It is interesting that the scoundrels who happen to be Black know how to deflect from their misdeeds and get undeserved support from their people. The less any solidarity is deserved, the more blatant the effort to use Black trauma as a get out of jail free card. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas delivered quite a performance during his 1991 confirmation hearings. He defended himself against charges of sexual harassment by referring to his experience as a “hight tech lynching,” and in doing so he immediately won the support of many Black people who should have known better than to give him any credence for any reason whatsoever.
In 2021 this columnist wrote, “The Palestine Litmus Test.” At that time Israel was carrying out one of its periodic attacks against Gaza, deliberately targeting civilians, and in doing so practicing war crimes. Now the zionist state is intent on completely destroying Gaza, killing as many people as possible and driving out the survivors so that the region can be open for settlement and for oil and gas extraction. The horrific scenes of carnage have evoked revulsion for millions of people in the United States and around the world. Huge protests have taken place nationally and internationally and the zionists find themselves on the public relations defensive but will not concede defeat.
There have been defining times in history-moments, epochs and periods that are typically marked by notable events or particular characteristics that have changed the world forever. Nicolaus Copernicus’ publication of On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres in 1543, postulating the model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at its center was such a moment. The Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1840), was a defining period in the methods and processes of global production that transitioned most of the world away from hand production, towards more efficient and stable mechanical manufacturing processes.
Everyone knows what it means to mislead. The simplicity of the word gives it a lot of power. Black elected officials are beholden to the Democratic Party and their corporate, neo-liberal and imperialist interests. Working in concert with them is by definition working against the interests of Black people. Of course the misleaders can’t be obvious about their subterfuge. They have to at least go through the motions of opposing the Republican Party, the white people’s party, and anyone who is seen as a prominent representative of that group. Performance is the order of the day, while any concrete actions made on behalf of Black people are few and far between.
“We used to talk about, when I was a kid, in college, about ‘America’s Backyard’. It’s not America’s backyard. Everything south of the Mexican border is ‘America’s Front Yard’. And we’re equal people. We don’t dictate what happens in any other part of this continent or the South American continent. We have to work very hard on it.” President Joe Biden Even while claiming to believe in the sovereignty of all American states, Joe Biden couldn’t help but use hackneyed phrases about whether the rest of the hemisphere is in his yard. He exposed himself and what the U.S. state does in the Caribbean and Central America and South America. Regime change is still the goal whenever people in the region dare to attempt self-determination.
Black faces in high places are dangerous because the masses get caught up in symbolism and style over substance. They become confused and fall for perceived power over real power. An example would be Plantation Manager Joe Biden. He has appointed close to two dozen African Americans (mostly women with European husbands and wives) to his cabinet and senior advisors—more than any other President (including the one he served under), and there has been no significant changes in the conditions we live under. Yet, because there is a Black Woman Vice President, a Black Woman Supreme Court Justice and Black Woman Press Secretary, many Black people, including activists, somehow equate that to “Black Girl Magic”.
I think the Obamas are playing their role as the most elite Black figures in the Democratic establishment, which is to control any form of protest so that it does not get “out of hand”. To be out of hand means to go beyond voting as a mechanism of social change – to actually get involved in direct democracy, like mass protest, direct action, and/or rebellions. To also build structures outside of the official electoral process for decision making. Doing these things are not easy, particularly when you have operatives like the Obamas telling you not to, or you have established systems of control like the police and the surveillance state, the use of private capital to control your finances and economic stability, the derailments of mass entertainment. All of these things make organizing outside of voting a difficult task. All of these institutions are lined up to get us all back in line, back in the pocket and back in hand.
On June 11, 2015, the late Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member John Conyers made this statement about Ukraine. “House passed my amendment to prohibit assistance to Azov Battalion—a far-right white supremacist militia at front lines of Ukraine conflict.” Conyers was right of course. The Azov Battalion was and is a core part of Ukraine’s military. They have Nazi roots, as do many other organizations in that country. But after the Pentagon objected the amendment was stripped from the spending bill and never saw the light of day. It is important to remember what Conyers tried to achieve the year after Barack Obama sided with right wing Ukrainians and brought down the elected president of that nation. The Conyers amendment passed unanimously in the House but was killed because the administration was well aware of the Azov Battalion’s role and approved of it.
Black Agenda Report coined the terms “black misleadership class” and “black political class” to describe elected officials and others whose positions of influence do little to help the masses of Black people. In some cases their actions in elected office and other prominent positions deliberately undermine the human rights of Black people. So, when Black elected officials do the right and righteous thing, BAR should take notice. Such is the case in the state of New York, where a Black man and woman lead the two legislative chambers. Carl Heastie is Speaker of the Assembly and Andrea Stewart-Cousins is the State Senate Majority Leader. They used those positions to fulfill an important demand that Black people have been making ever since the explosion of mass incarceration.
Terrell Jermaine Starr is among the most prominent of those who defend United States imperialism itself. He is very useful in this role as he is a Black person who claims to hold progressive views. As such he gives cover to a dangerous policy which perpetuates state violence. Starr is a correspondent at The Root and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Eurasia Center. The Atlantic Council describes itself as “a nonpartisan organization that galvanizes US leadership and engagement in the world, in partnership with allies and partners, to shape solutions to global challenges.” In short, it is the propaganda arm of NATO . Donors include the British Foreign Office, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the ministries of defense of Finland, Lithuania, and Norway, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, the Rockefeller Foundation, Airbus, Google, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Raytheon, and NATO itself.
Recent debates about Critical Race Theory (CRT) have been abysmally uninformed at best and utterly inaccurate at worst. From corporate media and right-wing rags to independent left media, almost everyone has misrepresented or misunderstood the origins, histories, and theories of what is today known as CRT. This three-part series corrects these misunderstandings. Part 1 provides an overview of the work of Derrick Bell, the “father of critical theory.” Part 2 provides a detailed intellectual history of CRT. Part 3 presents a critique of intersectionality as an idealist, liberal iteration of CRT. **The debates about Critical Race Theory (CRT) have raged in Amerika for over a year now.
Juneteenth was largely a regional holiday celebrated by Black people in Texas and other southern states. It commemorates the events of June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston and announced that slavery ended as per General Order Number 3. "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” It is an important event that ought to be remembered, but its true significance has been lost. Juneteenth has become the latest iteration of liberal capture of Black politics, opportunistic virtue signaling, and the intentional misrepresentation of America’s history. Corrupt and avaricious corporations honor Juneteenth and cynical politicians give it great attention.