Archive for August 2016

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

Rights Lawyers Target Arkansas Debtors Prison

The district court in Sherwood, Arkansas, is in gross violation of a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it is unconstitutional to imprison people for debt, according to a class action suit filed by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Arkansas ACLU. Much like the pattern of abuse documented by the U.S. Justice Department in Ferguson, Missouri, Sherwood derives as much as 12 percent of its revenues from “imposing mounting fines or fees tied to very low level offenses,” said Lawyers Committee president Kristen Clarke. One of Clarke’s clients wound up spending 25 days in jail and owing nearly $3,000 to the courts because she bounced a $28.93 check. “Our hope is that we can bring national attention to this problem, and that we might inspire action by the Congress to breathe life back into this Supreme Court ruling,” said Clarke.

Reformers Hope Private Prison Phase-Out Will Spread

The Obama administration’s announcement that it will phase out contracting with private prisons in the federal system is “a real notable moment,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, in Washington. “It’s yet another indication that the growing critique and challenge to mass incarceration is really gaining ground,” said Mauer. The vast bulk of the nation’s 2.4 million inmates are held in local and state institutions, and most immigrants under detention are not affected by the  executive order. However, Mauer is “hopeful” that there will be a “spillover effect.”

Mumia: Trump or Clinton – Choose Your Poison

The nation faces “incredibly grim” choices for president, according to America’s best known political prisoner. Mumia Abu Jamal said Donald Trump is “an overt racist” while Hillary Clinton is a neoliberal that “supported one of the most poisonous public policies in decades: the prison industrial complex.” Neoliberalism, he said, is the “politics of repression with a smile.”

A Green Foreign Policy Against Permanent War

“Permanent war is a central part of the elite agenda,” said Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, in an interview on Pacifica radio station KPFA. Since the presidency of George W. Bush, the U.S. has tried to impose “full spectrum dominance” over the entire planet, said the veteran human rights activist and editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. “That policy was adopted and embraced by the Obama administration, and it is also embraced by Hillary Clinton.” Obama’s so-called “free trade” agreements are “the economic arm of full spectrum dominance,” said Baraka.

Confused Writer Claims Anti-War Movement is “Imperialist”

In an article in the leftish magazine In These Times, Terry Burke denounced activists that oppose the U.S. proxy war against Syria as being, themselves, “imperialist.” Burke lashed out at a long list of activists and organizations, including UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “That’s illogical,” said Margaret Kimberley, an editor and senior columnist for Black Agenda Report who serves on UNAC’s administrative committee. Burke and her ilk “are not opposed to U.S. intervention,” and are “pro any intervention run by a Democratic president,” said Kimberley, while UNAC “is steadfast in opposing American intervention abroad. That means we must oppose the 5-year-long war of terror waged against the country and the people of Syria.”

Philippines War May Be Nearing Resolution

The Philippine government and communist guerillas of the New People’s Army wrapped up the first phase of negotiations to end a 50-year-long war in the former U.S. colony. Bernadette Ellorin, chairperson of Bayam USA, which represents the above ground and armed resistance forces, said the breakthrough occurred because President Rodrigo Duterte “was not elected as the usual U.S. hand-picked candidate of the Philippines.” The country’s army and police, however, have “historically been a proxy army for the U.S...to kill off the longest armed revolution in the region against the U.S. – the Philippine revolution,” said Ellorin. Phase Two of the talks begins in October. In the meantime, President Duterte has ordered his armed forces to respect the mutual ceasefire.

Visit the BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday.

00:0000:00

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Ajamu Baraka talks about the Clinton campaign’s dirty politics and lies against the Greens; the Black Is Back Coalition gathers in Philadelphia for a conference on Self-Determination; and, a courtroom victory in defense of public education in Detroit.

 

But first – one of the ways the Republicans and Democrats keep their monopoly on U.S. electoral politics, is by excluding third parties from the televised presidential debates.  The two major parties jointly own the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates, which excludes parties that fail to register 15 percent in the polls. However, veteran journalist Sam Husseini says the polling organizations are asking a trick question. Instead of asking people who they “want” to become president, they ask who people “plan to vote for” on the Election Day – which is a very different question.

The Clinton campaign has deployed its Internet trolls and slander-slinging operatives to besmirch the good names of Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, on the Green Party’s presidential ticket. Baraka is a veteran activist, a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, and an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. He was recently interviewed by Eric Draitser, of Counterpunch Radio. Baraka says so-called liberals are doing much of the dirty work for the corporate war hawk, Hillary Clinton.

