Democrats Hope to Bury Black Lives Matter Under Election Blitz

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Black Agenda Report, June 10, 2015

The Democrats hope the Black Lives Matter movement, like the Occupy Wall Street movement, will disappear amid the hype of the coming election season. “The Democrats have mounted a systematic cooption-repression response that will intensify as the election season – and Black cities – heat up.” The Democrats understand that, for the movement to succeed, their party’s power over Black America must be broken.

“The movement is inevitably on a collision course with the Democratic Party, although this may not yet be clear to many activists.”

The movement that is emerging under the banner Black Lives Matter is not yet one year old, but it will be dead before it reaches the age of two if the Democratic Party has anything to say about it. The movement’s greatest challenge will be to survive the impending mass mobilization of Black Democratic officeholders and operatives in a $5 billion presidential election season.The current Black-led grassroots campaign is, in very important ways, even more vulnerable to Democratic cooptation and dismantlement than was the white-led Occupy Wall Street movement, which succumbed to a combination of Democratic infiltration and repression – on top of its own contradictions – in the early months of 2012.

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The US/China/France/UK/Israel “Scramble for Africa” vie for “Humanitarian” Honors in Nigeria

[IRecent years have seen the insertion of imperialist forces and inter-imperialist hegemonic claims into every corner of the world, under the guise of “humanitarianism” or “disaster capitalism.”  The US has been most prominently displayed in this practice, having honed the method as a public doctrine after failing the “winning hearts and minds” test in the Vietnam war, and then doing medical rescues in the period of recovering from the so-called “Vietnam Syndrome” (ie, reversing the functional anger and opposition to imperialist wars).  In recent years, as the world imperialist system has become more crisis-ridden and internally contentious, other imperial powers have entered the “humanitarian imperialist” contest as well.  Today, the new “scramble for Africa” is focused on the struggle to rescue the Nigerian girls abducted by the diabolical and malevolent “Boko Haram” gang which grew in the vacuum of elite corruption and sectarian power, and mass poverty in Nigeria, which are the fruits of colonialism and neo-colonialism, and of a regime that cannot or will not keep Nigerian people out of harms way.  The US has drones from its nearby drone base in Niger, and some troops and “advisors” from AFRICOM; France has some forces on the ground, a legacy from the French colonial (and more recent neo-colonial) wars in neighboring countries; Britain has some surveillance planes; Israel has sent Special Forces commandos/shock troops, at Goodluck Jonathon’s invitation; and China, not one to be left out or to forget their massive recent Nigerian investments, has sent a PLA frigate, and given a new satellite to Nigeria to run their media and tele-communications and surveillance ops.  See the 4 articles below for more self-determination-breaking-news on these opportunist/imperialist relief efforts from the US, China, Israel.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Black Agenda Report on what happens when you believe the hype

Doing Us Proud: Black America Has Lost Its Moral Compass

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report, 11/07/2012

When a Bush, a McCain, or a Romney condones corporate crimes against the rest of us, lies to us, tortures and imprisons at will and murders civilians at a whim, it’s a moral disaster. When a black Democrat does it, it’s nothing personal, just business. And we are soooo proud. What’s wrong with us?

Black America Has Lost Its Moral Compass

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

At our October 12 affair at Harlem’s Riverside Church, Black Agenda Report’s executive editor Glen Ford said that the most damning and lasting result of the Obama presidency might be that black America was losing its moral compass

Those of us, this author included, who reached adulthood in the brief eight or nine year heyday of the modern Freedom Movement got to see our elders shuck the shackles of what was proper and legal and take to the streets in defiance of evil in authority. We learned that going door to door, organizing our friends, our neighbors, our fellow workers on the job, calling meetings and demonstrations, and standing up to unjust authority, at whatever cost was the highest duty of citizenship and the only way things ever changed.

During the eight years Obama will have served in the White House, Ford observed, black youth can expect to see nothing like this. Where we learned to be skeptical of what our government, and often our elders told us, they are learning to believe, or pretend to believe whatever they’re told. Where we learned the highest goal of the struggle was improving the lives of ordinary people, they are learning that the highest goals are the big house, the prestigious career, the large lifestyle of those who serve the power and unlock the mysteries of the Market. Continue reading

Black Agenda Report: “Angela Davis Lost Her Mind Over Obama”


Angela Davis: Is she forgetful, or deliberately fudging the truth about corporate-imperialist Obama when she links him to the "Black radical tradition"?


