Author Archives: Margaret Kimberley

Brittney Griner and the U.S. State

Brittney Griner's ordeal in Russia is over. But she has been secreted away for "reintegration" and the U.S. continues its own brand of international hostage taking.

WNBA player Brittney Griner was arrested in Moscow on February 17, 2022, exactly one week before the Russian government began what it called its Special Military Operation in Ukraine. Griner was returning home from playing in Russia during the off-season and was carrying CBD oil in her luggage. While legal in much of the United States, any marijuana formulation is illegal in the Russian Federation. She was finally released on December 8, 2022 in a prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Continue reading

Hakeem Jeffries and the railroad workers

A new Black "first" came along at the same moment that the Democratic Party showed itself to be a servant of the ruling classes. Hakeem Jeffries is a very willing tool of powerful people. There is no reason to celebrate his ascension to the House Minority Leader position.

The Black Agenda Report team is proud to have coined the phrases “Black misleadership class” and “Black political class.” These words cannot be uttered and written too often because they name and shame the people who work alongside the neoliberal and imperialist order in the United States while also pretending to act on behalf of Black people, whose needs are antithetical to those of the oligarchy. Continue reading

Worthy and unworthy protest

Protesters in some nations are celebrated. Others are ignored. Protest is a human right to be respected but instead can be used as a pretext for nefarious motives such as regime change.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is on the verge of effectively making protest illegal. The Public Order Bill has passed in the House of Commons and is expected to be approved in the House of Lords and become law. The bill will ban any protest that “interferes with national infrastructure” or blocks construction or transportation. It gives police powers to search without “reasonable grounds.” It allows for Serious Disruption Prevention Orders (SDPO) which give police the right to arrest anyone who may have violated these deliberately vague rules and prevents them from attending another protest for up to two years. The ban gives police the right to electronically monitor anyone they think is in violation. These criteria effectively prevent any large scale public protest. Violators of these provisions may be sentenced to up to 51 weeks in jail if found guilty. Continue reading

Xi Jinping, Justin Trudeau and white supremacist ideology

Western arrogance and anger about the economic prowess of a non-white nation resulted in Xi Jinping's very public dressing down of Justin Trudeau.

The Group of 20, or G20, comprises those nations said to be those with the largest economies in the world. The heads of state who attend the annual summit may have meaningful meetings with one another but the recently convened G20 in Bali, Indonesia was more a source of U.S. inspired drama than anything else. For example, it wasn’t clear if Chinese president Xi Jinping would meet with Joe Biden after the numerous insults involving Taiwan, including sending the Speaker of the House there after China made clear that this was a red line provocation. Of course, being more mature than the Americans, Xi met with Biden, perhaps only to determine if he was up to some new foolish behavior. The summit was fully devoid of any seriousness when the traditional group photo was eliminated because the U.S. and its NATO/EU vassals didn’t want to be seen with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. But an interesting encounter between Xi Jinping and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau was both amusing and instructive about China and how it is perceived and treated by western nations. Continue reading

Bittersweet freedom for Mutulu Shakur

Mutulu Shakur has been granted parole, but he is terminally ill. Black political prisoners in this country are held for 30, 40 and 50 years. Reprieve happens only when they are at death's door.

After 36 years of incarceration, political prisoner Mutulu Shakur was granted parole after having been denied on nine occasions. Invariably media accounts mention that he is the step-father of the late rapper and actor Tupac Shakur while saying little about his own history. Any of the elder Shakur’s accomplishments are given short shrift in favor of an emphasis on pop culture celebrity. Continue reading

Why Democrats don’t win the way they should

The people prefer the initiatives which Democratic Party leadership claim to support. But their interests are those of the oligarchy and not of the voters. Slim margins of legislative victory bring compromise and gridlock which the leadership don't really oppose.

Votes are still being counted in the midterm elections. It isn’t clear which party will control the House and the Senate with so many races still in contention. Democrats won a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, while a Georgia race is so close that it will probably result in a runoff election which will determine control of the Senate. Continue reading

Politicians make Black people the face of crime

Manufactured crime panics are still a successful method of getting votes from white people.