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations held a conference in Philadelphia, this month, to put the finishing touches on a new document that puts forward a comprehensive list of demands within the context of Black Self-Determination. This Black Agenda for Self Determination covers 19 points, from Black community control of police to an anti-imperialist foreign policy. The Agenda will be submitted to various state conventions and then for approval at a national conference, in Washington, in November. Black Is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela recounted how the coalition was formed, back in 2009.

In Detroit, a Michigan judge has upheld activists’ right to agitate against the privatization of the city’s public schools. Former teachers union president Steve Conn and Nicole Conaway, of BAMN, By Any Means Necessary, had l called for a massive sick-out and strike by teachers. We spoke with Steve Conn. He said the judge ruled that he and Conaway were just exercising their right to free speech.

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio.


Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left. I’m Nellie Bailey. Our thanks to the good people at the Progressive Radio Network.


00:0000:00

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is trying to pull every Republican voter and fat cat contributor into her Big Tent Democratic Party, but what does that mean for Black and working people? And, Black activists remember the legacy of Robert Williams, the former NAACP leader in Monroe, North Carolina, who championed Black people’s right to armed self defense.


But first – the Green Party has assembled a full ticket to challenge the two-party duopoly system. Presidential candidate Jill Stein tapped veteran Black activist Ajamu Baraka as her vice presidential candidate. Baraka is a founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network and an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report.  Baraka accepted the vice presidential slot not long before the Green Party held its national convention in Houston, earlier this month. We asked him how that happened.

AjamuBarakaGREENS

Vice Presidential candidate, Green Party. Founder of the U.S. Human Rights Commission, veteran political activist, editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report. Picked for the number two spot on the ticket by presidential candidate Jill Stein not long before the Party’s nominating convention, earlier this month, in Houston, Texas. How did that happen?

In: “It was something that was pretty sudden....”

Out: “...a plurality of votes can win this election.”


DrAnthonyMonteiroTRUMP-CLINTON 

In Philadelphia. Dubosian scholar, part of the Black Radical Organizing Committee.

On the Trump and Clinton economic positions.
In: “First of all, they’re political documents...”

Out: “...and increasing povert


In Detroit, this month, Black scholars and activists came together to celebrate the life of Robert F. Williams, the former NAACP leader in Monroe, North Carolina, who in the 1950s formed a Black Armed Guard to defend Black people from racist violence. Robert Williams and his wife, Mabel, were forced into exile in Cuba in 1961, where he wrote the book “Negroes With Guns” and published a newspaper called The Crusader. One of those who honored Williams was Dr. Akinyele Umoja, the chair of the African American Studies Department at Georgia State University, and author of the book “We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement.” He says Robert William’s legacy is relevant today.

 

DrAkinyeleUmoja_RobertWilliams 

Chair of the Department of African American Studies, Georgia State University. Author “We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement.” Founding member, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

One of speakers at a film forum honoring Robert F. Williams, the former NAACP leader in Monroe, North Carolina, in the 1950s, who formed a Black Armed Guard to defend Black people from racist violence. Williams and his wife, Mabel, were forced into exile in Cuba in 1961, where he wrote the book “Negroes With Guns” and published a newspaper called The Crusader.

In: “When we think about The Crusader...”

Out: “...Thank you all, Free the Land


And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio.

Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left. I’m Nellie Bailey. Our thanks to the good people at the Progressive Radio Network.

00:0000:00
 Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Low wage workers get ready to converge on Richmond, Virgina, for a national convention to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; a Black political prisoner wins a long court fight against the State of Pennsylvania; and, Black people in the South American nation of Colombia try to forge a sustainable peace agreement with guerillas and the government.
-– The two major political parties have chosen their presidential contenders. We spoke with veteran activist and author Kevin Alexander Gray, in Columbia, South Carolina. With Hillary Clinton, the corporate war hawk, heading up the Democrats, and Donald Trump, the white nationalist, in charge of the Republican Party, what’s a progressive voter to do?

- Since his capture and incarceration in 1972, political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz has spent most of his years in solitary confinement in Pennsylvania prisons. The former Black Panther and Black Liberation Army member recently won a landmark court settlement that bars the State of Pennsylvania from putting him back in isolation again, and awards Shoatz a monetary settlement. Shoatz family members have been key activists in his defense team. We spoke with daughter Theresa Shoatz.


Peace talks continue between the government of Colombia, in South America, and FARC guerillas who have been fighting the regime for two generations. Black Colombians and indigenous people have borne the brunt of displacement from the long years of civil war, but have largely been left out of the peace talks that have been going on in Havana, Cuba. Charo Mina-Rojas is with the National Afro-Colombian Peace Council and the Ethnic Commission that has been bargaining for Black and Native Colombian people’s rights.

Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left
00:0000:00

Loading Downloads
368Episodes