Heroes and Hypocrites: Black Caucus Shattered on Iraq

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce A. Dixon

More than two-thirds of the Congressional Black Caucus signed on as members of the Out of Iraq Caucus, but when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic corporate cohorts turned up the fire, all but four melted into the mass of hypocrisy that joined the U.S. war machine while pretending to resist it. The heroes are mostly heroines: Reps. Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, Diane Watson, and the only man in the bunch, John Lewis. The collapse of the CBC is not a morality play, but the story of a power play. The lesson: the CBC will not stand up to Power, and is a politically spent force as presently constituted. The same must be said of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, only four of whose non-Black members stuck by their guns.

Race is at the Heart of the Gonzalez Scandal

A Black Agenda Radio commentary

GonzalezWorshipsBushby BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic
Leader Harry Reid take great pains to paper over the racial aspects of the
scandal surrounding Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. A number of the eight
U.S. Attorneys summarily dismissed by the Bush administration were fired for
failing "to demonstrate sufficient enthusiasm for Black and Latino voter
suppression." So intent are
Democratic leaders on avoiding being perceived as "the party of Blacks and
Latinos," they become near-complicit in hiding the true nature of crimes - very
undependable allies, indeed.

The Black Seminole Revolt: A Website Documents the Most Successful U.S. Slave Rebellion

by Amy Sturgis

JohnHorseFive years after Nat Turner's slave revolt was
crushed in Virginia, Blacks allied with Florida Seminoles mounted a largely
successful resistance to massive assaults by the United States Army. In years
of struggle alongside the legendary Osceola and other chiefs, the Black
Seminoles laid waste to Florida's sugar plantations and tied down a significant
portion of the U.S. standing Army. Ultimately, former slave John Horse led his
people to freedom in Mexico. J.B. Bird, of the University of Texas, documents
the saga in a compelling interactive website - a feast for all concerned with a
part of history that is seldom told.

War on Drugs = War on Minorities

Huffcrack3by Arianna HuffingtonHuffSilhouettePrison

The author excoriates Democrats, especially
"frontrunners" Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, for failing to even mention on
their campaign websites the so-called War on Drugs - "a war that has morphed into a war on people of color."
Of the quarter million people in state prison for non-violent drug offenses, 70
percent are Black or Latino. U.S. drug policy has disenfranchised millions -
including one in three Black men in Florida - but the carnage elicits hardly a
peep from Democratic presidential candidates. "Our shortsighted drug laws,"
writes Huffington, "have become the 21st century manifestation of Jim Crow."

Freedom Rider: Abortion Rights are Civil Rights

by BAR Editor and Senior Columnist Margaret KimberleyfrHYPOCRITSgood

With Black women undergoing abortions at about
four times the rate of white women, it's time that African Americans made
reproductive rights a "Black" issue. Escalating attacks on Roe v. Wade threaten
Black and poor women most of all, yet Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both use
"weasel words" when defending abortion rights. Meanwhile, "anti-abortion
racketeers" employ African Americans like Alveda King, niece of the late civil
rights leader, to give the impression that Blacks are anti-choice. Black
leadership is challenged to "speak up," especially "when bad preachers and
right wing cash comes calling."

Chad Now Awash in Blood, Alongside Darfur: U.S. Mischief

by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

The flow of refugees now streams both ways on the border of the cauldron of death, Darfur. To the east, the major culprits in the crime against humanity are the rulers of Sudan. To the west, a U.S.-dominated Chadian regime is in charge, firmly implanted in the matrix of the new U.S. Africa Command. Yet tens of thousands flee Chad into the hell of Darfur! Something horrific is afoot, rooted in the historical U.S. strategy of sowing chaos in Africa, to advance its own imperial agenda. The objective: a failed continent, ripe for occupation and exploitation - all under the guise of "humanitarian" assistance.

War is the Health of the State

A Black Agenda Radio commentary

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

If Islamist movements and local insurgencies world-wide laid down their arms tomorrow, America's rulers would concoct some other excuse "to sell fear wholesale to the American people, and for us to elect the ones who scare us the most."  Determined that there will never be a "peace dividend" for the American people - but, instead, never-ending paydays for the U.S. war machine - the Pirates in Washington ceaselessly search for or invent enemies. "America's rulers need war," says Dixon, "like vampires need blood."

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

Hip-Hop, Mass Media and 21st Century Colonization

by Dr. Jared A. Ball, Ph.D., Communications Fellow

What differentiates today's US empire from all others before it is control of media, including control of entertainment media, argues the emancipatory journalist and the man behind FreeMix Radio.  Hip-Hop has been colonized, appropriated commodified and thoroughly alienated from the communities which gave birth to it.

The Pale Reflection: Barack Obama, MLK and the Meaning of the Black Revolution

MLKin Thoughtby Paul Street

In his "Empire and Inequality Report," the author compares the politics of Barack Obama, who styles himself a post-civil rights era "Joshua," to those of Martin Luther King, the most prominent member of what Obama calls the "Moses Generation." There is no resemblance whatsoever between them. Obama rates "bad on class," ObamaSmugWstars"bad on race" and "really bad on empire" - unfit to be mentioned in the same paragraph with King, the "democratic socialist" who advocated a "radical reconstruction of society."

