“The fact that America has progressed to the point that a Black family can occupy the White House has not eradicated the myriad maladies of race and class that continue to constrain the aspirations of millions of Black people in this nation,” says veteran political organizer Ron Daniels. “The idea of a Black Agenda is not only relevant, it is imperative if Africans in America, as a group, are to enter the ‘promised land’ that Martin Luther King envisioned from his view from the mountaintop in Memphis.” Dr. Daniels praises the National Urban League’s recent State of Black America report on racial disparities for “implicitly making the case for the ongoing need for a Black Agenda.”
The United States could make great progress towards racial equality if the federal government simply enforced the laws that are already on the books. Environmental racism, health inequities, mass minority incarceration – “All of these disparities exist with government support or permission.” Under George Bush, “our government largely pursued a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ approach to structural racism and injustice.” President Obama has an opportunity to “reverse some of these terrible trends by enforcing laws” such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “which authorizes federal agencies to prevent discrimination by recipients of federal funding.” Properly applied, Title VI could “ensure that government is no longer part of the disease but rather part of the cure.”
U.S. corporate media pretend to explore issues of race in America, but seldom go beyond matters of general perception, anecdotes, images, and questions about the availability of cab rides. ABC television prefers to package their racial reports as “encouraging stories,” writes Hollar. “But it's only possible to tell such encouraging stories by limiting your focus to one kind of racism--the overt kind that plays out through individually held prejudices.” Hard facts of institutional racism, such as wealth and incarceration disparities, most often escape ABC’s attention. Which is a slick and soothing way to sweep structural problems under the rug.
The educator/journalist observed that some of the boys in her classroom were “bursting with perspective” on “the widespread use of the words ‘bitch’ and ‘ho’ to describe young women of color on campus.” Not so with the girls, who were largely silent on the subject. When pressed, some of the girls “claim the words are justifiably used to describe ‘bad girls’ who are promiscuous and unruly, not realizing that black women have always been deemed “bad” in the eyes of the dominant culture, as less than feminine, as bodies for pornographic exploitation.” There is a crying need to “change the self-hating mindset of many young black women,” made worse by “a generation of Bush-besotted militarism and corporate reign over media [that] has turned sexualized violence against women into a billion dollar industry.”
Haiti’s gift to humanity was to become “the first nation anywhere to enshrine the rights of man, woman and child, the fundamental universal rights of human beings, in their constitution.” Much of the rest of its history has been a litany of rape and assaulted national tortures at the hands of France, the United States and the corrupt and depraved elite installed by the foreigners. Despite this history, “an eminent gaggle of politicians and private sector experts” claim that “the poorest country in the Western hemisphere got that way… by native mismanagement and the incompetence of the black Haitian population and its leaders.” To believe that, is to “believe that women who are raped are at least partially responsible for their own misfortunes.”
Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir had no choice but to expel the western "aid" organizations that had merged with the American propaganda machine aimed at regime change in Khartoum. Obama operatives like UN Ambassador Susan Rice have for years been "eager to blockade Sudan's ports" and to launch "selective" bombing raids against Sudan. When imperial doctrine claims the right to intervene whenever disasters overtake sovereign countries - and proceeds to create and exacerbate those disasters - then no government is safe against regime change. President Obama "appears to be fine-tuning a ‘humanitarian' interventionist doctrine that is applicable to any point on the planet."
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley A nation that has violated “every norm of civilized behavior and international law” since its founding in 1948 is held virtually blameless by the U.S. corporate media – Israel sycophants of the lowest order. “Now members of the Israeli Defense Force themselves are coming forward to admit that they committed war crimes” – but the U.S. press is censoring their confessions! Even when Israeli soldiers openly testify to committing “murder” in Gaza, as reported by the Israeli press, the U.S. corporate media “keeps the people of this country ignorant” of the crimes against humanity bankrolled by American taxpayers.
Oh, how the once-revolutionaries have fallen! Thus, former Weatherman William Ayers and his back-in-the-day comrade and spouse Bernardine Dohrn sing the praises of the Wall Street champion, Barack Obama. “It is painful to watch them perform these ministrations for a political hack who won’t even stand up to the butchers who drove the Clinton political machine or the Carter political machine decades before him.” As Lenin remarked back in his own time, “In the end run, anarchists were turning out to be no more than ‘liberals with bombs.’” We need to return to Amilcar Cabral’s admonition to “tell no lies, claim no easy victories.”
Glen Ford interviews Chicago's James Thindwa on the impact of economic crises on ordinary families, and on the ramifications of the Employee Free Choice Act, soon to be introduced in Congress, with the increasingly lukewarm support of the Obama Administration and its allies.
