Barack Obama’s Pernicious Refusal to Defend the Causes of Black/Brown People

by Tolu OlorundaFireObama

What most shocks the 18-year-old Nigerian
immigrant author is Barack Obama's "acquiescence
to forces of white supremacy" - a reflexive reaction by the Illinois senator
that has caused him to disrespect his African American constituency. Obama's
"fierce" critiques of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Michael Pfleger puts him
in opposition to the sentiments of "millions of black people" and puts him in
the camp of those "who view the majority of black pain as illegitimate." By
pursuing an agenda that refuses to recognize "black" or "white" issues, Obama
is playing with a 400-year-old fire.

From Kennedy to Obama: Liberalism's Last Fling

by John Pilger




When capitalism is in deep trouble, it trots out
the liberal. Such was the case in 1968, when anti-war and Black Freedom forces
pressed for fundamental changes in power relationships. Up stepped
Robert Kennedy, whom the author says was no progressive, but who could rally
the oppressed to the Democratic banner. In 2008, Barack Obama performs a
similar service for Big Capital, mouthing Kennedy-like "vacuities" on peace while supporting increased
military expenditures and extension of "the crippling embargo on Cuba." Obama
offers the rich something Kennedy could not. "By offering a ‘new,' young and
apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party - with the bonus of being a
member of the black elite - he can blunt and divert real opposition."

America's Racial Litmus Test : Farrakhan is not the Problem

Tim Wise

Those whites, and Jewish Americans in
particular, that demand Blacks denounce Minister Louis Farrakhan as the price
of entrance to "respectable" circles are "merely using
Farrakhan [to] divert attention from institutional discrimination,
institutionalized white privilege and power, and the way in which white denial
maintains a lid on social change." The author, a veteran anti-racist activist,
denounces the "collective punishment" inherent in the Farrakhan "litmus test,"
and the inversion of logic that leads whites to label any Black person
as the nexus of America's racial wrongs. If the shoe were on the other foot -
if whites had to answer for the actions of every other white - the list of
collective apologies and coerced denunciations would be endless.

The American Electoral Charade

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordBARobamaHillary

Two candidates with almost identical positions
on virtually every issue fight to exhaustion over non-substantial concerns for
months, and will doubtless soon celebrate having achieved "unity." Tweedle-dum
Hillary Clinton and Tweedle-dee Barack Obama may or may not emerge from the
primary battles as friends - but what does that matter? "Their policies are
interchangeable, as are their advisors.... All serve the same masters: the
financial corporations." The general election campaign, already begun, will see
Obama and McCain draw politically closer each day, until at the end "the
voters' choice will be just a matter of personality and individual taste" - and

To listen to this Black  Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below. 


Obama Resigns From Black Nation

LEADBigPflegerAndWrightby BAR executive editor
Glen Ford

How far is Barack Obama willing to run from the
very same Black nationalism that was fundamental to his victories in so many
state Democratic primaries? The nominee-apparent is in pell-mellFireObama flight from
everything that does not conform to his own "race-neutral" worldview. Obama's
political contradictions compel him to reject his most fervent supporters, and
apparently to reexamine his ties to the Black Church as an institution. The
"journey" to Black identity that Obama describes in his book Dreams From My
seems in conflict with the Road to the White House. Longtime friends
- maybe Black people as a whole - are left by the wayside. Perhaps "Obama ought
to just keep on steppin' out of Black America entirely."

Obama on Latin America: Small "Change" If Any

by BAR Special Correspondent Roberto Lovato


obama_latin_americaA Miami organization which, according to a July 1998 New York Times article, funded a series of deadly terrorists bombings in Cuba, and which may be connected to the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner killing 73 people, hosted Democratic presidential nominee-apparent Barack Obama last week. Before this illustrious audience, Obama sketched the broad outlines of his agenda for “change” in Latin America.


Scholar Warrior


by Kemet Mawakana (aka “The Seven-Foot Poet”)


Born in 1731 the son of a slave, Benjamin Banneker was a free African American, a self-taught clock maker, astronomer, and mathematician. He played a major role in the boundary surveys and initial layout of the nation's capital, and in the 1792 edition of his almanac was the first to call for creation of a US Department of Peace. Banneker harshly criticized Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, for rank hypocrisy in stating that liberty was the God-given right of all mankind while “ should at the same time counteract his mercies, in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of my brethren, under groaning captivity and cruel oppression, that you should at the same time be found guilty of that most criminal act, which you professedly detested in others, with respect to yourselves."

The Seven Foot Poet shares with us the lesson of scholar-warrior Benjamin Banneker's life of struggle.

Castro on Obama’s Miami Speech: The Empire’s Hypocritical Politics

by Fidel CastroFidelSmiling

The former Cuban leader compliments Barack Obama as "doubtless, from the social and human points of view, the most progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency." However, that's not really saying much, given the field of candidates, as Castro makes plain. Obama says he will maintain the economic blockade of Cuba. "The blockade, in and of itself, is an act of genocide," replies Castro. "I don't want to see U.S. children inculcated with those shameful values." Castro reminds Americans that "We offered the United States our help when Hurricane Katrina lashed the city of New Orleans" - the kind of selfless behavior that "cannot spring from the hypocritical politics of an empire."

Barack Obama versus Black Self-Determination

by BAR executive editor
Glen Ford

One of the great ironies of the current campaign
season, is the assumption by so many Black voters that by supporting Barack
Obama for president, they are making a real contribution to African American
self-determination. Nothing could be further from the truth. The candidate,
himself, is mightily opposed to the principle of African American
self-determination, as he revealed in great detail and beyond doubt in
rejecting Rev. Jeremiah Wright's narrative on America's origins. Obama also has no more respect than other corporate politicians for ObamaLecturnprinciples of
international law and the sovereignty of nations. Should he win the presidency,
U.S. militarization of African will continue, as will American bullying of its
Latin American neighbors.

