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    Bankers and Military Hog Power Under Obama

    Carrion-1"In the current economic and imperial crisis, real power
    is exercised through the Treasury, which has been converted into an ATM for the
    once-rich and still powerful, and through the Pentagon."

     To listen to this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below.{mp3}20090107_gf_urban_policy{/mp3}

    Black Unionists Losing Share of Membership

    Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.

    UAW"The decline in manufacturing has been cruel to Black workers, loosening what once seemed to be a firm hold on middle income status. The decline in union membership has been even worse."

    Somalia: President Obama's Turn To Kill Africans

    Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.
    somalia500_15088t"The farcical, puppet Somali government installed by the Ethiopians and Americans could never survive on its own, and has effectively disintegrated."


    Who is Black America’s Moral Emissary to the World?

    by BAR executive editor
    Glen Ford



    The global reputation of Black America has suffered
    greatly under George Bush, who deployed Black faces as fronts for his vicious
    brand of U.S. imperialism. Barack Obama's silence on the Israeli assault on
    Gaza suggests that his honeymoon with the planet won't last long. So who is to
    represent the progressive values of African Americans on the world stage?
    "Thanks to Cynthia McKinney, millions of Arabs have been made aware of a
    different Black America, one that is not silent, like Barack Obama, in the face
    of a purposely inflicted human rights catastrophe."

    Freedom Rider: Bush Goes Out a Winner

    FRbush_torture78by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Bush is leaving office in the popularity basement, but his checklist of accomplishments is full. Bush has "succeeded in radically changing nearly every facet of government, and always with the help of the Democratic Party." Even when at his nadir in the polls, Bush managed to transfer $700 billion dollars into the pockets of his high-roller banking friends. He has implicated so many Democrats in torture, the party has little choice but to give him and themselves immunity. "It is hard to see how Bush can be considered a failure when the so-called opposition aided him every step of the way."

    Reflections on Obama’s “Non-Ideological Pragmatism”

    by Paul StreetobamaStreet

    The corporate media work hard to frame pro-business policies as the "practical" and "pragmatic" work of "centrist" and "non-partisan" politicians who can "get the job done." The clear implication is that progressives have their heads in the clouds, and are incapable of "getting things done." Of course, "Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin certainly ‘got things done.' So did Richard Nixon and George W. Bush and so on." That doesn't make them the good guys. Barack Obama and his handlers stress that he is "non-ideological" - which really translates to non-threatening to entrenched interests.

    Desperately Seeking Obama

    GazaSeekingObamaby Dr. Sunera Thobani

    Obama chooses to remain silent" on Israeli savaging of Gaza "is nothing short
    of cowardice." Even before he is sworn into office, Obama's stature is
    diminished; he has been "pushed into a corner" by the Israelis. What has been
    lost may not be regained. "The hope that a Black man will stand up to the
    racial calculations that turn the ‘native' into a ‘thing', as Frantz Fanon put
    it, is palpable among many Muslims." There is "no greater cause for social
    justice than that of the Palestinian people," but "Obama is missing in action
    in this first challenge to his Presidency."

    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.
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