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    "Celebrating Hispanic Heritage" is Latino For "No Democrat Is Safe"

    by Roberto Lovato

    Candidate Barack Obama promised Latino voters an accessible road to citizenship for the undocumented. He has delivered 2 million deportations, and with his Latino enablers, nearly as many excuses. Will Hispanic Heritage Month be the time to call out the Latino political class for being just about as venal, slavish and useless as the black political class?

    Ferguson Demands a New Black Politics

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    If Ferguson represents a new beginning for Black movement politics, then any electoral efforts must aim to “create governments whose promise to the people is to cease cooperating with the machinery that enforces the New Jim Crow.” It emphatically does not mean the Democratic Party, “which has encaged Black politics for roughly the same period as the Mass Black Incarceration State has encaged Black bodies in the world’s largest gulag.”

    Freedom Rider: Liar in a Tan Suit

    by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

    President Obama behaves as if he lives in an alternative universe, one in which ISIS and other jihadists in Syria were not armed and funded by the U.S. and its allies, and Russian-speaking Ukrainians did not rise up of their own volition against the fascist takeover in Kiev. Russian President Putin seems like a great leader, in comparison, if only because he speaks in the language of reality.

    Why Our Black Political Class is Paralyzed and Silent on Gaza Massacres and Israeli Apartheid

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    How did the NAACP wrap up its national conference this weekend without saying a mumbling word about the genocidal bombing of Gaza? Why did Moral Monday's Rev. Barber appear on HBO's Real Time with notorious Islamaphobe Bill Maher and not speak to the morality of apartheid in Israel? Why are the black political class and the black church, invisible on the invasion of Gaza and the fact of Israeli ethnocracy in general?

    Obama’s Hot War

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The deeper the U.S. slips into economic decline, the higher it ratchets up the pace and stakes of armed conflict. Washington appears to have crossed some kind of Rubicon, to embark “on a mad, scorched earth policy to terrorize the planet into submission through relentless escalation into a global state of war.”

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    Making the Case for an Election Boycott: Why the Left Should Refrain from US Imperialism's Electoral Charade

    by Danny Haiphong

    The left should not participate in, “and thus provide consent for, the rule of imperialism every four years.” Say “No” to the charade. “Barack Obama's two-term presidency has been a lesson for the entire left that voting for a Wall Street politician within the imperialist state can only bring more misery and political confusion, not less.”

    One Year After Chicago Closes 50 Public Schools, Chicago Teachers Union Assesses the Lies and Lasting Damage

    A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    A couple years ago, we at Black Agenda Report wondered why the closings of 40 public schools over three years in Philly and 50 schools in Chicago were not national news. The answer of course, was that corporate media and politicians from Romney and Obama down to black mayors and state legislators agree that public education ought to be handed to business groups and charter schools even though privatization is enormously unpopular.

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    Call the FCC – If Obama's FCC Doesn't Restore Network Neutrality, Black Agenda Report Will Die

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Although Obama promised to protect internet access for everyone, rule changes proposed by his FCC chief will make the internet a toll road. Failure to restore the internet's common carrier status will let greedy corporations pretending be something they'll call “the market” to restrict access to any content that isn't theirs or doesn't pay to be seen. But it's not a done deal yet. There's still time to make your voice heard...

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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.”

    Gridlock (Once Again) Rescues Social Security from Obama and the GOP

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Republican refusal to accept Barack Obama as a Grand Bargain partner has once again saved Social Security from cuts desired by both the White House and the GOP. Liberals are congratulating themselves, but gridlock is the real hero.

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    My Wise Country Cousin: On the 2/4 Dance…

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Ebry 2-4 yrs Negroz gettin’ played fo’ de fool

    Barack Obama, the State of the Union and the Prison State

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    For a generation now, predatory policing, the war on drugs and the prison state have been government's most frequent intersection with young black Americans. The gossip before this year's State of the Union was that the president would now do by executive order all those good things Republicans have blocked him on the last 3 years. Does that include reining in or rolling back the prison state? Should we hold our collective breath?

    The Obama Legacy, Part 1 of Many: Why Secret Trade Negotiations? Because TPP & TAFTA are NAFTA on Crack & Evil Steroids

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Thanks to WikiLeaks, a chapter of the secret agreement being negotiated by the White House has been made public. It will enshrine corporate profits as sacred rights, above the ability of local governments to make health, safety, wage, and “buy-local” regulations, and enable corporations to patent drugs, trivial techniques, diseases and living organisms.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 12/16/13

    Newark Rallies for Mandela

    “We marched because we wanted to highlight the revolutionary dimension of his personality, rather than an anemic and eviscerated Mandela,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of POP, the People’s Organization for Progress, following a demonstration in downtown Newark, New Jersey, last week, in honor of the deceased South African leader. “Believe it or not,” said Hamm, “there are still people who don’t know about Mandela.” Founded in 1983, POP’s first buttons demanded “Free Nelson Mandela!”

