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    Freedom Rider: The Sotomayor Hype

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    R.I.P. Industrial USA. The Banksters Win, Even When They Fail

     

    GM
    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

    General Motors is just the latest in a long line of casualties in the lopsided war between finance capital and manufacturing capital. "The handwriting was on the wall for General Motors and the entire industrial sector of the U.S. economy back in the mid-Eighties, when GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors, surpassed the car-making part of the company in profits." The "crux of the current crisis of capitalism" is finance capital's refusal to invest in productive enterprise "except under conditions of extremely low wage labor.

     

    Obama Ordering States to Close 5,000 'Failing' Schools!... Chicago Lies Go National

    by George Schmidt

    The corporate narrative that public schools in minority neighborhoods are "failing" and must be replaced by unaccountable but often highly profitable "charter schools" is an inheritance from the Bush era that the Obama administration intends to continue and intensify.  Despite any proof of improved educational outcomes, and contrary to the democratic wishes of the American people the push to discredit and privatize public education appears to be a hallmark of the Obama era.

    Grand Theft Auto: How Stevie the Rat Bankrupted GM

    GM againby Greg Palast
    The General Motors bankruptcy is bad news for pretty much everybody - except, the bankers that live charmed lives no matter the economic weather. President Obama's so-called "Car Czar," the financial speculator Steve Rattner, insists on sparing the favored banksters like Morgan Stanley and Citigroup any losses in the GM deal. "Citibank and Morgan, says Rattner, should get their whole enchilada - $6 billion right now and in cash - from a company that can't pay for auto parts or worker eye exams." Meanwhile, workers are expected to accept stock instead of the billions they are owed in health benefits.

    Revolutionary Haitian Priest Gerard Jean-Juste, Presente!

    father justeby Bill Quigley
    He was sometimes called the most "dangerous man in Haiti." Father Gerard Jean-Juste was a tower of moral strength and political principle, who "constantly challenged both the powers of Haiti and the U.S. to stop killing and starving and imprisoning the poor." A practitioner of liberation theology, Father Jean-Juste tirelessly advocated for "justice for the poor. Freedom for those in prison. Comfort for those who mourn." He died May 27 at age 62, in Miami.

    Obamanity: The Religion of Complicity

    by Solomon Comissiong
    More than 100 days into Barack Obama's presidency, the "lives of the majority of African-Americans who voted for him are unchanged." Yet, his supporters continue to cling to a thin band of hope. Had John McCain become president and proceeded to vastly expand the "Af-Pak" theater of war, or boycotted a United Nations conference on racism, today's Obama supporters would be outraged. "But the first Black president's legions are caught up in religion: Obamanity."

     

    A Federal Bailout For Black Radio​? Under What Conditions?

    By BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    News has surfaced that powerful members of the Congressional Black Caucus are asking for a bailout of minority broadcasters, specifically black radio.  But black radio, like the rest of commercial media, has long dodged any hint of the public service obligations to which it is legally bound.  Is the crisis of black radio a chance to finally impose real public service obligations upon broadcasters?

    Our thanks to Davey D for this video...

    Freedom Rider Phony Terror and Black America (Part II)

    more of the sameby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    In the wake of 9/11, the Bush regime launched a domestic terror entrapment and provocateur offensive in search of trophy victims. "If Barack Obama's policies and pronouncements to date are any indication, there is little reason to believe that he will put an end to this insidious practice." Four poor and easily manipulated Black men from New York, are the latest foils in this sordid political theater. A paid agent, Shahed Husain, "targeted ‘mostly young black members' of the Masjid al-Iklsa in Newburgh, New York and was so obvious in his methods that he was quickly labeled as an informant." But the targets took the bait, lured by Husain's money.

     

    Confronting Neo-Liberalism In the Age of Obama: Join Us In Harlem NY on Sunday, May 31

    cynthiaat St. Mary's Church, 521 W. 126th St. -- between Amsterdam Ave. and old Broadway, 4 PM till 7 PM

     for a stimulating afternoon of political analyses on the need to confront the neoliberal policies of our First Black President, Barack Obama, and pay tribute to the lasting legacy of Harlem's own Hubert Harrison, “The Voice of Harlem Radicalism”  from 1883 to 1918. 

