Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of May 28, 2012

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Obama Asked to Veto a “Poison Pill” Whistleblower Bill

A bill purporting to protect whistleblowers contains a “poison pill” that would effectively abolish federal workers’ rights to access to the courts, said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, a founder of the NO FEAR Coalition and herself a noted whistleblower. The so-called Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which has passed the Senate, would allow a board of federal employees acting as judges to pass final summary judgments on workers’ discrimination complaints – a reversal of guarantees to due process provided by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, said Coleman-Adebayo. Historically, she said, the board has turned thumbs down on all but 2 percent of discrimination complaints. If the House passes the measure, Coleman-Adebayo urges President Obama to veto it. “You do not want to be the president who overturned the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

Roots of Police Killings of Blacks in New Orleans

New Orleans has always been “a very violent city with a particularly toxic racial environment,” said Dr. Jeffrey Adler, professor of history and criminology at the University of Florida and author of “The Killer Behind the Badge: Race and Police Homicide in New Orleans, 1925-1945,” an article recently published in the prestigious Law and History Review. “The low level of training, the lack of professional standards, the corruption of politics, were more powerful and more deeply entrenched in New Orleans than in many other southern cities,” said Adler. “If police officers believed that social stability was bound up in rendering African Americans submissive and compliant, then they understood resistance as a threat…and they could shoot.”

Hunger Strike at Virginia’s Prison

A number of inmates at Virginia’s infamous Red Onion maximum security prison refused to eat in protest of harsh conditions, including mass solitary confinement. “The racial dynamic that exists there, it’s out of control,” said Max Gaskins, who spent four years behind bars at Red Onion and is a founding member of SPARC, Supporting Prisoners and Acting for Radical Change. “I saw men get their eyes shot out, me were shot in the back and paralyzed,” he said. Prison officials now claim the hunger strike has ended.

Black Middle Class “Largely Cut Ties” With Black Poor

The African American middle class has partly been successfully integrated into the American mainstream and has, maybe to the greatest extent in its history, cut ties with the Black and working class,” said Dr. Gary Peller, a professor of law at Georgetown University, in Washington. Peller is author of the new book, Critical Race Consciousness: Rethinking American Ideologies of Racial Justice. Integrationism “helps to apologize for the basic distribution of wealth, power and prestige in American society.” Dr. Peller said “Black nationalism achieved its real pinnacle of theoretic sophistication in the late 1960s and early Seventies, with Malcolm X and his followers, the Black Panther ideologists, and others.” The Panthers, in particular, “not only had programs for Black liberation, but also had a critique of American involvement around the world.”

POP Protest in Newark Only 43 Days from Goal

The People’s Organization for Progress (POP) has passed the 338-day point in its daily demonstrations in Newark, New Jersey – just 43 days from matching the 381-day longevity of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, Bus Boycott. Nearly 200 local organizations have endorsed POP’s marathon action for jobs, housing, education, peace and justice. “The only avenue we have is to do what POP has done, to be out there and demonstrate and let people know that we’re not satisfied,” said Jerry Owens, vice president of the local long shore workers union and president of the area’s A. Philip Randolph Institute.

Cory Booker and Obama Beholden to Vulture Capitalists

The Black Misleadership Class, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker and President Barack Obama, “must deliver the votes of their people to the campaign contributors who made their careers possible,” said Bruce Dixon, managing editor of Black Agenda Report. However, they “must pose as at least half-hearted opponents of the blood-sucking model of parasitic vulture capitalism practiced by Bain Capital, JP Morgan, Citibank and other players.” Obama’s “heart belongs to JP Morgan.”

Preventive Detention Gone Wild

It’s come down to the point where some guy riding a bike down a street in New Delhi is a threat to the United States and we’ve got to know where he’s going, what his name is, who his family is and who his friends are, so we can round him up and put him under surveillance so that he can’t communicate with some guy who’s riding a bike in Malaysia,” said Doug Valentine, co-author of a paper, “The Dangerous World of Indefinite Detention.”

 

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Tuesday at 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

 

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