Dangerous Right-Wing “Victimhood”

by Robert Parry

Reactionaries and fascists everywhere claim to be under attack, to justify their assaults against the real outsiders of society. In the United States, the pattern is an old one. “Whenever truly discriminated-against groups, such as blacks and women, have demanded their rights, the Right has cast the reforms as attacks on American traditions.”

America: Violent to the Bone

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

When the rulers of the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world” warn folks to tone down the rhetoric, it’s both a joke and a threat. For surely the hyper-violent powers-that-be will find ways to turn their warnings into real harm. “The militaristic and imperial American state fosters a mass culture of violence that saturates the society at large.”

Hip-Hop v. The U.S.? Brand Wars!

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

Hip-hop flourishes overseas while becoming grotesque and underdeveloped at home. In foreign lands, hip-hop is seen as part of the American brand, along with Barack Obama. But domestically, as the product of a “subnation” within the U.S., real hip hop is suppressed, just as are the political institutions of its creators. Black America must develop and reclaim its own brands on the cultural and political levels.

What Would MLK DO, in 2011?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

If ever there were a Black leader whose political motivations and inclinations could be predicted, it was MLK, one of the most documented leaders in American history. His steadfast, coherent, courageous positions on issues of peace and social justice remained consistent even as they evolved. If he were alive, Dr. King “would not be erecting a protective barrier around Barack Obama, the First Black President of the United States, but would instead confront him.”

One Year After Quake: Million Plus Remain Homeless and Displaced in Haiti

by Bill Quigley and Jeena Shah

Statistical tricks are being used to minimize Haiti’s gargantuan homeless crisis. An outfit called the International Organization for Migration is claiming false “progress” in resettling earthquake victims based on the fact that thousands have left displacement camps. However, that’s an illusion, since “of an estimated 1,268 displacement camps, at least 29% have been forcibly closed – meaning tens of thousands of people have been evicted.” And “people moving from displacement camps in the city to living in a tent in the countryside have not really moved out of homelessness, they have just moved.”

OAS Backs Illegitimate Election in Haiti in Which Three-Quarters of Haitians Didn't Vote

by Mark Weisbrot

Proposals by the Organization of American States to rearrange the runoff in Haiti’s foreign-imposed presidential elections cannot clean up the stench. “The OAS is proposing a runoff between presidential candidates who received about 6 and 4 percent, respectively, of the electorate's votes in the first round.” The low turnout amounts to popular rejection of any contest that does not include Fanmi Lavalas, the country’s most popular political party.

Malcolm X, Black Liberation and Pan-Africanism, Part II

by J L Samboma

This essay is “a principled response” to a book on Malcolm X by the Socialist Workers Party’s Jack Barnes, a work the author considers a “counter-revolutionary attack on black self-organization and self-activity, for which his polemic against Black Nationalism…is but a Trojan horse.”

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey

Carol Moseley-Braun Last Major Black Candidate Standing in Chicago

The former U.S. Senator finally emerged as the Black “consensus” candidate in the city’s mayoral race. But labor activist James Thindwa says Moseley-Braun brings lots of baggage, having “managed to alienate major Democratic progressive constituencies" during her 1993-99 term. “Some energy is firming up around her now,” says Thindwa, “but that’s because there is no alternative.”

Retaliation Against Inmates in Georgia Prisons

Attacks against inmates by prison guards “were carried out in retaliation for the statewide prison work stoppage, and were not isolated,” said Georgia State NAACP President Edward O. Dubose, speaking for the Concerned Coalition to Respect Prisoners Rights. Some assaults on inmates occurred after visits to prison facilities by the Coalition delegations.

200th Anniversary of Largest U.S. Slave Rebellion

The 1811 slave revolt near New Orleans was the biggest and most organized slave uprising in U.S. history, but “because of the power of slaveowners in Louisiana, information about the rebellion was largely suppressed,” said community historian Malcolm Suber. Over 100 slaves were killed in battle and more than 60 others were executed, their heads “placed on pikes that lined River Road between St. John’s Parish and New Orleans.”

Cuba has been biggest medical helper to Haiti both before and after last January’s massive earthquake, says journalist and community activist Ray LeForest.

The Tea Party is about “putting white people first,” says BAR senior columnist Margaret Kimberley. “The whole notion of a post-racial United States is a farcical one.”

