Eshu’s blues: It’s a jungle out here

prissy prezby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
The imperial menu offers us a range of dishes, from prime cut mass murder (Congo, Af-Pak), to trailer park cold cuts a la Sarah Palin and her abstinence-preaching daughter-momma. And then there's “Golden Tonsils Obama, whose Cairo speech just two weeks ago fell into that realm the character in Mel Brooks’ movie Blazing Saddles was talking about when he said another character in the film had a 'prettier tongue then a fifty dollar whore.'”

Margaret Kimberley On the Housing Crisis: How the Politics is Taken Out of NY Politics

If you don't see the video above, click here

BAR's senior columnist Margaret Kimberley sketches some of the local impact of the foreclosure crisis in New York City, and how , in the age of black governors and mayors and presidents, the politics have effectively been removed from black politics.  The weight and number of black faces in high places has smothered black politics.

Harlem's Mae Jackson: When Obama Speaks, Whose Lips Move?

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Mae Jackson is a New York City based writer, poet, dreamer and doer whose record of activism on behalf of her people stretches back to SNCC. A founder of Art Without Walls, an art program for the children of imprisoned women, she is well acquainted with the difference between surface change, and fundamental, revolutionary change.

ObamaCare: A Non-Existent Health Plan That Begins with Cuts

obama on health careA 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.

There is no Obama healthcare plan, “just mouthfuls of generalized rhetoric that changes with the moment, as Obama constantly woos the insurance, drug and hospital corporations.” However, Obama's proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will take on lives of their own. That's what Republicans have “been clamoring for for generations,” and Obama offered it to them, upfront. “In his rush to mollify the private healthcare profiteers, Obama has given away the pubic store.”

Bwana Obama, with Trinkets for Zimbabwe

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.
By all standards of international diplomacy, last week's White House “State” visit by Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was bizarre. President Obama praised one-half of Zimbabwe's “Unity” government, while denouncing the other half, President Robert Mugabe. Obama has continued George Bush's sanctions against Zimbabwe, but gifted Tsvangirai with $75 million for public purposes – causing Tsvangirai to appear to be “a petty agent for the Americans.”

Free the Cuba Five, Mr. President

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
If President Obama sincerely wants to improve relations with Cuba, he can show he is serious by freeing the Cuba Five. The Cuban intelligence agents were given long prison terms for infiltrating Cuban exile terrorist groups in South Florida. With this week's U.S. Supreme Court refusal to review their case, only President Obama can resolve this festering political problem.

Dead Aid: More Kool Aid

dead aid and kool aidby C. Uzondu
Dambiso Moyo pounds the talk show circuit proclaiming that foreign aid is Africa's worst problem. Her prescription: heavy doses of capitalism - as if the continent doesn't have enough of it: “Shell in the Niger delta, Canada’s Banro Corporation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Vodafone in Ghana, China’s NPOC in the Sudan, and Debeers in South Africa are all capitalist enterprises in neo-colonial states that never destroyed the colonial-capitalist state apparatus they 'inherited' from their colonial masters.” Moyo used to work for the World Bank and Goldman Sachs, and it shows.

The Real Darfur Story: A Political Conflict, But Not A Genocide


instant karm5aA Review of a new book by Mahmood Mamdani

The Save Darfur Coalition has convinced a large portion of the American public that “genocide” is underway in Darfur, the western Sudan. As propagandists, the coalition has done a highly effective job. Among the few public intellectuals in the U.S. to debunk the genocide story is Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, of Columbia University, who concludes, “There's no attempt to eliminate a people here. This has been a conflict over land.”


The US Mainstream Media: Selective Omission and Planned Misinformation

boob tubeby Solomon Comissiong
There is method to the maddening homogeneity and shallowness of the U.S. corporate media. “Keeping the public as dumbed down as possible keeps their corporate clients happy and their political partners in power.” Media corporations advertise that they sell “news,” but what they're really marketing is a daily defense of imperial rule. That's why, for example, “they won’t tell you how so-called 'free trade' policies create sweatshops, plunder, mass migration, and civil unrest.”

Obama Charges Backward On Health Care

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Barack Obama, like the little kids that used to appear on Art Linkletter’s TV show, says “the darndest things.” He has discovered that the “root cause” of America’s health care cost problem isn’t the insurance companies, or the drug barons, or the hospital corporations. Medicare is the villain. “Disastrously, he has created a situation in which health care ‘reform’ is predicated on stripping Medicare down to the bone.”

