Ward Churchill: Academic Freedom Denied

ward churchillA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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An anti-imperialist ethics professor has no rights that his university is bound to respect. That's the lesson from a Denver District Court that refused to reinstate Ward Churchill, despite a jury's finding that he was fired from the University of Colorado because of his political statements. “There is no such thing as academic and political freedom if you can be fired for exercising it.”

Obama’s Good Move on Student Loans

studentsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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President Obama has done students in need of loans a good turn, and surprised BAR by oving to snatch $15 billion a year out of the jaws of the banks. “For decades the bankers have been getting risk-free federal money at taxpayer and student expense, by handling student loans already guaranteed by the federal government, collecting fees and then selling the loans to the U.S. Treasury.”

Eshu’s blues: Obama in Africa

brotherman in the motherlandby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
“Six months after his ascent to power, Barack Obama has proven to be exactly the nightmare we at BAR have long predicted he would be.” His recent visit reveals Obama has as much contempt for Black Africans as for African Americans. “Just days ago in Ghana, the First Black President of the Empire of the United States delivered a speech laden with homilies on responsibility and 'democratic values' that could have been written by speech writers for Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.”

“African Blood” Saved Obama From Scrutiny in Ghana

thicker than waterby Edwin Okong'o
Just as in Black America, many Africans on the continent hesitate to criticize Barack Obama for reasons of blood solidarity. Obama bemoans African “wars over land and wars over resources,” but “his African blood prevented us from asking him whether most of those resources (diamonds) end up in the hands of Africans.” The president talks of bribery as if it were an African disease. “African blood makes us hush instead of telling Obama that what Africans need is an end to the policies that allow multinationals to bribe governments to let them to continue stripping the continent of its wealth.”

President Obama's "Tough Love" Sermon to Africa

ron danielsby Ron Daniels
President Obama has developed a reputation as an avid reader with a wide range of interests, yet he appears to have learned little about the history of Africa's encounters with Europe and America over the past half-millennium. “He might have done well to read How Europe Underdeveloped Africa where Walter Rodney documents this tragic dynamic.” The history of super-exploitation is by no means over. “Neo-colonialism has been the order of the day as many African nations have been reduced to 'flag independence' where they ostensibly control the political process but have only nominal control over their economies.”

Take a Look in the Mirror, America

africaby Solomon Comissiong
President Obama this week deployed his impressive oratorical skills to frame a false historical and current reality about Africa. “He used cheap rhetorical devices to essentially deny that his own country and other Western nations are equally, if not more, responsible for the destabilized condition in which so many African nations find themselves.” What's needed is a “real alteration in American governance,” to replace a system that thrives on exploitation and death.

Pimps, Peeping Toms & Frotteurs

John Maxwellby John Maxwell
Rupert Murdoch appears to have turned his flagship British newspaper, News of the World, into a huge criminal enterprise, specializing in gathering dirt on celebrities of all kinds. However, given the right-wing publishers political influence, it doesn't look like anybody's going to jail. “It's not just a media story; it raises serious questions for Scotland Yard, top prosecutors and for judges."

Miami's Young are Dying

by Paul A. Moore
They fall with regularity, in a rhythm of death. The youth of Overtown and Liberty City and all points of poverty in are rushed to their graves to the accompaniment of beats and rhymes that profit the few and lock the many in a dance of death. “All of us grown folks who sit and watch you die one after another failed you.”

U.S. Press Misses Honduran Official's Racist Assault on U.S. Prez

by Steve Rendall
Enrique Ortez Colindres may be a coup plotter from the original “banana republic,” but as a white man he feels comfortable calling the president of the United States a “little black sugar plantation worker” and other Spanish variations on “nigger.” Ortez's comments were not deemed newsworthy by most of the U.S. Media.

Barack Obama or Cynthia McKinney -- Who Represents Black America Toward Palestine, Israel and the Middle East?

by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon

Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has just returned from an Israeli jail where she was briefly imprisoned, along with human rights activists from several nations, for her second attempt at publicly running the brutal US-Israeli blockade trying to bring coloring books, food and medical supplies.  Why are the US and Israel imposing this collective punishment upon 1.5 million civilians.  How does McKinney's stand match up against that of our first black president, the most powerful man in the world who calls it a "humantarian crisis" but will do nothing about it?  And how do they both stack up against the legacy of Dr. King?

