4 June 2014 — Black Agenda Report
Black Lobbyists, Black Legislators Leverage Their “Brands” For Banksters, Military Contractors, Corporate Interests
When black politics emanated from the streets, not the suites, it was a force against imperial war, for full employment, better housing and public education. But now, black politics is a hollowed out brand, an empty signifier deployed by black lobbyists and congresscreatures to cover whatever their corporate donors want, while the black political class ceaselessly celebrates the civil rights era to renew its own legitimacy.
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Molefi Asante, promoter of Systematic Nationalism, poses as the consummate Race Man but is in practice an agent of white corporate power. In fear of exposure for his backstabbing at Temple University, Asante has lashed out at the Black Radical Tradition and all its practitioners as “dupes” of white Marxists – an extraordinary assault on a great Black political legacy.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
A new film, Miners Shot Down, shows in graphic detail the massacre of dozens of miners at Marikana, South Africa, in 2012. “Footage from the South African police shows the miners being penned in by barbwire, mowed down by a fusillade and the survivors being hunted down yet again.” The slaughter may mark the beginning of the end of a Black-led regime that sold out its people.
by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka
After three years of a war financed, armed and manned by the U.S. and its allies, the Syrian people cast ballots wherever it was possible. The U.S. position is that Syria’s vote is illegitimate because of the conflict, but Ukraine’s elections are legitimate despite that country’s armed conflict. It is clear that the U.S. objective in Syria “is more death, more war and more chaos.”
by Pascal Robert
The truth is more evil than Netflix fiction. Staffers at the Congressional Black Caucus – doubtless mimicking the morals of their elected bosses – eventually formed their own mercenary lobbying structures to sell out the interests of African Americans. Their principal clients are “those same financial institutions and corporations that caused the Black community to be targeted during the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis.”
by Danny Haiphong
The white power structure in the U.S. controls the guns, money, communication media and levers of government. In a pinch, it can also call on the Black Misleadership Class, “America’s neo-colonial elite that occupies a few privileged seats in Washington and corporate offices.” Stephen A. Smith is a soldier in white racism’s army.
by Ama Biney
The author has a continental and global vision that demands fulfilling, an Africa that requires “a new mind-set for revolution.”
by Norman (Otis) Richmond aka Jalali
The Black Music Association was formed in 1979, but not all chapters supported the boycott of racist South Africa in the Seventies and Eighties. The Toronto and New York chapters shunned the racist regime.
Haiti: Ten Years Under Foreign Occupation
This month marks the tenth year of the United Nations’ armed occupation of Haiti. The UN force, known as MINUSTAH, “was brought in to cover up an illegal coup d’etat against the democratically elected president, Jean Bertrand-Aristide, in 2004,” said Dr. Jemima Pierre, a professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville. Even though there is no war in Haiti, “the strength of the force is greater now than when they first came,” increasing from 6,500 uniformed personnel to 8,000 soldiers and police. “There is no such thing as sovereignty in Haiti,” which has been reduced to a protectorate, said Pierre, an editor and columnist with Black Agenda Report.
Left Forum 2014: “Reform and/or Revolution”?
Renowned Black public intellectual Dr. Cornel West “embraces” reformers, but counts himself among the revolutionaries. “If you want to tinker, to be incremental, fine, but don’t just stop there,” West told activists at Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “We’re calling for fundamental transformation of American capitalist society, with its empire and vicious legacy of white supremacy,” he said.
Running Strong as a Socialist
Kshama Sawant, the Socialist Alternative party activist who won a seat on the Seattle city council on a $15 minimum wage platform, said that even a watered-down version of the measure will result in “roughly $3 billion being transferred from the hands of business to the bottom-most workers of the city.” The victory in Seattle put a $15 minimum on the national political map. “What we have done is forced business to swallow the idea of increasing wages substantially,” said Sawant. “And I say ‘swallow,’ because they hate it.”
Hip Hop and Social Transformation
Activists need to consider more deeply the meaning of revolution, said hip hop artist Immortal Technique. “If we decide that we’ll all of a sudden become revolutionary-minded, but we don’t leave behind all the privileges that we were born with or that we’ve assumed in life because of wealth or racist status in America, then what do we have as camaraderie with the people that are suffering the most in this system?” he asked.
South Africa Betrayed
“I sit, deeply wounded and deeply concerned that [President Jacob] Zuma and the ANC in South Africa has abandoned its calling,” said famed entertainer Harry Belafonte, a political activist for most of his 87 years. Citing the police massacre of 34 miners at Marikana, in August, 2012, Belafonte said the African National Congress government has “become the new tyranny, and this is a hard pill to swallow. How could all this have gone so awry?”
Elombe Brath Joins Ancestors
Legendary activist Elombe Brath, who died after a long illness, was laid to rest at Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church, on Saturday. Brath was a founder of the Patrice Lumumba Coalition. “He didn’t just love Black music and culture, he loved Black people,” said political prisonerMumia Abu Jamal, reporting for Prison Radio.