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Obama wars

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    Iraq, Libya, Syria: Three reasons African Americans should oppose U.S. intervention in Africa

    by BAR editor and columnist Ajamu Baraka

    As the U.S. tightens its military grip on Africa, “it is absolutely imperative that we embark on a massive educational campaign with our folks that will expose the real intentions of the U.S. on the continent and worldwide.” There is nothing “humanitarian” about U.S. intentions. “The plan for Africa is being written in the blood of the people in Iraq, Syria and Libya.”

    Freedom Rider: America’s War Crime in Iraq

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    For the people of the Middle East, the American war never ended; it continued under the brutal, U.S.-backed jihadists who ravaged Syria, and have struck at Iraq with a vengeance. In the United States, George Bush gets the blame for the Iraq War while the First Black President reignites the region with his proxy wars and apocalyptic threats. “Imperialism is still on the move and now has a more shrewd personification in the person of Barack Obama.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/9/14

    Black America and the Empire in Crisis

    Black Agenda Report at Left Forum

    President Obama “sounds more and more like Bush, who left office so unpopular that Republican marketing is still damaged by it,” said editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley at BAR’s Left Forum panel, “Black America and the Empire in Crisis.” In his West Point speech, Obama “told the world there will be no freedom, no democracy, no self-determination,” said Kimberley. “Any nation, any state, any people who try to make their own decisions is in danger of being crushed by the United States.”

    Internet’s Days are Numbered

    FCC proposals to allow “market” pricing for the Internet would smother Left political discourse. “The fast-lane, slow-lane thing will result in the total privatization of the Internet, restricting our ability to communicate with each other, forever,” said BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon. “If you think our conversation [on the Left] has no power, why are they going to all this trouble to shut it down?”

    Obama’s Most Effective Evil

    In one key arena, Barack Obama “has done more damage than any white president could possibly inflict,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford. “He has caused Black people to behave like white people – or even worse than white people – on issues of war and peace.” Polls showed Blacks were more supportive than whites of Obama’s threats to bomb Syria, in 2013. When Obama is gone, “we will have to rebuild the Black consensus for peace all over again,” said Ford.

    A “Secure Drop” for Whistleblowers

    There’s a new and safer way to alert the public to government crimes, said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, renowned whistleblower and BAR editor and columnist. “People are afraid to step forward, for fear of getting the Chelsea Manning life imprisonment response from the government,” she said. ExposeFacts.org has unveiled a “drop-box” system that is encrypted and anonymous. “We’re looking forward to people taking advantage of this opportunity to get the information out without having to put their neck on the guillotine,” said Coleman-Adebayo, who serves on the new organization’s advisory board.

    A Salute to General Baker

    General Gordon Baker Jr., the legendary co-founder of League of Revolutionary Black Workers, died in Detroit at the age 72. Black Agenda Radio co-host Nellie Bailey spoke with Cleo Silvers, an organizer under General Baker for most of the Seventies. “He taught us the importance of understanding the need for unity between all the sectors of the working class,” said Silvers. Racism was rampant in organized labor. “U.A.W. meant ‘You Ain’t White,’” Silvers remembered. “The U.A.W. didn’t take on the issues that were specifically related to the needs of the Black workers who were in those plants, who were becoming a majority in Detroit.”

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    ​​Respectability Politics And The Left Flank of US imperialism

    by Danny Haiphong

    In an age of savage austerity, the question is not, What will the Right do next? – but rather, How much more abuse will Black and working people tolerate? Much of what passes for a Left in the U.S. wants nothing more than acceptance by the rulers. “Solid, organized criticism and political work has been avoided for an opportunity to remain ‘respectable’ to a President and political party on a full frontal assault on oppressed people.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/14/14

    Haitians Need National Sovereignty Most of All

    Framing Haiti as a charity case is insulting and wrong, said Pierre Labossiere, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee. “The kind of support we need is to denounce the repression that has been imposed on the people of Haiti” since the U.S.-backed coup of 2004. Haiti doesn’t need handouts, said Labossiere; it needs solidarity in the struggle to resist the foreign “conspiracy to rob the country of its resources.”

