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    Barack Obama, Democratic Expectations and the Magic Wand

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    What are the people who tell us President Obama hasn't got a “magic wand” really saying? That we have no right to expect a president to use the power of his office to address mass incarceration, the housing, foreclosure, student and consumer debt crises, or end our murderous colonial wars around the world? That we're immature and unsophisticated to demand or expect much of anything more than his pretty black face in that big white house?

    Freedom Rider: Justice, Not Drama, for Trayvon Martin

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The global spotlight is shining on Sanford, Florida, where a white vigilante ended the life of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. But publicity also draws its own kind of flies. Obama apologist Al Sharpton will appear at a rally for justice for Trayvon, as will the radio huckster Michael Baisden. “Baisden must be ignored and Sharpton must be watched.”

    Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil


    Glen Ford at the Left Forum

    No matter how much evil Barack Obama actually accomplishes during his presidency, people that call themselves leftists insist on dubbing him the Lesser Evil. Not only is Obama not given proper credit for out-evil-ing George Bush, domestically and internationally, but the First Black President is awarded positive grades for his intentions versus the presumed intentions of Republicans. As the author says, this “is psycho-babble, not analysis. No real Left would engage in it.”

    On The Left Side of History: Political Prisoner Imam Jamil Al Amin

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Ten years ago, iImam Jamil Al Amin, the former H. Rap Brown was falsely convicted and sentenced to life in Georgia. When black, white, brown prisoners, Muslim and non-Muslim Georgia inmates openly acknowledged him as a leader and political prisoner, and public pressure mounted for a new trial and his removal from solitary, Georgia officials transferred him in the dead of night to the man-made supermax hell of Florence, Colorado, a federal prison some say is worse than Bagram or Guantanamo.

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    Racially-Approved American Murder: They Kill Because They Can

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    The Kandahar, Afghanistan and Sanford, Florida killers are anything but freaks. Both acted on racist impulses shared by huge numbers of their fellow citizens, and encouraged by the policies of national and local governments. U.S. policy conveys immunity from other nations' laws on U.S. soldiers, while state laws are rewritten to do the same for murderous-minded whites. “Evocation of white fear now provides the same justification for summary murder as claims of rape of white women did for mob lynchings, back in the day.”

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    Obama and Sarkozy: How Imperialists Deal With Defeat


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    In their own inimitably depraved ways, the French and American governments insulted two million dead Algerians and Iraqis, without ever mentioning their deaths. France was largely silent on its defeat in Algeria, 50 years ago, while the U.S. president told fantastic lies about the Iraq war without acknowledging U.S. defeat or Iraqi dead. “There is no word that can describe the absolute moral turpitude of imperialists….”

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    Assassinations at Home and Abroad


    by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre

    The rule of law is everywhere in retreat. Racist vigilante justice trumps Blacks’ right to life in Florida and a growing number of “shoot first” states, while the U.S. president claims the right to kill at will, internationally. “The Florida laws are the local articulation of a US foreign policy that deploys murder and mayhem at any sign of a threat.” Eric Holder, the nation’s top lawman, condones assassination without trial, yet “is now tasked to investigate Trayvon Martin’s murder.”

    Introducing Black Agenda TV

    Black Agenda TV Pilot from Black Agenda Report on Vimeo.

    We are excited to present to our readers this demonstration version of BATV, the video program that will become part of the Black Agenda Report team’s regular schedule, later this year. BATV is a work in progress, and this demo is by no means the final version. We do hope it conveys the spirit of how we plan to bring “news, commentary and analysis from the black left” to video.

    Activists Back on the March Against the EPA

    by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Whistleblowers achieved their greatest legislative victory in modern times in a fight against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Now headed by a Black woman, Lisa Jackson, the EPA continues to put corporate interests over people’s health and welfare. “Women whistleblowers in general and Black women whistleblowers in particular seem to fall under the knife of the black woman leading the EPA.”

