What Happened to South Africa’s Freedom Charter


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

South Africa’s current crisis is rooted in the road wrongly taken 1994, when the African National Congress and its allies agreed not to upset the corporate order, in exchange for one-person, one-vote. Those chickens are now coming home to roost, as the ANC enforces the corporate order and workers reject union leaders who, they believe, work for the bosses.

Haiti: The Streets Come Alive


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The pace of protest in Haiti is accelerating, with demonstrations in every large city and town. Haitians demand jobs and government services, and the departure of United Nations occupation forces. “Washington’s goal is to keep Haitians desperately poor, so that they will take any job, at any wage.”

How King Barack’s Administration Has Neutered Black Leadership


by Dr. Boyce Watkins

The Obama presidency has squeezed the vitality out of Black politics, which is now defined by obeisance to the Black resident of the White House. “There are some who feel that the value of protecting a president from any form of black accountability far exceeds the consequence of seeing millions of people suffer in poverty, death and despair.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of October 15


BAR’s 6th Anniversary Celebration and TV Debut

We’re about furthering a dialogue among Black folks and about the direction of Black politics that’s honest and that takes into account the class divisions within Black communities,” said BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon, at New York City’s Riverside Church. The event was co-sponsored by the historic church’s Social Justice Ministry and featured friends and supporters of the weekly political journal, including Dr. Cornel West, of the Union Theological Seminary. “You find love in Black Agenda Report: love of poor people, love of Black people, and love of the truth,” said Dr. West, who considers himself a liberation theologian. “The Black prophetic tradition has always been a slice of the Black church. It is now a think sliver, because the role of money, the commodification of American culture.”

BAR executive editor Glen Ford said: “This will be remembered as the age of passivity,” a period when the Black misleadership class “has not made one demand of Power, but in fact identifies with Power” in the person of the first Black president of the United States, Barack Obama. “I shudder to think of the kind of role models we are providing.”

The evening featured the first showing of Black Agenda Television, a half-hour program that goes into regular production later this year.

International Criminal Court “Racist, Biased and Colonialist”

The Third Annual Conference on Defense of International Criminal Law, held recently in Montreal, Canada, presented a devastating indictment of the International Criminal Court. The ICC is racist, said Atty. John Philpot, one of the organizers, because “they only charge Africans.” It is “discriminatory because it only attacks people who are considered enemies of the United States. And it is colonialist because of its bias on Africa and its protection of the United States and Great Britain, who are among the major violators of international law.”

Freedom Rider: Why Romney Beat Obama


by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

It is true that Barack Obama didn’t have his act together when he went up against Mitt Romney, last week. In fact, he seemed to drop his Democratic act entirely, showing his true political self: a corporate politician who is in general agreement with his corporate Republican challenger. “Obama was caught unprepared and unable to state plainly how he differs from his opponent, mostly because he doesn’t differ very much.”

Chavez Beats the Devil, Again


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Hugo Chavez has won six more years as president of Venezuela and a model for standing up to the United States. Chavez’s longevity in the face of implacable imperial hostility shows that the “Washington Consensus” is defunct. “Latin America is the corner of the world that has achieved the greatest success over the last 20 years in throwing off the dead weight of the North.”

Black is Back, With a Conference in Washington, Nov 3


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The Black Is Back Coalition was born in October, 2009, when Black activists came together “to make some noise and formulate some plans – rather than passively accept the corporate policies of the icon in the White House.” The Coalition has been hard at work on worldwide Black liberation ever since, and will “Break the Silence” once again, with a rally and conference in the nation’s capital.

Black Ethics and Drone Politics


by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre

They ought to call it the Nobel Death from the Sky Prize. “Barack Obama is leading a multi-country gangster-style drone war that kills people whose identities aren’t known, and that has left more than 3000 dead, including 176 children.” Yet Black America remains largely silent in “the face of such overwhelming death, despair, and destruction done on our behalf by our Black president.”

Libyan City Under Siege by Militias


by Lizzie Phelan

The same militia that erased the Black town of Tawergha and has terrorized dark-skinned Libyans and African immigrants, is threatening to attack the city of Bani Walid, which has been under artillery siege and encirclement for over a week. The NATO-backed militias claim to be targeting “pro-Gaddafi” elements.

Kent State: Was It about Civil Rights or Murdering Student Protesters?


by Laurel Krause with Mickey Huff

New evidence in the 1970 Kent State University massacre “is compelling, clearly showing how US covert intelligence took the lead in creating this massacre and in putting together the ensuing cover-up.” Contrary to the official version, a direct order to fire is heard on tape, an FBI agent provocateur fired his weapon just before the fusillade, and law enforcement completed the burning of an ROTC building.

