Black Agenda Report for 28 August, 2013: The "Dreamer" With a Kill List, the "Dreamer" as Zombie, Syria Enters American Hell

28 August 2013 — Black Agenda Report

This week in Black Agenda Report

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Gary Younge points out that King’s “I Have A Dream” speech wasn’t offered as the penultimate moment of his career till after his death. Those who offer it were the same corporate media honchos who first elevated, then slimed and slandered King the last year of his life. “The Dreamer” too is their construct, as far from the man who lived and died as an ordinary person from a brain-eating zombie. Continue reading

New Atlantis – Part Two: How musicians rebuilt New Orleans

24 August 2011 — Jazz on the Tube

More from the interview with jazz writer John Swenson. How jazz musicians pulled together to save New Orleans the city after the federal levee failures. Includes footage from one of the first big second line parades after the flood, a memorial parade for a murdered artist, and musician Glen David Andrews speaking at  the Silence Is Violence rally.

Black Agenda Report 10 August 2011: Barack's Satan Sandwich / Obama Slipping / Black Brits Revolt

10 August 2011 — Black Agenda Report: News, commentary and analysis from the black left

Barack’s Satan Sandwich Only The First Course: Will We Re-Hire the Chef in 2012 Anyway?
Bruce A. Dixon

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver pronounced the debt deal a Satan Sandwich. The CBC is conducting its own “jobs tour,” without any government jobs, and the House progressive caucus is denouncing the series of rolling raids on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security that the debt deal sets in motion. But will this, or anything stop progressives from re-hiring Chef Obama again in 2012?

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New Orleans: Rebuilding on People’s Bones

16 September, 2010 — The Real News Network

Jordan Flaherty: Thousands of people are not able to return to New Orleans.

New Orleans: Rebuilding on People’s Bones
, posted with vodpod

Jordan Flaherty is a New Orleans-based journalist and works with the Louisiana Justice Institute. He was the first writer to bring the story of the Jena Six to a national audience, and his award-winning reporting from the Gulf Coast has been featured in a range of outlets including the New York Times, Mother Jones, and Argentina’s Clarin newspaper. Jordan just published released his new book called FLOODLINES: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six .

Black Agenda Report – Duncan: Katrina “Best Thing That Happened” / Blacks and Net Neutrality

3 February, 2010 — Black Agenda Report

How Corporate Dollars Dominate the Black and Latino Conversation on Network Neutrality
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
The utter dependence of our “civil rights” organizations like the NAACP and LULAC upon corporate donations from Big Cable and the telecom industry has caused them to weigh into FCC rulemaking processes against network neutrality and for the continued digital redlining of black and brown communities. They are joined by a substantial cohort of black and Latino elected officials on the federal and other levels. What does this mean for minority communities, whose economic development depends on the availability of cheap, accessible broadband and a relatively free and open internet?

Freedom Rider: Show Trial
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
In order that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be denied even the formalities of American justice as we once knew it, the system itself must be eviscerated. “Phony concerns about security costs and whipped up fears of impending terror attacks are used to subvert the legal system that was once held up as a model for the rest of the world to follow.”

Glen Ford on Black Realities and Delusion in the Age of Obama

Haitians in the Bahamas Harrassed, Hunted and Scapegoated
Two centuries after the world’s most successful slave rebellion Haitians are still being punished, both in their own country and in the nations to which they emigrate. In the Bahamas, Professor alex Morely explains, Haitians are an underclass, over-policed, over-exploited, underpaid and under surveillance. The Bahamian ruling elite have learned to blame Haitians like Lou Dobbs blames Mexicans.

Omali Yeshitela at Black Is Back: Creating A Broad Social Movement Based in Our Black Communities
Omali Yeshitela of the Uhuru Movement, convenors of the January 2010 Black Is Back conference in St. Petersburg explains that the 21st century successor to the Freedom Movement must be a broad social movement firmly rooted, among other places, in black America, and describes a little of what that looks like.

Eshu’s blues: An Open Letter to President Obama on Haiti
by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
Even when claiming to speak to the nation and world about Haiti, Barack Obama winds up talking about America – and himself. The author writes, “Mr. President…”I am always astounded to see just what a shallow and pretentious presence your elevation to the national scene has become, even at this moment of colossal tragedy.”’s-blues-open-letter-president-obama-haiti

Obama Sec’y of Education Says Katrina “the Best Thing to Happen” to Education in New Orleans
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
If obscene utterances were a crime, education secretary Arne Duncan would be jailed for life. Like all disaster capitalists, he views poor people’s catastrophes as his own golden opportunities. In Haiti and New Orleans, Black lives were a small price for (someone else) to pay for the chance to create a new order “more advantageous to the rich.”

Ruling Provides New Hope for Felon Voting Rights
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
In what is being hailed as a landmark ruling, a federal court found that the criminal justice system is “infected” with racial discrimination. As a result, said the judges, disenfranchisement of felons is a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

War Looms in Nigeria’s Oil Fields
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
A headless Nigerian state braces for renewed civil war in the Niger River Delta, where guerillas threaten “all-out” assaults on oil facilities. Attacks on vessels off the Nigerian coast are already comparable to Somalia.