    Race, Gender, and Occupy

    by Sweta Vohra and Jordan Flaherty

    From it beginnings last year, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been dominated by whites and embroiled in questions of white privilege. Activists of color insist that issues of corporate greed cannot be tackled in a vacuum, but must be “connected to racism, to patriarchy, to oppression generally." As Angela Davis says, “We have to recognize that the 99 per cent is hierarchically developed by itself."

    Voter Suppression in 2012, Past is Prologue

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

    Republican voter suppression could negate the votes of five million Americans, and potentially sway the 2012 election. “The very people who claim they want to ‘take their country back’; want to ‘restore America to its original ideals’; and ‘protect liberty for all Americans” are working insidiously to deny the franchise to a significant number of American citizens.” Mass disenfranchisement proceeds apace, even though here is almost no voting fraud in America.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of March 19, 2012


    Kony is Like Kindergartner Compared to U.S. Ally Museveni

    Lords’ Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony “looks like a kindergarten student compared to the crimes” of the man he has been fighting for decades, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, said Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of the Congo. President Museveni has been a U.S. ally and client since seizing power in 1986 with a guerilla force largely comprised of child soldiers. “Rather than holding the American government accountable for supporting a dictator who has committed more crimes than Kony and is still committing crimes as we speak, they are calling for military support for Museveni’s army and sending U.S. troops there,” said Musavuli. Uganda has been implicated by both the United Nations and the World Court in the deaths of some of the six million Congolese who have been killed since the mid-Nineties.

    McKinney on “Build People’s Power Tour”

    Former Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney has teamed with the International Action Center for a “Build People’s Power” campaign. “You can’t build a movement if people aren’t talking to each other,” said the former Green Party presidential candidate. “There is a kind of balkanization of the areas of protest.” The idea behind the tour, which has so far visited New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Los Angeles, is to bring various organizations into the same space to “plan an agenda, a calendar of actions that we’re going to do, and everybody participates,” said the former Georgia congresswoman.

    Obama Not a Lesser Evil

    The Black Left cannot be rebuilt on the delusion of some ‘lesser of two evils,’” said Dr. Tony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “We have to fight to rebuild the historical Black political consensus and a Black Left that is based on principle.” President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney are “like twins. We have to call for a boycott” of the presidential election,” said Monteiro.

    EEOC a “Cesspool of Racism and Corruption”

    If they can only find reasonable cause in racial complaints from African Americans and foreign born Blacks 3.5% of the time, that alone tells you what’s going on,” said Ricardo Jones, Sr., a former senior New York investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “The perception at the EEOC is that all Black people lie,” said Jones. “Things got worse under Obama than Bush,” when “President Obama appointed his wife’s Harvard Law School girlfriend,” Jacqueline A. Berrien, as chairperson. “Because I wouldn’t take bribes and wouldn’t go along with the corruption, they fired me.”

    Newark Protests Gain Momentum

    Daily demonstrations for jobs, housing, education and justice have passed the nine-month mark, with the goal of matching the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama Bus Boycott’s 381 days of protest. “Each day it seems the momentum picks up,” said Lee Herbert, political and human rights adviser to the local Utility Workers union. His members “see there’s somebody out there fighting on their behalf. I see a movement coming out of this, because you can’t stop after 381 days.”

    Mumia Live from Outside Death Row

    Political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal made his first live radio appearance since his release from Pennsylvania’s prison death row into the general prison population. Speaking on Atty. Michael Coard’s program on radio station WURD, in Philadelphia, Abu Jamal recounted how “the police beat me right into the Panther Party” as a teenager in 1968.

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    Social Media Scam Alert: Top Ten Ways to Tell Kony is Phony

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Thanks to relentless promotion by corporate media, government, celebrities, right wing foundations & church groups, & politicians of both corporate parties, the Kony 2012 video has “gone viral.”  Viewed on YouTube more than a hundred million times, it paints a vivid, simple picture, clear enough, its narrator says, for a 5 year old. But is it real, or is it propaganda, and for what purpose?

