Black Agenda Report for 7 August 2013: Stand Yr Ground & Beyond, Detroit: Tar Sands Hell, NSA-DEA Info Pipeline

7 August 2013 — Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

Stand Your Ground and Beyond: The Whole Criminal Justice System is Arrayed Against Blacks

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The battle against Stand Your Ground laws must be “one front in the war against the legitimacy of a criminal justice system that is fundamentally hostile to the Black presence in the United States.” The task requires a mass Movement – one that avoids the clutches of the Black Misleadership Class, which seeks to “divert Black rage down avenues that do not threaten their own relationships with Power.”

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

A few years ago, one of my children was a federal prisoner in California, on the other side of the continent. I had a decent job, and could afford to fly out 2 or 3 times a year to visit, and we wrote. But there was no substitute for the Sunday night phone call. That weekly 15 minute call used to cost our family $90 every month. We couldn’t afford it, but we paid anyway. Many families worse off than ours cannot pay at all.

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

A vast pile of toxic waste, 40 feet high, sits by the Detroit River, the symbol and substance of the contempt in which Black urban dwellers are held by the Lords of Capital. The Koch brothers, who own the poison petcoke pile, are far more powerful than the 700,000 people of Detroit, who have been stripped of their basic democratic rights and have no government to defend them.

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

For black and white liberals, a crime is only a crime when committed by Republicans. How else to explain the indifference of Obama supporters to the news that a pipeline of unknown dimensions exists connecting the NSA’s vacuum cleaner surveillance of US citizens with the Drug Enforcement Administration and local cops who are directed to conceal their sources of evidence while assuring us that everything they do is perfectly legal…

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

After almost two decades of killing Congolese with impunity, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, one of Washington’s favorite warlords, is threatening the United Nations and his neighbor to the east, Tanzania. Kagame told Tanzania’s president: “I will wait for you at the right place and I will hit you!” A Tanzanian official responded that Kagame “will be whipped like a small boy.”

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends

President Obama has instituted a kind of “equal opportunity retaliation” regime against whistleblowers. “All that was required of Manning and Snowden to harvest the bounties of white privilege was that they look the other way when faced with war crimes and sweeping invasions of privacy domestically and worldwide.” These days, anybody can be “taken out” without benefit of due process.

by Tom Stephens

There are three Detroits: a gentrifying central business district; a larger Black and Latino city of poverty and oppression; and the rich surrounding suburbs. “The first two ‘Detroits’ within the city are to be conformed to better serve the wealthy, white suburban periphery of the third ‘Detroit.’”

by Paul Street

White America lives in a world of distortion. Only one-third of whites believe the killing of Trayvon Martin was “unjustified,” versus overwhelming numbers of Blacks. And, “for the first time, a majority of whites preposterously believed that whites have replaced blacks as the primary victims of racial discrimination in contemporary America.” What are the roots of this madness?

by Bill Quigley

The young people occupying the Florida governor’s office seek more than just repeal of Stand Your Ground laws. They are crafting and proposing “a full legislative package to challenge the criminalization of our generation.”

by Wangui Kimari

There’s lots of talk about the cultural ties that bind Brazil, the economic dynamo, to Africa, ancestral home to half Brazil’s population and current source of much of its imports. However, “if this was a relationship premised on deep ‘cultural affinity’ as is often stated, Afrikan states would ask Brazil why Afro-Brazilians are consistently being killed by genocidal police/militarized forces.”

by Raymond Nat Turner

Just in case one misunderstood

Ground on which this patriot stood

Look up the town called Rosewood

“Creepy crackers” could, would, should!


Sunshine State of mind

by Raymond Nat Turner


Another bloody forget-me-not

Thickening, eternal war subplot

Spinning into a fierce FOX—trot

For capitalism, the deranged despot

Obama Losing Black Appeal

The 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, set for later this month, is “going to be a form of apologizing for Obama, but I predict that not many people are going to come, because Black people’s trust in Obama and his apologists is at an all time low,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University. President Obama “is probably less popular than Bill Clinton was at this point in his presidency among African Americans,” especially due to his handling of the Trayvon Martin killing. “His meditation on the Zimmerman verdict,” said Monteiro, “did very little, if anything, to calm the sense of disenchantment of the African American people with this presidency.”

First Fatality in California Hunger Strike

Prison authorities refuse to acknowledge that a hunger striker found dead in his solitary confinement cell is a fatality of the month-long protest, insisting the death was a suicide. “What the authorities are saying is that, as far as they are concerned, people can die and they will not back off of the torture they are inflicting on people,” said Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. News from inside the prisons has been extremely difficult to obtain. “They took 14 of the leaders, who were already on long term solitary confinement, and put them under further restrictions to try to cut off the link to their outside supporters,” said Dix.

Prosecution Obstructs Lynne Stewart Compassionate Release

The judge that sentenced people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart to ten years in prison will rule this week on her request for compassionate release. Stewart is suffering from Stage Four breast cancer. Federal prison officials turned down her request, asserting that Stewart’s health is “improving,” but refused to turn her latest medical records over to the judge. “This is obstruction,” said Ralph Poynter, Stewart’s husband and lifelong comrade. “It’s not a Catch-22, it’s in your face: now we’re going to kill you.” A rally is scheduled August 8 to demand Stewart’s release, in Manhattan’s Foley Square.

Democracy Convention in Madison

Nine conferences on democracy will convene under one tent, August 7 to 11, in Madison, Wisconsin. With focuses on democracy in and economics, race, constitutional reform, media, education, the environment and more, the Democracy Convention is expected to draw hundreds of activists from around the country. “We’re fired-up people who believe that we can have a much better democracy than we have now, but we have to work for it,” said Leah Bolger, president of Veterans for Peace. “This is an opportunity for action and activism.”

Buju Banton Presses for New Trial

Lawyers for Jamaican reggae superstar Buju Banton say misconduct by a juror in his 2011 cocaine trafficking conviction should lead to a new trial. The juror was accused of doing trial “research” on her home computer, which is forbidden, and then switching computers when the judge ordered her to present the machine for inspection. “What has happened is representative of what this criminal just system does to millions of African Americans,” said Aula Sumbry, of the Buju Banton Defense Support Committee. Except that, in this case, “they have picked on someone who is an international cultural icon and has the wherewithal to fight back.”

Imperialism is Losing,” Says Black Is Back Coalition Chairman

U.S. imperialism is losing its grip on global hegemony, said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition. “That’s why it was necessary for them to invent Barack Hussein Obama to seduce the people into submission.” The veteran activist spoke at a rally of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, in Harlem, New York. The Obama administration, by characterizing Assata Shakur as the nation’s number one terrorist, is attempting “to delegitimize the whole struggle of Black people, historically,” said Yeshitela. St. Mary’s Church is also the site of the Black Is Back Coalition national conference, August 17 and 18.


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