The Senator, His Pastor and the Israel Lobby

by Ali AbunimahIsraelAIPACObamaFront

If Liberation Theologians like Rev. Jeremiah
Wright feel discarded by Barack Obama, consider the Palestinians. By all
accounts, as an Illinois State Senator Obama was at least open-minded about the
plight of Palestinians - to the distress of Israel lobbyists. No more. Obama
managed to inject pro-Israel, anti-"radical Islam" remarks into his speech on
race relations in the U.S. He speaks of a history of "tensions" between African
Americans and Jewish Americans, but fails to trace these conflicts to Israel's
support for apartheid South Africa. And then there is Min. Louis Farrakhan.
"Why must every black candidate to a major office go through the ritual of
denouncing Farrakhan, a marginal figure in national politics?" Rejection of
Farrakhan and unquestioning support for Israel is the price of admission to
mainstream U.S. politics.

Sean Bell Verdict: It May Be Legal But It’s Not Right

BellNeverAgainby Mel Reeves

Barack Obama demands that African Americans
"respect" the verdict in the Sean Bell case - but what about justice? Why
should Blacks respect any element of a police-judicial apparatus that sanctions
the deployment of 50-round firing squads targeting unarmed men? If all U.S.
laws and judicial decisions deserve Black folks' respect, then Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney's 1857 declaration that Blacks have no rights a white man
is bound to respect should also be respected. Every outrage known to mankind
was once legal in the United States when inflicted on Blacks and Native
Americans. "We know from history that that which is legal is not necessarily

Freedom Rider: The End of Truth

FRObamaFuryby BAR editor and senior columnist

Margaret Kimberley

A Barack Obama presidency would certainly be a
first - the first time that "most black people will end their historic
progressive politics and applaud this country's criminal activity just because
the head criminal looks like them." Despite the fact that African Americans
overwhelmingly agree with the thrust of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's critique of
American society, history and government policies, they will undoubtedly vote
in huge majorities for the Illinois senator who has repudiated Wright.
"Obama's campaign has been filled with a laundry list of lies" and promises to
continue on that track. But, as with Colin Powell's lying, international
lawbreaking term in high office, "most black people [will make] excuses for him
and for his crimes." Although verbally less bellicose than Hillary Clinton,
Obama is no less the warmonger in substance.

The Congressional Black Caucus Fails Afro-Colombians

by Nikolas KozloffAfroColombianKids
Sometimes it seems the bigger the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) becomes, the worse it gets. Gone are the not-so-long-ago days when the CBC could be counted on to present a virtually unified, progressive front on domestic and foreign policy issues. While Black activists increasingly embrace the Latin American sector of the global African Diaspora, the CBC as a body remains parochial, as if unaware that millions of Blacks live in South America. Most shameful is the CBC's failure to take a firm stand on behalf of Afro-Colombians, targeted by rightwing death squads allied with the U.S.-backed government. A significant faction in the CBC supports corporate-written trade deals with Colombia that would displace and further impoverish much of the Black population, whose representatives have repeatedly beseeched the Black Caucus for help.  

Black Ivy Leaguer: Rev. Wright Speaks Truth

by Shannon PrinceIvyWrightRobeSmile

Some supporters of Barack Obama have seized the occasion of the confrontation with Rev. Jeremiah Wright to air a litany of old grievances. In an op-ed article for Newsday, Michael Meyers, head of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, who despises anything that smacks of Black Nationalism, labeled Rev. Wright a "crackpot" along with the rest of what he calls the "blacker-than-thou crowd." According to Meyers, Rev. Wright is an "endangered species" - there is no place for his ilk in the 21st Century. Meyers believes that Blacks who attend elite colleges agree with him, that racism is not endemic in America. However, one of those Black Ivy leaguers is determined to set Meyers straight: "What Reverend Wright said about America isn't divisive or fiery or anti-white but merely factual truth."