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford | March 27, 2012

The “delusional effect” that swept Black America with the advent of the First Black President has warped and weakened the mental powers of some of our most revered icons – and it has been painful to behold. Earlier this month, Angela Davis diminished herself as a scholar and thinker in a gush of nonsense about the corporate executive in the White House. The occasion was a conference on Empowering Women of Color, in Berkeley, California. Davis shared the stage with Grace Lee Boggs, the 96-year-old activist from Detroit. The subject was social transformation, but Davis suddenly launched into how wonderful it felt to see people “dancing in the streets” when Barack Obama was elected. She called that campaign a “victory, not of an individual, but of…people who refused to believe that it was impossible to elect a person, a Black person, who identified with the Black radical tradition.”

There was a hush in the room, as if in mourning of the death of brain cells. Angela Davis was saying that Barack Obama is a man who identifies with the Black radical tradition. She said it casually, as if Black radicalism and Obama were not antithetical terms; as if everything he has written, said and done in national politics has not been a repudiation of the Black radical tradition; as if his rejection of his former minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was not a thorough disavowal of the Black radical tradition. In his famous 2008 campaign speech in Philadelphia, Obama blamed such radicals for compounding the nation’s problems. He viewed people like Rev. Wright as having been mentally scarred by battles of long ago, who were unable to see the inherent goodness of America, as he did. This is the man who said he agreed with President Ronald Reagan, that the Sixties were characterized by “excesses.” Can anyone doubt that Obama considers the historical Angela Davis, herself, to be a part of the political “excesses” of the Sixties and early Seventies that he so deplores? Continue reading

On the “State of the Union” address: Obama Pledges to Maintain the Empire

Glen Ford, interviewed on the Real News Network: “Obama defends Iraq war saying it made the US safer and more respected”

Bio — Glen Ford is a distinguished radio-show host and commentator. In 1977, Ford co-launched, produced and hosted America’s Black Forum, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. In 1987, Ford launched Rap It Up, the first nationally syndicated Hip Hop music show, broadcast on 65 radio stations. Ford co-founded the Black Commentator in 2002 and in 2006 he launched the Black Agenda Report. Ford is also the author of The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion.

Transcript:  PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay in Washington. Now joining us to talk about President Obama’s State of the Union speech is Glen Ford. Glen is the cofounder and current executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, and he joins us from New York. I—New York or New Jersey, Glen?


JAY: New Jersey. Thanks for joining us.

FORD: Thank you for the invitation.

JAY: So what’s your first take on the speech?

FORD: Well, it was all about banking and empire, because that’s what Barack Obama is all about. Most of the other stuff were con games and smoke and mirrors, not too much worth talking about. He led and he ended with his foreign policy. So here we have a president who claimed to be a peace candidate but really is showing his oats by telling people how many people he has killed and how he’s quite ready to kill again. Continue reading

US: Mass Black Incarceration Ending? Don’t Hold Your Breath

[The historic and ongoing national oppression of Black people in the US, maintained with a thousand economic, social, cultural, and political chains, and enforced through mass incarceration and “judicial” subjugation of millions, is not discussed in the “democratic” halls of Congress nor on the pages or screens of mass media deception.  There, the product is fear to fuel more oppression–NOT knowledge for the struggle against it.  But the people have voices, like the Black Agenda Report, which bring another angle on reality. — Frontlines ed.]
December 27, 2011 — Glen Ford

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It’s been two generations since the beginning of modern mass Black incarceration. Prison populations, which only doubled from 1925 to 1972, increased more than seven-fold over the next 38 years, with Blacks accounting for ever higher proportions of inmates. The latest statistics do not indicate that white people “have reconsidered – or even acknowledged – their extraordinarily broad support for placing more Black people in captivity over the past 40 years than at any time since slavery.”

Mass Black Incarceration Ending? Don’t Hold Your Breath

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Half of the states reported decreases in their prison populations.”

For the first time since 1972, the total number of people held in U.S. prisons has gone down. And, for the second year in a row, the number of persons under supervision – such as parole – by state departments of correction, decreased.

Does this mean the beginning of the end of mass Black incarceration in the United States? Not hardly. That would require an historic reversal of a nationwide policy to find new places to put Black people who refused to stay “in their place,” in the wake of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. There is little in the current American political conversation that indicates white people have reconsidered – or even acknowledged – their extraordinarily broad support for placing more Black people in captivity over the past 40 years than at any time since slavery.

It takes the government almost a year to tabulate the past year’s prison statistics, so the latest numbers are from 2010. They show about 7.1 million people under some kind of correctional supervision – one out of every 33. That’s down 1.3 percent from 2009, the year that saw the first decrease in supervision in two generations. The total population in state and federal prisons – not counting local jails – stood at 1.6 million inmates, down six-tenths of one percent. State prison populations decreased by almost 11,000, and local jails by almost 19,000, but federal prison populations grow by eight/tenths of one percent, to almost 210,000 inmates. That was, however, the smallest percentage increase in a generation – since 1980.