    Freedom Rider: Farewell Congressman Kucinich


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    With the gerrymandered defeat of Dennis Kucinich, the Congress has lost its last, best progressive. “Called crazy or wacky, Kucinich is nothing more than what other Democrats ought to be.” Kucinich stood firm, when all in the Progressive and Black Caucuses folded. “If there is no room for one, not even one true Democrat, then there should no longer be any allegiance to that party.”

    The U.S. Empire’s Achilles Heel: Its Barbaric Racism


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    American racism will always cripple its ability to occupy non-white countries, whose people the U.S. fundamentally disrespects. “The United States cannot help but be a serial abuser of the rights of the people it occupies, especially those who are thought of as non-white, because it is a thoroughly racist nation.” The latest atrocities in Afghanistan are just par for the course.

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    Obama Deserves Impeachment for War Policies, But Few Dare Say So – and Most of Them are Republicans


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    It has fallen mainly to Republicans to challenge President Obama’s military flaunting of both U.S. and international law. A North Carolina congressman named Jones has submitted a resolution that would hold Obama liable to impeachment if he attacks Syria or any other country without an act of authorization from Congress. It is an action that “should have emanated from the Congressional Progressive and Black Caucuses, rather than the Republican Right.”

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    No FEAR: Chapter 3 -- Ultimatum To Public Service


    by Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Dr. Coleman-Adebayo, a heroine of the whistleblower movement, tells her story in the book No Fear: A Whistleblowers Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. She is also an editor and columnist for Black Agenda Report, and has graciously allowed us to serialize her book. This is the latest installment.

    Is Barack Obama a Fit Role Model for Black Youth?


    by Paul Street

    The last refuge of the Obama apologist is to hold up the president and his family as role models for Black America, especially Black youth. The reality is that Obama has “put a technically black presidential face on each of what the democratic socialist King called ‘the triple evils that are interrelated’i – economic exploitation (capitalism), racism.” This alleged role model is better described as “the latest and re-branded out-front Don Corleone for the biggest mob outfit of all time – the white-owned and white-run American State-Capitalist Empire.”

    Occupy Education vs Gates Foundation: Policy Throwdown!


    by Jesse Hagopian

    The direct ancestors of today’s high stakes tests were “designed by racist pseudoscientists of the early 20th century” to “prove that whites born in the U.S. were the most intelligent of all peoples.” Today’s tests, championed by corporations and the Obama administration, are designed to “prove that some students – Black students, students of color generally and working-class kids – belong at the bottom.” Occupy movement teachers challenged the billionaires' minions to a debate.

    Attorney General Eric Holder: Wrong on the Law, the Politics, and on the Wrong Side of History

    by Wilmer J. Leon III, Ph.D.

    The first Black president and first Black attorney general have so twisted the Constitutional guarantees of due process of law, that “not only can American citizens be indefinitely detained, they can also be assassinated by their own government at the will and whim of their President.” Eric Holder’s interpretation of the nation’s basic law is both sinister and incompetent. “Holder sounds a lot like former Bush administration counsel John Yoo, the author of the opinion justifying torture.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of March 12, 2012


    Civil Rights Groups “Dropped the Ball” on Affirmative Action

    In their zeal to help the Democratic Party, mainline civil rights organizations have “dropped the ball” on affirmative action, said Donna Stern, of By Any Means Necessary. “They are very much responsible, in terms of their inactions, for the loss of rights that were gained during the civil rights movement. Their deep ties to the Democratic Party” means not talking about race, if they can avoid it,” said Stern. Detroit-based By Any Means Necessary mounted student demonstrations outside federal district court in Cincinnati, where lawyers argued that referendums on affirmative action be outlawed. “A white majority does not have the right to vote up or down whether minorities have equal rights,” said Stern.

    Obama: The Assassination President

    When the history books are written, Obama is going to be known as the assassinations president,” said Kevin Alexander Gray, the Columbia, South Carolina-based writer and political activist. “Everything that he has done in regards to the Constitution and transparency and protecting human rights and the due process rights of all people, regardless of nationality, has been a failure.” Attorney General Eric Holder’s narrow definition of “due process” of law is really “the due process of the star chamber. Traditional civil rights organizations have not moved to “checked” Obama because “they are all in the tank for the administration,” said Gray.

