Eshu’s blues: Media circus throws another temper tantrum over Sotomayor nomination

by michael hureaux perez

Opponents of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination claim to be fighting against the rise of an “activist court” – “which is what the ruling class of this country calls any court which occasionally intervenes on behalf of historically repressed peoples.” Such politicians are much more comfortable with jurists such as Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who famously proclaimed that Blacks have no rights that a white man is bound to respect. The modern-day Taneys don’t have much tolerance for uppity Puerto Ricans, either.

Fattening Black Frogs For Corporate Snakes

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

A “small herd” of rightist Black politicians is seeking statewide office, further mangling Black politics in the process. In practice, this trend allows white voters “to decide which kinds of Black politicians rise to state and national prominence.” Among the latest entries is Congressman Artur Davis, running for governor of Alabama. Rep. Davis is consistently ranked among the worst members of the Congressional Black Caucus – which is the source of his white, corporate appeal.


GM Could Have Become a “Green” Industrial Machine

rest in peaceA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

President Obama has passed up his chance to become a transformational president, by failing to convert the excess capacity of General Motors – 60 percent-owned by the U.S. public – to “green” manufacturing. Instead, the public has paid $50 billion, and counting, for 14 industrial junkyards where car factories used to be. Obama’s refusal to rise to the historic occasion shows that he “worships at the alter of private capital – the same corporate developmental model that has been de-industrializing the United States for the last four decades.”

Shell Oil Settles with 1995 Niger Delta Victims’ Families, But War Escalates

flaringA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

Nearly a fifth of US oil imports come from West Africa and that proportion is only expected to grow. Western oil companies, chiefly Shell, BP and Chevron have pumped trillions of dollars worth of black gold from eastern Nigeria, but it remains the poorest and most polluted places on earth. Although oil company scofflaws have settled out of court with representatives of the families of a handful of the murdered the pitiless rape of eastern Nigeria continues.


Women in Darfur: We Saw No Evidence of Genocide


222By Afshin Rattansi
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Cindy Crawford, Bono, Michael Caine, Claudia Schiffer, Bob Geldof, Hugh Grant, Mia Farrow, Mick Jagger and so many others have expressed their solidarity with the people of the oil-rich region of Darfur. A few weeks ago, Democrats John Lewis of Georgia, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Lynn Woolsey of California, Donna Edwards of Maryland, and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts were all arrested as they demonstrated against the Sudanese government. When Colin Powell used the word genocide in 2004, it kicked off $1 billion-a-year international aid program, much higher than that afforded Somalia or Congo.  But why?


“God Sent the Shooter”: White Christian Terrorism and the Assassination of George Tiller


by Sikivu Hutchinson
The profiles of “ those who invoke Christian fundamentalism as justification for their barbaric incursions against women and their allies” match those of other denizens of the peculiar U.S. Right-wing “movement”: “disaffected white middle aged males, aligned with a crackpot anti-government militia and/or fundamentalist ethos steeped in the bloody retribution of the Old Testament.” The U.S. Has been subjected to “virulent strain of fundamentalism was nourished by three theocratic Republican administrations that dismembered the Constitution and effectively sanctioned criminal campaigns against abortion providers.”


Black Radio Speaks With Forked Tongue


baisdenby Paul Porter
Black radio owners and those who depend on them for publicity and profits are waging a propaganda offensive against a bill to compensate artists for airplay. Radio One founder Cathy Hughes “and her staff have done a great job of concealing the facts” of the legislation, HR 848, sponsored by Detroit Congressman John Conyers. Hughes has been joined by syndicated hosts Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden, and Rev. Al Sharpton, who is also a radio personality. Radio One is crying economic hardship, but the firm recently awarded CEO (and Hughes' son) Alfred Liggins “a 10 million dollar bonus.”


Cuba, the US and the OAS

john maxwell

by John Maxwell

Even though both Castro brothers repeatedly stated that Cuba has no desire to rejoin the Organization of American States (OAS), Latin America demanded that the ban against Cuba be dropped. “For them the OAS has been a yanki weapon against all of them, from Arbenz to Allende to Aristide to Fidel, Chavez and Morales. It does not end.” The U.S. tried to find a graceful way to accept its diplomatic defeat, and avoid further isolation in the hemisphere it once overlorded like a caudillo.

Sonia Maria Sotomayor -- She's No Clarence Thomas, But No Thurgood Marshall Either

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

What is and what should be the story around the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the high court?  Is the main story a celebration of how humble origins and hard work won out?  Should we spend all our time and energy refuting the racism of Republican talking heads, and none examining her record, and how she arrived at the door of the Supreme Court?  Is this a good time to explore what a just and democratic society must demand from its courts --- more nonwhite faces in high places?  More rights for corporations?  Or more justice for people?  And if this isn't a good time, is that time ever coming?

