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Are You Like Me?

7_foot_poet_upright_250wideby Kemet Mawakana, a.k.a. the Seven Foot Poet

Some of us are more conscientious than others, honoring obligations and paying due respects.  Some of us are honest about it, and some not.  The Seven Foot Poet reveals a little of himself, and invites each of us to look within.


FCC Announces 80 City “We're Not Listening” Digital TV Tour

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

Digital TV means four to ten times as many channels for each and every broadcaster with no obligations to the public. The FCC quietly awarded broadcasters this colossal gift of public property worth $70-$80 billion during the Clinton administration back in 1996. In the 12 years since, under Democratic and Republican presidents alike, corporate broadcasters and their stooges at the FCC have diligently peddled the cover stories that digital TV is all about the advent of high definition television, and that the only nagging questions are how and whether enough converter boxes will be available for consumers who can't or won't buy brand new TVs.

In a final act of brazen misdirection to conceal this grand theft digital, FCC Commissioners are scheduled to tour dozens of cities between now and February 18, 2009, doing a lot of talking, but not much listening.

The Age of Katrina – Not Obama


The Age of Katrina - Not Obama

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

"Obamites believe their candidate's speech will herald a crack in time."

Obama’s Choice of Biden: ‘The Devil Made Me Do It.”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordFlip Wilson - The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress-1

Flip Wilson's comedic character "Geraldine" knew who to blame for her own indiscretions: "The Devil made me do it." The same goes for Barack Obama who, his supporters are quick to explain, is blameless for his political sins and betrayals. The "white folks" made him do it, or "the polls" made him do it - but never the candidate, himself. However, it will be hard to find a devil to blame for Obama's choice of Sen. Joe Biden - "as much a war monger as George Bush" - as his running mate. The fact is, Obama "was never a progressive - he just briefly played one to win points in an Illinois Democratic primary election six years ago." Let the Devil be.

Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary.


Cynthia McKinney: Power to the People! Stop the War!

McKinney08The Democratic Party "takes impeachment off the
table," finances "an illegal and immoral war," fails to "even mention
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors in their Congressional agenda for the
first 100 days," and aids and abets "illegal spying on us" - yet has the gall to
call itself the party of "change" and "hope." 
As Democrats prepared their corporate-financed nominating convention,
Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney told protestors: "We declare
our willingness to be radical in pursuit of peace and in our hunger for
justice.  We can see clearly now who the real stickup artists are and
that's why we're in Denver!"

Barack Obama and Black American Ethnicity

by Marian Douglas-UngaroAAheritage

The hoopla surrounding Barack Obama's "historic" run for the White House leaves Marian Douglas-Ungaro cold. Barack Obama does not represent her ethnicity. "I am a Black American - a descendant of Africa and the slave trade, a descendant, too, of Europe and of Native people of North America; bred, born and raised in the Americas, specifically the USA." Such is not Obama's ethnic background. "Ethnicity is not solely race, nor vice versa." If Obama is elected president, that will make history of a kind - but he cannot become the first ethnically Black American to hold the office, says the author.


7_foot_poet_upright_250wideby Kemet Mawakana, a.k.a. the Seven Foot Poet

How many times have we heard that "they" control your hood, your head and sometimes your heart, to hear some tell it.  You know "how they do us", right?"  The Seven Foot Poet wants you to ask the next question. 

Just who are "They"?  

Denver 2008: Hope Is For The Weak

hope_bongby BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
As the Democratic wing of America's permanent ruling party convenes in
Denver, Democrats have dominated the Congress for almost two years.
There are more US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan than in 2006 but no
Democratic deadline to end these useless, predatory wars. 1.1 million
African Americans languish behind bars while the dispossession and
exile of hundreds of thousands of blacks from the Gulf Coast begins its
fourth year. The convention will be a media circus and will culminate with the co-branding of Barack Obama with Dr. King's 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech is intended to establish deep symbolic references between the two in the minds of voters, despite their diametrically opposed politics.
Hope is a
powerful drug indeed.

