18 June 2014 — Black Agenda Report
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
For a long time now, we’ve all been told, and have told each other, that corporate social media is the way to build businesses, audiences and brands. What if this is about as true as the old saw about real estate prices only going up? What is “dark social media” and how is it different from Twitter, Facebook and the rest.
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“How can the U.S. bomb ISIS jihadists in Iraq and not bomb them in Syria?” The contradictions of the West’s reliance on Muslim fundamentalist jihadis to do their dirty work have become acute with the ISIS blitzkrieg in Iraq. Despite its vast weaponry, the U.S. cannot control events on the ground if their jihadist gunmen pursue their own objectives, which are ultimately antithetical to imperialism.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
For the people of the Middle East, the American war never ended; it continued under the brutal, U.S.-backed jihadists who ravaged Syria, and have struck at Iraq with a vengeance. In the United States, George Bush gets the blame for the Iraq War while the First Black President reignites the region with his proxy wars and apocalyptic threats. “Imperialism is still on the move and now has a more shrewd personification in the person of Barack Obama.”
A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
No sensible person should doubt the fundamental justice of arguments for reparations for the historic crimes of slavery, Jim Crow, and today’s prison state. Accomplishing reparations would require a massive political realignment. But is reparations today a political movement, or is it an empty brand available for African American public figures in need of a little blackwashing?
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Since the meltdown of 2008, U.S. universities have collaborated with the Pentagon to study dynamics of social movements, worldwide. The goal of “terrorism studies” is “to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease.” The Minerva Initiative, like NSA spying, sees the entire planet as “enemy territory.”
by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
Rather than crack down on discrimination and illegal retaliation, the U.S. government spends megabucks to silence complaints. “Upwards of $1 billion have been doled out by federal agencies in settlement and judgment costs for discrimination lawsuits since the No FEAR Act went into effect in 2002.” In effect, the Feds are protecting the bad guys. “The sanctions built into the No FEAR Act are not significant enough to affect the widespread discrimination, retaliation or abuse of federal employees.” It’s time for No FEAR II.
by the Editors
Where does real journalism come from? It comes from real journalists, people who wake up every day to follow a story wherever it leads, interviewing participants and experts, poring through letters, transcripts and documents. Not so very long ago, journalism was paid for with corporate advertising dollars, and reporters were paid a living wage and backed by powerful institutions. Not any more. The current neoliberal order insists that every human interaction and service must produce a profit for the 1%, or cease to exist. That’s where journalism went. The 1% see no profit in an informed public.
Black Agenda Report is proud to support real journalism and real journalists whenever we can. Our sister Thandisizwe Chimurengua, author of “The Two Murders of Oscar Grant” is one of these. She intends to go to Detroit to cover the trial of Ted Wafer, the killer of Renisha McBride, a black woman who knocked on his door looking for help when her car stopped. Please follow this link, and give what you can to enable TC to do what journalists are supposed to do. Regular updates on the trial will be carried here at Black Agenda Report. It’s come to this. If you want journalism, we must figure out how to support some journalists.
Making the Case for an Election Boycott: Why the Left Should Refrain from US Imperialism’s Electoral Charade
by Danny Haiphong
The left should not participate in, “and thus provide consent for, the rule of imperialism every four years.” Say “No” to the charade. “Barack Obama’s two-term presidency has been a lesson for the entire left that voting for a Wall Street politician within the imperialist state can only bring more misery and political confusion, not less.”
by Theogene Rudasingwa
Washington’s go-to warlord in Africa, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, has turned his country’s embassies into nests of assassins, targeting dissidents around the globe. His foreign and domestic policies are “founded on the premise that opponents, whether heads of state or ordinary citizens, must die or be jailed.”
Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/16/14
Nation’s First All-Charter School System Restores Segregation
The last conventional public school in the New Orleans Recovery District closed last month, a harbinger of what may be in store in systems across the country. “Apparently, this model means taking education out of the public realm and putting it into the hands of private, non-profit boards and for-profit corporations,” said Karran Harper Royal, a parent advocate with the city’s Coalition for Community Schools, one of several groups that have filed a civil rights suit against the district and the Louisiana Board of Education. “It seems that white kids are disproportionately taking up the seats in the A- and B-rated schools,” while Black children are clustered in failing schools, said Ms. Harper Royal. “After all these years, we’re back in a segregated school system, only now it is also along class lines.”
Haiti Activists Urge Rejection of Both Congressional Candidates in Harlem
Incumbent Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel and his main challenger, State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, are both guilty of supporting “apartheid” policies against Dominicans of Haitian descent, charged demonstrators outside a televised campaign debate. Under a law passed by the Dominican Republic and endorsed by Rangel and Espaillat, less than 10 percent of 200,000-plus people with roots in Haiti will quality for Dominican citizenship, even though most have never set foot outside the country and speak only Spanish. Daoud Andre, a Haitian community activist, called on Harlemites “not to vote for either of these supporters of apartheid,” and for “people of conscience around the world to boycott Dominican products and services,” including tourism.
Black Is Back Coalition: Obama “Worse Than Bush”
Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, said Barack Obama has been “worse than Bush” for Black people, and for the cause of peace. “Bush couldn’t have gotten away with the things Obama did without some kind of response” from the Black community,” said Yeshitela. Obama “has neutralized so many forces, taken them out of action. It wasn’t understood that part of Obama’s function was to act as a cover for white power and for imperialism. He’s escalated war, he’s signed off on assassinations, and he’s done it with a neutralized Black community.” The Black Is Back Coalition holds its annual international conference in Philadelphia, August 16-17.
U.S. Pushes Russia and China into Closer Alliance
Washington’s provocations are driving Russia, the world’s top energy exporter, and China, soon to be the world’s largest economy, into a deeper economic and political alliance, said Eric Draitser, of StopImperialism.org. “It would seem a self-defeating strategy,” said the independent political analyst. “But, the reality is that the United States doesn’t have control anymore. Obama and his blundering foreign policy have provided the impetus” for closer Sino-Russian collaboration, which can only increase with development of a “New Silk Road stretching from China all the way through Turkey and into Europe.”
Mumia on the Passing of Ruby Dee
Actress and activist Ruby Dee, who died at age 91, supported many radical causes and political prisoners, including Mumia Abu Jamal. “One would be hard pressed to find a role where she played anything less than the best of Black people,” said Abu Jamal, in a report for Prison Radio. Ruby Dee and her late husband Ossie Davis’ “work was a theater of Black dignity, Black family and Black love.”