The Shibboleth of "Black Buying Power”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Dr. Jared Ball
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We've been hearing the same song for decades: “Black people's buying power is [x] billions of dollars. When will we harness our buying power?” But it's all a crock.  Nobody has ever shopped their way to freedom.  In a global economy where much of what we buy is manufactured or grown on the other side of the world, shopping does not build wealth in our communities.  What shopping builds is debt, and black people already carry twice the rate of credit card debt of whites.

On Black Streets and Public Housing, Bill of Rights is Dead Letter

stop and searchA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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“Stop-and-frisk is the race-based law of the land, the American police state in its most elemental, predatory form.” In cities across the nation, police stops of Blacks and Latinos have doubled, tripled and, in New York City, sextupled since 2002. In public housing, police stops are three times more frequent than in surrounding neighborhoods with the same rates of crime.

Tea Partyers Are White Nationalists, Pure and Simple

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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The Tea Party crowd is as old as notions of American Manifest Destiny. They are White Nationalists, who yearn for “a time when the United States was a self-proclaimed White Man's Country.” Tea Partiers are most threatening to the cohesion and identity of the Republican Party. But they appear to have panicked some Blacks and progressives, who want “circle the wagons around the Obama administration” in the face of racist attacks.

Amend the Constitution – and Whatever Else It Takes to Break Corporate Power

corporate personsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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Legislation to begin the process of amending the U.S. Constitution, introduced by Black Congresspersons John Conyers and Donna Edwards, “deserves broad support.” There is no greater enemy of mankind than the global corporation, which has now been empowered by the U.S. Supreme Court to further monopolize the American political conversation.

U.S. Coming Apart at the Seams

Cynthia McKinney
by Cynthia McKinney
The former Georgia Congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate was last weekend awarded the Munich American Peace Committee Peace Prize. “Those of us who have stepped outside of the ‘acceptable’ political paradigm,” she said, “must be willing to break bread with one another and find common ground on which we can operate.”

Will Supreme Court Ruling Help Mumia Abu-Jamal's Case?

Mumia abu Jamalby Linn Washington Jr.
Despite the High Court's recent decision, options remain for the defense of the former Black Panther Party member. A lower court must now “reexamine the issue of whether the judge at Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial provided faulty jury instructions regarding death penalty deliberation procedures.”

How Corporate Dollars Dominate the Black and Latino Conversation on Network Neutrality

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The utter dependence of our “civil rights” organizations like the NAACP and LULAC upon corporate donations from Big Cable and the telecom industry has caused them to weigh into FCC rulemaking processes against network neutrality and for the continued digital redlining of black and brown communities. They are joined by a substantial cohort of black and Latino elected officials on the federal and other levels. What does this mean for minority communities, whose economic development depends on the availability of cheap, accessible broadband and a relatively free and open internet?

Freedom Rider: Show Trial

fearby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
In order that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed be denied even the formalities of American justice as we once knew it, the system itself must be eviscerated. “Phony concerns about security costs and whipped up fears of impending terror attacks are used to subvert the legal system that was once held up as a model for the rest of the world to follow.”

Haitians in the Bahamas Harrassed, Hunted and Scapegoated

If you cannot see the video above, click here.
Two centuries after the world's most successful slave rebellion Haitians are still being punished, both in their own country and in the nations to which they emigrate.  In the Bahamas, Professor alex Morely explains, Haitians are an underclass, over-policed, over-exploited, underpaid and under surveillance.  The Bahamian ruling elite have learned to blame Haitians like Lou Dobbs blames Mexicans.

Omali Yeshitela at Black Is Back: Creating A Broad Social Movement Based in Our Black Communties

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Omali Yeshitela of the Uhuru Movement, convenors of the January 2010 Black Is Back conference in St. Petersburg explains that the 21st century successor to the Freedom Movement must be a broad social movement firmly rooted, among other places, in black America, and describes a little of what that looks like.

Eshu’s blues: An Open Letter to President Obama on Haiti

by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
Even when claiming to speak to the nation and world about Haiti, Barack Obama winds up talking about America – and himself. The author writes, “Mr. President…“I am always astounded to see just what a shallow and pretentious presence your elevation to the national scene has become, even at this moment of colossal tragedy.”

Obama Sec'y of Education Says Katrina "the Best Thing to Happen" to Education in New Orleans

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

If obscene utterances were a crime, education secretary Arne Duncan would be jailed for life. Like all disaster capitalists, he views poor people's catastrophes as his own golden opportunities. In Haiti and New Orleans, Black lives were a small price for (someone else) to pay for the chance to create a new order “more advantageous to the rich.”

Ruling Provides New Hope for Felon Voting Rights

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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In what is being hailed as a landmark ruling, a federal court found that the criminal justice system is “infected” with racial discrimination. As a result, said the judges, disenfranchisement of felons is a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

War Looms in Nigeria's Oil Fields

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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A headless Nigerian state braces for renewed civil war in the Niger River Delta, where guerillas threaten “all-out” assaults on oil facilities. Attacks on vessels off the Nigerian coast are already comparable to Somalia.

Protecting Haiti's Interest

by John Maxwell
The “Big Three” tormenters of Haiti – the U.S., France and Canada – now posing as the quake-struck nation's benefactors, ponder how to rebuild Haiti without Haitian input or permission. “France, the United States and Canada owe the Haitians billions in damages. It is not for them to tell the Haitians what to spend it on.”

What Next for Haiti as “Recovery” Replaces Relief?

wrecked shantytownby Danny Schechter
The U.S. corporate media, the Empire’s mouthpieces, blame the powerless people and feeble institutions of Haiti for their plight. “Few reviewed the history of Washington’s occupations and support for dictators as a reason for why the country was kept so poor and unable to run a relief effort when they needed to.”

Obama State of the Union: Guns For the Pentagon, Butter For Wall Street, A Spending Freeze For You

state of the unionBack during the Vietnam war, Democratic presidents Kennedy and Johnson promised we could have guns and butter too. They lied. The cost of the Vietnam war and the world's biggest military machine quickly gutted the War on Poverty. At least our First Black President isn't telling us that old, old lie. Not all the time anyway. At his first State of the Union tonight, President Obama is expected to declare an across the board freeze on federal spending. But not on military spending, or on the Federal Reserve pipeline to Wall Street.  Hail to the chief.


Larry Hamm, Organizing Black Communities in the Age of Obama

by Larry Hamm
With chapters from Camden NJ in the south to Plainfield and Newark NJ in the north and New York City too, the Peoples Organization For Progress has established a solid tradition of educating and organizing African American communities against war, empire, privatization, and corporate power. At the 2010 Black Is Back national conference Larry Hamm explains what working for peace and justice in the age of Obama looks like.


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