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    Haiti and the Dilemma of Afrikan Sovereignty in the Americas

    by Ahati N. N. ToureHaitiouverture.1

    The Haitian Revolution was but one of many Afrikan rebellions against "European dictatorship" in the Americas. "Afrikan revolutionary struggles convulsed nearly all areas of what was or was to become the United States from 1619 to the end of the American civil war in 1865." Haiti was at one point central to the success of Bolivar's revolution on the mainland of South American. "Haiti posed a strategic threat to North American empire by introducing the specter of spreading Afrikan revolution that could potentially dethrone European settler hegemony not only within itself but throughout the larger Americas."

    The Great Debate

    7_foot_poet_upright_250wideby Kemet Mawakana, a.k.a. the Seven Foot Poet

    In these historic and unprecedented times, questions of great importance loom before us.  Latte or mocha?  Chili dogs or sauerkraut?  Leather or cloth interior?  Our choices, the learned and knowledgeable tell us, do matter.  No, really, they do!  The Seven Foot Poet agrees.  Mostly.   

    Freedom Rider: Rick Warren and Barack Obama

    WarrenAndObamaby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Some folks like to call him "No-Drama Obama," but it appears that the president-elect doesn't care how much drama he stirs up - on his Left. Obama and his handlers should have known that bestowing the invocation honors to "evangelical preacher/businessman" Rick Warren was sure to cause drama among gays, as well as pro-choice advocates. But, "like Bush, Obama believes that he is the decider. The Warren invitation is yet another instance of the patronizing Obama telling the left that they shouldn't worry their pretty little heads about anything that he decides is inconsequential."

    Arne Duncan and Neoliberal Racism

    by Paul Street

    Barack Obama likes to play basketball with his friend Arne Duncan, but does that make Duncan worthy of the nation's top education spot? If Obama's appointees are a reflection of the president-elect's own world view, this one is quite disturbing. Paul Street writes: "Privatization, union-busting (charter and contract schools operate union-free), excessive standardized testing, teacher-blaming, military schooling, and the rollback of community input on school decisions - these are the interrelated hallmarks of private school graduate Arne Duncan's six and a half years at the helm of" the Chicago Public Schools.

    Eshu’s blues: Ode to Charles Rex Fisher/Christmas Night in Harlem

    by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

    A teacher/activist offers some holiday ruminations on education: "Let us celebrate punitive testing, carved up tables and chairs, chain link fence in the stairwells and high strung civil servants who are just marking time until they can get away from the children of the great unwashed." Not cheered up, yet? Let's think of kinder times and inspiring educators, like Rex Fisher, who introduced the author "and my peers to the words of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Martin Delaney, WEB DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm X -  and that was a rare thing from teachers in the public schools of 1973."

    Perversion of Justice: Gulag America

     by Rady Ananda


    The American Prison Gulag, already one-half Black, is becoming increasingly co-ed. "The US jailed one in 746 women in 2006, up from one in 100,000 back in 1925.  Compared to other nations, the female portion of the prison population is highest in the US - at 9%." Melissa Mummert's film, Perversion of Justice, tells the "story of Hamedah Hasan and her three children" to "exemplify the need to repeal the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, and the mandatory minimum laws."

    West Seeks to Intimidate Mugabe Supporters

    ZimbabweNewspaperby Stephen Gowans

    The corporate news media, especially in Britain,
    constantly rail against the state-owned press in Zimbabwe, charging The
    and The Sunday Mail with acting as "mouth-pieces" for
    President Robert Mugabe. But "coverage of foreign affairs in the West is almost
    wholly dominated by news media that are controlled by the wealthy, operating to
    amplify the views of the Council on Foreign Relations and high state officials
    who are either wealthy themselves or owe their position to the patronage of the
    wealthy." In southern Africa, so-called "independent" media are in fact funded
    by the British or U.S. governments. The Zimbabwean state has every right to
    defend itself, through media.