    Call to Support May 1 General Strike

    In an Open Letter to Occupy Wall Street and the movement’s supporters, OWS activist Dennis Trainor called a proposed May 1 general strike “one of the biggest opportunities to demonstrate our power, and that we have not gone away.” Organized labor cannot be expected to be central to the action, because “the right to strike, for unions, has been all but taken away.” Rather, the strike would mobilize student and community groups in targeted cities. Trainor’s latest documentary, “Which Side Are You On?” is scheduled for release at the end of April.

    Bring Me the Head of Ed DeMarco!

    President Obama must fire Federal Housing Finance Agency acting director Ed DeMarco because he “has flatly refused to do any kind of principal reduction for the millions of ‘underwater’ homeowners that are suffering, that are drowning in debt because of how the banks crashed the economy,” said Tracy Van Slyke, co-director of New Bottom Line. The coalition of faith-based and community organizations demand a “minimum of $300 billion in principal reduction.” Van Slyke claims New Bottom Line and other Occupy Wall Street-related efforts have “moved the administration far along from where they were. We have moved the dial.”

    Obama and Wall Street Money

    Scholar and activist Paul Street finds it curious that at study of 68 most influential Wall Street firms shows the fat cats giving Mitt Romney 12 times as much money as Obama. “The real test will come when Obama and Romney go up against each other,” said Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. He notes that Obama has held a record 191 fundraisers in the last year. “It would be pretty ironic” if Wall Street abandoned Obama, said Street, “because he has given them everything they wanted.”

    UNAC Conference March 23-25

    The United National Anti-War Coalition’s conference, in Stamford, Connecticut, “is THE antiwar conference and, perhaps, the main conference on the left, this year,” said UNAC spokesperson Joe Lombardo. The Obama administration plans new aggressions, at home and abroad, which is why they are narrowing the definition of “due process” of law. “What they’re really doing,” said Lombardo, “is preparing for increased military and economic attacks, and they don’t want to see an opposition and a protest movement built up.”

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    New Data Show Black Students Have Been New Jim Crowed


    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    New data indicate that Black stigmatization as criminals pervades the nation’s public schools, just as it saturates the larger society. “For teachers and school disciplinarians, just as with street cops and prosecutors, race is the most important factor in who is charged with an offense, and how severe the penalty is.” A doubling of school suspensions and expulsions has occurred since the early Seventies, the same period that brought us mass Black incarceration.

    Freedom Rider: Liberal Whores


    by BAR editor and senior consultant Margaret Kimberley

    Call a Georgetown law student a slut, and the liberal universe goes into supernova. Destroy Somalia and Libya, or obliterate due process of law, and the same people just yawn. Attorney General Eric Holder “asserts that the president can in fact decide to kill anyone he wants, as long as he claims that person is a terrorist.” Liberals love the guy.

    Strangling Civil Liberties, One Twist at a Time


    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    Got an urge to protest the most obnoxious Republican presidential contenders, or demonstrate at the NATO meeting, in Chicago? Consult your legal counsel, because the rules have been changed, with no debate in either House of Congress. Legislation awaiting the president’s signature packs prison terms for protesting too closely to people guarded by the Secret Service or at a National Security Event Zone.

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    Eric Holder Tortures the Constitution

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made the Constitution scream, in an effort to justify his president’s claim to “the power of life and death over any inhabitant of the planet, including citizens of the United States.” Discovering presidential powers never before revealed, Holder severed citizens’ rights to “due process” from the “judicial process.” Access to the courts is not required, when the president is judge, jury and executioner.

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    No FEAR: A Whistleblower’s Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA - Chapter 1


    by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

    Dr. Coleman Adebayo’s tells her own story as a whistleblower in the Environmental Protection Agency, and the growth and triumph of a movement to protect all the truth-tellers in the federal civil service and beyond. She has graciously allowed us to serialize her book. This is the first installment.

