Imperialism With a Black Face










A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

on his own statements, delivered repeatedly and consistently over the years,
Barack Obama promises to be another in a long line of imperial American
presidents, dedicated to the maintenance of U.S. hegemony by any means
necessary. "The African American reputation as the most consistently
progressive ethnic group in the United States will stand or fall according to
how Blacks comport themselves, politically, under a Barack Obama
administration." What will it mean to African Americans when the face of
imperialism is their own - when the world comes to hate Obama "as they have
other American presidents."

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


Shanty-town Law

MAXWELLjohn_maxwell03by John Maxwell

The transition from slave societies to whatever
comes next sometimes seems permanently stalled - although forces of evil are as
busy as ever. "In the last 30 years, starting before the collapse of the Soviet
Union, the forces of finance capital launched a hostile takeover bid for the
world, and, in places like Jamaica, recruited a substantial quota of middle
class people who bought into the idea that if their lusts were attended to,
health, wealth and happiness would naturally follow for the ‘less
fortunate.'"  The result has been a
great waste and confusion, requiring a more sane form of governance that
"rescues those who are most at risk."

The Myth of Transcending Race

by Shannon Joyce PrinceGraphicTranscendence

the attempt to absolve racists of past and current crimes, words are made to
perform supernatural feats. "Transcend" is such a word, promising a cost- and
struggle-free existence, once race is "transcended."  The problem is, "race and racism cannot be transcended, only
dealt with."  Similarly, the term
"post-racial" has a magically benign effect on white people, while "the onus of
having a post-racial attitude is always placed on the oppressed." Barack Obama
"mislabels those who address racial inequities as the authors of societal
divisiveness." It seems that at some point in the "post-racial" era certain
persons "transcended" themselves, causing great divisiveness. Or maybe not.

His High Imperial Holiness Obama Does Berlin


by Paul Street

Democratic presidential nominee-to-be wowed them in Berlin - feeding the crowd
a steady stream of sugar-coated propaganda on the unfailingly good intentions
of America. The U.S. is "generous" to a fault - but that's the only fault Obama
acknowledges.  America "sacrifices" for "freedom," he says - not mentioning that
it's mostly other people who get sacrificed for the sake of U.S. freedom to
rule over them. "People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our
moment," said Obama. Just last year, Obama told the  U.S. Council on
Foreign Relations another story: "We must ‘revitalize our military' to foster
‘peace,' Obama claimed, echoing Orwell, by adding 65,000 soldiers to the Army
and 27,000 to the Marines."

Freedom Rider: Obama Pardons Bush


by BAR editor and senior
columnist Margaret Kimberley

There will be no need for George Bush to pardon
himself and his fellow criminals. Barack Obama promises to let the "W Gang"
off, scott-free, when he takes over the White House. Impeachment? Heavens, no!
"That is not something I think would be fruitful to pursue because I think that impeachment is something that should be reserved for exceptional circumstances," says Obama, apparently in the belief that Bush's behavior has been routine for an American president. Obama surrogates say bipartisanship should decide the question of investigating current and past presidents. In other words, Obama will let the Republicans decide if Bush gets away with murder. "So Bush crimes will be buried by a Democrat."  

CNN’s Shallow Look at Black Life

CNNblackInAmericaby Mel Reeves

CNN went down a predictable path with its "Black in America" special, providing prime time play to "lots of self-flagellating black folks pointing the finger at their lesser-off brothers and sisters." Barack Obama has given the all-clear to wholesale badmouthing of poor African Americans, who are treated as some kind of clinical problem to be studied and acted upon. "Personal responsibility" is the watchword - for Blacks only. "Yet there is not a peep about personal responsibility among the rich folks who rob us blind on a daily basis."  The not-ready-for-mainstream-TV truth is, "There is nothing wrong with Black America that large doses of justice, political power and money can't cure.

Obama (and Big Media) Turn Blind Eye to Israeli Apartheid

by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon
Israel is now an apartheid state, according to the publisher of Ha'aretz, that country's largest circulation daily newspaper.  The occasion was the recent renewal of Israeli citizenship  laws which refuse to recognize marriages and families among most of the Arabs living in that country.   How can Barack Obama, himself the son of an American mixed marriage remain an apparently uncritical supporter of Israeli apartheid, and why does corporate media continue to pursue a longstanding "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward the odious policies of racial and ethnic discrimination in Israel?

