Black Agenda Report for December 23, 2015: Black-Palestinian Solidarity, the Nonprofit Industrial Complex, Sacrificial Rahm

23 December 2015 — Black Agenda Report 

Palestinians Resist Zionist Terror, Plus U.S., European, Arab Royal, Turkish and Nigerian Terror

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The West has forced millions to become wandering, destitute refugees, as it destroys nations and peoples that get in the way of Empire. Palestinians have lived this reality for 67 years. Beirut sits at the lip of the volcano.





2016’s New Years Revolution… Time To Lose Some Old Habits, Gain Some New Ones by Bruce A. Dixon

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The nonprofit world has trained much of the US left in its image. We depend on “advocacy organizations” with college educated, self-perpetuating boards of directors, responsible only to themselves and funders to carry “the movement” forward. It’s not a good look, and there’s no time like the dawn of a new year to lose some old bad habits.


Freedom Rider: San Bernardino and Government Terror


by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The official version of events lacks credibility in most cases of domestic “terrorism,” and the San Bernardino shooting is no exception. “Several eye witnesses described shooters or suspicious persons fleeing the scene as three white men wearing black military type clothing.” Plus, the FBI opened the Farook’s apartment to reporters just two days after the killings – unprecedented speed, showing more concern for publicity than a search for truth.

A Sacrificial Rahm? Mayor 1%, Racist Policing, and Metropolitan Disorder

by Paul Street

Black Chicago is fired up – which means that Corporate Chicago may be in a mood to fire Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whom they trusted to “keep ghetto residents pacified.” Protesters ruined Black Friday for
Magnificent Mile merchants, teachers are threatening to strike again, and a mayoral recall is possible. Militant youth declared that “Task forces, press releases, symbolic replacements of one crony for another are no longer enough to mollify the masses.”

Report: Syria Scores Victory in Moscow Talks Despite Weakness of US Anti-war Movement

by Danny Haiphong

The U.S. anti-war movement – which protests only Republican wars – went largely out of business with the election of Barack Obama, who almost immediately started new wars in pursuit of regime change. Russia’s intervention in Syria has blocked Washington’s aims to seize power in Damascus. Ironically, Obama’s inability to topple the Assad government “has given the Democratic Party room to brand itself as a party of peace for the 2016 elections.”

Why NonProfits Can’t Lead the 99%

by Warren Marr

A seasoned movement elder examines what happens left organizations are led exclusively by college-educated professionals answerable to self-perpetuating boards and philanthropic funders, what happens when union leaderships free themselves from their memberships, and when community organizations become government contractors.  Only membership supported and membership-driven organizations, he suggests, can actually lead the 99%.

Rahmbo Must Go, says My Wise Country Cousin

by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

With Chicagoans in the street almost every day meeting, marching, teaching-in and demanding the resignation of mayor Rahm Emanuel, the poet checks in with his wise country cousin.

Political Prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney Marks Year Behind Bars

by Geraldine Matthews

The United States has many political prisoners. Rev. Edward Pinkney, railroaded for trying to empower the mostly Black population of Benton Harbor, Michigan, “stands as the most glaring example of imprisonment for political activity in Michigan, and possibly in the Midwest.” The 67 year-old activist’s “phone use is suspended until July 2016,” and he believes a hit has been placed on him and that “his life is in danger.”

Low Hanging Fruit: Curbing Police Violence in Georgia Would Be A Good Start

by Hugh Esco

This weekend the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a front page report acknowledging the fact of police violence and impunity in Georgia. While the AJC didn’t make the source data public, and didn’t include strong and specific recommendations on how to curb killer cops and their enablers, its publication is a milestone that would not have been reached without the persistent and popular pressure from below.  That’s a good thing, but only a start.

