Congressman John Lewis Betrays Black Cherokee Freedmen

Dr. Ron Danielsby Dr. Ron Daniels
Deep ties of blood and history bind African Americans and Native Americans. But a great injustice was done to the Black Freedmen of the Cherokee Nation, who were stripped of the right to vote. Black Congressman John Lewis rubbed salt in the Freedmen's wounds by honoring tribal Chief Chad Smith, the man who engineered the disenfranchisement, an act that “was tantamount to expelling” Blacks from the tribe.

Healthcare Revolution That is Second to None

cubaby Netfa Freeman
The U.S. health care jungle fares badly when compared to health care systems in other wealthy, capitalist countries. However, even western Europe and Canada can learn a great deal from the examples of Cuba and Venezuela, where health care is a human and constitutional right and the wellbeing of the people is central to the national mission. Now, that's real socialized medicine.

The Two-Faced Power of Racial Oppression

got beer?by Henry D. Rose
The summer of 2009 provided plenty of racist reruns from the past, plus scary glimpses into the future. The future “reserved for us by our enemies” is “a place where civility masks oppression, where everything is fine as long as people don’t call Blacks nasty names,” and where “even the perception of radical Blackness is punishable by eternal banishment.”

Distracting, Dissembling, Disappointing; Barack is Back!

obama toon

Like Dick Nixon after his vacations, Obama returns to the White House “tanned, rested and ready.” Good for him. But nine months into the Obama presidency, many are asking, what about health care? What about the war? What about torture and warrantless wiretapping?  What about the stranglehold of Wall Street on the real economy, and the unpayable debts of tens of millions of families? Why does the White House seem to value Glenn Beck's opinions more than those of its own Democratic base?  What happened to the candidate whose presidency was supposed to be the fulfillment of Dr. King's Dream?


Black is Back! A Coalition to Fight the Powers that Be – Including Obama

justice and peaceby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Black leadership is paralyzed, white “progressives” are still drunk on ObamaL'aid, and much of the purported anti-war movement fears to confront the nation's First Black President. As historically the most reliably anti-war and pro-social justice ethnicity in the United States, African Americans have a special role to play in the late capitalist drama. “To free our people’s hopes and dreams from oblivion, we need a coalition dedicated to the proposition that Black is Back.”

Freedom Rider: In Praise of Tea Baggers

liarby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The Right shows far more eagerness for a fight than the hapless Left, or what remains of it. Barack Obama “smacks down” progressives like gnats, yet they continue to behave as if their mission in life is to save his presidency. Now, purported progressives vow to defend White House “health reform” proposals that bear no resemblance whatever to reform. “Only the wrongheaded and racist are taking action at this critical time.”

Dress Rehearsal For Debt Peonage, Part 2, a Guns & Butter Interview with Dr. Michael Hudson

nasdaqThe product of a banking sector, explains Dr. Michael Hudson in part 2 of this interview conducted by KPFA's Bonnie Faulkner, is debt.  The business plan of America's finance and insurance sectors for the last generation and more has been  to manufacture debt, collect ever-rising levels of rent, fees, interest and penalties, even to be bailed out of bad investments by the government with money it lends government, and finally to strip the assets of and privatize the public sector for its own short-term gain.

“Coon Huntin’” in New York City

coon huntin NYCA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

Nightriding white terrorists are not confined to the South. They also roam the streets of New York City, in search of Black victims. The election of 2008 was especially rough for Up South white supremacists. Barack Obama's victory provoked four young New Yorkers to go on a Black-bashing spree that last week earned them serious prison time.

Black Studies: Still Indispensable After 40 Years

black studiesA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

Like all things consciously Black in the age of “race neutrality,” Black Studies has been targeted for the irrelevancy file. “The truth is, Black Studies has always been in conflict with the powers-that-be, on campus and in the wider world.” Born of activism 40 years ago, Black Studies “leads to greater and more effective activism” - which makes the discipline dangerous to power and privilege.

