Why Obama Will Walk Away Unscathed by the Current Political Scandals

by Pascal Robert

Don’t worry about Barack Obama. He’s far too useful to the rulers of America to be derailed by scandal, or even a combination of scandals. “Obama’s neoliberal government giveaways to private corporations and mercenary foreign policy already make him too valuable to the guardians of American empire to have his presidency threatened.”

Demonstrators Demand End of Impunity for Banks

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Hundreds of protesters massed at the Department of Justice to demand that banks be held accountable for their multitudinous crimes. That’s like asking the Pope to convert to Islam. “If the Obama administration has been consistent on any one issue, it is the untouchability of the biggest banks.”


Chicago Teachers Build a Movement

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Chicago teachers see themselves as engaged in a movement to defend the public sphere from corporate acquisition. “Wall Street hedge funders and other speculators are betting heavily on school privatization as the next great investment frontier.”


Bullying Pulpit: Racism, Barack Obama and the Selective Call for Personal Responsibility

by Tim Wise

Once again, Barack Obama scolds Black men, this time at Morehouse College. The author, an anti-racist activist, writes: “To preach hard work to these men, as if they had never heard of it — as if they now intended to kick back and wait for things to be handed to them — is to not only insult their intelligence, but also to feed every vicious stereotype already held by too many white Americans.”

Rise Up or Die

by Chris Hedges

As more and more of the nation is transformed into “sacrifice zones” like Detroit and Camden, New Jersey, with civil liberties stripped bare, the biosphere pushed to the point of no return, and the corporate security estate triumphant, “it is time to employ the harsh language of open rebellion and class warfare.”

Racism and Classism Are Alive and Deadly: US Public Policies Create Environmental Injustice

by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese

The non-white poor bear the brunt of industrial environmental degradation, yet are barely represented among those groups that purport to protect the environment. “The failure to include and respect the diversity of voices of those affected by unfair practices is allowing the poisoning and disappearance of whole communities.”

Bards Behind Bars: Prison Literature In The USA

by William T. Hathaway

Prison literature is a major component of U.S. literature – as it should be, since the U.S. prison population is, proportionately and in raw numbers, the largest on earth. There are insights in incarceration. “Prisons can crush some psyches and produce diamonds of art and wisdom in others.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/20/13

Black Studies Under Assault

We have been under siege for ten years, maybe longer,” said Dr. Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “It’s been under attack because what African American studies represents is a fundamental paradigm challenge to the white academy.” Monteiro was part of a conference on Black studies held over the weekend at Temple, the first institution to offer a PhD in the discipline, in 1988. “We are not beholden to these other departments and disciplines,” he said. “In fact, our world view emerges from a deep critique of what they do – and that’s where the blowback comes from.”

FBI “Fishing Expedition” Against the Press

Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that he should absent himself from the investigation of the FBI’s seizure of Associated Press phone records is “all about trying to maintain plausible deniability” of involvement, said Kevin Gosztola, a journalist with FireDogLake.com who has written extensively on government spying. It is “cowardice, frankly, said Gosztola, “to not want to face the media, who would be outraged when they found out that an establishment news media organization was the victim of an FBI fishing expedition.”

No FEAR Act anniversary

The federal No FEAR Act, signed into law 11 years ago, “came out of an incredibly hostile work environment throughout the federal government,” said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, a whistleblower and former Environmental Protection Agency senior analyst. “Our goal was to change the culture of how government works. We didn’t quite achieve that,” she said, but “there was one moment in history when federal employees said: To hell with the jobs, to hell with the benefits, I’m going to fight for justice.”

President Obama the Best Choice Imperialism Ever Made

One of the greatest accomplishments for imperialism, is that he has moved more of our people into the imperial camp,” said Kali Akuno, of the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement. Akuno spoke on the Your World News documentary film, The More Effective Evil: The Impact of President Obama on the Black Community and Humanity, produced by Solomon Comissiong. “Whoever the folks are who trained him and have been his handlers, from the imperialist perspective, should be given their props, because they picked a good one.”

South Africa “Most Unequal” Society in the World

Many of South Africa’s Black political elite “have used the opportunities to accumulate at the expense of the vast majority,” said Molefi Ndlovu, a community activist and researcher at the Center for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, in Durban. “That’s why we can speak of South Africa as being the most unequal society in the world, more than Brazil and other places,” said Ndlovu, speaking on the latest edition of Black Agenda Television. “It makes a lot of us a bit nervous about exactly where is the soul of the” [ruling African National Congress] party going.”

Selective Federal Gun Prosecutions in Black Indianapolis

In conjunction with a local police offensive, the U.S. Attorney in Indianapolis has vowed to fully prosecute gun crimes in five so-called “hot zones” – all of them centered in Black neighborhoods – but not in the rest of the city. Rev. Byron Vaughn, of Prisoners Reformed United, says the policy represents selective, racial law enforcement. “They made it a racial issue,” said Rev. Vaughn, a former prison inmate. People are being singled out because of “where they live.”

