No One To Speak For Black Rights On The Internet

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Black luminaries like Tom Joyner, allied with huge media corporations, preach that Big Business interests and those of Black folks coincide - that there is no need for Internet neutrality. Glenn Beck, Tom Joyner and the NAACP's Ben Jealous talk the same garbage, for corporate rewards. If the Internet is the future, then the future is bleak for African Americans, whose digital "lines of defense are virtually nonexistent."


The Existential Crisis of U.S. Capitalism

The Existential Crisis of U.S. Capitalism

Corporate media, which never warned that capitalism was in crisis before the financial meltdown, now insists that the system is simply in a down period, and will at some point return to stability. But the crisis became inevitable precisely because “the most predatory, parasitic and criminal elements of Wall Street and bank capital became dominant over the economy and the government.” With these same elements still firmly in charge, how can the future be anything but chaotic?

On Progressive “Red-Baiting”

by Tamara K. Nopper

Red-baiting is by no means the sole preserve of the Right. Leftists of various stripes sometimes resort to red-baiting to distinguish themselves from those whose politics are even less compatible with prevailing opinion. Red-baiting is also a weapon to “shut down inquiry or interrogation of their political positions by using labels that are unpopular among a general public trained to...demonize and criminalize stances that are too oppositional.”

What's More Important For Black Leadership? Turning Off Fox News? Or Stopping the President's Cat Food Commission?

While black political leaders and activists focus on turning off Fox News, and clownish disputes with Tea Partyers and the likes of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, are they missing something more important? Can any good come from a Democratic president reaching across the aisle to team up with Republicans for a bipartisan “fiscal reform” that targets “entitlements,” meaning Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security? Is the silence of black leadership on the president's Cat Food Commission still more evidence of their irrelevance?

Rwanda Crisis Could Expose U.S. Role in Congo Genocide

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Left writers have been reporting for years that U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda bear primary responsibility for the deaths of as many as six million Congolese. Now a leaked United Nations report has confirmed that Rwanda’s crimes in Congo may rise to the level of genocide, since President Paul Kagame’s forces killed Hutu elderly, children and women without regard to nationality. Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s “mentors and funders in the U.S. government…must be held equally accountable.”

Freedom Rider: Prison Rape, America’s Torture

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Americans look with horror at places like Congo where rape is a tool of warfare, yet are apt to make light of appalling levels of sexual abuse in U.S. prisons and jails. “In 2008 and 2009, 88,500 adults held in jails and prisons reported being sexually assaulted” – and this does not count endemic rape in juvenile detention centers. Yet Attorney General Eric Holder is dragging his feet on complying with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

U.S. Prison Gulag vs. Global Human Rights

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

In a whitewash of monumental proportions, the Obama administration refused to acknowledge vast racial disparities at every stage of the U.S. criminal justice system. "In sheer numbers, the American prison gulag dwarfs that of every other nation, and its racial composition is irrefutable proof that the American state functions as the principal enforcer of the color bar in U.S. society."


Reclaiming the Dream and Brand Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared Ball

A stroll through Al Sharpton's recent MLK-themed demonstration, in Washington,DC, was anything but a walk down memory lane. Gone were theprincipled voices of yesterday. "None were there to challengeObama, whose presidency has so far been an absolute reversal of anyof King's most pronounced political concerns; an end to poverty, warand capitalism as an unchecked economic system."


New Orleans Black Activists Denounce Obama and Shame Misleadership Class

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

When it comes to making President Obama accountable for his own wars, his own corporate pandering, his own trillion-dollar bank bailouts, the Black misleadership class becomes mute. But poor people's activists in New Orleans had no problem denouncing the president's housing policies, which ensure that "fat cats like Warren Buffett and huge private banking institutions will inherit the nation's public housing properties."


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

U.S. Rwandan Ally is “Greatest Mass Killer on the Face of the Earth, Today”

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and one of Washington’s top allies in Africa, “is the greatest mass killer on the face of the earth, today, says Edwin S. Herman, co-author of The Politics of Genocide. Millions have died in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since Rwanda Uganda, and close another U.S. ally, invaded the country in the mid-Nineties. According to Herman, a UN report showed the area of Congo occupied by Rwandan forces experienced three and a half million excess deaths – a genocide by any measurement. Yet Kagame “is a western hero.”


Mtangulizi Sanyika, of New Orleans’ African American Leadership Project, assesses the state of the city five years after the deluge, and a newly developed Economic Security Index shows Americans face growing employment instability, says Yale University’s Jacob Hacker.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.

First Black Labor Union Marks Milestone And The Redbaiting Of Leftists

by Jean Damu

Lots of the “heroes” of Black history made their own deals with the devil. A. Philip Randolph, famed Black union organizer and credited with proposing the 1963 March on Washington, collaborated in vicious red-baiting of Black radicals. Philips and his aide, Bayard Rustin, fought the good fight for civil rights and jobs, but “beyond the borders and shores of America Phillips and Randolph were virulent defenders of colonialism and capitalism.”

