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    Examining the Existence of Fascism in the United States

    by Danny Haiphong

    Is the U.S. a fascist society? It’s a classic fit – a country where “the relationship between the state and corporation becomes indiscernible,” militarism is the highest value, and demonization of the Other is the organizing principle of the ruling circles and state.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 4/9/14

    Cornel West: Integrity is Key to Liberation

    “They are closing our schools, they’re foreclosing our homes, closing our libraries, closing the factories, closing the post office,” said Larry Hamm, president of the Newark-based People’s Organization for Progress. “They continue to do it, because they have not yet met the countervailing force that can stop them from doing,” he told the Bethany Baptist Church crowd. Hamm then directed the question to the evening’s speaker, noted public intellectual Dr. Cornel West, of New York’s Union Theological Seminary. “How do we build this countervailing force?”

    Organizing for liberation requires “three things,” said Dr. West. “Your vision, and the courage behind your vision. Your analysis; Do you really understand what you’re up against? And then, the organizing and mobilizing that has to take place.” Integrity is key. “When you confront a system that either buys off your leaders, lies on your leaders, or kills them, the freest persons are always those who have an absolute commitment to integrity and decency, and are willing to go under.”

    Pressure Mounts on Temple University in Monteiro Firing

    Students and community organizations plan a series of actions to protest Temple University’s firing of African American Studies professor Dr. Anthony Monteiro. A student walkout is set for this Wednesday and, next week, Philadelphia community groups will march on the campus seeking justice for Monteiro, a fair contract for university employees, and against gentrification of the Black neighborhoods that surround Temple. People recognize that “injustice to the community has gone hand in hand with this injustice to me,” said Monteiro. African American Studies chairman Dr. Molefi Asante has resorted to red-baiting to defend his complicity in Monteiro’s firing. Asante argues “that I am a radical, that I’m a Marxist, that I’m a socialist and, therefore, I don’t fit into his view of African American Studies at Temple,” said Monteiro.

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    Obama Ticket Prices and the Invisible Ruling Class

    by Paul Street

    Frederick Harris’ very useful book on the “high price” – to Black folks – of the nation’s First Black President has been reissued in paperback. However, Harris gives Obama too much credit as a president of all the people. “Like the great majority of U.S. presidents,” writes Paul Street, “Obama has been first and foremost a representative of the American white ruling class.”

    The Unemployment Question(s)

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Livin’ on nothin’, while hunger works full time

    No wonder, some brothers stumble into crime.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 1/20/14

    IFCO Tax Exemption Imperiled

    The IRS is threatening to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, IFCO, the venerable anti-poverty and human rights group. The government is investigating IFCO’s aid to Palestinians in Gaza and its assistance to U.S. students that want to avail themselves of medical scholarships in Cuba. The web site of the pro-Israel Investigative Project on Terrorism accuses IFCO of links to Hamas. “To have the IRS utilize a blog to come after a 47-year old, faith-based, non-profit organization run by people of color since its inception, is an outrage and an insult,” said IFCO co-director Gail Walker.

    Health Disparities Rooted in Racist Legacy

    Racial income and wealth gaps lead to racial health disparities, said Brian Miller, executive director of United for a Fair Economy, UFE. “Vast economic disparities are still with us, and these disparities, coupled with racial segregation, create a toxic soup that is brewing up health problems and shortening people’s lives,” said Biller, at a press conference to debut UFE’s 2014 State of the Dream Report, “Healthcare for Whom? Enduring Racial Disparities.”

    War on Poverty was Great Success

    The War on Poverty accomplished many of its goals, according to Annelise Orleck, professor of history at Dartmouth University and co-editor of The War on Poverty: A Grassroots History, 1964 – 1980. President Lyndon Johnson’s community action programs made enemies. “It shook things up when poor people demanded representation in school boards and housing boards and welfare boards,” said Orleck. The War on Poverty was attacked “not because it failed, but because it succeeded.”

