Archive for May 2017

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: Why Russians have a healthy dislike for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton; Afro-Colombians have launched a general strike in the mostly Black city that serves as the country’s largest port; and, for the first time in a very long time, supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal think there may be a way to get him a new trial.

But first – voters in the majority Black city of Jackson, Mississippi, the state capital, go to the polls on June 6, to pick a new mayor. The front-runner is Antar Lumumba, son of former mayor Chokwe Lumumba, the radical Black activist and lawyer who died during his first year in office in 2014. Kali Akuno is a key activist in Lumumba’s campaign, and a veteran of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The Lumumba team has run and won, in Jackson, and run and lost. But the current race doesn’t feel like deja vu, to Akuno.

Activist and author David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site “War Is A Crime,” recently returned from a trip to Russia. Since many Americans, especially Democrats, have been tripping out ON Russia, we thought we’d ask Swanson what he discovered on his trip.

Black people in the South American nation of Colombia are on a general strike in the port city of Buena-venTURA. Charo Mina-Rojas is an activist with Black Community Process, part of a broad spectrum Afro-Colombian organizations that are protesting racism and poverty in the region.  

Supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, are demanding release of documents related to the conduct of a former prosecutor and judge who was instrumental in getting Mumia sentenced to death, in 1982, in the killing of a Philadelphia cop. That sentence was later reduced to life in prison. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Gwendolyn Debrow, an activist with the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.

Mumia is a regular commentator for Prison Radio. In his latest essay, Abu Jamal says he hears the sound of something collapsing -- not just in Washington, but throughout the U.S. Empire.

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.

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

Obamacare remains in a kind of limbo in the U.S. Congress, having been repealed in the House but with no action pending in the Senate. On the single payer health care front, a majority of House Democrats have finally signed on to Congressman John Conyers’ Medicare for All bill. However, Democratic Party leaders have not gotten behind the measure, and Bernie Sanders has not introduced a single payer bill in the Senate. In Chicago, we spoke with Dr. Susan Rogers, a board member of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley recently wrote an article titled “The Democratic Party Death Spiral.” Kimberley maintains that the Democrats know what they have to do to win back the presidency and the Congress: that they must support health care for all, higher wages and affordable education. But, the Democrats refuse to do those things, because the party is tied to the bankers and the 1 Percent.

In Philadelphia, we spoke with Duboisian scholar Dr. Anthony Monteiro, one of the few Black public intellectuals that predicted Donald Trump would win last November’s election. President Trump has tried to make his peace with the War Party by bombing Syria and threatening North Korea, but the attacks on his presidency have only increased.

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, recently appeared on Chris Hedge’s “On Contact” program on RT Radio. Abu Jamal spoke by telephone from the state prison in Mahanoy, Pennsylvania.

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.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Coming up: A new report shows that one out of every five Black prison inmates in the U.S. is serving a life sentence; Why in the world would an organization that calls itself leftist demonstrate on behalf of the former head of the FBI?; and, This week marks Malcolm X’s 92 nd birthday.

But first – veteran human rights activist and 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka is busy pulling together BAP, the Black Alliance for Peace. The Alliance recently issued a joint statement with UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition, denouncing U.S. subversion against the socialist government of Venezuela. Baraka will be one of the speakers at UNAC’s national conference in Richmond, Virginia, on June 16 through 18 th . He says UNAC and the Black Alliance for Peace are a perfect fit.

Sarah Flounders, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, says Donald Trump’s victory has caused great confusion in the land, as we witness the spectacle of people that call themselves leftists demonstrating in support of James Comey, the recently fired head of the FBI.

A new report by the Washington-based Sentencing Project shows that one out of every seven prisoners in the United States is serving a life sentence. Lifers make up one out of every five Black prison inmates. More and more, prisons are places for warehousing old people, the legacy of a “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” criminal justice system that has abandoned all pretense of rehabilitation. We spoke with Ashley Nellis, senior research analyst for the Sentencing Project.

Mumia Abu Jamal is the nation’s best known political prisoner. Abu Jamal was an accomplished journalist before his conviction in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. Mumia presented this essay for Prison Radio, on Neoliberal Utopias and Nightmares.

Malcolm X would have turned 92 years of age, this week, if he had not been cut down by assassins. The event will be marked in many places, including the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Educational and Memorial Center, in New York City. Imam Talib Abdul Rashad is a member of the center’s advisory board. He says the event is titled, “What Malcolm Means to Us.”

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.

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

A judge has ordered Harris County Texas, which includes the city of Houston, to stop keeping low level offenders in jail because they are unable to pay bail. The case was brought by the Washington-based Civil Rights Corp. Executive director Alec Karakatsanis says his firm is working to eliminate the bail system, entirely.

Haitian activists in Brooklyn, New York, are vowing to prevent Hillary Clinton from giving the commencement speech at mostly Black Medgar Evers College, next month. Dahoud Andre is with Komokoda, the Committee to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti.

The Trump Administration continues to insist, without any convincing evidence, that the Syrian military is responsible for a chemical weapons attack in Idlib Province, last month. The U.S. bombed a Syrian military base, supposedly in retaliation for the chemical attack. But Theodore Postol, a professor emeritus of science, technology and national security issues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, debunked the allegations against Syria, showing the attack could not have happened the way the U.S. said it did. However, the American corporate media completely ignored Professor Postol’s findings. He says, the press no longer care about the truth.

 Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, shares a long history with the MOVE organization, which was also savagely targeted by the Philadelphia police, and many of whose members are also serving long terms in the Pennsylvania prison system. MOVE last week held a conference, in Philadelphia, marking its 45 th anniversary. MOVE Minister of Communications Ramona Africa asked Mumia to recollect his memories of MOVE in the old days.

The former head of New York City’s Police Reform Organizing Project, Robert Gangi, is running for mayor on a broadly progressive platform. Incumbent mayor Bill de Blasio still has some people convinced that he is a progressive, but Robert Gangi says there’s nothing progressive at all about de Blasio.

The mothers of victims of police violence and intra-community crime will gather for a Free Mothers Day event a Hostos College, in The Bronx section of New York, on Saturday. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Juanita Young, whose son was killed by New York City cops. Her group is called The Motherhood.

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.

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

Last Monday was a very important date in the life of Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of History and African American Studies at New York’s Baruch College, and founder of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home.

Danny Haiphong is an activist and social worker in Boston, and a weeklyn contributor to Black Agenda Report. In a recent article, Haiphong explored the state of radical politics in this country. The piece was titled, “The Left’s State of Purgatory.” We asked Haiphong if what passes for the Left in the United States would even be recognizable to leftists in most of the world.

The Donald Trump administration has joined with the Democrats in blaming the Russians for every crime under the sun. The latest tall tale is that the Russians are providing weapons to the Taliban, in Afghanistan. We spoke with Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition, which has opposed U.S. warmongering since its founding, in 2009.

For the first time ever, a majority of Democratic Members of the U.S. House of Representatives now support Medicare for All. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Baltimore-based activist with Popular Resistance, says the fight for single payer health care has passed another milestone.

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.

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