New at Black Agenda Report 21 January 2016: Poisoning Black Cities, the Happy Slave, Atlantic City & Behind the Lead Curtain

21 January 2016 — Black Agenda Report

Poisoning Black Cities

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

They drowned New Orleans. Now they have poisoned Flint, Michigan. The corporate campaign to ethnically cleanse U.S. cities knows no bounds. Michigan’s emergency financial manager law is “part of Wall Street’s tool kit to starve, bulldoze, redline, over-price, oppressively police, and even poison Black people out of the urban centers.”

Freedom Rider: Return of the “Happy” Slave


by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

How does a writer make slavery a light and breezy read for children? By presenting a story that’s comforting to white bosses at corporate publishing houses, that’s how. The same racial hierarchy that prevailed under the slavocracy calls the shots in today’s book selling industry. The rules haven’t changed: don’t make Mr. Charlie angry, or hurt Miss Ann’s feelings.

Atlantic City Residents to Lose Their Water – and What’s Left of Their Right to Vote


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christy “must have reasoned that nobody important would stand in the way of whatever he wanted to do to Atlantic City.” He’s stolen the residents right to vote, and is preparing to privatize the fire department. But top Democrats want to privatize the city’s water, too – and the local United-HERE union leader agrees. Black, Latino and poor people have no rights – and few allies – in corporate-ruled America.



Flint River Poison and Governor Snyder’s New Clothes


by Frank X Murphy

The whole world knows that Flint River water stinks and is full of lead. But, it is “the smell of Gov. Rick Snyder’s unprecedented, radically anti-democratic and cunningly racist ‘emergency management’ statutes” that has killed every vestige of democracy for cities like Flint. The great crime was to unite “all local government powers in a single, totally unaccountable gubernatorial appointee with the power to
violate local laws and contracts.”

Behind the Lead Curtain


by BAR poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner

The scent of sulfur, scandalous Skippy-Gate brew—
With an arresting officer; some shit ain’t neurosurgery
or rocket science—ain’t as nuanced, or complicated as
Some claim.
Negroz are in the Way Back Machine—a moral morass—
Slipping into darkness at the speed of light, since the
‘08 date, November deal, with the Devil…

Power Ball and the American Psychosis of Capitalism


by Danny Haiphong

When capitalism is sinking, the working class is drowning, and flails about for a life raft – like Power Ball. “Workers, especially the increasing numbers thrown out of the labor force, must possess a strong hope of individual gain within the confines of the capitalist system.” Power Ball and other gambling vices give them that hope – which relieves pressure on the system’s big winners: rich capitalists

An Unbroken Line: New Afrikan Resistance from 1619 to the Present


by Kali Akuno

The current upsurge in Black “movement”-type politics has been in the making for a decade. Katrina “reawakened the Black radical imagination” in 2005. Like a wave, the momentum built through the Jena 6 campaign and the Justice for Oscar Grant and Trayvon Martin actions, culminating in the 2014 rebellion in Ferguson, Missouri. “This is a new moment where our people are learning more in a few days then they typically do in decades.”

MLK and the Black Misleaders


by Bryan K. Bullock

The current crop of Black “leaders” ceremonially endorse Dr. Martin Luther King’s life and works – but he would not vouch for theirs. “They betray King’s legacy in their explicit and implicit support of U.S. imperialism and wars by condoning and making excuses for the current President’s rampant militarism in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Africa and the drone assassinations of Americans and of civilians in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.”

The Massive Discrepancies Between Media Coverage of Mythical Crack Babies and Opiate-Dependent Babies


by Kali Holloway

Three decades ago, hysteria about “crack-babies” helped launch another wave of racial vilification and oppression. Today, most new drug addicts are white, and “we have not witnessed the pervasive vilification or scaremongering of drug-addicted mothers and their babies that we saw during the crack-baby era, which helped drive the anti-black sentiment at the heart of issues from welfare reform to mass incarceration.”

Rwanda, the Enduring Lies: A Project Censored Interview with Professor Ed Herman by Ann Garrison


by Ann Garrison

Nowhere is The Big Lie more powerful than in the corporate and official Western version of events in Rwanda and the Congo, where Tutsi dictator and U.S. hit-man Paul Kagame is responsible for the worst genocides since World War Two. Scholar Edward Herman and a few others have struggled for two decades to reveal the truth about the events in Rwanda. Ann Garrison’s lonely journalistic mission is to defictionalize the blood-soaked history of the region.

“Deadliest Terror in the World”: The West’s Latest Gift to Africa


by Dan Glazebrook

By engineering chaos in Libya with the violent overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011, NATO “effectively turned over the entire armory of an advanced industrial state to the region’s most sectarian militias,” including Boko Haram. Moreover, the success of Boko Haram is strategically beneficial to the US in its rivalry with China for dominance in West Africa.

Black Agenda Radio for Week of January 18, 2016


U.S. Demands Global Respect, But Disrespects Its Own Black Citizens

President Obama’s polices, “both foreign and domestic, are the same as any leader of the Empire,” said South Carolina activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray, editor ofKilling Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence. U.S. corporate media “cried” about Iran forcing U.S. sailors to put their hands up, but the sailors “were given a greater amount of deference and respect than Tamir Rice got from the police, and that Michael Brown got from the police,” said Gray. “It seemed that Iran respected America’s sailors’ rights more than America and American police departments respect the rights of Black people” in the U.S.

Obama Most Aggressive Imperial President

Over the last seven years, Barack Obama has “asserted imperialist power more than any other president,” said Black Agenda Report senior columnist Margaret Kimberley. “Reagan tried to kill [Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi, but then said, Oh, never mind; Obama actually did it,” said Kimberley. “Other presidents thought about trying to take out the Syrian president, but it was the Democrat, Obama, who tried to make that a reality.” Obama has “left no stone unturned in attacking the rest of the world.”

Obama Set Venezuela Up for Subversion

The “deceptive nature of President Obama” fooled lots of world leaders into thinking his tenure would be different, said Cynthia McKinney, the former six-term congresswoman from Georgia and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate. “During the campaign, candidate Obama was Abraham Lincoln, he was Franklin Roosevelt, he was John Kennedy, he was Martin Luther King Jr., he was all of those personalities we revere,” said McKinney, whose PhD dissertation was on the late Venezuelan leader Hugo
Chavez. “I think the openness with which people received President Obama was abused, and allowed the nefarious polices” of U.S. subversion of Venezuela’s government.

Haitians Say No to Another Rigged Election

Another round of Haitian elections is scheduled for January 24, despite opposition from nearly everyone except the ruling party and its U.S. backers. Irregularities marred almost half the ballot sheets in the first round of elections. “It’s not just opposition politicians who are formally against this process, but also a wide range of human rights organizations, diaspora organizations, religious leaders, etc.,” said Jake Johnston, a researcher for the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research.

U.S. Continues Legacy of Oppression in Congo

The United States is trying to influence upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, luring student activists with offers of money. Washington is always up to no good in the Congo, according to Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of Congo. “The United States was the first country to recognize Congo as the personal property of [Belgian King] Leopold in the late 1800s,” said Musavuli. “The United States backed the killing of Patrice Lumumba, the first elected prime minister of the Congo. They supported a dictator who was imposed on the Congolese people for 32 years,” and “they supported an invasion of the Congo by Rwanda and Uganda that has taken the lives of millions of Congolese.”

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