Single Payer Summer

single payerby David Swanson
Although a single payer health care bill isn't ”even remotely likely to pass” this year, there are lots of reasons to continue the legislative battle. Says the author: “I think one can best campaign for justice if one knows exactly what one is up against but doesn't give a damn how grim that picture appears.”

The Crimes of Bongo: Apartheid & Terror in Africa's Gardens of Eden, Part II

by keith harmon snow
When Gabon President Omar Bongo died of a heart attack at age 73 in early June, multinational corporations and neocolonial leaders in Europe and the U.S. mourned his passing. He had served them well as the longest-running dictatorship in Africa.

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody

obama on health careby BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon

With the corporate media relentlessly distorting the public discussion around health care reform, it time for some clear, bright lines to help us tell who is doing what to whom, and whether any of it leads to health care for all of us.  Here are ten of them.

The Peculiar Class Solidarity of Barack Obama and “Skip” Gates

thinking about his friendby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Sean Bell and Oscar Grant were shot down like dogs, but that was none of Barack Obama's concern. But when a local cop racially profiled Dr. Henry Louis Gates as if he were just another Black man, Obama's world shook. “To be subsumed within the Black mass means class death. No one was safe!”

Freedom Rider: Black Unemployment Ignored

not hiring.  go away.by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The damage inflicted on Black America since the economic meltdown is absolutely unprecedented in modern times – but African Americans have yet to “develop an agenda and make the requisite demands” of power. In New York City, Black unemployment is “more than four times as high as white joblessness. “The trajectory for black America goes ever downward, even as the presence of a black man in the White House gives the mirage-like appearance of success for all.”

Two Thirds of Prison "Lifers" Are Black and Latinos

PRISON
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.

American determination to arrest ever-increasing numbers of Blacks and to keep them locked up for as long as possible is creating a rapidly aging prison population. While African Americans and Latinos are one fourth of the nation's population, they are two thirds of all the prisoners serving life sentences. " More Americans are under life sentence than ever before – more than 140,000, compared to only 34,000 25 years ago.”

Courts Again Confront Racism in Firefighter Hiring

white firemenA 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.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act still lives, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's reversal of then Federal Appeals Court decision against white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut. Another federal court has found discrimination in testing applicants for the New York City Fire Department. The New York test was filled with firefighting trivia questions that have little to do with the actual job.

“Responsibility to Protect” is Warmed-Over Imperialism

right to protectA 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.

“R2P” is the latest American device to justify military aggression and regime-change in the developing world. “The doctrine is a warmed-over version of so-called 'humanitarian' military intervention – another excuse for big powers to make war on weaker nations.” The doctrine is “reminiscent of the term 'protectorate' – a legalism for a country that is run as a virtual colony of one of the big powers.”

Eshu’s blues: Gates Busted by Officer Jim Crowlaw, uh, James Crowley

more gatesby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
President Obama is so averse to calling racism by its name, he sometimes makes himself sound less than intelligent – such as when he called a policeman “stupid” for doing what cops do to Black men every day of the week. Obama's Harvard buddy “Skip” Gates comes across as not too damn bright either, seemingly “shocked” that white policemen would fail to change the habits of a lifetime in deference to Gate's superior breeding and high culture.

“Skip” Gates: A Curious Martyr in the Struggle Against Racism

gates in studyby Paul Street
President Obama’s “friend” Dr. Henry Louis Gates has been richly rewarded for arguing “that poor African-Americans are largely to blame for the fact that blacks stand at the bottom of the nation’s steep socioeconomic pyramid.” Presumably, and by the same logic, Gates must now blame himself for getting arrested in his own home by a Cambridge policeman. Actually, Gates’ first impulse was to cash in on the experience with a “PBS special” on Blacks and the criminal justice system – a subject that never previously crossed his mind.

How Henry Louis Gates Got Ordained as the Nation's "Leading Black Intellectual"

reed - gatesby Ishmael Reed

Who is Henry Louis Gates and how did he get to be one of the nation's most prominent black academics?   How has he managed to make a career talking down to African Americans before white audiences?   Ishmael Reed dishes out a little history, explaining what one has to do to be anointed by corporate media as the leading intellectual light of our people in this new millenium.

“Skip” Gates Slapped So Hard, the Red, White and Blue Pom-Poms Dropped from His Eyes

more skip gates than you wantby Henry Rose
Dr. Gates told the Cambridge cop he didn't know who he was messing with. But some of us Black folks know Dr. Gates only too well. “Over the last 15 years Gates has often been enlisted by America’s most prestigious media venues to knock down radical Black initiatives, the Black poor, Black Nationalist leaders, and Afrocentricity.” Gates is, for the moment, whistling a different tune, having gained a sudden insight into Black life in America.

Encounters with Police: Teachable Moments

teachable momentsby Robert Jensen
A frequent lecturer on race and politics, the author was confident that he was reasonable well acquainted with the workings of racism in the United States. Attuned to the pervasiveness of white privilege, he believed himself both sophisticated and sensitive on matters of race. Then, as often happens, he was humbled by the arrival of another teachable moment.

When Lighting Up is Drinking from the Whites-Only Fountain

white lightingby Richard Leader
Given that white drug users are spared the relentless prosecution and long prison terms reserved for African Americans, are such whites beneficiaries of a racist system? The author believes so. “Until the experience of drug use is the same for people of all races, whites engaging in the activity are doing something akin to drinking from a 'whites only' water fountain.”

Is the Obama Health Care Plan Really Better Than Nothing?

another healthcare montageBy BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Candidate Barack Obama told us to judge his first term by whether he delivers quality affordable health care for all Americans, including nearly fifty million uninsured. So why does his proposal not cover the uninsured till 2013, after the next presidential election when Medicare took only 11 months to cover its first 40million seniors? Why are corporate media pretending that no opinions exist to Obama's left? And why has the public option part of the Obama health care plan shrunk from covering 130 million to only 10 million, with 16 million left uninsured altogether?

Obama Lies on Two Continents, is Denounced in New York

presidents chosen by gawdby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Barack Obama may be the most effective propagandist for U.S. imperialism in a very long time. But his narrative to Africans is built on blatant falsehoods, and his spiel to Black America is fundamentally dishonest and evasive. Demonstrators in Manhattan declared: “We will no longer tolerate a message from within our community, that the policies of Barack Obama cannot be criticized.”

Bush and Obama: Different Styles of Coup-Making

street scene in HondurasBlack 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.

Although nobody but Americans believes Washington was not behind the late June coup in Honduras, Barack Obama brings his own touch to subverting one's hemispheric neighbors. “Obama makes democratic noises – and then refuses to back them up with any actions that would cause U.S. clients in the Honduran military and oligarchy to relinquish power.” And he does it all with a straight face.

Another Obama Promise Broken -- The Right To Organize Betrayed

look for the union labelA 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.

The Employee Free Choice Act has been gutted and may expire entirely, a victim of Barack Obama's signature style of governing to the Right of the Democratic center. “Although candidate Obama paid lip-service to the Employee Free Choice Act, he pointedly failed to deploy the powers of the presidential 'bully-pulpit' on behalf of the key “card check” provisions that would have forced companies to recognize unions as soon as a majority of workers signed a union card.”

Rev. Edward Pinkney: The Preacher Who Dared to Invoke God

Rev. Ed PinkneyA 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.

The first man in modern day America to be imprisoned for “predicting what God might do” was released, last week. However, Rev. Edward Pinkney's conviction on voter fraud charges still stands, despite the 13 errors committed during his trail. The appeals court ruled the errors were “harmless” - a bizarre excuse for depriving Benton Harbor, Michigan of its premier Black leader and minister.

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