    White Racism Undermined Anti-Poverty Effort

    “White backlash” scuttled some War on Poverty programs, including job training for minorities in the skilled trades. White workers whose union hiring halls had “for decades hired their sons, their nephews” became Reagan Democrats, said Jill Quadango, professor of sociology at Florida State University and author of The Color of Welfare: How Racism Undermined the War on Poverty. White union members saw minority trainees as “a direct threat to their prerogative to choose who was hired.”

    Mumia on COINTELPRO

    A new book reveals the identities of three people who broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971, and made off with files on the bureau’s COINTELPRO campaign against Blacks and the Left. Mumia Abu Jamal, America’s best-known political prisoner, recalled learning of the revelations, shortly after he left the Black Panther Party. “To read about people who you’ve known for years, who were FBI informants, was absolutely mindblowing,” Abu Jamal told Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and host of WBAI Radio’s Law and Disorder program.

    Socialism Needed – Quickly

    Capitalism “is utterly irrational, it’s out of control, and unless we democratically organize and plan this economy, they’re going to kill us, literally, through climate change,” said Michael Steven Smith, co-editor of Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA. The new book contains 31 essays by a wide range of Left activists and writers.

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    Obama, the Great Dis-Equalizer

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    Barack Obama has used up his people-friendly rhetoric over the past five years, and is now repeating promises he’s already made and broken: to raise the minimum wage, strengthen worker rights, establish truly universal health care, and fight for the common man and woman. Obama’s new rhetorical target is gross income inequalities – a catastrophe that has worsened on his watch.

    “You Get a President… Nothing Else”

    by Paul Street

    President Obama offered the crowds at the March on Washington commemoration…nothing, except the fact of a Black presidency. That’s all he’s ever offered. The question is: “What good to black Americans is a first black president who brings them nothing more than the fleeting symbolic satisfaction of his technically black presence in the White House.”

    Trayvon and White Madness

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    “George Zimmerman is no more provably racist in a U.S. court than most white Americans” – which is why a Justice Department action will get nowhere. Whites consider it “reasonable” to believe in the inherent dangerousness of Black males. “’Not guilty’ is reasonable, when everyone that counts shares the same assumptions as the perpetrator.”

    Political Crossover: The Troubling Emergence of "Black Reaganism"

    by Colin Jenkins

    The nation’s top Black Reaganite is quite open about his admiration for “The Gipper.” President Obama takes every opportunity to praise his racist, reactionary predecessor, and to emulate his politics. So do lots of Democrats of all colors. The truth is, “Reaganism never really left – it merely flowed through the pipelines of neoliberalism.”

    It Was Good That Blacks Expressed Frustration with Obama – But Don’t Call It “Direct Action”

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The sheer weight of the damage done to Blacks under Obama’s watch prompted some of his strong supporters to demonstrate in front the White House, this past Monday – a first, from that quarter. However, the event was mislabeled as a Day of Direct Action, which it was definitely not. That's like announcing you're launching armed struggle, and then challenging Obama to an arm wrestling contest.

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 6/17/13

    BAR & Friends Anticipate the End of the Age of Obama

    In the wake of the disasters that have befallen Blacks under his watch, President Obama’s exit in 2017 may “provide an opportunity to move the masses away from the Democratic Party and towards a discussion of alternatives,” said Margaret Kimberley, editor and senior columnist for Black Agenda Report. Speaking at a BAR-organized Left Forum workshop titled “Black Politics at the Tail End of Obama – and Beyond,” Kimberley noted that “Black politics had been on life support for some time before 2008, but his election marked the day that the plug was finally pulled.” The supreme irony, said Kimberley, “that the election of a Black man meant the end of Black politics, cannot be overstated.”

    The Black Class Divide

    Polls show that upwardly mobile Blacks often share with whites an “utter contempt and hatred for the Black poor,” said Dr. Tony Monteiro, professor of African American studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “This class division, this ideological division,” can be seen in the politics of “the Cory Bookers and Michael Nutters” – the Black mayors of Newark and Philadelphia, respectively – “and other Black agents of the 1%,” Monteiro told the workshop.

