Archive for May 2016

Welcome to Black Agenda Radio, 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 and this is a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

- Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein took her cause to the annual Left Forum conference, in New York City. Stein and her party still have to contend with Democrats who claim third parties are spoilers that only help the Republicans.

- Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford appeared on the same panel with Dr. Stein. The event was titled “Can Bernie Sanders Build Left and Black Power?” Ford said Sanders is a Franklin Roosevelt New Deal-type politician who thinks the bankers are necessary to society. So, Sanders doesn’t really want to hurt the bankers too much. Most importantly, said Ford, Sanders is a Democrat.

- Charter school companies are now operating so-called “virtual schools” that have no classrooms or buildings, but only exist on the Internet. However, the charter operators are paid public money for each student, just like conventional public schools. David Cohen is executive director of the advocacy group, In The Public Interest. He says an outfit called California Virtual Academies graduates less than half of its students, and is accused of inflating its online attendance to collect thousands of dollars from the state. According to the San Jose Mercury newspaper, the Virtual Academies count students as “present” if they log on for as little as one minute during the school day. David Cohen says the online charter is run by a for-profit company called K-12 Inc.

- Most people think that the developing world is short of money, and that cash flows from the rich countries of Western Europe and the United States. But the opposite is true. According to James Henry, an expert on global banking, the rich countries are extracting fantastic amounts of cash from the developing world, including from Russia and China. Henry says the flow of money to the rich countries amounts to about $12 trillion a year.

Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Welcome to the radio magazine, that gives you a weekly hour of African American political thought and action, news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with your host Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

- Dilma Rousseff, of the Brazilian Workers Party, was removed from her office as president, last week, and put on trial by the nation’s Senate on charges of manipulating the budget. Rousseff is not accused of any acts of personal corruption, but about 60 percent of the Senators that will be judging her DO face corruption charges. Rousseffs Worker’s Party says the impeachment proceedings amount to a “soft coup,” and they will fight it out in streets. Dr. Gerald Horne is a prolific author and professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He says the right-wing move against Rousseff must be understood in a global context.

- Socialist Alternative Party leader Kshama Sawant is circulating a petition asking Bernie Sanders to run as an independent if his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is unsuccessful. Sawant says Sanders should either run on the Green Party ticket or pave the way for a new party of the 99 percent. The Green Party will choose its presidential candidate in August, and the nominee is expected to be Dr. Jill Stein. We asked Dr. Stein, Aren’t the Greens already a Party of the 99%?

- A statewide work stoppage by inmates at Alabama prisons seems to be winding down. The protest was organized by inmates of the Free Alabama Movement. Pastor Kenneth Glascow has been negotiating on behalf of the prisoners. Glascow has himself served a term in prison. He now head a prison reform group called TOPS, which stands for “The Ordinary People Society.” Glascow is the half-brother of Rev. Al Sharpton. Pastor Glascow talked to us about the prisoners’ grievances.

- Inside the prison walls, the work stoppage was organized by inmate activists like Bennu Hannibal, a leader of the Free Alabama Movement. Hannibal spoke to Prison Radio, from the St. Clair Correctional Facility.

Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday.

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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 co-host, Nellie Bailey. 

– Thousands of teachers went on sick-out in Detroit, last Monday and Tuesday, shutting down the city’s public schools. The sick-out was led by Steve Conn, who was elected president of the local teachers union but deposed at the urging of the national American Federation of Teachers. Steve Conn and activists from the BAMN organization, By Any Means Necessary, have been holding teacher sick-outs since November, to protest Governor Rick Snyder’s efforts to privatize the public schools, which are already more than half charter.

- The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations plans events in a number of cities, to put together a National Black Political Agenda. The project came out of a Black Is Back Coalition national conference, in Harlem, last month. Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela, explains.

- In Seattle, Washington, city councilwoman Kshama Sawant, head of the Socialist Alternative Party, has launched a petition calling on Bernie Sanders to run as an Independent candidate for president, after he fails to win the Democratic presidential nomination, in Philadelphia, this summer. Sawant says the nation needs a third party, to represent the 99 percent. But, what about the Green Party, which is already on the ballot – or will be – in a majority of states in November?

- Paul Street is an historian, an activist and author, who wrote early on that Barack Obama was a corporate politician who, as president, would side with Wall Street and the Pentagon. Paul Street’s latest book is titled, “They Rule: The One Percent Versus Democracy.” Street says Hillary Clinton will pull the Democratic Party even further to the Right, packing it with Republicans who prefer her to Donald Trump.

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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 Black American condition, especially Black people’s relations with the police, is more of an issue in the 2016 election campaign than it was in the two previous presidential races, when a Black man was running for president. Minister Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam, has said there are some things he likes about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. But Carl Dix, a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, says that Minister Farrakhan should be taken to task for those remarks.

- Six million Congolese have died since 1996, when the Rwandan regime led by Paul Kagame invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three U.S. presidential administrations have been deeply involved in the genocides in the Congo, Rwanda and elsewhere in the Great Lakes region of Africa, but no one is more deeply implicated in the bloodbath than Bill and Hillary Clinton. Both Clintons are strong supporters of Rwandan president Paul Kagame, who opponents say is the man most responsible for the Rwandan and Congolese genocides. Kagame’s minority Tutsi rebel forces overthrew the government of Rwanda in 1994, which led to the deaths of millions. Claude Gatebuke is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, and co-founder of the African Great Lakes Network. He says Paul Kagame’s crimes predate the events of 1994.

- Thousands of Blacks in the South American nation of Colombia blocked the Pan American highway, the major trade route that links North and South America, to protest threats to their ancestral land holdings in the country. Blacks make up the majority of Colombians that have been displaced by the decades-long guerilla war, which may soon be coming to an end. Both the guerillas and multinational corporations have eyes on the land that Afro-Colombians have occupied for more than 400 years. Charo Mina-Rojas is an Afro-Colombian activist. She says the Colombian government has broken its promises to respect Black people’s right to self-determination and to land.

- Prison activists gathered, recently, at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, for a discussion of solitary confinement. The panel was organized by the Abolitionist Law Center and the Center for Constitutional Rights. It focused on the harm and the suffering caused by solitary confinement in prison, from the inmates’ perspective. Albert Woodfox spent 44 years in Louisiana’s Angola Prison, most of it in solitary confinement, until he was finally released earlier this year.

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