Some Prisoners Declared Innocent, But Not Freed

by Maya Schenwar

HandsOnBarsSometimes being innocent doesn't mean a damn
thing. Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox's 35-year-old conviction in a prison
guard killing was overturned last month, but the Louisiana Attorney General is
keeping Woodfox locked up until a new trial can be arranged - no matter how
long that takes. This, despite the fact that Woodfox's allies include Rep. John
Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and a number of
sympathetic judges. In America, a judgment of innocent isn't a Get Out of Jail
Free card.

What Racism Does to White People

by David WeinerWhiteRacism

"Authoritarianism, the soil of racism, makes dominant
white culture in the United States an easy pawn of fascism." So said
social-psychiatrist Erich Fromm and others who argued that racism "renders its
proletarian benefactors passive and weak, ready to coalesce into angry or
obedient mobs but unable to pursue the goals of a self-actualized citizenry."
The U.S. has been a nurturing culture for white racism, an environment that
taught young whites to believe that, "If black people, or brown for that
matter, did poorly it was because of bad attitude, poor parenting, and cultural

If Obama Loses

by Paul StreetOBAMA

The author, no fan of Barack Obama's "neoliberal
centrist" ambitions, believes that "hubris and overreach" as well as race
"could play a role in a hypothetical Obama defeat." Like other Democrats of his
corporate bent, "Obama has done everything he can to reassure the nation's
ruling bipartisan political class that he is fully on board with the American
Empire Project." An Iraq and Afghanistan war funder, Obama "deserves to lose
Iraq as an issue working in his favor." If he loses, "it will be important
for progressively inclined citizens and activists to understand that it was
corporate-imperial centrism, not the left and not the People, that got defeated." 

John Edwards and Fake Morality

by Mel ReevesEdwards affair

Big Business media are coming to resemble the National
Enquirer more each day. Former senator and presidential aspirant John Edwards'
marital indiscretions loomed larger in the corporate media mind than matters of
war and peace, fiscal solvency or human rights. There seems to be no
correlation between spousal fidelity and presidential performance. "It does
appear that the current president has been faithful to his wife - yet George
Bush has committed every transgression imaginable against the U.S.
Constitution, and has behaved faithlessly towards to the citizenry he is sworn
to protect."

U.S. Mercenary Chickens Will Come Home to Roost


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The wholesale privatization of U.S. war-making
capabilities continues apace, despite the expected indictment of six Blackwater
mercenaries involved in last year's massacre of Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad
traffic jam. Domestically, for-profit prisons are popping up like Wal-Mart
superstores, while Katrina brought soldiers of fortune to the streets of a
major American city. "As the current corrupt order decays, the rulers find that
due process and other niceties of law - including armies operating under codes
of military justice and civil service police forces - restrict their freedom

To hear this  Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below


Let them eat Croissants!

MAXWELLjohn_maxwell03by John Maxwell

The author, a renowned environmentalist as well as veteran journalist, bemoans Jamaica's failure to make the right development decisions at the right time. Kingston Harbor is being prepared to receive supercargo ships from the far East, yet "soaring energy costs are threatening to...force some overseas manufacturing to return closer to North America." In other words, as Jamaica gets ready to receive more goods from China, "oil prices and transport costs will soon cancel out the advantages of low-wage driven globalization." The result: destruction of the environment of Kingston Harbor for an out-of-date reason.

New York Times Attempts to Define and Dictate Black Politics

by BAR executive editor
Glen Ford

The Sunday magazine of the nation's most influential
newspaper predicts that Black politics as we know it is headed for extinction,
that Barack Obama's "brand of ‘race-neutrality' shows Black politics is
obsolete, and should be abandoned." Of course, that's wishful thinking from a
hostile quarter, based on assumptions that all Black politics is electoral,
Blacks are becoming more conservative, and a generational crisis deeply divides
Black America - none of which is true. However, Blacks have been set up for a
fall. "To the extent that African Americans expect more from Barack Obama than
they got from Bill Clinton, they will be devastatingly disappointed."

The Need for Real Debate on South Africa’s Future

by Raymond SuttnerANCcolors

South Africa is in a state of high excitement at the
changing of the guard in the African National Congress, the ruling party. But
the author wonders "Why is there little real debate over the country's problems
and alternatives?" More pointedly, "Why
is there a conscious blindness to [new ANC leader Jacob Gedleyihlekisa] Zuma's actual positions?" At this juncture, an open
debate is more needed than ever. "We fought not only for the ANC to rule but
for the freedom to speak our minds, even if that should lead us to conclusions
that differ from the ANC leadership."

Joining the Corporate Bail-Out Receiving Line

by Carolyn PatmonForeclosuresACORN

What's in a name? If it's Fannie Mae, billions in
bailouts. The author plans to change her name to Fannie Mae, to secure a place
in the lengthening line of corporations demanding the people's money to save
their private butts. Financial firms saw nothing wrong with sucking tons of
money from over-extended homeowners, until the bubble burst, "but the buck
always stops with the taxpayer who ends up footing the bill for every corporate
crash." There oughta be a law, "Like how about a rule that bank robbers and
embezzlers can't be mortgage brokers?

What About the Black Community, Obama?