    Back to Basics

    We’re going to have to let go of top-down, patriarchal, backward leadership models like the Black Church, and we’re going to have to let go of the Democratic Party,” said BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon. We must “rediscover” basic organizing skills, “so that people who are most concerned about various issues can take leadership” of community organizations. And, we must “let go of the idea that we can come up with some creative act or persuasive argument that’s going to give us media access to galvanize huge numbers of people in some short period of time,” said Dixon.

    Eyes on the Prize

    We’ve got to get back to old fashioned Marxist and Left Black Nationalist understandings of how race, racial identity and sham electoral democracy function within the overall context of capitalism and empire,” said writer and activist Paul Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. The renewed movement must be informed by the facts of “how labor markets work, how the criminal justice system works, how the real estate market works, instead of a game of Black and Latino and female faces in high places.”

    The Doctrine of Mandatory Black Failure

    Journalist Pascal Robert, a frequent contributor to Black Agenda Report, speaking at a Left Forum workshop on the Economy and Ecology of Haiti, quoted Napoleon’s rational for sending 60,000 troops to attempt to crush the Haitian Revolution, in 1802. “My decision to destroy the authority of the blacks in Saint-Domingue,” Robert quoted the Frenchman, “is not so much based on considerations of commerce and money, as on the need to block forever the march of the blacks in the world.” We must realize, said Robert, “that there is a part of western foreign policy that invests in the importance of failed models of liberation. There is a psychic benefit to western imperialist nations to make sure that certain Black and brown nations stay failed, and do not ever give examples of success.”

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    The Expansion of Black American Misery under Barack Obama’s Watch

    by Dr. Reginald Clark

    Black folks are not only far worse off “since 2009 under President Obama’s economic and job creation policies” – Africans Americans are the only group that “has taken a definitive step backwards since then.” The main reason: “lack of attention to employment in urban and rural geographic areas where Blacks reside.”

    Perhaps Black People Should Stop Expecting Equality


    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    Dr. Watkins, an esteemed author, economist and social commentator, has seen the error of his ways. He has been wrong to argue that President Obama be made accountable to Black people, his most ardent supporters. Instead, Blacks should be accountable to the president. “Only whites, Jews, gays, women, labor groups and illegal immigrants are allowed to expect anything from the president.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of October 8, 2012


    College Admissions Must Consider Race

    The U.S. Supreme Court should reject a challenge to affirmative action at the University of Texas, at Austin. “Removing race from consideration in admissions is impractical,” said Inimai Chettiar, of the Brennan Center for Justice, at the New York University School of Law. “I don’t see how you can divorce race from who a person is.” The University of Texas “has followed the Supreme Court’s mandate in previous cases to the letter.”

    Myth of Black Progress

    The exclusion of incarcerated persons from many data sources “calls into question claims about Black progress” over the past 35 years, said Becky Pettit, author of Invisible Men: Mass Incarceration and the Myth of Black Progress. For example, there has been “no improvement in the high school dropout rate among young Black men since at least the 1990s,” and “young Black males dropouts are more likely to be in jail or prison than to be employed.” Dr. Pettit is a sociologist at the University of Washington.

    Two Parties: One Vision

    What the debate showed is how similar the two parties are,” said Arun Gupta, co-founder of The Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Indypendent. “We heard nothing about the most important issues.” President Obama “could not commit himself to stand for one thing that the vast majority of the people of this country need,” said Gupta, who is covering the campaign for Alternet, Truthout and The Guardian.


    President Obama made the most honest statement of the debate, when he said “Romneycare and Obamacare are, effectively, the same” and a “Republican idea,” said Russell Mokhiber, editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter. Another gem: Romney, trying to act like a populist, challenged “corporatist Obama” on his support for too-big-to-fail banks. “And, because Obama is taking cash from the same sources, he’s not able to respond.”

