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    Is Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett the One Who Keeps Barack from Dealing with Black Issues?


    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    We can no longer live in a world where anyone who asks President Obama to do something is defined to be an enemy of the administration.” Yet, it appears the president’s top advisor, Valerie Jarrett, believes her job is to silence Black critics. “It’s as if we’re being told to ‘stop snitching’ on the White House, while Obama Administration officials sit back and laugh at how stupid we are.”

    Why the AFL-CIO Must Address Black Criminalization and (Un)Employment


    by Tamara K. Nopper and Kenyon Farrow

    Blacks are more likely than whites or Latinos to be members of labor unions. Yet, the AFL-CIO seems not to recognize the multiple challenges that face their most loyal constituency. Big Labor has no position on racial profiling, for example, “nor does the federation appear to prioritize the issue of Black unemployment, which is the highest nationally out of all racial groups.”

    Wrong Song In The Key Of Death (Call The Villain)


    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Bomb 'em to stone man

    Free-fire zone man

    Jim Jones man

    Villain called Drone Man

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of September 17, 2012


    Preventive Detention Law Ruled Unconstitutional

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Obama administration will appeal” a Federal District Court ruling that knocked down preventive detention legislation signed into law by the Obama administration, said Professor Marjorie Cohn, of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in San Diego, California. “Keep in mind that indefinite detention without charges” also “violates a treaty the United States ratified, called the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. But the Obama administration, like the Bush administration, does not seem to feel bound by these treaties,” said Cohn, author of United States of Torture.

    Stop Stop-and-Frisk Enters New Phase

    Young Black and brown people blew whistles across New York City on September 13, to call attention to police abuse of power. The “Blow the Whistle” campaign is “a way for the people who bear the brunt of the criminal injustice system…to get involved in the resistance” without “opening the door to further arrests,” said Carl Dix, who founded Stop Stop-and-Frisk along with Prof. Cornel West, last year. Huge proportions of Black and brown youth are already under some form of criminal justice system control. “They aren’t going to be the ones that will take up a civil disobedience campaign” – but they will blow the whistle when they see police misconduct, said Dix.

    Both Major Parties Run Racist Campaigns

    At least since the Dixiecrats abandoned the Democratic Party to join the Republicans, everything they have done has been based on race,” said Kevin Alexander Gray, the South Carolina activist and author. This election season, “the Democrats have responded with a platform that aims at reaching out to white working class voters, which is what racist campaigns do.” That’s where former president Bill Clinton comes in. But, at least that’s “better than Obama doing what he usually does, playing ‘kick-a-nigger’ politics when he’s felt the need to do so,” said Gray.

    Poverty Pervasive in U.S.

    While U.S. Census Bureau figures for last year show poverty hovering slightly below 1965 levels, its long term reach is far deeper, said Stephen Pimpare, associate professor of sociology at Columbia University. Twenty-eight percent of Americans were poor at some point between 2008 and 2009. During the three years between 2004 and 2007, 46 percent, “experienced poverty.” That’s “very nearly a majority of Americans,” said Pimpare, author of A People’s History of Poverty in America.

    U.S. and Israel Isolated in World

    The recent unanimous vote by the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement, affirming Iran’s rights to nuclear power technology, “proves that Iran is not isolated, but in fact it is the United States, Israel and the NATO powers that are isolated” from the rest of the world, said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. The Non-Aligned Movement comprises two-thirds of the United Nations General Assembly.

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    Chicago School Strike is Against Obama “Race To The Top” Agenda of School Privatization and Corporate Education Reform

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Polls say that most Chicagoans support the striking teachers. Mitt Romney says he supports Rahm Emanuel. But why do so many who say they oppose charters, educational privatization, the drive to demonize teachers and make them temps fail to connect these policies with the Democratic president who has been their most outspoken champion the past four years?

    Debating Dr. Dyson: Facts vs. The “Wall of Words”


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Obama is the “most progressive president since FDR.” So says Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. The president has also solved the problem of predatory lending. If there were any facts behind these assertions, the United States would rate a lot higher on the Global Well-Being Scale. Unfortunately, the First Black President’s ability to push forward the Right’s agenda makes him the “more effective evil,” says Glen Ford.

