30 April 2014 — Black Agenda Report
This week in Black Agenda Report
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Billionaire racists will be billionaire racists. Not much we can do about that. But the fact that our so-called civil rights organizations depend on the deep pockets of Wal-Mart, Comcast, and the David Sterlings of this world even though they pretend to represent the interests of ordinary black people is not something we have to live with.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
Researchers confirm what desperate workers have sensed: most of the good jobs lost in the Great Recession have been replaced with bad jobs. That’ fine with Wall Street, since “capital’s global plan is to reduce all workers to a state of absolute insecurity, so that they will accept those bad jobs without complaint.”
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Two arch racists were are on national display this week, reminding folks that a post-racial America is a myth. Cliven Bundy did a further service by showing federal reluctance to confront White Terror, while Donald Sterling’s case outed the Los Angeles NAACP as a hangout for worthless Black misleaders.
by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka
Even the tepid and formulaic kind of democracy previously permitted in the United States is too constraining for the Lords of Capital. “In its arrogance, the oligarchy is exposing the class character of the state and providing left forces a potent weapon for building oppositional consciousness.” For the Left, “it is absolutely necessary to maintain whatever democratic space still exists while struggling to expand those spaces and rights.“
by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
President Obama runs the most secrecy-obsessed administration in U.S. history. “The president talks the talk, whistleblowers walk the plank—while the authors, administrators and implementers of torture and felonious activities walk—under the protection of absolute immunity.”
by Sikivu Hutchinson
For the moment, a Jewish sports franchise owner is the most prominent racist in the United States. Donald Sterling’s conduct serves are a reminder that “the illusion of lockstep black-Jewish solidarity on liberal political coalition-building has long masked the reality of white Jewish privilege and investment in white supremacy.”
by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III
It seems obvious that the NAACP is willing to give a pass to the vilest bigots in return for a monetary contribution. “Prior to Sterling’s recent comments coming to light, he was scheduled to receive his second NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP. Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder enjoys similar impunity.
by Danny Haiphong
In an age of savage austerity, the question is not, What will the Right do next? – but rather, How much more abuse will Black and working people tolerate? Much of what passes for a Left in the U.S. wants nothing more than acceptance by the rulers. “Solid, organized criticism and political work has been avoided for an opportunity to remain ‘respectable’ to a President and political party on a full frontal assault on oppressed people.”
by Jeffrey B. Perry
More race conscious than A. Philip Randolph and more class conscious than Marcus Garvey, Hubert H. Harrison’s “ideas on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy anticipated the profound transformative power of the Civil Rights/Black Liberation struggles of the 1960s.”
by Rhone Fraser, Ph.D.
Eslanda “Essie” Cardozo Goode Robeson – the anthropologist-journalist wife of Paul – was an important historical figure in her own right, especially her contributions to anti-colonialism. She “condemned African Uncle Toms, these would-be Frenchmen, Britons, etc., the especially-trained Black ‘elite’ who had been allowed to speak for Africa and would be displaced by the authentic voice of the African people.”
by BAR Poet-in-Residence Raymond Nat Turner
Whetha he wearin’ wire, Gerri-curl, or de ‘Cess
Wen he cum, you know he cumin wit sum mess
Philly Throws a Party for Mumia
Mumia Abu Jamal’s hometown turned out for a day-long celebration of the nation’s best-known political prisoner’s 60th birthday. “This government was hell-bent on killing Mumia” for the 1981 death of a Philadelphia policeman, said Pam Africa, head of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia. The former Black Panther and radio journalist is alive because “we formulated what was known as Millions for Mumia” that unleashed “bombs of truth.”
High Court Brings Back Old Jim Crow
The U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold a Michigan referendum banning affirmative action “reinstitutes a policy of state’s rights that characterized the old Jim Crow,” said Shanta Driver, of Detroit-based By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), who argued the case before the High Court. Worse, the ruling means “that a white majority in any state can create unequal access to the political process and discriminate against Black, Latino and Native American communities.”
Socialist Alternative Gears Up to Put Wage Hike on Seattle Ballot
The Socialist Alternative party and its allies plan to collect 50,000 signatures to put a $15 an hour minimum wage proposal on the ballot in Seattle. Kshama Sawant, who won a seat on the local city council last year on a wage hike platform, warned 500 delegates to a national 15 Now conference that Seattle’s mayor is backing a watered down measure that would delay the increase for 3 to 4 years for big businesses and phase in the raise over 5 to 7 years for smaller firms, with no cost-of-living increases until the phase-ins are complete. Sawant recalled a low-wage worker’s response to the phase-ins: “Dear Mayor,” he wrote. “If I phase in my rent over 7 years, will the police not evict me?” Sawant told the crowd: “We have to continue to build a movement, never forgetting that the forces of big business, the forces of the super-wealthy, the forces of capitalism, are going to be relentless.”
Secret Trade Treaty Aimed at China
President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty with 11 Asian and Pacific nations “is shrouded in secrecy because the only way they can pass this is if we don’t know what’s in it,” said Kevin Zeese, co-director of It’s Our Economy. Leaks of the treaty’s text “show that there are no protections for the environment” and that “Obama is pushing the most corporate position of any country involved” in the negotiations. Zeese said the pact is linked to a U.S. military encirclement of China.
Minorities to Lose Under Internet Pay-for-Speed Rules
The National Hispanic Media Coalition has weighed in against the Federal Communications Commission proposal to allow big corporations to buy faster speed on the Internet. “The Internet has been a democratizing force,” said Jessica Gonzalez, the coalition’s general counsel and executive vice president. “Through the Internet, we’ve been able to tell our stories and to organize for change.” Under the FCC’s new proposal, “where there’s a fast lane, and the rest of us who can’t pay, who aren’t wealthy, have to go into the slow lane, we don’t have the same opportunity.”