Freedom Rider: ‘Gangster Government’

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

FRgangstersDemoGonzalez
So bent on destroying the Constitution are the
Bush men, they tried to force a gravely ill member of their own gang to sign
documents to continue illegal spying on Americans. Hospitalized former attorney
general John Ashcroft discovered what Mafiosi have long known: gangsters will
sacrifice their own "Made Men" to get what they want. The capo in charge
of squeezing a signature out of a near-comatose Ashcroft was Alberto Gonzalez -
who later proved he could match any Old School gangster in failing to recall
events in testimony before congressional committees. Impeachment, YES! -
RICO-style, with indictments all around.

How America’s Immigrants Became White

ImmigrantsItalianStreetSceneby Seth Sandronsky

The United States has historically been, in the actual words of the original quotation, a "melting pot for all the races of Europe...."  In reality, the evolving process was aimed at transforming immigrants from various European nationalities into generic "whites" - and to keep the "unmelted" races in their place. A new book by scholar David R. Roediger explores how the American marketplace became "cutthroat" and rigidly racialized, and how "the idea of whiteness developed in the context of white supremacy for the newly arrived and their children."

Black Labor Tackles The Big Mission: ‘Dismantle the Corporate Agenda’

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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

African American unionists gather in Chicago later this month to devise strategies to halt the corporate juggernaut that is wiping out decent-paying Black jobs and dragooning the entire planet into a Race to the Bottom. The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists' annual convention confronts a dismal landscape left by six years of relentless social destruction wreaked by the Bush regime and the corporations it serves. As the most stalwart and militant elements of labor, Black men and women are most prepared to fight this twilight battle against the super-aggressive rich. For African Americans, it's always been that way.

Four US Reps for Cheney Impeachment

by Matthew CardinaleCheneyDeathStare

Three congresspersons, two of them Black, have joined Democratic
presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich in calling for impeachment of Vice
President Dick Cheney. However, massive deference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's
insistence that impeachment is "off theCheneyKucinich table" has divided and diminished what
once appeared to be a growing movement to bring charges against either or both
the top Criminals-in-Chief: Cheney and George Bush. On this issue, many
formerly vocal Members have gone "missing in action."

The Democrats’ Misleading Iraq Funding Provisions: They're Not Really Benchmarks

IraqGIatOilby David Swanson

Democratic congressional leadership has effectively taken ownership of the Iraq war, waging politically theatrical battles over phony "benchmarks" that the Bush administration doesn't actually oppose. In reality, Democratic "benchmarks" for Iraqi government behavior require the handover of the country's oil resources to mainly U.S. corporations; a demand that Iraqis spend their own money to rebuild infrastructure systematically destroyed by the Americans, who also looted billions in oil revenues; and reform of "de-Baathification" laws that were instituted by - the Americans!

Zimbabwe: Once Again, No Easy Victories

MugabeWithSoldierby Joseph Jordan, PhD

The author, who as a youth was among the millions of
African Americans that hailed revolutionary leader Robert Mugabe as a hero,
says Blacks are now required "to speak out directly
against the violations of human rights that have marked the rule of President
Robert Mugabe over the past few years." 
The covenant made by African Americans more than a generation ago was
with the people of Zimbabwe. Silence in the face of "clear and
unequivocal" evidence of Mugabe's abuses of power would violate that covenant.
The "the rights of Zimbabwe's people" are paramount.

‘The Ballot or the Bullet’

by Malcolm XMalcolmThinkingGOOD

May 19, 1925 - February 21, 1965

Malcolm's "The Bullet or the Ballot" speech, delivered during the interval between his separation from the Nation of Islam and his pilgrimage to Mecca, in April, 1964, lays out the new direction he envisioned for the Black Freedom Movement. It was also prescient, forecasting the explosive growth of Black Nationalism and militancy, and the Democratic Party's decline once the Dixiecrats switched allegiances to the Republicans. "When you see the amount of power that would be lost by the Democratic Party if it were to lose the Dixiecrat wing...you can see where it's against the interests of the Democrats to give voting rights to Negroes in states where the Democrats have been in complete power and authority ever since the Civil War."

Freedom Rider: Should We Want a Black President?

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret KimberleyPrezBlackUncSamFRONT

Is Barack Obama more worthy of Black "loyalty than any other Democrat?" The answer is no - Black America should not "purchase a lemon" just because the "seller looks like us." Obama has mastered the fine arts of bullshitology, while avoiding issues of core concern to African Americans in order to make white people feel comfortable. Although no worse than Hillary Clinton, Obama is no better either, on war, health care, the economy, mass incarceration or affirmative action. Why should Black America vote for a man who proclaims "there is no Black America?"

No Black Plan for the Cities, Despite the Lessons of Katrina

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by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Katrina catastrophe indisputably revealed the
corporate plan for America's cities. No sooner had the waters receded than
corporate planners devised elaborate schemes for a "new" New Orleans - a
"better" city in which Blacks would never again be allowed to become
majorities. African American "leadership" should have understood that, with
Katrina, corporate America had shown its hand: dramatic reduction of Black
populations is at the core of the corporate urban "renaissance" model.
Nevertheless, African Americans have failed to tackle the job of comprehensive
urban planning that serves existing populations, and conserves Black
political power for the future.