Obama's Destructive Foreign Policy and Black Disillusionment


by Solomon Comissiong

It is painfully distressing to witness members of my community so willfully complicit with lethal war policies simply because they are coming from a brown skinned man,” writes the author. “African-Americans' honorable legacy of opposing Euro-America's imperialist wars is quickly eroding.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of October 8, 2012


College Admissions Must Consider Race

The U.S. Supreme Court should reject a challenge to affirmative action at the University of Texas, at Austin. “Removing race from consideration in admissions is impractical,” said Inimai Chettiar, of the Brennan Center for Justice, at the New York University School of Law. “I don’t see how you can divorce race from who a person is.” The University of Texas “has followed the Supreme Court’s mandate in previous cases to the letter.”

Myth of Black Progress

The exclusion of incarcerated persons from many data sources “calls into question claims about Black progress” over the past 35 years, said Becky Pettit, author of Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress. For example, there has been “no improvement in the high school dropout rate among young Black men since at least the 1990s,” and “young Black males dropouts are more likely to be in jail or prison than to be employed.” Dr. Pettit is a sociologist at the University of Washington.

Two Parties: One Vision

What the debate showed is how similar the two parties are,” said Arun Gupta, co-founder of The Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Indypendent. “We heard nothing about the most important issues.” President Obama “could not commit himself to stand for one thing that the vast majority of the people of this country need,” said Gupta, who is covering the campaign for Alternet, Truthout and The Guardian.


President Obama made the most honest statement of the debate, when he said “Romneycare and Obamacare are, effectively, the same” and a “Republican idea,” said Russell Mokhiber, editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter. Another gem: Romney, trying to act like a populist, challenged “corporatist Obama” on his support for too-big-to-fail banks. “And, because Obama is taking cash from the same sources, he’s not able to respond.”

NDAA May Lead to Mass Lockups

The assault on civil liberties by the Obama administration has been worse than under Bush,” said veteran reporter Chris Hedges, a plaintiff in a suit against the preventive detention bill signed into law by Obama, last New Year’s Eve. A federal judge this summer declared the law unconstitutional, but an appeals panel put it back in effect, pending a final ruling. “This opens the ability of the state to classify an entire group of people – and, probably, American Muslims will be the first one – who can be just rounded up,” said Hedges.

Wal-Mart Walkouts

Workers walked off the job at Wal-Mart stores in Los Angeles, while employees from Europe, Latin America and Africa flew into the city under the banner of the Wal-Mart Global Union Alliance. The retail giant’s prices are low “because they’re taking from us,” said Wal-Mart “associate” Dan Hindman. “We’re paying for these low prices.” Alke Boessinger, a union organizer from Switzerland, said: “Unless workers unite as one, Wal-Mart will do whatever it can to silence people.”

Detroit Water Strike

AFSCME Local 207, in Detroit, claimed victory in a brief strike by water workers. Union official John Reihl said Michigan’s governor is determined to seize the mostly Black city’s water resources through “a combination of suburban control and privatization.”

The ICC: The Empire's Court


by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The International Criminal Court has turned into its opposite: an injudicious, selective enforcer of imperial policy, rather than a global standard of criminal law. The cast of defendants have all been African and outcasts from the U.S. imperial orbit, from the ICC’s inception. “The ICC has been used as an instrument of war; not an instrument of peace, but war by other means. It’s time to 'scrap it.'”

An Evening In Harlem NY With Black Agenda Report & Friends

Jay-Z's “We Need Less Government” Quip Proves Harry Belafonte Right: He's A Selfish Loon

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Black celebrities a generation ago like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Curt Flood, Roberto Clemente, and of course, Harry Belafonte and his mentor Paul Robeson used their prominence not to hobnob with with the White House, but to help those picketing outside the mansions of governors and presidents, the imprisoned and oppressed. How far have we fallen since then? Now the same black celebs who wine and dine at the White House are mystifying “politics” while mouthing slogans of the far right....

Human Rights and Humanitarian Imperialism in Syria: A View From an African American Defender of Human Rights

By Ajamu Baraka

iiWho is killing whom in Syria and why? And to whom should we be listening ---- to our corporate media, State Department, and the same corps of “human rights activists” who applauded the Western invasion of Libya, and the dispatch of US special forces to Africa?

I’m Afraid of the 99%


by Mike Pirsch

The Occupy movement was based on the proposition that the State serves the interests of the 1%, while the rest of us are left out in the cold. But, why do 99% of Americans vote for presidential candidates of “the financial industry dictatorship and its enforcer, the military empire” every four years? If 20% voted for progressive parties, it would “frighten the financial dictators more than a thousand Occupys.”

Nothing More Evil


by David Swanson

War is the worst thing that humans do, from which the evils of genocide and crimes against humanity flow. Yet, in our political culture, people convince themselves that supporting supposedly “lesser evils” is a glorious enterprise. In truth, “a Lesser Evilist today is not choosing less evil policies, but the same policies in what he or she hopes will be lesser amounts.”