    Black Folk in Dark Times

    Black academics and activists gathered at Vanderbilt University, in Nashville, for a “Workshop on Sovereignty, Citizenship and Freedom.” Organized by Dr. Jemima Pierre, an anthropologist, and historian Dr. Peter Hudson, the event was titled “Black Folk in Dark Times.” Author and community organizer Kevin Alexander Gray, from Columbia, South Carolina, looks forward to Barack Obama’s exit from the White House, in two years. Under the First Black President, “we bought into this idea of endless war, and we bought into the idea of star chambers where people are denied due process,” said Gray, author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics.

    Dr. Christina Sharpe, a professor of English at Tufts University, spoke of “ways of seeing and imagining responses to terror in the varied and various ways that our Black lives are lived under occupation.” She is author of Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects.

    Dr. Maboula Soumahoro, an English professor born in France to Ivory Coast parents, told the gathering that “Afropea, Black Europe, is in the making.” “In my view,” she said, “Arabs and Muslims, sub-Saharan Africans, Afro-descended people born in France, people from the Caribbean…Asians of all kinds, Roma communities and all people of color are all Black” in France. Soumahoro is editor of the acclaimed essay collection, Constructing Black France: A Transatlantic Dialogue.

    Mumia: A Half-Century of Civil Wrongs

    “For the Black bourgeoisie,” the 50 years since passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act “has been a rush of opportunity and entre into doors once closed to them,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, in a report for Prison Radio. However, “for the Black poor and working class,” mass incarceration has made “civil rights as ancient and distant as Reconstruction.”

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    Freedom Rider: America vs. the World

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    President Obama has placed whole nations on his Kill List. Syria and Venezuela are to join Libya and Iraq as states that have been made to fail, while Ukraine is snatched into the NATO-EU orbit. “The neo-conservative project for a new American century has reached full fruition under a Democratic president, who now has many notches on his gun.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 2/5/14

     

    Resist Obama and His Black Corporate Brethren

    President Obama’s “most unmemorable” State of the Union address shows “he represents corporate America and empire,” said Kevin Alexander Gray, the Columbia, South Carolina Black activist and author of Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics. “We’ve got to challenge those folks who are operating for the interests of the corporations and not in the interests of the people, folks like [New Jersey Senator] Cory Booker, like [Atlanta Mayor] Kasim Reed – and like Barack Obama.”

    President Stuck in Neoliberal Paradigm

    “If you look at Obama’s speech, he is still stuck in a neoliberal economic paradigm that has been quite destructive for ordinary Americans,” said Lynn Parramore, a senior editor at Alternet and author of the article, “State of the Union: Obama’s Underwhelming Plan to Tackle Inequality.” Denizens of Wall Street are treated as “too big to jail,” said Parramore. “Seeing bankers walk off Scot-free when they’ve done things a thousand times worse than what most people sitting in America’s prisons have done, is damaging to the spirit of the country.”

    Democratic Brand Sloganizing

    “Democrats only take up the cause of the minimum wage when Republicans are in office, to reinforce their fake ‘brand’ as champions of the oppressed,” said Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon. “When Democratic are in power, their attention drifts elsewhere,” said Dixon, noting that Obama did next to nothing to boost the minimum wage or pass union-favored “card check” legislation when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, during his first two years in office.

    Mumia Astonished at Global Wealth Disparities

    The nation’s best-known political prisoner seemed aghast at news that 85 people possess wealth equal to the assets of 3.5 billion people – half the world’s population. “Rome, infamous for its rich and corrupt senate, never saw such inequality as this,” said Mumia Abu Jamal, in a recent Prison Radio commentary. “Marx, for all of his acumen, never saw that coming.”