    Our very special guest will be the Hon. Cynthia McKinney, longtime member of Congress from Atlanta GA, and former presidential candidate of the Green Party USA, along with


    panelists

    Big Oil on Trial For 1995 Nigerian Executions

     

    children and flares in nigeria's river statesA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

    The multinational oil corporation Royal Dutch Shell faces civil charges of complicity in Nigerian government crimes against its citizens, most notably the execution of writer/activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and others in 1995. Shell will no doubt present itself as a victim. "It is a false dichotomy to separate the corruption of Nigeria's governments - military or civilian - from the predatory presence of Big Oil. The two are locked in the deepest embrace." Both the paymasters and the thugs are equally guilty of the crime.

     

    Obama Out-Bushes Bush on Preventive Detention

     

    gitmoA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

    Constitutionality aside, Barack Obama's preventive detention proposal is "damn near criminally irresponsible" and "like lighting a match in a room full of gasoline." The United States was founded on the principle that "lesser" or "dangerous" peoples should be "detained" for the good of the nation - on reservations or in slavery. Were it not for "rampant race hatred directed against Arabs and spilling over to all Muslims...there would be no serious discussion of preventive detention in the United States, today." The nation's first Black president is provoking a racial whirlwind.

     

    Racist Symbolism Or Memorial Day Tradition? Obama Honors Confederate Dead

     

    confederate memorialA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

    The so-called "tradition" of U.S. presidents honoring the Confederate war dead began with the Dixiecrat Woodrow Wilson, in 1914. Wilson, born in Virginia, brought segregation to Washington's federal bureaucracy, and praised the Ku Klux Klan-celebrating movie, Birth of a Nation. The Confederate Memorial at Arlington was designed to honor those who fought to "save Anglo-Saxon civilization" - meaning, white rule. President Obama carries on the tradition.

     

    Who Killed Black Radio? -- Journalist's Roundtable at Jared Ball's Jazz & Justice, WPFW-FM in DC

    jared showEvery Monday afternoon at 1PM on WPFW, Baltimore-DC listeners can hear a fine example of The Other Black Radio -- Jared Ball's Jazz and Justice.  This week the first hour featured HipHop historian, producer and entrepreneur Davey D, Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon and longtime radio analyst Paul Porter, now of Industry Ears discussing the state of commercial black radio, and whether it's worth saving.

    Tap the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download the show.  About 60 minutes, and worth it.

    Find more of Dr. Jared Ball's work at voxunion.com.  The latest headlines from voxunion.com are always available right here in the right hand margin of BAR's front page.

    Shell. Guilty.

    Almost a fifth of the oil imported by the U.S. comes from Africa, and in the decade to come this percentage will rise.  The eastern part of Nigeria, from which Big Oil has pumped more than a trillion dollars worth of black gold since the 1960s, remains the poorest part of the country, and one of the most ravaged and polluted on earth.  Thousands of gas flares have burned for decades, generating acid rains that have poisoned fisheries and crops.  The land is crisscrossed by thousands of miles of leaking pipes and dotted with oil slicks.  The air is unbreathable, cancers are endemic, there are no schools or hospitals and life expectancies are among the lowest on the African continent.  Shell Oil is on trial in a New York courtroom, accused of hiring the Nigerian government to murder its own citizens for protesting the pollution of their environment and demanding a share of oil revenues be spent where the oil is extracted.

    Need to know more?  Check out http://shellguilty.com.

    New Orleans New Black Media Makers



    NOLA

    by Jordan Flaherty

    The Black New Orleans-based communications collective "2-Cent" counts as its icons Huey Newton and Gil Scott Heron. "Other generations marched, and we march too. But in this age we have a whole new range of weapons.... I think Martin Luther King, Jr. would want to be on YouTube, to have his speeches distributed that way."  2-Cent spokesperson Brandon "B-Mike"  Odums rejects the idea that promoting ignorance is cool. "We say it's hot to stand up for yourself and speak for yourself."

