by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
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.
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.
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...
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
at 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
Every 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.
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.
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."
In 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.
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."
by 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.
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.
by 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
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.
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
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.