    Only the Poor Drink the Water

    West Virginia officials claim it’s now safe for the Charleston area’s 300,000 people to drink the local water, following a huge chemical spill early last month. But Russell Mokhiber, editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter, said only folks with no other options are drinking the water. “The people in the know, the legislators, the lawyers, the doctors in Charleston, when you press them: Are you drinking the water, are you letting your family drink the water? – they say no.”

    Diversity Doesn’t Come Naturally in U.S.

    Robert Greenfield IV, a Black Student Union leader at the University of Michigan, said the administration is deliberately marginalizing students of color. Diversity is “something that doesn’t naturally occur in the United States,” said Greenfield. “Unfortunately, you do have to have an artificial hand to make sure that people from the marginalized societies have an equal opportunity with their white counterparts.”

    Giving Clarence Thomas a Pass

    Students of history should check out the new documentary Anita, the story of Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas at the 1991 Senate hearings on his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, said Dr. Donald Smith, professor emeritus of education at New York City’s Baruch College. “Unfortunately, many people did not support Anita Hill,” said Dr. Smith. “It’s still difficult to understand, to this day, why Clarence Thomas would have been supported by so many Black people, including Maya Angelou. A lot of Black people gave him a pass.”

    27 Years in Prison Based on “Vision in a Dream” and Lost Evidence

    Simple justice demands that Clarence Moses El, who has spent the last 27 years in a Colorado prison on a rape and assault conviction, deserves a new trial, said Larry Hale, of the People’s Power Assemblies. Denver police “lost” DNA evidence that might have acquitted Moses El, but a U.S. Supreme Court precedent holds that “destruction of evidence, in and of itself, does not constitute bad faith” on the part of law enforcement, said Hale. The only witness against Moses El, the victim, said she identified him after a vision in a dream, and another inmate has confessed to the crime. The People’s Power Assemblies are circulating a petition on Moses El’s behalf.

    Black Bodies Keep Surfacing in Lake Michigan

    “In the last four years we’ve had four Black bodies come floating up in Lake Michigan, and every time it ends up with” officials finding no evidence of “foul play,” said community activist Rev. Edward Pinkney, of mostly Black Benton Harbor, Michigan. Rev. Pinkney strongly suspects police involvement in the killings, and has called for mass demonstrations on March 1.

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    On the Night Negroz lost their minds…

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Since that November

    Night in ’08, Negroz

    Ain’t been straight…

    The Tragicomedy of Black Politics in the Age of Obama

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    You know Black folks are in trouble when a Saturday Night Live skit provides more insight into African American politics than all the Black so-called political “analysts” at MSNBC. “Most African Americans are wholly unconcerned about Obama’s actual legislative and executive agenda.” The people are left defenseless, for the sake of an icon in the White House.

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    Common again…

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Making perpetual war,

    Disposable killing machines

    From Daley Plaza to Syria: Obama’s Forgotten, Fading Imperial Promise

    by Paul Street

    Purported progressives who claim to be shocked and appalled at President Obama’s warmongering have been willfully ignorant for a very long time. “Its’ a shame folks in leading ‘progressive’ circles didn’t look more seriously into the militantly imperial content of Obama’s speeches and publications during and before his initial presidential campaign.”

    The World Needs Peace – But Not a Pax Americana

    by Cynthia McKinney

    “The war machine of the United States, Israel, and NATO will continue to roll until we stop it.  The Bolivarian Alliance countries of Latin America are showing us the way – that we can achieve democracy and self-determination and liberation with ballots instead of bullets.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/18/13

    Obama Still Looking for War Excuse

    The Obama administration is “thrashing everywhere to find a new excuse to rev up another war threat,” said Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. The president’s current willingness to negotiate with the Russians over Syria “is a tactical retreat that gives the anti-war movement more time to organize.”

    American Exceptionalism=White Supremacy

    The American “exceptionalism” that President Obama cited in his Syria speech “is rooted in a notion of unacknowledged white supremacy,” said Ajamu Baraka, associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. For 500 years, European colonists have claimed the privilege “to determine who has the right to sovereignty, who has the right to rule, who should have the authority in certain countries,” said Baraka. “It’s nothing more than the dressed up re-articulation of the White Man’s Burden.”

