Black Caucus Abandons King Legacy and Black Opinion, Votes For War on Gaza

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 18:00


by BAR executive editor
Glen Ford

It's hard to believe that a generation ago, the Congressional Black
Caucus was known as "the conscience of the congress, a political and
moral high ground long deserted by the current CBC, which has utterly collapsed under
Israel-lobby pressure for the second time in three years.

All but two Black lawmakers voted either "Yes" or "Present" on a
that absolved Israel for its crimes against humanity in Gaza - placing
blame on Hamas.  In 2006, only two Black Caucus members opposed a
supporting Israel's savage destruction if Lebanon's infrastructure and
killing of 1,000 people.  Hypocritically turning their backs both on Black public opinion and on the work of Dr. King,
whose name they invoke at every public opportunity, the CBC has put itself "out of
the anti-war business," and well outside the mainstream of Black opinion on the Israel-Palestine question.

Bankers and Military Hog Power Under Obama

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 18:00

Carrion-1"In the current economic and imperial crisis, real power
is exercised through the Treasury, which has been converted into an ATM for the
once-rich and still powerful, and through the Pentagon."

 To listen to this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below.{mp3}20090107_gf_urban_policy{/mp3}

Black Unionists Losing Share of Membership

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 18:00

Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.

UAW"The decline in manufacturing has been cruel to Black workers, loosening what once seemed to be a firm hold on middle income status. The decline in union membership has been even worse."

Somalia: President Obama's Turn To Kill Africans

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 18:00

Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.
somalia500_15088t"The farcical, puppet Somali government installed by the Ethiopians and Americans could never survive on its own, and has effectively disintegrated."


Who is Black America’s Moral Emissary to the World?

Submitted by Glen Ford on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 18:00

by BAR executive editor
Glen Ford



The global reputation of Black America has suffered
greatly under George Bush, who deployed Black faces as fronts for his vicious
brand of U.S. imperialism. Barack Obama's silence on the Israeli assault on
Gaza suggests that his honeymoon with the planet won't last long. So who is to
represent the progressive values of African Americans on the world stage?
"Thanks to Cynthia McKinney, millions of Arabs have been made aware of a
different Black America, one that is not silent, like Barack Obama, in the face
of a purposely inflicted human rights catastrophe."

Freedom Rider: Bush Goes Out a Winner

Submitted by Margaret Kimberley on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 18:00

FRbush_torture78by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Bush is leaving office in the popularity basement, but his checklist of accomplishments is full. Bush has "succeeded in radically changing nearly every facet of government, and always with the help of the Democratic Party." Even when at his nadir in the polls, Bush managed to transfer $700 billion dollars into the pockets of his high-roller banking friends. He has implicated so many Democrats in torture, the party has little choice but to give him and themselves immunity. "It is hard to see how Bush can be considered a failure when the so-called opposition aided him every step of the way."

Reflections on Obama’s “Non-Ideological Pragmatism”

Submitted by Paul Street on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 18:00

by Paul StreetobamaStreet

The corporate media work hard to frame pro-business policies as the "practical" and "pragmatic" work of "centrist" and "non-partisan" politicians who can "get the job done." The clear implication is that progressives have their heads in the clouds, and are incapable of "getting things done." Of course, "Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin certainly ‘got things done.' So did Richard Nixon and George W. Bush and so on." That doesn't make them the good guys. Barack Obama and his handlers stress that he is "non-ideological" - which really translates to non-threatening to entrenched interests.

Desperately Seeking Obama

Submitted by Dr. Sunera Thobani on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 18:00

GazaSeekingObamaby Dr. Sunera Thobani

Obama chooses to remain silent" on Israeli savaging of Gaza "is nothing short
of cowardice." Even before he is sworn into office, Obama's stature is
diminished; he has been "pushed into a corner" by the Israelis. What has been
lost may not be regained. "The hope that a Black man will stand up to the
racial calculations that turn the ‘native' into a ‘thing', as Frantz Fanon put
it, is palpable among many Muslims." There is "no greater cause for social
justice than that of the Palestinian people," but "Obama is missing in action
in this first challenge to his Presidency."

