“State of the Dream” Report Fails to Describe the Real Nightmare

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

This year’s “State of the Dream” report is wholly inadequate to the task of resisting the Right’s attacks under the umbrella of “austerity.” The report’s authors appear to believe that only Republicans are out to gut the government. “By largely leaving the Democrats out of the austerity equation, United for a Fair Economy contributes to the blindsiding of Blacks and others targeted for pain by corporate servants of both parties.”


State of the Dream” Report Fails to Describe the Real Nightmare

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The report utterly fails to identify the forces arrayed against Blacks and browns in this austerity offensive.”

The annual “State of the Dream” report by United for a Fair Economy has become a staple for gauging Black economic and political fortunes in the United States. Produced by political activists, the Boston-based outfit’s documentation of comparative racial economic realities is clearly designed as a tool in the work of social change. “State of the Dream” has been eminently useful over the years precisely because it seeks to arm Black, browns and progressives with hard facts and good analysis with which to wage struggle.

This year’s theme is “Austerity for Whom?” and is intended to inform and buttress the arguments of those who are resisting – or should be resisting – efforts to further shrink the public sector and destroy government’s ability to act as a counterweight to corporate power, all in the name of saving the nation from looming bankruptcy. The 2011 edition suffers, however, from a great flaw, one that is rooted in the deep Black political crisis that has become grotesquely acute with the rise of Barack Obama.

The report arrays the facts necessary to show the racial impact of so-called austerity measures: the assaults on government employees, who are disproportionately Black; deepening insecurity for all workers, with devastating consequences to communities of color; undermining of Social Security and the whole range of “entitlement” programs, on which Blacks and Latinos are far more dependent than whites; income and wealth transfers to the rich through regressive tax policies that further aggravate vast racial disparities. “Austerity for Whom” effectively answers the question: Who benefits and who suffers from the feverish attacks on government? However, the report utterly fails – for the same reason that Black politics has so completely collapsed since the advent of the Obama Phenomenon – to identify the forces arrayed against Blacks and browns in this austerity offensive.

The 2011 edition suffers from a great flaw, one that is rooted in the deep Black political crisis that has become grotesquely acute with the rise of Barack Obama.”

State of the Dream 2011” places all the blame on “the Republicans” as the architects and engines of austerity, ignoring corporate Democrats – most notably, the First Black President. For example: “The GOP hostility toward government and government employees will, if translated into policy, have a devastating effect on Black and Latino workers, while eroding our nation’s capacity to carry out the important work of the public sector.” But Barack Obama is kicking federal workers in the groin as only a president can, with an executive order freezing their pay. Obama’s arbitrary thuggery – nobody forced him to do it – is grossly disproportionate in racial impact, since Blacks are 1.7 times more represented than whites in federal employment.

In scapegoating public employees for budget deficits, Obama endorses the “Republican” line – that government spending is a mortal danger to the economy – which is nothing but the prevailing corporate narrative on what’s wrong with the U.S. Obama is joined by New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose attacks on public employees and the social safety net are as rhetorically vicious as any Republican’s. The same pattern emerges across the nation in what is clearly the result of a policy decision within the corporate wing of the Democratic Party to erase what little political space separated them from the GOP on core economic issues. By largely leaving the Democrats out of the austerity equation, United for a Fair Economy contributes to the blindsiding of Blacks and others targeted for pain by corporate servants of both parties, reducing the current conflict to a Democrat vs. Republican cartoon. You can’t win an epoch battle against the Lords of Capital with a comic book as a guide.

Obama endorses the ‘Republican’ line – that government spending is a mortal danger to the economy.”

Appallingly, “State of the Dream” mostly limits culpability to the GOP for attacks on Social Security and other entitlements. “Republican opposition to these programs,” says the report, “pushes people of color who are struggling — and other low-wealth households — further down the economic ladder.” Yet it was Barack Obama who kept the assault on Social Security alive and active after the Republicans, the minority in Congress, were evicted from the White House. Less than two weeks before taking the oath of office, Obama definitively put Social Security “on the table” for butchering, and kept it there for two years while Republicans were out in the cold, ultimately appointing a deficit reduction commission that set the template for the austerity regime that “State of the Dream” bemoans. Barack Obama is the man most responsible for resurrecting the campaign against Social Security that progressives thought had been soundly defeated during George Bush’s first term.

The Right’s amazing advances in recent years have been made possible by the wholesale capture by Wall Street of much of the Democratic Party, most dramatically in the person of Barack Obama, whose Black presence has neutralized African Americans as an effective political force, including most of what used to pass as the Black Left. The enemy advances without effective opposition all along the unguarded flanks and rear of progressive politics, dressed in Democratic clothing and with a brown complexion, while organizations like United for a Fair Economy instruct us to keep our eyeballs focused solely on the Republican bogeymen. It is the equivalent of wearing blinders in a battle, a guarantee of defeat.

I am exceedingly sad to conclude that the annual “State of the Dream” report, designed to arm us for struggle, is a fatally flawed weapon in the face of the Obama Phenomenon.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].


Another well written article

Another well written article Mr Ford...What can we do to help?

We need black and white

We need black and white lefties to come together, and we need lefties and righties (who are not about racism) to come together.  There's a lot of work to be done, but a unified movement may be building.

Obama Might As Well Run as a Republican

If Obama did register as a republican he would probably have all those African Americans that are only emotionally invested in him blindly registering as republicans too.