    America’s Mostly War Budget

    Peace and social justice activists gathered on Capitol Hill to mark International Human Rights Day and demand that Congress reject a budget that allocates more than 50 percent of resources to war-making. David Swanson, publisher of the influential website WarIsACrime.Org, noted that some lawmakers were away in South Africa. “You can’t celebrate nonviolence and then come back and dump over 50 percent of your money into so-called ‘defense,’” said Swanson. “It’s offensive, in every sense of the word.”

    De Blasio Picks Giuliani “Retread” for Top Cop

    According to Stop Stop-and-Frisk activist Carl Dix, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s choice of William Bratton as his police commissioner is designed to send a message: “Guess what? There will still be two cities, and the city that I represent, the city of the power brokers, of the elite, of the capitalist class, will continue to clamp down on the rest of you.” Bratton deployed the much-feared street crime units under law and order mayor Rudy Giuliani in the mid-Nineties.

    Slavery + Genocide + Vast Theft = Capitalist Genesis

    “The capitalist state was an imperialist state from its inception,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, at the party’s 6th Congress in St. Petersburg, Florida. The wealth necessary to launch capitalism was accumulated through slavery, extermination and land theft. “Our material condition has its origin in the attack on Africa,” said Yeshitela.

    Obama Mouth Runs Amok with Double-Talk

    Rhetorically speaking, President Obama has once again positioned himself as a “populist,” declaring that income inequality is “the defining challenge of our time.” “Obama is quite practiced in double-talk,” said Paul Street, historian and author of The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama and the Real World of Power. “As if he hasn’t been attacking Social Security and Medicare; as if he hasn’t pushed deficit reduction, in some ways, even more dramatically than the Republicans have.”

    Lynne Stewart “Home for the Holidays” Campaign

    Federal prison officials pretend that people’s lawyer and political prisoner Lynne Stewart, who suffers from Stage Four breast cancer, “is getting better, but she is not,” said her husband and fellow activist Ralph Poynter. Supporters should sign a petition asking the Bureau of Prisons, President Obama and Attorney General Holder to grant Stewart compassionate release from prison in time for the holidays. The administration is “stalling and stonewalling, and the clock is running out,” said Poynter.

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    Class and the Politics of the Black Community in the Obama Age

    by Pascal Robert

    The collective subjugation of African Americans is made easier through the collaboration of its Misleadership Class, which purports to speak for The Race as a whole while following its own, venal agenda. A great irony of the Age of Obama is that “both the Black poor and the Black elite have been left with nothing but ‘Yes We Can’ buttons and worthless empty symbolism.”

    Progressive Sheepdogs, Democrat Sheep: Broken Promises & the Minimum Wage

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    If President Obama and his party didn't even try to deliver on their 2008 campaign promise of a minimum wage hike when they had the White House and both houses of Congress on lockdown in 2010 and 2011, what does their sudden rediscovery of the minimum wage mean now, when they know they can move nothing through Congress?  Are they and their sheepdogs, the so-called “progressive Democrats” just yanking our chain again?

    The Tragicomedy of Black Politics in the Age of Obama

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    You know Black folks are in trouble when a Saturday Night Live skit provides more insight into African American politics than all the Black so-called political “analysts” at MSNBC. “Most African Americans are wholly unconcerned about Obama’s actual legislative and executive agenda.” The people are left defenseless, for the sake of an icon in the White House.

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    The Black Misleadership Class Needs Unmasking

    by Danny Haiphong

    The Black Misleadership Class purports to guide African Americans on the path to upward mobility. But, in fact, “Black FBI leaders, corporate managers, police authorities, Senators, Congressmen, Presidential advisors, and morally bankrupt celebrities like Jay-Z are given handsome salaries and positions to help manage the exploitation of the Black masses.”

    The Fallacy of Racial Kinship Politics

    by Pascal Robert

    Every “brother” ain’t a brother – and that goes for the sisters, too. “The ultimate idiocy of racial kinship politics is that it empowers an elite Black Misleadership Class that protects its own class interests to the detriment of the majority of the Black masses.”

