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Black Agenda Radio, week of June 12, 2019

Tue, 2019-06-11 20:38
Black Agenda Radio, week of June 12, 2019 Authors Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford bruce Tue, 06/11/2019 - 19:08

Kamm Howard: First time a congressional debate on reparations is possible; Philly Free School begins “Year of Gandhi; Gary Dorrien: the black church spawned both militant resistance to racism and a culture of accomodation.

 

DA and Cops Led the Central Park 5 Lynch Mob

Tue, 2019-06-11 01:57
DA and Cops Led the Central Park 5 Lynch Mob Authors Glen Ford glen Tue, 06/11/2019 - 00:27

The horrific ordeal that was inflicted on five Harlem teenagers by a criminal justice and corporate media lynch mob in 1989, has come back to haunt the former lead prosecutor, Linda Fairstein,in the autumn of her life. Ava DuVernay’s magnificent Netflix series on the prosecution of the Central Park Five has sparked renewed calls to publicly shun and condemn Fairstein, who oversaw the railroading and wrongful imprisonment of kids who were guilty of nothing but being Black in Central Park at roughly the same time that a white woman was raped. The white public immediately pronounced the boys guilty of rapacious “wilding” -- a crime peculiar to young Black men in the imaginations of white people. Fairstein and her prosecutors made sure that the mob’s verdict stuck, and the Central Park Five spent six to 13 years in prison. But in 2002 another man, an imprisoned murderer and serial rapist, admitted that he was the attacker, exonerating the Central Park Five, who were finally awarded a $41 million settlement in 2014, when they were all middle-aged.

Linda Fairstein was well-rewarded for her prosecutorial zeal. She became a darling of the upwardly-mobile-white-women-in-high-places-movement. Fairstein was honored as a fighter for the rights of victims. In her circles, it didn’t seem to matter that she had victimized poor Black kids and whole communities of color in pursuit of guilty verdicts and political points. After the exoneration of the Central Park Five, a petition was circulated demanding that Fairstein be fired from Columbia University Law School, but she still lectures there. 

“The whole U.S. empire has been constructed on a great fiction of white supremacy and Black and Native American savagery.”

Apparently, Americans don’t know who the bad guys are until they see them on film. So, until Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series hit the small screen, Fairstein was allowed to carve out a late-life career writing crime novels. And, isn’t that grotesquely poetic. Because the U.S. criminal justice system – indeed, the whole U.S. empire, has been constructed on a great fiction of white supremacy and Black and Native American savagery. The natives and Blacks have always been “wilding.” It is the founding doctrine of the nation, embedded in the words of the Declaration of Independence, which curses England for stirring up the savage Indians and encouraging the slaves to revolt. The U.S. has been at war for its entire existence, at home and abroad, and it has justified those aggressions by demonizing those it has attacked, exterminated and enslaved. White Americans have created a national identity out of race-based warfare and color-coded justice. Separated from their European roots, many whites would be lost without the cloak of their fictitious American history, full of lies about their victims and about themselves. 

Linda Fairstein, the prosecutor, told lies for a living about captured Black men and boys long before she wrote her first novel. Now she’s out a favor, but white supremacy remains embedded in the criminal justice system, in U.S. foreign policy, and in white Americans’ sense of their place in the world – on top, and always right. Not guilty…of anything…ever. 

I’m Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

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African America Political Economy US Politics War and Empire Police Repression

The Two Faces of the Black Church

Tue, 2019-06-11 01:08
The Two Faces of the Black Church Authors Black Agenda Radio with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford glen Mon, 06/10/2019 - 23:38

The Black Church spawned militant resistance to white supremacy as well as a politics of accommodation to white rule. “Dr King’s SCLC exposed “the sheer violence of racism that is just underneath the surface of white America,” said Gary Dorrien, professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, in New York City, and author of “Breaking White Supremacy: Martin Luther King Jr and the Black Social Gospel.” Booker T. Washington’s disciples in the Black clergy resisted the social gospel.

African America Education and Public Education Media and Culture Political Economy US Politics War and Empire Black Liberation Theology

Gandhi’s Struggle Relevant to 21st Century Anti-Imperialism

Tue, 2019-06-11 01:04
Gandhi’s Struggle Relevant to 21st Century Anti-Imperialism Authors Black Agenda Radio with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford glen Mon, 06/10/2019 - 23:34

Following up a yearlong, citywide study of the works of WEB Dubois, the Philadelphia Saturday Free School kicks off “The Year of Gandhi,” June 14 and 15, at the Church of the Advocate. “The big problem confronting humanity,” said the Free School’s Dr Anthony Monteiro, “is the completion of the movement from colonialism and imperial domination to freedom and justice and socialism.” 

African America Education and Public Education International Political Economy US Politics War and Empire U.S. Imperialism in Decline

Reparations Now Ripe for Full Congressional Debate

Tue, 2019-06-11 00:59
Reparations Now Ripe for Full Congressional Debate Authors Black Agenda Radio with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford glen Mon, 06/10/2019 - 23:29

The premier organization pushing for Black reparations holds its 30th annual convention, June 20 – 23, in Detroit. HR 40, the House Reparations Study bill, now has a companion measure in the U.S. Senate. “This is the first time since Reconstruction that there has been the potential for bicameral debate on the issue of redress for Black people in this country,” said Kam Howard, the Male Co-Chair of N’COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America.

African America Education and Public Education Political Economy US Politics War and Empire reparations

On class in Black politics.

