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Obama’s Health Care Charade

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
President Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress advocates of single-payer health care. He has choreographed a grand theater of faux-change, in which he "seeks to create a façade of unity along lines that do not threaten corporate power." The goal is to "sidetrack, possibly for decades, the most broadly supported idea in American politics, today." This "requires elaborate reconstructions of reality," starting with "methodically erasing single-payer advocates from the picture, with the enthusiastic collaboration of the corporate media." Thus, Obama and compliant Democrats on The Hill stage "summits" and "public roundtable discussions" on health care from which majority U.S. opinion is totally excluded.


Freedom Rider: Af-Pak Is Obama's War


Af-Pak Warby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
President Obama, who campaigned behind a thin veil of peace, dragged two heads of client states into the White House to demand “that both Afghanistan and Pakistan allow their citizens to be murdered and or displaced in the thousands” – or else. Obama read Presidents Zardari and Karzai “the riot act” to let them know who is boss in the military theater called “AfPak.” Obama claims to “want to respect their sovereignty, but” – there’s always the imperial ‘but’ – America has “huge national security interests” in the region. Afghanistan’s Karzai later wondered, “How can you expect a people who keep losing their children to remain friendly?”


Obama Shows His True Katrina Colors

traliersA Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download this commentary in mp3 format.
The line between Bush and Obama has not simply blurred in New Orleans: it has disappeared." President Obama has adopted, in whole, the Bush approach to rebuilding the city - minus the Black Diaspora that was scattered to the winds in 2005. Notices of eviction have been served on the mostly elderly and Black inhabitants of 3,000 FEMA trailers. The Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development is putting the finishing touches on public housing demolition in the city. Not a single "Katrina Cottage" has been made ready for occupancy. Obama no more favors the "right to return" to - or remain in - New Orleans, than Bush did.

U.S. Economy: The Cancer is Still There

the american diseaseA Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford


Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download this commentary in mp3 format.
"In the cold assessment of history, Barack Obama will be remembered more for his massive transfers of national wealth to the finance capitalist class, than as the first Black president of the United States." Mostly under his administration, $12.8 trillion dollars has been committed to prop up the Wall Street oligarchy. Yet the five banks that are the biggest recipients of federal largess continue to hold $195 trillion in fatally toxic derivatives - a notional value more than three times the planetary domestic product! "There is nothing rational to do but to wipe the obligations, and their holders, off the face of the Earth, in order to save the real economy."

First Black President Cuts Funds For Black Higher Education

whateverA Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

 Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download this commentary in mp3 format.

President Obama's economic stimulus was very kind to the general category of education. But Black higher education got the butt end of his budget, with a net of $73 million in cuts, while traditionally Hispanic schools got an increase in funding. "It would be difficult to find anyplace in the federal budget where $73 million has a more concentrated impact on the fortunes of a particular ethnic group." Even southern Republican lawmakers are wondering aloud about Obama's priorities.

In His Own Words: By Any Means Necessary

Malcolm X, June 1964

Born May 19, 1925.

Assassinated February 21, 1965.

The Case for Race-Based Remedies to Achieve Racial Justice


ron_danielsby Dr. Ron Daniels
Race-based remedies for historical Black grievances seem increasingly out of favor with the executive and judicial branches of government. President Obama has once again signaled his distaste for programs specifically targeting institutional racism, while the U.S. Supreme Court appears prepared to gut the Voting Rights Act. However, they are beating a near-dead horse, since “race-based remedies to overcome past and present affects of enslavement, segregation, discrimination and structural racism have virtually been eradicated.” Various forms of affirmative redress for Blacks have seen only brief and spotty use, while for most of the nation’s history “affirmative action for Whites” has been “the order of the day.