    Nuclear-Chemical Israel

    Syria admitted possession of chemical weapons at least a year ago, according to Sam Husseini, of the Institute for Public Accuracy, citing a 2012 article from American Interest magazine. “Everything that I’ve been able to find indicates that Israel continues to build up its chemical weapons capacity,” said Husseini. “What is ironic,” however, “is that it is Israel that does not acknowledge its possession of nuclear weapons.”

    When U.S. Presidents Want War, They Get War

    “I can’t think of a time when a president said, ‘I want to begin bombing another country,’ and has not gotten to do it,” said Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.Org. “By hook or crook, it gets done.” However, this time around, “the militaristic center could not hold,” forcing President Obama into negotiations with the Russians. Actually, the Russians and Syrians did Obama a favor. “He needed a climb-down, somehow,” said Solomon.

    Beware Obama’s Bay of Pigs Moment

    “One of the frightening aspects” of the crisis over Syria, said historian and activist Paul Street, “is that Obama has taken such a black eye, here, he’s been so humiliated, that it has upped the ante of his need to escalate.” Street warns that this could be Obama’s “Bay of Pigs moment,” as when President John Kennedy pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 after the humiliating defeat of a CIA invasion of Cuba, the year before. “All of humanity hopes this guy can be restrained,” said Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power.

    Affirmative Action Again Before High Court

    On October 15, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Michigan’s defense of Proposition 2, which bans affirmative action. “If we lose this case,” said Shanta Driver, the lead attorney for BAMN, By Any Means Necessary, “a white majority will have been able to end affirmative action programs in our state, permanently. That means the beginning of an era of the new Jim Crow.”

    Predatory Banks Prey on Public Sector

    Activists will gather in Detroit, October 5 and 6, for an International People’s Assembly Against Banks and Against Austerity. “We’re asking for a complete cancellation of the debt to the banks, which is strangling the schools, the cities and the states,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, media outreach coordinator for the conference and editor of the Pan-African News Wire. “Detroit was locked into predatory lending at the municipal financing level,” he said. “That’s why they’re claiming that Detroit owes $22 billion to these financial institutions.”

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    Crack Cocaine Flick

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Drone Man’s

    Set to do drive-bys,

    With the world divided

    Between “NO” and “HELL NO!”

    You’ve got a friend…

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Drone Man “tagged” you in a note

    He wants you to get out the vote

    Like tubes down a “detainee” throat

    The Best Americans: Black Americans

    by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

    MLK wouldn’t be smiling at him

    He’d be crying

    Present-day marches

    In DC he would not attend

    If he had to share a dais with Obama

    He would defy the views of Obama

    He’d pray for him

    Call him a stone-cold killer

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 9/04/13

    UNAC: Stop Obama’s Syria War

    “There’s no basis for it, whatsoever: it’s against international law, it’s against UN conventions, it’s illegal, immoral and has to be stopped,” said Marilyn Levin, of the United National Anti-War Coalition, which has organized demonstrations against President Obama’s planned attack on Syria. “What they’re trying to do is regime change, to get a government that is compliant with the United States.”

    POP Rallies Against “Re-Run” of Iraq Attack

    The People’s Organization for Progress rallied against Obama’s war plans, in Newark, New Jersey. “Our opposition is in line with the Black community, which I am certain would oppose another war,” said POP chairman Larry Hamm. “But, it’s also important to note that a majority of the people in the country oppose it. This whole situation seems to be a re-run of the prelude to the war in Iraq.”

    March on Washington Commemoration an “Obscenity”

    The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington “was a government-corporate affair, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola and everybody that could give Al Sharpton and the people that were organizing that march a check,” said veteran South Carolina activist and writer Kevin Alexander Gray. “It was a farce, it was an obscenity. The people were props. There was no demand on the administration,” said Gray. “Sharpton is the administration’s yard dog.”