Thu, 2019-06-06 02:55
On class in Black politics. Authors Cedric Johnson This Is Hell bruce Thu, 06/06/2019 - 01:25

"As the state has been hollowed out as a result of neoliberalization - who is going to suffer the most? Blacks who work for the postal service, Blacks who had public sector jobs and HAVE seen their pensions raided along with everybody else, Blacks who are public school teachers... It's easy to see how the condition of Black people is connected to the resurgent power of the capitalist class. It's not separate, it's deeply connected.

Political scientist Cedric Johnson examines the realities of class in Black political life - from the limits of electoralism and a solely race-driven analysis in challenging the slow decline of a people (and nation) under de-industrialization and neoliberal austerity, to the power of a Marxist, materialist lens in understanding the power dynamics in capitalist society.

Cedric wrote the article Coming to Terms with Actually-Existing Black Life for New Politics, reposted as What Black Life Actually Looks Like for Jacobin.

Joe Biden, Prince of Prisons

Tue, 2019-06-04 04:32
Joe Biden, Prince of Prisons Authors Glen Ford glen Tue, 06/04/2019 - 03:02

"Biden was a sponsor and in many cases the primary architect of every significant federal bill that exacerbated mass incarceration." 

African America Political Economy US Politics War and Empire 2020 Election

Black Agenda Radio, Week of June 3, 2019

Tue, 2019-06-04 04:23
Black Agenda Radio, Week of June 3, 2019 Authors Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford bruce Tue, 06/04/2019 - 02:53

The community organizes a response to the FBI's latest spurious categorical excuse for surveillance and repression, the so-called "Black Identity Extremists."

African America

Countering the FBI’s “Black Identity Extremist” Offensive – Part Two

Tue, 2019-06-04 01:25
Countering the FBI’s “Black Identity Extremist” Offensive – Part Two Authors Black Agenda Radio with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford glen Mon, 06/03/2019 - 23:55

The Black Identity Extremist Abolition Collective. In Part Two: King Downing, Johanna Fernandez and Mumia Abu Jamal.

African America Political Economy US Politics War and Empire #COINTELPRO

Countering the FBI’s “Black Identity Extremist” Offensive – Part One

Tue, 2019-06-04 01:20
Countering the FBI’s “Black Identity Extremist” Offensive – Part One Authors Black Agenda Radio with Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford glen Mon, 06/03/2019 - 23:50

The Black Identity Extremist Abolition Collective. In Part One: Ajamu Sankofa, Myaisha Hayes and Aya Saed.

African America Political Economy US Politics War and Empire #COINTELPRO

We Can't Have A Party of Our Own Because Poor People Can't Be Trusted?

Sat, 2019-06-01 05:07
We Can't Have A Party of Our Own Because Poor People Can't Be Trusted? Authors Bruce A. Dixon bruce Sat, 06/01/2019 - 03:37

We can’t afford a new party. More specifically poor people cannot have a new party. Why? Because Donald John Trump is uniquely evil, a threat to the planet and its people so singular, and so unprecedented that he must be stopped at any cost, even if it means replacement by an only slightly better lying neoliberal warmonger. And we hve to do this for the really poor among us. I’m not buying it.

I will concede that Trump is definitely evil, but that’s been making the rounds a long time now. Nixon and Reagan were evil. The Bush dynasty was nothing if not evil, and so are Bill and Hillary Clinton. Christian Bale, accepting an award for his starring role in the movie “Vice” thanked Satan for his inspiration on how to play the role of Dick Cheney. Arguably, what’s uniquely evil here isn’t Donald John Trump, it’s the centuries old US ruling class. It’s hard to find much of anything unique about Trump beyond his balls to the wall vulgarity.

I know it’s a low bar because before he came into office the US already had fleets in every ocean and troops in about 120 or more countries, but uniquely evil Trump hasn’t found any new countries to invade or bomb, though he has instituted a US Space Force, presumably to bomb other planets, but he doesn’t get extra evil points for that, because it’s merely aspirational, something he would do if only he could.

The truth is that Trump is only marginally worse than other Republicans and Democrats. Obama extended US special ops troops and drone bases to every nation on the African continent except Zimbabwe and Eritrea abroad and saved the banks while hundreds of thousands of black mortgage holders were evicted, something a Republican president could never get away with. Bill Clinton jacked the black prison population up to an all time high of a million.

Nonetheless we hear a lot of chatter from people like our leftish friends at DSA about how Trump is soooo bad, soooo evil and sooo awful that absolutely any Democrat would be better, for the good of the planet and especially for the good of the people at the very bottom of North America’s economic and social pyramid. Those are real people, the argument goes, and we owe them a vote for any Democrat because they just cannot afford to be hurt any more than they’re already being hurt.

Therefore, the argument holds that poor people building a third party with their own votes, their own labor and financed by their own membership dues like poor people do in every other nation on this planet is a bad idea, something that the poor and oppressed here cannot and should not even try. After all, the ballot access portion of such an effort alone would take a million signatures and might split the Democratic party, electing a Republican to the presidency.

It’s hard to miss the reeking racism and classism of this nonsensical proposition. Aren’t poor people smart enough to make their own choices, not just for this year, but for years ahead, if that’s what it takes? The old heads like Charles Hamilton Houston were not afraid to map out a strategy for tackling Jim Crow that took decades. Why was this wise for these law school grads but unwise for poor people today?

The left will never become a mass phenomenon in this country until it finds raises up its own voices, and funds its own independent political party. Despite what our friends at DSA tell us, and tell each other, that will not happen inside either one of the billionaires parties, and it won’t be funded by the people who fund those parties.

 

African America Democrats