    NDAA May Lead to Mass Lockups

    The assault on civil liberties by the Obama administration has been worse than under Bush,” said veteran reporter Chris Hedges, a plaintiff in a suit against the preventive detention bill signed into law by Obama, last New Year’s Eve. A federal judge this summer declared the law unconstitutional, but an appeals panel put it back in effect, pending a final ruling. “This opens the ability of the state to classify an entire group of people – and, probably, American Muslims will be the first one – who can be just rounded up,” said Hedges.

    Wal-Mart Walkouts

    Workers walked off the job at Wal-Mart stores in Los Angeles, while employees from Europe, Latin America and Africa flew into the city under the banner of the Wal-Mart Global Union Alliance. The retail giant’s prices are low “because they’re taking from us,” said Wal-Mart “associate” Dan Hindman. “We’re paying for these low prices.” Alke Boessinger, a union organizer from Switzerland, said: “Unless workers unite as one, Wal-Mart will do whatever it can to silence people.”

    Detroit Water Strike

    AFSCME Local 207, in Detroit, claimed victory in a brief strike by water workers. Union official John Reihl said Michigan’s governor is determined to seize the mostly Black city’s water resources through “a combination of suburban control and privatization.”

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    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of September 24, 2012


    Chicago Teachers First to Stand Up to Obama School Policies

    This is the first time that a teachers union stood up to the privatization of the Obama administration, stood up to the Democrats as the purveyors of these policies,” said journalist Jaisal Noor, who covered this month’s teachers strike for the Real News Network and other outlets. “The reason that the union knew it could strike and that it could maintain public support is because they had spent the last couple of years working with communities. There was massive support from parents and from students.”

    Both Parties Ignore Poverty

    Democrats are even less likely than Republicans to talk about poverty this election season, as evidenced by the near-absence of the word at both parties’ national conventions, said Paul Street, author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. In Black inner cities, “we’re looking at unemployment and poverty rates that harken back to the Great Depression. And, of course, that’s something that Barack Obama is instructed never to talk about.”

    Oligarchs and Plutocrats Rule

    Poverty in America is a national disgrace and a moral obscenity, which is rendered invisible by the system under which we live, run by oligarchs and plutocrats,” said Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary, in New York. West and journalist Tavis Smiley recently completed their Poverty Tour 2.0, including stops in four so-called “battleground” states. “If we can get the Black Freedom Struggle off life support, we can really turn this country around.”

    Occupy the Debates

    Progressives will hold streaming analysis and discussion of the Obama-Romney debates, starting with the first event on October 3. “We’ll discuss the obvious crises the country faces, from housing to the environment to mass incarceration, the issues that are not being dealt with…by the corporate candidates,” said organizer Kevin Zeese. For information, go to

    Black Educator Faces Prison for Challenging Whitening of HBCUs

    Dr. Jahi Issa faces two years in prison on riot charges for supporting Black students protesting the “whitening” of historically Black Delaware State University, last March. “He was touching a very raw and sensitive nerve,” said Dr. Jeff Perry, biographer of Hubert Harrison, considered the father of Harlem radical politics. “Historically Black colleges and universities get substantial federal support,” said Perry. “Corporate interests want to take it over for both profit and social control.” To assist Dr. Issa’s legal defense, go to Dr. Issa’s article “The Ethnic Cleansing of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Age of Obama” appeared in Black Agenda Report, September 6, 2011.

    The Mother of all Blowbacks

    In Libya and now Syria, as in Afghanistan beginning under President Jimmy Carter, “the West has once again empowered fundamentalist forces that will inevitably turn against Washington, the Greatest Infidel of all,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford. Recent anti-U.S. protests in the Islamic world are “only a small foretaste of what is to come: a blowback of such intensity that the foundations of Empire will crack, and crumble.”

    Information as Weaponry

    Last year’s U.S.-NATO war against Libya “was not conducted just with bombing and with troops, but was an information war, and that’s the parallel with what’s going on in Syria, today,” said journalist Don Debar. “The bloodshed is conducted on behalf of, or directed by, the United States, France and Britain. Iran is public enemy number one for the West, “as it has been since 1979.”