    Israel and the U.S.: Partners in Permanent Aggression

    gazaDead"Israel is taking measure of the incoming Obama
    administration's sensibilities to the spilling of Palestinian blood in the
    besieged enclave of Gaza."

    To hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below

    Great Meltdown Followed by Great Theft


    "A four-person,
    congressionally-appointed panel stands between the most voracious thieves ever
    assembled, and the wealth of a nation."
    To hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below

    No Economic Recovery Without Downsizing the Military

    no warThe U.S. cannot pay
    for recovery and fund its wars, too. Barack Obama must choose between the imperial
    military and saving what's left of the economy.

    To hear this Black  Agenda Radio commentary, click  the flash player below

    Black Agenda Radio


    BAR Radio Commentaries from Glen Ford

    BAR features three radio commentaries per week for use by broadcast and Internet radio (schedule them as you please), or simply for our audience's listening convenience.

    To subscribe to the Black Agenda Radio commentary podcast,  click here.  The podcast delivers four commentaries per week, daily on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with an encore commentary on Thursday.
    Or you can listen to them using the flash player on this page.


    The BAR Team thanks our readers and supporters for your patience with us in the old year.
    We promise to be worthy of your time and attention, in 2009.


    The BAR team thanks our readers and supporters for your patience with us in the old year.
    We promise to be worthy of your time and attention in 2009.


    McKinney to Obama: “Say Something” About Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

     Asks Congress to Stop Sending "Weapons of Mass Destruction"

    2CynthiaGaza"As we are about to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's
    birthday, let us remember what he said. He said that the United States is the
    greatest purveyor of violence on the planet.  And guess what: we experienced a
    little bit of that violence, because the weapons that are being used by Israel
    are weapons that were supplied by the United States government."

    Digital’s Dearth of Programming

    DigitalTV"The Great Digital
    Giveaway is the biggest squandering of public broadcast resources in the
    history of the United States - a conspiracy involving both political parties
    for the benefit of filthy-rich broadcast monopolies."

    War and Word Games

    IraqMarine"The Americans are
    acting as if the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq is merely a suggestion,
    that is subject to interpretation or semantic subversion."

    Bail for Mega-Thief – Jail for the Rest of Us

    Billions"Madoff's larceny is
    larger than the gross domestic products of all but 63 nations in the world. It
    is as if he stole the entire yearly economy of Croatia, Sudan, or Ecuador."

    Did Barack Obama Just Appoint An Underqualified Stooge and Privatizer Secretary of Education?

    Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon interviews Chicago educator and activist George Schmidt
    The short answer seems to be "yes."  Before being appointed CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Arne Duncan never saw the inside of a classroom as a teacher.  This is probably a good thing, since Duncan does not possess the academic qualifications to be even a substitute teacher.  Worse still, Duncan's idea of improving inner-city schools in Chicago is handing them over to corporate-run charter schools or converting them to military academies.  This, says longtime Chicago educator and activist George Schmidt, is not the change we voted for. 

    The next issue of Black Agenda Report will appear on December 31, 2008

    There will be no issue of BAR for December 24. So, until New Years Eve,
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the team at BAR!

    The Great Debate on Obama --Last Week in Harlem, This Week in Baltimore

    Transcript and audio remarks by Glen Ford, Dr. Leonard Jeffries and Dr. Donald Smith


    Was the election of Barack Obama good for Black people? No, argued BAR's Glen Ford, 
    Baruch College professor emeritus of education Donald Smith, and two
    other distinguished Black educators at a debate in New York's Harlem, last
    weekend. Four activists lined up on the other side of the question, before a
    crowd of over 1,500. Dr. Smith evaluated Obama based on his "personnel
    appointments, post-racial philosophy, and cultural incompatibility."  Said Ford: "I'm not mad at Obama. He's just
    another cynical center-right politician, doing whatever he can get away with.
    The people I'm mad at are the ones who let him get away with it."

