30 October 2013 — Black Agenda Report
This week in Black Agenda Report
Detroit is the battleground chosen by Wall Street to crush the last vestiges of American democracy by creating “the template for direct corporate rule.” Finance capital recognizes that it can no longer coexist with democratic institutions, which are most easily destroyed by attacking Black rule in the cities.
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Chicago, the city the president and his secretary of education hail from, has been the laboratory of corporate education reform and privatization. Among its “innovations” are the mass closings of public schools, and handing over entire schools to the army, the navy and the marines.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Halloween brings out the worst, in the worst white folks. “What was an enjoyable time to dress up in costume has become the white racist moment to act out sick fantasy.” The bigots would like their version of Halloween to last all year. “A return to the good old days of slavery, colonial violence, invasions and occupations is something they pine for quite openly.”
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
Fourteen Caribbean countries are suing to compel Britain, France and The Netherlands to pay reparations for centuries of slavery. However, the plaintiffs may have more modest goals in mind. The Caribbean nations “are already allowing their British lawyer to telegraph that all they really want is a nice package of aid with a ‘reparations’ bow tied around it.”
by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
Thanks to Edward Snowden, the world is learning that the United States spies on…everyone. Friends, foes, allies, adversaries, it doesn’t matter – the National Security Agency has your number and isn’t shy about dialing it. Republicans are Obama’s best friends when it comes to mega-surveillance.
by Jon Jeter
The U.S. Black-white wealth gap is larger than in South Africa at the height of apartheid. The statistic is all the more remarkable when considering that South Africa virtually mandated gross inequality by law, while in the U.S. the great chasm exists “within a political economy that is at least nominally democratic” and packed with Black elected officials, including “the sitting head of state.”
by Seth Sandronsky
Charter school operators and their political servants make bogus claims of educational gains – claims that are often passed along as fact by supposedly reputable media. Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson is a propagandist for privatization, and an ally of corporations that have a huge stake in undermining public schools. “It is vital to follow the money on issues such as public education.”
by Edward S. Herman
“Responsibility to Protect” is a bogus doctrine designed to undermine the very foundations of international law. It is law rewritten for the powerful “The structures and laws that underlie the application of R2P exempt the Great Power enforcers from the laws and rules that they enforce on the lesser powers.”
by Bill Bigelow
If journalism is the first draft of history, then U.S. student’s history books have been horribly polluted by corporate journalism. The 1983 U.S. invasion of the island nation of Grenada is a case in point. “In their obsequious approach to the invasion of Grenada, the corporate textbook writers follow the lead of the corporate media who did the original reporting on the invasion.”
by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner
Grassroots pregnant with
Bankers and State Owe Detroit
Instead of figuring out ways to strip Detroit of its assets to pay banks, the courts should force bankers and the state to repay the city hundreds of millions owed. “Some of the main creditors have been bogus, complicated interest rate swaps by banks who overcharged hundreds of millions of dollars of interest,” said community activist Debra Taylor. “If anything, that needs to be renegotiated.” Taylor said the city was also denied $224 million in revenue sharing funds when the state arbitrarily changed the payment formula.
Obama Schemes to Cut Social Security
President Obama has “enabled” the assault on Social Security and other entitlement programs since his first days in office, said independent journalist Arun Gupta, a co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal. The president has long sought an austerity “Grand Bargain” with Republicans, but has been stymied by GOP reluctance to cut a deal. “The U.S. has become so dysfunctional, in terms of its political system,” said Gupta, “it seems the most you can hope for is gridlock.”
Who Stopped Stop-and-Frisk?
Opposition to stop-and-frisk is now all but mandatory among New York City Democrats. But, that wasn’t the case two years ago, when Carl Dix and others began a civil disobedience campaign under the Stop Stop-and-Frisk banner. “Things like stop-and-frisk were not front-burner issues” back then, said Dix. “The question of torture in prison was something hardly anyone knew anything about. We thought that waging a mass resistance movement was a key way to bring these issue front and center.”
Hi-Tech Corporations Behind National Surveillance State
A new study shows the high-tech industrial sector uses its campaign contributions to bolster congressional and White House support for the national surveillance state. “It’s really a giant interest-group issue,” said Dr. Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, at Boston, and an author of the report. “These are industries that we’d already identified as uniquely friendly to Obama,” based on campaign contributions.
U.S. Facilitates Congo Genocide
Six million Congolese have died since neighboring Rwanda and Uganda invaded the country in 1996, said Maurice Carney, director of Friends of Congo. Speaking at the 7th anniversary celebration of Black Agenda Report, at New York City’s historic Riverside Church, Carney said “these crimes could not be committed without the backing of the United States and the protection of its allies, Uganda and Rwanda.” How could Washington call for military action in Syria and Libya, where thousands were at risk, Carney asked, “when you’re not even willing to take diplomatic action in Congo, where we’re talking about millions?” It all depends on whether “one values Black life, or not.”
“Organize!” says Danny Glover
Actor and political activist Danny Glover called for a “reinvigoration of the idea of democracy.” Speaking at a fundraiser for Benton Harbor, Michigan’s Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), the TransAfrica Forum chairman said: “It is important that people are active in the process. We need to organize!”