Miami’s Urban Beach Week: A Gathering of Cops

MiamiCopsandWeWantMoneyby Mel Reeves

Every year several hundred thousand Black youths
gather at Miami's South Beach for Urban Beach Week, and each year the local
police show them that African Americans are not wanted. Mass arrests,
approaching or exceeding 1,000 over several days and nights, seem to have no
rhyme or reason other than to show who is boss of the beach. "Police harassment
knows no boundaries," says the author, who was himself harassed while
monitoring police. The question is, why do Blacks keep coming to the Miami
event, pumping millions into local business coffers, when their patronage is so
clearly not appreciated?

U.S. Incites Secession South of the Border

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordBARoilrig

All of sudden, three secessionist "movements"
have sprung up in South America, all of them located in fossil fuel-rich
regions of countries resisting U.S. domination of the hemisphere. Venezuela and
its allies Ecuador and Bolivia face revolts of businessmen in their most
productive provinces, developments that coincide with the U.S. decision to take
the Navy's Fourth Fleet out of mothballs to resume patrols in South American
waters. The separatist schemes are transparently American-instigated, yet
another escalation of U.S. threats to the sovereignty of its neighbors.
Somebody should tell the rough-riders in Washington that the days of Teddy
Roosevelt are long gone.

Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary 


Freedom Rider: Bronx Bombers Grand Theft

FRShovelDirtby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If sports are supposed to improve the moral
character of individuals and societies, how come the games have the opposite
effect on team owners and the local officials who help them steal the pants off
America's cities. True to its reputation as tops in all things urban, New York
shows itself to be the biggest sucker of all time when it comes to the Yankees
baseball kleptomaniacs. In return for a brand new stadium, Yankees owners give
back - nothing!  The city loses two
parks in the deal, which are not fully replaced, and a meager community fund
completely slips below city officials' radars. "The Yankees grand theft is just
the latest and most prominent example of government of the corporation, by the
corporation and for the corporation."

“Humanitarian Aid” at Gunpoint Isn't Humanitarian

Mel Reeves
usmc_expeditionary_force02When is an invasion not an invasion?  When it's a "humanitarian intervention", of course. 
Some of the same folks who gave us Iraq, and want to give us Iran now want to throw in Myanmar, if we can find it on a map.  The recent cyclone that killed thousands and made hundreds of thousands homeless, in their twisted minds, constitutes yet another opportunity for armed "charity."  

Making Real Change: Taking On Black Commercial Radio

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixonmontage084
Black commercial radio station owners, like all other broadcasters, hold their licenses on the condition that they faithfully serve the public interest.   But commercial black radio, whether owned by African Americans or not, is failing that test.  Commercial black radio treats its audience exclusively as a market, not a polity, and acknowledges no public service obligation worth mentioning.
At the coming National Conference For Media Reform, plans will be unveiled for a national campaign to bring locally gathered news and local news departments to commercial black radio.  Changing the way black radio operates is only possible by mobilizing key constituencies in the communities broadcasters treat as passive markets.  And this may be the time it begins to happen.

Poverty Wages


by  Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor


How do we understand the historical reluctance of average whites, to ally themselves with nonwhites and fight against racism that ultimately drives down their own wages and living standards too?  It's not a new question, but there may be new answers.  


Poverty Wages

The Perils of Racial Solidarity


by Kevin Alexander Gray
Is it really the duty of us all, as African Americans to keep quiet about the wars in Africa and Iraq, to shut up about the credit and housing squeezes that are swallowing the wealth of our communities, to be silent about police killings and the continued transformation of America into a carceral state that locks up an absurd proportion of its nonwhite population?  Where are we really headed if our duty as African Americans at this time is to bury all our grievances, to be quiet and not disturb white people, in order to "let Obama do what he has to do?"   

Like A Lap Dog


by Kemet Mawakana (aka “The Seven-Foot Poet”)

When is an exalted honoree a dishonored servant? 
When is one sitting high actually stooping low? 
The Seven Foot Poet has the answer. 
Could it be when the honored is actually like...
like a lap dog?
Click the link below to read or hear this original work by the Seven Foot Poet.

Somalia: Hidden Catastrophe, Hidden Agenda

by Media Lens, UK
Since 1996 the US has engaged in a continual "low-intensity" war in Somalia that has killed a million of that country's inhabitants, a death toll second only to the Congo during that time.  Another million Somalis are homeless, refugees from the fighting.  In the US, news of happenings in Somalia is scarce and often misleading.  It's worth noting that Somalia sits upon an untapped lake of oil, and has significant uranium deposits as well, making it in the US interest to prevent any viable national government not under its control from coming to power. 

Bigoted Anti-Obama Attacks Divert Attention From Pervasive Institutional Racism

obama_brushoffby BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon 
Do the reactions to racist attacks on Barack Obama prove that we as a nation are on the way to "transcending race"?  Do racist attacks on Barack Obama, news of which are constantly recirculated in the black community, actually help solidify and validate his black support? 
Do the eruptions of bigots also provide fodder for self-congratulation among Obama's white supporters, at the same time they divert attention from the real and myriad manifestations of institutional racism in American Life.
Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary

Freedom Rider The U.N. Investigates American Racism

more_katrina03by BAR Editor  and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley
The United Nations is sending a special observer to investigate the role that racism plays in the ordinary life of the United States.  With only three weeks, the special rapporteur will have a lot of ground to cover.  And the visit comes at a time when America's ordinary denial on issues of racial injustice and inequality are intensified by the presidential campaign.  After all, we are the nation which is about to "transcend" race.


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