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    In America, Big Time Financial Crime Pays Well

    madoff_house_arrestA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    What does it say that the conditions of arch-criminal Bernard Madoff's so-called "house arrest" are better than than the real lives of hundreds of millions of honest and hardworking Americans?  It says that crime does pay, especially financial crime on a grand scale.
    To download a broadcast quality MP3 copy of this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click here.  To listen to it without downloading, click the flash player below.

    Time To Give Guantanamo Back to Cuba

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford 
    gitmoThe uses to which Guantanamo Bay has been put pale beside America's original sin of violent expropriation and armed occupation of Cuba's national territory.  If this is really a new day, it's time for a new policy, time to give Gitmo back to Cuba. 
    To download this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click here.  To listen to it  without downloading click the flash player below.

    Freedom Rider: The Good Fight

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley cowboy

    Day one of the Obama presidency has passed, and “it is time to reenergize ourselves and prepare for the fight of our lives.” Time to do battle with a corporatist White House whose “contradictions have already begun to show themselves.” The Obama of the mass imagination must now give way to the leader of a real life center-right administration intent on resurrecting the power of Wall Street and expanding the size and scope of the military. “Millions of people who have never been active before, or who feel bamboozled by Obama, will be primed and ready to join in the good fight for justice and for peace.”


    Eshu’s blues: Evacuate Israel to the “heartland”

    eshu_gazaby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

    Israel in its present configuration and location "is just not working out." Its behavior isn't suited to Palestine - a bad choice, in hindsight, for a Jewish homeland. Better to "offer the new Israeli government the states of Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas," where "orthodox Christian populations" that are so enamored of the current State of Israel "should be quite amenable to moving out of the region" to make room for the newcomers. Right-wing preachers like Pastor John Hagee should certainly be capable of explaining that "God has now revealed Texas to be the promised land of Zion." After all, "If you've sold one ‘God gave them the land' package, you've sold them all."

    Punish Corporate Gangsters with Extreme Prejudice

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    China has executed at least fifteen state enterprise managers for stealing and then gambling away millions of dollars of the people’s money. An example for Wall Street?

    Obama, King and Kennedy: Empire and the “End” of Racism

    An interview with Juan Santos

    In claiming that Blacks had “already come 90 percent of the way” to equality, candidate Barack Obama employed “strategy and tactics that served white racism and served to deeply harm peoples of color by erasing our conditions of life from the imagination of the majority.” Obama’s promises of fundamental change are empty. “Change won’t come from within the system because the wealthy profit from the mass impoverishment of peoples of color here and around the world – wherever their money can penetrate to get the cheapest labor for the most work.”The only thing the system can do for us “is collapse, go away, and get out of our lives.”

    Time for an Israel Divestment Campaign

    by Kevin Alexander Gray  GazaCartoon

    “What’s happening in Palestine is not fundamentally different from what occurred in apartheid South Africa.” And the response should be similar. “We must demand that the United States end its $30 billion a year military support” to Israel, “demand that public bodies such as universities, local and state governments divest their portfolios from companies that do business in or with Israel…identify and boycott those companies that do business with and in Israel,” and “call for a cultural boycott of Israel, and boycott those artists who perform in the country.”

    Top Three Gaza Myths Debunked

    GAZAphosphorous_shellsby Jaisal Noor

    American perceptions of Palestine are warped by Israeli propaganda transmitted as fact by corporate media. Israel, the United States and only a handful of other nations thwart “the international consensus for peace” in the region called for in UN Resolution 242. Hamas did abide by a cease fire with Israel “and even arrested members of militant groups who did fire a handful of rockets” in the period before the latest conflagration. Far from seeking a just peace, the United States has backed Israeli seizure of occupied Palestinian lands.

    Freedom Rider: Black Reagan

    FRobamareaganby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    When Barack Obama started praising Ronald Reagan the candidate's apologists claimed he was just paying respect to a dead president. Now it's clear that Obama's affection for the raging old reactionary was heartfelt. With his latest pronouncements on cutting "entitlements," Obama "has proven himself to be a true believer in the Reagan revolution." The almost-president "is repeating the Reagan mantra about ‘reforming' Social Security and Medicare or cutting their rate of growth" - music to Republican ears. If Obama starts slashing at Social Security, those "progressives" that have excused his rightward lunges will bear responsibility.

