Note to “the Left”: Obama Hates You

by Paul Street

Despite oceans of evidence, many self-described “progressives” still refuse to recognize Barack Obama as the warmongering servant of Wall Street that he is. They continue to hover like flocks of groupies, eager to debase themselves for a politician that despises them. The Left – or what’s left of it – is held in deepest contempt by this president and his handlers. “It is long past time for serious lefties to leave” Obama and his fellow corporate Democrats, “once and for all.”

Obama Blows Chance to Remake U.S. Transportation

by Cynthia McKinney

With General Motors and Chrysler at death’s door, the incoming Obama administration had an opportunity to perform a transformative bailout, to invest billions in public dollars to leapfrog U.S. automakers into the green future. Instead, Obama’s men spent $50 billion to maintain the industrial status quo and further weaken unions.

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Tea Party is Just GOP on Racist Overdrive

The Tea Party,” says author and activist Paul Street, “is just a bunch of really, really loud, obnoxious, more stridently racist, more stridently poor-hating, more stridently liberal- and leftist-hating Republicans than the usual fare.” Street is co-author of “Crashing the Tea Party: Mass Media and the Campaign to Remake American Politics,” due out in March. By falsely characterizing the Tea Party phenomenon as an independent “movement,” corporate media have helped to “rebrand the GOP, which is even more unpopular than Obama.”

U.S. Created Conditions for Haiti Cholera

The United States is directly to blame for the sanctions that prevented the building of an adequate sewage system and water treatment system in the very river” where the cholera outbreak in Haiti began, said writer and activist Ashley Smith, at St. Mary’s Church, in Harlem. Smith was among the speakers at a rally and teach-in in solidarity with Haiti, organized by the Black is Back Coalition.

Obama’s Narrow Definition of Human Rights

In the midst of this economic crisis, the United States fails to recognize economic, cultural and social rights as legitimate human rights,” says Ajamu Baraka, executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network. “Therefore, they try to avoid the obligations that the government has to the poor and working people in this country.”

Congressman Bobby Rush, the Color of Change and the Color of Truth

In the next Congress, Chicago's Bobby Rush wants to the the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. While there is much to like and admire about the congressman's long career, Color of Change's James Rucker points out, putting Bobby Rush in charge of safeguarding a free and open internet is putting a corporate-funded fox in charge of the people's henhouse.

Freedom Rider: Obama Style Fascism

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The germs of fascism infest both parties, thriving among Republican and Democratic hosts, alike. Barack Obama’s 2008 victory was also a new lease on life for George Bush’s foreign wars and strangulation of domestic civil liberties, most recently in the assault on travelers bodies at airports. The first Black president rules very much like the last white president, and “the absence of outrage directed in the right direction makes us more endangered now than in the days when Bush occupied the White House.”

If the Airport is a Police State, What is the Ghetto?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It is right to howl at the indignities inflicted on airline passengers – but hypocritical, if the howls come from folks who applaud or remain silent while police in big cities across the country subject hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino males to arbitrary stop and frisks. “As a Black male who is often perceived as Latino or Middle-Eastern, I expect to get stopped and questioned, pulled from the crowd and patted down.”

Black August and Crises of Hip-Hop as Euphemism

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor Jared A. Ball

Hip-hop has become a meaningless word – or worse, a word shellacked with so many saleable commercial and political meanings that it becomes a weapon against the very people that originated the genre. A new film is circulating, with clarifying impact. “The film forces a real conflict over who defines hip-hop, who uses it for what and what those of us who claim to know better are actually doing to address these and related concerns.”

Haiti Election: Theatrical Prelude to Colonization

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Sunday’s election is the last thing Haiti’s majority wants or needs. It is the United States that needs Sunday’s election in Haiti to provide “a veil of legality on the theft of Haiti’s sovereignty and independence by U.S. imperialism and its allies.” Haitians have been given a choice to validate their own re-enslavement. Most will choose No.

Media’s “Discovery” of the Scott Sisters

by Richard Prince

The case of the Scott Sisters cannot be said to have instantly captured the attention of the media, Black or white. The two Black Mississippi women have been in prison for 16 years, serving double-life sentences in an $11 armed robbery. The journey from incarcerated invisibility began with a small website, and may yet set the Scott Sisters free.

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Obama’s Deficit Commission “Shows the Hand” of Corporate Democrats and Their Republican Allies, says Nader

The recommendations put forward by the two co-chairs of President Obama’s deficit reduction commission are so “over the top,” says consumer advocate Ralph Nader, “if there’s anything that ought to get the liberal left going, it’s this monstrosity, which Obama has to take some responsibility for.” The former presidential candidate says the assault on social programs “shows the hand of the corporate Democrats and their Republican allies in a very distinct way.” What’s not in the co-chairs’ proposal is as glaring as what’s included. “They didn’t say we should have a speculation tax on derivatives and other transactions of Wall Street,” for example, “which economists have estimated could raise $400 billion a year.”

Black Is Back Rally in Washington, DC

Eugenia Charles reports on the cholera epidemic in Haiti, where international aid “is not being used to support the Haitian people”; People’s Organization for Progress director Larry Hamm calls for renewed grassroots organizing to “build a movement stronger than the one we had in the Sixties”; and Black is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela says Barack Obama represents “white power in a Black face.”

