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Black Agenda Radio – 7.04.16

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– In two three weeks, Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention and thousands of protesters who would like to shut the whole thing down. We spoke with Erica Mimes, of the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice, part of the People of Color DNC Resistance Against Police Terrorism and State Repression. They’ve teamed up with “Shut Down DNC” for a march at the height of the convention, on Tuesday, July 26th. But Philadelphia officials have not yet granted them a parade permit. Mimes doesn’t expect fairness of the city.

– MONEY makes the world of the Democrats and the Republicans go round, according to Dr. Thomas Ferguson, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, at Boston. Dr. Ferguson is author of the book, “The Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money Driven Politics.” He says says this election season has been quite unusual, on both sides of the two-party system. Bernie Sanders mounted a challenge to the Democratic establishment with mostly small campaign contributions, and Donald Trump used his personal fortune to raise issues that Republicans hardly ever talk about. Does that mean Donald Trump marches to a different drummer?

– Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, is among the speakers who will address a mass meeting on “The Politics of Incarceration in Palestine and the United States,” on July 15th, at the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Educational Center, in New York City. Nyle Forte, a young minister and Phad candidate from Newark, New Jersey, is also a speaker, along with others who recently traveled to Palestine. We asked Nyle Forte what Israeli treatment of Palestinians has to do with mass Black incarceration in the United States.

– On the 4th of July in the year 1852, the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass said, “There is not a nation on earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.” We spoke with Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist, and asked her if Frederick Douglass’s assessment sounds familiar, in the present day.

– Holidays like the 4th of July don’t mean much to the 2.2 million people locked up in this country’s prisons. Political prison Yan Lahman has for months been denied direct communication with the outside world. His commentary, for Prison Radio, is titled “Prisoners’ Voices Blocked and Censorship of U.S. Prisons.” It’s read by Lynn Stewar, the people’s lawyer who has also been a political prisoner, herself.

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Black Agenda Radio – 6.27.16

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– The Great Britain will begin the process of leaving the European Union, after an historic referendum, last week. Capitalists all over the planet are upset. We spoke with Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Duboisian scholar with the Black Radical Organizing Committee, and asked: “Why are rich people on both sides of the Atlantic so worried about BREXIT.

– In what looked like well-organized political theater, 51 diplomats in the U.S. State Department acted more like employees of the Pentagon, this month. They sent an orchestrated message through the departments complaint channels, calling on the U.S. to launch a bombing campaign against the government of Syria. Meanwhile, U.S. war planes came to the defense of al Qaida terrorists who are under attack by Russian air forces. Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition, says the State Department letter-signers are risking war with Russia to save U.S.-backed jihadists in Syria.

– The prosecution against the cops involved in the killing of Freddie Gray, in Baltimore, is batting zero. A judge last week acquitted a police officer of depraved heart murder charges in Grays death. Carl Dix, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, spoke to us outside the courtroom.

– Bernie Sanders has conceded that he won’t be the Democratic presidential candidate – and, lots of his supporters are in mourning. But Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best-known political prisoner, says activists must look “Beyond Bernie.”

– Some temporary employment agencies exclude Black job applicants. Instead, they send Latino workers to fill jobs for their clients. Alva Ayala is an attorney for the Workers Law Office, in Chicago. His firm has sued six temporary employment agencies and many of their clients for refusing to hire Blacks. Ayala says temp agencies do the employers’ dirty work, providing companies with the most insecure and easily exploitable workers.

Visit the BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday.

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Black Agenda Radio – 6.20.16

This is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. Your hosts are Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey, here they are with a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– The People’s Organization for Progress, POP, does not hesitate to demonstrate, whether it’s marking the anniversary of the 1967 rebellion in Newark, New Jersey, or protesting President Obama’s attempt to cut Social Security. Recently, POP hit the streets to protest New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that sets up a blacklist of companies that have agreed to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel. Larry Hamm is chairman of POP. He’s also a Bernie Sanders delegate to the upcoming Democratic National Convention.

– The City of Philadelphia is welcoming the Democrats to town, but the welcome mat does not extend to protest marchers. Cheri Honkala is a longtime poor people’s activist, based in Philadelphia.

