and firing more teachers than any president in US history.

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama has been remarkably disciplined and focused in his four-year pursuit of a “grand austerity bargain” with the GOP. “With this month’s agreement to make Bush’s tax cuts permanent for 98 percent of the public, Obama and the Republicans’ positions are closer than ever.” It seems that soon, the axes may start to fall.

 
 
 

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Want to hear a real life story of Black love in the time of slavery? Read a book. The fictional Django has nothing on the flesh and blood brother Madison Washington, whose love for his wife, his people, and freedom could fill a TV miniseries or several spaghetti westerns.

 
 
 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Obama administration is willing to cut an infinity of deals for the Lords of Capital. Two Crimes Of The Century in a row have produced no serious criminal prosecutions of individuals. Attorney General Eric Holder gave out “so many immunities from prosecution he looked like Abraham Lincoln on Emancipation Day.”

 
 
 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

A long-planned U.S. escalation of its military presence in Africa will soon get underway, with the permanent deployment of a 3,500-strong brigade. The heavy combat team will make itself at home in African bases in 35 countries. “This is a very different kind of invasion – more like an infiltration-in-force.”

 
 
 

by Benjamin Woods

There is no mystery to the appeal of Quentin Tarantino’s blockbuster film.“The enthusiastic response that Django has provoked from Africans demonstrates the desire for art that inspires a culture of resistance.”

 
 
 
 

by Malaika Kambon

In a monumental perversion of truth and morality the U.S. warns its citizens that Haiti is a land of criminality and disease. Yet, it is the U.S. and its allies who are committing “robbery, lawlessness, the spread of infectious disease and the destruction of proper medical facilities to destroy any hope of democracy in Haiti.”

 
 
 

by Bill Quigley and Amber Ramanauskas

The military occupation of Haiti could not possibly have been intended to help the Haitian people, whose material conditions have dramatically worsened under foreign rule. Most dramatically, “360,000 Haitians are still displaced and living hand to mouth in 496 tent camps across the country.” “How can a nation be expected to grow unless it leads its own reconstruction?”

 
 

By Thomas C. Mountain

The US and Western-backed overthrow of Libya’s Ghadaffi irrevocably altered Africa‘s continental landscape. Chad and Mali, already paralyzed by excessive debt and climate change, are in the crosshairs of well-armed rebel “movements” operating across the Libyan border, backed by the West and financed by Saudi Arabia.

 

by Stephen Gowans

For eight months in 2011, the U.S. and its NATO allies waged aggressive war against the sovereign state of Libya, to the cheers of much of what passes for the Left in the imperialist countries.Maximilian C. Forte’s book “presents a multi-factorial account, which invokes elements of the hunt for profits, economic competition with China and Russia, and establishing US hegemony in Africa.”

 
 

by Raymond Nat Turner

While we’re hurting, they’re living large and hearty

On corporate dollars from their Democratic Party.”

 
 
 

013

Both Parties Sabotaging Entitlement Programs

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid “have been set up to take the fall for the nation’s deficit,” saidDr. Maya Rockeymoore, president of Washington-based Global Policy Solutions. President Obama “views it as his legacy to rein in entitlement programs while creating this grand bargain” with the Republicans. Those who expected a more progressive Obama in his second term are mistaken. “I think that the president did not make a Freudian slip in his first debate when he said that he and Mitt Romney actually agree on Social Security.”

EPA Chief Used Alias

Lisa Jackson was forced to resign as chief of the Environmental Protection Agency because she conducted some of her public duties under an alias, said famed whistleblower Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, of the NO FEAR Coalition. Jackson was “extremely upset” with the Occupy Movement, which staged demonstrations against “her cowardly behavior” as guardian of the environment. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo believes Jackson used her alias to cloak her role in government spying on movement activists.

End Stop-and-Frisk

We feel that 2013 has to be a year of rising resistance to stop-and-frisk in the streets and in the courtrooms,” said Carl Dix, a founder of Stop Mass Incarceration Network. “We’re not talking about mending an injustice; we’re talking about ending it.” The capitalist system is incapable of providing a “future for millions and millions of young people growing up in the urban areas of the country,” said Dix. “You can put Black faces in high places, but if it’s the same system that has oppressed and exploited you, it’s not going to change. Revolution is the solution.”

Big Brother Obama Hears All

President Obama has shown himself to be a more aggressive foe of civil liberties than George Bush. “Absolutely, we’ve seen this to be true from the FISA authorization, to the use of drones, and with the NDAA” preventive detention bill, said Samantha Peetros, spokesperson for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Just before New Years, Obama signed a five-year extension of legislation allowing warrantless phone and email surveillance.

Charters Crowding Out Public Schools in Philly

I think that there is a growing movement among decision makers to shut the door on public education,” said W. Curtis Thomas, a Black state lawmaker from Philadelphia. The city has targeted 60 public schools for closing, while expanding charter schools by 5,000 seats. “The decision to move kids towards these charter schools is really an effort to resegregate a system that was never totally integrated, anyway,” said Rep. Thomas.

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