Black Agenda Report for 26 February 2015: Chicago Stuns Rahm Emanuel, Student Debt Strike, Silence on Libya

26 February 2015 — Black Agenda Report

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Despite support from local black & Latino politicians former Obama chief of staff and Rahm Emanuel failed to win re-election as Chicago mayor on Feb. 24. He faces an April 7 runoff election against Jesus Garcia, longime community activist who was part of the Harold Washington team in 1983 and 87. Anti-Rahm turnout was boosted by public outrage at school closings and other privatizations, and advisory referenda on an elected school board.

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama administration claims it wants to halt the predatory practices of for-profit colleges that “exploit the poor and bilk the state.” But, even as it shuts down Corinthian Colleges, the administration continues to demand that its students repay their federal loans. The Corinthian 15 refuse to pay for having been robbed and exploited.

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Four years ago, the United States and its NATO and royal Arab allies destroyed the government of Libya and handed the country over to jihadists, who now include factions aligned with the Islamic State. Thousands of heads have rolled in the wake of Obama’s 2011 air war – none of them American. “Libyans and Egyptian migrant workers pay the price for western aggressions.”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

When petty officials in foreign lands make it difficult for corporations to do business, or when rich individuals avoid paying taxes agreed upon by their wealthy fellows, reformers raise the cry of corruption. But the greatest corruption lies in allowing the rich to make the rules.

by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The move towards normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations is a victory of the Cuban people, but also presents great challenges. In a recent visit to the island, the author spoke with a former resident of The Bronx, now studying liberation theology in Cuba. One thing that will not change, he said, is Cuba’s historical commitment to Black people. For example, “Cuba has educated more Blacks from Honduras than were educated in their own country.”

by Raymond Nat Turner

“Hooray for Hollywood”

Never meant Black folk no good…

by Nu’man Abd al-Wahid

Although there is no doubt that Malcolm X was a fervent Muslim to the moment he was assassinated, his beliefs bore no resemblance to that of today’s “Islamist” militants. “Malcolm had an inclusive secular approach to the African-American struggle and not an exclusive religious approach rooted in the superiority of any given religion.”

by Sukant Chandan

Malcolm X advocated that Black Americans act as internationalists. His life’s work and example has influenced movements around the globe, including the United Kingdom, where a Malcolm X Movement has been launched “in the heart of whiteness.”

by Danny Haiphong

Neoliberalism is “the ideology of corporate domination and the plunder of finance capital.” To preserve itself domestically, the modern system has created both the Mass Black Incarceration State and the National Security State. Internationally, “terrorism, ‘humanitarian intervention,’ and economic sabotage are the primary means of maintaining US hegemony of the neo-liberal variety.” 

by Ezili Danto

Even national celebrations turn out badly in occupied Haiti. Officials say a Mardis Gras electrocution accident left 17 dead, but as many as 100 are feared to have perished in panic. Haiti needs infrastructure and, most of all, the return of its national sovereignty. “But the Martelly regime prioritizes carnival drinking, dancing and singing.”

U.S. and Europeans Seek Control of Nigeria

Boko Haram’s jihadist rebellion in northern Nigeria has caused “the fracturing of the Nigerian body politic,” making the country more vulnerable to manipulation by the United States and European powers, said Eric Draitser, a political analyst and publisher of the web “Nigeria is by far the most dynamic economy in Africa.” Therefore, “it is a major prize for the United States and the European powers,” said Draitser.

Rwandan Dictator Fears Loss of Immunity

Paul Kagame’s government allows “no freedom of movement, no freedom of association,” and “has massacred Rwandan Hutu refugees” in Congo, said Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life hero played by actor Don Cheadle in the movie Hotel Rwanda. The movie portrayed Kagame’s forces as the good guys, but Rusesabagina, now in exile, tells a different story. Kagame is trying to remain in power past constitutional limits because he fears indictment by foreign courts as soon as he loses presidential immunity, said Rusesabagina, in an interview on the Taylor Report, CIUT Radio, Toronto, Canada.

U.S. Helped Create ISIS “Monster”

What we see in the Middle East, today, “is the product of two and a half centuries of European and American intrusion” into the Arab and Muslim world, said Jennifer Lowenstein, who teaches Middle East Studies at the University of Wisconsin, at Madison. ISIS is “a Frankenstein’s monster that the U.S. helped create.” Lowenstein, who has lived and worked for many years in the region, said the U.S. is “becoming a pariah nation, despised by almost every other country in the world.”

Proposed Limits on Solitary Confinement in New Jersey

Atty. Jean Ross, a member of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress, testified recently in favor of legislation that would bar solitary confinement for prisoners under 21, people with mental illness, and pregnant women. The bill would “require that anyone in solitary confinement be reviewed every day by a clinician,” to monitor their mental and physical condition.

The Worst “Crap Hole” Among Pennsylvania’s Prisons

Prisoners rate Frackville State Prison as “a crap hole” and “perhaps the worst” facility in the state’s prison system, said inmate Bryant Arroyo, in a report to Prison Radio. Arroyo calls Frackville an “anonymous fiefdom” where “the guards seem to find great pride, even honor, in perpetrating their anti-prisoner culture” of “unrestrained authority, separate from the state correctional system.” Frackville is also home to Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: One hour.Click here to download the show.

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