– The Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, ran the Caribbean country of Haiti with an iron fist when she was Secretary of State. Clinton helped to engineer the rise to the presidency of Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly, who was finally forced out of power by popular demand, this year. Nikolas Barry-Shaw, a Voting Rights Associate with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, says Clinton’s record in Haiti is an embarrassment to her campaign, which would prefer that Haiti not be in the news.

– Gunmen riddled the home of Haitian presidential candidate Dr. Maryse Narcisse, who represents Fanmi Lavalas, the political party of former President Jean Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown by a U.S.-backed coup in 2004. Aristides’ party has been banned from most elections since then. We spoke with Pierre Labossier, of the Haiti Action Committee. He says the U.S. State Department fought tooth and nail to try to force the Haitian people to accept the results of last year’s rigged elections.

– New federal rules would make it harder for people to get payday loans at usurious interest rates. Matt Stannard is Policy Director of Commonomics USA. He’d like to get rid of payday loans altogether, and providing alternative financing to poor people.

Visit the BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday.

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Black Agenda Radio – 6.06.16

Welcome, this is Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford with my co-host, Nellie Bailey., here is a weekly hour of African American political thought and action

– Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney says Black people have no stake in the Republican or Democratic parties. McKinney was the Green Party’s presidential candidate in 2008. She has since earned her PhD in Leadership and Change. We asked McKinney if she has ever seen anything like the current disarray in both major parties this election season?

– Political activists from around the nation are planning to be in Philadelphia, in late July, for the Democratic National convention. Dr. Anthony Monteiro is a native Philadelphian, a member of the Black Radical Organizing Committee, and one of the organizers of last January’s national conference on the Black Radical Tradition. Dr. Monteiro says this is the most “consequential” election season in, perhaps, a century.

– Rev. Edward Pinkney is serving a sentence of 30 months to ten years in prison for allegedly tampering with a voter petition in his hometown of Benton Harbor, Michigan. The mostly Black city has long been under the thumb of the Whirlpool Corporation. Rev. Pinkney spoke to Prison Radio on how he became a political prisoner.

– Studies show that Black girls are suspended or expelled from school at six times the rate of white girls. Education Week magazine spoke with researchers on the causes of these wildly disproportionate punishments. Adrienne Dixson, a professor of Critical Race Theory at the University Illinois.

– The United States seems to be closer to its long time goal of overthrowing the left wing government in Venezuela. The Venezuelans say Washington is gearing up for a military intervention. Utrice Leid, host of Leid Stories, on the Progressive Radio Network, recently interviewed Dr. Gerald Horne, a professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston.

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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Black Agenda Radio – 05.30.16

Welcome to Black Agenda Radio, the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, with my co-host, Nellie Bailey and this is a weekly hour of African American political thought and action.

– Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein took her cause to the annual Left Forum conference, in New York City. Stein and her party still have to contend with Democrats who claim third parties are spoilers that only help the Republicans.

– Black Agenda Report executive editor Glen Ford appeared on the same panel with Dr. Stein. The event was titled “Can Bernie Sanders Build Left and Black Power?” Ford said Sanders is a Franklin Roosevelt New Deal-type politician who thinks the bankers are necessary to society. So, Sanders doesn’t really want to hurt the bankers too much. Most importantly, said Ford, Sanders is a Democrat.

– Charter school companies are now operating so-called “virtual schools” that have no classrooms or buildings, but only exist on the Internet. However, the charter operators are paid public money for each student, just like conventional public schools. David Cohen is executive director of the advocacy group, In The Public Interest. He says an outfit called California Virtual Academies graduates less than half of its students, and is accused of inflating its online attendance to collect thousands of dollars from the state. According to the San Jose Mercury newspaper, the Virtual Academies count students as “present” if they log on for as little as one minute during the school day. David Cohen says the online charter is run by a for-profit company called K-12 Inc.

– Most people think that the developing world is short of money, and that cash flows from the rich countries of Western Europe and the United States. But the opposite is true. According to James Henry, an expert on global banking, the rich countries are extracting fantastic amounts of cash from the developing world, including from Russia and China. Henry says the flow of money to the rich countries amounts to about $12 trillion a year.

Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Black Agenda Radio – 05.16.16

Welcome to the radio magazine, that gives you a weekly hour of African American political thought and action, news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with your host Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– Dilma Rousseff, of the Brazilian Workers Party, was removed from her office as president, last week, and put on trial by the nation’s Senate on charges of manipulating the budget. Rousseff is not accused of any acts of personal corruption, but about 60 percent of the Senators that will be judging her DO face corruption charges. Rousseffs Worker’s Party says the impeachment proceedings amount to a “soft coup,” and they will fight it out in streets. Dr. Gerald Horne is a prolific author and professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. He says the right-wing move against Rousseff must be understood in a global context.

– Socialist Alternative Party leader Kshama Sawant is circulating a petition asking Bernie Sanders to run as an independent if his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination is unsuccessful. Sawant says Sanders should either run on the Green Party ticket or pave the way for a new party of the 99 percent. The Green Party will choose its presidential candidate in August, and the nominee is expected to be Dr. Jill Stein. We asked Dr. Stein, Aren’t the Greens already a Party of the 99%?

– A statewide work stoppage by inmates at Alabama prisons seems to be winding down. The protest was organized by inmates of the Free Alabama Movement. Pastor Kenneth Glascow has been negotiating on behalf of the prisoners. Glascow has himself served a term in prison. He now head a prison reform group called TOPS, which stands for “The Ordinary People Society.” Glascow is the half-brother of Rev. Al Sharpton. Pastor Glascow talked to us about the prisoners’ grievances.

– Inside the prison walls, the work stoppage was organized by inmate activists like Bennu Hannibal, a leader of the Free Alabama Movement. Hannibal spoke to Prison Radio, from the St. Clair Correctional Facility.

Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday.

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Black Agenda Radio – 05.09.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with your host Glen Ford and co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– Thousands of teachers went on sick-out in Detroit, last Monday and Tuesday, shutting down the city’s public schools. The sick-out was led by Steve Conn, who was elected president of the local teachers union but deposed at the urging of the national American Federation of Teachers. Steve Conn and activists from the BAMN organization, By Any Means Necessary, have been holding teacher sick-outs since November, to protest Governor Rick Snyder’s efforts to privatize the public schools, which are already more than half charter.

– The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations plans events in a number of cities, to put together a National Black Political Agenda. The project came out of a Black Is Back Coalition national conference, in Harlem, last month. Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela, explains.

– In Seattle, Washington, city councilwoman Kshama Sawant, head of the Socialist Alternative Party, has launched a petition calling on Bernie Sanders to run as an Independent candidate for president, after he fails to win the Democratic presidential nomination, in Philadelphia, this summer. Sawant says the nation needs a third party, to represent the 99 percent. But, what about the Green Party, which is already on the ballot – or will be – in a majority of states in November?

– Paul Street is an historian, an activist and author, who wrote early on that Barack Obama was a corporate politician who, as president, would side with Wall Street and the Pentagon. Paul Street’s latest book is titled, “They Rule: The One Percent Versus Democracy.” Street says Hillary Clinton will pull the Democratic Party even further to the Right, packing it with Republicans who prefer her to Donald Trump.

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Black Agenda Radio – 05.02.16

Welcome to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– The Black American condition, especially Black people’s relations with the police, is more of an issue in the 2016 election campaign than it was in the two previous presidential races, when a Black man was running for president. Minister Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam, has said there are some things he likes about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. But Carl Dix, a co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, says that Minister Farrakhan should be taken to task for those remarks.

– Six million Congolese have died since 1996, when the Rwandan regime led by Paul Kagame invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo. Three U.S. presidential administrations have been deeply involved in the genocides in the Congo, Rwanda and elsewhere in the Great Lakes region of Africa, but no one is more deeply implicated in the bloodbath than Bill and Hillary Clinton. Both Clintons are strong supporters of Rwandan president Paul Kagame, who opponents say is the man most responsible for the Rwandan and Congolese genocides. Kagame’s minority Tutsi rebel forces overthrew the government of Rwanda in 1994, which led to the deaths of millions. Claude Gatebuke is a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, and co-founder of the African Great Lakes Network. He says Paul Kagame’s crimes predate the events of 1994.

