Solidarity with Africa, or Obama? You Can't Have Both


by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

A new organization will attempt to mobilize African American solidarity with the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East. But that would mean confronting the First Black President. “The unprovoked war on Libya, where U.S.-backed racists massacred Black Libyans and African migrant workers, should have provoked a clear break with the president’s policies, as Dr. King broke with President Johnson over Vietnam.”

Imagine Urban Economic Development Without The Bankers On Our Backs

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Why can't a county or city dig a hole, or lay a mile of light rail without making new millionaires out of half a dozen bankers and their favorite lawyers? Why does all urban development have to be gentrification? Is government's real function to guarantee that a layer of banksters and lawyers get paid their cut before anything else moves?

Where Will the U.S. Strike Next in Africa?


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The U.S. is stalking Africa like an imperial predator. Eritrea is on the short list of who’s going to be attacked next. Eritrea, says the U.S., creates instability. However, “it is not little Eritrea that is destabilizing the Horn of Africa, but the United States, which has made the region a front line in its so-called War on Terror.”


How Obama Helps the Banks Rig the Housing Market


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“The banks, acting as a cartel, are manipulating the housing market to force prices higher, for the sake of their own bottom lines.” Rigging the market requires a collaborative effort – and that the federal government stay out of the bankers’ way. President Obama is glad to oblige.


President Obama: “I Am Not the President of Black America”


by Dr. Boyce Watkins

President Obama has made it clear once again that his role as president, as he sees it, renders him useless to Black people – although other groups find him quite helpful. “If the respect shown to black Americans does not match that which is shown to the gay community, Hispanic community and other demographics, then the Obama Administration has fallen woefully short in its duty to America.”

Romney, Obama, and the Darwinism That Substitutes Culture for Genes


by Paul Street

Mitt Romney’s ideas on cultural superiority are “as American as apple pie.” The First Black President plays on the white culture team, too. “Obama has repeatedly played Booker T. Washingtonian haranguer of impoverished blacks for failing to think and act right and thereby to take advantage of the great opportunities supposedly afforded them by the ‘magical place called the United States.’”

August 'Riots' One Year On: A Black Power Perspective

by Sukant Chandan

Last summer’s uprisings in cities across England struck fear in the ruling order. But, what did Black Brits learn from the experience? “We cannot understand what happens in Tottenham, Brixton, Peckham, Handsworth, etc. unless we understand what is happening in Africa, Asia and Latin America.”

The Revision and Origin of Black August


by Kiilu Nyasha

The commemoration of Black August is inseparable from the lives and struggles of revolutionary freedom fighters: “George and Jonathan Jackson, James McClain, William Christmas, Khatari Gaulden, and sole survivor of the August 7, 1970 Courthouse Slave Rebellion, Ruchell Cinque Magee.”

A Few Things Americans Can Learn from Cuba


by Solomon Comissiong

Americans could learn a lot if they would just look and listen to the world around them, a place where lots of peoples and nations are smarter, kinder and happier than we are. Cuba is making great progress towards its goal to become a “medical superpower,” while in the U.S. “African/black political prisoners continue to languish in solitary confinement in the bowels of the world’s most despicable prison system.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of August 6, 2012


Don’t Depend on Obama

Whatever happens in November, our job doesn’t change,” said anti-racism activist Tim Wise, author of Dear White America: A Letter to a New Minority. “The symbolic value of a Black face in a high place does not necessarily translate into structural change.” A mass movement is necessary to force elected officials to address social issues, “because they are not going to do it in and of themselves.”


The government’s Counter Intelligence Program of the Sixties was never shut down, said Larry Pinkney, former Black Panther and political prisoner. The Feds continue to plant provocateurs in activist ranks. “It’s the oldest trick in the book,” said Pinkney, “and the reason it has consistently worked is, we’ve got too many ‘sheeple’ out there who are about to find themselves in a situation where they have no Constitutional or human rights.”

Offshore Trillions

Measuring the global elite’s offshore cash stashes is “like estimating the size of a black hole,” said James Henry, author of Tax Justice Network-USA study titled “The Price of Offshore, Revisited.” Between $21 trillion to $32 trillion is hidden from tax collectors, said Henry, a former chief economist for the McKinsey consulting group. Developing nations are actually net lenders to First World countries, “to the tune of $11 trillion, which is exactly opposite the way global capital markets are supposed to function.”

Africa at Crossroads

The African Union has proven itself incapable of resolving armed conflicts” in Libya, the Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau, said Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston. South Africa, the sub-Saharan powerhouse, is key to continental security. “It’s either get South Africa off the sidelines or invite in the United States or some outside power – and, obviously, the latter is too ghastly to contemplate.”

Romney and the “Culture” of White Supremacy


by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

For the Mormon American multimillionaire, human destiny and divine will are revealed in macroeconomic data.” But Mitt Romney’s assertion that Palestinian underdevelopment is proof of Israeli cultural superiority is no more racist than the usual celebrations of western wealth, power and so-called “civilization.” In the U.S., most whites view economic disparities between races “as more a natural phenomenon than evidence of cumulative injustice.”

Freedom Rider: Michael Eric Dyson and Barack Obama


by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The presidential election cycle is underway, which means that Michael Eric Dyson is pledging his undying love for Barack Obama. Apparently, the president’s handlers have favored Dyson with “access” – a quality that is worth far more to some folks than truth and self-respect. “What it all comes down to in Dyson’s world, is rubbing elbows with the president and bragging about it.”

