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.

 

Is There A Save Darfur Industrial Complex?

hollywood on darfurBy BAR Managing Editor

Bruce A. Dixon

What does it mean for Africa when right wing end-of-the-world-is-near evangelical Christians join forces with the Robert F. Kennedy Center For Human Rights?  What does it mean for African Americans when Bush, Obama, and nearly all last year's presidential candidates from both parties encourage the continuation of an African civil war rather than a political settlement between the parties?  What does it mean when 21st century PR firms employ FaceBook, slick viral marketing and millions of dollars to create a simple, satisfying, feel-good excuse for military intervention on the African continent?

Freedom Rider: Is Bush Still President?

 

more of the same
 
 
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Afraid that “some of the defendants might actually be acquitted,” President Obama “is considering resuming the use of military tribunals to prosecute Guantanamo detainees.” And some of the defendants might be tried on American soil, something even George Bush feared to do. What has emboldened Obama? “He was never called to account by self-described progressives during his presidential campaign. The same individuals who chose to silence themselves throughout 2008 have continued to act like doormats for president Obama,”

 

Black Farmers Confront Obama

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Of all people, it was Black farmers that dared to make the first Black president accountable for his campaign promise to them. Obama seemed to be reneging on his own legislation and statements favoring billions in payments to Black farmers methodically discriminated against by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now, his administration wants to cap the payments at $100 million. “Right is right and it doesn’t matter who is in the White House,” said Black farmers leader John Boyd.

Last Days of “Cracked-Up-Black-Buck-Runs-Amok” Law

 

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
 
Back in 1986, the U.S. Congress crafted legislation to put as many Black crack cocaine users in prison as possible, while sparing white users of powdered cocaine. Hundreds of thousands of arrests and more than a million years in prison later, the U.S. Justice Department went on record favoring equalization of penalties on both kinds of cocaine. “Any civilized court would treat such blatantly race-based mass punishment as a crime against humanity – possibly an element in a broader charge of genocide.”

Redneck-Like Black Man Wants to be Georgia Governor

thurbet 4 govA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen  Ford
Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download a copy of this Black Agenda Radio commentary.

The 12-year Black attorney general of the State of Georgia has defended Black voter suppression laws, co-sponsored two-strikes mandatory life imprisonment, and loves the death penalty. Thurbert Baker is counting on the Black vote, which makes up half the Democratic electorate in the state, to give him a leg up in the gubernatorial primary. "Does it serve Black people's interests, or the cause of justice, for African Americans to take leadership roles in government oppression of Black people?"

Give Everyone Healthcare By Shutting Down Insurance Companies

by David Swanson
The only way to get something that remotely resembles single payer health care is to demand…single payer health care. Progressives that supported single payer now set their sites lower because President Obama isn’t going there. But “opening a political negotiation by asking for what the other side is offering is no negotiation at all.” Obama offers many explanations for backing away from the health care approach he once claimed to favor. But the real explanation “is the financial influence in Congress and the White House of the insurance industry.” 

Genius Burning Brightly: The Unraveling of Gil Scott-Heron

by TaRessa Stovall
 Gil Scott Heron lives - but barely, says the author. "We were close enough to see the unnatural glaze of his eyes, the tremors quaking his hands and legs as he leaned into the keyboard, almost as if for support, croaking several of his hits into the mic." The drug abuse that has punctuated the life of this political/musical icon, seems to be winning the race. At a recent performance, "he looked and sounded more like the frail, eccentric uncle at the family reunion than a genius warrior wordsmith and musical marvel."

Chrysler's Plan? Send Pay, Retirement Benefits and Standards Down the Drain

The same fearless, insightful news media that misrepresents Wall Street's raid on the U.S. Treasury as somehow necessary to save the economy has a story to tell about how the harm to hundreds of thousands of current and retired auto workers will be minimized by incorruptible public officials and knowledgable bankruptcy judges.  Only it's not true.  The wages of auto workers will be permanently cut, their hours lengthened, their benefits cut.  And those who worked 25 or 30 years on the line, counting on lifetime medical care and a dignified retirement have already been sold out.