    Jesus on Death Row

    Jesus Christ spent his last days on death row and was murdered by the government at that time,” said Pam Africa, head of International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu Jamal, speaking at Riverside Church, in New York. “We cannot forget political prisoners. These brothers and sisters are in jail because they have a love for us, and understand that we must never give in.”

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    Is Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett the One Who Keeps Barack from Dealing with Black Issues?


    by Dr. Boyce Watkins

    We can no longer live in a world where anyone who asks President Obama to do something is defined to be an enemy of the administration.” Yet, it appears the president’s top advisor, Valerie Jarrett, believes her job is to silence Black critics. “It’s as if we’re being told to ‘stop snitching’ on the White House, while Obama Administration officials sit back and laugh at how stupid we are.”

    Why I Won't Vote (1956)


    by W.E.B. Dubois

    On October 20, 1956, W. E. B. Du Bois delivered this eloquent indictment of US politics and why he won't vote in the upcoming Presidential election. Du Bois condemns both Democrats and Republicans for their indifferent positions on the influence of corporate wealth, racial inequality, arms proliferation and unaffordable health care. The article appeared in The Nation.

    Freedom Rider: Racism is the Issue


    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    No matter what the facts say, Blacks are forbidden to blame race for…anything. That’s the meaning of a post-racial society: race is banned from discourse, while racism carries on as usual. Worsening Black unemployment in New York? The New York Times takes note of the numbers, but won’t even consider that racism might be a factor. In the Age of Obama, “pointing out that racism is still very much alive is akin to pointing out that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.” It just isn’t done.

    Obama’s Not the First Black President – He’s the First President Who is Black

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

    Obama may be Black, but he’s not that kind of president. “If he were the first Black President he would be using his bully pulpit to champion legislation targeting unemployment in urban areas, poverty, income disparity, and other issues.” This particular Black man is, essentially, a functionary of a government in the service of wealth and empire. “The President’s efforts will not address chronic income disparity or the wealth gap.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of January 30, 2012


    Obama to Face Increased Black Criticism

    I think we are going to hear more voices of opposition coming from all sectors of Black leadership, and certainly from the most hard pressed sections of the Black population,” said Dr. Tony Monteiro, professor of African American Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. “The decline and disappearance of the Black middle class is not going to go unnoticed.” Seventy-four percent of Blacks see the split between rich and poor as “a manifestation of a deep class conflict in society,” said Dr. Monteiro, citing recent studies by the Pew Center for Research. “You’ve got this residual radicalism, from the period of mass struggle, civil rights and anti-war activism that is manifested in Black identification with socialism. But then when it comes to Obama, everything gets irrational.” Fifty-five percent of African Americans have a positive attitude towards the word “socialism.”

    Black Unemployed In Worse Shape Than When Recession ‘Ended’

    Black joblessness is higher today than it was in June 2009, the month when the recession was officially declared over, said Dr. Steven Pitts, of the University of California at Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. Black unemployment was 15.8 percent in December, 2011, compared to 14.9 percent in June, 2009. The Center’s annual report on Black unemployment showed virtually “no movement” in 2011, standing at 15.7 percent at the beginning of the year and ending at 15.8. However, “the Black female rate rose and the Black male rate fell.”

    Rulers Will Use Race to Exploit Crisis

    Author and labor activist Jeffrey Perry, writing in Cultural Logic magazine, said “we are moving into a very deep and serious crisis” in which ruling circles in U.S. society can be expected to turn increasingly to white supremacist appeals. “Reliance on white supremacy has been the key to social control for the U.S. ruling class,” said Perry. “Newt Gingrich is the most outspoken.” Perry’s article focuses on the views of Hubert Harrison, a Harlem Black nationalist and socialist of the early 20th century, and Theodore W. Allen, famous for his book The Invention of the White Race.

    Food Stamps Enjoy Wide Support

    Until now,” said Timothy Casey, senior counsel of Legal Momentum, “food stamps have enjoyed strong, bipartisan support.” However, recent attacks by Newt Gingrich and “calls in the House by some Republican leaders to ‘reform’ food stamps” by turning them into block grants “could lead to a sharp reduction in the benefits people receive,” said Casey.