– Thousands of Blacks in the South American nation of Colombia blocked the Pan American highway, the major trade route that links North and South America, to protest threats to their ancestral land holdings in the country. Blacks make up the majority of Colombians that have been displaced by the decades-long guerilla war, which may soon be coming to an end. Both the guerillas and multinational corporations have eyes on the land that Afro-Colombians have occupied for more than 400 years. Charo Mina-Rojas is an Afro-Colombian activist. She says the Colombian government has broken its promises to respect Black people’s right to self-determination and to land.

– Prison activists gathered, recently, at the University of Pittsburgh Law School, for a discussion of solitary confinement. The panel was organized by the Abolitionist Law Center and the Center for Constitutional Rights. It focused on the harm and the suffering caused by solitary confinement in prison, from the inmates’ perspective. Albert Woodfox spent 44 years in Louisiana’s Angola Prison, most of it in solitary confinement, until he was finally released earlier this year.

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Black Agenda Radio – 04.25.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– The number of charter schools has grown by leaps and bounds under President Obama and his so-called “Race to the Top” program. A new book is out, called the “Charter School Report Card,” authored by Dr. Shawgi Tell, a professor of Education at Nazareth College, in Rochester, New York. He says charter schools “lower the quality of education through privatization and marketization of schools.” Charter school boosters claim they provide better educational results. But Dr. Tell says there’s little evidence to support that.

– The number of young people put behind bars in the United States has gone down by 50 percent in the past decade. However, despite the overall decline, the disparity in Black youth incarceration has gone UP 15 percent over the past ten years. Josh Rovner, of The Sentencing Project, is author of a new report titled “Racial Disparities in Youth Arrests and Commitments.” We asked Rovner why the general rate of youth incarceration has gone down so dramatically.

– Skyrocketing student debt has emerged as a big campaign issue this presidential election season. Darletta Scruggs, of the Socialist Alternative Party, is helping put together plans for a Million Student March. Scruggs was recently interviewed on Your World News, by host Solomon Commisiong.

– A huge cache of leaked documents from a Panama bank showed that many world leaders, their families and associates are hiding billions of dollars in offshore banks. Wealthy Americans were not prominent on list, but that’s because it’s easy to hide money right here in the U.S., in states like Delaware. Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, in Washington. He wrote an article titled, “Panama Papers Expose the Hidden Wealth of the World’s Super-Rich.” Collins says different kinds of millionaires and criminals have different kinds of illicit banking needs.

– Mark Weisbrot is co-director of another progressive Washington think tank, the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Weisbrot keeps a keen eye on Latin American developments. He says that, back in 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that the military overthrow of the elected president of Honduras was, somehow, NOT a coup.

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Black Agenda Radio – 04.18.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford with my co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– Half of this summer’s political drama will play out in Philadelphia, where the Democrats are holding their national convention. Bill Clinton launched into a political tirade, earlier this month, when activists from the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice denounced the former president’s mass Black incarceration and anti-poor peoples policies. Bill Clinton ranted and raved for 13 minutes, and then issued a back-handed, non-apology the next morning. We asked Megan Malachi, spokesperson for the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice, if they were surprised at the venomousness of Clinton’s response.

– Dr. Anthony Monteiro is a Duboisian scholar and veteran activist who was one of the founders of the Black Radical Organizing Committee, which held a national conference on the Black Radical Tradition, earlier this year. We asked Dr. Monteiro what kind of reception Black Philadelphia will give the Democrats when they hold their national convention, in July.

– St. Mary’s Church, in New York’s Harlem, was packed, this month, for a national conference on the 2016 Elections and Black Self-Determination. The event was organized by the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela said the electoral process is not the only means of struggle. In fact, it’s not even the most important means of political struggle.

– Diop Olugbala is an African Socialist Party activist, based in Philadelphia. He spoke on one of the Black Is Back Coalition’s principal demands: Black community control of the police.

– Our own Nellie Bailey, co-host of Black Agenda Radio, addressed the Black Is Back Coalition national conference. Bailey is a veteran Harlem tenants organizer. She spoke on the demand for Black self-determination and the centrality of the housing issue.