    Crawling contradictions…

    by BAR poet-in-residence Raymond Nat Turner

    Tuesday he’s renaming

    Children “Collateral Damage,”

    Reducing family trees to charcoal

    Black America More Pro-War Than Ever

    by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

    During President Obama’s run-up to war with Syria, “African Americans were, for the first time in polling history, the most bellicose major ethnicity in the United States.” How could such a political role-reversal come to pass? “The progressive, peace-seeking African American worldview is out of sync with the deep imperative to support the First Black President.”

    The Honey Obadger: He Don’t Give a Shit

    by Randy Shields

    “Honey obadger has a silver tongue, really big ears for hearing everything said everywhere in the world, lives (politically) almost exclusively on killing Muslims and blends in well with whatever people want to believe they’re seeing.”

    You’ve got a friend…

    by Raymond Nat Turner

    Drone Man “tagged” you in a note

    He wants you to get out the vote

    Like tubes down a “detainee” throat

    The Best Americans: Black Americans

    by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

    MLK wouldn’t be smiling at him

    He’d be crying

    Present-day marches

    In DC he would not attend

    If he had to share a dais with Obama

    He would defy the views of Obama

    He’d pray for him

    Call him a stone-cold killer

    Dr. King Was A Man, “The Dreamer” Is A Zombie

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Gary Younge points out that King's “I Have A Dream” speech wasn't offered as the penultimate moment of his career till after his death. Those who offer it were the same corporate media honchos who first elevated, then slimed and slandered King the last year of his life. “The Dreamer” too is their construct, as far from the man who lived and died as an ordinary person from a brain-eating zombie.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/28/13

    NSA Could Ensnare Anyone in National Security Trap

    “Every single person in this country owes Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning a debt of gratitude,” said Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, renowned whistleblower and a founder of the No FEAR Coalition. The NSA program that tracks human networks endangers all Americans, said Coleman-Adebayo, “because everyone is only a person or two or three or four away from being implicated in some scheme that the National Security State comes up with.” She called Bradley Manning’s 35-year prison sentence for exposing government secrets an example of growing “tyranny.”

    Ray Kelly’s Rise Halted By Stop-and-Frisk Ruling

    It is highly unlikely that New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly will be appointed head of Homeland Security, said Robert Gangi, of the Police Reform Organizing Project of the Urban Justice Center. A federal court found that the city’s stop-and-frisk practices routinely violate the constitutional rights of Blacks and Latinos. “There is now a big black eye on the face of New York City policing,” said Gangi. “Ray Kelly is no longer the iconic law enforcement figure he was a short two years ago.”

    Black Is Back Coalition Magnifies Grassroots Forces

    The betrayals and predations of the Black Misleadership Class can be overcome by out-organizing them. “Our objective is to replace that misleadership, not just to complain about it,” said Omali Yeshitela, chairman of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Black is Back seeks to “provide the ability for all of these” grassroots organizations “to come together and to magnify their presence many times over,” said Yeshitela. The coalition recently held its national conference in Harlem.

    Cornel West on Obama and the New Jim Crow

    The Obama administration seems to believe it is immune from effective Black criticism. “It’s sad to see us pimped like that,” said Dr. Cornel West, the activist and academic currently based at Union Theological Seminary, in New York. “All of our suffering is rendered invisible because they know we will be highly protective of them.” The administration has “that kind of power, that kind of bully pulpit, but they can’t say a mumbling word about the New Jim Crow – and they’ve been in office for five years. That’s disgusting!” Dr. West spoke on the latest edition of Black Agenda TV.

    Nursing Students Charge Fraud in Philadelphia

    Six Black women, who call themselves the Liberation of Students Rights Group of Philadelphia, charge the now defunct St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing cheated them out of $22,000 each and a year of their lives. Sabrina Whitaker said she and her fellow students, all college graduates at the time, had heard that the school had a Black dean, and “wanted to work in an area that was African American.” But the school turned out to be unaccredited. “We had to share gloves, we had to share needles when learning how to do IVs,” said Whitaker. The women hope to prevail in court, to prove that “if you keep fighting, keep striving for what you believe in, your dream too can come true.”

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    President Obama Should Not Be Welcomed at March on Washington Commemoration

    by Ajamu Baraka

    The Black “leaders” that invited the commander-in-chief of the racist global capitalist order to the Washington Mall, later this month, are committing a desecration. “It brings a clear message, even though it is not acknowledged on a conscious level, that the highest aspiration and possible achievement for an African American is to be able to serve white power – to be a servant.”

    Dr. King’s “Dream” vs. Obama’s Realpolitik

    by Dr. Wilmer J. Leon, III

    The commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington will go silent as a bell rings the exact moment when Dr. Martin Luther King addressed the crowd. But MLK would himself be silenced in the current political environment. “Those within the African American community who are engaged in stifling honest, fact-based, critical analysis of the administration’s policies would not allow Dr. King on the dais.”

