11 December 2014 — Black Agenda Report
Teach For America has done vast and indisputable harm to black communities across the country, funded by hundreds of millions in deep corporate pockets and tens of millions of federal dollars. Could this be why the St. Louis TFA exec director was picked to meet the president, supposedly as one of the “young black activists”?
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Attorney General Eric Holder, like his local counterparts, claims that “the law” renders him helpless to prosecute killer cops. That’s bogus, says the ACLU, which maintains there is no insurmountable bar to charges of police “reckless disregard” and “open defiance” of victims’ constitutional rights. But, don’t expect Holder to budge. “Police impunity is the domestic counterpart of the legal immunity that U.S. military personnel enjoy overseas.”
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Al Sharpton is proud to serve as the U.S. president’s pit bull, and also doubles as a “leader” in the movement of the oppressed – the very definition of conflict of interest. Clearly, if he is to honor his pact with Power, he must betray the people, including those who rally to his banner in this weekend’s national march against police violence, in Washington.
by Bar Editor and Columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo and Kevin Berends
This week, the political leadership of the United States will have a chance to look into the eyes of “nine African-American women who have lost family, loved ones and sons to excessive police violence.” Sadly, neither President Obama nor Attorney General Holder has agreed to meet with the mothers, whose visit to the nation’s capital was organized by CODEPINK, the Hands Up Coalition DC and Mothers Against Police Brutality.
by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka
The ethos of Western-based “human-rights” groups rests “on a stratification of humanity” with European “civilization” at the apex. What the world needs is a people-centered human rights “based on the communitarian principles of social solidarity, cooperation, non-discrimination in all social relationships, collective public ownership of the earth’s resources, respect for difference” and self-determination and dignity of all peoples.
by Mark P. Fancher
The U.S. Justice Department’s routine refusal to prosecute killer cops is based on an erroneous interpretation of the law. The feds claim that wrongful police homicides cannot be prosecuted unless the cops intended to violate the victim’s constitutional rights. But the federal courts have ruled that such conduct constitutes “‘open defiance’ or ‘reckless disregard’ for the constitutional rights of the victims.
by Danny Haiphong
The kidnapping and mass murder of students in Mexico is also a crime of U.S. imperial policy toward its southern neighbors. “It is the task of a the revolutionary movement in the US and around the globe to connect the graveyard conditions imposed on Black America to the same imperialist system committing state-sponsored mass murder in Mexico.”
by Michelle Renee Matisons
The policing ethos in America is caught in an “omni-crisis” – an intersection of oppressions. “In a seemingly psychotic paradox, this system has all its (military) equipment, but it persists in evoking its imagined white vulnerability in the face of darker people’s also imagined predatory (and highly sexualized) prowess.”
by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III
Racial murders often begin in the mind. “Too many police forces and officers view the African American citizens that they have sworn to ‘Protect and Serve’ as enemy combatants to be ‘Feared and Eliminated.’” The mindset of U.S. cops is conditioned by a national history of institutionalized racial oppression.
by Ezili Danto
The clock is ticking for Haiti to cast off the U.S.-backed regime of Michel Martelly, who will soon rule by raw decree if he is not quickly impeached. Haiti’s senate has the “authority to indict, impeach and remove Martelly immediately to protect the population, avoid a bloodbath, reinforce democratic institutions, and assure some institutional continuity.”
CIA and Police Impunity are Linked
The long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture practices “could be the most important document, with respect to reviewing the crimes of U.S. intelligence agencies, since the Pentagon Papers,” said Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. “This is the cover-up underlying human rights abuses that no one has ever been held accountable for.” Yet, unarmed Black men fin the U.S. face extrajudicial assassination by police. “There is clearly no equal justice in this country,” said Buttar, “and no two things make it more clear than torture with impunity juxtaposed with mass incarceration.”
Remove the “Instruments of Death” from Our Communities
The new mass movement is wrestling with fundamental questions of Black life in America. “One demand is that you may not kill our children,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the noted whistleblower and activist with the Hands Up Coalition – DC, which last week presented a list of demands to the U.S. Justice Department. “It’s important that we get these instruments of death out of our communities,” said Coleman-Adebayo, who is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report.
Black People’s Humanity is not Negotiable
The Obama administration points to the numerous consent decrees it has arrived at with police departments around the country as evidence that it is serious about combating abuses in the criminal justice system. However, Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, is unimpressed. “These federal consent decrees do not get to the heart of the problem, which is that this system has criminalized and demonized Black people,” said Dix – just as Ferguson cop Darren Wilson described Michael Brown as a “demon.” “We have to say No, Black life matters, and we will not allow you to erase our humanity.”
What’s Trust Got to Do With It?
The “impotent” Black political class mimics white politicians when they call for “restoration of trust” between Blacks and police. “When was there ever trust in the first place?” asks Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report to Prison Radio. “The cruel, painful history of relations between police and the people is one of predation, not trust.” The police “are there to control Black mobility and to discipline Blacks for fear they’ll pose a threat to white wealth, life or property,” said Abu Jamal, at Frackville State Prison, in Pennsylvania.
Fast Food Strikers Spearhead Low Wage Workers Movement
Employees went on strike at fast food outlets in 190 cities, last week, demanding $15 an hour and union representation. The action, which also engaged airport, convenience store and other low wage workers, climaxed two years of organizing that began with a walkout at a single restaurant in New York City, said Kendall Sells, organizing director of Fast Food Forward. “Over the next six to twelve months,” said Sells, “I think people are going to see a complete explosion of low wage workers taking to the streets. That’s how we’re going to get these workers out of poverty.”