Indictments, disruptions, arrests, defamation, incarceration and even assassination are the weapons used to discredit Black people who act in opposition to the system and who call for liberation. They will always be targets of state persecution and prosecution.
Black people who assert their rights to be sovereign and liberated have always been treated as enemies to be silenced or destroyed. Even enslaved people who sought to escape from bondage were labeled as sufferers of “drapetomania.” The effort to pathologize and stigmatize the fight for freedom never ended. To this very day Black liberation is diminished and discredited as being wrong headed or dangerous.
The descendants of those who bravely attempted to escape chattel slavery were treated in the same manner. Black radicals such as Paul Robeson, Claudia Jones, and W.E.B. Dubois were destroyed by McCarthyite witch hunts. Robeson and Dubois were denied their rights to travel and to work and Jones was deported, all in effort to silence them and anyone whom they might inspire to act as they did.
J. Edgar Hoover’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) followed with FBI instigated killings of Fred Hampton, Mark Clark and others, and the creation of a mass incarceration state which is the world’s worst, with more than 2 million people behind bars. Assassination and incarceration are always methods of eradicating Black people deemed to be threats to the system.
As a proud proponent of the Black radical tradition Black Agenda Report has also been targeted by the state and its allies. In 2016 the Washington Post promoted Propaganda or Not (Propornot), an anonymous group which named individuals and web sites said to be under Russian influence and who included Black Agenda Report on their list. The Propornot list was created in the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton. The elite class feared that Trump might actually challenge their rule in some meaningful way. Hence the need to continue Hillary Clinton’s campaign canard of Russian interference in U.S. elections.
Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is also the founder and CEO of Amazon, which secured a $600 million contract with the CIA to maintain its cloud services. The Washington Post had a long history of collaboration with the CIA for many years before the Bezos purchase, and it isn’t alone in being a conduit of information that presidents, congress, the CIA and the entire state apparatus find useful for propaganda purposes. It is difficult to believe that there was not some connection between the Washington Post and a group which appeared out of nowhere and which suddenly garnered great media and public attention.
The New York Times has also been a willing agent of influence like the Washington Post. To this day its so-called reporting is rife with anonymous sources who make the case for war and other criminality around the world.
Those who struggle domestically and internationally against the political duopoly and their handiwork of domestic and international oppression will always be attacked by these forces, as will those who support them in any way. It is the left, particularly the Black left who are censored altogether when they are removed from platforms, or prevented from having their work reach larger audiences.
As the U.S. decline accelerates, so will this process of targeting Black people. The African People’s Socialist Party leadership and solidarity members, the Uhuru Three , were indicted and charged with being agents of Russian influence, as if they or other Black people lack agency to determine the cause of their condition.
China is now placed on an equal footing in the scaremongering department. Joe Biden felt compelled to publicly vilify Xi Jinping in his state of the union address and later undermined his own staff in their efforts to secure improved relations.
China has joined Russia as the declared enemy, the adversary used to get buy-in for arms sales, proxy wars or other provocations. Anyone who speaks out against these acts will become a target too, as will supporters and anyone in solidarity with them.
In fact any challenge to the duopoly is met with scorn intended to diminish support. Dr. Cornel West’s announcement that he will seek the Green Party presidential nomination is treated with derision, even by supposed leftists at The Nation , who urge him to be the latest “sheep dog” and Democratic Party puppet who will disappear at the appointed time.
Black Agenda Report will remain in the cross hairs of the state apparatus, their minions in corporate media, and shadowy social media operatives. The demonization may come from a variety of sources but they can all be counted on to carry out orders. Make no mistake that they are under orders. Joe Biden, the latest oligarchy errand boy in the White House, is in serious trouble as he seeks re-election. His team may come up with subpar propaganda like “Putin’s price hikes” or “Bidenomics,” but they live in fear of an informed or engaged citizenry.
The fear is why Black Agenda Report and its allies are important. The fear also explains why the forces arrayed against us continue their fight. Black liberation is dangerous to them. Anti-imperialism is dangerous to them. Challenging the political duopoly is dangerous to them. Allowing any counter narrative to thrive puts the system at risk. Journalistic and political underlings will always be ready to assist in the task of doing the state’s business.