New at Black Agenda Report 13 August, 2015: #BlackLivesMatter & the Dems, Holding Movement Figures Accountable, Palestine and Free Speech

13 August 2015 — Black Agenda Report

#BlackLivesMatter and the Democrats: How Disruption Can Lead to Collaboration

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The #Black Lives Matter organization may believe that it is confronting, rather than collaborating with, the Democratic Party, by disrupting candidates’ speeches. However, the tactic inevitably leads to “either a direct or indirect, implicit endorsement of the more responsive candidate(s).” In the absence of radical #BLM demands, “all that is left are the petty reform promises that can be squeezed out of Democrats.” That’s not movement politics.

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Zionist power engenders “fear, silence and acquiescence” in every sphere of U.S. political life, making a mockery of freedom of speech and hallowed notions of professional ethics. Just ask Steven Salaita, a renowned Palestinian academic who discovered that, in U.S. academia, anti-Zionists have no rights that universities are bound to respect.

by BAR editor and columnist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

The United States has always been a killing machine, slaughtering Black nonwhites by every means possible. “Human experimentation, mass incarceration, state-sponsored police murders are merely the symptoms of an oppressive white supremacist/capitalist system.”

by Paul Street

President Obama likes to give the impression that he is shocked and surprised by the horrors of the U.S. penal system. But the author knew the president back in the day, in Chicago, and can vouch that State Senator Obama “was fully up on the facts of the U.S. racist prison state in the fall of 2002.” Paul Street attests that “the deeply conservative Obama’s Republican-friendly record in the Illinois legislature was far less liberal and progressive than his subsequent liberal and progressive fans imagined.”

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

Our poet recalls the
living memory of the
Watts LA uprising
a half century ago this week

by Danny Haiphong

Social media, like conventional print and broadcast media, are tools in the hands of the owning class. Consumers of these media are distracted and miseducated with lies, irrelevant nonsense and phony battles between highly paid minstrels like Drake and Meek Mill, both of whom “play for the same corporate team.”

by Ann Garrison

Barack Obama will likely be remembered by history as the president that honed “humanitarian” intervention into a favored weapon of regime change. Samantha Power is the trigger. The U.S. Ambassador to the UN has set her sites on Burundian President Nkurunziza, five of whose high party members have already been assassinated.

by Thomas C. Mountain

China will soon station 10,000 troops in Djibouti, on the Red Sea in the Horn of Africa, alongside U.S., French and Japanese bases. When they wake up to the new reality, powerful members of the U.S. Congress can be expected to discover that “it is time for ‘regime change’ in the tiny country of about half a million people.”

Alemayehu G. Mariam

Last month, President Obama declared that Ethiopia has a “democratically elected government.” That is the country where, in May elections, the ruling party won all the 547 seats in parliament, thrashing all the 78 other parties. If there ever has been an election won by one party by 100 percent that is democratic, then there is indeed the famous purple cow that nobody has ever seen or the pink elephant that people like Obama see often.

One-Fifth of Pennsylvania Prisoners, Including Mumia, Need Hep C Treatment

Lawyers for Mumia Abu Jamal have filed suit against the State of Pennsylvania for refusing to treat the nation’s best known political prisoner for Hepatitis C, a serious liver disease. “Mumia has severe symptoms that are consistent with, and almost certainly caused by, his Hepatitis C,” including a rash that sometimes covers as much as 80 percent of his body, said Atty. Bret Grote. Pennsylvania has refused to treat any of its prisoners with Hepatitis C, citing costs. In June of this year, a class action suit was filed on behalf of all inmates infected with the virus, which could involve “as many as 20 percent” of the total prison population – “and that’s likely a conservative estimate,” said Atty. Grote.

Mumia: Trump Channels Resentments of the “Other”

Although health problems have somewhat diminished his broadcast output, Mumia Abu Jamal continues to contribute essays to Prison Radio. His latest, titled “Donald Trump and the Politics of Resentment,” describes the real estate and casino mogul as “plugging into the live-wire of American resentment of the Other.” Trump’s constituency is “the thousands, and perhaps millions, who rage at Latino immigrants,” and who “also worship the rich.” In Donald Trump, said Abu Jamal, “they have found their voice, and he has found the energies of resentment.”

Min. Farrakhan Seeks 10,000 Avengers

On a tour to gather support for the 20th anniversary of the historic Million Man March, October 10, in Washington, Nation of Islam Min. Louis Farrakhan said: “I’m looking for 10,000, in the midst of the million – 10,000 fearless men…who say death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny.” The Koran teaches that “retaliation is prescribed in the matters of the slain,” Farrakhan told the Mount Zion Baptist Church, in Miami. “So, if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us.”

Nation’s Most Respected Movement Couple Speak Out on Criminal Injustice

“The police are a top-down army of occupation in our communities,” said veteran activist Ralph Poynter, a member of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which holds its national conference in Philadelphia, August 22 and 23, with a focus on Black community control of police. “Let’s begin to talk about changing the army of occupation to an army of people who support the community,” he said. Poynter’s wife, Lynne Stewart, the people’s lawyer who spent four years as a political prisoner until her compassionate medical release, said President Obama’s recent visit to a federal prison “was just a photo-op.” Obama promised to commission a study of the effects of solitary confinement – but that’s nothing more than a cynical ploy, said Stewart. “Everybody knows that solitary confinement, as practiced in the United States, is torture.” On any given day, 80,000 U.S. inmates languish in isolation from human interaction.

Nwangaza: Obama Playing Dumb

Efia Nwangaza is also a veteran people’s lawyer, who has been instrumental in persuading United Nations panels to denounce U.S. treatment of prisoners. “Barack Obama not that long ago signed the bills to create a 400-plus solitary confinement unit in the state of Illinois, and I cannot believe that he expects anybody to think that he just discovered solitary confinement and the abuses that go along with it,” said Nwangaza, director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination and WMXP community radio, in Greenville, South Carolina. “Barack Obama is a Manchurian Candidate,” she concludes.

U.S. Empire Weakening, But as Dangerous as Ever

The rulers of the United States “can’t be the bullies that they been have in the past” because U.S. corporate economic power is waning, said Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. The recently concluded deal to end sanctions against Iran was necessitated by the fact th
at Russia and China had already served notice they would soon cease complying with the embargo, said Flounders. However, “powerful forces” may “use their proxies in Syria,” numbering at least 100,000 mercenaries, to sabotage the Iran agreement and draw the world deeper into war.

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. 

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