Black Agenda Report for July 9, 2014: Political Prisoner Jamil Al-Amin, Mercs & Fireworks, Who Prosecutes the Prosecutors?

9 July 2014 — Black Agenda Report

Political Prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin in Declining Health, Urgently Needs Medical Care

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Politcal prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin was one of the leading lights of SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960s rural Alabama. Wrongfully accused and falsely convicted of murder in the shooting of two Atlanta deputies, he has been buried alive in the hellhole solitary supermax prison of Florence CO the last dozen years. Though his spirits remain high, he is 70 and in declining health, and urgently needs moving to a medical facility for appropriate care.

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

There are many tens of thousands of prisoners unjustly serving sentences “twice as long as any of the Central Park Five victims.” Mass Black incarceration is inseparable from official and societal corruption. Cops and, especially, prosecutors “are never charged when they suborn perjury, falsify evidence, threaten witnesses and use the power of the state in a myriad of ways to prevent mostly poor, black people from getting justice.

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

There were flag waving fireworks displays in Marietta GA, where they make the Lockheed F-16s. Some of those F-16s took part in another fireworks display last weekend over Gaza. The fireworks in Marietta smelled like gunpowder and burnt paper. What do white phosphorus, high explosives, depleted uranium, burning libraries and schools smell like?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

There is as yet no legal barrier to wholesale deployment of mercenary soldiers to U.S. cities. Such forces occupied New Orleans in 2005, two years before Blackwater troops massacred Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. Could Times Square be next?

by Abayomi Azikiwe

African economic growth may be irrelevant, if the fruits of its bounty never reach its people. “If Africa cannot effectively stabilize its own internal situation then no one can honestly say that actual progress is being made which is sustainable.”

by Yash Tandon

So-called development “aid” from corporations and banks is inherently corrupt. Genuine development and independence can only be achieved by breaking as much as possible from the global capitalist web. “At the heart of the contemporary civilizational crisis is the reductionist logic that values everything in terms of money.”

by Danny Haiphong

There is no limit to the slanders spewed by U.S. corporate media – from so-called journalists to filmmakers to comedians – against North Korea, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. “The racist and inaccurate discourse around the DPRK helps justify the almost daily military operations the US backs in South Korea.” The 60-year long propaganda campaign is “part and parcel of the US imperialist agenda to militarize the Asia Pacific.”

 

by Bill Quigley 

The most recent crop of veterans is in trouble, especially in terms of joblessness, homelessness and mental health. Is it because vets find it harder to re-enter society, or is the society they are re-entering an increasingly hostile and dysfunctional place?

by Raymond Nat Turner

She flies in 2016 with a fleet of “monkeys spring from the mule.”

by Arlene Eissen

The assault of white Venezuelan contra demonstrators on medical student William Muñoz doesn’t tell us all we need to know about social cleavage and race in today’s Venezuela, but it tells us plenty.  Muñoz was apparently profiled a Chavista because of his dark skin, and nearly lynched, first on the spot, and afterwards in the racist, right-wing and pro US press, which doubled down on behalf of the lynch mob.

The White Settler “Patriots” Pro-Slavery Revolt

Contrary to popular mythology, the white settler rebellion of 1776 was staged, not to establish democracy, but to forestall the abolition of slavery in Britain’s American colonies, according to a new book by Dr. Gerald Horne, a University of Houston professor of history and African American Studies. In The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America, Horne said the American rebels’ motivations were much like those of Ian Smith, the white Rhodesian leader who declared unilateral independence from Britain in 1965 to “forestall decolonization” and an end to white rule. Smith himself said he was “walking in the footsteps of 1776.”

“Killing Trayvons”

“Trayvon Martin’s murder wasn’t an anomaly; it’s something that happens all the time, all day, every day,” said South Carolina political activist Kevin Alexander Gray, co-author of the soon to be released book, Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence. The volume features a wide range of authors, including Robin D.G. Kelly, Cornel West, Vijay Prashad, bell hooks and many others. “We wanted to cover, not just the trial, but the epidemic of killings by police and the fact that Black women are also killed,” said Gray. “We even went so far as having some people who may even agree with the jury’s verdict because they thought the prosecution put on such a weak case.”

Race Casts “Long Shadow” on Education and Employment Prospects

A longitudinal study of 790 low-income young people in Baltimore found that only 4 percent of Blacks earned a four-year college degree by age 28, far fewer than whites from similar family backgrounds. According to Johns Hopkins University sociologist Dr. Karl Alexander, co-author of the report on the 23-year study, titled “The Long Shadow,” about 15 percent of Blacks in the study group attended four-year college programs, and another 15 to 20 percent spent time in two-year programs, but “the vast majority were unable to see it through” to a bachelors degree for various reasons. “Where race most clearly comes into play is in employment opportunities in the high-skill, high pay employment sector in the construction crafts and skilled trades,” said Alexander. By age 28, 45 percent of white males in the Baltimore study were working in that sector, compared to only 15 percent of Blacks, with whites earning twice as much pay.

Mumia: Corporate Media “Learned Nothing” from Iraq War

The U.S. corporate media is once again showing “not even the pretense of objectivity” in its war-mongering coverage of Syria and Iraq, said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. “They have become heralds of hell” who have “learned nothing” since 2003, when they sold the public on the Iraq invasion.

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