Freedom Rider: President Bloomberg

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If the United States is going to be run for the profit of Wall Street and the super-rich, why not dispense with all the groveling intermediaries? Let the plutocrats rule, directly. Multi-billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg personifies government “of the rich, by the rich and for the rich,” and hopes to take the model nationwide. (This is the guy who told Rupert Murdock that Barack Obama is the “most arrogant” man he ever met.)

Top Ten Reasons Why Black Leaders Are Ignoring President Obama's Good Cop-Bad Cop Attack on Social Security

After a decades-long drumbeat led by the Peterson Foundation, corporate media, Wall Street and their minions of both parties, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are under attack. The current raid is being led by nobody less than Barack Obama himself. Only Nixon could go to China, only Clinton could end welfare, and only a black Democrat can undermine Social Security. But where is black leadership? Why are they silent? We think we know...

Psycho-Babbling Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Still unwilling or unable to admit that they were “psyched out” by Barack Obama and his corporate handlers, Lefties search for psychological reasons that the First Black President has been such a disappointment. It’s the failure to fight thing, or the lack of vision thing, or the failure to communicate thing, they say. “It isn’t that Obama has trouble conveying his vision, it’s that his actual vision is unacceptable to progressives.” As for his willingness to fight, Obama fought his own left wing, and “stomped their butts into the dirt” over his corporate health care plan.

More than Remembering Phyl Garland! Black Power and Community Controlled Broadcasting

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball

In the Seventies, Black radio news was a powerhouse reaching virtually every Black household with hourly newscasts that fueled political movements and incubated youthful Black leadership. Famed journalist and educator Phyl Garland chronicled and helped shape the era. “This time the struggle is not only for jobs and meaningful representation, but for the control of black minds through the grist they are fed by the communications media,” she wrote. The present generation’s mission is to seize control of Black-oriented media in service of the people.

America’s Obligations to Haiti

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

The United States does as it pleases in Haiti, behaving as a conqueror while pretending to have no responsibilities for the welfare of the people whose government Washington has stolen. “The U.S. is obligated to spend as many billions as it takes on the human needs of the people of Haiti – not as a matter of charity, but as a solemn legal responsibility” – or set Haiti free.

Bill Clinton: Haiti’s Neo-Colonial Overlord

by Ashley Smith

Bill Clinton is no friend to Haiti. The former president, who inflicted great harm to the Haitian people while in office, now acts as a kind of regent, “promoting sweatshops, tourism, and export-oriented agriculture.” A primary actor in stripping Haiti of its sovereignty, Clinton “is putting Haiti up for sale to multinational capital.”

Aristide Speaks from South Africa

Nicolas Rossier interviews deposed Haitian president

In this frank and wide-ranging discussion, the deposed president of Haiti addresses French racism and those forces in the U.S. and Haiti that oppose his return from South African exile, the devastations his countrymen have endured since his ouster, and the Haitian people’s desire for freedom and self-determination. The upcoming elections, which will once again exclude Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas political party, are a farce. “They are not planning to have free and fair democratic elections. They are planning to have a selection.”

Black Consciousness in Brazil

by Italo Ramos

New census data show two million more Brazilians now describe themselves as black than did so ten years ago, when “they had said that they were not blacks, but 'mestiços' or 'mulattos,' a category more favored, socially.” This is, the author believes, a significant number, proof of the deep impact of the black consciousness movement and Brazil's relatively recent affirmative action programs. At the same time, “slowly but consistently, white people are admitting the real face of a segregationist and racist Brazil.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey

Poor “Shack”-Dwellers Advocate Decries “New Apartheid” in South Africa

We seem to have a new apartheid” in South Africa, says S’bu Zikode, leader of the poor people’s organization Abahliali base-Mjondolo. In this new order, “the poor are not taken care of, are not part of society.” Zikode, who is touring the United States, says the African National Congress government “wants to create a ‘shack-free’ country where the poor can be hidden,” reserving the cities “for the better-off and the rich.”

Bloomberg Undermines Living Wage While Jockeying for President

Billionaire New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is said to be eyeing a run for the White House in 2012, has hired a notorious opponent of minimum wages to study proposals to include subsidized development projects under Living Wage regulations. The mayor’s expert says higher wages kill economic development. But expanded wage protections have been “very successful” in Los Angeles and other cities, says Paul Sonn, of the National Employment Law Center.

Anti-War Committee Broadens Scope

A recent mass meeting of the United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC) showed progress in diversifying the peace movement. UNAC co-coordinator Joe Lombardo said a large fraction of participants at the Manhattan conference were Muslim, part of a newly-formed Muslim Peace Coalition with chapters in 16 states.

Plus…

Bruce Dixon examines the woeful irrelevance of the Black Misleadership Class; Jared Ball counters Michael Eric Dyson’s outrageous assault on Black youth; and Danny Schecter dissects the banksters’ fraudulent mortgages.

Barack Obama, Social Security and the Final Irrelevance of the Black Misleadership Class

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

With a black president leading the charge to eviscerate Medicare, Medicaid and social security in the name of “deficit reduction,” what is there left of black politics? What is the relevance of so-called black leaders in the Democratic party, and the remains of our historic civil rights organizations?

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