Blogs

High Court Tries to Freeze White Privilege in Place

New Haven White Firefighters

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.

The real “activist” judiciary if represented by the U.S. Supreme Court majority than is determined to re-enshrine white privilege in law. The New Haven firefighters ruling is an assault on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. “The High Court decision would preserve an ethnic, clan and family racial protection racket that has been embedded in fire and police departments for generations.”

Eshu’s blues: Michael Jackson dies of Amurrika at 50

michael jacksonby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
 
The King of Pop is dead, and “you can hear the scavengers gnawing on bones all the way to the bank from any vantage point where you stand.” Michael Jackson succumbed to a peculiar Amurridan syndrome: TMTS, Too Much Too Soon. “In United States capitalist culture, performing artists have to deal with a public pillorying that actually ought to be reserved for the war criminals and thieves who have always run and owned this society.”

When Will Obama Stand and Fight?

ron danielsby Dr. Ron Daniels
Barack Obama entered the presidency with a huge mandate, but “is emerging as a cautious pragmatist who is more obsessed with 'bi-partisanship' than seizing the moment to create substantial change in this country.” His economic policy is run by “Wall Street insiders,” he has bowed to “conservative mantras” on the housing crisis, and he “has apparently capitulated before putting up a fight” over health care. “Therefore, the outcome is predictable; the insurance companies will carry the day.”

Mob Attack in Darfur: Personal Account

darfurby Isma’il Kushkush
The author, a Sudanese journalist, found himself surrounded and nearly beaten to death by “Shabab” - young men – in a Darfur displaced persons camp. The mob shouted, “Criminal! Janjaweed!” Some may simply have hated journalists. “I've been told that many IDPs in Darfur believe that journalists are 'banking' on their cause.” But it is also true that “banditry and thuggery have become components of life in unstable Darfur with the absence of stable work.”

Black Music Month at 30: A Cultural Retrospective

blk music monthby Pamela D. Reed
President Obama changed Black Music Month to "African American Music Appreciation Month," and neglected to hold a commemorative event at the White House. “This is like the tree that falls in the forest with no one there to hear it.” (George Bush held three Black Music Month affairs). “In the trademark Obama 'a rising tide lifts all boats' tradition,” a presidential spokesperson “stresses that the Obama administration subscribes to the '365 day' approach to music appreciation--all music.”

Haiti's Non-Election

haiti sceneby Kim Ives
When the most popular political party is barred from the election, what's the point of voting? Such was the simple logic of Haiti's recent farcical senatorial run-off election, boycotted by supporters of Lavalas Family, exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's party. “Streets around the capital were eerily devoid of pedestrians and traffic despite the fact that the government allowed the operation of public transportation.” Some estimate only about one percent of eligible voters turned out.

Obama’s Emerging Legacy: Wars, Bankers and For-Profit Healthcare

Obama Sam by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The first Black president has racked up some impressive victories. Barack Obama has quarantined single-payer healthcare advocates, crushed dissent against the war in Congress, and transferred more money to the finance capital class than at any time in planetary history. Not bad for just five months in office. “At some point in the near future Barack Obama will become inextricably associated in the public mind with Big Capital – and deservedly so.”
 
 
 

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Thank you for subscribing to Black Agenda Report via email

We share lots of things, but we won't be sharing or selling your email address to or with with anyone.
 
What we will do is we'll send you a list of our articles each week.  Once every six to eight weeks we'll send a message about special offers and events.  That's it.  Some of the events will be online, and some will be location-specific, i.e. in NYC or Houston or Tampa or some specific place, which is why we asked for your zipcode.
 

Darfur “Genocide” Lies Unraveling – Only 1,500 Darfuris Died in 2008, Says African Union

darfur again

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

For more than five years, the Save Darfur Coalition has used a slick and star-studded multimillion dollar ad campaign to paint a horrific vision of 400,000 dead in a black vs Arab war of extermination. No historic or political causes are offered for this scenario; it's genocide a case of good vs. evil demanding our attention and action. But the big lies underpinning the Save Darfur campaign are coming undone. Reporters, scholars and even US envoys are returning from the region affirming that if there ever was a genocide in Darfur, and there may not have been, there isn't one now. The British government has even ruled that Save Darfur cannot, in that country, use the figure of 400,000 dead which it throws around in all its US advertisements, cause it just ain't true.