Mainstream Media’s Tea Party Tryst
by Sikivu Hutchinson
White nationalism is the permanent American “populist” movement, one that never truly goes away. “Thinly disguised as saber rattling against big government, race-baiting propaganda has been revitalized as the Republican strategy for taking back the country.”’s-tea-party-tryst

Protecting Haiti’s Interest
by John Maxwell
The “Big Three” tormenters of Haiti – the U.S., France and Canada – now posing as the quake-struck nation’s benefactors, ponder how to rebuild Haiti without Haitian input or permission. “France, the United States and Canada owe the Haitians billions in damages. It is not for them to tell the Haitians what to spend it on.”

What Next for Haiti as “Recovery” Replaces Relief?
by Danny Schechter
The U.S. corporate media, the Empire’s mouthpieces, blame the powerless people and feeble institutions of Haiti for their plight. ”Few reviewed the history of Washington’s occupations and support for dictators as a reason for why the country was kept so poor and unable to run a relief effort when they needed to.””recovery”-replaces-relief

Disaster Capitalism in Haiti By Stephen Lendman

24 January, 2010 — Atlantic Free Press – Hard Truths for Hard Times

In her book, ‘The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,’ Naomi Klein explores the myth of free market democracy, explaining how neoliberalism dominates the world with America its main exponent exploiting security threats, terror attacks, economic meltdowns, competing ideologies, tectonic political or economic shifts, and natural disasters to impose its will everywhere.

As a result, wars are waged, social services cut, public ones privatized, and freedom sacrificed when people are too distracted, cowed or in duress to object. Disaster capitalism is triumphant everywhere from post-Soviet Russia to post-apartheid South Africa, occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, Honduras before and after the US-instigated coup, post-tsunami Sri Lanka and Aceh, Indonesia, New Orleans post-Katrina, and now heading to Haiti full-throttle after its greatest ever catastrophe. The same scheme always repeats, exploiting people for profits, the prevailing neoliberal idea that ‘there is no alternative’ so grab all you can.

On Her web site, Klein headlines a ‘Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again,’ then quotes the extremist Heritage Foundation saying:

‘In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the US response to the tragic Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region.’

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Fight back against the colonial takeover of Haiti! By James Circello

20 January, 2010 — Party for Liberation & Socialism

U.S. ruling class has Haitian blood all over its hands


A helicopter lands on the USS Carl Vinson, from where the U.S. military is directing its operations in Haiti. The first U.S. airstrikes against Afghanistan following 9/11 were launched from the USS Carl Vinson’s deck.

The author is a co-founder of March Forward!, an organization of veterans and active-duty service members who stand against war and racism.

In the wake of a devastating earthquake in Haiti, Washington has seized the opportunity to strengthen its grip on Haiti—not only politically and economically, but militarily as well.

The U.S. military has deployed naval vessels, military jets, and more than 2,000 marines and 3,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division. An additional 10,000 U.S. soldiers arrived in Haiti on Jan. 18.

U.S. military intervention in Haiti is nothing new. U.S. forces occupied the country from 1915 to 1934. Military intervention has been an effective weapon for wealthy U.S. corporate interests to maintain and expand their dominance in the Caribbean.

U.S. imperialism has been the number one enemy of the people of Haiti in the last century, picking up where Spanish and French colonialism left off. Through decades of occupation, countless interventions and financed coups resulting in the removal of the democratically elected Jean Bertrand Aristide—not once, but twice—the United States is the last place that our sisters and brothers in Haiti expect to receive help from.

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The Disaster Within The Disaster: Its Time To Investigate the Aid Fiasco By Danny Schechter

19 January, 2010 — Media Channel

Haiti remains a death trap, with an aid program that has sat by and watched thousands die without relief. The International Red Cross describes the situation there as a catastrophe while the American Red Cross reports raising more than $100 million dollars thanks to texting technologies and backing from the White House.

Raising money is their specialty; delivering aid is not.

The New York Times noted: “The contributions come despite well-publicized controversies over the Red Cross’s performance and financial accountability after other major disasters.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for example, representatives from the British, German, Colombian, Dutch and other international Red Cross organizations criticized their American counterpart for inadequate planning, poor management of supplies and faulty record-keeping and logistics. And after the Sept. 11 attacks the organization struggled to deploy some $1 billion in donations.”

These are the people we are trusting with our money!

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Haiti: And on the Eighth Day… By William Bowles

19 January, 2010

The Americans have landed, or as they used to say of the GIs in the UK during WWII, ‘they’re overfed, over sexed and over here’. So now, in spite of protestations that air-dropping supplies would cause a riot, on the eighth day of this catastrophe (one that the BBC still continues to call a “humanitarian catastrophe”) the US has decided to act.