U.S. Mercenary Chickens Will Come Home to Roost


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The wholesale privatization of U.S. war-making
capabilities continues apace, despite the expected indictment of six Blackwater
mercenaries involved in last year's massacre of Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad
traffic jam. Domestically, for-profit prisons are popping up like Wal-Mart
superstores, while Katrina brought soldiers of fortune to the streets of a
major American city. "As the current corrupt order decays, the rulers find that
due process and other niceties of law - including armies operating under codes
of military justice and civil service police forces - restrict their freedom

To hear this  Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below


John Edwards and Fake Morality

by Mel ReevesEdwards affair

Big Business media are coming to resemble the National
Enquirer more each day. Former senator and presidential aspirant John Edwards'
marital indiscretions loomed larger in the corporate media mind than matters of
war and peace, fiscal solvency or human rights. There seems to be no
correlation between spousal fidelity and presidential performance. "It does
appear that the current president has been faithful to his wife - yet George
Bush has committed every transgression imaginable against the U.S.
Constitution, and has behaved faithlessly towards to the citizenry he is sworn
to protect."

Obama and the Legacy of the 1963 March on Washington

by Touré F. Reed

The coincidence of the 45th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and the Democratic national convention is a political PR person's dream. "The Obama campaign is doing its best to co-opt the rally's legacy in its effort to reinforce the notion that the charismatic centrist black politician is operating in the tradition of civil rights leaders past." Electoral campaigns are not social movements, yet the Democratic machinery attempts to conflate the two. The "belief that a single individual can...transform society...has clouded the vision of contemporary pundits, voters, and even activists in this election year."

If Obama Loses

by Paul StreetOBAMA

The author, no fan of Barack Obama's "neoliberal
centrist" ambitions, believes that "hubris and overreach" as well as race
"could play a role in a hypothetical Obama defeat." Like other Democrats of his
corporate bent, "Obama has done everything he can to reassure the nation's
ruling bipartisan political class that he is fully on board with the American
Empire Project." An Iraq and Afghanistan war funder, Obama "deserves to lose
Iraq as an issue working in his favor." If he loses, "it will be important
for progressively inclined citizens and activists to understand that it was
corporate-imperial centrism, not the left and not the People, that got defeated." 

For America's Scholars Of Race, An Obama Dilemma

Equalityhandsby Jonathan Tilove

Will Barack Obama's presidential candidacy amount to a net positive for race relations in general and African American fortunes in particular? There is no consensus among scholars, interviewed by the Newhouse News Service. "Barack Obama, if elected, could be the salvation of a country in free flight failure," said Derrick Bell, a professor of law at New York University.  University of Michigan professor Angela Dillard calls Obama's avoidance of racial issues "an odd paradox that this will shrink even further any kind of public space to talk about race," while Brown University's Glenn Loury warns that Blacks are "voting for the end of affirmative action and they don't even know it."

What Racism Does to White People

by David WeinerWhiteRacism

"Authoritarianism, the soil of racism, makes dominant
white culture in the United States an easy pawn of fascism." So said
social-psychiatrist Erich Fromm and others who argued that racism "renders its
proletarian benefactors passive and weak, ready to coalesce into angry or
obedient mobs but unable to pursue the goals of a self-actualized citizenry."
The U.S. has been a nurturing culture for white racism, an environment that
taught young whites to believe that, "If black people, or brown for that
matter, did poorly it was because of bad attitude, poor parenting, and cultural

Some Prisoners Declared Innocent, But Not Freed

by Maya Schenwar

HandsOnBarsSometimes being innocent doesn't mean a damn
thing. Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox's 35-year-old conviction in a prison
guard killing was overturned last month, but the Louisiana Attorney General is
keeping Woodfox locked up until a new trial can be arranged - no matter how
long that takes. This, despite the fact that Woodfox's allies include Rep. John
Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and a number of
sympathetic judges. In America, a judgment of innocent isn't a Get Out of Jail
Free card.

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