Archive for December 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: Black voters turned out in huge numbers and won the
Democrats a seat in the U.S. Senate from Alabama, but what are the Democrats
prepared to do for Black people? And, Mumia Abu Jamal gives his sign of
approval to a new book on the many ways that police get away with murder in
America.

But first – the internet may never be the same again, after the FCC’s
gutting of internet neutrality protections. Federal Communications Commission
chairman Ajit Pai, a former lawyer for Verizon, handed corporations
unprecedented control over how the internet will operate. Tim Karr, of the media
advocacy group Free Press, is confident that internet neutrality can be rescued.

Victor Pickard is an associate professor at the Annenberg School of
Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of the book,
“America’s Battle for Media Democracy.” Professor Pickard recently wrote an
article on the corporate role in creating, what he called, “The Misinformation
Society.” Pickard agrees that the FCC has been “captured” by the corporations it
is supposed to regulate.

Black voters are universally credited with defeating Roy Moore’s bid to
become the next U.S. Senator from Alabama. The far-rightwing Republican is
accused of having inappropriate relations with teenage girls, decades ago. He
believes homosexuality is evil and has said that the United States was a really
great country back during slavery. Roy Moore lost the special election by only
one and-a- half percentage points. Black women voted for his Democratic
opponent at levels of 98 percent, and Black men were not far behind. The New
York Times and other corporate media acknowledge that Black voters saved the
day for the Democrats, but there has been very little media coverage that puts
the Black political struggle in the South in any real historical context. We spoke
with Kevin Alexander Gray, a veteran Black activist and author, in Columbia,
South Carolina.

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, has turned
out another book, titled, “Have Black Lives Ever Mattered.” Abu Jamal has been
behind bars for 35 years in the death of a Philadelphia policeman, but his
supporters around the nation and the world have been holding book parties to
celebrate the new publication, and to demand Mumia’s release from prison.
Robin Spencer attended one of those Mumia book parties, at “Raw Space,” in
New York’s Harlem. Spencer is an historian with the Campaign to Bring Mumia
Home.

From his place of confinement in the Pennsylvania prison system, Mumia gave
high praise to another activists’ book.

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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, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: About one thousand more people are thought to have died in the aftermath of the hurricane in Puerto Rico, than were reported to authorities; an international human rights commission holds hearings on killer cops and impunity in the United States; and, a noted publisher explains why it is no surprise that Black people are being sold at auction in Libya.

A group of Black students at the University of Chicago are demanding that the school own up to its roots in the save system and make reparations to the Black community. The student’s action could have embarrassing impact on Barack and Michelle Obama, who both have deep ties to the University. The students have been working with N’COBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. N’COBRA co-chair Kamm Howard says the University of Chicago is in violation of a local law that requires corporations and other institutions to acknowledge to their links to the slave system, or lose any contracts they might have with city government. Kamm Howard explains.

A recent study shows that about 1,000 more people probably died in the aftermath of the hurricane than were officially counted. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States for almost 120 years. The island’s finances are in terrible shape, unemployment is high, and people have been leaving for the mainland United States in large numbers in recent years. The hurricane only made the ongoing crisis much worse. Lara Merling is a researcher for the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a Washington think tank. She’s co-author of two recent reports on Puerto Rico, which is still waiting on $5 billion that was promised by the federal government to shore up the island’s finances.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held hearings, in Washington, last week, on the lack of accountability for police killing in the United States. The Commission is part of the Organization of American States, representing most of the countries of the Western Hemisphere. Among those that testified at the hearing was Maria Hamilton, mosther of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally challenged Black man who was shot down in a hail of bullets by Milwaukee police, in 2014. Ms. Hamilton told the Commission that her son has still not gotten justice.

Anyone that followed the U.S. and NATO attack on Libya, in 2011, would not be surprised that Black people are being sold as slaves at auction in that North African country, according to Robin Philpot, a Canadian publisher and radio host. Philpot published an influential book on the U.S. war against Libya, written by Maximillion Forte, titled, “Slouching Toward Sirte.” Philpot appeared recently on the “Watching the Hawks” show on RT television. He said the racist nature of much of the armed opposition to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had long been evident.

Supporters of Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, held a teach-in and protest march in Philadelphia, over the weekend. Abu Jamal has been behind bars for 35 years, following his conviction in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. He had originally been sentenced to death, but now faces life in prison. From behind the walls, Mumia expressed his gratitude to those who have stuck by him all these years.

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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, along with my co-host Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Why are Americans obsessed with guns? Mumia Abu Jamal explores the genocidal roots of U.S. gun culture; and, a Black radical put one of its own in the mayors office in Jackson, Mississippi. But, does winning elections actually bring power to the people. Not necessarily, says activist Kali Akuno.

But first, much of the world was shocked by reports on CNN that Black Africans are being sold at auction in Libya, where the United States and NATO overthrew the government of Muammar Gaddafi, six years ago. We spoke with Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations.

The Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party is trying to take credit for the election, earlier this year, of Black radical lawyer Antar Lumumba to City Hall in Jackson, Mississippi, the overwhelmingly Black state capital. The new mayor is the son of Chokwe Lumumba, a former activist in the Republic of New Africa and founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, who was elected mayor in 2013 but died after only eight months in office. Mayor Antar Lumumba’s name is now closely associated with Bernie Sanders’ “Our Revolution” organizations and its wealthy contributors. Kali Akuno was one of those that first suggested that Black activists in Mississippi run candidates for office. Akuno is a founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and of Cooperation Jackson, which seeks to form cooperative enterprises in the Black community. He wrote an essay in Black Agenda Report, titled, ““Casting Light: Reflections on the Struggle to Implement the Jackson-Kush Plan.” Akuno Akuno fears that some of his comrades have become too invested in simply winning elections, rather than empowering the people and transforming society.

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, has a new essay for Prison Radio. Abu Jamal takes a look at the genocidal roots of the gun culture in the United States.

 After six years and half a million deaths, the Syrian government and its Russian, Lebanese, Iraqi, and Iranian allies are finally winning the war against ISIS and other Islamic Jihadist fighters backed by the United States. Only a very few western reporters have actually covered the war on the ground. One of them is Vanessa Beeley, a courageous British journalist who expoed the so-called White Helmets as nothing but a propaganda front organization for al Qaida in Syria. Beeley says the defeat of ISIS, mainly by the Syrians and Russians, has drawn together a “Peace Bloc” in the region, as opposed to the “War Bloc” headed by the United States. Beeley appeared on The Taylor Report, hosted by Phil Taylor, on radio station CIUT, in Toronto, Canada. She said the U.S. is rapidly becoming isolated in the world.

 

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