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Black Agenda Radio – 12.11.17

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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