Obama's First 100 Days -- The Black Agenda Report Card

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce A. Dixon

Why a Report Card At All?
The hundred day report card is an enduring tradition in American journalism for a very good reason. It's journalism's job to help citizens make sense of the world, to seek the truth and tell it without fear or favor no matter where it leads. Three months and a week into a new administration, everybody knows where the mens and ladies rooms are, most of the key hires are in place, and the bus has definitely cleared the station. There's plenty of evidence by now to assess where it's going, and whether it's anyplace we really ought to be headed.

Status QuObama: A Hundred Days of Fake-Progressive BS and Liberal-Left Surrender

The nation's first Black president proceeds unmolested by the Left as he moves mountains of money in a crusade to save the investment banking class. Anti-war forces dissolve into nothingness as Barack Obama extends the U.S. occupation of Iraq indefinitely. A new theater of war called Af-Pak coagulates in South Asia, yet benumbed "progressives" praise their president as the consummate man of peace. "By demanding nothing of Obama and the Democrats except that they not technically be Republicans, our so-called "progressive" organizations effectively grant advance approval to whatever corporate and imperial policies the new president and the Democrats execute."

Freedom Rider: Tortured Justice

da prezAny credit Barack Obama gets for revealing information on U.S. torture practices, Is “undeserved.” Freedom of Information suits brought by the ACLU and others “had already forced the governments hand.” But Obama has no intention of making the war criminals pay for their crimes – and for that, he is responsible in the eyes of the law. “As a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the United States is obligated to investigate, prosecute and punish officials who direct or commit acts of torture.” Obama, like most Americans, thinks obedience to the law is optional for the United States – an imperial mindset identical to that of his predecessors.

Obama's America Joins White Walkout From UN Conference on Racism

walkout

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download a copy of this Black Agenda Radio commentary.
The former and present colonizers and enslavers of the world - Europe and its white settler colonies - rose in bogus indignation to denounce the Iranian president's remarks on Israeli racism. But it was a sham and farce, part of the choreographed Obama White House plan to wreck the Durban II international anti-racism conference. "In sabotaging Durban II, Barack Obama succeeded in avoiding coming to grips with grievances registered against the United States, eight years ago."

European Pirates in Somali Waters

factory fisherA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

 
Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this Black Agenda Radio commentary.
The maritime powers busily looting Somalia's fishery are preparing to formalize their theft. Spain and France, the "biggest thieves of Somali fish" plan to assume responsibility for the fisheries at an upcoming conference. Under cover of preserving order on the high seas, "the French, the Spanish and the rest of the freeloaders are reverting to a kind of piracy of their own, like in the good old days when whites sailed the world and took what they wanted."

 

Black Colleges Profiled as Suspected Havens for “Extremists”

black college studentsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Click the flash player above to listen to or the mic to download this Black Agenda Radio commentary.

Don't let the apolitical facades fool you. Virginia's four Black colleges are hotbeds of "militancy and rebellion" and magnets for "a wide variety of terror or extremist groups." So says a government-funded outfit called the Virginia Fusion Center, which also cautions against the national security dangers inherent in diversity. "While the vast majority of these individuals are law-abiding, this ethnic diversity also affords terrorist operatives the opportunity to assimilate easily into society, without arousing suspicion." Safe, secure communities are uniformly white and English-speaking.

Eshu’s blues: Zulu Nation in Seattle Takes a Big Step Forward

 

zulu 1by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
KRS One gave the best definition when he said rap is something you do, hip hop is something you live,” says Alonzo Ybarra, a prime mover in Seattle’s chapter of the Zulu Nation. “ Ybarra is determined to chart a positive course for the chapter, but he’s realistic about hip hop’s vulnerabilities. “I think rap in general has been commercialized, it’s probably one of the easiest cultural art forms to take on, certainly you don’t have to be in particularly great shape to think that you can rap, you certainly don’t have to be in very good mental condition to make words rhyme, so it’s no wonder that, very often in pretty much any community you go to in the United States, you’ll go out and hear rot as rap.”

 

Has Change Come to Post-Katrina New Orleans?

If you want to measure the distance between George Bush and Barack Obama on domestic political issues, Katrina provides the best test. What emerges is a startling continuity of policy toward New Orleans between the Republican and Democratic White Houses – especially regarding the fate of public housing. This continuity of policy “is particularly the case in New Orleans where public services have been or are on their way to being privatized or eliminated, and where, primarily due to this disaster capitalist agenda, almost half the population has been unable to return home, disproportionately female, black and, poor.”

Pages

Subscribe to Black Agenda Report  RSS