Freedom Rider: Andrew Young’s Nobel War Prize

ObasanjoShadyRobedby BAR Editor and Senior Columnist Margaret KimberleyAndyYoungOldAss

Andrew Young, the former ambassador, mayor, congressman and aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, "is now nothing more than a whore for corporations and crooked kleptocrats."  As a globe-trotting public relations man and political fixer, Young is the Black go-to guy for a long list of predatory corporations. His latest project is to secure the Nobel Peace prize for Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, head of one of the world's most corrupt regimes.

Bush’s Broken AIDS Promise to Africa?

by Aaron SussmanAIDSskinnyManHospital

The Bush administration undermines its vaunted
AIDS efforts in Africa by tying aid dollars to contracts for American firms,
and barring funds to groups that deal with sex workers - a primary vector of
the disease. Such political-religious restrictions have led to the growth of
epidemics centered among sex workers, and a critical shortage of condoms in
Uganda - a country that was once touted as an AIDS success story but is now on
a backward slide.

Racism and the Cherokee Nation

BlackSeminolePaintingby William Loren Katz

A majority of Cherokee Nation voters recently
turned their backs on centuries of collaboration, cohabitation and struggle
alongside Blacks, endorsing a move to revoke the citizenship rights of nearly
3,000 Black tribal members. The author, a noted scholar of Black-Native
American history, maintains the decision was influenced
by the racist charge "that the freedmen, if not ejected, would use up all of
the tribal service monies." In so doing, Cherokee voters have adopted the
"virulent bigotry imported by the European invaders."

The Unraveling of Another U.S. Race War: Iraq, Four Years Later

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by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

Despite poll numbers that show more Americans want out of Iraq, peace activists should not expect a sea change in basic public perceptions of the U.S. "role" in the world. The debacle in Iraq can only be understood through the logic of (white) American Manifest Destiny and Imperial Racism. The supposed "mistakes" and "flaws" of a "dumb" policy are in fact symptomatic of a deep cultural malady: an inability to perceive non-white "Others" as human beings. Americans make enemies because their entire history has been to see Others as either The Enemy, or as their fawning protégés - but never as equals.

Black Holes in the Global Reich

by John Maxwell

JamaicaKingstonSlum The so-called free market" capitalist model that was supposed to lift the "Third World" out of economic underdevelopment has instead led to a disastrous "race to the bottom of the barrel." The spiral into mass misery threatens to make Jamaica's beaches, farmlands and forests hostage to "foreign parasites," transforming the country into another Haiti, and making criminals of its children. Meanwhile, the United States is becoming "the world's largest financial black hole."

Letter from New Orleans: Unstable Foundations

by Rebecca Solnit

New Orleans represents what Republicans promise when they call for shrinking down government. Residents struggling to remain in the stricken city or return home find little assistance - but rather, great resistance - from government at all levels. Still, the author sees hope among people who "are doing it for themselves" with assistance from thousands of volunteers from all across the nation. Katrina, writes the author, "is not even half over."

Affirmative White Preference for Black Immigrants

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary

by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

In yet another example of the devolution of affirmative action as actually practiced in the United States, a recent study shows immigrant Blacks are heavily over-represented at elite U.S. universities, relative to African Americans of native background. Despite efforts to focus on supposed cultural failures among African Americans as causes of the imbalance, the real culprit is clear: Whites prefer to elevate Blacks who are perceived as "different" from the home-grown variety. Does the name Barack Obama ring a bell?

Black Lawmakers Digitally Redline African American Neighborhoods

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

Last year Big Cable and Big Telephone interests teamed up to propose national cable franchise laws that would have killed network neutrality, privatized the Internet and allowed providers a free hand to redline broadband deployment in black, poor, rural and urban neighborhoods nationwide. Stopped in the U.S. Senate last fall, they have resurfaced in more than two dozen state legislatures from coast to coast. Prominent among supporters of Big Cable and Big Telephone are the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, thanks to tens of thousands in donations from AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.

Congressional Black Caucus: Divided on Trade, Immigration

CBC Monitor Report Card, Second Session 109th Congress

by Leutisha Stills, CBC Monitor

There is still reason to believe that the Congressional Black Caucus can be rescued from its slide into irrelevance - but only if energized constituents mobilize behind "bright line" issues that members dare not cross. The new CBC Monitor Report Card documents the Caucus' inability as a body to resist massed corporate power on trade issues, and a retreat by a quarter of its members in the face of mounting police state pressures. Nevertheless, the CBC's overall grades are up - most likely because only a few bills challenged them on matters of principle.

‘We Must Resist!’

McKinneyNoWarBlueSkyby Cynthia McKinney

The Black body politic is "comatose," and "the
entire American body politic is in dire straits, too." So says former Georgia
congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who urges a "different kind of leadership" that
is "revolutionary in its impact."  This
new "rainbow movement for peace and justice" must endeavor to "change the
structure within which we cast our vote." Now no longer tethered to the purely
electoral aspect of politics, McKinney offers herself as a fundamental
change-maker. "If no one else will do it, then I guess I'll have to do that,
too!"

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