Model Minorities vs. Black (Reverse) Racists: Blacks, Asian Americans, and South Philadelphia High

by Tamara K. Nopper

What happens when Blacks are perceived by other minorities and by whites as the bosses, wielders of state power? How does the Blacks-in-charge perception jibe with stereotypes of Black incompetence and violence. And where do Asians, the so-called “model minority,” fit into this racial drama? The author seeks answers from events at a troubled Philadelphia high school.

West Indies: 500 Years, 500 Lashes

maxell and the pirateby John Maxwell
Five centuriesof European domination has brought the world ever-increasing disparities in wealth and every other measure of the human condition. The rich nations and their servants preach a capitalist gospel that would condemn nations like Jamaica to centuries more of hell. “We are told that we must make sacrifices, must reduce the taxes paid by the rich to attract ‘development’ while we watch our jobs outsourced to the Dominican Republic, China, Salvador and other happier hunting grounds, where labor costs are infinitesimal and labor unions non-existent.”

Is the Detroit Nigerian "Terrorist" A Patsy?

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

The bumbling Nigerian “terrorist” who set his lap on fire on board an airliner in Detroit Christmas day will provide days or weeks of conveniently hysterical headlines, along with excuses to target West Africa and Yemen for extra special attention from the American military, and the usual host of justifications for existing US policies in what used to be called 'the war on terror'. But the similarities between his case, and that of incompetent “terrorists” in Fort Dix New Jersey, in Miami's Liberty City and elsewhere raise serious questions about the whole incident.

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Monbiot: Copenhagen Climate Change Meeting Was Doomed, Fraudulent From the Start

by George Monbiot

Fossil fuels made two centuries of industrial civilization possible. But their continued use is now causing irreversible climate destabilization, threatening the death of tens or hundreds of millions. Since consuming only sixty percent of the already mapped and easily available deposits of coal, oil and gas around the world is an absolute gurantee of climate catastrophe, governments should have been sitting down at Copenhagen to determine which forty, fifty or sixty percent of those available reserves will be left in the ground, and to ban prospecting for more.  All the rest, Monbiot points out, was hypocritical nonsense.

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Jeff Haas New Book, “The Assassination of Fred Hampton” is a Major Contribution To The Legacy of the Slain Panther Leader

Attorney Jeffrey Haas co-founded Chicago's PLO, the Peoples Law Office, which has represented the victims of political persecution, torture and police misconduct for more than four decades.  Haas was lead attorney in the decade-long lawsuit lodged by the families and survivors of the December 4, 1969 raid by the FBI and Chicago Police that took the lives of Black Panthers Mark Clark and Fred Hampton. Haas's new book, the Assassination of Fred Hampton, How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered A Black Panther is a riveting personal account of how the author's life intersected with the movement of the late 60s and early 70s and with the brief and remarkable life of Fred Hampton, who led the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party.

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Barack Obama and Langston Hughes on “Grumblers” and “Merry Christmas”

When US presidents offer us their holiday greeting messages, do we know what are they really saying?  How hard can it be to figure that out?  Langston Hughes died in 1967, but he knew what every US president, including Barack Obama is really saying, underneath and behind the mask.  


Freedom Rider: Guantanamo, Illinois

guantanamo illinoisby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
In many respects, a year of President Barack Obama feels much the same as...a year of George Bush. Wars metastasize, prisons migrate from Cuba to Illinois, bankers get richer – 2009 has many elements of deja vu. “Barack Obama has firmly established the continuation of Bush regime domestic, foreign and economic policy.”

What Part of “We Need Jobs” Does Obama Not Get?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
It is as if Americans have lost the very language of social justice. The Congressional Black Caucus, finally in a mood to confront the White House on the jobs issue, find themselves having to explain that legislators have a “moral obligation” to fight for their constituents' interests. Meanwhile, “President Obama treats every appeal for attention to Black unemployment as if it is an unreasonable, or even illegal, demand.”

US Reaps Trillions While Condemning Africa To Climate Catastrophe

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
With humanity at risk and Africa facing “incineration,” the United States opted for “disaster capitalism” at the global climate conference, last week. “President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Copenhagen to end any possibility of a global agreement on greenhouse gasses that the rich nations would be bound to respect.”

