MLK: “Capitalism has out-lived its usefulness”

Source:  People’s World
January 18 2018

MLK: “There’s something wrong with capitalism”

Racist violence and economic injustice were among the problems Dr. Martin Luther King laid at capitalism’s doorstep. Here, King looks at a glass door of his rented beach cottage in St. Augustine, Fla. that was shot into by someone unknown on June 5, 1964. | Jim Kerlin / AP

 

Throughout his life, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke often and with vision about the nature of capitalism and the kind of changes needed to replace it. The following quotes reflect some of King’s key thoughts on the subject. The power of his words speaks as much to the present day as they did to the turbulent times he witnessed.

“I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic… [Capitalism] started out with a noble and high motive… but like most human systems it fell victim to the very thing it was revolting against. So today, capitalism has out-lived its usefulness.” – Letter to Coretta Scott, July 18, 1952.

“In a sense, you could say we’re involved in the class struggle.” – Quote to New York Times reporter, José Igelsias, 1968.

“And one day we must ask the question, ‘Why are there forty million poor people in America?’ And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society…” – Speech to Southern Christian Leadership Conference Atlanta, Georgia, August 16, 1967.

“Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.” – Speech to the Negro American Labor Council, 1961.

“We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power…. This means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order.”- Report to SCLC Staff, May 1967.

“The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.” – Speech to SCLC Board, March 30, 1967.

Dr. King speaks in Atlanta in 1960. | AP

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective—the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed matter: the guaranteed income… The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” – Where do We Go from Here?, 1967.

“You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism.” – Speech to his staff, 1966.

“[W]e are saying that something is wrong … with capitalism…. There must be better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism.” – Speech to his staff, 1966.

“If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell.” –  Speech at Bishop Charles Mason Temple of the Church of God in Christ in support of the Memphis sanitation workers’ strike on March 18, 1968, two weeks before he was assassinated.

MLK Global

Michelle Obama Slanders Black Men in Her Book, Adds to the Obama Family’s Long Anti-Black Tradition

Source:  Black Agenda Report
December 19 2018

obama in barMichelle Obama Slanders Black Men in Her Book, Adds to the Obama Family’s Long
Anti-Black Tradition

The Obamas are cashing in on their lifelong project to further the destruction of Black people, while blaming the victim.

“When it comes to imperialism, it pays to be anti-Black.”

Black Agenda Report has spent over a decade analyzing the numerous manifestations of the Obama family’s hatred of Black America. Michelle Obama is currently on a book tour of her latest release, Becoming. The overpriced book is but another addition to the post-Obama Presidency family fortune. Barack and Michelle Obama have been busy building a billionaire brand with book deals and speaking arrangements with Wall Street. As Paul Street noted, the Obama Foundation is putting the donations of Wall Street corporations to good use by opening a “library”in the heartland of Black Chicago. Just as during its tenure in the White House, the Obama family is profiting from the promotion of white supremacist policy and ideology directed against Black America.

Nowhere is this clearer than in the very words that have come out of the mouths of both members of the Obama “power couple.” At a recent speaking event at the Barclay’s Center in New York City, Michelle Obama had this to say about Barack Obama:

“I had never met a black dude like Barack Obama. Not only his background and where he had traveled and who is parents were and he was always very introspective and he had been a community organizer. I hadn’t met a Harvard black dude who had been a community organizer in neighborhoods on the far south side where most people in the firm didn’t know those neighborhoods, he had been all up in those neighborhoods and those churches. So he understood the community in a full way but he was not arrogant, he was humble. I also liked the way he treated others.”

“The Obama family is profiting from the promotion of white supremacist policy and ideology directed against Black America.”

Michelle Obama uses her husband’s falsified credentials as a weapon against all Black men. Her statement that she had never met a “black dude”like Barack Obama represents but another racist dog whistle to please white America. The former First Lady of the United States has met plenty of Black men; she was raised for a period in the South Side of Chicago after all. However, as the Obamas have so plainly demonstrated, it isn’t where you are from but who you serve that matters. Few things please white America and its allies in the Black political class more than the criminalization and demonization of Black men. True to U.S. history, Michelle Obama invokes the image of the pathological, criminal, and lazy Black male who could not possibly live up to the standards of her “cultured” yet humble husband.