Wyclef Jean's presidential candidacy in Haiti

by Ezili Danto

Singer Wyclef Jean continues to distract attention from the realities of Haiti, despite his having been declared ineligible to make a run for the presidency. With the most popular political party barred from the November ballot, it is absurd to talk of democracy. Haiti’s reality is foreign occupation and loss of sovereignty. “Exacerbating catastrophe to capitalize on catastrophe is a workable formula for key stakeholders in Haiti affairs, as these elections may provide fresh reasons to perpetuate the U.N./U.S. presence in Haiti.”

Reclaiming Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Benjamin Woods

The real Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remains quite accessible to us, through his writings and a wealth of other material. However, King’s political likeness is not to be found among the current Black leadership class. Therefore, “it is on those who believe in his vision today to build a real social movement for a revolutionary transformation of human society.”

We Are Cornered: There's No Way Out Without A Fight

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

A corporate offensive is rolling down upon us, aimed at wholesale privatization of the public sector. If the Left has learned anything in the last year and a half, it should be that President Obama is Wall Street’s guy, having “delivered the highest return on corporate campaign investment in the history of bourgeois democracy.” In this struggle, the people will be left to their own devices.

Freedom Rider: “Sacred” Ground Zero

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If American whites practiced what many of them preach to Muslims, they would ban themselves from building cultural institutions of any kind in much of the United States, since so many places are sites of depraved atrocities and mass killings of people of color by whites. Or, are only white folks’ “sensitivities” to be respected? Where is “hallowed ground” for descendants of Black slaves and Native Americans?

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

BA on PRN, August 25, 2010

New Orleans Blacks Win Partial Katrina Legal Victory

A federal court ruled that Blacks whose homes were damaged by Hurrican Katrina were systemically shortchanged for repair and replacement aid, under the “Road Home” program. However, the court declined to rectify the awards that have already been made. Damon Hewitt, of theNAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, says “there are people in place in the federal government who can make this right if they wanted to, right now.”

Vampire Economy Vs. Main Street

The vampire economy of the banks,” hedge funds, etc. and “the derivatives they produce is parasitic on the real economy that produces actual things for the public good,” says Anthony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies, Temple University. “The Wall Street vampire economy has been saved from complete collapse, but the future of the Main Street economy is in question.”

White Nationalists Gone Wild

BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley believes the controversy over a planned Muslim community center in lower Manhattan may energize enough white nationalists to affect the November elections. “There are enough people,” she says, “who are that racist and that stupid that they will vote for or against a party based on whether a Muslim group can build a cultural center or not.”

Race to the Top” is Extortion

Arne Duncan, President Obama’s Education Secretary, is “handing out stacks of cash like Al Capone” to those states that go along with school privatization, says Danny Weil, the education writer and union activist. “It’s a form of extortion. Under capitalism as it is now, the country has been bankrupted for militarism.” States that don’t go along with the Race to the Top program “get nothing.”

A Bankers’ Conference on Housing

The recent Conference on Future of Housing Finance, in Washington, put finance capital at center stage in the administration’s plans for restoring the housing market. But, said Eileen Markey, contributing editor to City Limits, the New York-based public interest publication, “it’s always good to remember that it was the ACORNs and the small non-profits that five, ten years ago were talking about predatory lending and ringing the warning bell.” Nellie Bailey, executive director, Harlem Tenants Council, said the Obama administration "thumbed its nose at affordable housing advocates, who were excluded from this conference."

U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq is Fiction

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Embedded corporate media rose to new heights of non-journalism as, on command, they conjured up an end to (America's) Iraq War based on nothing more than a change of nomenclature. Combat soldiers woke up one morning as "advise and assist" troops whose "bases" were magically transformed into "fortified compounds." Still, the U.S. empire has no intention of leaving Iraq - especially when there are so many available euphemisms for staying.


UN Report Whitewashes Mass Murder, Ecocide by Shell Oil and Nigerian Government

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

For more than 50 years, the Royal Dutch Shell corporation and its Nigerian government partners have inflicted the world's worst oil pollution on the people of the Niger River Delta. Now, the United Nations squanders its dwindling prestige to help whitewash the vast environmental and human rights crime. According to a UN report, the Nigerian people are to blame for soaking the Delta in 9 to 13 million barrels of oil. 

From Du Bois to Obama: African American Intellectuals in the Public Forum

booker vs du bois

by Anthony Monteiro

Elite educational institutions are turning out a bumper crop of neo-liberal Black intellectuals who are anything but “new.” Charles Pete Banner-Haley has much more in common with Booker T. Washington than the iconic Black intellectual and activist, W.E.B. Du Bois. “A new talented tenth” has emerged from mostly white universities, “which attempts to straddle the ideological divide between Booker T. Washington and Du Bois. They claim Du Bois in words, but substantively are Bookerites.”

High Stakes Teaching and the “Value-Added” Sham

by Sikivu Hutchinson

The Los Angeles Times recently weighed in against the city’s scapegoated teachers, giving public school elementary educators low marks on so-called ‘value-added’ assessments – a term that is as corporate as they come. The new regime serves neither teachers nor students. Rather, “the intersection of high stakes testing and zero tolerance discipline policies have created a perfect storm for black and brown students already deemed expendable by teachers and administrators.”


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