Freedom Rider: Obama Insults Muslims


gazaby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Barack Obama seems to think that Muslims are stupid, stupid enough to accept invasions and occupations without complaint if an American president shows up and quotes from the Koran.” It is amazing how Americans and their presidents keep a straight face while urging non-white foreigners to tolerate the intolerable. ““Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed,” Obama preaches – while his drones and soldiers kill women and children around the globe.


Cynthia McKinney in Harlem : Confronting Neo Liberalism in the Age of Obama

If no video is visible above, click here.  It's too late to be disappointed with the Obama administration. As our parents and grandparents might say, it hurts too much to laugh and we're too grown to cry. The answer then, is to take stock of what we have, to assess our opportunities and to organize. We have the brains and the resources, says McKinney.

Anthony Monteiro in Harlem, May 31, 2009, When Obama Won, Did We?

If no video is visible above, click here.  Was the election of the nation's First Black President a victory for our people in the long struggle against racism and empire? Or does it simply mark a change in establishment tactics that will make it even more difficult to press the case for economic justice, and an end to militarism and racism?

Eshu’s blues: Media circus throws another temper tantrum over Sotomayor nomination

by michael hureaux perez

Opponents of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination claim to be fighting against the rise of an “activist court” – “which is what the ruling class of this country calls any court which occasionally intervenes on behalf of historically repressed peoples.” Such politicians are much more comfortable with jurists such as Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who famously proclaimed that Blacks have no rights that a white man is bound to respect. The modern-day Taneys don’t have much tolerance for uppity Puerto Ricans, either.

Fattening Black Frogs For Corporate Snakes

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.

A “small herd” of rightist Black politicians is seeking statewide office, further mangling Black politics in the process. In practice, this trend allows white voters “to decide which kinds of Black politicians rise to state and national prominence.” Among the latest entries is Congressman Artur Davis, running for governor of Alabama. Rep. Davis is consistently ranked among the worst members of the Congressional Black Caucus – which is the source of his white, corporate appeal.


GM Could Have Become a “Green” Industrial Machine

rest in peaceA 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.

President Obama has passed up his chance to become a transformational president, by failing to convert the excess capacity of General Motors – 60 percent-owned by the U.S. public – to “green” manufacturing. Instead, the public has paid $50 billion, and counting, for 14 industrial junkyards where car factories used to be. Obama’s refusal to rise to the historic occasion shows that he “worships at the alter of private capital – the same corporate developmental model that has been de-industrializing the United States for the last four decades.”

Shell Oil Settles with 1995 Niger Delta Victims’ Families, But War Escalates

flaringA 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.

Nearly a fifth of US oil imports come from West Africa and that proportion is only expected to grow. Western oil companies, chiefly Shell, BP and Chevron have pumped trillions of dollars worth of black gold from eastern Nigeria, but it remains the poorest and most polluted places on earth. Although oil company scofflaws have settled out of court with representatives of the families of a handful of the murdered the pitiless rape of eastern Nigeria continues.


Women in Darfur: We Saw No Evidence of Genocide


222By Afshin Rattansi
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Cindy Crawford, Bono, Michael Caine, Claudia Schiffer, Bob Geldof, Hugh Grant, Mia Farrow, Mick Jagger and so many others have expressed their solidarity with the people of the oil-rich region of Darfur. A few weeks ago, Democrats John Lewis of Georgia, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Lynn Woolsey of California, Donna Edwards of Maryland, and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts were all arrested as they demonstrated against the Sudanese government. When Colin Powell used the word genocide in 2004, it kicked off $1 billion-a-year international aid program, much higher than that afforded Somalia or Congo.  But why?


“God Sent the Shooter”: White Christian Terrorism and the Assassination of George Tiller


by Sikivu Hutchinson
The profiles of “ those who invoke Christian fundamentalism as justification for their barbaric incursions against women and their allies” match those of other denizens of the peculiar U.S. Right-wing “movement”: “disaffected white middle aged males, aligned with a crackpot anti-government militia and/or fundamentalist ethos steeped in the bloody retribution of the Old Testament.” The U.S. Has been subjected to “virulent strain of fundamentalism was nourished by three theocratic Republican administrations that dismembered the Constitution and effectively sanctioned criminal campaigns against abortion providers.”



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