Half of the states reported decreases in their prison populations, with California and Georgia shrinking the most.

Twenty-four states and the federal prison system increased their inmate populations.”

Speculation on why prison populations have, at least temporarily, peaked, centers on the financial crisis. It is true that states are experiencing unprecedented difficulties paying their bills. Some states have clearly responded to their fiscal crises by finding ways to incarcerate fewer people. Michigan reduced its prison population by 6,000 inmates in three years, mainly by decreasing the number of inmates who wind up serving more time in jail than they were originally sentenced to. California is under court order to cut its prison population by 30 percent, or 40,000 inmates. But the court order came too late to have a significant effect on 2010 prison numbers.

Only half the country has seen any decrease, at all. Twenty-four states and the federal prison system increased their inmate populations, with Illinois, Texas and Arkansas leading the pack. And states have found other ways to cut down on inmate costs without putting fewer people in prison, through wholesale privatization of prisons, and imposition of draconian fees on prisoners, probationers and parolees.

The Pew Research Center on the States cites programs that divert some offenders to probation, and accelerated release of low-risk inmates. However, studies have shown that such diversion programs tend to serve disproportionately white offenders. Therefore, it is highly premature for anyone to speculate that the era of mass Black incarceration may be ending. For the foreseeable future, one out of eight of the world’s prison inmates will continue to be African American.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Dragging Malcolm X to Obamaland

[From Black Agenda Report, a very critical review of Manning Marable’s social-reformist distortion of the life of Malcolm X.  Glen Ford begins the struggle to return the weapon of history to the hands of those who struggle for an end to national oppression, capitalist exploitation, and imperialism.  — Frontlines ed.]

April 27, 2011

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Malcolm X's revolutionary spirit, thinking, and teachings continue to inspire and educate new generations, despite the efforts of social reformists like Manning Marable to turn Malcolm into a useless icon and tool for the renunciation of revolution

Manning Marable’s rendition of Malcolm X’s life should be read very carefully, so as not to confuse Malcolm’s evolving worldview with the late Columbia University professor’s left-reformist politics. “Marable tries to convince us that Malcolm must have contemplated a reformist political path in his mind, if not in practice.” The author’s mission is to discredit revolutionary Black nationalism as outdated and primitive. Black Democratic Party activism and support for President Obama are hyped as the new Black Power.

Dragging Malcolm X to Obamaland

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Marable grows so bold in pushing his back-to-the-future reformist fantasies, by page 333 he describes a Malcolm X who has become ‘race-neutral.’”

In packaging the life of Malcolm X for a wide audience, the late Dr. Manning Marable has presented us with an opportunity to reignite the debate over the meaning of Black self-determination, a discussion-through-struggle that effectively ended when the Black Freedom Movement became no longer worthy of the name. Unfortunately, it appears this was not Dr. Marable’s intention, since Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention is largely an attempt to render useless the vocabulary of Black struggle. Essential terms such as “self-determination,” “Black nationalism,” “revolutionary” and “empowerment” lose their meaning, abused and misused in order to portray the great Black nationalist leader as inexorably evolving into a “race-neutral” reformer on the road to Obamaland. Continue reading

The Non-Election for the Non-Government of the Non-Sovereign State of Haiti

So, what election, for what government? The exercise only has value for those who paid for it, the Americans, who spent $14 million on this fraud in hopes of disguising the fact that Haiti is a U.S. colony.

Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Haitian people didn’t want it, even most of the candidates rejected it, so who was supposed to benefit from last Sunday’s farcical election? “The exercise only has value for those who paid for it, the Americans, who spent $14 million on this fraud in hopes of disguising the fact that Haiti is a U.S. colony.

The multitudinous assaults on Haiti’s dignity reached a crescendo with this weekend’s elections, imposed by foreigners for the benefit of foreigners against the wishes of the Haitian people and even of most of the candidates. It is as if severely wounded and sick hospital patients – make that prison hospital patients – were ordered to dance and sing for the pleasure of rich visitors. As should have been expected, most Haitians refused to perform like circus animals, on demand.


The Haitian sham elections for president and most of the legislature may go down as the most bizarre and macabre exercise in hypocrisy in the history of U.S. imperialism. Haiti’s most popular political party – no, the ONLY political party with a truly mass following – the Fanmi Lavalas organization of exiled president Jean Bertrand Aristide, was barred from running. By the time Sunday rolled around, 12 of the 19 candidates for president were denouncing the government for perpetrating a “massive fraud” on the citizenry. Turnout was probably not much more than single digits – which is actually the usual for Haitian elections in which Aristide’s party is not allowed to participate – an electoral travesty equivalent to outlawing the Democratic Party in New York City, Boston or Chicago. Continue reading