    Freedom Rider: Black America Stands Down for the Obamas


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Democrats definitely won the propaganda war between the two conventions but that doesn’t mean that black people won anything.” How could they, since African Americans have asked for nothing but that a Black family get to live in the White House? “For the first time in their history, black Americans have consciously and directly advocated being ignored.”

    Why Did Obama Hold Back Hundreds of Billions In Housing Aid?

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Obama housing policy has been to let the banks handle the crisis however they see fit, while refusing to spend hundreds of billions authorized by Congress for housing relief. Protestors keep calling for the head of Edward Demarco, of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, for failing to save underwater homeowners. But Demarco is only carrying out Obama’s housing policies.

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    Boasting, Roasting, Coasting & Toasting: The Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference

     by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Later this month, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation will hold its annual star-studded affair in DC, commemorating old victories it mostly had nothing to do with, celebrating past accomplishments it would like to take credit for, congratulating each other, hosting “workshops” for corporate sponsors and throwing one “legendary” party. Is this all our black political class is about these days?

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    Don’t Blame Republicans for Obama’s Actions in Haiti


    by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre

    Nobody forced President Obama to further oppress the proud people of Haiti. “Obama’s actions in Haiti prove that a Black president is as effective at preserving U.S empire and white supremacy.” Obama allowed mass murderer “Baby Doc” Duvalier to return, but he “personally called President Jacob Zuma, twice, to stop” democratically elected former president Aristide’s return from South African exile.

    Break the Silence of War and Oppression: Black Is Back Coalition to Rally and March in DC in November


    from the Black is Back Coalition

    On the heels of its national conference last month in Newark, New Jersey, the Black Is Back Back Coalition will rally under the theme “Breaking the Silence,” in Washington, DC, on November 3 and 4. “Our people are enduring oppressive conditions that can only be likened to a state of warfare in every community where we are located within the U.S…. We will disavow the charlatans, poseurs and sycophants who have been chosen by our oppressors as our leaders. “

    Slick Willy Rides Again!


    by Raymond Nat Turner

    The Great

    White foundation father, Vice-

    Roy of Haiti and Harlem, nurse-

    Maid of NAFTA, demon of de-


    Standing Up For The People: Chicago Teachers Union Strikes, 1969 - 1987

    CTU, the Chicago Teachers Union, is about as real as unions get these days. Thanks to the courageous struggles of its members over generations, it has a history of standing up for its members, for students and for the people of Chicago.

    Glen Ford Debates Michael Eric Dyson on Democracy Now Coverage of Democratic Convention

    The good Dr. Dyson threw up a literal wall of words in defense of --- well --- you decide what he was defending, and whether it's even defensible....

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of September 10, 2012


    Arne Duncan an “Absolute Disaster” for Black Children

    President Obama’s Race to the Top “has been an extension of, and even worse than,” President Bush’s public schools program, said veteran Black educator Dr. Donald Smith, an organizer of the upcoming Summit on Saving the African Child, October 11 and 12, in Chicago. “People will discuss charter schools, unions and corporations that have, in many instances, taken over the curriculum and instruction of schools of children of color and other children of poverty,” said Smith, who will keynote the conference. Education Secretary Arne Duncan “has been an absolute disaster” for Black students in public schools.

    School Discipline Bias Pushes Black Kids into Prison

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, charging public schools in Okaloosa, Florida, with disciplining Black students far more harshly than whites. Forty-seven percent of students suspended by the district are Black, although African Americans make up only 12 percent of the student body. There is a link between racially biased school discipline and the so-called school-to-prison pipeline, said Atty. Stephanie Langer, of the SPLC’s Florida office. “Once these kids get into the system, it’s very hard to get out of the system.”

    GOP and Dems Much Alike

    The two major corporate parties agree on much more than they disagree, said journalist Arun Gupta, co-founder of The Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Indypendent. That’s one reason why “there’s been no discussion of regulating Wall Street and almost no discussion of the continuing home foreclosure crisis,” said Gupa. “Both parties are attacking public education, and neither party has any sort of plan to create more jobs” aside from “the mysteries and magic of the ‘free market.’”