21 Years and Counting: Eritrea’s Independent Path Towards Sustainable Development, Peace & Cooperation


by Elias Amare

Eritrea, a small African nation on the Red Sea that won its independence from Ethiopia in a 30-year war and was once praised by the West for its policies of self-reliance, is now demonized as a “rogue state.” Washington showers Ethiopia with billions in economic and military aid. “The US and its European allies must reverse their misguided policies of propping up tyrannical client regimes in the Horn of Africa and play a constructive role of peace by de-escalating their militarization of the region.”

Listen to Black Agenda Report on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of October 1, 2012


U.S. Tries to Bully Iran Into Submission

Iran poses no threat to the world, said David Swanson, publisher of WarIsACrime.org. The real “source of tension” with Washington is that “Iran, since its revolution, has insisted on remaining independent of U.S. control. The Pentagon wants an Iran that cannot strike back” if it is attacked by the U.S. or Israel.

Obamacare Provides “Inferior” Protection

President Obama’s health care law is “an agreement between the federal government and big business” that “doesn’t protect Americans from bankruptcy and premature death,” said Dr. Reginald Clark, a health issues scholar who lectures at California State University, in Los Angeles. Most people will only be able to afford “inferior” levels of federally mandated health care coverage, he said.

U.S. Election Duopoly

Both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are deep in the pocket of ‘clean coal,’ as they are in the pockets of Big Ag, Big Insurance, military contractors, Wall Street and other centers of real power,” said BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon. For a progressive analysis of the debates between the two business parties, go to www.occupythedebates.org, beginning October 3.

Federal Employees’ Due Process Rights Threatened

Provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act pending before Congress would allow judges on federal workplace boards to deny due process to employees that complain of discrimination, said worker rights activist Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo. “This really does harken back to Jim Crow, when our cases were considered amusement for the Bubba crowd,” said Coleman-Adebayo, whose battle against discrimination at the Environmental Protection Agency led to passage of the NO FEAR whistleblower protection legislation, in 2002.

Paramilitaries on the Rise in Haiti

With the encouragement of the U.S.-backed government, paramilitaries are occupying 20 former Haitian Army bases, according to Jeb Sprague, author of Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti. The militiamen want to become part of a new national military. The U.S. also favors bringing back the Haitian Army, which was disbanded under deposed president Jean Bertrand Aristide. “They want it there in place if the UN force eventually leaves, to beat down the people,” said Sprague.

Voting As A Constitutional Right: What A Real “Protect The Vote” Movement Would Look Like

The right to vote is under a persistent, many-sided and sustained siege. In an era of hostile courts, complicit media, and big money dominating all the legislatures in the land, how can we launch a movement that will actually establish and defend the right to vote for ourselves, our children and grandchildren? An almost forgotten 2001 book by Jesse Jackson Jr. and Frank Watkins contains some serious clues....

Talking Peace and Justice with Ahmadinejad


by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The American government wants to expand its hegemony over the center of energy in the world, which is the Middle East,” said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a Manhattan dinner with mainly American peace and justice advocates. Iran considers weapons of mass destruction to be forbidden under Islam. All the talk of war is merely a cloak for America’s imperial ambitions.

Freedom Rider: Emancipation


by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The Emancipation Proclamation left Blacks in the slave states that had not seceded from the Union still in chains, and might better have been called “the emancipation but not for everyone proclamation.” African Americans have often been forced to take steps backward for every few steps forward. As a result, “we have been prone to celebrate the smallest act of consideration as monumental victory.”

Brought To You By “Clean Coal:” All You Need To Know About the 2012 Obama- Romney Debates

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

What do we do when choices between major presidential candidates aren't real choices, and debates between them not real debates? Real or not, the scripted and controlled events put on by the corporate “Commission” on Presidential Debates are heralded by corporate media as the opportunity to compare Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, as if a meaningful “choice” existed between them.

It's Party Time for the Black Misleadership Class

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

If, as Michelle Obama claims, “voting is the new movement,” then Black people are going nowhere. Absent a genuine people’s struggle, the periodic ritual of voting empowers only “the same class that abandoned mass movement politics 40 years ago, in favor of pursuing their own corporate and electoral ambitions.”

MOVIE REVIEW: The 3 Big Lies in the 'Won’t Back Down' Movie...

by Julie Woestehoff

The alleged “documentary,” Won't Back Down, universally praised in corporate media as the true-to-life inspiring story of big-city parents fighting bad teachers, worse unions and failed, unresponsive public schools is pure right-wing propaganda. Financed by the same right-wing billionaire who paid for “Waiting For Superman,” its intention is to build support for “trigger” referenda on the ballot across the country which will greatly further the cause of school privatization.


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