Buccaneers In Somali Waters – But They’re Not Somalis

SomalipiratesThere is, indeed, piracy in the waters of Somalia, most of it perpetrated by foreign vessels that steal $300 million in fish per year. With no government to protect their national rights, Somali sailors find other ways to make a living. "Think of us like a coast guard."

The audio for this Black Agenda Radio commentary is no longer available.

Katrina Suit is Institutional Racism Lesson For Obama

Institutional racism is "the mechanism by which the present and future are shaped by racist practices of the past." New Orleans African Americans seeking to rebuild their lives found that government pays more to replace white people's homes, than Blacks. Obama, take note.


Holding the Obama Administration Accountable, Part 1 of a Series

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon


With the election results a week old, the worst thing we can do now is sit back for too long admiring the new president, his family and ourselves for electing him, and "wait and see what he does."  No new administration waits till being sworn in before deciding and enacting its priorities on war, peace, credit, housing, jobs or heath care.  While many are still boasting, roasting, coasting and toasting the election results the business of governing has already begun.  So too the business of holding the new administration accountable must begin without delay.

To The Coming

7_foot_poet_upright_250wideby Kemet Mawakana

These are historic times.  But then, what times haven't been?  The Seven Foot Poet keeps us anchored not just in the present, the immediate past and the forseeable future, but orients us in the dimensionless expanse of time inhabited by our ancestors, our  future hopes, and those yet to come.

Click the link below to hear the Seven Foot Poet perform this original work.

Freedom Rider: Told You So

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

It's not as if we at BAR didn't warn you. Barack Obama's first major act as president-elect was to select as his chief of staff Rep. Rahm Emanuel, whose "role as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was to insure that anti-war and other progressive candidates stayed out of the running." So when do the protests begin? "Progressives for Obama and other groups who promised to hold their idol accountable haven't gotten around to doing so just yet or even announcing when the time will be right for their tongues to become untied."

Barack Obama: The Empire’s New Clothes

by Paul Street

Barack Obama and his followers continue to revise the history of his ascendance, pretending his campaign was rooted among the "outsiders." The public line is a fiction, as even the most rudimentary research reveals. In fact, Obama's own words document his intense courtship of the rich and powerful.  Unfortunately, "few if any of" Obama's staunchest supporters "have bothered to read a single solitary word of Obama's blatantly imperial, nationalist, and militarist foreign policy speeches and writings," says the author. "And my sense is they never will." 

Congolese People Sacrificed for International Games and Profits

by Roxanne Stasyszyn

The war that has already cost 5.5 million Congolese their lives has been rekindled, the ghastly product of "a rapacious international commerce that has descended on Congo." Amidst the carnage, displacement and starvation, international "humanitarian" outfits navigate, "intertwined with the ethnically fueled militia groups and big business from the USA, Europe and China."  At the vortex of the violence is rebel warlord Laurent Nkunda. "It is said that Nkunda even boasts the born-again Christian patch he wears on his fatigues as a badge of solidarity with President Bush and many other American Christians.

Somalia: The Specter of Detrimental Trusteeship

by Abukar Arman

Somalia, invaded and occupied by Ethiopia with the encouragement of the United States, is now to be reduced to a "trusteeship" of Addis Ababa, the aggressor. "This is a case of putting the fox in charge of the barn so that he may teach the chicken how to function in an orderly manner!" Those Somalis that choose to recognize Ethiopia's authority will be targeted by the resistance, deepening conflicts in that wounded society. That may be Ethiopia's intention. "Ethiopia is set to discredit any vestige of nationalist leadership and to spread violence and hate."

Dear ‘Brother President’: Embrace Liberation Theology

by Rev. Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

The author congratulates the president-elect on his having run a “great…eloquent, dignified, and clean race,” but then admonishes: “You blew a tremendous teaching opportunity in teaching America about Liberation Theology when you put some distance between you and Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright.” Obama’s former pastor appears to have “unnerved” him “because the Black Liberation Theology that Wright embodies involves a responsibilty to call White people out on their racism and for Black Churches to address racism.”