Obama, Wright, and How the Post-Civil Rights Generation Will Rise to Power

by Nikki Ayanna Stewart

When the Black Freedom Movement withered away from
disuse and neglect, it left a generation of enthusiastic young activists-to-be
with unprecedented "access" to white dominated institutions, but no movement
with which to affiliate. What's a determined mover-and-shaker to do? Get a job,
that's what. While the author's friends settled in as corporate lawyers,
management consultants and other odd jobs, she was fortunate enough to become -
for a time - a "professional feminist" working for "reformist" non-profits. But financial pressures pushed her towards
academia, and the realization that "I and others in my group" are
"repositories for the Civil Rights generation's left-over hopes and dreams."
Barack Obama, she now understands, has been the "symbolic beneficiary
and repository" of those dreams - which is not the same thing.

Extreme Prosecution: In Search of Black Enemies

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordExtremeLibertyCity7MugShots

The United States has always shaped its criminal
justice practices to suit and satisfy the imperative to smash African American
resistance. When no organized resistance can be found, the system invents it.
The Bush administration has outdone the post-Civil War Black Codes, which
treated all gatherings of three or more African Americans as potential
"conspiracies."  To justify police state
structures erected in the wake of 9/11, the feds entrapped and twice
unsuccessfully prosecuted seven impoverished Miami Blacks on charges of
plotting to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower - and are now preparing for a third
trial. In San Francisco, local and federal authorities press forward with
murder charges against eight former Black Panthers, 37 years after the shooting
death of a policeman. The dragnet for Black villains never ends.

To listen to this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below


Obama's Money Cartel: How Barack Obama Fronted for the Most Vicious Predators on Wall Street

by Pam

The candidate that claims to be the only presidential
contender who doesn't take money from lobbyists is in fact the biggest
recipient of lobby-related contributions. Barack Obama rakes in millions from
law firms serving the interests of Wall Street, including the financial institutions
that gave us the subprime lending crisis. Lawyers that work for firms that earn
hundreds of millions of dollars for lobbying may technically not be lobbyists,
but they share in their colleagues' earnings as influencers of Congress - a
legal loophole that allows Obama to claim his hands are clean of lobby loot. "The top contributors to the Obama campaign are the very
Wall Street firms whose shady mortgage lenders buried the elderly and the poor
and minority under predatory loans."

The Campaign, part 3 of 4: Open Letter to White America


by Kemet Mawakana (aka “The Seven-Foot Poet”)

So goooood.  The presidential campaign of Barack Obama makes Black folk (and many whites) feeeel so gooood.  Admit it.  Wouldn't a Black president make you feeel gooood?  Can't we all just get along?  Can't they let us just feeeel gooood?   

A Hungry Mob is an Angry Mob

john_maxwell03by John Maxwell

While much of the developing world, and even
consumers in the rich nations, fear growing food shortages and price hikes,
Jamaicans seem "remarkably serene about the rapidly approaching food crisis."
Forms of food rationing have already gone into effect at some U.S. chains,
while in Lima, Peru, "relief food supplies are delivered to householders by
night in order to avoid the threat of hungry mobs capturing the scarce
supplies." Food speculators reap huge profits from manipulating the market, yet
governments do "little to control or banish this parasitical and antisocial practice."

Cynthia McKinney: Bell Verdict Shows Dred Scott Reality

The Sean Bell verdict
reminds former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney of the 1857 Dred Scott
Decision, which declared that Blacks have no rights that a white man is bound
to respect. In this case, three New York City cops failed to respect Bell's
right to life; he died in a fusillade of 50 shots that also wounded two of his
friends. All were unarmed. "The prospects are that black and brown men and
women will continue to be murdered by police officers who, fundamentally, seem
scared of black people." McKinney fought for legislation that would "deny
federal funds and the use of federal equipment to any law enforcement unit
found to have violated the civil rights of the people."

How Criminal Injustice System Impacts Blacks

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordIowaBarsHands

The state with the harshest record for putting African
Americans behind bars has become the first to pass a law that would assess the
impact of new criminal justice legislation on minorities. Iowa imprisons Blacks
at 13 times the rate of whites - more than twice the national average of racial
disparity in incarceration. Prison activists have long called for impact
statements at every stage of the criminal justice system, so that gross racial
biases could be systematically eliminated. If there is to be a national
dialogue on race, it should begin with the Black American Gulag, which
comprises nearly half of what is by far the world's largest prison system.

Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary. 


