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Katrina

Obama Ticket Prices and the Invisible Ruling Class

by Paul Street

Frederick Harris’ very useful book on the “high price” – to Black folks – of the nation’s First Black President has been reissued in paperback. However, Harris gives Obama too much credit as a president of all the people. “Like the great majority of U.S. presidents,” writes Paul Street, “Obama has been first and foremost a representative of the American white ruling class.”

Detroit’s Agony Shows Why Black America Needs A People’s Plan for the Cities

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Detroit, the Black Metropolis, is being disassembled. Having stolen local democracy, corporate planners now trip over themselves to create the grid for a new city, in which current residents will live in the shadows. Corporate disinvestment created urban Black majorities. Now, “the methodical return of corporate capital has capped and rolled back the growth of ‘Chocolate Cities’ in the U.S.”

Justice in New Orleans?: The Real Crimes of Former Mayor Ray Nagin and the Entire Ruling Class

by Jay Arena

Ray Nagin, who first ran for mayor as the candidate of business, cops and whites, was only convicted of “the least of his crimes.” The corporate-run, bipartisan gang that pillaged New Orleans ranged from President Obama to Governor Jindal to Melissa Harris Perry, and every high-living lowlife in between.

Treme Rewrites Post-Katrina History. And That’s a Good Thing.

by Jordan Flaherty

The HBO show Treme has joined the television ancestors. History will decide the series’ ultimate significance – a verdict that cannot be left to the ratings, which are incapable of gauging shows about “race and racism, about Black culture in our cities, and the displacement of that culture by gentrification and class warfare.”

Last Hope For Change: An Interview with Cynthia McKinney

by Adam Engel

Writer Adam Engel describes former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney as a person who doesn’t merely speak truth to power, but acts in accordance with such truths. In this extended conversation, the former Green Party presidential candidate explores “how we end the lived nightmares of the world’s billions.”

Democracy: Going Down for the Count in Detroit

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The “restructuring” of Detroit through bankruptcy is the model for drastically downsizing what’s left of democracy in all of urban America. Already, Black voting rights have been rendered null and void “on a scale not seen since the death of Reconstruction.” However, the legal precedents that are being established in mostly Black Detroit will obtain throughout the nation.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/04/13

UNAC: Stop Obama’s Syria War

“There’s no basis for it, whatsoever: it’s against international law, it’s against UN conventions, it’s illegal, immoral and has to be stopped,” said Marilyn Levin, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, which has organized demonstrations against President Obama’s planned attack on Syria. “What they’re trying to do is regime change, to get a government that is compliant with the United States.”

POP Rallies Against “Re-Run” of Iraq Attack

The People’s Organization for Progress rallied against Obama’s war plans, in Newark, New Jersey. “Our opposition is in line with the Black community, which I am certain would oppose another war,” said POP chairman Larry Hamm. “But, it’s also important to note that a majority of the people in the country oppose it. This whole situation seems to be a re-run of the prelude to the war in Iraq.”

March on Washington Commemoration an “Obscenity”

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington “was a government-corporate affair, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola and everybody that could give Al Sharpton and the people that were organizing that march a check,” said veteran South Carolina activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray. “It was a farce, it was an obscenity. The people were props. There was no demand on the administration,” said Gray. “Sharpton is the administration’s yard dog.”

Denied Mic, Dream Defender Says Youth are “Ready” to Challenge System

Philip Agnew, a leader of the Dream Defenders occupying Florida’s State Capital, circulated the speech he would have given to the March on Washington crowd if he and other young people had not been cut from the speakers list: “I’d tell you that millions of young people and queer people and poor people and people of color are asking, What do we do with all this anger, this fear, this disappointment? For 50 years we’ve wandered and wondered: Where are the youth? … Peace over profit, revolution over revenue, and all peace and power to the people! Just watch – we’re ready.”

Fast Food Workers Press for Living Wage

Fast food workers held job actions at 1,000 locations in 60 cities last week, demanding a $15 an hour living wage and union representation. “We think that the real people mooching off the system are the corporations,” said Kyle Kordsmeier, an organizer with the Interfaith Workers Network, in Memphis. “If we paid people a living wage, it would save us healthcare costs, welfare, food stamps. Ultimately, what we’re fight for is for them to pick up that tab. They’re the ones who are stealing our money.”

White Power, Black Pain in New Orleans

According to a report by Loyola University law professor Bill Quigley on the state of New Orleans, the city “is whiter than it was when Katrina hit, there’s more renters; there are jobs, but they’ve moved out to the suburbs,” and Teach for America instructors “have taken the jobs of primarily African American teachers whose union was broken and replaced by charter schools.” New Orleans’ city hall, city council and school board are all controlled by whites, although Blacks comprise a “technical” majority of the population, said Quigley, whose report is titled “Katrina Pain Index: New Orleans Eight Years Later.”

Will Banks be Bailed-Out, or Depositors Bailed-in?

British and American banking officials are drawing up plans to treat large depositors in U.S. banks as “investors” whose funds might be seized – “bailed-in” – in a financial crisis. Dodd-Frank legislation prohibits bailouts of banks with taxpayer money. However, Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood says: “It stretches credulity to think that this government would ever let big investors, big depositors, big bondholders take major hits in a banking crisis. I am utterly convinced they would find some way around this law and save the skins of the well-heeled.”

Tiny Eritrea Maintains Self-Reliance

Zimbabwe and Eritrea, a small country of 6 million people on the Red Sea, are the only nations in Africa that have avoided entanglement with the U.S. Africa Military Command, AFRICOM. Eritrea also refuses so-called foreign “aid” in favor of national self-reliance. “It was critical to build a self-reliant state” after 30 years of war for independence, said Simon Tesfamariam, an Eritrean-American activist and writer, speaking on Your World News. “If you look within your own resources, you’ll find a way to make it. But, all this is impossible without the unity of the Eritrean people.”

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Katrina Pain Index 2013: New Orleans Eight Years Later

by Bill Quigley

The “new” New Orleans that developers hoped to construct when 100,000 poor Black people were purged from the city is still a place of daunting poverty. “African American households in the metro New Orleans area earned 50 percent less than white households.” By almost every measurement, only the rich and white have prospered.

Katrina Deaths at New Orleans Hospital Revisited

triageFrom On The Media
When New Orleans flooded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, patients and doctors at the Memorial Medical Center were stranded without power and facing dwindling supplies of medicine. By the time the ordeal was over, as many as eleven elderly, mostly Black patients were dead – some, it was charged, euthanized by medical personnel.

Death at the Bridge in New Orleans

NOLA cops shoot civilians with impunity by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford
Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download an audio in MP3 format.

With the statue of limitations due to expire in six months, federal officials have extracted one guilty plea in a New Orleans police slaughter of Black Katrina survivors. The white reign of terror remains largely unpunished. But we must also ask: Why did the city harbor so many racist cops after a quarter century of Black administration?
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