Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Outlet of the Year

The outlet of the year in 2013 was Black Agenda Report.

The news outlet covered nearly everything: Syria, Libya, US prison population, the lack of real US prison reform, pop culture and, yes, politics.

It was with politics that BAR especially made its mark.

The simple truth is, the U.S. is at war for continued hegemony over the planet, for the preservation of the imperial system and its finance capitalist rulers. In such a war, everyone, everywhere is a potential enemy, including the home population.
That’s why Bradley Manning and Julian Assange and, now, Edward Snowden are considered so dangerous; because they undermine popular consent for the government’s lies-based policies. The administration has sent its operatives to Capital Hill and all the corporate pseudo-journalistic outlets to explain how its mega-data mining of phones and the Internet has prevented “potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11,” including at least 10 “homeland-based threats,” as mouthed by National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander. The details are, of course, secret. 
-- Glen Ford, "The Lies of Empire: Don't Believe a Word They Say" .

Glen Ford, Bruce A. Dixon and Margaret Kimberley are not shy. They also don't speak or write from a position of weakness.

A Democrat in the White House does not mean BAR recalculates its ethical stands.

William Kristol called Barack Obama a “born again neo-con” after the president sought his advice when making the case for the over throw of the Libyan government in 2011. Kristol certainly ought to know who his compatriots are but the statement isn’t quite true.

No one becomes president who isn’t a true believer in the American empire of money and murder. They are all neo-cons, despite what they may say about immigration or gay marriage or health care. The differences at the top are small. The pinnacle of power is reserved for people who are aligned with the ruling 1% and who will use American power to dominate the world economically and militarily.
-- Margaret Kimberley, "American Hell for Syria"

They are arguing the same beliefs they advocated for pre-B.O.

And they have no problem calling Barack Obama out.

But first, supporters of Lynne Stewart, The People's Lawyer, serving a ten year sentence, who is suffering from Stage IV breast cancer got some bad news last week.  The judge who sent her to prison rejected her request for compassionate release saying he had no choice in the matter because the Obama administration had previously turned her down. 
-- Nellie Bailey, Black Agenda Radio, August 12, 2013

They do so on his failed promise to close Guantanamo, on his Drone War, on his illegal spying, on ObamaCare and so much more.

And they do so from a position of strength.

The NAACP LDF which represented the families of prisoners serving these unjust sentences knows very well that this is a political issue and a political struggle.
So why did the NAACP LDF fail to mention that their legal opponents in this case were President Barack Obama's and Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department, which opposed in court the application of the very law which the president signed and the attorney general lauded.

Let me say that again... First, it was the Obama-Holder Justice Department which first refused to retroactively reduce the unfair crack cocaine sentences under the law the president signed and the attorney general praised Secondly, it was the Obama-Holder Justice Department which went to court to keep those people in prison. They lost when the trial judge ruled they should be released. And third, the same Justice Department run by the same first black attorney general under the first black president appealed the order to reduce those sentences, instead seeking and obtaining yesterday's ruling by the 6th circuit court of appeals.
-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Obama & Holder Win Court Case, Keep Thousands in Prison Under Unfair 80s Crack Sentencing Laws"

And it takes real strength to call out Melissa Harris Perry, for example, because that means they'll be less likely to be invited on MSNBC.

But, again, position of strength.

Barack takes the White House and BAR finds itself 'needed' (and wanted) on Democracy Now! and other programs less and less.

Not a problem.

Don't wait to be a guest, create your own show.

Black Agenda Radio, hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey (first airs each Monday at 4:00 pm EST on the Progressive Radio Network).  And they're also on Facebook and Twitter.

The United States, itself, has never paid much attention to international standards when it comes to prisons. It locks far more people up for far longer periods of time than any other developed country. On any given day, 50,000 to 80,000 U.S. prison inmates are held in solitary confinement, some of them for decades at a stretch – a form of torture according to most international standards. Violence in U.S. prisons is endemic, especially rape. Through its sheer size, alone – encompassing one out of every four prison inmates on the planet – the U.S. prison Gulag contains the greatest concentrations of prison evils in the world. The U.S. serves as an example of how not to treat prisoners, and how not to treat Black people, who are far more likely to wind up in U.S. prisoners at some point in their lives. But, the United States somehow thinks it has something to teach Black people in Haiti about prisons.
-- Glen Ford, "U.S. Gives Haiti the Gift of Prisons."

They're not on Wikipedia.

Which would have surprised us were we not already aware how sexist and racist Crapapedia actually is.

Obama chose to expand his remarks beyond the early Sixties period, past the triumphs of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, to give a mini-lecture on what went wrong, in his estimation, with the Black Freedom Movement. The result was a brief but vicious slew of slurs against African Americans – the kind of slander you expect to hear on FOX News, or from a half-drunk white guy at a country-western bar. According to Obama, Black folks lost their way when “legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse-making for criminal behavior.” What the hell does that mean? Which particular incidents is he referring to in which Blacks used police brutality to somehow mask criminal activity. If he means the Black Panther Party, which I suspect, then the president should say so, and open up a discussion of who the real criminals and assassins were, in the late Sixties and early Seventies. But, like any cheap white politician, Obama spews a mouthful of bile and then moves on to the next rant.
-- Glen Ford, "Obama's Anti-Black Rant."

Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon and Margaret Kimberly came to prominence online at The Black Commentator (which was founded in 2002 by Ford, Susan Lubitz Gamble and Peter Gamble).  And, as they note in the about page, "In the fall of  2006, Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon, Margaret Kimberley and Leutisha Stills of CBC Monitor left Black Commentator, which Ford had co-founded and edited since 2002, and launched Black Agenda Report."

The Nation, The Progressive, In These Times, Democracy Now! and so many more could learn so much from Black Agenda Report -- including how to put down the pom-poms and take to the field yourself.

In 2013, Black Agenda Report was informative, explosive, ethical and politically entertaining.

It's quickly become the smart site for those who value information over indoctrination.

And it's our pick for 2013 Outlet of the Year.

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