    Amnesty International: Blacks Killed, Tortured in Libya

    Sanjeev Bery, Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said Black people have been subjected to “abductions, torture, unfair detention” and extrajudicial killings by U.S.-backed militias in Libya. The abuses stem from “wildly exaggerated rumors” that former Libyan leader Gaddafi employed large numbers of Black mercenaries, said Bery. Those rumors “intersected with pre-existing racism and xenophobia to make many dark-skinned Libyans, as well as sub-Saharan African” into targets of local gunmen. Bery was interviewed by Robert Knight, of Pacifica radio station WBAI, in New York.

    Panther Baby, Dr. Jamal Joseph’s memoir on coming of age in the Black Panther Party, debuts in February. Dr. Joseph, an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, was the youngest member of the New York 21, Panther Party members who were charged in 1969 – and later acquitted – of plotting to bomb public places.

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    Police Brutality, Black America, and the US Occupy Movement


    by Solomon Comissiong

    When those who claim to represent “the 99%” reject as “divisive” the grievances of the Black, red and brown minority, they are claiming a false mandate. “Until more so-called white liberals, progressives and activists take Black issues seriously enough to give them more than lip service; many black people will continue to see themselves as marginalized, even within the broader Occupy Movement.” There can be no just society in “an apartheid state.”

    Why Obama’s “Black Jobs Plan” Won’t Resolve Black Unemployment


    by Tamara K. Nopper

    President Obama tried to give his Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner audience the impression that his jobs bill specifically targets 100,000 Black businesses as job incubators. In reality, the 100,000 African American firms that actually have employees will be treated no differently than the millions of white-owned businesses that are much better positioned to take advantage of the Obama scheme. “In the end, Obama expects African Americans, in this case Black business owners and Black youth, to largely shoulder the burden of resolving the Black unemployment crisis.” And, although the president made general reference to racism in his speech to the CBC, “Obama’s jobs plan does not talk about racial discrimination.”

    Obama’s Depraved Indifference

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    President Obama seems positively eager to dismantle the safety nets put in place in the Thirties and strengthened by a Black-led movement in the Sixties. He calls it “Winning the Future” – a future that “holds nothing but further pain and decline for Black America.” By virtually all indices, Black fortunes have plummeted under the First Black President, whose policy is to let the (chocolate) chips fall where they may.

    Freedom Rider: Middle Class Means Working Class

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    Economic disparities are more dramatic in the United States than any other developed country, yet most Americans have no idea what economic class they belong to. Class war rages, but the losers don’t realize they are under assault, or by whom. “Workers in the private sector who are themselves vulnerable, applaud the effort to race to the bottom, instead of fighting against it.”

    Black Unemployment in the Multiracial Small Business Industry

    by Tamara K. Nopper

    Do small, immigrant businesses get a “pass” when it comes to racial discrimination in employment? “There is a good deal of literature examining how employers prefer non-Black people of color over Black workers and use this diversity to conceal and defend their anti-Black racism.” However, most academic studies “do not discuss hiring discrimination among immigrant (of color) entrepreneurs.”

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey

    Corruption Marks U.S. Earthquake Aid to Haiti

    U.S. corporations are making a killing from Haiti earthquake relief, just as they did after the Katrina disaster, says New Orleans-based writer and activist Jordan Flaherty. “Politically-connected U.S. contractors are using their contacts, especially with the Republican Party,” says Flaherty, “to profit off of these disasters, and the same patterns we saw with Katrina are being repeated with the Haiti earthquake.” Flaherty authored an article, “One Year After Earthquake, Corporations Profit While People Suffer.”

    Long-term Unemployed Locked in Despair

    A study of long-term unemployed workers shows that most are gripped by a deep sense of loss, and that about 60 percent of them “now do not believe that hard work guarantees success” in American society. “There’s a resignation to an economic lower class, or downward mobility,” says Cliff Zukin, of Rutgers University, one of the authors of the report, “The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in Their Futures.”