    Holder & Obama Are Playing Us On Mandatory Minimums, the Drug War and Mass Incarceration

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Once or twice a year Eric Holder and/or the president discover police brutality, racial profiling, or the injustice of the drug war, or mass incarceration. Black America gets some sound bytes of “drive-by” concern, some noises about a study or a “policy change." But 55 months into the Obama administration, when we compare the prez and attorney general's words with their actions, black America looks like it's been played.  Again.

    Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of 8/12/13

    Lynne Stewart’s Husband Asks: Where are the Unions and Clergy?

    Claiming the law gave him no choice, a federal judge rejected people’s lawyer Lynn Stewart’s request for compassionate release from a ten-year prison sentence. Judge John Koeltl said he would have given “prompt and sympathetic consideration” to such a request if it had come from the federal Bureau of Prisons, which maintains that Stewart’s health is “improving” despite the ravages of Stage Four breast cancer. Pressure must now be brought directly on President Obama, who “seems to enjoy doing the work of this oppressive corporate juggernaut,” said Ralph Poynter, Stewart’s husband and comrade in struggle. Poynter noted that “the unions have not participated as a group in the support for Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning, Snowden, or any others on the issues of freedom of speech. The ministers have also not participated in this struggle.”

    Dream Defenders Fight Criminal Justice Racism

    Stand Your Ground laws are only part of the agenda of the young people occupying state government offices in Florida’s capital. Dream Defenders political director Ciara Taylor said their focus also includes “the school-to-prison pipeline that takes children out of school and puts them into jail cells,” and “racial profiling practices. We want to disassemble all three of these practices in Florida.” Ms. Taylor said “Trayvon Martin would not even have been in Sanford, Florida, at that time, had it not been for a school suspension that he received on the basis of a zero tolerance policy.”

    Zimbabwe Shows the Way for Africa

    President Mugabe’s landslide victory in Zimbabwe’s recent elections was not only “a plebiscite on land reform, it’s a barometer reading of what Africa is really thinking,” said political analyst Eric Draitser, founder of StopImperialism.com. Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party “have stressed that political independence is meaningless without economic independence,” said Draitser.

    Gold Rush Would Further Devastate Haiti’s Ecology

    The U.S.-backed Haitian government is fashioning new laws to attract foreign mining corporations to exploit the country’s gold deposits. President Michel “Sweet Mickey” Martelly’s group “is, essentially, a kind of mafia, and they are joining hands with this international mafia of gold companies that are going around the world raping countries,” said Kim Ives, an editor of Haiti Liberte, the news and analysis weekly. “The people are very worried that words like ‘protecting national interest and sovereignty’ are a cover for just the opposite,” said Ives. Gold mining, which uses vast amounts of cyanide, has caused “an ecological disaster” in the neighboring Dominican Republic.

    Why Not a Prisoner Exchange for the Cuban Five?

    Every 5th of the month, supporters of the Cuban Five designate someone to write a letter to the U.S. president. Jane Franklin, author of Cuba and the U.S.: A Chronological History, did the honors this month. Asked about the prospects of a prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Cuba, Franklin replied: “Cuba has asked over and over again to sit down and discuss anything at all with representatives of the United States, but the U.S. has shown no interest in discussing the release of the Cuban Five.” The Cuban intelligence agents were imprisoned 15 years ago after revealing terrorist plots by Cuban exiles in South Florida.

    New Black Activist/Scholar Think Tank

    The Pan African Collective for Advocacy and Action makes its debut, this week, at a press conference in Washington, DC. “We’re sick and tired of these white organizations looking at issues within the Black community as if we’re some kind of terrarium or aquarium or incubator,” said Solomon Commisiong, one of the founders. The Collective “will do ‘white papers’” and such, but will not operate “solely as a think tank. It’s an organization of activists, scholars, and organizers whose aim is to go into our communities and work with grassroots organizations to try to deconstruct systemic issues that plague our communities.”

    POP Chairman Reports on Mumia Meeting

    Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, said his recent meeting with Mumia Abu Jamal was “a benchmark experience in my life that I will never forget.” The nation’s best-known political prisoner “has done more to bring about political consciousness than many of us who have our so-called freedom on this side of the prison walls,” said Hamm. During the two-hour visit, according to Hamm, Mumia said “President Obama has been able to enact policies that George Bush could not have gotten away with.” The first Black president’s election “has helped to demobilize people and blunt resistance that we might otherwise see in this country.”

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