Archive for April 2016

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

 – The number of charter schools has grown by leaps and bounds under President Obama and his so-called “Race to the Top” program. A new book is out, called the “Charter School Report Card,” authored by Dr. Shawgi Tell, a professor of Education at Nazareth College, in Rochester, New York. He says charter schools “lower the quality of education through privatization and marketization of schools.” Charter school boosters claim they provide better educational results. But Dr. Tell says there’s little evidence to support that.

- The number of young people put behind bars in the United States has gone down by 50 percent in the past decade. However, despite the overall decline, the disparity in Black youth incarceration has gone UP 15 percent over the past ten years. Josh Rovner, of The Sentencing Project, is author of a new report titled “Racial Disparities in Youth Arrests and Commitments.” We asked Rovner why the general rate of youth incarceration has gone down so dramatically.

- Skyrocketing student debt has emerged as a big campaign issue this presidential election season. Darletta Scruggs, of the Socialist Alternative Party, is helping put together plans for a Million Student March. Scruggs was recently interviewed on Your World News, by host Solomon Commisiong.

- A huge cache of leaked documents from a Panama bank showed that many world leaders, their families and associates are hiding billions of dollars in offshore banks. Wealthy Americans were not prominent on list, but that’s because it’s easy to hide money right here in the U.S., in states like Delaware. Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, in Washington. He wrote an article titled, “Panama Papers Expose the Hidden Wealth of the World’s Super-Rich.” Collins says different kinds of millionaires and criminals have different kinds of illicit banking needs.

- Mark Weisbrot is co-director of another progressive Washington think tank, the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Weisbrot keeps a keen eye on Latin American developments. He says that, back in 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that the military overthrow of the elected president of Honduras was, somehow, NOT a coup.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford with my co-host, Nellie Bailey.

- Half of this summer’s political drama will play out in Philadelphia, where the Democrats are holding their national convention. Bill Clinton launched into a political tirade, earlier this month, when activists from the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice denounced the former president’s mass Black incarceration and anti-poor peoples policies. Bill Clinton ranted and raved for 13 minutes, and then issued a back-handed, non-apology the next morning. We asked Megan Malachi, spokesperson for the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice, if they were surprised at the venomousness of Clinton’s response.

- Dr. Anthony Monteiro is a Duboisian scholar and veteran activist who was one of the founders of the Black Radical Organizing Committee, which held a national conference on the Black Radical Tradition, earlier this year. We asked Dr. Monteiro what kind of reception Black Philadelphia will give the Democrats when they hold their national convention, in July.

- St. Mary’s Church, in New York’s Harlem, was packed, this month, for a national conference on the 2016 Elections and Black Self-Determination. The event was organized by the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela said the electoral process is not the only means of struggle. In fact, it’s not even the most important means of political struggle.

- Diop Olugbala is an African Socialist Party activist, based in Philadelphia. He spoke on one of the Black Is Back Coalition’s principal demands: Black community control of the police.

- Our own Nellie Bailey, co-host of Black Agenda Radio, addressed the Black Is Back Coalition national conference. Bailey is a veteran Harlem tenants organizer. She spoke on the demand for Black self-determination and the centrality of the housing issue.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with your host Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

- Mississippi’s Republican state government is trying to strip its mostly Black capital city, Jackson, of control over its airports and other revenue producing properties. The state also seems eager to seize the city’s water system. We spoke with Kali Akuno, of Cooperation Jackson, the political organization that elected Chokwe Lumumba as, arguably, the most radical Black mayor in the country, back in 2013. But Mayor Lumumba died the next year, and now his supporters are fighting from outside. Kali Akuno says the Mississippi Republican Party is determined to crush all possibility of Black political and economic power in Jackson. He calls it, “the Confederate Spring.”

- In New York City’s Harlem, this weekend, the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations held a national conference on the elections and Black self-determination. The conference explored whether this election season has opened up new possibilities for a radical, independent Black politics. Margaret Kimberley, a Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist, was one of the speakers.

- Boston-based writer and activist Danny Haiphong is a regular contributor to BAR. In a recent article, Haiphong said the fractures in the Republican and Democratic parties are reflections of the general crisis in the system of capitalism.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

- The city of Greenville, South Carolina, has witnessed two large funerals in recent days: one for a white cop, the other, for a young Black man who the police claimed killed the officer, and then committed suicide. Black young people in Greenville don’t buy the police version of Deontaye Perry Mackey’s death, and neither does Efia Nwangaza, director of Greenville’s Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination.

- Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Chicago-based minister who ran for president as a Democrat in 1984 and 1988, came to Columbia University in New York for a conversation on the current election with Dr. Cornel West, who is supporting Bernie Sanders for president. Rev. Jackson was asked if he’s endorsed anyone in the Democratic primaries.

- Dr. Cornel West, the Sanders supporter, is based at Union Theological Seminary, just across the street from Columbia University. Dr. West said he understands that Rev. Jackson might want to stand “above the fray.”

- Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the Black Agenda Report editor and columnist, attended three of the recent congressional hearings on the poisoning of the water system in Flint, Michigan. Adebayo used to work for the federal Environmental Protection Agency. She successfully sued the agency, and was the key actor in passage of legislation to protect whistle blowers from government retaliation. Adebayo said the poisoning of Flint was a deliberate act.

- Umi Saleh, the leader of the Florida-based Dream Defenders, who was formerly known as Phillip Agnew, spoke recently with Pascal Robert, a frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. Saleh talked about Movement politics and the limitations – and dangers – of over-dependence on social media.



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