When politicians and corporate media speak of crime they are invariably talking about Black people as a group. The latest manufactured crime panic is following a very old and successful playbook. The dog whistle is very clearly heard by white people, who don’t need very much encouragement to indulge in their worst racist fantasies. Politicians feed the madness and then profit from it, making Black people the face of crime and then winning office as result. Continue reading

Europe under control of the U.S. mafia

Who benefits from the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines which connect Germany to natural gas in Russia? The U.S. has the means, motive, and opportunity and was publicly opposed to the project for many years. Yet the crime victims are strangely silent about identifying the probable perpetrator. Continue reading

Asylum, migration and U.S. foreign policy

Immigration rules are often determined by U.S. foreign policy. Citizens of nations under U.S. attack, such as Venezuela, are made eligible for asylum. Haitians suffer under U.S. dictates but are deported and returned to the hell that Washington created.

Every day the Republican governors of Texas, Greg Abbott, and Florida, Ron DeSantis, eagerly announce that they are sending people generically labeled as migrants to what are known as sanctuary cities. The corporate media report that thousands of people have been convinced to board buses to New York City or Washington DC or Sacramento or Chicago or even chartered flights to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. What they don’t explain is who these migrants are and why their status is highly problematic and a function of imperialist foreign policy. Continue reading

Decolonizing the mind

The word decolonization should not be treated as trendy slang. It describes an important political and psychological process. Media and state attempts at indoctrination show just how important it is.

It is vital to free ourselves from belief in the systems of white supremacy and imperialism that are inculcated in the educational system and are affirmed and amplified by the media and establishment opinion. The recent death of Queen Elizabeth II puts the need for political and psychological liberation in high relief. We are encouraged to admire an anachronistic monarchy, and are exhorted to join in mourning an individual and a system that have caused great harm to Black and other oppressed people around the world. Continue reading

Biden’s MAGA obsession won’t help Democrats

Because Joe Biden and Democrats act on behalf of the oligarchy instead of the people, they now risk a mid-term election loss. His solution to this political problem is to speak endlessly about Donald Trump and shout the word MAGA at every opportunity.

Anyone paying attention knows that Joe Biden’s accomplishments as president are pretty sparse. The oligarchy allowed his American Rescue Plan stimulus program to go through but then put a stop on Build Back Better or any other legislation that would help the people in a meaningful way. The student loan debt relief plan is a bait and switch scam used against desperate people. Biden brags about allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies but that won’t happen until 2026 and will only be allowed for ten drugs that are to be named later. Continue reading

Liberals love Liz Cheney

When liberals aren't rehabilitating war criminals like George W. Bush, they fall in love with right-wing republicans like Liz Cheney. They stand for nothing and fall for anything.

Soon to be former Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney is the flavor of the month for liberals. The cause of the undeserved adulation is her condemnation of Donald Trump and his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Continue reading

Trump derangement syndrome returns

Why would Black people laud the FBI or criticize protection against self-incrimination? The FBI search of Donald Trump's home has reawakened Trump derangement syndrome.

Progressives love the FBI? Leftists embrace the Espionage Act? Of course, one man is responsible for this madness, and he is none other than Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States. The fallout from the FBI search conducted at Trump’s home shows the rank confusion spread by people who call themselves liberal but who are as dangerous as anyone on the right. From the moment that Trump announced the raid they were in full fascist mode, even as they claimed to be fighting fascism. Continue reading

Nancy Pelosi, white supremacy, and China

White supremacist arrogance was the order of the day when Nancy Pelosi ignored a red line set by the Chinese government and visited Taiwan. The Speaker of the House showed stereotypical and racist attitudes towards that country.

Nancy Pelosi is a member of the United States Congress. She isn’t just any member either, she is Speaker of the House of Representatives, an important leadership position in U.S. politics. She is also third in line to the presidency. If something should happen to the president and vice president she would lead the executive branch of government. Continue reading

FBI attack on the Uhuru movement is a warning

The FBI targeted the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) because it is a Black organization that has dared to confront and oppose U.S. imperialism. APSP is the first but they will not be the last.

On July 29, 2022, the FBI raided the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Uhuru Solidarity Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The raids were connected with the indictment of a Russian national who is accused of attempting to “cause turmoil in the United States” by engaging with “Unindicted Co-Conspirators” to act as agents of the Russian Federation. Continue reading

Glen Ford’s irreplaceable journalism

I was very proud to write the preface to Glen Ford's book, The Black Agenda, which published posthumously by OR Books. I endeavored to explain why Glen was truly irreplaceable.