Click the flash player to listen to this Black Agenda Radio Interivew. No transcript is available. 12 minutes.
Thindwa was also profiled this week on Bill Moyers Journal. Read the transcript or watch the video here.
The data on the actual State of Black America roll in like clockwork, a graphic display of the fact that there has never been such a thing as a “post-racial society” in the United States. Barack Obama rose to the presidency claiming that Blacks had already come “90 percent of the way” toward racial equality, yet the National Urban League’s annual report on the State of Black America shows Blacks at only 71.1 percent of equality of with whites – “and slipping.” The League urges Obama to make sure Blacks are included in his “green revolution” of jobs, but that is unlikely, since Obama “does not support race-based solutions, even when race is the root of the problem.”
Click the flash player to listen to, or the mic at left to download a broadcast quality MP3 of this BA Radio commentary.
The Obama administration has allowed the investment bankster class to not only "virtually dictate the terms of their own rescue, but shape policy for the attempted recovery of the overall economy." A former Wall Streeter is in charge of the federal auto industry task force that is bludgeoning Detroit's workers and management, while the Obama administration provides "open-ended, luxurious life support" to "its walking-dead, parasitical friends on Wall Street." Banks are scheduled to undergo a government "stress test" later this month, but it doesn't promise to be very stressful, since hardly anyone "expects the feds to flunk any of the big banks, or even to share the results of the stress test with the public."
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford Click the flash player below to listen to, or the mic at left to download a broadcast quality MP3 of this BA Radio commentary.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown "squirmed" as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio da Silva - "Lula" - blamed the global economic crisis on the "irrational behavior of some people that are white, blue-eyed" and "have demonstrated they know nothing about economics." And the non-white world cheered. Da Silva called for creation of a new, "London Consensus" at the G20 summit meeting - "an unmistakable slap at what was once called the ‘Washington Consensus' - an American euphemism for the days when Washington could impose its economic dictates on all of Latin America and much of Africa and Asia."
The New York Times routinely reinvents history, even as it claims to be the first draft. On the subject of Black press interaction with the White House, the Times acts like a novice discovering history for the first time. The “Gray Lady” made a great deal about President Obama’s inclusion of lots of friendly Black media in his prime-time press conference – and in the process erased the real record of Black interaction and frustration with the executive branch of government. Veteran Black journalist Askia Muhammad sets the record straight, as he lived and remembers it.
The collapsing corporate media model of journalism does not augur well for the alternative, Left press, which no longer does much nitty-gritty work of investigation and slogging-it-out muckracking. In days gone by, “hundreds of radical magazines, newspapers and radio stations did the hard work of covering stories that the corporate media wouldn’t take on.” But not much, anymore. Left media need to re-evaluate their function, and rebuild a base of solid reporting with a mission. “It’s not enough for media to be focused on grassroots struggles; we also need communication, collaboration, and empathy for those directly affected.”
Today’s economic inequality is the direct result of Europe’s 500-year-long subjugation of the rest of the planet’s inhabitants. Even when corrective measures are undertaken, such as in the New Deal response to the Great Depression, widening economic disparity is often reinforced by the same “blue-eyed” elite that created the crisis. The identical forces that have plunged the world into financial meltdown are responsible for the fact that, in the U.S., “Blacks and Latinos have less than 15 cents for every dollar of wealth held by the median white family.”
What do you call cheap "replacement workers" summoned by management? From the HBO series "Treme".
Actor, rapper & human rights activist Yasiin Bey, aka Mos Def graphically demonstrates a little of what Uncle Sam's untried, un-accused, unsentenced but permanently incarcerated prisoners at Guantanamo Bay & elsewhere undergo every day... not for the faint of heart. From the Guardian, where you can find much more real journalistic coverage of the NSA and more.
NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden in his own words, explains who he is, why he chose the truth & exile. Interview by the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong.
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Was the US and NATO's Libyan intervention a humanitarian campaign to protect Libyans against Muammar Gaddafi’s threats of mass violence and genocide, or was it a cynically “rehearsed military expedition” to force regime change and wield Western authority in the region? Far from being an action to save lives, NATO’s “indiscriminate” bombing of civilian targets and cities such as Sirte (Gaddafi’s birthplace) resulted in genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity, and civil war..
The year that saw an African American run for the presidency as a viable contender also witnessed a truly remarkable silence. While millions of words written about the political ascent of one black man, there was virtually nothing about the descent of black leadership into well-nigh total ineffectiveness. Barack Obama’s personal itinerary was mapped in the minutest detail. The larger itinerary of African Americans was mostly ignored.