    Protest Against FBI Raids Set for January 25

    Demonstrations are scheduled in cities across the country to protest FBI raids against peace and international solidarity activists, says Jill Dowling, of the New York Working Group to Stop FBI Oppression. To date, 23 activists have been summoned to testify before grand juries, or face jail for contempt of court. Dowling says activists in countries like Colombia are at risk of being killed if their American counterparts are forced to “name names.”

    Without Civil War, Slavery Might Not Have Ended

    It should not be assumed that slavery would have somehow been abolished had the U.S. Civil War not occurred, says James Loewen, author of The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader and other books on race in America. “The investment in slaves was greater than the investment in all railroads and all manufacturing companies in the U.S.,” says Loewen. “Who would have ended that right away? It’s not clear.”

    Lumumba Assassination Commemorated

    Monday, January 17, marked the 50th anniversary of the murder of Congolese president Patrice Lumumba, targeted for death by both Belgium and the United States. The martyred leader’s “words still resonate with the youth of Africa, today,” says Kambole Musavuli, spokesperson for Friends of Congo.

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    Black Rage; Lynne Stewart Sentenced; a Red Black & Green Party; Counting Black Jobs; Southern Black Co-ops – Black Agenda Radio on PRN, the Progressive Radio Network

    ba radio on the progressive radio networkRage in Black America

    Killer cops are the most powerful agents of Black enragement. As in the case of Oscar Grant, not even the presence of live witnesses and cameras seems to deter the hit men in blue. BAR’s Dr. Jared Ball reminds us that Malcolm X “once said that simply being Black in America ‘radicalizes you.’ We hope so because it certainly does continue to enrage.”

    People’s Lawyer Sentenced

    Lynne Stewart has been “made an example of” because she defends the people’s “right to resist – the ultimate human right,” says activist and educator Ward Churchill. Stewart was re-sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly providing “material support” to her client, an accused terrorist.

    Towards a Red Black & Green Party

    Blacks have given blind allegiance to the Democratic Party over the last 75 years, just as they did with Republicans in the previous 65 years since Emancipation, says BAR’s Bruce Dixon. “Our 1870 political strategy makes us unable to discern an enemy when he is a professed Democrat, all the more a Democrat with a black face.”

    Black Jobs by the Numbers

    Steven Pitts, of the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California, at Berkeley, worries that “we begin to pit low wage workers against the unemployed” at times of economic trouble, and “put unemployed workers into bad jobs.” Pitts and his colleagues have recently begun issuing monthly reports on Black employment prospects.

    A 43-Year Cooperative Venture

    Since 1967, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund has helped Black farmers achieve self-sufficiency. The federation celebrates its work with 30,000 families in 75 cooperatives across the South with festivities in Birmingham, Alabama, August 19-21, says executive director Ralph Paige.

    Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 4:00pm ET on PRN. Length: One hour.


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    Black America: Sinking to a New “Bottom”?

    black unemployment, then and nowby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
    The Black job market is imploding, even as the moneyed classes congratulate themselves on having “turned the corner” toward economic recovery. Alarming Black unemployment patterns indicate that “a perfect storm of racial disadvantage” has occurred. “Virtually nothing prevents the boss from acting out his prejudices and greed with impunity.” There’s nothing “post-racial” about the current crisis for Black workers.

    From Prison Inmates to Would-be Lawyers, Black Prospects Are Dimming

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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    The election of a Black president aside, white determination to hang on to skin privilege may be on the increase. California's governor proposes to cut prison costs through privatization, while refusing to release a single inmate. And despite steadily improving grades and test scores, law schools are enrolling fewer Black and brown students.

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    Black Jobs Prospects Descending to a “Deeper Level of Hell”

    we need jobsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

    With each economic downturn, another layer of permanent Black unemployment is created. The effects are cumulative, and cry out for programmatic attention, but President Obama offers only bromides and moralizing. Wall Street wants deficit reduction, and “what Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets.”
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