Haiti and the Dilemma of Afrikan Sovereignty in the Americas

Submitted by Ahati N. N. Toure on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 18:00

by Ahati N. N. ToureHaitiouverture.1

The Haitian Revolution was but one of many Afrikan rebellions against "European dictatorship" in the Americas. "Afrikan revolutionary struggles convulsed nearly all areas of what was or was to become the United States from 1619 to the end of the American civil war in 1865." Haiti was at one point central to the success of Bolivar's revolution on the mainland of South American. "Haiti posed a strategic threat to North American empire by introducing the specter of spreading Afrikan revolution that could potentially dethrone European settler hegemony not only within itself but throughout the larger Americas."

The Great Debate

Submitted by Kemet Mawakana on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 21:09

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

In these historic and unprecedented times, questions of great importance loom before us.  Latte or mocha?  Chili dogs or sauerkraut?  Leather or cloth interior?  Our choices, the learned and knowledgeable tell us, do matter.  No, really, they do!  The Seven Foot Poet agrees.  Mostly.   

Freedom Rider: Rick Warren and Barack Obama

Submitted by Margaret Kimberley on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 18:00

WarrenAndObamaby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Some folks like to call him "No-Drama Obama," but it appears that the president-elect doesn't care how much drama he stirs up - on his Left. Obama and his handlers should have known that bestowing the invocation honors to "evangelical preacher/businessman" Rick Warren was sure to cause drama among gays, as well as pro-choice advocates. But, "like Bush, Obama believes that he is the decider. The Warren invitation is yet another instance of the patronizing Obama telling the left that they shouldn't worry their pretty little heads about anything that he decides is inconsequential."

Arne Duncan and Neoliberal Racism

Submitted by Paul Street on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 18:00

by Paul Street

Barack Obama likes to play basketball with his friend Arne Duncan, but does that make Duncan worthy of the nation's top education spot? If Obama's appointees are a reflection of the president-elect's own world view, this one is quite disturbing. Paul Street writes: "Privatization, union-busting (charter and contract schools operate union-free), excessive standardized testing, teacher-blaming, military schooling, and the rollback of community input on school decisions - these are the interrelated hallmarks of private school graduate Arne Duncan's six and a half years at the helm of" the Chicago Public Schools.

Eshu’s blues: Ode to Charles Rex Fisher/Christmas Night in Harlem

Submitted by michael hureaux... on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 18:00

by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

A teacher/activist offers some holiday ruminations on education: "Let us celebrate punitive testing, carved up tables and chairs, chain link fence in the stairwells and high strung civil servants who are just marking time until they can get away from the children of the great unwashed." Not cheered up, yet? Let's think of kinder times and inspiring educators, like Rex Fisher, who introduced the author "and my peers to the words of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Martin Delaney, WEB DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm X -  and that was a rare thing from teachers in the public schools of 1973."

Perversion of Justice: Gulag America

Submitted by Rady Ananda on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 18:00

 by Rady Ananda


The American Prison Gulag, already one-half Black, is becoming increasingly co-ed. "The US jailed one in 746 women in 2006, up from one in 100,000 back in 1925.  Compared to other nations, the female portion of the prison population is highest in the US - at 9%." Melissa Mummert's film, Perversion of Justice, tells the "story of Hamedah Hasan and her three children" to "exemplify the need to repeal the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, and the mandatory minimum laws."

West Seeks to Intimidate Mugabe Supporters

Submitted by Stephen Gowans on Tue, 12/30/2008 - 18:00

ZimbabweNewspaperby Stephen Gowans

The corporate news media, especially in Britain,
constantly rail against the state-owned press in Zimbabwe, charging The
and The Sunday Mail with acting as "mouth-pieces" for
President Robert Mugabe. But "coverage of foreign affairs in the West is almost
wholly dominated by news media that are controlled by the wealthy, operating to
amplify the views of the Council on Foreign Relations and high state officials
who are either wealthy themselves or owe their position to the patronage of the
wealthy." In southern Africa, so-called "independent" media are in fact funded
by the British or U.S. governments. The Zimbabwean state has every right to
defend itself, through media.

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