Black Agenda Report 19 July 2013: Trayvon, White Madness, Dog Whistles, More on MHP, Teach For America

19 July 2013 — Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

“George Zimmerman is no more provably racist in a U.S. court than most white Americans” – which is why a Justice Department action will get nowhere. Whites consider it “reasonable” to believe in the inherent dangerousness of Black males. “’Not guilty’ is reasonable, when everyone that counts shares the same assumptions as the perpetrator.”

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

George Zimmerman was acquitted because the jury empathized with him as a fellow human being, and felt no such connection with Trayvon Martin and his tribe. White privilege – including the privilege to kill Black people – “is accepted and it continues like mass psychosis.” The verdict “tells us that we remain defeated, an oppressed people surrounded by but dependent upon enemies.”


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Thousands of inmates are pitting their bodies against the State of California, which is determined to reduce them to “non-persons, groveling masses of flesh.” But the Incarceration State “is not in the habit of acting in good faith, even with the judicial branch of government, on prison matters, much less negotiating with inmates.”

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Last week we took longtime friend Tim Wise to task for stamping the anti-racist ghetto passes at Teach For America July 29 in Charlotte.  Tim’s 3,000 word response didn’t tell us where he is on school privatization, cited “harm reduction” and “because it’s there” as reasons to stamp those ghetto passes.  Epic fail.  So forward the petition, sign the petition and let’s do what we can to discredit Teach For America, with or without Tim Wise.

by BAR editor and Columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Under President Obama, five million federal workers are compelled to snitch on each other. Obama’s Insider Threat Program has turned the federal government into an environment where every employee is responsible for ‘turning in’ any co-worker suspected of suspicious behavior, similar to what happened during the Nazi regime.” People with marital or money problems are automatically “suspect.”

by Gary Leupp

Melissa Harris-Perry, the MSNBC talking head who imagines that she is a progressive, is writing derisive “open letters” whistleblower Edward Snowden. The author thinks Harris-Perry has flipped her top because Snowden’s revelations have “so embarrassed” her president “by exposing him as a Dick Cheney clone.”

by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

President Obama’s request for “calm reflection” in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict “is just another effort to lure Black people to sleep and keep us accepting the status quo.” Instead, what is needed are “campaigns that disrupt the status quo systems of the US government through massive non-compliant resistance.”

by Randy Shields

Barack Obama calls the murder of Trayvon Martin an incident of gun violence, as if the victim “was caught in some random crossfire of bullets instead of being caught in hundreds of years of calculated racist state-sanctioned murder.” The courts have spoken, and so has the president: “Forget about justice, you fucking slaves.”

by Pascal Robert

The most pervasive and destructive forms of crime are committed by white supremacists (crimes against whole peoples) and global corporatists (crimes against all of humanity). “Black Criminality” is the stuff of propaganda.

by Sokari Ekine

Haiti’s AIDS rate has been in decline in recent decades, but extreme poverty and other forms of structural violence have put those infected on the razor’s edge of existence. The author follows the desperate lives of three families caught in the medical/social/political vortex.

Obama Turns Federal Workers Into Snitches

President Obama’s “Insider Threat Program,” which profiles potential whistleblowers in the federal workforce, “is straight out of fascist models of government and behavior,” said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, of the No FEAR Coalition. Obama’s executive order requires federal managers and employees to view as “suspect” workers that are under stress, going through divorce, or experiencing money problems. “I think the Obama administration views whistleblowers as terrorists,” said Coleman-Adebayo. “Therefore, he’s put the Gestapo on us.”

WalMart Vs. DC City Council

Lots of folks would be happy if WalMart makes good on its threat to cancel plans for three stores in Washington, DC, and halt construction of three others. The low-wage retailer is balking at compliance with a DC City Council bill compelling WalMart to pay $12.50 an hour, as opposed to the local $8.25 minimum wage. “The effects on small businesses and homeowners within a ten-block radius of their stores is devastating,” said anti-WalMart activist Assantawaa Nkrumah Toure. “Even at $12.50 an hour, if you have a 40-hour work week, that’s still not enough to live on in a city like Washington, DC, where the average one-bedroom apartment can be $1,200 a month.”

Newark Activists: “Hands Off Social Security”

Newark, New Jersey-based Peoples Organization for Progress holds its seventh demonstration against President Obama’s planned cuts in Social Security benefits, with a 25-hour vigil on Tuesday at the agency’s Newark offices. “We say to the Obama administration and the Republicans in Congress, ‘Hands Off Social Security,’” said POP chairman Larry Hamm. “For folks on fixed incomes,” the projected yearly loss of “$500 or $600 is a lot of money, and could be the difference between eating and not eating, or not being able to get a prescription filled.”

California Hunger Strike Gains Traction

“You’ve got 30,000 people putting their lives on the line, refusing to eat because of the tortuous conditions that are forced on them by the state of California,” said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.” The hunger strike was called by inmates in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay. A Center for Constitution Rights lawsuit claims lengthy solitary confinement constitutes torture. “However,” said Dix, “the State of California has shown that it is willing to ignore even court orders to do anything about conditions in prison.”

Socialists Offer “Alternatives”

“The people of Seattle are well to the left of the city establishment,” said Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative candidate for the Seattle city council. Sawant won 27 percent of the vote in a run for the Washington state legislature, last year. Socialist Alternative candidates are also running for city council in Boston and Minneapolis. “What we’re trying to show is that the political space that is currently fully dominated by corporate interests and the wealthy can be taken over by grassroots representatives, by movements.”

What Happened to Malcolm’s Grandson in Mexico?

Hundreds of Mexico City police attacked hunger strikers protesting the killing of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, allegedly in a robbery, in May. The protesters, Black expatriates that have settled in Mexico, believe Shabazz was murdered by police. Their U.S. liaison, Dr. Randy Short, said “Mexico is known for being a notoriously bigoted and racist society.” The Shabazz family has only recently asked for help in finding out what happened to 28 year-old Malcolm, said Dr. Short.


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