23 April 2014 — Black Agenda Report
This week in Black Agenda Report
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Black folks have no rights that white majorities are bound to respect.” That’s the message from the U.S. Supreme Court, which declared diversity programs an option that white majorities can legally ban. The High Court also safeguards the right of the rich to dominate elections. This week’s ruling shows that the Roberts Court “knows how to serve both majorities of whites and Big Capital, too.”
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
The president is reportedly considering using clemency to release a few hundred or couple thousand federal prisoners. Better than nothing, but it’s in no sense a start at dismantling the prison state. Clemency changes no laws or institutions or police, prosecutorial or prison practices. The cells will be refilled in weeks. It’s a cynical, empty gesture from an administration marked by utter indifference to black suffering.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
A new study confirms the obvious: the will people of the people carries no weight in the United States. Within the nation’s borders democracy is everywhere proclaimed but nowhere to be found. These truths we hold to be self-evident: “ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States.”
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
It’s taken 12 years, but victims of South African apartheid finally convinced a U.S. federal judge to hear their case against IBM and Ford Motor. The plaintiffs say the two multinationals sold the white regime the products it needed to torture and oppress the Black majority – and that the companies intended their vehicles and computers be used for that purpose.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Chicagoland, the 8 part CNN campaign commercial falsely claims teacher pay and pensions have drove the city to fiscal ruin, that big league stadiums are job creators, that massive school closings are good for the city, and Chicago cops have lowered the murder rate. Except they haven’t. Real Chicago journalists have revealed Chicago cops cooked the books to make dozens of murders disappear. CNN missed that, and is still missing it.
On the Meaning of “Progress” and “Change” in the Whitewashed Political Worldview of the Black Misleadership Class
by Danny Haiphong
The most left-leaning ethnicity in the U.S. is (mis)led by a class of scoundrels and servants of empire. “The Black misleadership class unapologetically shoves itself down the throats of young people of color as legitimate political role models while the white capitalist power structure happily provides the financial and political support.”
by Dr. T P Wilkinson
The real Hitler was rather popular in upper class western circles, at least until the start of World War Two. The media’s use of “Hitler” as a pejorative has little to do with the actual politics of the world’s most famous fascist. The Hitlerization of Putin turns reality on its head, “making the actual aggressor appear to be a victim by accusing one’s target of all the acts actually perpetrated by oneself.”
by Horace G. Campbell
Massive capital drain from Africa and that Africa is a net creditor to Europe and North America. Without an African central bank functioning under democratic control and a credible African currency, the drain of resources will continue to rob Africa the means to achieve development. “It is in the interest of all to work for the new multipolar currency regime.”
by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner
When our giants go down, our spines must straighten up and create new beginnings.
Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/21/14
Seattle Conference to Kick Off $15 an Hour Ballot Initiative
So popular is the demand for a $15 an hour minimum wage, the corporate establishment and virtually the entire city council of Seattle, Washington, claim to favor the hike. To ensure that these erstwhile allies don’t water down the proposal, however, the 15 Now campaign will kick of a drive, on April 26, to collect 50,000 signatures to put the wage increase on the ballot. “We have lots of different people involved: socialists, Green Party activists, community groups, Latino organizations,” said Jess Spear, organizing director for 15 Now and also a member of the Socialist Alternative party, whose local leader, Kshama Sawant, won a seat on the council, last year. “Socialist Alternative sees the need for democratic socialism to replace capitalism so that we can really deal with all the problems that face society,” said Spear.
Supreme Court Decision Renders U.S. a “Zombie Democracy”
The U.S. electoral system has entered the realm of the living dead, said Ajamu Baraka, an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. The recent McCutcheon ruling, which allows the rich to spend virtually unlimited funds on political campaigns, confirms that the “system doesn’t really function, it has no internal life – but that’s been the case from the very beginnings of the Republic,” said Baraka. “The only elements in society that were allowed to participate were white men with property. What we have now is a full circle back to that reality.”
Fusion Spy Centers Target Activists
Human rights activists in 7 cities recently protested against U.S. intelligence Fusion Centers that allow local law enforcement and contractors to share information on political dissent. “There is this guise that they’re trying to keep us safe from terrorists,” said Jamie Garcia, of Stop LAPD Spying, “but we’re finding out that they’re actively targeting social justice organizers” through these “mega spy centers.”
Black Lives Endangered in Detroit, Chicago, Congo
The crowds that come to hear about the slaughter of six million Congolese since 1996 – the biggest genocide since World War Two – “don’t make a distinction between what’s taking place on the South Side of Chicago, or in Detroit, and what’s happening in the Congo,” said Maurice Carney, executive director of Friends of Congo. “They immediately recognize that getting involved” in defending the lives and rights of Congolese “is an indication of the value they hold for Black life,” said Carney.
Blacks and “Bio-Sexual Politics”
David Austin, the Montreal-based activist, educator and author of Fear of a Black Nation, said “bio-sexual politics” is “a primeval fear of Black folks that is rooted in the recurring need to control Black bodies…a phenomenon that is intimately connected to fear of Black rebellion and the spread of Blackness as a political contagion.” Austin took part in “Black Folk in Dark Times: A Workshop on Sovereignty, Citizenship and Freedom,” at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville.