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by BAR columnist michael hureaux
When a Black teenager accidentally shoots his best friend, it is "all just one more weekend, one of those lunatic moments when one young Black man kills another young Black man, and once all the usual sociological theorizing rolls by, no one really knows why, except that it happened, and it's to be expected, somehow." The author, who was both boys' teacher, wonders "how the dividing line between play and the reality of what a firearm is became blurred." For too many urban adolescents, "an acquaintance with firearms becomes as casual as the presence of the television remote."
by Shannon Joyce Prince
Tourism is Jamaica's biggest source of foreign exchange, but tourist dollar madness threatens to destroy the country. "The hotels are closing down turtle nesting sites and hotel excrement and spoil are killing our reefs at an increasing pace." While the government entertains all manner of schemes to lure tourists and separate them from their money, the nation's "rivers, streams and beaches are polluted by wastes of all kinds." The tourist industry workforce live in deplorable conditions, because there is "no social development to match the commercial development."
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Institutional racism is "the mechanism by which the present and future are shaped by racist practices of the past." New Orleans African Americans seeking to rebuild their lives found that government pays more to replace white people's homes, than Blacks. Obama, take note.
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by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
With the election results a week old, the worst thing we can do now is sit back for too long admiring the new president, his family and ourselves for electing him, and "wait and see what he does." No new administration waits till being sworn in before deciding and enacting its priorities on war, peace, credit, housing, jobs or heath care. While many are still boasting, roasting, coasting and toasting the election results the business of governing has already begun. So too the business of holding the new administration accountable must begin without delay.
by Kemet Mawakana
These are historic times. But then, what times haven't been? The Seven Foot Poet keeps us anchored not just in the present, the immediate past and the forseeable future, but orients us in the dimensionless expanse of time inhabited by our ancestors, our future hopes, and those yet to come.
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It's not as if we at BAR didn't warn you. Barack Obama's first major act as president-elect was to select as his chief of staff Rep. Rahm Emanuel, whose "role as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was to insure that anti-war and other progressive candidates stayed out of the running." So when do the protests begin? "Progressives for Obama and other groups who promised to hold their idol accountable haven't gotten around to doing so just yet or even announcing when the time will be right for their tongues to become untied."
by BAR columnist michael hureaux
by Rev. Reynard N. Blake, Jr.
The author congratulates the president-elect on
his having run a "great...eloquent, dignified, and clean race," but then
admonishes: "You blew a tremendous teaching opportunity in teaching America
about Liberation Theology when you put some distance between you and Reverend
Dr. Jeremiah Wright." Obama's former pastor appears to have "unnerved" him "because the Black Liberation
Theology that Wright embodies involves a responsibilty to call White people out
on their racism and for Black Churches to address racism."
by Paul Street
Barack Obama and his followers continue to revise the history of his ascendance, pretending his campaign was rooted among the "outsiders." The public line is a fiction, as even the most rudimentary research reveals. In fact, Obama's own words document his intense courtship of the rich and powerful. Unfortunately, "few if any of" Obama's staunchest supporters "have bothered to read a single solitary word of Obama's blatantly imperial, nationalist, and militarist foreign policy speeches and writings," says the author. "And my sense is they never will."
by Roxanne Stasyszyn
The war that has already cost 5.5 million Congolese their lives has been rekindled, the ghastly product of "a rapacious international commerce that has descended on Congo." Amidst the carnage, displacement and starvation, international "humanitarian" outfits navigate, "intertwined with the ethnically fueled militia groups and big business from the USA, Europe and China." At the vortex of the violence is rebel warlord Laurent Nkunda. "It is said that Nkunda even boasts the born-again Christian patch he wears on his fatigues as a badge of solidarity with President Bush and many other American Christians.
by Abukar Arman
Somalia, invaded and occupied by Ethiopia with the encouragement of the United States, is now to be reduced to a "trusteeship" of Addis Ababa, the aggressor. "This is a case of putting the fox in charge of the barn so that he may teach the chicken how to function in an orderly manner!" Those Somalis that choose to recognize Ethiopia's authority will be targeted by the resistance, deepening conflicts in that wounded society. That may be Ethiopia's intention. "Ethiopia is set to discredit any vestige of nationalist leadership and to spread violence and hate."