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Bruce A. Dixon's blog

Are Black "Success Stories" Really Holding Us Back?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Is it time to critically interrogate the black “success stories” of pro atheletes and near-billionaires? Should we be identifying with the Junior Bridgemans and Magic Johnsons or with their thousands of underpaid and cheated workers? And what would a more reproducible black “success story” really look like?

CNN's Chicagoland: An 8 Part Miniseries Campaign Commercial For Rahm Emanuel and Urban Neoliberalism

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

CNN's Chicagoland "documentary" is an 8 part wet kiss for Rahm Emanuel & neoliberalism by the same crew that made Brick City, a propaganda flick to boost the career of Newark's Corey Booker prior to his re-election campaign.  Black Agenda Report talked to a few real Chicagoans about what it does and doesn't show or tell, and why.

Striking GA Prisoners Name Names, Allege Sexual Abuse, Ongoing Threats, Maltreatment by Staff

Striking GA Prisoners Name Names, Allege Sexual Abuse, Ongoing Threats & Maltreatment by Staff

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Not quite a month ago, I wrote that we at Black Agenda Report had received word of a new self-organized hunger strike among prisoners in Georgia's notorious Diagnostic & Classification Prison at Jackson, the same place where Troy Davis was murdered by the state a couple years ago.  We had no details beyond a single brief note and a list of prisoners who'd signed a letter.

3 Years After 2010 GA Prison Hunger Strike, Another Erupts, But Still No Organizing For Prisoners Outside the Walls

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

In December 2010 GA prisoners staged a brief strike, asking for their rights as men and human beings. They depended, and still depend on support from outside, support that is yet to be organized. How much longer will they wait?

Federal Prosecutors Declare Mass Incarceration is Fine Will Continue; Obama & Holder Pretend Not to Notice

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

While the Attorney General grants interviews promising significant action on mass incarceration, federal prosecutors openly declare that there's nothing wrong with mass incarceration or the prison state. The Obama administration does nothing, and why should it? Who needs to roll back the prison state when you've got black faces in all those high places?

Barack Obama, the State of the Union and the Prison State

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

For a generation now, predatory policing, the war on drugs and the prison state have been government's most frequent intersection with young black Americans. The gossip before this year's State of the Union was that the president would now do by executive order all those good things Republicans have blocked him on the last 3 years. Does that include reining in or rolling back the prison state? Should we hold our collective breath?

MSNBC: Cherry Picking News & Issues to Make Toxic Democrats Look Good

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

For the last couple weeks and several more to come, Chris Christie will get more air time on MSNBC than drone murders, gentrification, NSA spying, and network neutrality put together. Why not? He's a Republican, and Democrats are only fighting it out between the 40 yard lines.

Moral Monday A Branding Exercise Blaming Republicans for Stuff Democrats Helped Them Do

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Is Moral Monday “sweeping the nation”? Is it the beginning of a new movement, or the revival of an old one? Or is it a sad, cynical and partisan attempt at renewing the brand of the black political class as fighters for justice and representatives of the oppressed?

The Obama Legacy, Part 1 of Many: Why Secret Trade Negotiations? Because TPP & TAFTA are NAFTA on Crack & Evil Steroids

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Thanks to WikiLeaks, a chapter of the secret agreement being negotiated by the White House has been made public. It will enshrine corporate profits as sacred rights, above the ability of local governments to make health, safety, wage, and “buy-local” regulations, and enable corporations to patent drugs, trivial techniques, diseases and living organisms.

From the Bullet to the Ballot: An Unfavorable Review of a Work on the Black Panther Party

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Historians are supposed to help us make sense of the world, by illuminating the forces and trends that shape the lives and destinies of ordinary people. But historians in the service of power do something else. Whether carelessly or carefully, they omit and distort to come up with histories that justify today's establishment as the inheritors of a noble tradition of struggle on the part of ordinary people. It's time for more people's histories of our movement, and of the historic Black Panther Party. Regrettably, this is not one of them.

Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

If President Obama and his party didn't even try to deliver on their 2008 campaign promise of a minimum wage hike when they had the White House and both houses of Congress on lockdown in 2010 and 2011, what does their sudden rediscovery of the minimum wage mean now, when they know they can move nothing through Congress?  Are they and their sheepdogs, the so-called “progressive Democrats” just yanking our chain again?

Who is Jeh Johnson, and Why Should Black People Be Hanging Our Heads in Shame?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The Department of Homeland Security is a secretive, lawless, largely privatized police and surveillance agency, with its own prisons and soon, its own drones. Now it's headed by a black man, a progressive Democrat, a Morehouse man & Pentagon lawyer who invokes Dr. King as patron saint for murderous US global empire, a certifiable member of the black misleadership class.

Obamacare VS Single Payer – Top 10 Things the ACA Gave Us VS the Top 10 We Gave Up

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Most things have two prices --- the price you pay outright, and the opportunity cost, the negative value of what you gave up in order to do what you did. Were the “opportunity costs of the Affordable Care Act, the options we threw away to get it, actually worth more than the Affordable Care Act itself? What if we had pursued single payer instead? Would Republicans be able to block its implementation, and millions remained uncovered, as is happening now?

Dr. King Was A Man, “The Dreamer” Is A Zombie

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Gary Younge points out that King's “I Have A Dream” speech wasn't offered as the penultimate moment of his career till after his death. Those who offer it were the same corporate media honchos who first elevated, then slimed and slandered King the last year of his life. “The Dreamer” too is their construct, as far from the man who lived and died as an ordinary person from a brain-eating zombie.

Who Will Lead A Movement Against the Prison State, If Not the Formerly Incarcerated?

By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The black political class, whose leaders will be on the podium at this week's 50th anniversary observation of the March on Washington are not going to lead any movement to roll back mass incarceration or the prison state. It's just not in them, not even to use the limited power that they do have to curtail its most savage abuses.

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