Black Agenda Report for February 19, 2014: Detroit's Agony: A People's Plan / Obama: More Mass Incarceration / White Men and Guns

19 February 2014 — Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

Detroit’s Agony Shows Why Black America Needs A People’s Plan for the Cities

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Detroit, the Black Metropolis, is being disassembled. Having stolen local democracy, corporate planners now trip over themselves to create the grid for a new city, in which current residents will live in the shadows. Corporate disinvestment created urban Black majorities. Now, “the methodical return of corporate capital has capped and rolled back the growth of ‘Chocolate Cities’ in the U.S.”

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Federal Prosecutors Declare Mass Incarceration is Fine Will Continue; Obama & Holder Pretend Not to Notice

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

While the Attorney General grants interviews promising significant action on mass incarceration, federal prosecutors openly declare that there’s nothing wrong with mass incarceration or the prison state. The Obama administration does nothing, and why should it? Who needs to roll back the prison state when you’ve got black faces in all those high places?

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Freedom Rider: White Men and Guns

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

American white men seem afflicted with a peculiar disorder – a lethal irritability that causes them to kill young Black people at the slightest, imagined provocation. It is an historically-based syndrome that claims victims with a regularity that is all but predictable – a pathology that is rooted in “the Founding Fathers, who wanted to enshrine the right to kill without impediment.”

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A Tale of Three Cities: Newark, Jackson, Seattle

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The electoral scenery must be quite depressing to those who think change must come through the ballot. The system disgorges “a multiracial cast of scoundrels from both major parties coiled up incestuously under the same corporate tent.” However, something different may be afoot in at least three points on the map.

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Jordan Davis, another Victim of a Murderous Historical Continuum

by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

The latest failure to fully convict the perpetrator of a racial killing is yet further evidence that white American civilization is not yet compatible with the rule of law. “In both the Trayvon Martin murder and the murder of Jordan Davis, both victims were in public space, engaged in legal activity, and at the time they were confronted were not a threat to anyone.”

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Justice in New Orleans?: The Real Crimes of Former Mayor Ray Nagin and the Entire Ruling Class

by Jay Arena

Ray Nagin, who first ran for mayor as the candidate of business, cops and whites, was only convicted of “the least of his crimes.” The corporate-run, bipartisan gang that pillaged New Orleans ranged from President Obama to Governor Jindal to Melissa Harris Perry, and every high-living lowlife in between.

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The Field Negroes’ Agenda: Reclamation, Reparations and Repatriation

by Mark P. Fancher

The author believes African liberation and the fall of U.S. imperialism can be achieved by triumph of the “Three R’s”: Reclamation, Reparations and Repatriation. In terms of day to day struggle, that translates as “pressuring the U.S. military out of Africa, assisting on the return of Africa’s land and mineral wealth to Africans, and supporting the unity of a truly independent African continent.”

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People’s Benchmarks, People’s Sovereignty: New Jersey’s Occupied School Districts

by Michelle Renee Matisons and Seth Sandronsky

New Jersey pioneered the practice of abolishing democracy in education through state takeovers of mostly minority school districts. “Not only was New Jersey the first U.S. state to implement school district takeover, it has some of the longest occupied districts in the nation.”

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Thinking for Ourselves About Venezuela

by Netfa Freeman

The U.S. thinks it has found a formula for regime change, beginning with destabilization from within. Venezuela’s democratically elected government has long been a target. “Over the last decade or so we have seen this strategy attempted in Zimbabwe, Libya, Iran, and Syria.”

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Letter from San Quentin Death Row: Fighting The Oppressor

by Kevin Cooper

Hunger strikes and other acts of rebellion convey images of prison as a place of defiance. But a large proportion of the inmate population “refuse to even raise an ink pen to write about the oppressor and this oppressive system of death that has us all imprisoned, and is trying to execute us.” Instead, they fight each other.

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My Wise Country Cousin: On the 2/4 Dance…

by Raymond Nat Turner

Ebry 2-4 yrs Negroz gettin’ played fo’ de fool

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Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 2/17/14

White Shooter Beats Murder Charge in Death of Black Florida Youth

A Jacksonville, Florida, jury deadlocked on murder charges against 47 year-old Michael Dunn, in the killing of 17 year-old Jordan Davis. The jury of ten whites and 2 Black women found Dunn guilty of the lesser charge of conspiracy to murder Davis and his three companions. “It was ill will, it was hatred, it was spite, it was an evil intent, it was indifference to human life,” said Aleta Alston-Toure, of the New Jim Crow Movement, who closely followed the trial.

Remember Trayvon

February 26 marks two years since George Zimmerman snuffed out the life of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, says activists in cities across the country will hold a “Day of Outrage and Remembrance.” “It’s been two years, but what was at issue in the murder of Trayvon Martin is still very much with us: Do Black youth have to go through their lives with a target on their backs?”

American Criminal Injustice System

A recent survey by the Emerson College Polling Society, of Boston, found that 69 percent of African Americans believe the U.S. criminal justice system is biased against minorities. Only 28 percent of whites feel that way, said Felix Chen, the poll’s chief analyst. “Clearly, people from different racial groups view justice and equality very differently” in the United States, said Chen.

Supporters Rally to Dr. Antony Monteiro

“This is nothing less than a retaliatory and revenge firing,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, whose contract as a professor of African American Studies was not renewed under the orders of Temple University dean of liberal arts Teresa Soufas. “It is her getting back at me for standing up to her bullying and pointing fingers at Black men; her authoritarian attempt to take over the African American Studies department; and my taking the struggle for the life and integrity of our department to the Black community, to whom we are ultimately accountable,” said Monteiro, at a press conference at the Philadelphia headquarters of the Hospital Workers Union.

Dr. Monteiro’s supporters took their turns at the mic. “Because you took advantage of his history, his skills and his vision for the African American Studies department, doesn’t mean that he’s going to be your ‘yes man,’” said State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas, who represents North Philadelphia.

In a telephone interview, Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary, described Dr. Monteiro as “one of our grand intellectual freedom fighters, who works in the tradition of W.E.B. Dubois and C.L.R. James. I’m in his corner 120 percent,” said Dr. West. “I’m so glad to see both his students, as well as the community, rise up and support Dr. Monteiro.”

Mumia: The South Won the Civil War

The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, sent an audio lecture to Dr. Johanna Fernandez’s history class at Baruch College, in New York City. The subject was post-Civil War Reconstruction. “Because the U.S. government ceded the issue of state’s rights, or local power and control, for all intents and purposes the South won the war to treat Black people as slaves in everything but name,” said Mumia, in a Prison Radio-produced recording. “It would take a century to rebuild movements of the 1960s for voting rights, for so-called freedom. The South had won the war, politically, which they lost on the fields of Gettysburg.”

Cuba Shed Its Blood, Took Nothing from Africa

More than two thousand Cuban soldiers died defending Angola against the army of apartheid South Africa, said Cuba’s ambassador to the United Nations at a tribute to Nelson Mandela at New York City’s historic Riverside Church. Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes Rodriguez, who was himself wounded in the fighting, said: “We never took any natural resources. We never took any salary, because in no way were we to be perceived to be mercenaries or on any kind of military adventure.” The Cuban volunteers made their sacrifices in solidarity with Africa, “taking into account the important role that Cubans of African descent took in the establishment of the Cuban nation and the fight for our independence.”

Read this article on Black Agenda Report…

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