Africa Re-Enslaves Itself


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Although China, India and other rising powers have eclipsed the U.S. as a trading partner with Africa, Washington’s military dominance over the continent grows by the day. At relatively little cost, the U.S. Africa Command has subverted the militaries of 53 African nations. The African Union, which was envisioned as an incubator of continental unity and collective defense, is a pitiful front for the U.S. war in Somalia.


The Poverties of a Decaying System


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

New data on poverty testify to the bankruptcy of U.S. corporate party politics. The most successful years in the fight against poverty are 40 years behind us, while the future promises nothing but decline. Neither Democrats nor Republicans offer even the slightest reason to hope for an economic turnaround. However, “there’s really nothing wrong with the world that a social revolution can’t fix.”


Obama's Second Term Agenda: Cutting Social Security, Medicare and/or Medicaid

by Matt Stoller

Across the country, activists are shaking their heads and repeating to themselves the usual justifications. The Supreme Court, the Lesser Evil, he's not a white racist. They prepare to re-elect a president who has done practically nothing to further progressive agendas, and all in his power to shield banksters, corporate criminals, Big Ag, Big Oil, and the like from paying for their crimes, kept the thousand overseas military bases abroad and the billionaires bipartisan agenda at home...

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progresive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of July 30, 2012


New Report Blasts NYPD Repression of Occupy Movement

New York City police used “aggressive, unnecessary and excessive force” in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement protests that began last September, said Sarah Knuckey, a New York University law professor and co-author of a new report that details 130 separate incidents of police abuse. Police violence was directed “not only at protesters, but also against bystanders, independent legal observers and, particularly, journalists.” The report asks Mayor Michael Bloomberg to initiate an independent review of police behavior over the last ten months, calls for creation of an independent inspector general’s office to oversee NYPD, and demands accountability for past abuses. If the city fails to respond in good faith, said Prof. Knuckey, the U.S. Justice Department will be asked to intervene. A consortium of law schools plans to issue additional reports on police treatment of Occupy demonstrators in other cities.

Rich Hide $21 to $32 Trillion Offshore

A study commissioned by the Tax Justice Network-USA shows the global financial elite have stashed between $23 trillion and $32 trillion in secret offshore accounts. “Governments are losing all of this potential revenue that could be used to provide basic services and to stop all the cutting of jobs all over the world,” said network executive director Nicole Tichon. “Conservatively,” tax revenues from the hidden funds “could range anywhere from $190 billion to $280 billion, which is a little more than twice the amount” that the world’s rich countries spend “on all overseas development aid.”

Obama Fails Federal Workers of Color

The Obama administration has “turned a deaf ear” to minority federal employee’s complaints of racist abuse, assaults, rapes and beatings in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Lawrence C. Lucas, president of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees. “This administration has failed, and failed miserably,” said Lucas, who was interviewed on William Jones III’s Internet radio program, Wake Up New Orleans. “How can people go to the polls and vote for people who, when you ask them for help, you’re talking to deaf ears.”

Big Business Takeover of Philly Schools

It is very clear that businesses are beginning to have more to say about what happens in the schools than the parents” in communities of color in Philadelphia, said the city’s teachers union president, Jerry Jordan. The Philadelphia School Reform Commission has targeted at least 40 public schools for closure, and plans to turn 40 percent of classrooms over to charter schools, despite studies that have shown “the vast majority of charter schools” in Pennsylvania “are not doing as well as the neighborhood public schools.” The transition plan was drawn up by a corporate consultant firm from Boston, and paid for by the William Penn Foundation and the local United Way.“

Black Radio Has Gone Corporate

I think the term ‘Black radio’ no longer applies, except to say that there are Black people on the radio, and there are a couple of Black people who own some stations, but for the most part Black commercial radio acts pretty much the same” as general market media, said veteran broadcaster Davy D, host of the syndicated daily show Hard Knocks Radio. White listeners share the same complaints about constant repetition of “top ten” songs, as Blacks. Davy D and other media activists sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, requesting an investigation into Black-oriented radio’s accountability to the Black listening public.

Boycott Hyatt Hotels

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) has joined the global boycott of the Hyatt hotel chain. “Hyatt has really taken a low-road path,” contracting out much of its work force as temporary employees, said IWJ executive director Kim Bobo. “These perma-temps are paid minimum wage or just a little above, they have no vacations, no sick days, no health care.”

UNAC: U.S. Hands Off Syria

The United States and its European allies are attempting to “get ahead” of the Arab Spring by destabilizing the regime in Syria. “To claim that this is a humanitarian intervention is thoroughly false,” said Chris Gauvreau, of the United National Anti-War Coalition. “The so-called humanitarian intervention in Libya was a disaster, leading not to democracy but to another elite regime characterized by odious policies including racism against Black Africans.”

Should We Really Re-Elect This Fracking President?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Fracking is the energy industry's answer to peak oil, catastrophically offloading the increased cost of oil and gas extraction onto farmers, ranchers, humans who drink water, and the environment itself. It's about as ethical and responsible as the brain deciding to mine the liver and sell the contents. And it's national energy policy under the Obama administration.

Obama and the Bank Protection Racket


by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Wall Street knows, with great intimacy, that it is perched on the lip of the abyss, that the next crash can come from any number of directions, that all its faults are active and all its contradictions, acute.” Wall Street’s protectors in the Obama administration understand this, too. “The U.S. Justice Department’s job, as Eric Holder sees it, is to immunize the criminals from prison time, and then fine their companies to preserve the illusion of justice.” However, when the next crash comes, a State of Emergency will follow.


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