As 2021 comes to an end, and the U.S. approaches the one-million mark of American lives lost to Covid-19, I would think holiday celebrations should include more somber notes than usual. Instead of seeing street behavior that would acknowledge grieving over 800,000 people in the U.S. who have died of Covid-19, we witness the convulsions for survival in a society and nation that is imploding as the wealth gap stretches far beyond our imaginations. In a nation inundated with death, whether from school shootings, the up-tick in crime rampages, fentanyl overdoses, alongside Covid-19 deaths, those who have passed may or may not have received the deserved attention due to their lives and legacies.
Glen Ford, who died in the summer of 2021, was one of the country’s most insightful political commentators and radical journalists. He appeared several times on this show. He spoke for the marginalized and excoriated the elites. Glen was the co-publisher of the radical Black Commentator. He co-founded Black Agenda Report with Bruce Dixon and Margaret Kimberley in 2006. Glen repeatedly called out the Black political elites, exposing for example New Jersey Senator Cory Booker’s close ties with right-wing organizations such as the Manhattan Institute and the Bradley Foundation and Booker’s advocacy of neoliberalism, austerity programs, school privatization, and other initiatives that are at the forefront of the war on the poor, especially poor Blacks.
Glen Ford, a brilliant and powerful force in the media throughout his life, died recently at the age of 71. In this century, Glen was the founder of the Black Commentator in 2002 and then Black Agenda Report in 2006. He was an activist as well on a range of issues, part of the Black is Back Coalition. In this program, Clearing the FOG compiles a few previous conversations with Glen about the state of Black America, systemic racial injustice, how power is organized and how to confront power. In the final interview, from November of 2018, Glen describes fascism in the United States and the lack of resistance to it. The interviews were conducted prior to the death of Clearing the FOG co-host Kevin Zeese. Clearing the FOG extends its condolences to the family and friends of Glen Ford. His wit and wisdom are deeply missed.
Glen was a man whose voice thundered with the passion of justice, his keen eyes intensified by those round glasses that sat on the bridge of his strong nose right in front of his daunting intelligence, his word mastery and their unveiling of perceptions he gleaned from having been wounded by a culture bent against his people, against him personally, as when it deployed hitmen against his life’s work. It was a confirmation that he was on the right track when he and the Black Agenda Report family made the government’s blacklist of subversive publications. So there was anger. And clarity. And passion that combined to make Glen more than a little intimidating. There was his work ethic. His unrelenting discipline. His body of work. His insistence on excellence.
It's easy to run with the herd, especially when it can bring possible career advancements and even significant monetary gain. That is why, for so many, making decisions to find a way into the mix, to play the game in order to advance one’s individual objectives, does not present any internal moral debate. It is just common sense. But for the oppressed and their radical intellectuals and activists, accommodationism is not an option without surrendering one’s soul. Glen Ford and many of our generation refused to do that. Glen made the decision to devote himself to being a truth teller on the side of the people back in the 1970s, at a historic moment when it was very easy to be an opportunist.
Glen Ford, a veteran broadcast, print and digital journalist who hosted the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on TV before going on to found the Black Agenda Report website, has died, according to reports. He was 71 years old. Ford’s cause of death was not immediately reported. Several sources announced his death late Wednesday morning, including Margaret Kimberley, an editor and columnist at Black Agenda Report, the weekly news magazine that offers commentary and analysis from a Black perspective which Ford launched and served as its executive editor. Condolences began pouring in on social media once news of Ford’s death broke.