Archive for October 2018

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: Philadelphia activsts hold a two-day conference on the role central role of Black working people in reshaping U.S. society; and, Haiti is still occupied by foreign soldiers, but its people are in the streets, demanding that the U.S.-backed regime step down.

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations is gearing up for its annual march on the White House and conference, on November 3rd and 4th. This year the theme is “US Out of Africa.” Omali Yeshitela is chairman of Black Is Back. He says the U.S. military command in Africa, AFRICOM, is there to prop up foreign economic and political control over the continent. But Yeshitela says American global rule is in disarray.

In Philadelphia, activists are gearing up for an examination of the role of the Black worker. The two-day event, November 8th and 9th, is part of a year-long celebration of the life and work of WEB Dubois. Dr. Anthony Monteiro is a Duboisian scholar and activist with the Philadelphia Free School, the organizers of the event on Black workers.

The people of Haiti took to the streets, this month, to protest government corruption and massive hikes in the prices of fuel. In New York City, members of the Committee  to Mobilize Against Dictatorship in Haiti have been protesting outside the Haitian consulate, every Thursday, denouncing the Haitian government as a puppet of the United States. Committee spokesperson Daoud Andre says Haitians want an end to the regime.

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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: It seems that everybody and their momma claims to be for reforming the police, these days. But we’ll speak with an author who says police reform is impossible, because violence is a the center of their contract with the state. And, some of the world’s wealthiest people try to reconcile their vast riches by giving billions to charity. But we’ll speak with an activist who says we need to get rid of charity, by getting rid of poverty

Activists from around the country brought their anti-war message to headquarters of U.S. wars, last Sunday. Black Agenda Report was there, for the Women’s March on the Pentagon.

Police reform is a watchword of Black politics. Most Black officials claim to be in favor of stronger measures to restrain police violence. Micol Seigel, an associate professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Stony Brook University, has a new book, titled “Violence Work: State Power and the Limits of Police.” She writes that “police reform” can’t work, because the rock-bottom function of the police is to do the work of the state – and the work of the state is violence.

Rich people claim that they make the world a better place by giving a portion of their wealth to charity. But author and activist Julie Wark says rich people’s philanthropy is profoundly self-serving, because the system that makes them rich also creates poor people and the need for charity. Wark lives in Barcelona, Spain, and is author of the new book, “Basic Income: The Material Conditions of Freedom.”

 

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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: A new book makes the connection between mass Black incarceration, the growing police state apparatus besieging non-white immigrants, and the legacy of slavery in the United States: and, Ajamu Baraka says it’s time for a revival – of the Black American peace movement.

Bobi Wine, the wildly popular Ugandan entertainer and national legislator who was hospitalized in the United States after being viciously beaten by President Yoweri Museveni’s police, plans to hold a giant concert in the central African nation’s capital city, Kampala. Wine says Museveni is “drunk on power” after more than three decades in office, and is worse than former dictator Idi Amin. In Brooklyn, New York, Ugandan native Milton Allimadi, publisher of Black Star News, agrees with Bobi Wine’s assessment.

Four decades ago, Black politicians and grassroots activists could be counted on to at least pay lip-service to the cause of international peace. But nowadays, most Black elected officials behave much like other Democrats on foreign policy issues, and the Black peace movement is in disrepair. Veteran human rights activist Ajamu Baraka, who was the Green Party’s vice presidential candidate in 2016, is trying to revive the Black movement against imperialist wars. Baraka is director of the Black Alliance for Peace.  

In the Black Radical Tradition, there is no fine line between foreign and domestic policy. Much the same can be said of the politics of Latin American  immigrant activists. Martha Escobar is an associate professor of Chicano Studies at California State University, at Northridge.” She’s author of the new book, “Captivity Beyond Prisons: Criminalization Experiences of Latina Immigrants.” Escobar says the U.S. mass incarceration system can only be understood as an extension of slavery.

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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: The civil rights movement shook American racial apartheid to its foundations, inflicting profound defeats on white supremacy, but the defenders of the old racial regime have turned that history into a feather in the cap of American exceptionalism; and, the Pennsylvania prison system is using a dubious alleged drug-induced health crisis to impose unprecedented restrictions on inmate mail and visitation.

Israel is the only nuclear power on Earth that has not only refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement, but enforces a vow of silence on U.S. presidents from both political parties. The Washington DC-based Institute for Research on Middle Eastern Policy has filed suit in federal court to make public letters that the New Yorker magazine says every president since Bill Clinton has signed, promising to never publicly discuss Israel’s arsenal of nuclear weapons or to pressure Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We spoke with Grant Smith, director of the Institute, and asked him, How could it be that, for two generations, all discussion of Israeli nukes has been forbidden in official Washington?

The same people who fought the civil rights movement tooth and nail, defending discrimination and segregation, now use the movement’s victories as proof that the United States is an inherently good country, a nation that means well even when it is wrong. As proof, they point to the successes of the U.S. civil rights movement, two generations ago. Jeanne Theoharis is a professor of political science at Brooklyn College at the City University of New York, and author of the new book, “A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History.” Theoharis says the civil rights movement and its leaders have become props for American exceptionalism.

Pennsylvania’s 25 state prisons all went on lockdown, last month, with no notification to inmates or the public. It eventually emerged that the state was claiming that prison guards and other employees had been poisoned by contraband drugs that were smuggled into prison. Medical experts and others questioned the state’s story. Among the most skeptical parties are the lawyers for the Abolitionist Law Center and the Amistad Law Project, who fight for prisoners’ rights in Pennsylvania. Kris Henderson is with the Amistad Law Project, in Philadelphia.

Dr. Joseph Harris is a former member of the Black Panther Party, and currently the personal physician to Mumia Abu Jamal, the best known political prisoner in the Pennsylvania prison system. Dr. Harris has visited Mumia since the lockdown and shakeup of the state prison system. Harris played a key role in Mumia’s fight to be cured of hepatitis-C, for himself and thousands of other inmates.

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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: A critique of the recent national prison strike. A veteran activist says the strike’s organizers failed to consult local people on the ground; a California prisons activist addresses the difference between prison abolition and prison reform; and, we’ll talk to the author of a new book on How to be Less Stupid About Race.

Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to be the next Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, had a hard time during last week’s Senate confirmation hearings. One of the many Americans that was glued to the television was Kevin Alexander Gray, the activist and author from Columbia, South Carolina. Gray says, even when the subject of contention is women’s rights, the SUBTEXT in America, is race.

Efia Nwangaza is an activist and attorney based in Greenville, South Carolina, where she’s director of the Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination. The center also operates radio station WMXP. Nwangaza has been organizing around prison issues in South Carolina since 1978. She is critical of the leaders of the recent national prison strike, conducted from August 21st to September 9th. Nwangaza says the organizers failed to consult with local activists, inside or outside the prison walls.

Romarilyn Ralston spent 23 years as an inmate of the California prison system. She’s now the Program Coordinator of Project Rebound, at the State University at Fullerton, and serves as Policy Coordinator for the California Coalition for Women Prisoners. It seems that Ralston has been on a mission since the moment she set foot outside the prison walls.

Much of today’s political conversation seems to blame Donald Trump for American racism, sexism and endless wars. That’s not very smart, according to Dr. Crystal Fleming, a professor of sociology and Africana Studies at Stony Brook University, on Long Island, New York. Fleming is author of a new book, titled, “How to Be Less Stupid About Race.” She says, yes, Trump is a white supremacist warmonger, but so was his Democratic predecessor.

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