Prospects for Freedom!

Laurence Henry photograph of Malcolm X: 1964

This week on COVID, Race, & Democracy:

The Shabazz Center celebrated the 97th birthday of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz / Malcolm X on May 19th 2022 in NYC. We hear from the daughter of Malcolm and Betty Shabazz Ilyasah Shabazz, introduced by Nahja Johnson, director of institutional advancement. In the early 1990s, the entire site on Broadway from 165th St. to 166th St., including the Audubon ballroom, faced demolition. The grassroots community, along with the late Dr. Betty Shabazz, successfully advocated to preserve the Audubon building as a Memorial to Malcolm X and a permanent symbol of the African Americans struggle for equality.

 “The Prospects for Freedom” speech is one of 3 speeches Malcolm X / El Haj Malik El Shabazz – delivered to the predominantly white and socialist Militant Labor Forum on January 7, 1965, just one month before he was assassinated. In this presentation he covers a wide range of topics including his legacy, and future predictions. Malcolm’s evolution from the Nation of Islam into a global leader, led to the formation of the Muslim Mosque Inc. and the OAAU. Each were changes in aspects of his paradigm, but not his analysis of racism and power. Despite becoming an Orthodox Muslim, Malcolm contends that he had not changed; however, he would no longer judge others by their skin, but by their action for justice and freedom.”  -Dr. Mtangalisi Sanyika 

From the Pacifica Archives, Malcolm X, El Haj Malik El Shabazz. Recorded at the Militant Labor Forum in New York City. January, 7, 1965.


Prisoners detained indefinitely without charges or trial, based on secret information known only to the state.  Stress positions, sexual assault, solitary confinement, and torture.  It sounds like prison in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, or a ruthless dictatorship.  But Palestinians of all ages and genders live each day under Israeli occupation knowing they could be next.     

On last week’s Covid, Race, and Democracy, Milena Ansari spoke with producer Ken Yale about Nakba Day.  Now Part 2 of their conversation zeroes in on the collective resistance of Palestinians to the criminalization of their lives.  Milena Ansari is the International Advocacy Officer for Addameer, an organization Israel has banned, and labeled as terrorist, because it advocates for Palestinian political prisoners.  

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From the beginning of Ethiopia’s civil war, the West’s mainstream press have portrayed the US-backed TPLF, the ruling party of the country’s Tigray Region, as victims of the Ethiopian government and its ally Eritrea, while US lawmakers have argued for intervention. However, the TPLF started the war by attacking the Ethiopia’s Northern Command Base, then invaded the country’s Amhara and Afar Regions.  They did immense infrastructural damage and caused immeasurable suffering. The state-sponsored Ethiopian News Agency put together this compilation of reports by four Westerners who went to Amhara and Afar to see the damage for themselves. They are US photojournalist Jemal Countess, Canadian Wilfrid Laurier University professor Ann Fitzgerald, Scoop-New Zealand founder and editor Alastair Thompson, and COVID, Race, and Democracy’s Ann Garrison.


There are growing protests against the war in Ukraine. In Japan on Saturday, an anti war rally and protest took place in Tokyo against US President Joe Biden’s visit with Japan’s Prime minister Fumio Kishida, amidst efforts to militarize Asia against China. Protests also took place in Okinawa against  the US military bases and the US Japan Security Agreement.

On Friday, a general strike of the Italian Logistics union Si Cobas took place throughout Italy. Producer Steve Zeltzer spoke with Roberto Luzzi who is the International representative of the Italian logistics union Si Cobus about the strikes on Friday.


Attorney Nkechi Taifa co-host of Crossroads Radio on WPFW in the Nation’s Capital shares the good news about the release of political prisoner Sundiata Acoli. 


Today’s program was produced by the executive producers of CRD, Akua Holt, Polina Vasiliev, and Steve Zeltzer.  Follow us on Twitter @PacificaCRD and on Facebook @CovidRaceandDemocracy.

Music Credits:

*Pharoah Sanders, Prince of Peace   

*Micheal Jackson  CRY

*JOHN LENNON Give Peace a Chance

*Ravi Shankar