(CBS)  It's a bit early, but already people are thinking about the Presidential election of 2012. Ben Stein has an original idea for the Republican candidate ...

As everyone knows, the Grand Old Party has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the 2008 defeat.

The GOP controls the House, had big gains in the the Senate, has a gigantic swath of states with Republican governors, and is well-liked in the polls.

What we do NOT have is a clearly viable candidate for President.

Huckabee; Palin; Romney; Haley Barbour, who's my own favorite - all have their pros and cons, but none stands out as a clearly winning alternative to Barack Obama.

But wait a minute! Isn't there someone out there who is Obama's equal in oratory, charisma, and ability to draw votes who COULD run as a Republican?

Why, yes there is: Barack Obama, his own self.


Think about it: Since the election of 2010, he is clearly moving in the direction of the Republican Party. He has completely signed on to the Republican position on tax cuts and kicking the deficit can down the road.

Long since he signed onto the Bush position on the war in Afghanistan, he's now swearing he will do something about government spending, even if it angers his most basic constituency, the government employee unions.

His speech in Tucson was a masterpiece of restraint and eloquence.

"It's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we're talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."

Now, admittedly, he has a lot to learn in the right-to-life world and about the environment. But he's a fast learner.

There has been loud murmuring from the Democratic left that President Obama is too COZY with the Republicans. A loudmouth from Florida, former liberal Representative Alan Grayson, has suggested he might challenge Mr. Obama from the left for the Presidential nomination.

Fine and dandy! Let the Democrats have Mr. Grayson. He's a great guy. Let us Republicans seize this moment to humbly ask the best campaigner since Reagan if he would care to join up with our side.

The WINNING side!

He's highly teachable, a sensible guy, and is probably as good as we can get right now.

The worst he can do is say, "No," and then we can brag about our efforts at bipartisanship for the next hundred years.

Barack Obama: First man to be elected President from both parties. What's not to like?


Find a candidate for 2012.

Just having CIA sleeper Barry and family living in the White House is not enough for the deterioration of our communities.  We need to think critically about who to finance/support in the next Presidential  election; it's obvious Barry's a stealth republican in Blue Dog/DLC garb.  Same applies to the bought-off politicians, prosperity pimp preachers/opportunists, and those faux leftists/liberals/progressives flashing their checkbooks to lead us astray; kick em to the curb if they're blocking our progress.

Nightmare? You have NO IDEA!

Hello, BAR, I wanted to alert those that are not aware that not ONLY is the US gov't a hypocrite when it states that it supports democratic ideals in OTHER countries, as black people, we should know 1st hand that IN THIS country,  it has continually and systemically failed to support it and has more often than not, conversely BLOCKED true democracy--so let me alert you to a not-so-new phenomena that I'm an unfortunate newer victim of---organized gangstalking & remote neural monitoring--both part of a on-going and what I and others believe is a recent ramp up of what amounts to crimes against humanity---secret and wholly INVOLUNTARY mind control pogrom.  Now I know secret mind control pogroms may sound like science fiction to most but if you research, the govt's Mk-Ultra program has been in existence since at least the 70's and perhaps prior to that. Bad publicity (like Co-intelpro's) forced the govt to publicly disavow the pogrom, but we ALL know that just means it went even further underground. So what do I mean when I say "mind control"? I mean to proclaim ( and I know this will lead a lot of people to think me mentally ill, but believe me, it's truth), that the US gov't and other gov'ts as well have in their possession technology that can read "sub-vocalized thoughts"--in short, you know when you are talking to yourself and not out loud? well those thoughts can be translated and "read" via technology. Yes, I know it sounds like I've been watching too many sci-fi movies, but believe me it's real and if you seek out the info online, you will come across many people JUST like me who have never met, have no connection to one another besides the fact that we have been randomly targeted for what amounts to nazi-like involuntary human experimentation BY the gov't JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN. I am no terrorist, political activist nor threat to the national security of the US, yet I Am an average poor, black woman, and this, as we know historically, is one of the favorite demographics that the US loves to experiment on and oppress in any way they can. Now, I'm not saying they are only using minorities as guinea pigs in the name of  "amoral" scientific uses; but again, historically (can anyone say Tuskegee?) black and poor communities get the brunt of anything diabolical the US gov't happens to have cooking. This is a historical and factual truth. If you want to educate yourselves on this phenomenon, pls google the terms: organized gangstalking & remote neural monitoring and also pls visit a site dedicated to targeted individuals, such as: http://www.areyoutargeted.com , they will give further credence to my assertions. Again, this phenemona is not new, yet it seems it has been expanded imo since the Patriot Act has given the gov't vast leeway in whom it targets basically for what amounts to systemic torture: 24/7 surveillance, harrassment, voice to skull electronic transmissions, directed energy attacks, stalking where ever the targeted individual goes, etc. Again, it sounds like science fiction but it's real and it's the biggest human rights abuse story that's yet to be told. I'm telling my story b/c I have nothing to lose and I refuse to suffer in silence, but again, there are many, many more like me, and the only way I know how to fight is to tell my story and to sound the alarm, particularly in the black community that this is going on and YOU could be next. Not b/c of anything you do, but b/c the US Gov't has become so contemptuous of humanity and it's "stated" goals, that anything goes---if it's possible that it can lead to a firmer grip on power at any cost or if the possibility of making money is there---the gov't will DO anything to not only foreign populations (Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, etc, etc, etc) but again, as history has CLEARLY shown---it won't hestitate to act in kind against it's own citizens.