27 November 2013 — Black Agenda Report
This week in Black Agenda Report
Four white San Jose State University students who assaulted a Black teenager for nearly two months have been charged only with misdemeanors, when their crimes actually constitute “felonious battery, terroristic threats, and kidnapping.” The corporate media portrayed the “racist assaults and threats of lynching as nothing more than white rites of adolescent passage” – like “hazing” and “bullying.”
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Establishment historians are whores, dedicated to presenting the past as inevitably leading to and justifying the present. Henry Louis Gates is the dean black of establishment historians, so the closer his his six part PBS series, Many Rivers To Cross came to the present, the less enlightening and informative it had to be. In its final installment, Skip Gates has lived up, or more accurately down to this challenge.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The U.S. acts as if its being magnanimous in coming to a nuclear agreement with Iran, but Washington offered Iran “only $7 billion in sanctions relief when American and European banks still hold more than $100 billion in assets.” President Obama is stealing Iran blind and continues to claim the “right” to attack the country in the future. “It is in fact a slap in the face to Iran.”
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
In these United State, built with stolen labor upon stolen land what do we legitimately possess that we can be thankful for? Our tradition of resistance to unjust authority, today carried out by our selfless and courageous whistleblowers and leakers, in the tradition of our maroons.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
President Obama thinks he can make war appear to be peace with a wave of “his semantic magic wand.” U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including elite killer teams, are to be redefined as mere “advisors” to Afghan forces so that America’s “combat” role can be declared ended – to be followed by ten more years of mass killing and occupation.
by Pascal Robert
The collective subjugation of African Americans is made easier through the collaboration of its Misleadership Class, which purports to speak for The Race as a whole while following its own, venal agenda. A great irony of the Age of Obama is that “both the Black poor and the Black elite have been left with nothing but ‘Yes We Can’ buttons and worthless empty symbolism.”
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“The Thanksgiving story is an absolution of the Pilgrims, whose brutal quest for absolute power in the New World is made to seem both religiously motivated and eminently human…. The Mayflower’s cultural heirs are programmed to find glory in their own depravity, and savagery in their most helpless victims, who can only redeem themselves by accepting the inherent goodness of white Americans.”
by Elizabeth Anderson
Racism has always been central to the politics of the Right. “Not only the content, but the style and emotional register of conservative politics have been constant” since the birth of the Republic. Today’s “conservatives” are more polite than their predecessors, but white supremacy remains the message.
by Dale T. McKinley
South Africa’s rulers’ pretensions to world rank have more to do with their own narrow class aspirations than with broad questions of social justice and democracy. The land of Mandela is a classy place for the upper classes, but a world of deepening poverty for the majority.
by the Green Shadow Cabinet
Ever wondered what the Green Party does nationally between presidential elections? Why don’t you wonder the same about what Democrats and Republicans do? Bill Moyers interviews Jill Stein, the 2012 Green presidential candidate, and Margaret Flowers, one of the founders of Physicians for a National Health Care Plan.
By Samantha Winslow
School districts that place iPads and mobile devices into classrooms are being praised (and praising themselves) for “innovation. But what’s this really about? Maybe getting rid of teachers, and turning classroom “education” into something private contractors can deliver on the cheap? Maybe “educating” kids to be the only creatures corporations seem to want anyway, “consumers”…?
Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 11/27/13
Black Man Fights Death Sentence Based on Racial Predisposition to Murder
A broad-based campaign is demanding a new sentencing hearing for Duane Buck, who was sentenced to death in a 1997 murder in Houston, Texas. “Testimony was elicited by the trial prosecutor from a psychologist indicating that Mr. Bucks was more likely to be dangerous in the future because he is Black,” said Christina Swarns, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Buck had no prior violent offenses and has not been cited for a single infraction in his 15 years on death row. “People should not be executed based on their race or any other immutable characteristic that has nothing to do with sentencing,” said Swarns.
Dr. Cornel West: Stop U.S. Murders by Drone
“We want our fellow citizens to know that those precious babies who are killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have exactly the same value as those priceless white children who were killed in New Town, Connecticut,” said Dr. Cornel West, of the Union Theological Seminary, speaking at the Drone Summit, in Washington, DC. “We will not allow callousness to catastrophe and indifference to criminality to become the norm and routine in America.”
Seattle Socialist Calls Her Victory a “Political Earthquake”
Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative Party member who won a seat on the Seattle city council, this month, said her win “represents the embryonic beginnings of what could eventually be the triumph over capital. It’s a political earthquake.” Sawant defeated an entrenched Democratic machinery on a platform to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and tax the rich for more extensive city services. “I hope that people see this campaign’s success as a rallying cry to urgently get into the nuts and bolts of building mass movements,” she said.
DC Busses to Get Snowden “Thank-You” Ads
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund will purchase ad space on busses in the Nation’s Capital thanking Edward Snowden for his revelations of NSA spying on citizens. “There’s been a huge effort from the establishment in Washington to demonize him when, in fact, what he’s done is heroic,” said Fund director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard. “You can’t have the basic format of a democracy when you have a government that is collecting complete data on each one of us that allows them to have a detailed, personal profile on our lives, our thoughts and our associations.”
Corporate Spies Run Amok
The Center for Corporate Policy has issued a new report titled, “Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage Against Non-Profit Organizations.” Big business fears that non-profits “can do a lot of damage to corporations’ bottom lines and to their most valuable asset, their brand,” said Center director Gary Ruskin. Corporations like Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Burger King and others often use the services of former CIA, NSA, military and law enforcement officers. “We will be asking that the Justice Department investigate in cases where there is wrongdoing,” said Ruskin.
Corporate Dominion Over a Black Town
The mostly Black and poor city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, must borrow millions of dollars a year to pay its bills under the dictatorship of an Emergency Financial Manager. Activist leader Rev. Edward Pinkney says the giant Whirlpool Corporation, which has long dominated the town, “doesn’t pay any taxes, and they also pay nothing for the water” consumed at their corporate headquarters and celebrity golf course. Whirlpool backed defeat of a bill that would have taxed the income of all those who work in Benton Harbor, most of whom live elsewhere. “They have no intention of doing anything to help this Black community,” said Rev. Pinkney.