Black Agenda Report, week of June 10, 2015: Dems Hope To Bury #BlackLivesMatter Under Election Blitz

10 June 2015 — Black Agenda Report

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Democrats hope the Black Lives Matter movement, like the Occupy Wall Street movement, will disappear amid the hype of the coming election season. “The Democrats have mounted a systematic cooption-repression response that will intensify as the election season – and Black cities – heat up.” The Democrats understand that, for the movement to succeed, their party’s power over Black America must be broken.

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Black lives don’t matter to elected Democrats because the Democratic party is not a membership organization of Democratic “base voters,” it’s a vehicle that uses those voters to legitimize the candidates of corporate donors, to whom black lives emphatically do NOT matter.


by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Early in the 21st century, the United States appeared to have a large anti-war movement. But, the huge crowds melted away when a Democrat took his turn as Imperialist-in-Chief. UNAC, the United National Anti-War Movement that was created in 2010, “doesn’t waver and doesn’t make exceptions regardless of who in the two party duopoly occupies the White House.” UNAC also opposes U.S. wars against people of color and the poor, here at home.

Arne Duncan’s Patently False Promise to Forgive Student Debts at For-Profit Schools

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S. government has funneled hundreds of billions of dollars into corporate accounts by bankrolling for-profit schools that systematically fleece their mostly low income and minority students. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan promises to forgive the student loans of those who have been defrauded. Unfortunately, Duncan is lying through his teeth


Mass Protests Trigger On-Going Investigations of Police Homicides

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

The Washington Post’s effort to tabulate police killings of civilians has discovered that, “among the unarmed victims of police homicides, African-American and Hispanics represent 67% or 2/3rd of all victims.” So far this year, cops have already killed more people than the FBI’s annual estimate. “If police continue to kill citizens at this rate, over 1,000 people will die at the hands of police by the end of this year.”

by Paul Street

Attending an Iowa event for Bernie Sanders, Paul Street notes that his crowd is mostly aging left white Democrats who shunned the 2012 Occupy movement, that Bernie Sanders denounces only Republican plutocrats, never Democratic ones or the military budget, and that Sanders’ presence ultimately legitimizes Hillary as victor in some kind of “democratic” process.

by Ajamu Nangwaya

“Carding,” Toronto’s version of stop-and-frisk, is opposed by a huge and growing proportion of the city’s population, as well as influential actors among the corporate elite. Yet, the local police oversight body “has given the cops a virtual license to carry out street harassment and racial profiling.” What’s needed are neighborhood-based structures “to permanently organize against the violent behavior and street harassment of the cops.”

by Raymond Nat Turner

BAR’s poet in residence reminds us that Cleveland has been taking shots as well as making shots for a long time now…

by Dr. Fikrejesus Amahazion

The ruling party in Ethiopia has gotten away with another sham election, this time with very little protest from the western powers, with whom the regime in Addis Ababa is strategically aligned. “The international community provides the regime with carte-blanche to continue its repressive rule,” including suppression of rival parties and oppressed nationalities, and massive land giveaways.

by Patrick Bond 

Corruption is built into the ruling structures of the United States, which has launched globe-trotting prosecutions of soccer bribery, and South Africa, which is suspected of paying bribes to host the World Cup. But the real costs of sports extravaganzas in South Africa could be as high as $10 billion. “Brazil suffered far worse, with more graft and many more forced removals from Rio’s favelas.”

Black Lives Matter Movement is Dominant Theme at Left Forum

“The powerful movements that have raised the slogan ‘No Justice-No Peace’ in Ferguson, Baltimore and across the country have shaken American politics out of its lethargy,” said Paul Jay, senior editor at The Real News Network, at the annual Left Forum conference at John Jay College, in New York City. However, the wealthy classes are unable to respond to a changing nation and world. “War is the only answer they have. Our ruling elites are dysfunctional: they’re not fit to rule,” said Jay, moderator of the discussion on “Indicting and Transforming the Systems of State and Capitalism: From Ferguson to Baltimore and Beyond.”

#BlackLivesMatter: More Than Just a Slogan

“#BlackLivesMatter is about Black liberation; it was intended to encompass the struggle for human dignity and self-determination,” said Alicia Garza, a co-creator of the slogan and special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We understand state violence as criminalization, but we also understand state violence as austerity, patriarchy, white supremacy and imperialism.”

Policing in U.S. is Illegitimate

“The purpose of policing in this country is to control Black bodies, to control poor people, and to protect the interests and property of the wealthy,” said Thenjiwe McHarris, director of the Human Rights at Home campaign of the U.S. Human Rights Network. “So, it is essential for us to not just talk about reforming policing in the United States, but to challenge the legitimacy, the existence of policing in the United States.”

The Oppressed Must Lead the Struggle

The Left Forum panel included Makayla Gilliam-Harris, a 17 year-old Baltimore City College High School senior and organizer with City Block and the youth-led think tank Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. “If we truly want to see change from this movement,” said Gilliam-Harris, “we need to listen to those who are from the communities that are struggling, listen to the young, Black, clear women – and then to act, not for, not on behalf of, but with us. Stop making careers out of my struggle.”

Black Community Control of Police

“The mass Black incarceration regime was the United States government’s response to the Black liberation movements of the Sixties. And, today’s emerging movement is Black people’s response to the Mass Black Incarceration State,” said Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report. “The police must be subordinated to, answerable to, and chosen by the Black communities that they serve – that means Black community control of police.”

Ossified “Misleaders” Shoved Aside

“There is nothing more clarifying than the Black Lives Matter movement to show us who are the agents of social change, who are the agents of a fight-back against a brutal social and economic order,” said Kshama Sawant, the Seattle city councilwoman and Socialist Alternative leader. “It is not the Democratic Party establishment; it is not the Black misleaders. It is the young Black people, young people of color, who not only put out a clarion call for militant struggle, but they have proudly rejected these ossified layers of the so-called ‘leadership.’”

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

It’s time for a realistic plan to lift left electoral choices out of the “lesser of two evils” dilemma. The tools and opportunity to escape this perennial trap are here, but only if activists turn their backs on the lure of sheepdog Bernie Sanders and his corporate shepherds Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

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