Don’t Exaggerate Election Impact in Dixie

"The Deep South white vote for Obama was generally not too different than that in Alabama, where nearly nine out of ten whites turned out for McCain."  We're sorry but the audio of this BA Radio commentary is no longer available.

Don't Exaggerate Election Impact in Dixie

Cashing the Obama Check: Will It Come Back Marked “Insufficient Funds”?

by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon
The vote for the First Black President wasn't just about race and racism.  For tens of millions, it was a vote for peace abroad, for economic and social justice at home. Barack Obama sold himself to the American people as a transformative political figure.  
Despite those who now urge Americans to tone down their expectations, many are prepared to collect on the hopes that swept Obama into office.  Those hopes and expectations are what we call the Obama Check.
The question is, can we cash it?

  "In a sense, we've come to the nation's capital to cash a check...It is obvious that America has defa\ulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds'."  --martin Luther King, I Have A Dream, August 1963.

The Obama '08 Phenomenon: What Have We Learned?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

There is no doubt that history has been made, "for reasons that go beyond the obvious ‘first Black' aspect of race." 2008 was the first year in modern history that Blacks made no demands on the Democratic candidate - and consequently, were promised nothing. This was the election cycle in which the Black who began as a supposed "underdog" became the most heavily-funded candidate of all time. There are many lessons to be learned - but few of them palatable to folks still drunk on ObamaL'aid.

How We Fuel Africa's Bloodiest War

by Johann Hari

The 14-year-long conflict that has already killed 5.4 million Congolese - "the deadliest war since Adolf Hitler marched across Europe" - has been rekindled by Rwanda's surrogate Tutsi militia. Although the rationale is to safeguard Congolese Tutsis, "It is a lie."  The renewed war is "funded by Rwandan businessmen so they can retain control of the mines in North Kivu. This is the absolute core of the conflict." What's needed is an international system that prevents corporations from "abetting crimes against humanity" and "values the lives of black people more than it values profit."

Morning in Obamerica: Change, Change, Change?

by Ishmael Reed

What has Obama wrought? In the euphoria, can reality reclaim its rightful place? The parameters of rhetorical change are boundless, propelled into the nether-reaches of nonsensicality by hyper-speak and super-wishfullness that can never supplant the real world of entrenched class and race rule. Celebrate good times...COME ON! But at some soon point in time, we must return to the ground. And the need for struggle. Better start as soon as the cold breeze hits you. Like now. 

Freedom Rider: Bush Crimes Continue

FRbush_devilby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

George Bush is busily putting the finishing touches on his legacy of aggressions. His recent attack on Syria, a country that has been cooperative with America's so-called "war on terror," was designed to "make certain that nations labeled as enemies stay that way." Bush stokes tensions between the U.S. puppet, Colombia, and neighboring Venezuela and Ecuador, to keep the pot boiling right up to Barack Obama's inauguration. Bush is confident his legacy will outlive his presidency, since "Obama's objections to Bush policy are about little more than management style."

Racketeering Laws Still Threaten Worker Speech Rights

smithfieldbus1A recent settlement
between Smithfield ham producers and the union leaves a question unanswered:
can RICO racketeering laws be used to prevent publicity campaigns against
anti-union companies?
To hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below.

Bolivia Kicks Out Regime-Changers Posing as Drug Cops

Bully_Uncle_Sam_CartoonThe Americans are more interested in destabilizing the Bolivian government than in suppressing the cocaine trade. President Morales shuts down the DEA and expels the U.S. ambassador.
The audio for this Black Agenda Radio commentary is no longer available.

With Cuba Embargo, U.S. Isolates Itself

ViveCubaLibreOnly two countries stood with the U.S. when the United Nations General Assembly condemned Washington's 46-year embargo against Cuba for the 17th time: Israel and the tiny island nation of Palau.
The audio of this Black Agenda Radio commentary is no longer available.

The Campaign, Written in 4 Parts -- Part 4

7_foot_poet_upright_250wideby Kemet Mawakana, a.k.a. the Seven Foot Poet

What do campaigns and elections mean?  What and who  changes?  What else and who else stays the same?  Why does it matter?  Lots of us have ideas, but the Seven Foot Poet knows and shows from open to close.

