28 May 2014 — Black Agenda Report
One Year After Chicago Closes 50 Public Schools, Chicago Teachers Union Assesses the Lies and Lasting Damage
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
A couple years ago, we at Black Agenda Report wondered why the closings of 40 public schools over three years in Philly and 50 schools in Chicago were not national news. The answer of course, was that corporate media and politicians from Romney and Obama down to black mayors and state legislators agree that public education ought to be handed to business groups and charter schools even though privatization is enormously unpopular.
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The Americans now admit they are training battalions of African Rangers and counterinsurgency troops. The next step is the proliferation of death squads in West Africa, as the U.S. did in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Nigeria’s schoolgirls may or may not be rescued, but U.S. and European “humanitarian” military interventionists have already gained more than they could have imagined.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
When white teachers handcuff first graders, or white police throw Black tweens through glass windows, or shoot unarmed youths, it may be because of racially warped perceptions. “Black children are dehumanized to such an extent that they aren’t perceived as children at all,” says a recent study. “In some cases, black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old.”
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
In an act of continent-wide solidarity, the nations of South America are warning the U.S. not to impose sanctions on Venezuela, a mostly Black and brown country seeking its own path to progress. Shamefully, Florida’s three Black congresspersons show solidarity only to their imperial masters; they are co-sponsors of the sanctions bill.
by Brittney Cooper
The Santa Barbara killer believed the world had to pay for cheating him out of his rightful entitlements. “We cannot understand Elliot Rodger’s clear mental health issues and view of himself as the supremely forsaken victim here outside a context of racism, white supremacy and patriarchy.” U.S. society needs to face up to the lethal truth about white male privilege – as a mental health issue.”
by Danny Haiphong
President Obama has proven far more effective than George Bush in consolidating the rule of corporate imperialism. It will soon become Hillary Clinton’s turn to neutralize Blacks and white liberals in pursuit of the imperial agenda. Her presidency would “further expose the collaboration between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to economic and foreign policy endeavors.”
by Sikivu Hutchinson
Michelle Obama’s recent speech on the anniversary of the Brown decision gave every indication that she understands structural racism and injustice in education. However, her husband’s Race to the Top program has “opened the floodgates to privatization, dumbed-down curricula, and a permanent regime of high stakes testing which undermines teacher creativity and guts teachers’ unions.”
by Pascal Robert
Photos by Kevin Banatte[Dream Defenders Communications
Relentless forces, internal and external, seek to pit Black Americans and immigrants against one another. However, many immigrants are Black and subject to the same mass incarceration policies as African Americans. “Immigration is a racial justice issue that needs a progressive African American voice,” according to a just-concluded conference in Miami.
by Mark P. Fancher
AFRICOM’s primary project is to transform the militaries of the continent into dependencies and pawns of U.S. foreign policy. It’s second most import objective is the hide Washington’s actual intentions behind a “humanitarian” mask – such as participating in the search for Nigerian schoolgirls from Boko Haram. Some African journalists are eager to be part of the ruse.
by Ajamu Nangwaya
Afrikan Liberation Day must be more than a celebration of “flag” independence. The event should be a focus of work to complete the unfinished process of liberation from both the neocolonialists and “the kleptocrats and strongmen who masquerade as a national bourgeoisie” who “drain the lifeblood out of the laboring classes across Afrika.”
by Dr. T P Wilkinson
The tall tale that claims to be U.S. history depicts the war of independence from Britain as motivated by a deep yearning for democracy. Dr, Gerald Horne’s new book frames the white settler secession as a revolt to ensure the continuity of slavery, which was growing unpopular in the home country and intolerable to the Black captives. Horne “shows that slave resistance forced the settler elite to declare independence from Britain.”
Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/26/14
Search for Boko Haram Deepens Imperial Penetration in Africa
France recently oversaw an agreement between Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin to mount joint efforts to combat Boko Haram fighters, with the U.S. and Europeans providing financing, training and equipment. “Why should a conference concerned with the security of Nigeria and West Africa be held in Paris?” asked Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African News Wire. “The question speaks volumes to the degree of neocolonialism that is still prevalent” in Africa. “This is just an effort on the part of France, the United States and other imperialist states to deepen their military intervention on the African continent” in the guise of humanitarian concerns, said Azikiwe.
Ras Baraka’s “Daunting Challenge” in Newark
Ras Baraka’s mayoral victory in Newark, New Jersey, represents “a significant break with the past, with the [Cory] Booker administration,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. Baraka faces the “daunting challenge” of a $93 million budget deficit when he takes office, July 1. During the campaign, he opposed further school closings and charterization, and called for an end to state management of local schools, now in its 18th year. Some fear a state takeover of municipal finances, as well. “This points out the challenges of Black Power in the 21st century,” said Hamm.
Beware Banksters Bearing “Gifts” for Detroit
Wall Street banking giants JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are offering millions in loans and grants for a structural makeover of Detroit, still mired in bankruptcy proceedings. “They say it’s philanthropy, but they also say they expect to make money” on the deal, said Tom Stephens, a people’s lawyer active in the resistance to the state and corporate takeover of the city. What the banks are actually funding is “a pretty overt racist, neoliberal and neocolonial framework – with strings attached – that is not going to benefit the vast majority of the people of Detroit.” JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs “should be facing charges for predatory, fraudulent financial manipulation” for helping bring Detroit down, said Stephens.
Temple U. Students Vow to Protest Monteiro Dismissal All Summer
“We’re fighting for students and community people to have a real voice at the university,” including matters such as gentrification of surrounding Black neighborhoods, said student leader Kashara White. The Temple University provost, she said, maintains that the firing of African American Studies scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro was done in accordance with school policy. The problem “is not that the school isn’t following its policies, but that their policies are unjust,” said White. Adjunct professors need more job security, so they won’t be fired when they support student and community demands, as Dr. Monteiro did. The protests will continue through the summer. “This is going to set a standard for students in Philadelphia and across the nation,” she said. “We want Dr. Monteiro back because we know he sets that same precedent for faculty.”
A State of Mourning for Elombe Brath
Legendary New York-based activist Elombe Brath succumbed to a long illness, May 19. The Patrice Lumumba Coalition founder was honored on May 11 of last year at Harlem’s Harriet Tubman School. Raymond Santana, who along with others of the Central Park 5 was imprisoned for 13 years for a rape they did not commit, said he knew Brath “as a protector, a man who embraced me as one of his own sons, a man who stepped up for the Central Park 5 when lots of people wouldn’t, and still champions for us to receive our just due.”
Rodolfo Reyes, the Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations, also honored Brath in 2013. “Cuba remembers with high esteem his tireless struggle for the freedom of the Cuban 5, unjustly imprisoned in United States jails,” said Reyes. “By following the example of Elombe Brath, we can turn into reality the goal of our leader, Fidel Castro, that a better world is possible, where justice, human dignity and solidarity prevail.”