Outsource It! Privatize It! LA School Reform in the Age of Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Acting on the ideological position that teachers are the root of all evil, and with the full support of the city's Latino mayor, the LA school board has voted to transfer one-third of its schools to private, charter management – including 50 brand new campuses. Corporate outsourcing now passes as education policy.

Radio One Founder Slimes Five Black Reps., Raises Money for Another

Cathy Hughes targets 5 black members of congressA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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Black radio's wealthiest woman, who claims that very modest royalties to musical performers will “destroy” what is, in fact, a very profitable industry, will host a fundraiser for Florida Rep. Kendrick Meek, candidate for the U.S. Senate. That's in stark contrast to the “dirty war” Cathy Hughes has been waging against five other members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Washington Refuses to Call Off Its Dogs in Honduras

crowd scene in HondurasA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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While President Obama issues vacuous statements claiming to support the general principle of electoral democracy, his own State Department officials blame President Zelaya for provoking the coup.” Nobody in Latin American believes the U.S. is not complicit.

Has Obama Lost His Mojo?

Dr. Ron Danielsby Dr. Ron Daniels
Something happened to Obama on the way to the White House. Or so it seems to the author, who says the president “has been unwilling to move beyond professorial pronouncements and lectures to vigorously argue the case that the issue is not how to keep the insurance and pharmaceutical companies profitable; the issue is how to prevent disease, keep people healthy and effectively treat those who get sick.”

President Obama: Jack Johnson Punched Back

Jack Johnsonby Dave Zirin
The overwhelmingly white Right is advertising for another Great White Hope – as if the search ever ended. A century ago, the great Black champion Jack Johnson defended The Race's honor in the ring, as well as his own. But our presumptive Black presidential “Hope” seems not to understand the necessity for pugnacity.

The Long Road Home: Marking the 4th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

by John Payton
The Gulf regions “Road Home” program hasn't brought nearly enough former residents of New Orleans back home. Four years after the Katrina, there is danger that even those who remain in New Orleans may not be counted in the upcoming Census – especially those who are Black and brown.

Leaving Obamaland

now leaving obamaland

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Democrats could accomplish nothing during the Bush years, they told us, for the first six years because they were a minority, and during the last two because Republicans could filibuster.  Now, with both houses of congress, a filibuster-proof senate majority and a "transformative leader" in the White House Democrats can only continue the wars, the privatizations, the torture, coverups and kidnapping.  In power, Obama and Democrats can bail out Wall Street but not homeowners; they cannot accomplish anything voters want, like universal health care, Medicare For All.  Some Democratic activists are sobering up, looking around, and heading for the exits.

Whose Recovery, and at Whose Cost?

speculators recoveringby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
The bankster class went from comatose to all-powerful in a matter of months, discovering along the way how easy it is to loot trillions from the home-nation. “Taxpayers are committed to buttress the financial sector to the tune of $23.7 trillion – 1.7 times last year's GDP!” With fantastic riches so easily gained through domestic plunder, the banksters will abandon honest work forever.

FBI Provocateur on McKinney: Why Not Lynch an “Uppity Black Bitch?”

Cynthia McKinneyA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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A white racist who threatened the lives of white state legislators and federal judges in Connecticut and Illinois, was jailed. But when the same man demanded the lynching of Black Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney while a paid agent provocateur for the FBI, in 2006, nothing happened – which leads us to conclude that the FBI approved.

 

Bad Public Options for Health Care

wallet biopsyA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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The more progressive Democrats in the House have vowed to hold out for a health care plan with a public option. However, insurance corporations are intent on extracting profit windfalls from the public options being crafted in both houses of Congress. What emerges may not be worthy of support under any circumstances.

The Black Prison Gulag in the Age of Austerity

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.
The financial crisis is fast stripping California and other states of services and amenities. But, for many citizens, the pending release of a fraction of the prison population is too painful to bear. “Democrats and Republicans alike resist letting their prisoners go, as if the gods of California and the United States must be constantly fed more Black and brown bodies.”

This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery

no reform hereby Chris Hedges
The debate over health care “reform” has devolved to a frenzied assault on the U.S. Treasury, abetted by corporate enablers in both parties. “The proposed plans rattling around Congress all ensure that the profits for these corporations will increase and the misery for ordinary Americans will be compounded.” With Capitol Hill consumed in corruption, direct citizen action is the only avenue available.

Katrina 4th Anniversary: Homeless and Struggling In New Orleans

New Orleans todayby Jordan Flaherty
Four years after Katrina, recovery and rebuilding has come slow to this city, and there are many boarded-up homes to choose from,” though few are fit for habitation. Apartments that once rented for $350 a month now go for $1,200. Section 8 voucher holders, 99 percent of them Black, face widespread rejection by landlords. “People cannot afford the housing in New Orleans anymore.”

Are Barack Obama's "Compromises" Part of a Some Larger Progressive Plan?

Of course not, says Glen Ford, who has covered Obama's career since 2003.  What you see, with President Obama, is all there is, and that's what we get: a corporate Democrat in blackface.  In this Big Think interview segment, BAR executive editor Glen Ford discusses the crisis in African American and left politics engendered by the career of Barack Obama and much more.  Transcript below the fold, courtesy of BigThink.com

The Myth of Black “Buying Power"

The immense “buying power” of African Americans, we are told again and again, makes us a huge economic power. So harnessing this power by changing the consuming habits of black America, the story goes, is an essential pre-requisite for black uplift. We've all heard it many times, from the screen, from the pulpit and elsewhere. But is any of it true? Does this popular understanding confuse black income, and even black debt with black wealth? Where does this misinformation come from? And does the emphasis on “buying power” as agency denigrate collective action in favor of “lifestyle” activism?  Dr. Ball opens the door to this vital discussion.

The New Era of White “Massive Resistance”

red, white and blue hard hatby Henry D. Rose
Race permeates and largely motivates the Tea Partyers, who are intent on launching a new era of “massive white resistance” much like that of half a century ago. “What this massive resistance demonstrates is that any attempt to paint the U.S.A as post-racial is an exercise in delusion.” President Obama's race-neutral project is caught between a hard place and the rock that's always been there.

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