    U.S. Labor Movement Can’t Move

    Harry Kelber, the 98 year-old labor organizer and publisher of, says American trade unions “are not fighting, they’re not organizing, and they don’t have a plan to organize.” Too many union officials, said Kelber, are simply “biding their time, waiting to retire with a fat pension.” Labor spends tens of millions electing Democrats, but “What are they getting out of it?”

    Rwanda's Kagame Commits Genocide

    Opposition parties from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) to charge Rwandan strongman Paul Kagame with genocide and crimes against humanity. Kagame’s regime is responsible for many of the six million deaths in neighboring Congo since the mid-Nineties, and for killing hundreds of thousands of Hutus in Rwanda, said Sixbert Musangamfura, a spokesman for the United Democratic Front of Rwanda, one of the complainants to the ICC. Rwanda is one of Washington’s closest allies in Africa.

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    What Obama Has Wrought


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The meticulously scripted spectacles of the two corporate party conventions are very poor backdrops for clear thinking – but luckily, the ordeals are almost over. What remains after the tents are folded, are the crimes of this administration and its predecessor: both horrifically evil in their own ways. History will mark Obama as the more effective evil, mainly because of the lack of opposition.

    Freedom Rider: Democrats Show Their True Colors


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Democrats in Charlotte deserve the president they nominate. They are union members with no self-respect, African Americans who ask nothing for their own people, “anti-war” folks who oppose only Republican wars – and the fat cats who profit from it all. “Romney has no room to criticize Obama because Obama is now the war monger in chief, with the body count to prove it.”

    Obama Has Been Speechless on Minimum Wage


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Democrats cannot even articulate the most basic bread-and-butter issues, like raising the minimum wage. That's because their standard bearer “has not said anything meaningful about the minimum wage since he was campaigning for president in 2008.” Raising the wage floor is hugely popular, a good issue to run on – but not pleasing to the rich, and therefore a no-no for Obama.

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    Two-Thirds of Planet Backs Iran Against “West”


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Nonaligned Movement, comprising two-thirds of the world’s nations, voted unanimously in support of Iran’s nuclear power rights. “They rejected the dictates of Washington and London and Paris, endorsing the fundamental principle that Iran has the same sovereign rights as any other nation.” It is the U.S. and Europe that are out of synch with the world.

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    Low-Intensity Warfare In Africa: The US "Policy Wonks" Behind Covert Warfare & Humanitarian Fascism, Part 1 of 2

    by Keith Harmon Snow

    From the 1980s to today, an elite group of Western intelligence operatives have backed low-intensity guerrilla warfare in certain African 'hotspots'. Mass atrocities in the Great Lakes and Sudan can be linked to Roger Winter, a pivotal U.S. operative whose 'team' was recently applauded for birthing the world's newest nation, South Sudan. Behind the fairytale we find a long trail of blood and skeletons from Uganda to Sudan, Rwanda and Congo.

    Why I Won't Vote (1956)


    by W.E.B. Dubois

    On October 20, 1956, W. E. B. Du Bois delivered this eloquent indictment of US politics and why he won't vote in the upcoming Presidential election. Du Bois condemns both Democrats and Republicans for their indifferent positions on the influence of corporate wealth, racial inequality, arms proliferation and unaffordable health care. The article appeared in The Nation.

    Black Secularists and The Church


    by Benjamin Woods

    African American mythology tells us that the Black Freedom Movement was born in the church. That’s because “the Black church has had better propagandists than Black freethinkers.” But freethinkers also populate the liberation pantheon, while the church has sometimes proven an obstacle to the Movement.

    If The Shoe Fits...


    by Raymond Nat Turner

    In our marching shoes, yes, we can

    Discover trails less traveled

    Connecting us with sage spirits

    Sampling James Brown with John


    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – week of September 3, 2012


    Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk

    The police racial profiling practice known as stop-and-frisk is “wrong, it is immoral, it is racist and unconstitutional” said social activist Dr. Cornel West, announcing a “Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk” campaign starting September 13. “This struggle is going to intensify. We want to connect it to the military industrial complex,” the Wall Street complex, the prison industrial complex, and “we want to connect it to this election, where you see the farce between one oligarchic part and another.”

    Noche Diaz, an activist facing multiple trials for confronting stop-and-frisk, asked “By is that I have to look at 15 year-olds in the playgrounds of the Bronx, who tell me that if you’re not a white person in this world, you don’t matter?”