    Eshu’s blues: Obama’s message to the world: Let the U.S. ruling class pound you in the face

    by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

    Obama is silent as the grave - Palestinian graves - about Gaza, but shoots off his mouth in what appears to be a prelude to war against Social Security. The "Herald of Hope and Change" shows a "cowardice" on Palestine that "is beyond appalling," while huffing and puffing about how he'll solve the problems caused by "that seven hundred dollars a month the disabled collect from Social Security and the few hundred many people get from the ‘entitlement' programs of Medicare." As long as the "markets" are "soothed" by his ever-rightward policies, Obama is pleased.

    Employee Free Choice Act Is Labor’s Last Chance

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

    union_yes"The likelihood is that much of Obama's inner circle - top-heavy as it is with bankers - will counsel that he refrain from throwing the full weight of his presidency" behind the Employee Free Choice Act. Labor will have to force the issue, or face oblivion.



    Rev. Pinkney is “Banned” – Like in the Old South Africa

    RevPinkneyThe trials
    (literally) and tribulations of Benton Harbor, Michigan's Rev. Edward Pinkney
    give the lie to American claims of "race-neutrality."  The activist minister has been stripped of most of his political
    rights, plunged into a purgatory of the "banned" as in white-ruled South
    Click here to save a downloadable MP3 copy of this Black Agenda Radio commentary.  Click the flash player below to listen to it without saving a copy.

    The Other America

    speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    The civil rights leader's speech at Stanford
    University, April 14, 1967. "[T]here are hundreds of
    thousands of Negroes who have given up. They've lost hope. They've come to feel
    that life is a long and desolate corridor for them with no Exit sign, and so
    they no longer go to look for a job. There are those who would estimate that
    these persons, who are called the Discouraged Persons, these 6 or 7% in the
    Negro community, that means that unemployment among Negroes may well be 16%.
    Among Negro youth in some of our larger urban areas it goes to 30 and 40%."

    Let Gaza Live!

    GazaCartoonby Cynthia McKinney

    The Green Party presidential candidate's
    Washington speech on Israel's savage assault on Gaza: "A new day is coming in
    U.S. politics.  We will use the power of our vote to change U.S. policy. 
    We will no longer check our values at the door and support politicians and
    political parties that fail to deliver. Not one more bomb to Israel."

    Obama’s Priorities: War and Profits Over People

    FloydObamaAndAdvisorsby Chris Floyd

    It is not as if Barack Obama didn't warn us
    where he was headed. It's now official: Obama's administration will target
    "entitlements" for budgetary "overhaul." To the right, march! "The
    war machine and the financial markets will continue to be gorged and comforted
    in their wonted manner. Programs to help ordinary citizens, programs to enhance
    the quality of life for individuals and the well-being of society, will be the
    first - perhaps the only - areas to feel the budget axe."

    Mobbing the Constitution to Get At Blagojevich

    by Kevin Alexander Graylarge_Illinois_Governor_Rod-Blagojevich-Dec30-08-Roland-Burris-Meye

    Roland Burris will finally get to put senatorial
    paraphernalia in his mausoleum, but the uproar over his appointment by Illinois
    Governor Rod Blagojevich continues to discomfort the high and mighty. Like a
    mob, state and federal lawmakers seemed to have forgotten entirely the due
    process protections to which even Blagojevich is entitled. But the governor,
    though universally reviled, has had his fun. "More subtlety and just as ironic,
    Blagojevich called out Obama on his serial betrayal in regards to the black
    political class while at the same time revealing Harry Reid's hypocrisy on

    Black Caucus Abandons King Legacy and Black Opinion, Votes For War on Gaza


    by BAR executive editor
    Glen Ford

    It's hard to believe that a generation ago, the Congressional Black
    Caucus was known as "the conscience of the congress, a political and
    moral high ground long deserted by the current CBC, which has utterly collapsed under
    Israel-lobby pressure for the second time in three years.

    All but two Black lawmakers voted either "Yes" or "Present" on a
    that absolved Israel for its crimes against humanity in Gaza - placing
    blame on Hamas.  In 2006, only two Black Caucus members opposed a
    supporting Israel's savage destruction if Lebanon's infrastructure and
    killing of 1,000 people.  Hypocritically turning their backs both on Black public opinion and on the work of Dr. King,
    whose name they invoke at every public opportunity, the CBC has put itself "out of
    the anti-war business," and well outside the mainstream of Black opinion on the Israel-Palestine question.

    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."

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