Obama’s Single Payer Beat Down

State Sen. Obama (above) in 2003, back when he supported single-payer
healthcare. Obama changed his tune shortly thereafter.
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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
President Obama is mad, again, at the usual suspects: progressives that insist on speaking out in the people's interest on single-payer healthcare. He picked up the phone last week to warn lefties and unions to watch their mouths and get with his fuzzy program on healthcare – although even White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel doesn't seem to know what that program is. “For Obama to 'win' his debate, the American people must lose.”

Freedom Rider: Silence on Cynthia McKinney

cynthia mckinneyby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The shallowness of what passes for Black leadership reveals itself most dramatically at times of outrage and death. “While Cynthia McKinney languished in an Israeli jail, black leaders mobilized to say and do absolutely nothing,” preferring to make themselves part of the Michael Jackson story. “The only national action requested by” Rev. Al Sharpton, “the president of the National Action Network, was a demand for a Michael Jackson postage stamp and a national day of mourning. 

Eshu’s blues:The Obamamas and the Obapapas

by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
So where is the mass movement that was supposedly gestating in the womb of the Obama campaign phenomenon, the one that was wedded to, but to the left of, the actual candidate? How has the phantom “movement” made itself felt and known? Turns out, the whole thing was made up so that “progressives” would feel justified in supporting a corporate politician that resembles the “WW I-era Ivy league intellectual and imperial gangster Woodrow Wilson on many points, the issue of U.S. global hegemony first and foremost.”

The Shrinking American Empire

shrunken_uncleA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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The drive to replace the U.S. dollar as the de facto global currency brings the American empire that much closer to ultimate dissolution. U.S. imperialism’s accelerated decline is best dated to the invasion of Iraq six years ago. In the face of Washington’s general threat to establish itself as the “New Rome,” “much of the planetary community conspired to find ways to break the unequal ties that bound them to the empire.”

Africa Rejects Criminal Court Order on Sudan, Moves Toward Unity

african union logoA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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The International Criminal Courts narrow preoccupation with crimes by Africans, as opposed to every other people on the planet, has had a unifying effect on the continent. By consensus agreement, the 53 nations of the African Union agreed to ignore the ICC's directive that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir be arrested by member states. Said the AU's commission chairman: “If you don’t want to take into account our proposals…we are also going to act unilaterally.”

U.S. Allies on the Ropes in Somalia

Somalia againA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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When the Bush regime encouraged Ethiopia to invade Somalia in 2006, it may not have realized the fierce forces it was unleashing in the Horn of Africa. Now its Somali allies are on the verge of total defeat at the hands of Islamists. The U.S. claims the ever-shrinking regime in Mogadishu is besieged by foreign jihadis, but “most analysts maintain the fighters are overwhelmingly homegrown.”

Michael Jackson and the Piranhas of the Media

michael jacksonby John Maxwell
The horror, the horror. The ghastly ugliness oozes from the bestial media, feasting on death. “To the imperial media Jackson was guilty of everything of which he had ever been accused, like Jack Johnson, Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Elvis Presley and John Lennon.” The true significance of these lives is that “they connected in a fundamental way with ordinary people, and that, to the rulers of our world and their servile media, is supremely dangerous.”

The Persecution of Michael Jackson

by Ishmael Reed

The self-serving infotainment networks have a new product to take the place of news and real programming for at least the next week.  The trashing and rehashing of Michael Jackson, his family, legal and other troubles, his art and his life will be served up to us by corporate media who have no responsibility to truth, to art, to anything living or dead except profit and the protection of whatever lies they might have told previously.

Cynthia McKinney Returns to U.S. After Ordeal on High Seas and Israeli Prison

The Editors

Former Georgia Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney arrives at JFK Airport early Tuesday morning. McKinney, known as prisoner #88794 during her confinement at Ramle prison since Tuesday, was arrested along wih 20 other activists of the Free Gaza Movment when the Israeli Navy seized their vessel, Human Spirit, on the high seas. The boat was enroute from Cyprus to Gaza bearing humanitarian aid to Palestinian victims of the two-year-old Israeli blockade and military assault on the Gaza Strip, home to 1.5 million people.

McKinney and other Free Gaza members had refused to sign documents that were written in Hebrew and were said to be admissions to having entered Israel illegally. McKinney points out that she and here colleagues had no intention of entering Israel – their mission was to deliver humanitarian supplies, including cement and toys for children.

Freedom Rider: Dangerous Progressives

uglyby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
 
Self-styled “progressives” tend to think of themselves as another tribe entirely, untainted by American chauvinism. It ain't so. “Progressives also succumb to the belief in American divine right, and consequently can often be as dangerous as those on the political right.” This is especially evident in the Age of Obama, who “has continued some of the worst Bush administration policies, but still receives nearly universal support from progressives.”

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