Do No Harm: A Torture Victim Remembers

by Naji AliTorture

Torturers are remarkably the same, since their
human victims share the same vulnerabilities the world over. In today's Israel
as in yesterday's white-ruled South Africa, physicians play identical ghoulish
roles in the state's crimes against the minds and bodies of the Resistance. They
keep the tortured victims alive, so that they are fit to be savaged, again. The
author recounts his long ordeal in the custody of white South African sadists,
and sees direct parallels in the treatment of Palestinians at the hands of
Israeli security forces.

John Kennedy, Barack Obama and the ‘Triple Evils That Are Interrelated’

by Paul StreetObamaKennedy

Barack Obama fans are quick to compare their
candidate to President John F. Kennedy. In fact, the two are much alike:
pro-business, imperial-minded politicians who are undeservedly tagged as
progressives by folks who should know better. "JFK inhabited much the same
power-serving faux-progressive ideological space in his time as Obama does
today." On foreign policy, Obama supports increased military spending, as did
Kennedy. And "just like JFK, Obama has falsely sold this conservative economic
agenda as a form of neutral ‘get things done' pragmatism emphasizing ‘technical
expertise' over and beyond mere ‘ideology.'"

The U.S. Treats Afghans Like Roaches

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

To be occupied by foreign soldiers is always a
degradation, but some countries are singularly unsuited to lord it over other
nations. The United States seems incapable of conforming to the most elemental
standards of civilized behavior when occupying Muslim lands. Americans
routinely commit horrific atrocities against populations they are legally
obligated to protect from harm. Since the beginning of the U.S.
occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, wedding parties have been especially
attractive targets of U.S. airpower. "The crimes - mass murder from the air -
point up the casually racist nature" of U.S. rule over non-European "others."

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


Rolling the Dice Once Again – in Iran

by BAR executive editor
Glen Ford

Most sane people think a U.S. attack on Iran
would invite catastrophic consequences - some of which, like skyrocketing oil
prices, have already occurred as a direct result of mere threats to
attack Iran. Yet a school of thought holds there is a threshold of risk that
even the Bush regime will not cross, and that "every day that passes makes an
attack on Iran harder to pull off." That's a comforting thought, but what if
the Lords of Capital - George Bush's bosses - truly believe their very
existence as a ruling class requires courting Armageddon? History shows they
would rather risk igniting a global inferno than go quietly into the night.
"The grand vision of corporate globalism - the finance capitalists' imperial
heaven - cannot exist in the real world except through the application of

Freedom Rider: Death to Afghanistan


by BAR editor and senior
columnist Margaret Kimberley

After eight years of U.S. occupation, the Afghan
people live in terror, "not only caused by bombs and bullets, but by no bid
contracts, private mercenaries, theft of resources and destruction of
infrastructure." Barack Obama promises more of the same, as he preens and
struts his imperial stuff to demonstrate his fitness for the American
presidency. With his calls for big increases in U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan,
Obama delivers the kiss of death for additional thousands in the region, and
proves for the umpteenth time that he is no peace candidate. "The endless Iraq
occupation and the escalated Afghanistan occupation will bring more harm to the
region than Bush could have dreamed."

Barack Obama and the Abuse of Black Fathers

by Tyrone Simpson

The author, a successful academic and loving husband, isn't sure he will ever become a father - and Barack Obama's "diatribe about absent black fathers" isn't helping matters. Obama's Fathers Day speech, reminiscent of the insults against Black life hurled by the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "steeps the candidate in second-rate mimicry, and reveals a cynical ploy to amass popular support by conjuring up, for the purposes of banishing, a bogeyman that holds only a modest threat: the absent black father." There should be a reckoning. "I am waiting for the resentment of insulted fathers and wounded sons to be turned back on Obama."