    Denied Mic, Dream Defender Says Youth are “Ready” to Challenge System

    Philip Agnew, a leader of the Dream Defenders occupying Florida’s State Capital, circulated the speech he would have given to the March on Washington crowd if he and other young people had not been cut from the speakers list: “I’d tell you that millions of young people and queer people and poor people and people of color are asking, What do we do with all this anger, this fear, this disappointment? For 50 years we’ve wandered and wondered: Where are the youth? … Peace over profit, revolution over revenue, and all peace and power to the people! Just watch – we’re ready.”

    Fast Food Workers Press for Living Wage

    Fast food workers held job actions at 1,000 locations in 60 cities last week, demanding a $15 an hour living wage and union representation. “We think that the real people mooching off the system are the corporations,” said Kyle Kordsmeier, an organizer with the Interfaith Workers Network, in Memphis. “If we paid people a living wage, it would save us healthcare costs, welfare, food stamps. Ultimately, what we’re fight for is for them to pick up that tab. They’re the ones who are stealing our money.”

    White Power, Black Pain in New Orleans

    According to a report by Loyola University law professor Bill Quigley on the state of New Orleans, the city “is whiter than it was when Katrina hit, there’s more renters; there are jobs, but they’ve moved out to the suburbs,” and Teach for America instructors “have taken the jobs of primarily African American teachers whose union was broken and replaced by charter schools.” New Orleans’ city hall, city council and school board are all controlled by whites, although Blacks comprise a “technical” majority of the population, said Quigley, whose report is titled “Katrina Pain Index: New Orleans Eight Years Later.”

    Will Banks be Bailed-Out, or Depositors Bailed-in?

    British and American banking officials are drawing up plans to treat large depositors in U.S. banks as “investors” whose funds might be seized – “bailed-in” – in a financial crisis. Dodd-Frank legislation prohibits bailouts of banks with taxpayer money. However, Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood says: “It stretches credulity to think that this government would ever let big investors, big depositors, big bondholders take major hits in a banking crisis. I am utterly convinced they would find some way around this law and save the skins of the well-heeled.”

    Tiny Eritrea Maintains Self-Reliance

    Zimbabwe and Eritrea, a small country of 6 million people on the Red Sea, are the only nations in Africa that have avoided entanglement with the U.S. Africa Military Command, AFRICOM. Eritrea also refuses so-called foreign “aid” in favor of national self-reliance. “It was critical to build a self-reliant state” after 30 years of war for independence, said Simon Tesfamariam, an Eritrean-American activist and writer, speaking on Your World News. “If you look within your own resources, you’ll find a way to make it. But, all this is impossible without the unity of the Eritrean people.”

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    The Dreamer With a Kill List

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The most powerful – and violent – man in the world was made the star of the commemoration of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King. “The grave-markers of the martyrs of the Black Freedom Movement – in their thousands – have been reduced to cobblestones on the road to the Obama presidency.”

    The Black Mis-Leaders' Love-Fest with Power on the Mall

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    The commemoration of the March on Washington has been ruined. President Obama, the global assassin, protector of Wall Street, and reigning Great Mass Incarcerator, will star in the production on the National Mall. “Dr. Martin Luther King serves as a mere prop in the ceremony.” In their embrace of Power, the organizers have desecrated the Black American legacy of struggle.

    Race, Politics, and Late Obamanism

    by Paul Street

    We can’t wait to wave the tail end of Obama goodbye – a president who “has said and done less about racial inequality than any American chief executive in recent memory.” Obama has proved one thing beyond question: “If we’re going to get a radical politics, including a radical black politics, back in this country, we have to drop out of major party electoral-ism and bourgeois identity politics once and for all.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/27/13

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 5/27/13

     

    U.S. Prison Torture Protests

    With California prison protests set to renew in July, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network will mark three Days of Solidarity with the 80,000 inmates in solitary confinement, nationwide, June 21 - 23. Solitary confinement, as practiced in the United States, “fits the international definition of torture,” said network spokesman Carl Dix. “In fact, they are held consciously in conditions that are driving them insane.” The network also plans a “Hoodie Day” for June 10, the start of George Zimmerman’s trial in the death of Trayvon Martin.