In the best sense of the word a journalist is someone who brings to the public sphere accurate, well sourced information, and rigorous analysis. Those individuals speak for the marginalized, who can’t speak for themselves, and they expose the privileged, who are always given opportunities for expression. They point out the faults of those deemed too authoritative to be questioned. If an outlet claims to write all the news that is fit to print or declares that democracy dies in darkness, their work should be given more scrutiny than credibility. The journalist should be truly independent and skeptical of official narratives. Glen Ford was such a person. His decades of work provide a blueprint for anyone who wants that word to have real meaning and integrity. Continue reading

Celebrating revolution in Nicaragua

Genuine people’s holidays are hard to come by in the U.S. But in Nicaragua the ongoing revolutionary process is widely celebrated.

Holidays in the United States celebrate awful events such as the settler colonists declaring independence from Britain so that they might take indigenous lands and protect slavery. There is also Thanksgiving, the commemoration of genocide turned into a day when Americans should think grateful thoughts before spending more than they can afford in order to celebrate Christmas. Christmas is ostensibly a religious holiday but is rarely treated as such. Labor Day was created to prevent acknowledgement of May 1, May Day, which commemorates just one example of U.S. state repression which took place in Chicago in 1886. Continue reading

FBI still targets black people for entrapment

The COINTELPRO era never ended, as Black people bear the brunt of FBI surveillance. The war on terror gave a new rationale for using paid informants to entrap Black people. Romeo Langhorne is the latest victim of a government created crime.

Romeo Langhorne is the latest victim of an FBI phony terror entrapment scheme. On July 7, 2022, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for uploading a bomb making video. Langhorne didn’t make a bomb. He uploaded a video while under the direction of an FBI informant. The video had in fact been produced by the government. Continue reading

Protesting for Jayland Walker

The number of bullets used to kill Jayland Walker have sparked an outcry, but police kill one Black person every day in this country. If systemic change is not the demand all protest is for naught.

Jayland Walker was killed by police in Akron, Ohio when he was shot more than 60 times. The nature of his death, and the brutality of his killing, made headlines. But lest anyone forget, the police kill an average of three people every day in this country and one of those victims will be Black. Continue reading

Democrats exposed by the end of Roe v. Wade

The full extent of Democratic Party treachery was exposed when the Roe v. Wade decision was overturned. Only right-wing Americans have any expectation of getting what they want from the electoral process.

In May 2022, a memo was leaked to the media which indicated that the Supreme Court would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion. Despite the warning, the announcement of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision sent shockwaves across the country. The 6 to 3 conservative majority is doing just what Republicans promised they would do if they were given electoral control of the presidency, Senate, and state legislatures. Continue reading

The problem with Juneteenth

Juneteenth was a people's holiday with deep meaning for the descendants of enslaved people. But the declaration of an official federal holiday has turned it into an opportunity for corporate exploiters and cynical politicians to show pretend concern for Black people. At best Juneteenth provides a history lesson and an opportunity for much needed political education.

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” General Order Number 3, June 19, 1865 Continue reading

U.S. effort to hurt Russia undermines itself and the world

The U.S. drive to dominate creates self-inflicted wounds and self-imposed crises. It also creates suffering around the world with only the most servile vassal states willing to do what Washington wants.

The United States continues to shoot itself in the foot in its futile effort to damage the Russian economy. It is also asking other nations to do likewise and live with inflation, food scarcity, and rising energy prices. European countries have gone along with the sanctions which cut off their natural gas supplies from Russia when there is no logical alternative source for them. However, the rest of the world has refused to join in U.S. and EU condemnations or accept that they must live with privations caused by the reckless actions of other nations. Continue reading

Capitalism and baby formula

The baby formula shortage is not a glitch in the system. It actually exemplifies everything that goes wrong when the profit motive rules. Capitalism can't ensure a food supply or anything else that humans need.

“Socialism doesn’t work” is repeated like a mantra. We’re told endlessly that capitalism provides jobs, housing, food, and health care in this country when it does a very bad job of doing all these things. The United States is said to be “the richest country in the world,” a strange statement which implies that the people are prosperous even though they aren’t. Continue reading

The Poor People’s Campaign dishonors Martin Luther King

Some movement leaders say they are inspired by Martin Luther King while also supporting the U.S. proxy war against Russia. King's anti-war stance was uncompromising. He made a choice and didn't waiver in his condemnation of the U.S.

