Thursday, May 23, 2013

Can Black Poltiics Be Revived? The Obama "Dog Whistle" & More - BA Report for May 22, 2013


This week in Black Agenda Report

Can Black Politics Be Revived?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Obama's presidency has been disastrous for African Americans, who have been economically crushed and disconnected from their historical roots in social struggle. Political fantasists now urge us to put our faith in demographics, claiming that change will inevitably flow from the darkening of America's population. But, that's a trap which leads to a descent into South Africa-like conditions.
by The Editors
Glen Ford interviews Molefi Ndlovu, on the role of "Black Diamonds" black millionaires in South Africa who front for the powerful, speaks on black faces in the Obama cabinet, and Bruce Dixon on the hijacking of elected governments from black Georgia to black Detroit.
Black Agenda Television, May 15, 2013
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The Obamas put a double-whammy on Black people, low-rating The Race at two institutions of higher learning, for the benefit of white people. In Maryland, Michelle lambasted those "mythical" creatures that think learning is "white," while her husband did variations on the same theme in Atlanta. Black audiences applauded, wildly. "Most of us still worship a man who has nothing but contempt for us."
by Pascal Robert
Don't worry about Barack Obama. He's far too useful to the rulers of America to be derailed by scandal, or even a combination of scandals. "Obama's neoliberal government giveaways to private corporations and mercenary foreign policy already make him too valuable to the guardians of American empire to have his presidency threatened."
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
Hundreds of protesters massed at the Department of Justice to demand that banks be held accountable for their multitudinous crimes. That's like asking the Pope to convert to Islam. "If the Obama administration has been consistent on any one issue, it is the untouchability of the biggest banks."
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Chicago teachers see themselves as engaged in a movement to defend the public sphere from corporate acquisition. "Wall Street hedge funders and other speculators are betting heavily on school privatization as the next great investment frontier."
by Tim Wise
Once again, Barack Obama scolds Black men, this time at Morehouse College. The author, an anti-racist activist, writes: "To preach hard work to these men, as if they had never heard of it — as if they now intended to kick back and wait for things to be handed to them — is to not only insult their intelligence, but also to feed every vicious stereotype already held by too many white Americans."
by Chris Hedges
As more and more of the nation is transformed into "sacrifice zones" like Detroit and Camden, New Jersey, with civil liberties stripped bare, the biosphere pushed to the point of no return, and the corporate security estate triumphant, "it is time to employ the harsh language of open rebellion and class warfare."
by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
The non-white poor bear the brunt of industrial environmental degradation, yet are barely represented among those groups that purport to protect the environment. "The failure to include and respect the diversity of voices of those affected by unfair practices is allowing the poisoning and disappearance of whole communities."
by William T. Hathaway
Prison literature is a major component of U.S. literature – as it should be, since the U.S. prison population is, proportionately and in raw numbers, the largest on earth. There are insights in incarceration. "Prisons can crush some psyches and produce diamonds of art and wisdom in others."
by Raymond Nat Turner

If corporations are people, what kind of people are they?

Black Studies Under Assault
"We have been under siege for ten years, maybe longer," said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. "It's been under attack because what African American studies represents is a fundamental paradigm challenge to the white academy." Monteiro was part of a conference on Black studies held over the weekend at Temple, the first institution to offer a PhD in the discipline, in 1988. "We are not beholden to these other departments and disciplines," he said. "In fact, our world view emerges from a deep critique of what they do – and that's where the blowback comes from."
FBI "Fishing Expedition" Against the Press
Attorney General Eric Holder's claim that he should absent himself from the investigation of the FBI's seizure of Associated Press phone records is "all about trying to maintain plausible deniability" of involvement, said Kevin Gosztola, a journalist with who has written extensively on government spying. It is "cowardice, frankly, said Gosztola, "to not want to face the media, who would be outraged when they found out that an establishment news media organization was the victim of an FBI fishing expedition."
No FEAR Act anniversary
The federal No FEAR Act, signed into law 11 years ago, "came out of an incredibly hostile work environment throughout the federal government," said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, a whistleblower and former Environmental Protection Agency senior analyst. "Our goal was to change the culture of how government works. We didn't quite achieve that," she said, but "there was one moment in history when federal employees said: To hell with the jobs, to hell with the benefits, I'm going to fight for justice."
President Obama the Best Choice Imperialism Ever Made
"One of the greatest accomplishments for imperialism, is that he has moved more of our people into the imperial camp," said Kali Akuno, of the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement. Akuno spoke on the Your World News documentary film, The More Effective Evil: The Impact of President Obama on the Black Community and Humanity, produced by Solomon Comissiong. "Whoever the folks are who trained him and have been his handlers, from the imperialist perspective, should be given their props, because they picked a good one."
South Africa "Most Unequal" Society in the World
Many of South Africa's Black political elite "have used the opportunities to accumulate at the expense of the vast majority," said Molefi Ndlovu, a community activist and researcher at the Center for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban. "That's why we can speak of South Africa as being the most unequal society in the world, more than Brazil and other places," said Ndlovu, speaking on the latest edition of Black Agenda Television. "It makes a lot of us a bit nervous about exactly where is the soul of the" [ruling African National Congress] party going."
Selective Federal Gun Prosecutions in Black Indianapolis
In conjunction with a local police offensive, the U.S. Attorney in Indianapolis has vowed to fully prosecute gun crimes in five so-called "hot zones" – all of them centered in Black neighborhoods – but not in the rest of the city. Rev. Byron Vaughn, of Prisoners Reformed United, says the policy represents selective, racial law enforcement. "They made it a racial issue," said Rev. Vaughn, a former prison inmate. People are being singled out because of "where they live."
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