The Reactionary Nature of Black Politics

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The Reactionary Nature of Black Politics – Pascal Robert

Lawyer, Co-Founder of The Haitian Bloggers’ Caucus

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

"What has caused Black people, after almost 400 years in North America, and after 150 years of emancipation from slavery, to be mired in a social condition that is becoming more debilitating by the day? One need not sound off the various statistics available illustrating the evisceration of whatever illusory semblance of progress Blacks have made, particularly since the post movement era after the 1960s."

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MILTON ALLIMADI             MAY 11,2013

[Publisher’s Commentary]

There are many unanswered questions about the violent death of Malcolm Shabazz, the 28-year-old grandson of legendary freedom fighter Malcolm X.

U.S. authorities should be involved in any investigation into the death. The Shabazz family should also hire private investigators to work alongside official investigators; supporters of the family must extend any assistance the family may need.

The most authoritative account so far comes from Miguel Suarez, who’s been described as a person who organized Mexican workers in the United States and was expelled from the U.S. in April.

Suarez reportedly told the Associated Press that he was with Malcolm Shabazz when he was killed. Malcolm Shabazz had traveled through San Diego to Mexico, and then traveled to Mexico City by road, accompanied by Suarez’s mother, according to the account.

He was to help the Mexican by lending his well-known family name to publicize Suarez’s deportation.

More information is needed. How exactly was Malcolm Shabazz to help Suarez? How did Malcolm know Suarez and for how long? Who organized the trip? What has Suarez’s mother said so far?

It’s important for as much information to come out, given the legacy of the Malcolm Shabazz family: being in the public eye for such a long time and not unfamiliar with violent ends including to his famous grandfather.

Suarez told the The Associated Press (AP) that he and Malcolm Shabazz went to a bar at Plaza Garibaldi on Wednesday, where the attack occurred hours later, and Malcolm died on Thursday.

According to the Associated Press, although the Plaza Garibaldi, where the two went, is popular with tourists “the pair were at a bar across the street from the plaza in an area of rough dive bars tourists are warned against going to.”

“We were dancing with the girls and drinking,” in the bar, Suarez, told the AP, and added that the owner of the bar wanted them to pay a $1,200 bar tab, for music, drinks and the girls’ companionship.

“We pretty much got hassled,” the AP quotes Suarez as saying. At this point the story gets very murky.

Suarez told The Associated Press that a “short dude came with a gun” and took him to a separate room.

“Suarez said he heard a violent commotion in the hall and escaped from the room and the bar altogether as he saw half-naked girls running away, picking up their skirts from the dance floor,” according to the AP’s account.

“Minutes later, Suarez came back in a cab to look for Shabazz and found him on the ground outside the bar severely injured.”

“He was in shock. His face was messed up,” Suarez is quoted saying by the AP. “He was alive.” He’s also quoted saying: “I grabbed him, and I called the cops.”Malcolm Shabazz  was then taken to a hospital where he died hours later of blunt-force injuries, according to Suarez’s account to the AP.

There are many unanswered questions at this point:

1. How did Suarez himself survive the gunman whom he says took him to another room?

2. Why was he taken to another room and what happened while he was there?

3. How long was Suarez in the other room with the gunman and how did he escape?

4. How long was Suarez away before he returned for Malcolm Shabazz in the cab?

5. Who else witnessed the beating of Malcolm Shabazz since, presumably, there were other patrons inside the bar and there were also people outside the bar?

6. Was this a bar that Suarez had frequented in the past and did he know the people who own or operate the bar?

7. Perhaps the most important question: Suarez says he was taken away by a gunman and that while he was in another room he “heard a commotion”; presumably this was Malcolm Shabazz being beaten.

Yet, even after he had been held at gunpoint and somehow managed to escape, instead of calling the police immediately, Suarez left and then “came back in a cab to look for Shabazz.”

It was then only after he found Shabazz with his face “messed up” that he called the police.

One would hope that someone held at gunpoint and who heard a “commotion” suggesting his companion to the bar was being harmed would call the police first.

These are the kind of questions that investigators should seek to address and Suarez may have good enough answers. But in the meantime, there are too many red flags and the sooner we get answers the better.

Also, as Black Star News columnist Patrick Delices noted in his article, Malcolm Shabazz has actually written about the possibility of being taken out — not in a purported bar fight but at the hands of U.S. agents. This is part of what Malcolm Shabazz had posted in March:

“The formula for a public assassination is: the character assassination before the physical assassination; so one has to be made killable before the eyes of the public in order for their eventual murder to then deemed justifiable. And when the time arrives for these hits to be carried out you’re not going to see a C.I.A. agent with a suit & tie, and a badge that says ‘C.I.A.’ walk up to someone, and pull the trigger. What they will do is to out-source to local police departments in the region of their target, and to employ those that look like the target of interest to infiltrate the workings in order to set up the environment for the eventual assassination (character, physical/incarceration, exile) to take place.”


Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System l Chris Hedges

Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

April 1, 2013

Photo illustration by PZS based on an image byLin Pernille Photography

By Chris Hedges

A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.

Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards a peculiar form of analytical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is prized by money managers and corporations. They don’t want employees to ask uncomfortable questions or examine existing structures and assumptions. They want them to serve the system. These tests produce men and women who are just literate and numerate enough to perform basic functions and service jobs. The tests elevate those with the financial means to prepare for them. They reward those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.