Texas A&M professor and scholar Tommy Curry is fighting for the creation of Black Males Studies precisely because the demonization of Black men is central in the shaping race, class, and gender politics in the United States. Curry argues quite convincingly that contemporary theories about race and gender are formulated around the extermination of Black men , especially poor Black men. Black men suffer from disproportionate rates of intimate partner violence, state violence, unemployment and incarceration but are often considered to be sexual deviants and criminals who possess “toxic masculinity.” Black men hold progressive views on gender and poll higher on these views than white women but are often thought to obsess over the patriarchal power of white men.

“As the Obamas have so plainly demonstrated, it isn’t where you are from but who you serve that matters.”

The legacy of mass Black enslavement, now manifested in the incarceration regime, is the foundation from which anti-Black attitudes against Black men and all Black Americans are nourished. One of Michelle and Barack Obama’s signature achievements for the ruling elites of the United States was the creation of massive amnesia in the Black polity around this fact. Black Americans as a group became more pro-warand pro-state surveillance than at any point in its history. Black Americans were further unable to muster any demands on the Administration around issues like forcing the Justice Department to indict murderous police officers or for the state to address the theft of Black wealth, even at the height of the Black Lives Matter insurgency. Not only were the Obamas able to move Black America to the right, but they were able to insult Black America every step of the way.

Michelle Obama’s racist dog whistle against Black men wasn’t the first time that the Obama duo attacked Black people. In 2008, then Presidential candidate Barack Obama castigated Black men as absentee fathers . Obama didn’t mention that data suggests Black men are the most committed fathers of any other group studied in the nation. But Obama’s comments are not about respectability. The myth of the absentee Black father is but a trope for the criminalization of Black men, where massive levels of exploitation and oppression by way of discrimination, police violence, incarceration, and poverty faced by Black people can be erased in favor of the Reaganite mantra of personal responsibility.

“Not only were the Obamas able to move Black America to the right, but they were able to insult Black America every step of the way.”

Once in office, the Obama Administration made it clear that it was the Presidency of all people, not Black people. Of course, what Obama meant was that he was the President of Wall Street, the ruling elites, and the white Americans who do their bidding. In a 2013 speech at Morehouse College, Barack Obama lectured Black men about personal responsibility. He told new graduates to stop blaming slavery for their problems and focus instead on being good fathers. Thus, the Obamas are no stranger to hurling insults at Black people whenever the opportunity arises. This was an especially useful skill during the Black insurgency that developed in the wake of the police state murders of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Obama made sure to repeat the mantra of demonic Black men by criminalizing the victims as violent, drug-induced thugs and labeling the righteous rebellion of Black people as “excuse making” and “criminal behavior.”

White supremacy is the fuel that drives the imperialist system. U.S. imperialism is a system of extermination that relies upon the dehumanization of Black Americans, indigenous peoples, and non-whites in the formerly colonized world to justify the capitalist exploitation of the ruling elites. Obama expanded the tentacles of imperialist destruction and the world awaits as to whether Trump will receive two terms to outdo his predecessor. However, the consequences of the Obama Administration’s policies live on into the Trump period. Black Americans were repeatedly insulted during the Obama period all the while the so-called “first Black President” expanded U.S. wars abroad and oversaw the massive theft of Black freedom and wealth through Wall Street and the mass incarceration regime. In a word, Obama helped facilitate the further destruction of the Black condition while placing the blame on Black people.

“Obama told new graduates to stop blaming slavery for their problems and focus instead on being good fathers.”

A diseased politics of respectability gave Obama clearance to do the bidding of the ruling class without any protest from the majority of Black Americans and other “progressive” sections of the population. Because Obama was considered Black, the fact that he spoke and acted like a ruling class white supremacist oligarch was given little attention. Obama gave the ruling class a gasp of air from the political and economic crisis of imperialism by painting the system with a darker hue. The Democratic Party solidified its position as the “diverse” face of Wall Street and war. The politics of respectability gave Obama, Clinton, and the rest of the Democratic Party brass a thin layer of legitimacy that has quickly eroded in the era of Trump. The Democratic Party is struggling to defeat an arch racist billionaire and neoliberal partners such as French President Macron and German President Merkel face a similar fate to the Democrats in their respective imperial nations.

An old dog has trouble learning new tricks, especially if that dog is on the leash of the monopoly capitalist class. Michelle Obama continues to insult Black men because it is advantageous to the family. Barack and Michelle Obama are raking in hundreds of millions from books, speaking tours, and investments in gentrification in cities such as Chicago. When it comes to imperialism, it pays to be anti-Black. Ant-Black tirades are profitable, especially for a family currently building a post-Presidential fortune for diligently serving and directing the forces that incarcerate, murder, and impoverish Black Americans across the nation.

