Ghettonation: A Journey Into the Land of Bling and the Home of the Shameless

by Leah SamuelGhettoBookCover

Journalist Leah Samuel's review of Cora
Daniels's above-named book reveals a kind of vacillating confusion on the part
of the book's author that is particular to the Black professional classes in their
critique of the lower economic spectrum. Daniels' Ghettonation, in which
"she admits to identifying with and embracing Bill Cosby's well-publicized rant
about the black poor," exhibits an ambivalence about certain aspects of Black
life and culture that is almost painful to witness. Reviewer Samuels can't be
sure whether Daniels is laughing at Cosby, who has "lost his mind," or with
him. Class dogs the Black elite, who are both repelled and drawn by the
prospect of keeping their own people's company.

The Struggle to Free the Jena Six

JenaNooseby Jordan

Barack Obama claims African Americans have come "90
percent of the way" in the struggle for justice. Tell that to six Black high
school students from Jena, Louisiana, facing life in prison for a schoolyard
fight with white kids who admitted hanging three nooses from a campus tree. The
first Black youth, whose white public defender called no witnesses and put up
virtually no defense, has already been convicted by an all-white jury.
Louisiana's effort to carry out a legal mass lynching demonstrates that the
white students brandishing nooses have a better understanding of the real state
of American justice than Barack Obama.

Katrina, War, Impeachment and the Black Gulag

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

It is way past time that long-held assumptions of how African Americans will forge a path to social justice and political self-determination be re-examined. Two-plus generations of reflexive fealty to the Democratic Party has resulted in Democrats behaving more like Republicans. Uncritical applause for Black faces in high places has brought us betrayal on an unprecedented scale. At this juncture in history, African Americans face the political crises of Katrina, escalating imperial war as national policy, failure to impeach flagrant criminals in public office, and the ongoing horror of mass Black incarceration. Past "allies" and current misleaders must be discarded, and a new movement, begun.

Staying Alive for the New Struggle

StruggleBlackPowerby BAR
contributing editor Rudolph Lewis

There is a general feeling among whites, says the
author, that they have won the racial battle and can now "do and say almost
anything they please." No more need to pay careful attention to Black
complaints and arguments. African Americans were lulled into the belief that
the Civil RightsStruggleClarenceThomas Movement had changed everything, when in fact, power
relationships have remained largely the same. Republicans and Democrats join
hands in preserving a status quo that preserves white supremacy. Nevertheless,
Blacks today have advantages that DuBois and King could not have dreamed of,
and must use them to produce fundamental change.

Media Consolidation and the Black Grass Roots: Why the Search for Radio Airtime is Full of Static


by Eric Easter

Media consolidation has moved so quickly to
place Black radio in the hands of news-hating corporations and faraway
headquarters management, politicians can no longer communicate directly with
the African American public. In the space of just a few decades, a vibrant
interchange between Black audiences and those that seek to speak to and for
them, has been extinguished. Jesse Jackson's triumphal Democratic primary march
through the South, in 1988, would be impossible, today, because of the
extinction of local news and responsive managements in Black formatted radio.

Fighting Transit Racism: Building the Environmental Movement on the Buses of L.A.

by Eric MannBusUnionRallyGOOD

Since the early days of environmentalism, Blacks have
correctly viewed the movement as a "rich white folks" affair that did not
address urban and poor rural environments. What's a "tree-hugger" going to do
for me? In recent years, however, there has sprung up a movement against
environmental racism that places the life-space of Blacks and browns on the
same footing as the Grand Canyon. One epicenter of the new movement is Los
Angeles, an environmental nightmare for people who need mass transit, but are
constantly assaulted by the rich and their public servants. If you want change,
get on the bus, and join the movement.

Staying Alive for the New Struggle

by BAR
contributing editor Rudolph Lewis

There is a general feeling among whites, says the
author, that they have won the racial battle and can now "do and say almost
anything they please." No more need to pay careful attention to Black
complaints and arguments. African Americans were lulled into the belief that
the Civil Rights Movement had changed everything, when in fact, power
relationships have remained largely the same. Republicans and Democrats join
hands in preserving a status quo that preserves white supremacy. Nevertheless,
Blacks today have advantages that DuBois and King could not have dreamed of,
and must use them to produce fundamental change.