“Imagine,” said a public school teacher in New York City, who asked that I not use his name, “going to work each day knowing a great deal of what you are doing is fraudulent, knowing in no way are you preparing your students for life in an ever more brutal world, knowing that if you don’t continue along your scripted test prep course and indeed get better at it you will be out of a job. Up until very recently, the principal of a school was something like the conductor of an orchestra: a person who had deep experience and knowledge of the part and place of every member and every instrument. In the past 10 years we’ve had the emergence of both [Mayor] Mike Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy and Eli Broad’s Superintendents Academy, both created exclusively to produce instant principals and superintendents who model themselves after CEOs. How is this kind of thing even legal? How are such ‘academies’ accredited? What quality of leader needs a ‘leadership academy’? What kind of society would allow such people to run their children’s schools? The high-stakes tests may be worthless as pedagogy but they are a brilliant mechanism for undermining the school systems, instilling fear and creating a rationale for corporate takeover. There is something grotesque about the fact the education reform is being led not by educators but by financers and speculators and billionaires.”

Teachers, under assault from every direction, are fleeing the profession. Even before the “reform” blitzkrieg we were losing half of all teachers within five years after they started work—and these were people who spent years in school and many thousands of dollars to become teachers. How does the country expect to retain dignified, trained professionals under the hostility of current conditions? I suspect that the hedge fund managers behind our charter schools system—whose primary concern is certainly not with education—are delighted to replace real teachers with nonunionized, poorly trained instructors. To truly teach is to instill the values and knowledge which promote the common good and protect a society from the folly of historical amnesia. The utilitarian, corporate ideology embraced by the system of standardized tests and leadership academies has no time for the nuances and moral ambiguities inherent in a liberal arts education. Corporatism is about the cult of the self. It is about personal enrichment and profit as the sole aim of human existence. And those who do not conform are pushed aside.

“It is extremely dispiriting to realize that you are in effect lying to these kids by insinuating that this diet of corporate reading programs and standardized tests are preparing them for anything,” said this teacher, who feared he would suffer reprisals from school administrators if they knew he was speaking out. “It is even more dispiriting to know that your livelihood depends increasingly on maintaining this lie. You have to ask yourself why are hedge fund managers suddenly so interested in the education of the urban poor? The main purpose of the testing craze is not to grade the students but to grade the teacher.”

“I cannot say for certain—not with the certainty of a Bill Gates or a Mike Bloomberg who pontificate with utter certainty over a field in which they know absolutely nothing—but more and more I suspect that a major goal of the reform campaign is to make the work of a teacher so degrading and insulting that the dignified and the truly educated teachers will simply leave while they still retain a modicum of self-respect,” he added. “In less than a decade we been stripped of autonomy and are increasingly micromanaged. Students have been given the power to fire us by failing their tests. Teachers have been likened to pigs at a trough and blamed for the economic collapse of the United States. In New York, principals have been given every incentive, both financial and in terms of control, to replace experienced teachers with 22-year-old untenured rookies. They cost less. They know nothing. They are malleable and they are vulnerable to termination.”

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The World As It Is: 

Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

A collection of Truthdig Columns
by Chris Hedges

Keep up with Chris Hedges’ latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at


Greenwald vs. Maher on the ‘Unique’ Nastiness of Muslims – Truthdig

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Friday night on Bill Maher’s “Real Time,” Guardian columnist and former civil rights litigator Glenn Greenwald attacked the view that Islam is a “uniquely” threatening force in the world and that Muslims should be deprived of the benefits of the…

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

"On the show, Maher said the United States is not responsible for the prevalence of dictatorships throughout the Middle East.


Greenwald responded: “We were supporting and propping up Mubarak for 30 years. Even as we were cheering for all the Tahrir Square demonstrators as if we were on their side, it was our government that kept Mubarak in power, just like we’ve done across the entire Muslim world. And it’s amazing for you to say that, ‘Look at all these Muslims. The minute you give them a little freedom they go wild and they start being all violent.’ How can you be a citizen of the United States, the country that has generated more violence and militarism in the world over the last five or six decades and say, ‘Look at those people over there. They are incredibly violent.’ ”

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More Than $100 Billion in Subsidies for Too Big to Fail Banks – Truthdig

See on Scoop.itOUR COMMON GROUND News Board •● ☥●• The Third Eye Parenthesis

A Bloomberg Markets magazine study estimates that dirt-cheap borrowing programs and other benefits have saved the nation’s six largest banks—JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley—$102 billion…

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

"Hilariously, big bank officials briefly considered pushing smaller community banks—which don’t enjoy the subsidy that the big banks get and are thus at a competitive disadvantage—to help them with the pushback, the WSJ reported. Wisely, they dropped the idea."

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Officers Reportedly Beat California Man to Death as He Begs for His Life – Truthdig

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A defense attorney says a number of witnesses caught the beating on cellphone cameras, but those phones were seized by deputies before an arrest warrant was served.
– 2013/05/13

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

"Witness Ruben Ceballos, 19, says he saw two officers beating the victim with batons. “They were hitting his head so every time they would swing, I could hear the blows to his head.” Ceballos added that he could hear Silva screaming for help, but says those cries didn’t stop officers from continuing to beat the man.

Another witness, who said his first name was John, said Silva “wasn’t resisting arrest, he was begging for his life.”

A number of people are said to have caught the incident on cellphone cameras. Those phones, however, were seized by deputies before an arrest warrant was served, a defense attorney says."

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Is Obama Delivering on His Promise of a ‘21st Century’ Approach to Drugs? – Truthdig

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Many public health experts say the administration deserves credit for increasing access to drug treatment.

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus‘s insight:

Is Obama Delivering on His Promise of a ‘21st Century’ Approach to Drugs?


"But a government report released a day after the latest proposal questioned the office’s impact so far.

“As of March 2013, GAO’s analysis showed that of the five goals for which primary data on results are available, one shows progress and four show no progress,” the report by the Government Accountability Office found. For instance, the GAO noted that there’s actually been an increase in HIV transmissions among drug users and drug-related deaths, as well as no difference in the prevalence of drug use among teens."

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