Dear “Brother President”: Embrace Liberation Theology

by Rev. Reynard N. Blake, Jr.LiberationTheology

The author congratulates the president-elect on
his having run a "great...eloquent, dignified, and clean race," but then
admonishes: "You blew a tremendous teaching opportunity in teaching America
about Liberation Theology when you put some distance between you and Reverend
Dr. Jeremiah Wright." Obama's former pastor appears to have "unnerved" him "because the Black Liberation
Theology that Wright embodies involves a responsibilty to call White people out
on their racism and for Black Churches to address racism."

Don’t Exaggerate Election Impact in Dixie

"The Deep South white vote for Obama was generally not too different than that in Alabama, where nearly nine out of ten whites turned out for McCain."  We're sorry but the audio of this BA Radio commentary is no longer available.

Don't Exaggerate Election Impact in Dixie

Cashing the Obama Check: Will It Come Back Marked “Insufficient Funds”?

by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon
The vote for the First Black President wasn't just about race and racism.  For tens of millions, it was a vote for peace abroad, for economic and social justice at home. Barack Obama sold himself to the American people as a transformative political figure.  
Despite those who now urge Americans to tone down their expectations, many are prepared to collect on the hopes that swept Obama into office.  Those hopes and expectations are what we call the Obama Check.
The question is, can we cash it?

  "In a sense, we've come to the nation's capital to cash a check...It is obvious that America has defa\ulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked 'insufficient funds'."  --martin Luther King, I Have A Dream, August 1963.

The Obama '08 Phenomenon: What Have We Learned?

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

There is no doubt that history has been made, "for reasons that go beyond the obvious ‘first Black' aspect of race." 2008 was the first year in modern history that Blacks made no demands on the Democratic candidate - and consequently, were promised nothing. This was the election cycle in which the Black who began as a supposed "underdog" became the most heavily-funded candidate of all time. There are many lessons to be learned - but few of them palatable to folks still drunk on ObamaL'aid.

How We Fuel Africa's Bloodiest War

by Johann Hari

The 14-year-long conflict that has already killed 5.4 million Congolese - "the deadliest war since Adolf Hitler marched across Europe" - has been rekindled by Rwanda's surrogate Tutsi militia. Although the rationale is to safeguard Congolese Tutsis, "It is a lie."  The renewed war is "funded by Rwandan businessmen so they can retain control of the mines in North Kivu. This is the absolute core of the conflict." What's needed is an international system that prevents corporations from "abetting crimes against humanity" and "values the lives of black people more than it values profit."

Morning in Obamerica: Change, Change, Change?

by Ishmael Reed

What has Obama wrought? In the euphoria, can reality reclaim its rightful place? The parameters of rhetorical change are boundless, propelled into the nether-reaches of nonsensicality by hyper-speak and super-wishfullness that can never supplant the real world of entrenched class and race rule. Celebrate good times...COME ON! But at some soon point in time, we must return to the ground. And the need for struggle. Better start as soon as the cold breeze hits you. Like now. 

Freedom Rider: Bush Crimes Continue

FRbush_devilby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

George Bush is busily putting the finishing touches on his legacy of aggressions. His recent attack on Syria, a country that has been cooperative with America's so-called "war on terror," was designed to "make certain that nations labeled as enemies stay that way." Bush stokes tensions between the U.S. puppet, Colombia, and neighboring Venezuela and Ecuador, to keep the pot boiling right up to Barack Obama's inauguration. Bush is confident his legacy will outlive his presidency, since "Obama's objections to Bush policy are about little more than management style."

Racketeering Laws Still Threaten Worker Speech Rights

smithfieldbus1A recent settlement
between Smithfield ham producers and the union leaves a question unanswered:
can RICO racketeering laws be used to prevent publicity campaigns against
anti-union companies?
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