If I Should Die

7_foot_poet_upright_250wideby Kemet Mawaka  a.k.a. the Seven Foot Poet 

On New Year's Day at an Oakland, California transit station, a young black man, lying face down in a crowd of cops was fatally shot  in the back before dozens of witnesses, some of whom had the presence of mind to film the incident.  The killer cop still has been allowed to resign, and almost two weeks later has yet to be questioned by  authorities, let alone inducted. 

How many black men, and boys, and even women have been wounded or killed reaching for cell, phones, in purses, for wallets or cigarettes.  Or just reaching?  How long does this continue, and what does it mean?  

The Seven Foot Poet spills it.


Why You Wanna Be Like White People?

by Kemet Mawakana, a.k.a. the Seven Foot Poet7_foot_poet_upright_250wide
Some questions never get old.  And even when they do, they never become irrelevant.  The Seven Foot Poet finds new ways to pose this old question, leading perhaps to new and useful answers.

What Obama Might Say to White Fathers

by Shannon Joyce PrinceWhiteFathersDrugsFront

What if statistics showed that "white young people are
over twice as likely than black young people to drive drunk, a third more
likely to carry a weapon, three times more likely to binge drink, and twice to
four times more likely (depending on the drug) to use cocaine, coke, inhalants,
steroids, hallucinogens, and methamphetamines?" That's precisely what the
statistics say - which should be a signal for Barack Obama to begin paying visits
to white churches to low-rate the fathers of the congregations. We can hear it
now: "Clearly you, white parents, need to stop being shiftless and take care of
your responsibilities. You are failing your children." But don't bet on it.
Things like that only happen in works of satire.

American Medicine and White Supremacy

BARadioFrontA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The American Medical Association's apology for
virtually excluding Blacks from membership in deference to southern Jim Crow
sensibilities is like pouring perfume on a rotting corpse. For literally
centuries, the American medical profession has been suffused with the worst
practices of white supremacy - including routine, fatal experimentation with
helpless Black slaves. Deeply ingrained habits of racism "continue to influence patterns of medical outcomes, today,"
with many doctors persisting in treating Black pain differently than white

To hear the audio of this Black Agenda Radio commentary click the flash player below


To read it, click the link below this

McKinney & Clemente: Black, Brown, Green and True

by BAR executive editor
Glen Ford

The Green Party's brand new Cynthia
McKinney-Rosa Clemente ticket is off and running, having captured an
overwhelming proportion of delegates at the national convention, in Chicago.
Two Black women, one a Latina, are challenged to garner five percent of the
national vote while transforming the Greens "into a vehicle for 24-7 movement
politics." Former Georgia congresswoman McKinney vowed, "A
vote for the Green Party is a vote for the movement that will turn this country
right-side-up again." Said Clemente, a Hip Hop political organizer:
"I don't see the Green Party as an alternative. I see it as an imperative."

Rev. Jackson’s Not Down for the Count, Yet

by Mel ReevesReevesJessePrezFront

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., an early supporter of
Barack Obama, is an object of sheer hatred among some Obamites since his
indelicate remarks centered on the Senator's scrotum. One young Black guest
columnist for could not contain her contempt. In an article
titled, "Aw, Grandpa Jackson's Off His Meds," Taii K. Austin excoriated Jackson
for attempting to give Obama any advice on moral issues, and derided Jackson's
two "failed - failed!" bids for the Democratic presidential nomination. In
fact, "they were far from 'failed' campaigns," but represented achievements that
seem to be beyond the comprehension of the young writer, Ms. Austin.

Why Does Barack Obama Hate My Family?

KevinGrayFamilyFrontby Kevin Alexander Gray

People have a right to take personally Barack Obama's harangues against Black people's supposedly sub-par behavior. Every time Obama badmouths some aspect of African American mores or culture, fleets of media outlets megaphone the accusations, barbs so generalized they could apply to countless Black families. "Playin' black men on Father's Day is repulsive" and, for that matter, "why should any aspect of black male-female relations be grist for the campaign mill?" Obama has a talent for hitting Blacks below the belt. "As race-baiting and race politics goes, Obama has proven himself to be as good, if not better than [Bill] Clinton, long considered the modern master of race politics."


Subscribe to Black Agenda Report  RSS