    The “Be the Help” Campaign and Black Disappearance among the Multiracial Left


    by Tamara K. Nopper

    An alliance of convenience was struck between the makers of The Help, the film about African American domestic workers in the civil rights era, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance, comprised mainly of immigrants. What has “disappeared” is the Black American critique of the film, and the “unexplained absence or departure of Black people from various spaces, be it cities, jobs, and progressive politics.” The African American story seems to be useful for everyone but African Americans, who grow harder to find every day.

    Eshu’s blues: “Republicans” and why politics is still just show business for ugly people


    by Michael Hureaux Perez

    Civilized people worry about the Republicans’ antics this election season. “Why this parading of the cracker factory in full daylight and without their sheets and hoods?” Could it be that the Nixon’s old Southern Strategy has finally gone berserk? The author’s theory “is that the ‘Democratic’ faction of the Neo Confederacy has moved so far to the right that it’s actually overtaken the ‘Republican’ party and is bankrolling it.” The fix is in, and the landslide is coming.

    US and NATO-supported Libyan "Rebels" Continue Persecution of Blacks in Libya

    Video By RT

    Libyan rebels humiliate/torture a group of black Africans


    March 03, 2012 "RT" -- A shocking video has appeared on the Internet showing Libyan rebels torturing a group of black Africans. People with their hands bound are shown being locked in a zoo-like cage and allegedly forced to eat the old Libyan flag.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of March 5, 2012


    Rally for Affirmative Action in Education

    We’ve got to rebuild a movement for affirmative action,” said George Washington, an attorney for United for Equality and Affirmative Action Legal Defense Fund. “The established civil rights movement has just let the ball drop. A new form of separate and unequal is being erected right before our eyes,” as universities become whiter and, in some cases, more Asian. Atty. Washington and his team appear in federal court on March 7, to argue against allowing voter referendums to ban affirmative action.

    Charter School Profiteers

    School privatizers “are looking at a $500 billion education industry” and looking to make “fantastic profits,” said lawyer and education writer Danny Weil. Charter schools are the “perfect Trojan Horse” for the Right.

    High Stakes Testing Causes Cheating

    The administration thinks it can improve the quality of education for all “simply by raising the bar and yelling, ‘Jump higher’ and promising punishment for those who don’t get over the high bar,” said Bob Schaeffer, of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing. Educators are “pressured to cheat, in order to get the test scores that are all that matter in the educational system, today.”

    Workers Saved the Auto Industry

    It’s wrong to claim, as Republicans do, that union autoworkers were “bailed out” by the federal government, said Al Benchich, a former United Auto Workers Union local president. “The auto industry got loans, the banks received the bailout,” while new employees now make only $14 an hour, said Benchich. “GM just posted their largest profit in history, which is indicative of what has been given up” by workers.

    Robin Hood Tax Needed

    The National Nurses United (NNU) union is “challenging austerity, worldwide,” with demands for a small tax on every financial distraction.” NNU president Deborah Burger said the so-called “Robin Hood tax” cold raise $350 billion per year, to be spent on “creating jobs, investing in education, health care and housing.” Great Britain already has such a tax, said Burger, Germany and France are considering one.

    Human Rights D-Graded in DC

    The local Washington, DC government earned only Ds in the subjects of public education, criminal law enforcement, and racial and gender discrimination, according to a report card compiled by the DC Human Rights People’s Movement. Report card co-editor David Schwartzman said the federal government rated an “F” for failing to give statehood to DC.

    White House Wants More Money for Cops and Prisons

    Despite historical declines in crime, the Obama administration’s budget calls for more than $27 billion for more prisons and police. “Let’s back off the prisons, let’s back off the police, and put the money into long term jobs that actually benefit people,” said Amanda Petteruti, of the Justice Policy Institute.

    Lynn Stewart’s Appeal

    Attorneys for movement lawyer Lynn Stewart asked a federal panel of judges to roll back her 10-year prison sentence on charges of assisting terrorists. Said her husband and comrade, Ralph Poynter: “When Lynn tries to ‘defeat the law’ on behalf of her clients – the poor or people the government doesn’t like – then she becomes the bad girl.” Stewart supporters hope for “time served, or bail pending appeal.”

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