Archive for April 2020

Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: a Black scholar says Blacks will remain a subservient people if they continue making REQUESTS, rather than DEMANDS, of power. And, we’ll take a look at a state that where whites, Hispanics and Native Americans are all acknowledged celebrated, but Black people are erased from history.

But first – the state of Louisiana incarcerates more of its citizens per capita than any other place in the world, most of them Black. That Black prison majority is now mortally endangered by the coronavirus epidemic. The Black Is Back Coalition held a national teleconference, featuring two activists battling to free Louisiana’s prisoners from the Covid-19 death-trap. Belinda Parter Brown spoke first. She’s head of Louisiana United International.

It has long been fashionable in some Black circles to speak of all the racial “progress” that has been made. But Professor Anthony Farley, of Boston College Law School, has written a paper that maintains the system of slavery is still with us in the United States, and that Black politics often amounts to nothing but Perfecting Slavery.

New Mexico is among the least Black states in the country. But Dr. Natasha Howard, a lecturer on Africana Studies at the University of New Mexico, says the reason Blacks are scarce is because the state was for a long time very hostile to ANY Black presence. Dr. Howard wrote on article that focused on a mural on display at the University, celebrating Anglo Whites, Spanish-speaking people, and Native Americans, but leaving out Black New Mexicans entirely.

Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: Public housing tenants have long suffered from poor services and ceaseless attempts to demolish their homes and scatter them to the winds. But the Coronavirus epidemic presents public housing dwellers with a whole new set of challenges. And, a South African journalist is doing what he can to make scientific concepts accessible in the languages spoken by Black Africans.

 

But first – the Black Is Back Coaliion held a national ZOOM conference on the COVID-19 epidemic, and how Black people can fight back. We’ll present two of the conference presenters. First up, Betty Davis, of New York City. Whether the challenge is public health, police violence or education, Black Power is the answer.

Philip McHarris is a PhD candidate at Yale Unversity who published an article in Essence Magazine titled “Public Housing Residents May Be Some Of The Hardest Hit by the COVID-19 Outbreak.” McHarris says life in the projects was hard enough, before the epidemic.

 

Centuries of colonization and white rule in South Africa left the Black majority behind in all areas of education. Today, under Black governments, the country’s African language groups remain largely shut out of discussions of science. SEE-boo-SI-so Bee-YAY-la is a South African communicator and journalist. He recently wrote article on decolonizing science so that it is accessible in the many language spoken by Black South Africans. Bee-YAY-la told of being assigned to write in the Zulu language about the discovery of a new species of dinosaur. The problem was, the vocabulary necessary didn’t exist in Zulu.

 Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: The coronavirus had caused people in authority to take measures they’ve never even considered before, like letting lots of folks out of prison. We’ll hear from a district attorney whose allowing 40 percent of his city’s prisoners to ride out the epidemic at home. A Black scholar says Black kids are kicked out of class in obscene numbers because slavery and Jim Crow are alive and well in the nation’s schools. And, we’ll hear how racism was behind the coup that ousted Bolivia’s first Native American president.

llinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has promised not to bring any more inmates into his state’s prison system due to the coronavirus epidemic. But Alan Mills, executive director of the Uptown People’s Law Center, says the prisons are already infected, and the state needs to free many more inmates from being trapped in a cage with the disease.

Chesa Boudine, the leftish District Attorney for San Francisco, has a personal interest in dramatically reducing the US prison population. His father is a 75 year old prison inmate serving time for his role in the 1981 Brinks armored car robbery – a political heist by white radicals and members of the Black Liberation Army. District Attorney Boudine told National Public Radio’s Terry Gross that he’s reduced the San Francisco jail’s population by 40 percent -- both to fight the Covid-19 epidemic, and because this country puts too many people in jail.

Dr. Justin Coles is a professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Education with an emphasis on Urban Education and Critical Race Studies. Dr. Coles co-authored an article on mass suspensions of Black students, a long standing phenomenon that Cole says is a relic of slavery and Jim Crow.

Race was the main force behind last year’s coup that overthrew Evo Morales, the elected president of Bolivia, South America’s most heavily indigenous nation. That’s the assessment of Dr. TaTHAgatan RaVINdran, a professor of anthropology and sociology in Colombia who has done extensive research on Bolivia’s Native American majority. Dr. RaVINdran says the United States and multinational corporations also had it in for Morales, but racism is what brought Bolivia’s first Native president down.

 

 Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Margaret Kimberley, along with my co-host Glen Ford. Coming up: The word “Strike!” is on the lips of activists in the United States and Europe, where capitalist austerity has shaped the government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic. We’ll talk with an American activist in Spain who’s an expert on rent strikes, and a student activist at the University of California who proposes a strike for the people’s social welfare.

Cooperation Jackson, the Black activist and workers cooperative organization headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is circulating a call for a general strike and a list of demands that would reorganize the economy to protect working people. The strike would begin on May first -- May Day. We asked Cooperation Jackson spokesman Kali Akuno: How to you launch a general strike when much of the country is under a general lockdown?

Peter Gelderloos is an American anarchist activist, now living in Spain. He’s author of many books and articles, including a recent study of rent strikes throughout history. Gelderloos says strikes are the best response to the capitalist-controlled government’s behavior in the epidemic.

Graduate student teaching assistants at the University of California have been engaged in a series of protests over wages and working conditions. Semassa Boko is a Phd candidate at the university’s Irvine campus. He’s using his experience to help launch a strike in response to the epidemic and social crisis. Boko wrote an article on the concept of a social welfare strike.


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