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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.

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Black Agenda Radio – 04.11.16

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

– Mississippi’s Republican state government is trying to strip its mostly Black capital city, Jackson, of control over its airports and other revenue producing properties. The state also seems eager to seize the city’s water system. We spoke with Kali Akuno, of Cooperation Jackson, the political organization that elected Chokwe Lumumba as, arguably, the most radical Black mayor in the country, back in 2013. But Mayor Lumumba died the next year, and now his supporters are fighting from outside. Kali Akuno says the Mississippi Republican Party is determined to crush all possibility of Black political and economic power in Jackson. He calls it, “the Confederate Spring.”

– In New York City’s Harlem, this weekend, the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations held a national conference on the elections and Black self-determination. The conference explored whether this election season has opened up new possibilities for a radical, independent Black politics. Margaret Kimberley, a Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist, was one of the speakers.

– Boston-based writer and activist Danny Haiphong is a regular contributor to BAR. In a recent article, Haiphong said the fractures in the Republican and Democratic parties are reflections of the general crisis in the system of capitalism.

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Black Agenda Radio – 04.04.16

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 city of Greenville, South Carolina, has witnessed two large funerals in recent days: one for a white cop, the other, for a young Black man who the police claimed killed the officer, and then committed suicide. Black young people in Greenville don’t buy the police version of Deontaye Perry Mackey’s death, and neither does Efia Nwangaza, director of Greenville’s Malcolm X Center for Self-Determination.

– Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Chicago-based minister who ran for president as a Democrat in 1984 and 1988, came to Columbia University in New York for a conversation on the current election with Dr. Cornel West, who is supporting Bernie Sanders for president. Rev. Jackson was asked if he’s endorsed anyone in the Democratic primaries.

– Dr. Cornel West, the Sanders supporter, is based at Union Theological Seminary, just across the street from Columbia University. Dr. West said he understands that Rev. Jackson might want to stand “above the fray.”

– Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, the Black Agenda Report editor and columnist, attended three of the recent congressional hearings on the poisoning of the water system in Flint, Michigan. Adebayo used to work for the federal Environmental Protection Agency. She successfully sued the agency, and was the key actor in passage of legislation to protect whistle blowers from government retaliation. Adebayo said the poisoning of Flint was a deliberate act.

– Umi Saleh, the leader of the Florida-based Dream Defenders, who was formerly known as Phillip Agnew, spoke recently with Pascal Robert, a frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report. Saleh talked about Movement politics and the limitations – and dangers – of over-dependence on social media.

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Black Agenda Radio – 03.28.16

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 Belgians, who killed at least twelve million Congolese when they colonized that country, now play the role of global victim, in the wake of an attack by the Islamic State. We spoke with Arun Kundnani, author of the book, “The Muslims are Coming: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror.” Kundnani is a British citizen of Indian extraction, who lecturers at New York University. He says Europe and the United States have earned their enemies.

– Black Agenda Report editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka, a co-founder of the U.S. Human Rights Network, recently returned from Europe where he attended the 15th anniversary of the United Nations World Conference Against Racial Discrimination, which was first held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001. Baraka was also on hand for the UN’s Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade.

– The City Council of Newark, New Jersey, unanimously voted into law Mayor Ras Baraka’s Civilian Police Review Board. The People’s Organization for Progress, POP, is one of the community groups that will have a seat on the board. POP chairman Larry Hamm was pleasantly surprised at the city council’s action.

– President Obama’s team is busy polishing up his legacy, which means there will be lots of white-washing of the First Black President 8-year record in office. Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon says, Obama should be remembered for the huge damage he has done to public education.

– Host Glen Ford with a commentary on President Obama going to Cuba and him having a White House reporter ask President Raul Castro about political prisoners.

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Glen Ford – The Democratic Road to Black Ruin – From The Black Agenda Radio Show (Monday @ 11am EST)

Democratic Party operatives claim that Blacks are voting “strategically” when they support the corporate warmonger Hillary Clinton for president. The reality is, Blacks believe only Clinton has the money and organization to beat the White Man’s Party – the GOP. But, only two outcomes are possible from such a “strategy”: “either the triumph of the White Man’s Party, or electoral victory for Black people’s worst enemies among the Democrats.”