Danny Haiphong is an activist and journalist in the New York City area. He and Roberto Sirvent are co-authors of the forthcoming book entitled American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News- From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror (Skyhorse Publishing). He can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com

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Indigenous Groups in Brazil Rise in Opposition to Jair Bolsonaro

Source: Internationalist 360°

https://peoplesdispatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/EleNao-Brazil.pngIllustration by @nana/ Twitter

  • A number of indigenous candidates from various political groups from the Amazon region called for the creation of an Indigenous Parliamentary Front

Ahead of the first round of the elections in Brazil on October 7, indigenous communities openly declared their opposition to the right-wing candidate, Jair Bolsonaro. A number of indigenous candidates from various political groups from the Amazon region called for the creation of an Indigenous Parliamentary Front to resist the possibility of the formation of a right-wing government under Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro’s racist remarks and stances have been a major reason for such a development.

Bolsonaro, the candidate of the Social Liberal Party (PSL), had earlier said that he would not give an inch to indigenous reservations. He also regards the current area under reservations for indigenous nationalities to be too high and has vowed to scrap it. According to certain reports, Bolsonaro has been endorsed by big business ventures which want to scrap sovereign land rights given to indigenous communities over 118 million hectares, especially in the Amazon region. These rights prevent such capitalists from exploiting the resources in these areas. The agribusiness lobby (large landowners, cattle ranchers and producers of grains for export markets) too is targeting the indigenous land demarcated by the 1988 constitution for the expansion of their industries. The 2010 census in Brazil shows that there were 896,917 indigenous people in Brazil (0.47% of the population of 190.7 million in 2010) and they occupy around 13% of the national territory, which the powerful agribusiness lobby is eager to exploit.

Bolsonaro’s vice-presidential candidate, Antonio Hamilton Mourao, a retired army general, has also evoked protests with his racist remarks against indigenous communities. These comments by the candidates come at a time when violent attacks against indigenous activists are high in the Amazon region. This has been among the factors that have prompted members of the indigenous communities to propose a clear political line against Bolsonaro.

Cuba in Africa: Solidarity in the face of brutality

Photo: Juvenal Balán

The Cassinga massacre was the worst air attack perpetuated against the adherents of SWAPO, the political organization opposing South Africa’s domination and occupation of Namibian territory.

Some 600 refugees, the majority women, children, and elders lost their lives at the hands of the apartheid forces.

The efforts of Cuban military forces that continued their advance toward

Cassinga, despite the bombing, forced the attackers to retreat and saved the lives of some 3,000 refugees in the camp.

Cuba’s contribution

Cuba’s contribution was not only military, but also humanitarian, with vital assistance provided to the victims, many of whom went on to study on the island.

Although the apartheid forces achieved their military objectives, the massacre was a political defeat, with the United Nations approving Resolution 435, supporting the independence of Namibia.

Africa is a continent with important historical roots in Cuba, key to the development of our national identity.

Cuba’s efforts on the continent after the Revolution are also a tribute to the African slaves who with their sweat, blood and spirit of resistance contributed to our country.

Cuba has always been guided by the principles of solidarity and cooperation in its relations with Africa, as the internationalist legacy of our Comandante en Jefe dictates.

Our historic cooperation continues, with thousands of collaborators supporting socio-economic development in countries across the continent.

USA: The Great, Bloody Black Dispersal from the Cities

Source:  Black Agenda Report

March  1 2018

“The grand plan is to reverse the demography of the Seventies by forcing Blacks out of the central cities and into suburbs and small towns, rendering Black people incapable of ever again launching a national movement headquartered in the urban centers.”

support our schools.jpgThe Great, Bloody Black Dispersal from the Cities

The urban saga of the 1950s, 60s and early 70s was white flight from the cities, fueled by massive public and private investment in the invention of suburbia. In the 21st century, the racial dynamic has been purposely reversed, as the window closes on Black majority cities—and on dreams of concentrated, Black urban political power.

The rapidly unfolding dispersal of Blacks from the cities, like the white invasion of the surrounding hinterlands in the previous era, is the result of deliberate state policies, dictated by finance capital. But, this time, the demographic makeover has been effectuated and politically finessed with the active collaboration of a Black misleadership class that, paradoxically, owes its existence to the concentration of Black populations during the Sixties and Seventies.