    Obama’s Empty Rhetoric on Global War

    President Obama’s speech on the future of U.S. targeted assassinations around the world contained “nothing concrete, anywhere,” said anti-war activist David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.org. “By the president’s own concession, what he’s been doing for years is an unacceptable outrage,” said Swanson. “The president claims that he will respect the sovereignty of other nations, but there is no evidence that this is the case, and there is no mechanism for any of these criteria to be enforced by anyone other than himself.”

    U.S. Would Make Syria a Wasteland, Like Libya

    Washington and its allies and proxies are engaged “in an all-out effort at regime change in Syria,” much like the 2011 NATO war against Libya, said Sara Flounders, of UNAC, the United National Anti-War Coalition. “Libya today has no functioning government, which is really fine for the major oil corporations,” said Flounders. “They don’t have to worry about paying anybody anything, and the oil continues to pump.” Ultimately, what U.S. corporations want “is what they have in Bangladesh – a race to the bottom.”

    End UN Occupation of Haiti

    Delegates from across the western hemisphere will gather in Port-au-Prince, May 31 and June 1, for a Continental Conference against the 9-year United Nations occupation of Haiti. UN troops “are there to impose repression on a people that have refused to accept the violation of their sovereignty and their right to determine their own destiny,” said Alan Benjamin, a conference organizer and executive committee member of the San Francisco Bay Area Labor Council.

    Attempted Land Grab in Cameroon

    International protest appears to have halted a 73,000 hectare palm oil and lumber venture by the multinational Herakles Farms corporation in Cameroon. The deal had awarded Herakles a 99-year lease at only $1 per hectare a year. Studies confirm the company’s “intention to make huge profits in transfers and assets on the cheap,” said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute. Such transactions “should serve as a reminder that the land rush that has brought investors into the African nations is not driven by philanthropy, despite claims to the contrary.” Brendan Schwartz, of Greenpeace International, said the scheme “is not a development project,” but would, in fact, create “unemployment and underdevelopment.”

    Black Power vs. Capitalism

    Majority Black jurisdictions across the nation have seen their local school and governing bodies “set aside, so that the governor can appoint stooges to impose massively unpopular programs of austerity; wage, pension, benefits and service cuts; and privatization,” said Black Agenda Report managing editor Bruce Dixon, in a commentary on Black Agenda Television. “Quite simply, what austerity regimes do is turn local government from an entity that collects local taxes and fees, in order to pay its employees living wages and provide needed services, into a machine which collects local taxes and user fees from the poor and sends them straight to Wall Street as interest payments on an eternal, unpayable debt.”

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    Can Black Politics Be Revived?

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Obama’s presidency has been disastrous for African Americans, who have been economically crushed and disconnected from their historical roots in social struggle. Political fantasists now urge us to put our faith in demographics, claiming that change will inevitably flow from the darkening of America’s population. But, that’s a trap which leads to a descent into South Africa-like conditions.

    Why Obama Will Walk Away Unscathed by the Current Political Scandals

    by Pascal Robert

    Don’t worry about Barack Obama. He’s far too useful to the rulers of America to be derailed by scandal, or even a combination of scandals. “Obama’s neoliberal government giveaways to private corporations and mercenary foreign policy already make him too valuable to the guardians of American empire to have his presidency threatened.”

    Cornel West: Obama “Is a War Criminal”

    by Jacob Chamberlain

    I would rather have a white president fundamentally dedicated to eradicating poverty and enhancing the plight of working people than a black president tied to Wall Street and drones," activist-academic Dr. Cornel West told British journalists. Barack Obama, like his predecessor, should be tried for war crimes.