    Next week the Great Debate moves to Baltimore, with a live webcast on

    Freedom Rider: Gay Rights and Black America

    FRblacksGaysFistsby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    "It wasn't possible for black votes to have single handedly provided the margin of victory" for California's ban on gay marriage. "A majority of whites, Latinos and Asians all voted for" Proposition 8, and "those black voters who approved of Proposition 8 did so for the same reasons that people of other races did." Black political behavior on this issue and many others is also rooted in unique conditions of African American life, such as chronic high unemployment and mass Black incarceration. If society does not allow honest and sensitive discussion of African American problems, Blacks should not be expected to be paragons of correctness.

    U.S. Proposes International Gang Rape of Somalia

    SomaliFightersThe U.S., having
    failed to subdue Somalia through Ethiopia's proxy invasion, now appeals to the
    world's militaries to turn Somalia into a "free fire zone." Somali "piracy" is
    a pretext for old fashioned imperial aggression.

    Click the flash player below  to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary.

    Obama’s Opportunity to Show Respect for the Rule of Law

    TorturePrisonersDick Cheney has
    openly confessed to a personal role in shaping U.S. policy in the torture of
    prisoners. A Senate Committee reports that a long list of administration
    officials are culpable in torture, starting with George Bush. Will President Obama let the
    guilty walk free?

    Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary.

    Lords of Capital Decree the End of Personal Security

    JobSecurityStrike"Those politicians
    who would allow Detroit to go down the drain, are loyal to capital, not to
    country." They are intent on obliterating the very idea "that working people
    have the right to protect themselves from the ups and downs of capitalist booms
    and busts."

    Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary

    The “Wait ‘Til He Gets In” Delusion: The President Elect is Not a Latent Lefty

    by Paul Street

    Despite all the evidence to the contrary, there are still those who think that Barack Obama "is a ‘true progressive' whose left and democratic orientation has been ‘squandered' or carefully hidden thanks to his national political ambitions and/or the influence of his political handlers." In reality, "Obama came to the political game with an already advanced and highly cultivated bourgeois taste for incremental change and compromise with concentrated power." Obama is tricky. "He posed for the liberal base as an ‘antiwar candidate' even while he signaled clearly to the foreign policy establishment that he would continue the Iraq occupation for an indefinite period."

    Africa, AFRICOM and Proxy Imperialism

    by Mark P. FancherAFRICOM

    Imperialism ain't easy. Times change, and the neocolonial exploiters have to stay on their toes. They must encourage "the illusion of independence" in the formerly colonized world, the better to maintain effective economic control. "Enter Africa Command - better known as AFRICOM," whose "mission is to conduct ‘sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy."  The key phrase is, of course "in support of U.S. foreign policy," a point that has not been lost on African nations.

    Don’t Be A Buffalo Soldier

    by Carl DixBuffalo-Soldier-800

    Barack Obama, the vaunted "role model," wants a greatly expanded U.S. war machine capable of putting lots more "boots on the ground" around the globe. The author poses the question: "Is having a Black commander-in-chief enough to get you to enlist in America's war for empire, to kill people, and maybe die yourself, trying to keep America's strnglehold on the world in effect?" The "Buffalo Soldiers" of yesteryear now fill America's imperial legions, continuing the "shameful legacy" of "driving the native inhabitants off their lands to make way for the expansion of America[n]" power.

    Poverty: Policies and Possibilities, Part 2

    community-garden-2by Shannon J. Prince

    Many of the solutions to poverty begin in the minds and experiences of poor people, themselves. The author examines two unconventional anti-poverty efforts, one that finds "people willing to employ marginalized people, matches young people with jobs that meet their interests, and seeks out mentors in their fields for them." Another initiative is built around cultivation of community gardens. "The gardens change spaces once used for prostitution and drug dealing into crime free areas.  They also reduce crime by providing young people with a positive activity in which to engage."

    "That Which Is Good Is Never Finished"

    7_foot_poet_upright_250wideby Kemet Mawakana, a.k.a. the Seven Foot Poet

    There are times that mark our goings and our comings and our lives, times to acknowledge each other, our ancestors and our place in the cosmos.  Those times are what poetry is for.

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