The de-Blackening of urban America is a wrenchingly painful and bloody amputation-in-progress. In a frenzy of demolition, the U.S. has lost a quarter million units of public housing since the mid-1990s, only a small fraction of which has been replaced with new public housing, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Black mayors and heavily Black city councils have, typically, bought into the notion that concentrations of poor Black people are, by definition, vectors of pathology, while concentrations of affluent whites are the indispensable ingredients of urban “renaissance.” It is the logic of apartheid, cloaked in phony economics.

“The de-Blackening of urban America is a wrenchingly painful and bloody amputation-in-progress.”

Gentrification and renaissance-making—euphemisms for Black-removal—are violent processes. Whole neighborhoods are condemned for “rehabilitation” from “blight”—another euphemism, since the targeted infestation is human. The real estate industry covets the land, but demands that it first be cleansed of undesirable inhabitants. This requires the ruthless application of police force, creating a hostile environment, especially for young Black males, whose mothers begin to seek an exit to the South or a nearby, Blackening suburb. It is no coincidence that police forces in “renaissance”-minded cities across the nation introduced draconian “stop-and-frisk,” “designated drug zone” and “anti-gang” policies in the Nineties, as gentrification went into high gear. They methodically created an unbearably hostile environment for unwanted families.

Gentrification requires the destabilization of the existing populations in targeted neighborhoods. Politicians that respond to the imperatives of capital—and that means virtually all big-city Democrats, of all races—acquiesce to or champion policies that destabilize the lives of their poor Black constituents, all the while claiming it is for their own good. The most powerful local government tool, other than the police, is the public school system. Gentrifying mayors across the country have sought and won control of local schools and used that power to make city life untenable for the “excess” Black populations of their cities.

“The school closings added new layers of instability to the lives of families on Chicago’s heavily Black south and west sides.”

No mayor has been more intent on driving Blacks from his city than Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s former chief of staff and close political ally. Building on the mayhem inflicted on Black Chicago by his predecessors, Emanuel caused the closing 50 schools. The result was catastrophic, as students were forced to transit unfamiliar gang turf to attend schools that were often no better than the shuttered ones in the own neighborhoods. Many kids died. “What people don’t understand is that if you are 16 years old and get on a bus, when you get off that bus you are gang-affiliated whether you are gang-affiliated or not,” said activist Jitu Brown .

Just as the closing of Chicago’s public housing disrupted gang turf and drug markets, setting off a huge increase in street killings, the school closings added new layers of instability to the lives of families on Chicago’s heavily Black south and west sides, the besieged neighborhoods where closings were concentrated. It was the last straw for some parents. As the Chicago Reporter wrote, in an article last December: “Some academics blame city officials for making it harder for poor African-Americans, in particular, to live in Chicago. They closed neighborhood schools and mental health clinics ; failed to rebuild public housing, dispersing thousands of poor black families across the region, and inadequately responded to gun violence, unemployment and foreclosures in black communities.”

“Building on the mayhem inflicted on Black Chicago by his predecessors, Emanuel caused the closing 50 schools.”

“It’s a menu of disinvestment,” says Elizabeth Todd-Breland, who teaches African-American history at the University of Illinois Chicago. “The message that public policy sends to black families in the city is that we’re not going to take care of you and if you just keep going away, that’s OK.”

The message is intentional—and effective. “Chicago’s public schools have lost more than 52,000 students in the past 10 years,” according to a report titled “The Bleeding of Chicago ,” by CityLab. “That’s because school closures sometimes prompt parents to leave the city altogether.” (Thanks to Richard Prince’s Journal-isms for bringing this information to a larger audience.)

In less than two decades, Chicago lost 250,000 Black residents, one quarter of its total Black population. That’s more than the Black populations of New Orleans and Atlanta , and equal to the Black population of Manhattan, New York City. And, it’s happening all over the country, because Black removal from the cities is the national policy of both corporate parties.

The grand plan is to dilute the Black presence, to reverse the demography of the Seventies by forcing Blacks out of the central cities and into suburbs and small towns, leaving the cities to affluent whites and rendering Black people incapable of ever again launching a national movement headquartered in the urban centers.

“Chicago lost 250,000 Black residents, one quarter of its total Black population.”