 

 

McKinney Rejoins Voyage to Defy US-Israeli Blockade of Gaza – "Sink Us or Arrest Usl"

 

Cynthia McKinneyby The Editors
When the Free Gaza Movement attempted to send a boatload of supplies to Gaza last December, the Israeli Navy rammed the vessel, the Dignity, almost sinking it. This week, activists will send two boats on the voyage from Cyprus to Gaza, carrying cement, toys and 38 passengers, among them former U.S. Rep. Cynthia Mckinney, who was also aboard the Dignity. Ms. McKinney sent a letter to President Obama, filling him in on the Gaza mission.

 

Freedom Rider: Selective Sympathy for Iran

gaza child

 

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The United States reserves for itself the right to say what and when the world should be watching.  “People who work for peace and justice must show skepticism when the media tell them who deserves their attention and advocacy efforts.” The world, as defined by U.S. Corporate media, turned its head when “1,400 Gazans were killed so that Israel might inflict collective punishment on a civilian population.” The U.S. Feigns great concern for the human rights of Iranians, but continues threaten a military attack. Real human rights proponents “must always keep in mind that warfare is the worst human rights abuse of all.”

Letter to Obama: Blacks Fear Shut Out of Highway Stimulus Contracts

highway stimulus moneyA 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 "rising tide" of economic stimulus that President Obama promises will "lift all boats" from the depths of economic crisis, may leave Blacks at the bottom, once again. "Black contractors and elected officials now fear that African Americans will be cut out of the huge, one-time increase in federal highway money under the economic stimulus program passed this year." In a letter to administration officials, the National Black Chamber of Commerce warns that stimulus money is flowing down the "same racist channels" that have denied highway contracts and jobs to African Americans.

Puppet Government of Somalia Invites Everybody to Invade

somaili fightersA 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.

In what should be its last gasp, the regime that claims to govern Somalia, "huddled in a corner of Mogadishu," the capital, has "called on 'Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Yemen' - anybody! - to save them from what it called 'terrorists.'" The Ethiopians, who installed the mini-state after invading  Somalia with U.S. support in 2006, are already on the move in the country - whose soil they never left. But a larger invasion to beat back Islamist/nationalist fighters can only occur with "active U.S. coordination and logistical support." President Obama may get a war of his own in Africa.

 

Jamaica Broadcasting is Born: A fi we! A no fi dem!

john Maxwellby John Maxwell

Veteran journalist John Maxwell was there at the beginning: 1959, the start of the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. “For the first time at last, it wasn't really necessary to listen to the BBC.” Successive governments, especially those of the Jamaica Labour Party, attempted to varying degrees to shape the JBC to their own political purposes. But, says Maxwell, “It is my opinion that in its short periods of independence, the JBC helped begin the transformation of Jamaica from an ignorant colonial backwater into a civilized society.”

Tradition of Same Gender Marriage in Igboland, Nigeria

igbo weddingby Leo Igwe

Black homophobes often invoke “African” culture to buttress their arguments against gay rights, including the right to marry. But, according to the author, a native of southern Nigeria, the Igbo culture has long nurtured same-sex couples consisting of "woman-husband" and "woman-wife." The practice is entirely indigenous. “This marriage practice pre-dates Christianity and the so- called western culture which most people today blame for all the moral and cultural wrongs in Africa.

Teachers File Racial Discrimination Suit Against Obama Administration's School “Turnaround” Plan

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Public-private partnerships between Chicago's City Hall, where two men named Richard Daley have ruled more than 40 of the last 55 years, and a gaggle of corporate bagmen from the Gates, Bradley, Walton and other foundations have honed a disastrous “education reform” agenda that is now national policy. In Chicago, where dozens of neighborhood public schools have been shuttered and hundreds of experienced, predominantly black teachers fired in mid-career and replaced by underqualified, underpaid, uncertified and ovewhelmingly white newbie instructors, resistance is brewing and spreading.
 

Holding on in East Harlem and Points West, North and South

don't sell da barrioby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Neoliberalism is the root cause of rampaging gentrification and displacement, from New York to New Orleans to Atenco, Mexico.” Keen observers of political-economy would agree with this assessment from Zapatista-inspired community activists in Spanish Harlem, who recently organized an “encuentro” with similar minded Black and Asian activists. All concluded that the issue is bigger than Harlem: “This displacement is created by the greed, ambition and violence of a global empire of money that seeks to take total control of all the land, labor and life on earth.”

