9 October 2013 — Black Agenda Report
This week in Black Agenda Report
Americans are driven to panic at the prospect of a technical federal default, later this month – an event that could cost the public treasury billions. But Wall Street’s quadrillion dollar gambling obsession actually does threaten to bring down the whole system. “The Lords of Capital are pure gamblers who have transformed the global financial marketplace into a machinery of perpetual uncertainty.”
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The recent, strange and very public deaths of three Black people in the nation’s capital have spawned silly and useless conspiracy theories. The real conspiracies against African Americans are writ much larger: the forced bankruptcy of Detroit, school charterization and mass Black incarceration.
The historic stand of African America is that of a people forged in struggle against privilege and injustice, asking for and receiving the solidarity of humanity in our continued struggle. How does that square with the current stand of our ostensible black leaders, addicted to celebrity and delirious at the mere proximity to power? How can supposed black leaders celebrate at the corporate funded monument to Dr. King one week and clamor for unjust, unconstitutional war out of loyalty to the black president the next? Whose shoulders do they stand on? Fannie Lou Hamer’s? Or Condoleezza Rice’s? Whose legacy do they uphold? Martin Luther King’s? Or Colin Powell’s?
Join Black Agenda Report, along with Cornel West, Ajamu Baraka and other guests for a fascinating exploration into the Black Misleadership Class, and what their rise to power and prominence mean for the rest of us, at Harlem’s Riverside Church Friday Oct. 18…. For tickets and further information click here.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
The rich have unlimited capital and all the resources of the State, which they control. “The poor and oppressed have only themselves – and a few precious ‘first responders’ of our own, like Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer.” Lynne Stewart celebrated her 74th birthday on October 8.
by Ajamu Baraka
The ruling elites in both parties are bent on reducing the power and living standards of labor and increasing the dominance of Wall Street. Pervasive racism makes their job that much easier. “We are not going to be able to reverse the four-decade-long assault on the working class if we don’t confront and overcome the influences of white supremacist ideology.”
by Jeffrey B. Perry and Charles V. Richardson
In January, 1971, the young producer of Boston public television’s groundbreaking program Say Brother, was found dead in a Mexican resort, along with his fiancé. Ray Richardson was the grandson of Harlem radical Hubert Harrison. The cause was listed as drowning but, as in this year’s death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X, in Mexico, questions still linger.
by Peter Hudson
A Dominican Republic court has moved to strip as many as a quarter million Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship rights. The ruling “formalizes a process of exclusion, racism, and harassment that had already construed Dominicans of Haitian descent as second-class citizens in their own country while marginalizing Haitian immigrants.”
by Thomas C. Mountain
Most of the millions of Ethiopians forced into the global limbo of displacement are Oromo or ethnic Somali from the Ogaden, victims of the Ethiopian regime’s genocidal policies. During the recent devastating drought, “all of Oromia and the Ogaden affected by this catastrophe were prevented from receiving food and medical aid by the Ethiopian regime” – one of Washington’s closest allies in Africa.
by Danny Pforte
The United States, with by far the largest prison population in the world, denies that it holds even one person for political reasons. In reality, the very size and ferocity of the American Gulag sends a clear political message to all: “challenging the US imperial order, or merely being disruptive to the dictates of private property, can lead to human disappearance.”
by Raymond Nat Turner
Making perpetual war,
Disposable killing machines
Obama ‘Free Trade’ Treaty Speeds Race to the Bottom
The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty that the Obama administration is trying to ram through Congress would force American workers to compete with “countries like Vietnam, where the minimum wage is 35 cents and hour, or Peru, where it’s $1.25 an hour,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Popular Resistance. “Even China won’t be able to compete with those kinds of wages, and so we’ll see a continued race to the bottom,” worldwide. “Free trade,” said Zeese, is “a marketing term. What this really is, is rigged trade for the top transnational corporations.”
Americans Becoming Too Poor for Wal-Mart
“Wal-Mart is a kind of bellwether for the status and well being of the American working class,” said Dr. Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at the University of California, at Santa Barbara. The giant retailer’s sales are off, party because of competition from even cheaper “dollar” stores. “They serve the bottom of the bottom of the working class, and they’re doing fine because people are so poor” under this economy. “What we really need to do,” said Lichtenstein, “is raise the general wage level of the entire service economy – we’re talking about 50, 60, 70 million people.”
American “Exceptionalism” is Threat to Humanity
The prevalence of belief in American “exceptionalism” will lead, “ultimately, if it is not corrected, to devastation of the planet,” said Dr. Johnny Williams, professor of sociology at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Williams reports that many of his students “think there will be no repercussions for them” for U.S. crimes around the world, “that there’s no blowback to them. But we know that’s not true. Most of my students couldn’t tell you where Kenya is.”
Will Working Class Accept Capitalism’s “New Deal”?
Dr. Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst, said “the world of capitalism has decided to move on, to abandon the United States, western Europe and Japan, and to go where, for them, the grass is greener.” Therefore, corporations now offer the U.S. working class a “new deal”: “No more rising wages, no more rising standard of living, and your children are going to live less well than you do.” The future will be determined by whether the working class accepts the terms of that arrangement.