On April 4, 1967 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave one of the most significant speeches of his career. In “Beyond Vietnam – Time to Break Silence ” King declared his unequivocal opposition to the war in Vietnam. His very public break with Lyndon Johnson was greeted with derision, including from his own allies, who believed that the president was an ally who should not be attacked. The NAACP board passed a resolution calling King’s statement a “serious tactical mistake” that would neither “serve the cause of civil rights nor of peace.” The media joined in the condemnation, with the New York Times characterizing his comments as “facile” and “slander.” Even Black newspapers such as The Pittsburgh Courier judged his remarks to be “tragically misleading.” Continue reading

Obama wants censorship

Barack Obama and his ruling class bosses are losing legitimacy with more and more people. They have decided that censoring information will resolve their problems.

On April 21, 2022, former President Barack Obama gave a speech at Stanford University on the subject of social media. In typical Obamaesque fashion, he didn’t state his point plainly. He used a lot of time, more than an hour, to advocate for social media censorship. He only used that word once, in order to deny that it was in fact what he meant, but the weasel words and obfuscation couldn’t hide what Obama was talking about. Continue reading

The Ukraine crisis can’t save Biden

The U.S. propaganda victory over Russia will do Joe Biden and the democrats little good. Their willingness to act on their promises and meet the people's needs will be the deciding factors in determining their political fate.

The United States, its NATO allies, and their partners in corporate media are engaging in an unprecedented war propaganda effort. Their goal is to get and maintain public support for their actions against Russia which are playing out in Ukraine. The messaging is constant and isn’t at all subtle. One cannot go online for any purpose without seeing exhortations to help Ukrainian children, buy products colored in blue and yellow, or somehow “stand with Ukraine.” Continue reading

Liberal Russophobia and war propaganda

U.S. liberals are the worst perpetrators of Russophobic behavior. They are most likely to follow the dictates of corporate media and the Democratic Party and proudly take part in discriminatory acts. But foolish bans of anything Russian are just the most visible indication that war propaganda is at the root of the hysteria.

The city of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts prohibit discrimination based upon race, color, gender, disability, religion, and national origin. Such discrimination is prohibited by most cities, states, and the federal government as well. But one wouldn’t know that due to a plethora of discriminatory acts carried out against Russian nationals. The latest perpetrator is the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) , which announced that citizens of Russia and Belarus who reside in those countries will be barred from participating in the Boston marathon taking place on April 18, 2022. The war in Ukraine, years of Russiagate hysteria, and corporate media demonization of Vladimir Putin and all Russians have led to this moment of dubious distinction. Continue reading

Biden means what he says

Joe Biden may appear to be a confused old man when he blurts out whatever comes to mind. But his outbursts shouldn't be ignored. They always reveal his plans.

“I mean what I say when I say it!” Those words were spoken by president elect Joe Biden in December 2020 during a meeting with a group described as “civil rights leaders.” Video of the meeting was leaked and Biden’s insulting and dismissive attitude towards Black people was clear even to those who ignored this tendency he has shown throughout his 50 years of public life. Continue reading

The ongoing COVID disaster

Pollsters have advised Joe Biden to declare COVID over. But the pandemic revealed all the shortcomings of a political system which is dedicated to austerity and to protecting capitalist interests.

Nothing shows the abject failure of the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration like the continuing toll of COVID-19 deaths in this country. A pledge to end the COVID pandemic was a centerpiece of their 2020 campaign. They promised to improve upon Donald Trump’s disastrous handling of the crisis which resulted in the deaths of 385,000 people in 2020. Biden and Harris had 446,000 COVID deaths as of their first anniversary in office. The total COVID death toll is expected to reach 1 million by the end of March 2022. Now an Omicron subvariant, known as B.A.2, is becoming the dominant variant. The U.S. usually follows Europe in its COVID rates, and, on that basis, scientists are predicting a new wave in the next two to three weeks. Continue reading

Black Caucus fails on Ukraine

The members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) follow Biden's Ukraine policy in lock step. In doing so they fail their constituents and discredit the legacy of Black politics.

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. Continue reading

In praise of “whataboutism”

Anyone who speaks out against imperialism, capitalism, or racism with concrete examples of the terrible harm they do, can expect to be charged with the dreaded term “whataboutism.” Like clockwork, the act of revealing American crimes will result in an accusation that is used to silence dissent. Continue reading

Ukraine exposes white supremacist foreign policy

White supremacy is at the heart of US war propaganda. The exhortation to "stand with Ukraine" is no exception to this rule.

By now everyone knows that Ukraine’s flag is blue and yellow. It is impossible to miss as the Empire State Building in New York, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris have all been bathed in those colors. Nearly every city and town across the United States has followed suit and politicians ranging from local legislators to members of congress shout “Stand with Ukraine!” at every opportunity. Continue reading