Obama Continues to Privatize America's Imperial Wars

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The Pentagon has methodically insulated its wars from most of U.S. civil society. “For the United States, war has devolved to a matter of contracts, a multi-trillion dollar cash cow for corporations, a self-perpetuating financial bubble that feeds the planet’s most dangerous and nonproductive, useless classes.” The mercenary is the ideal corporate warrior.

Reverse Images: The Acrimonious Debate on Race in Cuba

by Jean Damu
Cuba is racist, says a letter signed by 60 African American and Afro-Latin notables. Undoubtedly, “racism exists in Cuba, just as it does in every other country on the planet, especially the United States.” And just as surely, those who signed the letter have put their reputations in service of the same U.S. government and Miami (white) Cuban exile crowd that has always plotted against the Cuban revolution. The author poses the question: “Is there really a civil rights movement in Cuba or is the petition merely a grandiloquent expression of Afrogringoism?”

“You Can’t Be President”: Race, Class, and Memories of Obama

by Paul Street
No one should claim they were fooled by candidate Barack Obama – least of all, Black people. “Obama’s political team has always taken an official position of cowardice on race.His avoidance of racial realities is long-standing. The president's supporters simply ignored the evidence of their own eyes and ears, and let their imaginations do the thinking.

Universal Health Care? We Keep the Candy, But You Can Have the Wrapper. No. Wait. Give Us the Wrapper Too.

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

It's half past December, and the White House is hell-bent on passing its version of “health insurance reform” out of Congress before the holiday recess. It's not universal. It's not even about delivering health care, it's about bailing out health insurance companies. The legislation will force millions of Americans to buy skimpy private insurance, often with hundreds of dollars a month of their own money under penalty of law. Billions more in government subsidies will be added to the giveaway to help purchase health insurance policies for the bottom half or more of the insurance market.

Freedom Rider: “War is Peace” Prize

Your New War Presidentby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Barack Obama is nothing if not a man of “firsts.” America’s first Black president has earned the dubious honor of possibly having delivered the first resoundingly pro-war speech to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. “The new peace prize winner told the world that peace isn’t worth working for and is off the table for his consideration.”

"Progressives For Obama" Change Name To Omit Their President

Honest ObeA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It has taken almost a year for “Progressives for Obama” to make a partial break with their former object of adulation, proof that groupie-love is a powerful emotion. “Two of the founding members, Bill Fletcher and Tom Hayden, are making uncharacteristically loud anti-Obama noises and acting as if they played no role in convincing Obama that he could make war and serve corporate interests to his heart’s content, without fear of any trouble from the Left.”

Wealthy Nations To Poor Ones: There Will Be No Reparations For Killing the Planet

Let them eat dirtA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Even as the world approaches “the end-game of human existence,” brought on by centuries of exploitation of nature and man, the chief polluters and oppressors demand impunity from past and current crimes. The U.S. categorically rejects the “notion” of payback for global warming.

Paul Krugman's Blind Spot for Corporations and Obama

Paul KrigmanA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

At times of acute crisis, the oppressed and exploited find out who their real friends are. Old political labels become useless, as do former allies. Paul Krugman is the resident “liberal” on the New York Times op-ed page. But what use are his analyses if the economic and political predations of corporations aren't even part of the equation.


ACORNby Bill Quigley
A federal court has affirmed that the U.S. Congress acted illegally in barring the grass roots organization ACORN from access to government contracts. Although the federal legislature is forbidden to mete out political punishment, don’t expect that to deter the Republican vendetta against ACORN, which “has been a target of right-wing politicians for years.”

Call Me Barry: Obama’s Tough Love

by Sikivu Hutchinson
The days of “Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud” are no more. Young African Americans in search of work find their heritage a hopeless drag on upward mobility. “Obama’s Talented Tenth magic,” it appears, does not rub off. “In some instances, graduates of historically black colleges and universities have deleted all reference to their tenure and omitted mentions of involvement in ethnically suspect groups” – especially their own.


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