Diop Olugbala, International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement

The Uhuru Movement, which forced Barack Obama to
defend his record in Black America at a campaign stop in Florida, are preparing
for their national convention, next month. Party spokesman Diop Olugbala says
the candidate has a lot more to answer for. "If anyone looks
seriously at the positions, programs and advisors of Barack Obama, they will
see that he does not stand for any kind of real change, but for the defense of
the same old status quo, with a new face." The Uhuru Movement works toward an
"independent political agenda" that addresses in depth the question, "what
about the black community?"

Church of the Ascending Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordHeavenObama

Obamamania has much in common with religion,
which requires no proof to defend its tenets or claims, only faith. "The
Obamites rely on faith alone to predict that their spiritual leader will usher
in a glorious era of ‘change'... even though their Holy Man is hopelessly
surrounded by and beholden to international finance capital and their global
protectors, the U.S. military-industrial complex." Obama incessantly preaches
change, but the money-changers that paid for his church "stand to lose the most
from fundamental change, real reform." But Obama blesses them all, including
those who pray for "more money for weapons, more troops, more tools of global

Is Obama the End of Black Politics? Lord, No

ObamaDrawingby Mel Reeves

The New York Times magazine predicts that Black
politics will fade into "mainstream" American politics as happened with the
Italians and Irish, conveniently forgetting that "the Irish and Italian machines
were white!" Moreover, the article seems to maintain that "electoral politics
is the primary form of black political struggle" when "the most significant
black struggle has occurred in the streets." Black electoral politicians aren't
rated too highly in the ‘hood. "If asked to name black heroes off the top of
their heads, most blacks would instantly nominate Martin Luther King Jr. and
Malcolm X - neither of whom held elective office."

The FCC and the Emperors of TV Have No Clothes

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
Big Media and their sock puppets at the FCC have engineered a massive theft of public resources -- the giveaway of more than ten thousand newly minted digital TV channels to themselves.  They have finagled the regulatory process to exclude community groups, unions, local entrepreneurs, women, African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, colleges, universities or local government entities from even being able to ask about getting channels for themselves, and imposed a news blackout on their evil deed.  Their theft is settled law now, to be consummated in February 2009.
Their only fear is that the nationwide movement for media justice will awaken in time to inform and arouse the American people as it did 2003.  A parade of pot-bellied naked corporate thieves are hoping nobody notices the crime scene or their progress to and from it, until it's too late.

Is Africa a Cold War Battleground?

AfricanSoldierby Sam Akaki

A new cold war looms over Africa, fueled by "dwindling primary natural resources, oil and gas" elsewhere
on the planet. The continent has never recovered from centuries of European and
American exploitation of her land and people, while "the human, social
and economic wounds inflicted on Africa by the last Cold War are still very
raw." In the competition between East and West, China treats Africans "as
equals," says a former president of Botswana. "The West treats us as former
subjects (read slaves). I prefer the attitude of the Chinese."

How to Stop the Foreclosures

A Review of the Policy Proposals by Fred MoseleyForeclosure

In this "worst housing crisis since the Great
Depression," the presidential candidates have had disappointingly little to
say" that should be of encouragement to homeowners facing foreclosure. Under
current conditions, "up to five million homeowners" - ten percent of the
national total - "would lose their homes due to foreclosure over the next few
years." Yet much of the legislative action on Capitol Hill is geared to
rescuing the lenders who created the problem. Two principles should guide
government policy: "(1) homeowners should be allowed to stay in their homes;
and (2) there should be no bailouts for the lenders."

Why Are Democrats Taking Money From Wal-Mart?

protest-walmartby Jonathan Tasini

Hordes of congressional Democrats from the Left
to the Right wings of the party accept contributions from Wal-Mart - the
political equivalent of dealing with The Devil. "There may be no corporation in
America that has attacked the rights of workers and undercut the living
standards of Americans more than Wal-Mart." Nearly half the Congressional Black
Caucus takes money from a company that has "fired workers repeatedly for trying
to organize." The author advocates that Big Labor "write to every member of
Congress declaring that any Democrat receiving or keeping Wal-Mart money can
kiss any labor donations or labor support good-bye."

Corporate Media Makes Greens Invisible

GreenLogoaA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Democracy is impossible when corporate media act
as "supreme arbiters of which ideas, parties and candidates are permitted to
effectively compete in the public arena." Big Media in the U.S. specialize, not
so much in disseminating information, but in spreading ignorance by censoring
realities they don't like. The Washington Post refuses to cover the
Statehood Green Party, despite the fact that they are the number two vote-getters
- outpolling Republicans - in the nation's capital. As Green Party national
standard bearers Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente point out: "It is
equivalent to rigging an election." Democracy has nothing to do with it.

Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio  commentary


Press Rights: If Only the Truth Were Known…

by John MaxwellMAXWELLjohn_maxwell03

The author, with nearly 60 years of reporting
under his belt, reflects on the state of journalistic freedom in his native
Jamaica and elsewhere in the world. Mr. Maxwell is keen to distinguish between
the "freedom" of the owners to publish what they wish, and the individual
reporter's obligation and right to tell the truth. "In the western world
journalists can mostly say what they want, as long as they agree with the
positions of their publishers." The worst abusers of reporters' rights are often
their bosses, who "will defend their corporate right to speak, but not mine nor
that of any other independent journalist."


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