    Push for $10 Minimum Wage

    Democrats are “dialing for the same dollars” as Republicans, seeking corporate campaign contributions and “rejecting Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy,” said social activist Ralph Nader. “Polls show over 70 percent of the American people consistently want a minimum wage kept up with inflation.” Adjusted for inflation, the 1968 minimum wage would now be $10.35, rather than the current $7.25. The United States, said Nader, has “the lowest minimum wage in the western world.”

    Black Is Back Coalition Examines Electoral Strategies

    We want to take this conversation beyond an examination of Obama, to an examination of the electoral process, itself,” said Ayesha Fleary, at the recent conference of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, in Newark, New Jersey.

    Let us use the electoral process as one form of struggle,” said Coalition chairman Omali Yeshitela. “Our future depends on our willingness to build a real capacity to utilize every form of struggle in the quest for liberation.”

    Black people were ill-served by the “misleadership class” that arose after the collapse of the Sixties mass movements, said Glen Ford. “The same class of Black opportunists who has risen to local power through the Blackening of America’s cities, presided over the demographic reversal of fortunes, later on,” with the mounting loss of Black urban majorities.

    Corporate American and the banks have a death grip on Harlem, that will produce an even greater forced migration out of Harlem,” said Nellie Bailey, of the Harlem Tenants Council.

    U.S. rulers have placed Black and brown “neocolonialists” in positions of nominal power “to make it appear that people are making progress,” said Charles Barron, the Brooklyn city councilman. What’s needed are “African-conscious, radical, revolutionary people” elected to city councils, nationwide.

    Do we want to participate” in elections “just to raise issues…or to actually get people elected?” asked Larry Hamm, leader of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. “We’ve got to be able to come up with candidates, and when we put people in office, we’ve got to keep them accountable.”

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    Closer Than You Think: Top 15 Things Romney and Obama Agree On

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Republicans and Democrats, like Romney and Obama are of one mind on many more things than they disagree about. From war and empire to their policies on Big Ag, Big Energy, “clean coal and safe nuclear power,” and the war on drugs their areas of agreement are vast and troubling, and perhaps far more important than the rhetorical and stylistic differences highlighted by US political campaigns.

    Many Years Too Late, the Black Caucus Turns on Artur Davis


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Former Alabama congressman Artur Davis’ name is mud with Black Democrats, for speaking to the Republican National Convention. They say he’s flip flopped on his old “progressive” policies. But Davis “was always among the worst, most right-wing members of the Congressional Black Caucus.” That’s why the Rahm Emanuel-Barack Obama wing of the party once considered him a “friend.”

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    U.S. is the Worst Police State in the World – By the Numbers


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    There’s no getting around the fact that the United States is the Mother of All Police States. China can’t compete in the incarceration business. With four times the U.S. population, it imprisons only 70 percent as many people – about the same number as the non-white prison population of the U.S. Even worse, 80,000 U.S. inmates undergo the torture of solitary confinement on any given day.

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    Obama, the Elections and the Struggle for Justice, Peace, a Better Life and Black Power


    by Omali Yeshitela

    The U.S. electoral system, like American society at-large, is dominated by wealthy capitalists. What use, then, is electoral politics to African Americans? The Black Is Back Coalition explored that question at its national conference, in Newark, New Jersey. “We must create the options, destroying the proverbial claptrap from some ‘leftists’ and ‘revolutionaries’ that ask, ‘If not Obama and the Democrats, then what?’”

    Economic and Social Crisis in Post Apartheid South Africa


    by William Bowles

    Has the ANC and its partners in the Tripartite Alliance, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the SACP betrayed their roots and sold out Black South Africa?” The massacre of miners at Marikana, and the Alliance’s callous response to the carnage, seems to answer in the affirmative. “It's as if the clock stopped in April 1994,” when state power was transferred to Black hands.

    The People’s Rage in South Africa


    by Mark P. Fancher

    South Africa did not complete its revolution with the transfer of government power to Black hands in 1994. The Marikana mine massacre shows that imperialism “will not tolerate any disruption in the flow of profits from the exploitation of highly valuable natural resources.” The question now comes to a head: Will the poor majority of South Africa tolerate a Black government that defends the interests of imperialism?

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