Karl Rove: Off to Another Criminal Mission

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR executive editor Glen FordRoveStylizedArrogant

U.S. corporate media cannot accurately cover the
crimes of Karl Rove, nor his exit from the White House, because Rove's career
is a pure extension of the most ancient machinations of white supremacists. The
Republican Party, heirs to the Dixiecrat legacy, needs Karl Rove to
continue his work in the vineyards of racist political manipulation,
suppression of non-white voters, and the production of lies by the ton. The man
is as skilled as Al Pacino's Lucifer in the movie, "The Devil's Disciple" - and
the Devil never retires. Rove will be putting his powers at the service of
Republicans everywhere in 2008. They cannot win except by theft, trickery and
the mangling of truth - Rove's special talents.

On White Pride and Other Delusions: Reflections on the Rage of the Uninformed

DelusionProAndAntiAffirmby Tim Wise

Anti-racist activist Tim Wise wages a lonely
battle against the delusions of Euro-Americans, many of whom believe they are
the victims of "reverse racism" and some of whom advocate the formation of
white student unions, white history courses and clubs, and other such nonsense.
Facts of history and present realities of power do not enter into the logic of
these sons and daughters of white privilege in America, who believe they are,
somehow, oppressed. In reality, the very concept of "whiteness" is a monument
to past and ongoing racial crimes, and the urge to further promote the
distinction is rooted in a desire to maintain unearned privilege.

Remembering Cuba’s Sacrifice for African Liberation

by Piero GleijesesCubaSoldiersGood

The American misinformation system blots out history in an instant. Nelson Mandela is now recognized as a world statesman, with barely an acknowledgement that only 20 years ago, the U.S. was in league with the white South African regime that held Mandela in perpetual imprisonment, kept neighboring Namibia in chains, and invaded Angola to halt the process of African liberation. The heroes of the hour were the Cuban military, which crossed the Atlantic to halt the South African advance, drove the racists out of Angola, and set the stage for South Africa's exit from Namibia. The battle of Cuito Cuanavale was a turning point. Remember it.

Rev. Lennox Yearwood and the Hip Hop Caucus to John Conyers: "It's Time To Impeach"

 by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon
Polling data show that the majority of Americans favor the initiation of impeachment proceedings against George Bush, Dick Cheney, and other high administration officials, and no segment of the nation is more lopsidedly pro-impeachment than black America.  But the only man who can pull the trigger and initiate impeachment proceedings is Detroit's 40 year congressman and dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, John Conyers.  But so far, he won't.  Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., president of the Hip Hop Caucus, a former Conyers protege, wants the Congressman to rejoin his constituents on the vital issue of impeachment before another Katrina happens, or before the Bush administration launches another illegal war. 

"Terror War" Terrorizes Spineless Democrats

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

When Democrats compete to adopt the phony "global war on terror" as their own, and promise they can do it "better" or "smarter" than Republicans, they erase what little difference remains between the parties.  "Terror Democrats" have abandoned the politics of hope for the politics of fear, and turn the political process into one that threatens to elect the candidates who frighten us the most. 

The Black Sites: A Rare Look Inside the CIA's Secret Interrogation Program

by Jane MayerBlackSitesBlindfolded

The CIA went into an intensive learning curve when
9/11 hit. They had to learn how to torture, to extract information for the
politicians who needed to explain and finance their existence. Psychiatrists
were employed, to break the will of fragile human beings in secret CIA hideouts
and in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President Bush and the crazed Vice President
Cheney are hooked on torture. They are convinced that the U.S. cannot exist
unless it tortures prisoners, getting them to admit to anything the tormentors
demand. It does not matter if what they admit is not true, because the
corporate media will believe the tortured lie is the truth, and broadcast it as
such. The "Black Sites" are the places where tortured lies begin - and they are
all classified.