The Stolen Count: Prison Inmates and the Census

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.
Small white towns are not typically welcoming to the prospect of large numbers of Black residents – unless they are locked up in cages. The town folks will fight tooth and nail for the privilege of hosting job-creating prisons, and to exercise the inmate's voting rights, as well. “Prison towns and prison-dependent counties are no more eager to relinquish their claim to be 'home' to their incarcerated residents than the slave master was to part with his human property.”

This Far By Faith? Race Traitors, Gender Apostates and the Atheism Question

this far by faithby Sikivu Hutchinson
To some, the Black Church is a fountain of liberation. But what of women's liberation? “Although black women are far more likely than men to attend church more than once a week, the officialdom of black religious establishments, and certainly the political face of the black church, is steadfastly male.” Does the African American brand of religiosity buttress the hierarchical status quo?

Black American Anti-Imperialist Fighters in the Philippine American War

buffalo soldiers in the Phillipinesby Gill H. Boehringer
On Black History Month, we are offered constant examples of Black sacrifice in the U.S. Armed Forces. But seldom do we hear of those Black soldiers that deserted to fight on the anti-imperialist side in the brutal U.S. war against Filipino independence, at the turn of the 20th century. As one journalist of the day put it, “the negro soldiers were in closer sympathy with the aims of the native population than they were with those of their white leaders and the policy of the United States.”

Corporate Hip Hop, White Supremacy and Capitalism

hiphopby Solomon Comissiong
Huge media corporations literally bought up Hip Hop in the early to mid-1990s, imposing “cookie cutter themes of senseless violence, excessive materialism, and misogyny.” Progressive voices in rap were silenced. The clear message was, “the minute you dare try to step outside of the 'box' and attack their power structure, you will be omitted.”

Dennis Kucinich Answers President's HealthCare Speech

Count on Cleveland's Dennis Kucinich to cut through the rhetorical foggery and fakery around health care -- or rather health insurance reform.  It's a bailout for private insurance companies.


The President, Progressives and the Myth of the Robust Public Option

by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon

The good news is that progressives in Congress are insisting on a "robust public option" in any health care legislation that will drive down coverage prices and be available to anybody who wants it.  The bad news is that they knew insurance lobbyists and the president's negotiators had crippled the public option months ago and remained silent until public dissatisfaction made them speak up.  Why didn't they fight for their "robust public option" in May and June, when it might have actually been written into the bill?  And how can they portray the public option an appropriate negotiating fallback from single payer when they never fought very hard to put it on the table in the first place? 

Freedom Rider: Obama Plots Against Children

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The only beneficiaries of President Obama's educational policies “will be the testing and charter school corporations.The president's top executive for educational business affairs, Arne Duncan, is free to treat the nation's schools as his “portfolio.” Unfortunately, “children performing below grade level, or in need of special education are not welcome in corporate education land.”

Eshu’s blues: The president holds forth on education

by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
Barack Obama has as much right as his predecessors to dispense bromides to children. “But there is a profound falsehood being told when he claims the families of public school students, or teachers have done 'everything we can' to make sure that kids have what they need to succeed in school.”

The Van Jones Affair: An “Unfriendly Environment” for Progressives at the White House

firedby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
A shining progressive star of the Obama administration was unceremoniously dismissed to satisfy the McCarthyites of the GOP. But it must be noted that “Glenn Beck didn’t fire Van Jones, Obama did.” Jones' “talents are best put to use outside of this 'progressive-unfriendly' administration."

The Sham Debate Over Obama's Af-Pak War

Afghan TalibanA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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If the Afghanistan-Pakistan war is a necessity, then it certainly must be escalated. President Obama's framing of the conflict leaves no room for peace, yet purported peace activists refuse to confront him. Such a movement is not simply shallow: “it is a fraud.”

Doing Business in the USA: A Culture of Thievery

at workA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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Cheating one's employees is as American as apple pie, according to a new study. Two-thirds of low-wage workers are routinely robbed by their bosses, hard evidence of “a festering culture of business thievery at work – something deeply embedded in the way this society operates.”


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