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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 – 03.14.16

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.

– A national poll commissioned by In The Public Interest has found broad support for reining in the spread of charter schools and for making them conform to the same standards as traditional public schools. The poll also shows majorities oppose an over-emphasis on standardized testing in the classroom. David Cohen, executive director of the In the Public Interest, said the survey shows Americans continues to have a high regard for public schools and teachers, despite the propaganda put out by school privatizers.

– Parents, teachers and activists gathered recently, in Philadelphia, for a national conference of the Opt Out movement, which seeks to end excessive standardized testing in the public schools. We spoke with Dr. Denisha Jones, a board member of United Opt Out, and an assistant professor of Early Childhood Education at Washington DC’s Howard University. The organization demands ““an equitably-funded, democratically based, anti-racist, desegregated public school system for all Americans – one that prepares students to exercise compassionate and critical decision making.” Dr. Jones says none of this can happen if kids are spending all their time taking tests.

– Robert Gangi, executive director of the Police Reform Organizing Project, in New York, has been monitoring courtroom activity around the city. Gangi reports that the courts are busy prosecuting Black and brown men on minor offenses, an indication that the “broken windows” philosophy of policing is alive and well in New York.

– Earlier this month, a death squad assassinated Honduran indigenous people’s leader Berta Caceres. Caceres was at the top of the hit list for the Honduran regime that was installed in a U.S.-backed coup, in 2009. She fought countless battles against land grabs by multinational corporations. Her friend, Beverly Bell, a co-founder of the group Other Worlds, says the regime and its backers in Washington, killed Berta Caceres.

– President Obama will visit Cuba later this month. The President claims his trip is designed to further normalization of relations and peace in the region. But political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of StopImperialism.org, says Obama has scaled back tensions with Cuba while escalating Washington’s war against Venezuela.