Kagan and Obama: Two “Race-Neutral” Peas in a Pod


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama is showing his own core conservative politics with his choice of Elena Kagan for the U.S. Supreme Court. A New York Times investigation shows “Kagan as a devotee of so-called 'race-neutral' social policies that avoid solutions that directly target racial disparities.” This is not an example of Obama “reaching out” to the Right, but of promoting a lawyer whose views “appear to be identical” to his own. His choice ensures many decades of bad news for Black people.


America Can't Solve Crises Because It's a Company-Owned Town















by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Great Gusher in the Gulf is a political, not simply an economic and environmental, crisis. “No amount of public disgust at BP has moved Obama to behave as if he is beholden to the majority that elected him – for the simple reason that he is not.”


Freedom Rider: The Death of Black Politics


by BAR editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

New York Rep. Charles Rangel is among the many Black elected officials that make periodic figurative and actual pilgrimages to Israel, swearing undying loyalty. In a shamelessly groveling performance last week, Rangel took part in a Times Square press conference where he “claimed a bizarre connection between the freedom flotilla and the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.”


Black Congress, Critical of Obama, to Convene in D.C. to Set Black Agenda



The Black political party that confronted then-candidate Barack Obama on the campaign trail in August, 2008 with the simple question, “What about the Black community, Mr. Obama?” holds its annual Congress in Washington, next month. African People’s Socialist Party chairman Omali Yeshitela says there is an historic opportunity “for black people everywhere to take back the power to control our own destiny as a people.”


D-Town: African American Farmers, Food Security and Detroit

The Black metropolis of Detroit is, in many respects, a “food desert” where “both economic and physical barriers stand between people and their access to healthy and affordable foods.” But D-Town activists believe the people can grow and organize themselves out of the desert, through urban agriculture. “In the process of controlling the food supply, the farmers see themselves as developing self-reliance.”


Foreclosure Storm: Minorities Swept Up in Greater Numbers


by Doug Miller

The data are finally starting to come in, and the numbers are horrifying. The Great Recession inflicted wounds on Black America that will cripple communities for years to come. Depreciation of foreclosure-devastated neighborhoods will cause between $193 billion and $180 billion in wealth to be “drained from black and Latino communities.”




by David Swanson

The national grassroots organization ACORN, assassinated by corporate media and the Right last year with the help of many Democrats, is mourned by its former communications director. ACORN leaves a void that must be refilled. “Here was a community organization bringing together the poor with the middle class and members of all races around issues of economics and political power.”


Can We “Fix” the Oil and Financial Crisis Before It's Too Late?


by Danny Schechter, author of Plunder: The Crime of Our Time

Corporate media pretend the U.S. economy is healing nicely and that Wall Street has learned how to run a more responsible casino. However, sober economists predict “another wave of foreclosures and future bank losses of more than $2.5 trillion vs. the government’s $599 billion estimate.” The “man-made assault” is certain to recur “unless we change the rules.”


Eshu’s blues: Launching a Teacher’s Fightback Newsletter in Seattle

by michael hureaux perez

If there is one organized force with the potential to resist Barack Obama’s corporate offensive, it is the teachers unions. Yet the multi-million-member American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association seem not to understand that they have been targeted for destruction by the man they fought so hard to elect. It’s up to rank and file teachers like Seattle’s Social Equality Educators to sound the alarm, before it’s too late.


Trial Delayed in New Fake Terror Case























by Carl Strock

The Obama administration manufacturers phony terror plots with just as much enthusiasm as its Republican predecessor. Prosecutors in the Newburgh, New York case of four Black Muslim men charged with planning mayhem have been ordered to turn over more evidence to the defense. The case for entrapment could not be clearer, so why not drop the charges? “Yes, it's grounds for acquittal -- except in cases of alleged Muslim terrorism, and then all rules are suspended.”


Dr. Peniel Joseph: Peoples Historian or Establishment Courtier? Part One of Two

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Helping us explain the lineup of the social forces that impact our individual and collective lives is the job of people's intellectuals. Selling us clever marketing constructs is the job of intellectuals in the service of empire. But what would a loyal and disciplined servant of the establishment look like, if his aim was to pretend to be a people's intellectual?

Good Riddance Artur Davis, Rahm Emmanuel's U.S. House Negro

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

"No one deserved rejection by Black voters more than Artur Davis," the caricature of a right-wing Black congressman who lost his bid for governor by a landslide. Davis "decided he could win tons of white votes in Alabama by blatantly giving Blacks the finger." But then he extended a digit to Obama, master of a game Davis was ill-equipped to play.

Chicago Teachers Wise Up to Obama School Privatizations

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Reformists won control of the teachers union in the town where Barack Obama became a fan of corporate schooling: Chicago. The new union leadership seems prepared to confront privatization and high stakes testing head on. The tests measure the accumulated results of deprivation, not academics, said Karen Lewis: "Class sizes rose, schools were closed. Then standardized tests...measured that slow death by starvation."