America’s Shame: 2 years after Hurricane Katrina

ShameNOLASignKidby the Sacramento Area Black Caucus

Two years have gone by, and Black America has failed
to respond in any coherent fashion to the catastrophe that we call Katrina: the
death of a Black city. It was in that place that the United States proved, once
and for all time, that Black life had no value, and that the loss of Black life
was considered an improvement of the social condition. We are now effectively
exiled, scattered around the nation, without the center that was our beloved
city.  Whites of all classes see our
exodus as an opportunity to reinvent history, without us in it. The Black
misleaderhsip class has failed us miserably, having no idea how to mount a
defense for the hundreds of thousands swept away by deliberate government
policy. These traitors must be ejected from our ranks.

Forming a Human Levee for Human Rights in New Orleans

LeveeSurvivorsby BAR
contributing editor Jeffrey Buchanan

There is no more graphic
place to understand institutional racism than New Orleans. On one side of the Monticello Canal, which separates Black and white
communities, there is a levee. On the Black side, there is no levee at all. It
is only a matter of time before the Black people of the Carrollton-Hollygrove
neighborhood are washed out. They have been inundated by rain many times, while
their white neighbors are kept dry, thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The conservation of white life, and the deliberate sacrifice of Black life, is
a fact of life. The U.S. government builds zones of protection for whites, but
leaves African Americans at the mercy of the mighty river.

Racism Alive and Thriving in America, Zogby Poll Shows

RacismClassicLynchPhotoA Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

White people, in the majority, don't think they
are racist - but they are. Zogby's poll could not avoid the conclusion: white
folks think they are superior, the definition of racism.  They are convinced that race relations have
been getting better over the last ten years, and will improve further in the
next decade. Of course, white people will not have to give up any power to
achieve this goal; it is a gift. The delusions of white America are amazing,
and shape a world view that threatens human existence. White academics
constantly explore the psyche of Black people, but never their own - the people
in power. The Zogby poll shows that whites harbor deep problems, that can kill
us all, if they are not cured.

Barack Obama the War Monger

by BAR executive editor Glen FordObama_Sam_333px

The Senator from Illinois masquerades as a "peace candidate" - and then proposes the Americans invade Pakistan, the only Muslim nation that has The Bomb. After the U.S. has propped up the military regime for generations, and stunted democracy in a country of 165 million, Obama now thinks he can just walk into western Pakistan - Waziristan - to find and kill Osama bin Ladin. In the process, he would unite all of the Right and the Left opposition to the government in Islamabad, and give the generals no choice but to brandish The Bomb. Obama wants to add 100,000 new troops to the U.S. military. Now we know where they will be going: Waziristan, a place from Hell.

Fighting for the Right to Learn: The Public Education Experiment in New Orleans

NOLASchoolsKidsby Bill Quigley

Corporate America saw opportunity in the death of 1,000 or more people in New Orleans, and the exile of hundreds of thousands. Entrenched in the Bush administration was a private school lobby that was itching to find an urban environment to try out their experiment. It was New Orleans, cleansed of its Black majority by the storm. State and federal authorities are determined to prove that charter schools are a better idea than public schools, because they can keep out the "bad" students who don't need educating. The city will be rebuilt with a trash bin of schools to contain the unwanted students who don't fit into the new design. Charter schools are private schools with public financing. That will be the face of the "new city."

Welcome to Richistan, USA

RichistanMansionby Paul Harris

U.S. presidents are fond of beginning their speechesRichistanPovertyEnflagged
with the phrase, "My fellow Americans." However, in recent decades, and
especially since George W. Bush seized the White House, the super-rich have
created a "parallel world" almost totally divorced from their fellow citizens.
U.S.-based millionaires - Who can say where they really live? - account for $30
trillion in assets, almost three times the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.
The number of U.S. billionaires has grown from 13 in 1985 to over 1,000, today.
Meanwhile, the number of people living at half the poverty level is at a
32-year high. There is "Richistan," and then there's the rest of us "fellow


Subscribe to Black Agenda Report  RSS