Blogs

Freedom Rider: Obama Insults Muslims

 

gazaby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Barack Obama seems to think that Muslims are stupid, stupid enough to accept invasions and occupations without complaint if an American president shows up and quotes from the Koran.” It is amazing how Americans and their presidents keep a straight face while urging non-white foreigners to tolerate the intolerable. ““Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed,” Obama preaches – while his drones and soldiers kill women and children around the globe.

 

Cynthia McKinney in Harlem : Confronting Neo Liberalism in the Age of Obama

 
If no video is visible above, click here.  It's too late to be disappointed with the Obama administration. As our parents and grandparents might say, it hurts too much to laugh and we're too grown to cry. The answer then, is to take stock of what we have, to assess our opportunities and to organize. We have the brains and the resources, says McKinney.

Anthony Monteiro in Harlem, May 31, 2009, When Obama Won, Did We?

If no video is visible above, click here.  Was the election of the nation's First Black President a victory for our people in the long struggle against racism and empire? Or does it simply mark a change in establishment tactics that will make it even more difficult to press the case for economic justice, and an end to militarism and racism?

Eshu’s blues: Media circus throws another temper tantrum over Sotomayor nomination

by michael hureaux perez

Opponents of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination claim to be fighting against the rise of an “activist court” – “which is what the ruling class of this country calls any court which occasionally intervenes on behalf of historically repressed peoples.” Such politicians are much more comfortable with jurists such as Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who famously proclaimed that Blacks have no rights that a white man is bound to respect. The modern-day Taneys don’t have much tolerance for uppity Puerto Ricans, either.

GM Could Have Become a “Green” Industrial Machine

rest in peaceA 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 has passed up his chance to become a transformational president, by failing to convert the excess capacity of General Motors – 60 percent-owned by the U.S. public – to “green” manufacturing. Instead, the public has paid $50 billion, and counting, for 14 industrial junkyards where car factories used to be. Obama’s refusal to rise to the historic occasion shows that he “worships at the alter of private capital – the same corporate developmental model that has been de-industrializing the United States for the last four decades.”

Shell Oil Settles with 1995 Niger Delta Victims’ Families, But War Escalates

flaringA 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.

Nearly a fifth of US oil imports come from West Africa and that proportion is only expected to grow. Western oil companies, chiefly Shell, BP and Chevron have pumped trillions of dollars worth of black gold from eastern Nigeria, but it remains the poorest and most polluted places on earth. Although oil company scofflaws have settled out of court with representatives of the families of a handful of the murdered the pitiless rape of eastern Nigeria continues.

 

Women in Darfur: We Saw No Evidence of Genocide

 

222By Afshin Rattansi
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Cindy Crawford, Bono, Michael Caine, Claudia Schiffer, Bob Geldof, Hugh Grant, Mia Farrow, Mick Jagger and so many others have expressed their solidarity with the people of the oil-rich region of Darfur. A few weeks ago, Democrats John Lewis of Georgia, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Lynn Woolsey of California, Donna Edwards of Maryland, and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts were all arrested as they demonstrated against the Sudanese government. When Colin Powell used the word genocide in 2004, it kicked off $1 billion-a-year international aid program, much higher than that afforded Somalia or Congo.  But why?

 

“God Sent the Shooter”: White Christian Terrorism and the Assassination of George Tiller

 

by Sikivu Hutchinson
The profiles of “ those who invoke Christian fundamentalism as justification for their barbaric incursions against women and their allies” match those of other denizens of the peculiar U.S. Right-wing “movement”: “disaffected white middle aged males, aligned with a crackpot anti-government militia and/or fundamentalist ethos steeped in the bloody retribution of the Old Testament.” The U.S. Has been subjected to “virulent strain of fundamentalism was nourished by three theocratic Republican administrations that dismembered the Constitution and effectively sanctioned criminal campaigns against abortion providers.”

 

Black Radio Speaks With Forked Tongue

 

baisdenby Paul Porter
Black radio owners and those who depend on them for publicity and profits are waging a propaganda offensive against a bill to compensate artists for airplay. Radio One founder Cathy Hughes “and her staff have done a great job of concealing the facts” of the legislation, HR 848, sponsored by Detroit Congressman John Conyers. Hughes has been joined by syndicated hosts Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden, and Rev. Al Sharpton, who is also a radio personality. Radio One is crying economic hardship, but the firm recently awarded CEO (and Hughes' son) Alfred Liggins “a 10 million dollar bonus.”

 

Cuba, the US and the OAS

john maxwell

by John Maxwell

Even though both Castro brothers repeatedly stated that Cuba has no desire to rejoin the Organization of American States (OAS), Latin America demanded that the ban against Cuba be dropped. “For them the OAS has been a yanki weapon against all of them, from Arbenz to Allende to Aristide to Fidel, Chavez and Morales. It does not end.” The U.S. tried to find a graceful way to accept its diplomatic defeat, and avoid further isolation in the hemisphere it once overlorded like a caudillo.

Sonia Maria Sotomayor -- She's No Clarence Thomas, But No Thurgood Marshall Either

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

What is and what should be the story around the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the high court?  Is the main story a celebration of how humble origins and hard work won out?  Should we spend all our time and energy refuting the racism of Republican talking heads, and none examining her record, and how she arrived at the door of the Supreme Court?  Is this a good time to explore what a just and democratic society must demand from its courts --- more nonwhite faces in high places?  More rights for corporations?  Or more justice for people?  And if this isn't a good time, is that time ever coming?

Cynthia McKinney Announces Formation of DIGNITY

cynthaby the editors
 
Which way forward for the Black Left? The path leads in the same direction it always has: agitation, organization, and confrontation with Power. Cynthia McKinney chose a Harlem church to announce formation of DIGNITY, to bring the Black body politic back from its current comatose state. "Dignity is attempting to show real change is possible" - if people fight for it. "We want to organize networks so that we can relay information quickly to a large number of people."

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."

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