Bend It Like Imperialism! The World Cup 1, African Liberation Nil

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.
So many Black American entertainers and luminaries flocked to the World Cup opening ceremonies in South Africa, one veteran activist was prompted to remark that "these folks are crossing the picket line." It is a line that separates South Africa's poor Black majority from the real beneficiaries of the "gold" -  "the soccer elites of FIFA, the elites of domestic and international corporate capital and the political elites who are making billions and who will be benefiting at the expense of the poor."

No Facts, No Peace in Rwanda, No More Free Elections in California, No Blacks on Juries in the South, & Prison Gerrymandering -- Listen to BA Radio on the Progressive Radio Network

Ralph Nader, Jacqueline Jones-Peace, Christan Davenport and Daniel Ho on BA at PRN

Nader: Proposition 14 Has Killed "Free Elections" in California

The passage of Prop 14 in California last week, Ralph Nader explains to BAR, locks down the electoral process for everyone but celebrities and the wealthiest business-backed candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties. It's the end of free elections in California.

Rwanda Regime is “Dictatorship, a Totalitarian State,” Says Colleague of Jailed American Lawyer

With Rwanda now a close ally of the US in East Africa, raising fact and evidence-based questions on the Rwandan genocide story can earn you prison or worse in that unhappy land, says Christian Davenport, a young black professor of Peace Studies at Notre Dame who has conducted research in Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, Northern Ireland, Turkey and beyond. The “Hotel Rwanda” story doesn't begin to tell the whole tale of what went on in Rwanda in those days, Davenport tells BAR.

Black Exclusion From Juries is Endemic in the U.S.

Atty Jacqueline Jones-Peace outlines how the how Blacks are rejected from juries for reasons ranging from appearing “arrogant,” to having a goatee. Atty. One prosecutor rejected a Black juror because he “shucked and jived when he walked,” according to a study of eight southern states done by the Equal Justice Initiative,

NAACP Legal Defense Fund: Prison-Based Gerrymandering Resembles “3/5s Man” Rule

LDF attorney Dale Ho told BAR “the parallels between prison-based gerrymandering and the three-fifths compromise are strong and eerie.” The practice counts prison inmates as “residents” of the jurisdiction in which they are incarcerated, rather than their home cities.

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey.  Click the player below to listen.  About 50 minutes.

Freedom Rider: Killing Children

a child's funeral

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Western corporate media’s antennae are super-sensitive to atrocities committed against children – except when their own countries are the perpetrators. The deaths of tens of thousands – even millions – of children by bombings and blockades and other mega-aggressions are treated as non-events, while the alleged beheading of one seven-year-old by the Taliban makes international headlines. A genuine concern for the world’s children requires that “we must first acknowledge our own nation‘s history of violence.”


Not Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Black Atheists, Urban America

by Sikivu Hutchinson

Enormous pressures push African Americans to embrace a Black “hyper-religiosity” – or, at least, to profess to it – despite the fact that “the proliferation of storefront churches in urban black communities is a symptom of economic underdevelopment.” However, “a growing segment” maintains that “morality is defined by just deeds, fairness, equality and respect for difference; not by how blusteringly one claims to adhere to ‘Godly’ principles.”


Cultural Extinction: Louisiana’s Coastal Communities Fear They May Never Recover

by Jordan Flaherty

Even before the latest catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, Big Energy had laid waste to Black and Native American communities along the coast. At least five all-Black towns were wiped from the face of the earth by corporate pollution, and the last redoubt of the Pointe-au-Chien tribe is under petrochemical assault. “It doesn’t matter how much money they give you, if we don’t have our shrimp, fish, crabs and oysters,” said one bayou native.


African American Mississippi Man Starts Record Sixth Murder Trial

new trial

by Bill Quigley, Audrey Stewart and Davida Finger

White prosecutors in a rural Mississippi county won’t rest until they send Curtis Flowers to prison for life. Flowers faces his sixth trail for the same murder – unprecedented in the history of the United States – after five previous trials ended in hung juries or overturned convictions. The Mississippi Supreme described one of the trials as the worst case of racial discrimination it had ever seen.


Music Education in Detroit's Public Schools: The Struggle to Survive

by George Shirley

Please, don’t stop the music. That’s the theme sounded by a host of Detroit citizens, as budget cutters move to shut down most of the Motor City’s public school music program. Under the new regime, only students with high test scores would be eligible to take part in music programs. “A musical education is not meant to be elitist,” says Dr. George Shirley. “This is the message we must pound incessantly into the awareness of bottom-liners tasked with reducing education to a robotic exercise devoid of creativity and imagination.”



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