Four days ago I came across this email reproduced in the excellent Military Resistance:

15 January, 2010 — From: Mike Howells [New Orleans] via Military Resistance

“The White House Ruled Out Direct Air Drops Today In An Announcement Because ‘It Would Cause Riots And Looting’”

Dwelling upon the horror now unfolding in Haiti I feel compelled to ask the question of why those forces in a position to do so refrain from conducting mass air drops of food, water and basic medicines in the most devastated areas of the country?

It’s abundantly clear that the devastation wrought by the earthquake has produced many obstacles to providing emergency supplies by way of truck, car or foot.

So, why not airdrop emergency supplies en masse in areas of Haiti rendered largely inaccessible except by air? True some supplies would be damaged falling to the ground and some supplies would be monopolized by unscrupulous hoarders.

Still I can’t help but feel that many earthquake survivors would benefit enormously from food and medicine airdrops.

As a Katrina Survivor in New Orleans after the storm I often wondered why authorities refused to conduct food and air drops here at the height of the crisis.

Air drops of food and water would have given me and surely many other survivors on the ground a boost both materially and emotionally.

But then again the welfare of those in crisis zones doesn’t seem to be a matter of much concern to the people who run this country.

So what’s changed? Well nothing, the US would like us to believe that it’s purely for safety reasons and the media has slavishly echoed the ‘line’, that it’s all about ‘security’, or in this benighted land, what they choose to call Health and Safety:

“Parachuting bundles of food and water into Haiti became viable for the first time Monday in part because there are enough troops there to identify a safe place to drop them, according to Air Force officers involved in planning the mission.” — ‘U.S. airdrops 14,000 meals into Haiti’, USA Today, 19 January, 2010

Identify places to land supplies without flattening someone? Gimme a break, what a ludicrous idea! So for eight days, the US held back the biggest and handiest source of aid the world possessed for want of a flat field with nobody on it.

It’s Katrina all over again! It was clear from the first day that the earthquake affected Haiti unlike any other country including those that had experienced even bigger earthquakes. To start with it destroyed an already ineffectual state, so it had no means to mobilize what resources were left to it. Moreover, with literally one-third of its entire population of ten million directly affected, concentrated as they are in one location, it was as if the entire country, including its port, had been wiped out. The image comes to mind of three million people in an instant finding themselves surrounded by rubble and corpses, everything wiped out in the blink of an eye. Horrific.

It doesn’t take eight days to figure this out.

It’s clear from day one that Western concerns have been almost fanatically and single-mindedly occupied with ‘security’. This means getting bodies on the ground (not up in the air looking for a field), and now they’ve got that, the Marines have landed and not for the first time. It’s ludicrous to suggest that the US military don’t know their way around as the USA Today suggests.

And the US are very conscious of not wanting to present the appearance of being an armed invasion (what? with an enormous aircraft carrier, the Vinson anchored off the coast and all kinds of helicopters buzzing around?), but that’s what they are. It echoes the US government’s response to Katrina, where its first act was to send in the troops, not aid.

“Haiti earthquake: US paratroopers sensitive of phrases like ‘occupying force’

“Wear your guns on your back not your front, the American paratroopers waiting around at Port-au-Prince airport said they had been told.” — Daily Telegraph, 19 January, 2010

The United Nations too has been directly complicit in criminal neglect, not only because it has gone along with all the excuses being peddled by the US and others, as to why it has taken so long to mobilize aid, they too, have thousands of troops already occupying the place.

If there was ever country better placed to receive aid, it’s Haiti. But of course those in charge of supplying aid are not interested in how things are on the ground.

The reality is that there is food and water available on the ground, but nobody has any money to buy it. So for want of some cash, people whose lives are now even more shattered than they were before are faced with exactly the same problem, how to stay alive?

Thus wouldn’t it have made sense to shower the place with money if the West is so concerned with the ‘plight’ of the Haitian people?

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to us that what those who’ve been exploiting the island and its people, and left them in such dire straights, the same people allegedly coming to its rescue, should care anymore about the people of Haiti now than they did before.

Help Haiti: The Unforgiven Country Cries Out By Chris Floyd

13 January, 2010 — Empire Burlesque


Via Mark Crispin Miller, the Center for Constitutional Rights points to some venues for getting help to the people of Haiti: Partners in Health and the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund. You can find several more in this listing from the New York Times.

The relentlessly maintained, deliberately inflicted political and economic ruin of Haiti has a direct bearing on the amount of death and devastation that the country is suffering today after the earthquake. It will also greatly cripple any recovery from this natural disaster. As detailed below, Washington’s rapacious economic policies have destroyed all attempts to build a sustainable economy in Haiti, driving people off the land and from small communities into packed, dangerous, unhealthy shantytowns, to try to eke out a meager existence in the sweatshops owned by Western elites and their local cronies. All attempts at changing a manifestly unjust society have been ruthlessly suppressed by the direct or collateral hand of Western elites.

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