The “For the People” Summit in Washington, January 20-22, will confront the idea that “corporations are, somehow, persons with certain inalienable rights,” says Backbone Campaign leader Bill Moyer.

The Wikileaks controversy is an excuse for governments and corporations to perfect their own cyber weapons, says Prof. Christopher Simpson, of American University, in Washington.

The Whitening of Chocolate City

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Before the next U.S. Census, several great American cities will lose their Black majorities, an historical development welcomed by some as encouraging racial integration. The author believes otherwise: that Black urban dislocation has created a false impression of fading residential segregation in America, but is “actually a snapshot of a phenomenon in transition towards the unknown.” There is nothing progressive about gentrification, which devalues and expels Black population concentrations as unfit for the “new” city. The great shame of it all is, “Black urban mis-leadership has for decades been attempting to dis-empower their own constituents.”

Freedom Rider: White Supremacy in 2011

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The entire notion of the U.S. as a post-racial society is nonsensical, as even the most cursory review of the past year attests. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, sometimes mentioned as presidential caliber, “recently made headlines when he fondly reminisced about the old days of segregation” when “things weren’t that bad.” A well paid pundit says Michael Vick should be executed, and Black farmers can’t find justice above or below the ground.

Ishmael Reed, Amiri Baraka and the Black Radical Dilemma

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

The Obama Phenomenon creates strange effects. Among the most peculiar involve Blacks who have long been identified as “radical,” yet are staunch supporters of the center-right First Black President. Such left luminaries now “think that radical positions are the problem.” Yet, without radical solutions and radical leadership, where do we come up with “our plan to get out of this damn mess?!”

Obama Uses Bully Pulpit Against Own Constituents

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Wall Street is “feverishly preparing to destroy the financial integrity of local and state governments, much as speculative capital has ravaged member states of the European Union.” Rather than resist this grand assault, President Obama and other top Democrats pave the way for it with their attacks on unions and the public sector.

Somali Regime Hires Mercenary Outfit Rooted in Apartheid

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Even the puppet parliament of the rump Somali state rebelled against association with mercenaries of the infamous Saracen International corporation, whose leadership cut their teeth in apartheid South Africa death squads. The parliament demanded severance of the contract with the soldiers of fortune. The U.S.-backed Somali mini-state is dependent on Ugandan troops for survival. “The Americans and their puppets have been militarily defeated by some of the most poverty-stricken guerillas on the planet.

Somalia: Obama's Unholy Alliance With Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni

by Black Star News editorial desk

The Obama administration’s ongoing alliance with Ugandan leader and war criminal Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni has allowed the dictator “to suppress domestic dissent and to commit wars of aggression against Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now the Central African Republic.” Museveni’s service to U.S. policy in Somalia, where thousands of Ugandan troops prop up a “fictional” government, prevents the Somalis from forming a legitimate regime.

Africom Unmasked, Unwanted and Vulnerable

by Mark P. Fancher

All African nations except Liberia have so far refused U.S. requests to establish a U.S. Africa Command headquarters on African soil. But “AFRICOM is likely to continue nibbling away at Africa’s resistance through projects like the National Guard partnership program” with African militaries. “Mass resistance must take place in the U.S. as well,” if Africa is to be spared further U.S. penetration and militarization.

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey

Author Discusses His New Book: The Black History of the White House

Protection of the institution of slavery was the price the South demanded for joining the United States in the revolt against Britain, and the North was also “absolutely invested in the slave system,” says Dr. Clarence Lusane. Dr. Lusane’s new book, from City Lights Publishers, details George Washington’s desperate efforts to gain the return of his prized personal slaves who successfully fled the presidential residence in Philadelphia.

During the Civil War, for the first time, Frederick Douglass and others negotiated with an American president on the political status and fate of Blacks. Yet, four decades later, Booker T. Washington’s sit-down dinner with President Teddy Roosevelt resulted in such an explosion of racist anger, the next day Roosevelt formally named the presidential mansion the “White House” in order to mollify white opinion.

During FDR’s term, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt largely eliminated segregation at the White House by firing all of the white household staff and keeping the Blacks. In the early Sixties, the political tradition of regularly hosting delegations of Blacks at the White House was established. With President Obama’s family ensconced in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the Black image has been enhanced. However, “in many ways there has been less of an ability to address issues of race” under Obama, “as Black working and poor people are erased out of public policy discussion,” says Dr. Lusane.

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