Atlanta's Answer to America's Urban Transit Apartheid

by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixonmontage083

Denuded of their manufacturing sectors, urban America is the scene of a new gold rush.  Chambers of commerce and speculators are scrambling for the last goodies, many of which are literally nailed down -- the assets of her public transit, public health and public education systems, her tax revenue streams and the land beneath her remaining public housing.  The "regionalization" and eventual privatization of these lucrative assets is high on the agenda of chambers of commerce everywhere, and protecting them is seems not even on the horizon of the black political elite.   

In Atlanta state and exurban public officials and business interests have carjacked billions in transit assets the region's two majority black counties have taxed themselves to build and operate over a generation while the black political elite is silent or complicit.  Leadership is emerging from the communities themselves, who have offered a concrete plan for the democratic development of the region, but will the black political elite prove an ally or a stubborn obstacle?

Freedom Rider: America Brings Hell to Somalia

by BAR editor
and senior columnist
Margaret KimberleyFRSomaliRefugeesTruck

The U.S. "war on terror" is in fact a war on
international law and civilization, a catch-all category of assaults on the
weak. Under the anti-terror banner, Washington grinds Somalia into the sand,
through hi-tech weaponry and the deployment of Ethiopian surrogates. No more
rationale is offered for murderous aggression in the Horn of Africa than the
presence of people the U.S. calls "Islamists" - a label designed to excuse any
and all American crimes against Muslims. "More than 600,000 Somalis have fled
from their homes and at least 6,000 are dead." 
The savaging of Somalia is nonpartisan - Democrats are as bloody-handed
as Republicans. "It takes foolish optimism to think that the willing
accomplices to crime will change their ways when Bush is gone."

House Slaves, Field Slaves and the Obama Predicament

HouseMansionPaintingby Mark P. Fancher

How does a present day House Negro behave? Would such
people recognize themselves as successors to the House Slaves of old? Could one
become president of the United States? What about the political heirs to the
Field Slaves? And where would one find the Big House in the modern era? "Barack
Obama's efforts to enter the biggest of big houses in American politics,"
writes the author, "has allowed us to see in the clearest way possible that the
price of access is doing whatever it takes to make white people like you." Huge
numbers of African Americans agree with "every word Rev. Jeremiah Wright has
uttered," while at the same time Black support for Obama is near-unanimous. Where
does "house" end and "field" begin?

Boss's Boycott: Barry Bonds Vanishes

by Dave ZirinBondsBetterHatless

Barry Bonds has been made to disappear. Like
those who fell out of favor with Stalin, Bonds has become a non-person, a
former hero wiped from the public record, the "Leon Trotsky of Major League
Baseball." The all-time home run king can't buy a job, thanks to an agreement
among baseball owners to effectively condemn Bonds to perpetual exile. The
stain of steroids - drugs designed to make athletes bigger - has caused Bonds
to shrink to nothingness - or so management hopes. Bonds is pushing for his
union to charge Big Baseball with colluding against him - the truth of which
seems obvious in San Francisco's ballpark, where "all traces of Bonds, the
greatest player in baseball history, have vanished."

Police Terror and Lawless Order

by Dr. Floyd W. Hayes,


"I see a growing prison-garrison state in which urban
residents will become the targets of mounting police murder and incarceration."
The author's grim assessment is based on the "absolute disregard for the
sanctity of Black life" that marks each era of American history, from chattel
slavery to the 50-bullet New York City police barrage that killed Sean Bell.
Urban police practices constitute a kind or organized terror that remains essentially
unchanged even after police ranks have become integrated. "Big city police forces
are infected with a culture of racism and violence that historically has
sanctioned the savage and brutal treatment of Black people, other people of
color, and the poor. 

Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright: Sabotage, Division, or Sedition

by Brother Bede VincentDivisionWrightAndObama

Barack Obama made his break with Rev. Jeremiah Wright
under relentless pressure from white corporate media to disavow the Black
Liberation theologian. Rev. Wright did not choose the time and terms of the
split with his former parishioner - "He was thrust into the limelight by the campaign - not
the other way around." Obama didn't call the shots, either, but bowed to
corporate media demands and must live with that decision. The candidate's
choice was no doubt the politically expedient one, but the question of
upholding justice rather than wishing and hoping, goes begging. "A presidential
candidate for justice has to educate or if he cannot, then he should allow and
encourage others who can."

The Deeper Racism in Iowa: Beneath the White Obama Craze

IowaObamaStateNameby Paul Street

Barack Obama's January 3rd Democratic
Caucus victory in Iowa demonstrated that a Black man - or, at least, this particular
Black man - could attract winning numbers of white voters. The candidate's
supporters claimed Iowa signaled a new day, that "race doesn't matter" anymore
in the United States. They are in a fantasy of denial. Not only does race remain imbedded
in American social relations, but Iowa is especially afflicted with the
compulsion to throw African Americans in prison more frequently than any other
state. "Liberal" Iowans, proud that their state began a cascade of Obama
victories, find it more difficult than ever to face up to the racism that
distorts all cross-racial interaction in their cities and towns.

Laura and George: Hypocritical Ghouls of Disaster

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordLauraAndGeorge

Global aggression is a family affair at the Bush
White House. The President cynically assigns his wife to threaten the ruling
military junta in Myanmar, while simultaneously requesting that the generals
open their borders to U.S. hurricane relief aid. The two First Hypocrites,
George and Laura, could not be so stupid as to believe that insulting the junta
- amid calls for regime change in Myanmar - would smooth the process of
disaster relief. The Bush White House put on a phony show of concern for the
storm-battered people Myanmar, knowing full well that U.S. saber-rattling would
only cause the junta to guard more zealously against foreign intrusion. The
Bushes are more concerned with making the generals look bad, than with saving
lives in Myanmar.

Running to the Right: Barack Obama and the DLC Strategy

turn_rightby BAR Managing Editor Bruce DixonThe fragility of Barack Obama's DLC-inspired electoral strategy is now exposed for all to see. Obama has chosen to “reach out” to white and Republican voters while challenging none of their assumptions about America, racism or empire, at the same time, counting on on a deaf and blind black nationalism to shield him from accountability to African Americans. Republicans (and Hillary Clinton) know all they need do to counter him is prove to whites that he is not as conservative as he seems. Obama will thus be forced scramble relentlessly rightward from here on, disowning, denouncing and dishonoring any and all stirrings of black or grassroots militancy to keep white support without telling white America anything it doesn't want to know.

The Senator, His Pastor and the Israel Lobby

by Ali AbunimahIsraelAIPACObamaFront

If Liberation Theologians like Rev. Jeremiah
Wright feel discarded by Barack Obama, consider the Palestinians. By all
accounts, as an Illinois State Senator Obama was at least open-minded about the
plight of Palestinians - to the distress of Israel lobbyists. No more. Obama
managed to inject pro-Israel, anti-"radical Islam" remarks into his speech on
race relations in the U.S. He speaks of a history of "tensions" between African
Americans and Jewish Americans, but fails to trace these conflicts to Israel's
support for apartheid South Africa. And then there is Min. Louis Farrakhan.
"Why must every black candidate to a major office go through the ritual of
denouncing Farrakhan, a marginal figure in national politics?" Rejection of
Farrakhan and unquestioning support for Israel is the price of admission to
mainstream U.S. politics.

