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
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

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
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

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.”

The Black Caucus and Obama: One-Way Loyalty

Rep. LeeA 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.

On health care, Barack Obama “has become a heavy burden for even the Black Caucus to bear, as he searches constantly for allies on the Right.” As Obama threatens to jettison the issue of racial disparities from his “reform” proposals, Black lawmakers must reassess their loyalties.

“Your Name is Common”: Racial Profiling in the US

what'ws yr nameby Kamalakar Duvvuru
People from certain cultures or bearing certain names have no rights that public and private American institutions are bound to respect. “Their 'foreign marks' make them suspects” in a nation bent of discovering enemies and “others” unworthy of treatment as human beings.

Raping Faces for Progress

by Richard Leader
Smug liberals gleefully deployed double and triple entendres in an effort to squeeze every ounce of rape-humor from the Right's campaign against health care.  But is it worth it?  What do we lose when we label right wing demonstrators "teabaggers"?

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

nasdaqTranscript of a Bonnie Faulkner Guns & Butter Radio interview with Dr. Michael Hudson

Dr. Michael Hudson is a real economist, one of those who not only accurately predicted the current economic downturn well in advance, but explains its causes and consequences in plain understandable language.  According to Dr. Hudson, the federal government, mostly under Barack Obama, has given the financial sector $13 trillion, the most massive transfer of wealth to Wall Street in history.  The financial sector is poised, Dr. Hudson asserts, to bleed the US economy dry.

Who's Blocking Health Care Reform Now? Blue Dogs? Senate Dems? House Progressives? Or the White House Itself?

health care  againBy BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

In less than a year, Democrats have transformed themselves from the party of change to the party of excuses. Republican birthers and teapartyers, blue dog Democrats, rogue donkey and elephant senators, and even progressives favoring single payer or the shadowy “public option” have all been blamed by the White House for holding up health care --- or is it health insurance --- reform. But with the end of the August recess, the ring is closing and the clock is ticking...

 

Katrina’s Legacy: Poor Blacks Have No Right to “Be”

post-Katrinaby BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Barack Obama's Katrina anniversary remarks reveal a president who rails against bureaucracy while ignoring the savage race and class warfare at the heart of the (ongoing) disaster. The right of the Black poor to exist is at issue, but that's way outside Obama's radar.

Roland Martin, Rick Sanchez and CNN Blow Off The Real Story. Again.

by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon

Having black reporters in the newsroom ought to make a difference in how stories are covered. But often it doesn't. The August 26 arrest of a black Brunswick GA preacher allegedly counter-protesting at a right wing demonstration against universal health care briefly made national news, mostly because there was a few seconds video of the arrest. The lesson, CNN's Roland Martin sternly warned us, was to obey the cops. You wouldn't know it from CNN or Fox, but the arrested preacher was a man with a forty year record of fruitful advocacy, and not a “counter-protestor” at all. But news and journalism nowadays are two very different things.

 

Outsource It! Privatize It! LA School Reform in the Age of Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Acting on the ideological position that teachers are the root of all evil, and with the full support of the city's Latino mayor, the LA school board has voted to transfer one-third of its schools to private, charter management – including 50 brand new campuses. Corporate outsourcing now passes as education policy.

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