The More Effective Evil

by Your World News

For some time now, Black Agenda Report has been calling the Obama administration not the lesser of two but the more effective evil, able to enact measures that white Democrats or Republicans could not without massive public opposition. Your World News Films, directed by Solomon Comissiong, presents the documentary "The More Effective Evil: The Impact of President Obama on the Black Community and Humanity."

Freedom Rider: When Cops and Prosecutors are Criminals

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

It should surprise no one that the world’s biggest and harshest criminal injustice system puts many innocent people in jail, disproportionately Black. “America’s addiction to racism and violence creates outright criminality among police and prosecutors.” Police and prosecutors routinely frame the innocent, knowing that “mass incarceration depends on an assembly line of conviction.”

Black Vote Rising, Black Power Diminishing, Black Condition Worsening

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Black voters turned out in greater proportion than whites to elect President Obama, twice. So, why are Blacks powerless to influence his administration, or government in general? Black politics has been stripped of “socially transformative content so that, no matter how large the Black voter turnout, real power remains in corporate hands.”


Radicalized = Weaponized = Kill at Will

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

These days, a radical label can get you killed. In National Security Speech, “it is clear that to ‘radicalize’ means very much the same as to ‘weaponize’; the radicalized person has been transformed into a weapon.” Under such assumptions, the secret police feel justified in using lethal force on purely political pretexts.


U.S. Guilty of Genocide in Guatemala Should be Real Headline

by Ajamu Baraka

Now that former Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt has been convicted of genocide, it’s time for the “hegemonic puppeteer,” the United States, to be put on trial. “U.S. officials were fully aware of the pogrom against the Ixil people in the mountains of Guatemala at the very moment that the U.S. government was involved in training and arming the Guatemalan military.”

Cornel West: Obama “Is a War Criminal”

by Jacob Chamberlain

I would rather have a white president fundamentally dedicated to eradicating poverty and enhancing the plight of working people than a black president tied to Wall Street and drones," activist-academic Dr. Cornel West told British journalists. Barack Obama, like his predecessor, should be tried for war crimes.

The Importance of Haiti

by Pascal Robert

Haiti this week marks its 210th anniversary as the world’s first Black republic. The descendants of Haiti’s self-emancipators have been forced to defend their national sovereignty in each succeeding decade. Yet, their struggle for freedom was “the single most important factor in shaping the geopolitical trajectory of the Western Hemisphere since Columbus.”

Theodore W. Allen’s The Invention of the White Race

by Jeffrey B. Perry

The White Man was invented in colonial America “in response to class struggle,” according to the classic work of Theodore W. Allen, now republished. The conferring of white privilege was “not only ruinous for African-Americans; they were also against the class interest of European-American workers.”

Dr. Gerald Caplan and the Rwanda Genocide Cranks

by keith harmon snow

Behind the genocide in Congo and elsewhere stand a host of well-paid academics, entertainers, politicians and professional propagandists for U.S. imperial policy. One of them, “Dr. Gerald Caplan, ignores the pain, mutilations, rapes and deaths caused by the western power brokers Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni to millions upon millions of Burundian, Congolese, Sudanese and Ugandan people.”

Black Agenda Radio on PRN, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/13/13

Assata, JZ and Beyonce: The Connection

Domestic law enforcement is at odds” with President Obama because of his “new approach to Latin America and the war on drugs,” said Dhoruba bin Wahad, former Black Panther and co-founder of the Black Liberation Army. According to bin Wahad, who spent 19 years in prison on political charges, Obama is seeking to “calm the shift in power to the Left in Latin America” in his second term. “JZ going to Cuba, getting a visa, was not coincidental,” he said. The recent JZ-Beyonce “trip was about opening up Cuba” to U.S. tourism, “to disrupt and undo the Cuban revolution.” Exiled former Black Panther Assata Shakur’s elevation to number one domestic terrorist on the FBI list “represents the disgruntlement of U.S. law enforcement” with this process.

The Betrayal of the Black Misleadership Class

The Black political class that emerged from the tumult of the Sixties became eager partners with corporate neoliberalism, said Jay Arena, author of Driven from New Orleans: How Non-Profits Betray Public Housing and Promote Privatization. The first generation of the post-Sixties Black political class “emerges just at the time when the national state begins their neoliberal austerity and privatization agenda – and they embraced that,” said Arena, a veteran activist and professor of sociology at the College of Staten Island, New York. Many Black politicians and non-profit organizations collaborated in the dismantling of public housing in New Orleans and cities across the nation.

Superpower Woes in Syria
“The United States, and any other imperialist nation on earth, has no right” to interfere with the internal affairs of Syria, said Jeff Mackler, national secretary of Socialist Action. Washington’s ambitions in Syria have been frustrated because “they don’t have any forces on the ground that they can trust to defend their interests.” The U.S. faced a similar situation in Iraq, and has no reliable allies on the ground in Afghanistan, either, said Mackler.


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