Freedom Rider: Ahmadinejad Wins

iranian presidentby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Few Americans were aware that Iran has even a limited democracy.” Yet, today most of them have an opinion as to whether or not Iran's recent election was rigged. In typical egocentric fashion, Americans and their corporate media believe the Iranian election revolved around that country's relations with – guess who? - the United States. “The opinions of Americans may not have entered the mind of the average Iranian voter at all. Perhaps the constant attack from the American media and politicians make Ahmadinejad even more popular in his country than he would be otherwise.”

Eshu’s blues: It’s a jungle out here

prissy prezby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
The imperial menu offers us a range of dishes, from prime cut mass murder (Congo, Af-Pak), to trailer park cold cuts a la Sarah Palin and her abstinence-preaching daughter-momma. And then there's “Golden Tonsils Obama, whose Cairo speech just two weeks ago fell into that realm the character in Mel Brooks’ movie Blazing Saddles was talking about when he said another character in the film had a 'prettier tongue then a fifty dollar whore.'”

Margaret Kimberley On the Housing Crisis: How the Politics is Taken Out of NY Politics

If you don't see the video above, click here

BAR's senior columnist Margaret Kimberley sketches some of the local impact of the foreclosure crisis in New York City, and how , in the age of black governors and mayors and presidents, the politics have effectively been removed from black politics.  The weight and number of black faces in high places has smothered black politics.

Harlem's Mae Jackson: When Obama Speaks, Whose Lips Move?

If you don't see the video above, click here.
Mae Jackson is a New York City based writer, poet, dreamer and doer whose record of activism on behalf of her people stretches back to SNCC. A founder of Art Without Walls, an art program for the children of imprisoned women, she is well acquainted with the difference between surface change, and fundamental, revolutionary change.

ObamaCare: A Non-Existent Health Plan That Begins with Cuts

obama on health careA 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.

There is no Obama healthcare plan, “just mouthfuls of generalized rhetoric that changes with the moment, as Obama constantly woos the insurance, drug and hospital corporations.” However, Obama's proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will take on lives of their own. That's what Republicans have “been clamoring for for generations,” and Obama offered it to them, upfront. “In his rush to mollify the private healthcare profiteers, Obama has given away the pubic store.”

Dead Aid: More Kool Aid

dead aid and kool aidby C. Uzondu
Dambiso Moyo pounds the talk show circuit proclaiming that foreign aid is Africa's worst problem. Her prescription: heavy doses of capitalism - as if the continent doesn't have enough of it: “Shell in the Niger delta, Canada’s Banro Corporation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Vodafone in Ghana, China’s NPOC in the Sudan, and Debeers in South Africa are all capitalist enterprises in neo-colonial states that never destroyed the colonial-capitalist state apparatus they 'inherited' from their colonial masters.” Moyo used to work for the World Bank and Goldman Sachs, and it shows.

The Real Darfur Story: A Political Conflict, But Not A Genocide

 

instant karm5aA Review of a new book by Mahmood Mamdani

The Save Darfur Coalition has convinced a large portion of the American public that “genocide” is underway in Darfur, the western Sudan. As propagandists, the coalition has done a highly effective job. Among the few public intellectuals in the U.S. to debunk the genocide story is Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, of Columbia University, who concludes, “There's no attempt to eliminate a people here. This has been a conflict over land.”
 

 

The US Mainstream Media: Selective Omission and Planned Misinformation

boob tubeby Solomon Comissiong
There is method to the maddening homogeneity and shallowness of the U.S. corporate media. “Keeping the public as dumbed down as possible keeps their corporate clients happy and their political partners in power.” Media corporations advertise that they sell “news,” but what they're really marketing is a daily defense of imperial rule. That's why, for example, “they won’t tell you how so-called 'free trade' policies create sweatshops, plunder, mass migration, and civil unrest.”

Obama Charges Backward On Health Care

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Barack Obama, like the little kids that used to appear on Art Linkletter’s TV show, says “the darndest things.” He has discovered that the “root cause” of America’s health care cost problem isn’t the insurance companies, or the drug barons, or the hospital corporations. Medicare is the villain. “Disastrously, he has created a situation in which health care ‘reform’ is predicated on stripping Medicare down to the bone.”

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.

 

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