Framing Race in Mississippi


mississippiby Michelle Chen
As Nina Simone sang it, “Mississippi Goddamn!” The Magnolia State, which ranks last in the nation on human development criteria, achieved that distinction by relentlessly debasing the life prospects of its Black citizens. Black Mississippians earn about $10,00 a year less than whites, and die four years sooner, according to a new study. High rates of infant mortality are linked directly to poor health care for Black women – one of many “lifelong barriers” the state erects to block Black social advancement. “The state currently spends twice as much to house each prisoner as it does to keep each child in school.”


Freedom Fighters or Criminals? AFRICOM Doesn’t Care.

by Mark P. Fancher
AFRICOM extends its tentacles on the east and west coasts and deep into the interior of the continent. Its mission: “to keep Africa safe for western corporations that need access to the continent’s oil and mineral resources.” All indigenous opposition to imperial policies and interests is deemed “criminal” or “terrorist” – whether along the internationally exploited shores of Somalia or in the oil-rich delta of the Niger River. As African Liberation Day approaches, we must understand that “AFRICOM…is really all about building the capacity of western corporations to hold fast to Africa.”

“Out of the Closet”: Black Atheists

churchby Sikivu Hutchinson

It’s not easy being a Black atheist, “partly due to the fact that the history of African American civil and human rights resistance is heavily steeped in Judeo-Christian religious dogma.” If you’re a woman, it’s worse. “While black male non-believers are given more leeway to be heretics, black women who openly profess atheist views are deemed especially traitorous, having abandoned their family role as purveyors of cultural and religious tradition.Church dogma exerts a warping influence on the culture. “In these (black) communities,” notes one Black writer, “you find more tolerance towards gangbangers, drug addicts, and prostitutes, who pray to God for forgiveness than for honest productive citizens who deny the existence of God.”

Nine Things The Diaspora Can Do About Somalia

somaliaby Cedric Muhammad

In their vicious campaign to legitimize Western military intervention in East Africa, US and European government and corporate media present us with stories of Somali “piracy.” Cedric Muhammed sketches the outline of a broad plan to counter the media and political offensive that can be undertaken by Africans in the U.S. to defend their own interests and those of the people of East Africa, particularly Somalia.

Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.: Still an Evolving Relationship


us and usby Robert Suro
Although a fair number of Americans are aware that the United States will become a “majority minority” nation sometime around the year 2050, few contemplate how the “distinct experiences” of the two largest non-white groups – Blacks and Hispanics – will affect their interactions in this changed environment. “We are in the process,” writes the author, “of revising our notions of both what constitutes the norm and what constitutes ‘the other.’” The old Black-white paradigm is being eclipsed. “Twenty-five years from now the Hispanic population will be twice as large as the African-American population.”


Obama's First Massacre

 by Emir Sader

An American president might well consider the murder of innocent civilians an acceptable price to further his country's imperial goals. If that is his choice to make, then we too have choices. We can be fans or imperial subjects enthusiastically endorsing or resigning ourselves to the world as it's given to us, or we can be citizens, evaluating the actions taken in our names and with our money in the light of what we know is just. How then, shall we weigh...

Billions in Fish Stolen From African Waters Annually, Says Environmental Justice Foundation

Billions of dollars worth of fish stocks are illegally taken from African waters by European corporate commercial fishing operations Who are the real pirates in African waters?   If you cannot see the video above, click here.

Obama Preserves Entrenched Power, Sidesteps Racial Disparities

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Barack Obama actually said it: a truncated form of the hackneyed rich man's expression, "a rising tide lifts all boats." The cliché was a fixture of trickle-down Reaganics and the Bush I and II permutations, as well as the Clinton deregulationathon. Now Obama employs it to justify his refusal to offer any programs to "address historical and emerging racial disparities." The twisted logic goes something like this: "The deeper Blacks sink into the abyss, the more they are eligible for general assistance - therefore, the Obama plan already contains everything African Americans need as a group, and will be of more use to them than to more advantaged groups." Thus, the nation's first Black President turns the misery index on its head.


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