Hubert H. Harrison’s When Africa Awakes: The “Inside Story” of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World

by Jeffrey B. Perry

The works of the finest mind in early 20th century Harlem, a man who was more class-conscious than Marcus Garvey and more race-conscious than A. Philip Randolph, are now available in a new, expanded Diasporic Africa Press Edition. Hubert H. Harrison was the “Black Socrates,” according to historian Richard B. Moore. He was “ahead of his time,” said Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, and “an advanced thinker and prophet,” in the words of John Henrik Clarke.

Black Lives Matter Network Denounces U.S. “Continuing Intervention” in Venezuela

by Opal Tometi

The co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network and Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration warns that the recent electoral victory of U.S.-backed counter revolutionary parties in Venezuela endangers the country’s African-descended population. The letter denounces “corporate media lies about electoral corruption voiced by Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sander’s defamation of late President Hugo Chavez labeling him a dictator.”

Marcha das Mulheres Negras: The Myth of a Racial Democracy in Brazil

by Sokari Ekine

Last month, upwards of 20,000 Brazilians of African descent, predominantly women, came together to protest the deep seated racism, including the targeting and murder of Black youth by the police, and gender based violence in Brazil. This single act of protest shatters the myth of a racially harmonious nation.

Elvis, Donny Hathaway and the Daft Hollywood Paradigm

by Julian Cola

Hollywood is one of U.S. imperialism’s greatest assets, hyping a world in which all things “super” are white – and speak English. “Media exploitation had famished many of my students’ outlook to humanity’s potential for achievement and excellence, reducing it to an almost exclusive white hero and heroine archetype.” Critical analysis doesn’t stand a chance against the mega-fantasy. “White superiority is the primordial thread holding this model intact.”

Black Agenda Radio for Week of December 21, 2015

Michigan Water Crisis Rooted in Crisis of Democracy

In majority Black Flint, Michigan, the mayor has declared a state of emergency due to unsafe water, while in mostly Black Detroit tens of thousands of poor people have been shut out of the water system. Both jurisdictions were plunged into crisis under the dictatorial powers of state-appointed emergency financial managers. Thomas Stephens, a people’s lawyer and activist, blames corporate governance. “The problems with water affordability and access in Detroit, leading to a public health crisis, and the problems with lead and other contaminants in Flint actually have the same root cause: treating water, a necessity of life in our communities, as if it were a widget, something to be dealt with pursuant to the corporate bottom line.”

Exploring the Black Radical Tradition

Activists and intellectuals will converge on Temple University, in Philadelphia, for a conference on “The Black Radical Tradition In Our Time,” January 8 through 10. Keynote speakers include Angela Davis, Cornel West, Anthony Monteiro and Charlene Carruthers, of Chicago’s Black Youth Project 100. Larry Hamm, chairman of Newark, New Jersey’s People’s Organization for Progress, will speak at one of the conference panels. “The conference is needed,” he said, “because we do need a theoretical understanding of what is happening, and at the same time, those who are involved in theoretical work need to hear from people who are involved in the actual organizing on the ground, so that we can have a synthesis of the two.”

Prison as an Incubator for Hepatitis C

About 100 supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal gathered at a Scranton, Pennsylvania, courthouse where a federal judge heard arguments to compel the state prison system to treat the nation’s best known political prisoner for Hepatitis C, which caused complications that almost killed him earlier this year. Joe Piette, of Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, said 8,000 Pennsylvania inmates carry the infection. “People are tested routinely for HIV, but they’re not tested for Hep C,” said Piette. “So they go back to the community when they get out of prison and it just spreads throughout the community.”

Venezuelan Revolution Down, But Not Out

The Socialist Party founded by the late Hugo Chavez was soundly defeated in legislative elections, earlier this month. The voting took place amid raging inflation and deep shortages of consumer goods. “The reality is that this was a deliberately constructed scarcity for the purpose of psychological warfare against the people of Venezuela,” said Eric Draitser, a New York-based political analyst who recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Venezuela. After the victory of the U.S.-backed parties, said Draitser, “all of a sudden, those items began magically returning to store shelves.” Draitser’s most recent article on Venezuela is titled “The Revolution That Will Not Die.”

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