    Somali Teenager Pleads “Not Guilty” to Piracy Charges




    Somali teenagerIn order to secure its oil and resources for the West, the US has inflicted two decades of wars and invasions upon Somalia. With no effective central government, Somalia also has no diplomats or coast guard, leaving European fishing fleets and waste dumpers to deplete and poison its fisheries. When Somalis who have fished thousands of years for a living challenge foreign vessels in their territorial waters it is they, not the interlopers who are labeled “pirates.” And although Somalia's so-called pirates have never harmed or killed a single foreigner, they find themselves the target of Western military operations.

     

    Is Bill Clinton Haiti's Great White Hope?

    John Maxwell



    Ban Ki Moon is playing another macabre joke on Haiti. In naming Bill Clinton as his "special envoy" to Haiti, the United Nations Secretary General has chosen a man that has already betrayed Haiti's people several times over. "President Clinton made several pledges to Aristide and to Haiti, but history does not seem to record that any were kept." Partly because of Clinton's depraved policies, "Haitians are still scooping water to drink from potholes in the street and stave off hunger with 'fritters' made from earth and cooking fat."

    Professional Athletics, Corporate Media, and Racism

     

    1968by Solomon Comissiong
     What's the point of debating the salaries of professional athletes? To a far greater extent than we can afford, African Americans allow themselves to be distracted by games. "We cannot allow ourselves to become more preoccupied with the final score of the Sunday afternoon NFL game than we are with the current 15 percent unemployment rate within the black community." And if we must be preoccupied with sports, "Why not spend some of our precious time raising the social consciousness of these black professional athletes?

     

    Black Radio and the "Performance Rights" Toll Booth




    radioby BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

     

    The cynically misnamed "Performance Rights" legislation will not benefit performers.  It will extract a premium from radio broadcasters, killing some, and transforming others for the worse.  It will create another piece of "intellectual property" which the recording industry is poised to benefit from at the expense of artists, radio broadcasters and the public, and legaiize payola.  And once the performance rights toll booth is established in broadcast radio, it can and will be deployed elsewhere.  HR 848 is bad news for broadcasters, bad news for artists, and bad news for almost everybody.

     

    White House Health Care Ploy Backfires

    single payer nowby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    President Obama's mission to keep the U.S. health care system safe for the profiteering classes got waylaid last week by - the profiteers, themselves. The health care industry "refused to corroborate Obama's claim that they had agreed to reduce health care spending by $2 trillion dollars over ten years." Worse, some of them pointed out that, in point of fact, Obama doesn't have a fully developed health plan. The president's business allies' failure to back up his fiction means Obama will have to pick another occasion to proclaim that the private sector has made sacrifices, and it's time to take the axe to "entitlements."

    Freedom Rider: Economic Disaster for Black America

     

    foreclosedby BAR executive editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
     The horrific numbers don't lie. "Entire neighborhoods" of African Americans "have been destroyed by high numbers of foreclosures, which effect not only homeowners, but also renters who are made homeless." Yet President Obama offers nothing - nothing! - in terms of programs specifically designed to ameliorate Black America's disproportionate pain. "This is the day of reckoning for the black citizens of this nation, who must soon decide if they will voice their grievances or silence and diminish themselves for the sake of a man who cares so little about them

     

    Hypocritical Obama "Two-Step" on Human Rights and Racism

    Obama 2 stepA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

     

    One step backward: last month, the Obama administration sabotaged the Durban II anti-racism conference, by first watering down the event's language and then refusing to participate. The first Black president of the United States created a coalition of European and white settler regimes - the same powers that inflicted centuries of racist terror on the planet - in defense of the racist Israeli regime. One step forward: Obama expects to steal a public relations coup by joining the UN's Human Rights Council - where he will doubtless pursue the same status quo policies..