Cynthia McKinney Announces Formation of DIGNITY

cynthaby the editors
Which way forward for the Black Left? The path leads in the same direction it always has: agitation, organization, and confrontation with Power. Cynthia McKinney chose a Harlem church to announce formation of DIGNITY, to bring the Black body politic back from its current comatose state. "Dignity is attempting to show real change is possible" - if people fight for it. "We want to organize networks so that we can relay information quickly to a large number of people."

R.I.P. Industrial USA. The Banksters Win, Even When They Fail


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

General Motors is just the latest in a long line of casualties in the lopsided war between finance capital and manufacturing capital. "The handwriting was on the wall for General Motors and the entire industrial sector of the U.S. economy back in the mid-Eighties, when GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors, surpassed the car-making part of the company in profits." The "crux of the current crisis of capitalism" is finance capital's refusal to invest in productive enterprise "except under conditions of extremely low wage labor.


Obama’s “Af-Pak” War: Destabilizing a Nuclear Nation

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama has succeeded in putting his mark on Afghanistan and Pakistan, in ways that will come back to haunt the U.S. Two million people have been displaced by the Pakistiani army's scorched earth campaign against the Taliban - actions demanded by the Obama administration. "The Pakistani people are universally aware that their army was browbeaten, bullied and coerced, superpower-style, to launch a scorched earth attack on Taliban-influenced regions." The administration is destabilizing Pakistan, and deepening its people's hatred for the U.S.

Ivan Van Sertima: Fighting Racism Through Science

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"Prof. Van Sertima almost single-handedly introduced and defended the proposition that Africans made significant contact with the people of the Americas, not just before Columbus, but before the birth of Christ." By bringing multi-disciplinary evidence to back up his claims, Van Sertima "debunked" European contentions "that only white people were capable of moving around the world in a methodical manner." Van Sertima labored heroically to break the white choke-hold on the human narrative.

Obama Ordering States to Close 5,000 'Failing' Schools!... Chicago Lies Go National

by George Schmidt

The corporate narrative that public schools in minority neighborhoods are "failing" and must be replaced by unaccountable but often highly profitable "charter schools" is an inheritance from the Bush era that the Obama administration intends to continue and intensify.  Despite any proof of improved educational outcomes, and contrary to the democratic wishes of the American people the push to discredit and privatize public education appears to be a hallmark of the Obama era.

Grand Theft Auto: How Stevie the Rat Bankrupted GM

GM againby Greg Palast
The General Motors bankruptcy is bad news for pretty much everybody - except, the bankers that live charmed lives no matter the economic weather. President Obama's so-called "Car Czar," the financial speculator Steve Rattner, insists on sparing the favored banksters like Morgan Stanley and Citigroup any losses in the GM deal. "Citibank and Morgan, says Rattner, should get their whole enchilada - $6 billion right now and in cash - from a company that can't pay for auto parts or worker eye exams." Meanwhile, workers are expected to accept stock instead of the billions they are owed in health benefits.

Revolutionary Haitian Priest Gerard Jean-Juste, Presente!

father justeby Bill Quigley
He was sometimes called the most "dangerous man in Haiti." Father Gerard Jean-Juste was a tower of moral strength and political principle, who "constantly challenged both the powers of Haiti and the U.S. to stop killing and starving and imprisoning the poor." A practitioner of liberation theology, Father Jean-Juste tirelessly advocated for "justice for the poor. Freedom for those in prison. Comfort for those who mourn." He died May 27 at age 62, in Miami.

Obamanity: The Religion of Complicity

by Solomon Comissiong
More than 100 days into Barack Obama's presidency, the "lives of the majority of African-Americans who voted for him are unchanged." Yet, his supporters continue to cling to a thin band of hope. Had John McCain become president and proceeded to vastly expand the "Af-Pak" theater of war, or boycotted a United Nations conference on racism, today's Obama supporters would be outraged. "But the first Black president's legions are caught up in religion: Obamanity."


A Federal Bailout For Black Radio​? Under What Conditions?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

News has surfaced that powerful members of the Congressional Black Caucus are asking for a bailout of minority broadcasters, specifically black radio.  But black radio, like the rest of commercial media, has long dodged any hint of the public service obligations to which it is legally bound.  Is the crisis of black radio a chance to finally impose real public service obligations upon broadcasters?

Our thanks to Davey D for this video...

Freedom Rider Phony Terror and Black America (Part II)

more of the sameby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

In the wake of 9/11, the Bush regime launched a domestic terror entrapment and provocateur offensive in search of trophy victims. "If Barack Obama's policies and pronouncements to date are any indication, there is little reason to believe that he will put an end to this insidious practice." Four poor and easily manipulated Black men from New York, are the latest foils in this sordid political theater. A paid agent, Shahed Husain, "targeted ‘mostly young black members' of the Masjid al-Iklsa in Newburgh, New York and was so obvious in his methods that he was quickly labeled as an informant." But the targets took the bait, lured by Husain's money.



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