Click the link below to hear for yourself.

The Most Important Presidential Election Ever. Again. No, Really!

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon,
with video by Billy at
First check out this exclusive 60 Minutes interview with brother Billy of

And to read more about the importance of this year's presidential election, click the link below.

Counter Corporate Schemes with Community Planning

The demise or ill health of U.S. investment banks has deprived finance capital of its  headquarters sector, the evil geniuses who hatch long range schemes for ethnic cleansing of the nation's cities. Now, more than ever, "progressives must become city planners, and in the process of devising these plans forge unity among the various contesting communities that comprise the city."  Community empowerment begins with community planning. "The void left by finance capital's catastrophe demands that the Left - most particularly, the Black, urban left - make sense of the chaos and stench left by wounded and dying corporate elephants."

Economic Crisis, Food Sovereignty and the Struggle for Democracy

by C. UzonduFoodSovereignty

"While hunger kills, some make a killing." The global food crisis, sometimes called "the silent Tsunami," is as much a function of the sickness of capitalism as the banking crisis. "A new international economic order is indeed necessary.  But not the type imagined by the global ruling class." It is necessary to recognize the right to food as a human right, and to make corporations culpable for violating these rights. "Like the economic crisis, the global food crisis has everything to do with deregulation of corporations."

Freedom Rider: Biden Blurts Awful Truth

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret KimberleyFRbiden

It's true that Sen. Joe Biden "isn't very bright and he can't stop talking." But Biden's uncontrollable mouth may have alerted us to the Obama-Biden administration's post-election surprise - something so scary, Obama is "gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him...." Whatever's on Biden's agitated little mind, it must be big, real big. "If Big Mouth Joe is already pleading for patience from the faithful we are looking at Bush/Cheney the Sequel." Be afraid. Be very afraid. Apparently, Joe is scared out of his limited supply of wits.

Northcom, Africom and Other Threats

northcom-emblemby Chioma Oruh

The U.S. military constantly expands in size,
budget and mission. Two new U.S. military "commands" have recently been
activated or augmented, with ominous implications for global peace and domestic
civil liberties. Africom now casts a shadow over the last continent for which
the U.S. had no designated "command" structure, and Northcom, with
responsibilities over the domestic U.S., is a nightmare for those who fear
repressive "martial law" in America.

60 Years Ago: The System Is Still the Crisis

Brother Bede Vincent

Six decades ago, the United Nations adopted its
Declaration of Universal Human Rights, a watershed moment in the evolution of
civilization. Today, every carefully delineated human right is under assault by
militarism and corporate barbarism. Bullies rule through their stock exchanges
and other institutions of organized fear and mayhem. Rather than plead with the
powers-that-be for better treatment, follow Malcolm X's admonition: "Human rights are the rights that are recognized by all
nations of this earth... Expand the civil rights struggle to the level of human

Somalia After the Ethiopian Occupation

SomaliSoldierby Abukar Arman

All signs point to Ethiopia soon ending its
nearly two-year occupation of Somalia, a U.S.-instigated aggression that led to
"Africa's worst humanitarian crisis." Once the Ethiopians are gone, the author
believes it is inevitable that Islamist forces will be part of the new order.
"The Islamists have an unmatched record of public service. They operated
schools, hospitals, and for six months before the occupation removed every
checkpoint in Mogadishu and brought a semblance of peace." American fear and
loathing of Islam notwithstanding, the Somali "people will embrace pluralistic,
non-puritanical Islamic governance."    

Support Obama, Vote McKinney? Not a contradiction.


by Amee Chew

"There is not a contradiction between supporting
Obama's victory over McCain, and spreading the word on [Green Party
presidential candidate Cynthia] McKinney." So says the author Amee Chew, who
thinks it's quite alright to "campaign for Obama in key swing states, and pledging
your own vote to McKinney - particularly in Democratic strongholds such as
California, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Oregon,
or Washington, where Obama will win landslides." McKinney and Green veep
candidate Rosa Clemente "represent the future that we want for politics in this


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