Climate Change Means Death for Millions

TutuSeriousThoughtby Desmond Tutu

South African former Anglican Archbishop Tutu
wonders how "cushioned and cosseted" residents of the rich countries would
regard the prospect of global climatic change "if they depended on the cycle of
mother nature to feed their families. How much greater would their concerns be
if they lived in slums and townships, in mud houses, or shelters made of
plastic bags?" he asks. Climatic events threaten to "undo the developmental
gains put in place over decades" in poor countries, especially in Africa.

Corporate Greed and Private Prisons

by Charlene MuhammadPrisonHandsThruBars

The Prison Industrial Complex is rapidly
becoming a private enterprise gulag, "a modern-day slave system" in which the
bulk of toilers are Black. Huge corporations fatten their bottom lines by
paying prison inmates "less than you would in third world countries." Some of
these same companies refuse to hire ex-inmates to do the same jobs on the
outside. Immense profits from cheap prison labor fuel policies for
ever-escalating mass incarceration, while creating a disincentive for genuine
training, education, rehabilitation and early release.

A New Book on Clarence ‘The Lawn Jockey’ Thomas

ClarenceEMERGEby George E. Curry

The
man who depicted Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a lawn jockey on the
cover of Emerge magazine, back in 1993, presents a positive review of a
new book on "the supreme prick from Pinpoint, Georgia." The book, Supreme
Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas
, points out that the High
Court's most right-wing member constantly whines about being "victimized" -
mainly by other Blacks - all the while denouncing African Americans for
wallowing in "victimhood." Thomas has amply earned the status of Most Despised
Black Man in Black America.

‘He’s a Mouse’: Russell Simmons Speaks Some Truth on Obama

SimmonsSimmonsRed

by
Paul Street

For what it's worth, Russell Simmons doesn't think
much of Barack Obama. The hip hop businessman prefers former Senator John
Edwards, who "has said more things about the conditions we need to think
about."  Hordes ofSimmonsObamaSideSpeak Simmons' fellow
multi-millionaires have flocked to the Obama camp, where big donors account for
more than two-thirds of the campaign treasury. Obama, who claims Blacks have
already progressed "90 percent of the way" to racial equality, is a "Black"
candidate only in cosmetic terms.

Freedom Rider: Reagan Wins in 2008

FRReaganCrazyHandsby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The ten-man GOP
presidential candidates debate was yetFRall GOPcandidates another opportunity for Republicans to "openly indulge in their love of racism, violence and
control" - and for corporate media to demonstrate their eager complicity as
hate-mongers. The suited mob demonized Muslims, threatened Iran with
annihilation, and advanced the notion that "pregnant women have no rights that
a white male office seeker need respect." Ronald Reagan's malevolent ghost
still haunts the land.

Andrew Young Loves War Criminals and Money

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford



We're sorry, but the audio for this commentary is no longer available.

The shameless Andrew Young is flacking for arch-war criminal Paul Wolfowitz, an architect of the Iraq war and now beleaguered president of the World Bank. In Young's Washington Post op-ed article in defense of Wolfowitz, the former aide to Martin Luther King, mayor, congressman, and UN ambassador also heaps praise on former Reagan Secretary of State George Schultz, the architect of the illegal war on Nicaragua. The real connection: Andy Young is a full-time whore for the multinational corporations that would rule the world, if Schultz and Wolfowitz have their way.

Devolution in Ghana: 50 Years After Independence

GhanaNkrumahRobeby Ron Wilkins

Africana Studies professor Ron Wilkins
interviews Ghanaian editor and activist Kwesi Pratt at the half-century mark of
the nation's independence. Pratt says two celebrations were held in Ghana, one
by a government comprised of "the same people who opposed the independence
struggle," the other "a celebration of the progressive ideas of Nkrumah, W.E.B.
Dubois, Malcolm X, and all." The current rulers, says Pratt, besmirch the
memory of Ghana's first President, Kwame Nkruhmah, who "was not just interested in
Ghana's independence; he was interested in the independence of all people under
colonial rule everywhere in the world."

The Democrats and U.S. Mercenaries in Iraq

by Jeremy Scahill

MercenariesCrowd2
In addition to the other,
many shortcomings in the Democrats' Iraq "withdrawal" legislation, the measure
fails utterly to deal with the 126,000 "contractors" in Iraq - tens of
thousands of whom are armed mercenaries. The private force rivals the uniformed
services in size, and earns far more money, all of it paid for by U.S.
taxpayers. Unaccountable to U.S. military or Iraqi law, the mercenaries are a
shadow army undergirding the occupation - and a corporate profit center for
George Bush's friends.

Why Black Workers Should Support Immigrant Rights

by John ParkerImmigrantsafricalatino

Black workers are constantly
told that immigrants are determined to take their jobs - the same line that was
fed to white workers about Blacks moving to industrial cities from the South,
in past eras. The author, a Los Angeles resident, says empowering local police
to act as immigration agents threatens all people of color. He compares the
separation of immigrant families by deportation to the separation of Black
families at slave auctions. There is plenty of common ground for a strategic
Black-immigrant worker alliance.

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