23 July 2015 — Black Agenda Report
NetRootsNation is a gathering for paid and wannabe paid Democratic party activists, including the ostensibly non-partisan ones. You go there to make connections, learn new stuff and get noticed by the people who hand out grants, jobs, fellowships and careers, cash for “voter education” and GOTV. Confronting minor white male candidates was a great way to get noticed without antagonizing Hillary, the inevitable Democratic nominee.
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
Never has a president been so highly praised for fraudulent efforts and fictitious accomplishments than Barack Obama, who now pretends – very late in his presidency – to have discovered the evils of mass incarceration. From crack cocaine to solitary confinement, he has mastered the arts of illusory reform.
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The U.S. deal with Iran – based on assumptions about an Iranian nuclear weapons program that American intelligence agencies have twice concluded does not exist – allows the U.S. to concentrate on provoking Russia and China while continuing to threaten Iran with destruction. Global peace is no closer than before, since “America’s insistence on imperialism and control of other countries is the cause of every catastrophe.”
by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka
The Black Lives Matter movement has another martyr, as it prepares for a national conference in Cleveland, this weekend. Sandra Bland’s murder in Texas shows, once again, that “defending one’s dignity in an encounter with the police is a crime that that can lead to a death sentence.” The emerging movement must be clear on the political nature of Bland’s death, and that only real power in the hands of the people can break the cycle of oppression.
by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, editor and columnist
“What the South African people fought for is not what they have received… it’s time that we continue the struggle for liberation,” said labor leaders Irvin Jim and Zwelinzima Vavi, meeting with activist allies in Washington, DC and New York City. “The time has come that we must organize the working class, as a class to challenge the neo-liberal agenda” followed by the African National Congress government.
by Paul Street
Bernie may call himself a socialist, but since his terms as mayor of Burlington VT in the 1980s, the state’s Democrats have never run anybody against him. In return “socialist” Bernie Sanders has supported every war and military intervention since the 1980s, just like every other good Democrat.
by Danny Haiphong
The Greek Syriza party and Bernie Sanders’ U.S. presidential campaign have something in common: neither has any intention to challenge the global capitalist system. “Syriza began and remains a social democratic party committed to the maintenance of the Wall Street-controlled European order,” and “Bernie Sanders is a ruling class tool.”
by Bill Quigley
A decade after the Katrina catastrophe, 100,000 people have still not returned to New Orleans, most of them Black. Whites in the city have gotten a lot richer, yet poverty still stalks Black neighborhoods, the public schools have been almost totally charterized, and rents have skyrocketed – all in the name of “renewal.”
by our friends at This Is Hell Radio
Remember the orgy of wishful thinking at the beginning of the Obama era? Did the Greek people invest similar unfounded hopes in a party led by pretenders? Journalist John Pilger explains.
by Steve Martinot
The “dementia” of police behavior is reflected in U.S. prisons, where punishment is justified by the fact of incarceration. “Solitary confinement is imposed on those who think critically and politically.” On the street, police dementia is policy. “In profiling, the police commit an act of suspicion, and then look for a crime with which to charge their suspect.” Profiling renders everything that follows “beyond the law.”
Mumia “May Have Been Poisoned”
Six months after Mumia Abu Jamal nearly died from diabetic shock, the nation’s best known political prisoner’s underlying illness has yet to be diagnosed, said Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history at New York City’s Baruch College and member of Educators for Mumia. Abu Jamal’s maddeningly itching skin has turned a leathery black, and his output of commentaries and analysis for Prison Radio “has diminished significantly,” said Fernandez, who fears Mumia is suffering a “deeper, systemic problem” or “may have been poisoned.” Nevertheless, “Mumia is delighted and inspired by the movement against police violence that has emerged in the country,” and will continue to speak out “from the belly of the beast.” That’s why, she said, “over and over, the state has tried to silence and kill him.”
Obama’s Recent “Epiphanies” on U.S. Racism
President Obama’s recent discovery that “racism is part of the DNA of this country” was sparked by a need to reposition himself in the wake of the Charleston massacre and “the resistance that is growing among African people in this country,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. The Coalition is gearing up for a national conference, in Philadelphia, August 22 and 23, with a focus on Black community control of police, a stance that Yeshitela believes “resonates with Black people” and can put the struggle firmly on the road to self-determination.
TPP is a Black Issue
“Any agreement that has a detrimental impact on workers anywhere, is a Black issue,” said Ajamu Baraka, veteran human rights activist and editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “We are the victims of this global capitalist economy, and so we have solidarity and responsibilities to people in other parts of the world,” Baraka told Solomon Comissiong, of Your World News. President Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership is “specifically a Black issue because one can’t understand the objective material conditions in places like Baltimore, Detroit, Gary, Indiana, and South Bend, Michigan, without connecting these conditions to the transformation of the U.S. economy” by deindustrialization – which will further intensify under TPP.