Black politics is in an existential crisis. This state of affairs has come about, not because Black people failed to vote or to exercise political agency, but because they followed the lead of a grasping and self-centered Black misleadership class that is hopelessly entangled with the Democratic Party and its Wall Street and Silicon Valley funders—the same forces that seek to neutralize the Black political presence in the U.S. Barack Obama gave the game away in his address to the Democratic National Convention, in 2004: “There is no Black America…there is only the United States of America.” But most Black people failed to understand his meaning.

However, the folks that formed the Black Is Back Coalition, in 2009, had heard Obama, loud and clear. There is little time left to preserve Black majorities in Baltimore, Birmingham, Detroit, Cleveland, Savannah and Newark (it’s has already been lost in Washington, DC, and will soon slip away in Atlanta), or to maintain strong pluralities in Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Norfolk.

Black people can only maintain a powerful and secure presence in the cities through a vibrant, independent, self-determinationist politics. Otherwise, Black dispersal will proceed along its bloody, maddening course, and at a quickening pace.

That’s why the Black is Back Coalition is holding an Electoral School, April 7 to 9 , in St. Louis, Missouri (which lost its slim Black majority in this century). The Coalition is guided by a 19-point National Black Political Agenda for Self-Determination, a document that addresses virtually every issue confronting Black people. Below are four points that are particularly relevant to the push-out of Blacks from the cities:

Black Community Control of the Police. We demand the immediate withdrawal of all domestic military occupation forces from Black communities. This democratic demand assumes the ability of Black people to mobilize for our own security and to redefine the role of the police so that it no longer functions as an agency imposed on us from the outside.

Roll Back and End Mass Black Incarceration. The U.S. mass Black incarceration regime is designed to contain, terrorize and criminalize an entire people, with the result that one out of eight prison inmates on the planet is a Black person in the U.S. As a minimal demand, every U.S. incarcerating authority must take immediate steps to roll back the national prison and jail population to 1972 levels, resulting in the release of 4 out of 5 current inmates in a process overseen by representatives of the imprisoned peoples’ communities––primarily people of color. As a maximum demand, all Africans must be immediately released from U.S. prisons and jails and our community given the democratic right to determine their fate.

Halt Gentrification through the empowerment, stabilization and restoration of traditional Black neighborhoods. Black people have the right to develop, plan and preserve our own communities. No project shall be considered “development” that does not serve the interests of the impacted population, nor should any people-displacing or otherwise disruptive project be allowed to proceed without the permission of that population. Peoples that have been displaced from our communities by public or private development schemes have the Right to Return to our communities, from New Orleans to Harlem.

Right to Free Education through post-graduate level. Public schools must meet the highest standards of excellence, under the supervision of educational boards directly elected by the communities they serve. We oppose both for-profit schooling and philosophies of teaching that put profit over human development, and we support democratic educational values and strategies that empower students and their communities to determine their own destinies. In the immediate term, Black people in the U.S. need education that facilitates our liberation from white supremacy and corporate hegemony.

Make arrangements to attend the Black Is Back Coalition Electoral School. It’s a lot later than you think.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com

The EFF, South Africa’s Militant Emancipation Movement

Video Source:  TeleSUR

Inspired by Thomas Sankara South Africa’s Radical and Militant Emancipation Movement Take to the Streets

In South Africa, in January, demonstrators led by the EFF, the Economic Freedom Fighters, took to the streets and the malls in protest after H&M, the Swedish clothing brand, used a black child to model a hoodie with the slogan “coolest monkey in the jungle” written across it.  The H&M ad caused widespread outrage when the image of the young boy surfaced on their site online.

Who are the EFF?

eff 1.jpg

Related:

Dr. Mutulu Shakur – It is time for his release

Source:  Moorbey’z blog / mutulushakur
February 26 2018

mutulu shakur.jpgDr. Mutulu Shakur has been a federal prisoner since 1986. He has been denied parole eight times, has taken full responsibility for his actions, has served as a force for good and anti-violence throughout his decades of incarceration, is an elder and has multiple health complications, has a loving family that needs him, and upon release will continue to inspire people to seek self-improvement through peaceful and constructive means, as he has done while incarcerated.

The acts of which Dr. Shakur was convicted some thirty years ago were committed in the context of a movement seeking equal opportunities for black people who, it is widely conceded, were suffering catastrophically from disenfranchisement, segregation, poverty and exclusion from many of the fundamental necessities that make life worth living.

Dr. Shakur participated in civil rights, black liberation and alternative health care all as part of movements of the late 1960’s to the 1980’s. It was a period of civil conflict in which millions of Americans participated in social movements for justice and freedom.

Read full article here