     

    Torture Lawyers Ought To Be Disbarred

    disbar the torturers A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.



    President Obama considers U.S. use of torture as an instrument of national policy is best relegated to the past, unpunished - even though a web of international treaties and laws, and U.S. statutes, obligate the executive branch to prosecute the guilty. It has been left to a coalition of activist groups to pursue some small measure of punishment for the 12 Bush lawyers that conspired to make torture, legal. The coalition has filed complaints with state bar associations to pull the torture lawyers' licenses.

     

    The Grant Park Dream Has Died

     

    by Paul A. Moore
    What a difference four months make. On November 4, 2008, tears "tears flowed like a mighty river" from half a million pairs of eyes in Chicago's Grant Park, where Barack Obama made his victory speech. Today, "Obama has no intention of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and ending that war," "there will be no genuine single payer national health care system under this president," and Obama invites "voucher and charter school boosters to the White House." The dream has turned into a hoax.

     

    Obama's War: Drunk, Bored Trigger Happy Mercenaries Kill Afghan Civilians




    justiceby Jeremy Scahill

    Blessed with immunity from the laws of any nation and a new company name mercenaries for the company formerly known as Blackwater are still hard at work, doing what mercenaries do.. getting paid, while corporate media protect us from the news.  Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill uncovers another instance of oru tax dollars at work in Afghanistan

    A Sincere and Painful Apology to the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus

    Alberto Jonesby Alberto N. Jones
    Mainly white Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida, and Union City, New Jersey, who have never been friends of Blacks in either Cuba or the United States, now claim to be champions of racial equality on the island. The author, an Afro-Cuban whose roots go back to Jamaica, apologizes to Black U.S. lawmakers for the antics of the hypocritical Cuban rightwingers. Afro-Cubans, who have the most loyal to all of Cuba's revolutions, need no assistance from "mercenaries" from Miami.

    No News Is Bad News: The Death Dance of Journalism and the Twilight of Democracy

    by Robert McChesney

    In this 90 minute address, Dr. Robert McChesney argues that the disappearance of journalism from newspapers and broadcast media marks the twilight of democracy.  Back in the days when Frederick Douglass and other abolitionists started their newspapers, the US Postal Service was mailing them for free.  At the time, newspapers were 90% of post office volume, and accounted for 2% of its income, a massive government subsidy.  Only a massive subsidy --- a stimulus program for journalism, and stripping corporate owners of dozens and hundreds of stations that some of them own, can begin to make real democracy possible.

    What You Need To Know About Darfur and Sudan

    The conflict in Sudan's Darfur region is presented to us in the U.S. as an unambiguous case of genocidal racism, worthy of a virtuous response from Americans.  The Save Darfur Coalition, the foremost perveyors of this story, are backed by the bipartisan U.S. foreign policy establishment, from rabid end-of-the-world fundamentalists to supposed liberals and everyone else in between.

    The truth, unfortunately , is more complex, more disturbing, and demands that we act as citizens rather than creatures seeking moral affirmation.

    What You Need To Know About Black Radio

    What You Need To Know About Black Radio

    In a schema unique to the United States, nearly all broadcast media are exclusively licensed to private owners, on the supposed condition that they serve the public interest.  In fact, broadcasters are utterly free to reap vast fortunes using the limited public resource of the broadcast spectrum.  Black commercial radio is no different, whether or not its nominal owners are African American.  

    Obama’s Health Care Charade

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    President Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress advocates of single-payer health care. He has choreographed a grand theater of faux-change, in which he "seeks to create a façade of unity along lines that do not threaten corporate power." The goal is to "sidetrack, possibly for decades, the most broadly supported idea in American politics, today." This "requires elaborate reconstructions of reality," starting with "methodically erasing single-payer advocates from the picture, with the enthusiastic collaboration of the corporate media." Thus, Obama and compliant Democrats on The Hill stage "summits" and "public roundtable discussions" on health care from which majority U.S. opinion is totally excluded.

     

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