Freedom Rider: Sean Bell and Wesley Snipes

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret KimberleyBellJusticeSign

The ghastly record of police acquittals in the
death of unarmed Blacks continues to unfold. In a verdict that "surprised" even
the governor, a New York judge found three cops innocent of all charges in the
50-shot volley that killed Sean Bell on the morning of his wedding, wounding
two of his companions. "The police have
no expectation of punishment, even when they kill without cause." It made
little difference that two of the policemen were also of African descent. But
race seems to factor heavily in some celebrity cases. Just ask actor Wesley
Snipes, who was sentenced to three years on an income tax charge.

Obama’s ‘Race Neutral’ Strategy Unravels of its Own Contradictions

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The world views of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Sen. Barack Obama were incompatible from the start, just as the mythical American Manifest Destiny world view is directly at odds with the facts as perceived by Blacks in the United States. Wright finally forced Obama to choose sides in the conflict ofRevWrightObamaWOrried racial/historical visions, and in doing so, performed a service on behalf of clarity. Obama lashed out in a startlingly personal manner, calling Wright a "caricature" of himself and linking the minister to forces that give "comfort to those who prey on hate." Rev. Wright exposed the flimsy tissues of so-called "race neutrality" in a nation founded on racial oppression.


Cynthia McKinney: U.S. Exports Election Theft Tricks to Mexico

The same Georgia-based corporation that helped fix the Florida presidential electionsCynthiaPixCynthia in 2000, played a role in the election of a rightwing president in Mexico, in 2006. Thus, says 2008 presidential candidate McKinney, the U.S. is now a major exporter of theft masquerading as democracy. McKinney gave an Earth Day report on her recent visit south of the border, where she offered support to Mexicans fighting to keep their oil and other natural resources out of foreign control. American notions of Manifest Destiny go a long way back. "You could say that the modern version of that is NAFTA."

Obama Snubs Black Media

by Betty PleasantBlackPressDallasUSE

The Black press is just as enthusiastic as African
Americans in general at the prospect of a Black man becoming the next occupant
of the White House. But Black newspaper owners also expected that they would be
beneficiaries of what is already the most lavish campaign advertising budget in
history: Barack Obama's bulging war chest. Instead, Black publishers say they
have been locked out of Obama's advertising game plan - and even shunned in
their attempts to cover the Obama operation. The Illinois Senator's handlers -
and maybe the man himself - "think that we as black
people are so anxious to get a black president that we'll support him no matter
what," said one editor. "So why waste money on us?"

Alicia Keys Hits a Not So Strange Note

by Mel ReevesKeysMagCover

Add to the general controversy over who is to
blame for so-called Gangsta Rap, the question of who is qualified to speak
authoritatively on the subject. Songstress Alicia Keys was widely pressured to
shut up when she shared her thoughts on the origins of the genre. Initially,
Keys seemed to be unmistakably saying that Gangsta Rap was a U.S. Government
creation, to "convince black people to kill each other." Her later attempts at
clarification only made things murkier. At any rate, government certainly has
been complicit in shaping the realities that gave rise to Gangsta Rap, from
Constitutionally sanctioned slavery to the present day. So, the sister couldn't be far from right.

BET’s Offensive Content: Raunchier by the Minute

How have I offended
thee? Let me count the ways. In the case of Black Entertainment Television,
offensive remarks and images are delivered with a frequency of sometimes once
every half minute or so, according to a study commissioned by the organization
Enough is Enough. BET is accused of programming adult content when children are
a large part of the audience. The two most offensive categories of BET
programming involve "sexually charged images" and "explicit language," with
violence and drug-related images running third and fourth. The most common
expletive noted was the N-word.

Freedom Rider: Tough Questions for Clinton and Obama

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret KimberleyFRTortureCartoonBushSam

Columnist Kimberley
correctly sees the candidates and the so-called debate moderators as co-enablers of
lawlessness in the Bush administration. Not only did Stephanopoulos and Gibson fail to ask about George
Bush's admission that he "approved" of torture-planning discussions in the
White House, but Obama and Clinton got away with not having to explain why the
latest torture revelations do not rise to the level of criminal activity
deserving of serious action. So appalling has been the conduct of the corporate
media to date in the face of Bush crimes, "it is a bit late in the day" to take
effective corrective action. Both the candidates and the so-called journalists
covering the campaign seem determined to cover up, rather than expose, the Bush
outlaw legacy.


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