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

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

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

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.”

The Election of Barack Obama Has Paralyzed Progressive Forces in US Politics

If you don't see the video above, click here.
This speech delivered by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford at African Liberation Day 2009, highlights the paralysis of black and progressive leadership and the dead end in which progressive forces in the U.S. find themselves.

Obama's Public Education Policy: Privatization, Charters, Mass Firings, Neighborhood Destabilization

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Last weekend in Chicago, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivered the keynote address at Rainbow PUSH's annual conference and education roundtable.  Duncan is the premiere executor of corporate instpired policies that have closed dozens of neighborhood public schools in Chicago without substantially improving educational outcomes and at vast cost to neighborhood stability and the careers of hundreds of good teachers.  But are African American organizations standing up for their own interests, for public education?  Or are we paralyzed because the corporate policies issue from the administration of a Black President?

Giving Honduras the Haiti Treatment

HAITI ELECTIONSA 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 joined all of Latin American in denouncing the coup in Honduras. But Washington's words should always be taken “with whole spoonfuls of salt.” Obama could restore democracy to Haiti immediately, if he chose to, by allowing the return of deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, but instead shuts Aristide's party out of recent Senatorial elections. President Zalaya “was aligning himself with Venezuela, Nicaragua, El Salvador and other left-led nations.... It is inconceivable that the U.S. looks forward” to his return.

French Cops are Racist, Too

A

stop the violence

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.

If you're Black and tired of getting stopped by the police on the streets of New York City and elsewhere in the United States, then Paris isn't the city for you. “A new study of the Paris police shows that...persons the police consider Black are stopped six times as often as whites.” And Arab-looking people are stopped even more frequently than that. Although racial profiling is illegal in France, the police studiously avoid keeping records on race.

High Court Tries to Freeze White Privilege in Place

New Haven White Firefighters

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.

The real “activist” judiciary if represented by the U.S. Supreme Court majority than is determined to re-enshrine white privilege in law. The New Haven firefighters ruling is an assault on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. “The High Court decision would preserve an ethnic, clan and family racial protection racket that has been embedded in fire and police departments for generations.”

Eshu’s blues: Michael Jackson dies of Amurrika at 50

michael jacksonby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
 
The King of Pop is dead, and “you can hear the scavengers gnawing on bones all the way to the bank from any vantage point where you stand.” Michael Jackson succumbed to a peculiar Amurridan syndrome: TMTS, Too Much Too Soon. “In United States capitalist culture, performing artists have to deal with a public pillorying that actually ought to be reserved for the war criminals and thieves who have always run and owned this society.”

When Will Obama Stand and Fight?

ron danielsby Dr. Ron Daniels
Barack Obama entered the presidency with a huge mandate, but “is emerging as a cautious pragmatist who is more obsessed with 'bi-partisanship' than seizing the moment to create substantial change in this country.” His economic policy is run by “Wall Street insiders,” he has bowed to “conservative mantras” on the housing crisis, and he “has apparently capitulated before putting up a fight” over health care. “Therefore, the outcome is predictable; the insurance companies will carry the day.”

Mob Attack in Darfur: Personal Account

darfurby Isma’il Kushkush
The author, a Sudanese journalist, found himself surrounded and nearly beaten to death by “Shabab” - young men – in a Darfur displaced persons camp. The mob shouted, “Criminal! Janjaweed!” Some may simply have hated journalists. “I've been told that many IDPs in Darfur believe that journalists are 'banking' on their cause.” But it is also true that “banditry and thuggery have become components of life in unstable Darfur with the absence of stable work.”

Black Music Month at 30: A Cultural Retrospective

blk music monthby Pamela D. Reed
President Obama changed Black Music Month to "African American Music Appreciation Month," and neglected to hold a commemorative event at the White House. “This is like the tree that falls in the forest with no one there to hear it.” (George Bush held three Black Music Month affairs). “In the trademark Obama 'a rising tide lifts all boats' tradition,” a presidential spokesperson “stresses that the Obama administration subscribes to the '365 day' approach to music appreciation--all music.”

Haiti's Non-Election

haiti sceneby Kim Ives
When the most popular political party is barred from the election, what's the point of voting? Such was the simple logic of Haiti's recent farcical senatorial run-off election, boycotted by supporters of Lavalas Family, exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party. “Streets around the capital were eerily devoid of pedestrians and traffic despite the fact that the government allowed the operation of public transportation.” Some estimate only about one percent of eligible voters turned out.

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