    A Plague of Desolationists on the “Left”

    by Randy Shields

    “Desolationists believe that America’s non-stop bombing of other nations is either no issue at all or not nearly as important as being pro-choice or supporting gun control or marriage equality.” They are worse than useless. Plus, “with blacks standing down indefinitely, the working class doesn’t have the rage to stop Obama from taking the first swings of the wrecking ball to Social Security.”

    Throwing BRICS at the U.S. Empire

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    History has placed the BRICS nations on the path of confrontation with a superpower in decline. Washington is prepared to strangle the world into submission, or drown it in chaos. “Objectively, the United States has positioned itself as the great and implacable impediment to global development.”

    Freedom Rider: What Ails the GOP

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    The Republicans have stripped down their constituency to only “the worst of the worst” Americans: “white supremacists, misogynists and other dead enders.” Obama’s Democrats have absorbed the rest of the GOP, to become the New Republican Party of austerity and war.

    The White House Un-Reality Show

     

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Despite the fact that “it was Barack Obama who began the current austerity offensive in the weeks before delivering his first inaugural address,” the president was allowed to pose as a champion of the social safety net. Having redefined war, he once again claims to be a peacemaker. By cheering the inaugural speech, progressives are only encouraging Obama’s gaming and mendacity.”

    The Descent: From Dr. King to Barack Obama

     

    by Ajamu Baraka

    Two Nobel prizes, two different eras, awarded to Black men of near-polar opposite politics. The clash between the historically progressive African American worldview and allegiance to the corporate militarist in the White House puts great strains on the Black polity. “As African Americans, we are experiencing our most profound existential crisis since our collective experience of being enslaved.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of January 21, 2013

     

    Black and Brown Schools Already Over-Policed

    When we look at whose schools are policed and which students have to go through metal detectors, get pad-downs, get drug-searched on a routine basis, it’s our students of color and our communities of color across this country,” said Matthew Cregor, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The Newtown, Connecticut, massacre has led to renewed calls for an increased police presence in schools. However, what inner city students need are more social workers, psychologists and counselors, and teaching resources, said Cregor.

    Savage School Inequalities Intensify

    Our schools are more segregated and less equal than they were in 1968, when Dr. King was taken from us,” said Jonathan Kozol, the educator, activist and author. “This kind of inequality is a theological abomination, a crime against the least of us,” said Kozol, author of the 1991 classic Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. He was interviewed on public radio’s Smiley & West show.

    Obama “Co-Conspirator” in Austerity Schemes

    Austerity is, essentially, shifting of the burden of the economic depression from those who created it onto the working class and the poor,” said activist Eric Draitser, who has been organizing anti-austerity forums. “This is a concerted attack by financiers and the ruling class against the legacy of the New Deal.” President Obama is “a co-conspirator and collaborator with these austerity schemes.” Draitser is publisher of the web site StopImperialism.com.

    MLK vs. Obama

    Barack Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have nothing in common, politically, according to Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. “The only connection they would have in the real world be that Dr. King would be leading the demonstrations against the Obama regime, if he were alive,” said Yeshitela. Obama has “extended the war machine beyond anything in recent memory.”

    Lynn Stewart’s Cancer Spreads

    Human rights lawyer Lynn Stewart, serving ten years in a Fort Worth, Texas, prison for her zealous defense of an accused terrorist client, has suffered a relapse of cancer. “It has spread to her other lung and to parts of her back,” said Stewart’s husband, Ralph Poynter, speaking on the radio program Taking Aim. Prison regulations prevent Stewart from obtaining the care she needs. “We feel that it is a death sentence,” said Poynter.

    Happy Birthday to Ramsey Clark and Dr. King, from Mumia

    If MLK were alive, he would be 84 years old, a year younger than former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, whose birthday was recently celebrated at New York City’s historic Riverside Church, along with the 20th anniversary of the International Action Center. Dr. King “would be with the people, with the IAC, with Ramsey Clark, at Riverside,” said political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal in a message recorded for the event.

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