Sean Bell Verdict: It May Be Legal But It’s Not Right

BellNeverAgainby Mel Reeves

Barack Obama demands that African Americans
"respect" the verdict in the Sean Bell case - but what about justice? Why
should Blacks respect any element of a police-judicial apparatus that sanctions
the deployment of 50-round firing squads targeting unarmed men? If all U.S.
laws and judicial decisions deserve Black folks' respect, then Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney's 1857 declaration that Blacks have no rights a white man
is bound to respect should also be respected. Every outrage known to mankind
was once legal in the United States when inflicted on Blacks and Native
Americans. "We know from history that that which is legal is not necessarily

Freedom Rider: The End of Truth

FRObamaFuryby BAR editor and senior columnist

Margaret Kimberley

A Barack Obama presidency would certainly be a
first - the first time that "most black people will end their historic
progressive politics and applaud this country's criminal activity just because
the head criminal looks like them." Despite the fact that African Americans
overwhelmingly agree with the thrust of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's critique of
American society, history and government policies, they will undoubtedly vote
in huge majorities for the Illinois senator who has repudiated Wright.
"Obama's campaign has been filled with a laundry list of lies" and promises to
continue on that track. But, as with Colin Powell's lying, international
lawbreaking term in high office, "most black people [will make] excuses for him
and for his crimes." Although verbally less bellicose than Hillary Clinton,
Obama is no less the warmonger in substance.

The Congressional Black Caucus Fails Afro-Colombians

by Nikolas KozloffAfroColombianKids
Sometimes it seems the bigger the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) becomes, the worse it gets. Gone are the not-so-long-ago days when the CBC could be counted on to present a virtually unified, progressive front on domestic and foreign policy issues. While Black activists increasingly embrace the Latin American sector of the global African Diaspora, the CBC as a body remains parochial, as if unaware that millions of Blacks live in South America. Most shameful is the CBC's failure to take a firm stand on behalf of Afro-Colombians, targeted by rightwing death squads allied with the U.S.-backed government. A significant faction in the CBC supports corporate-written trade deals with Colombia that would displace and further impoverish much of the Black population, whose representatives have repeatedly beseeched the Black Caucus for help.  

Black Ivy Leaguer: Rev. Wright Speaks Truth

by Shannon PrinceIvyWrightRobeSmile

Some supporters of Barack Obama have seized the occasion of the confrontation with Rev. Jeremiah Wright to air a litany of old grievances. In an op-ed article for Newsday, Michael Meyers, head of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, who despises anything that smacks of Black Nationalism, labeled Rev. Wright a "crackpot" along with the rest of what he calls the "blacker-than-thou crowd." According to Meyers, Rev. Wright is an "endangered species" - there is no place for his ilk in the 21st Century. Meyers believes that Blacks who attend elite colleges agree with him, that racism is not endemic in America. However, one of those Black Ivy leaguers is determined to set Meyers straight: "What Reverend Wright said about America isn't divisive or fiery or anti-white but merely factual truth."

Obama, Wright, and How the Post-Civil Rights Generation Will Rise to Power

by Nikki Ayanna Stewart

When the Black Freedom Movement withered away from
disuse and neglect, it left a generation of enthusiastic young activists-to-be
with unprecedented "access" to white dominated institutions, but no movement
with which to affiliate. What's a determined mover-and-shaker to do? Get a job,
that's what. While the author's friends settled in as corporate lawyers,
management consultants and other odd jobs, she was fortunate enough to become -
for a time - a "professional feminist" working for "reformist" non-profits. But financial pressures pushed her towards
academia, and the realization that "I and others in my group" are
"repositories for the Civil Rights generation's left-over hopes and dreams."
Barack Obama, she now understands, has been the "symbolic beneficiary
and repository" of those dreams - which is not the same thing.

Extreme Prosecution: In Search of Black Enemies

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordExtremeLibertyCity7MugShots

The United States has always shaped its criminal
justice practices to suit and satisfy the imperative to smash African American
resistance. When no organized resistance can be found, the system invents it.
The Bush administration has outdone the post-Civil War Black Codes, which
treated all gatherings of three or more African Americans as potential
"conspiracies."  To justify police state
structures erected in the wake of 9/11, the feds entrapped and twice
unsuccessfully prosecuted seven impoverished Miami Blacks on charges of
plotting to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower - and are now preparing for a third
trial. In San Francisco, local and federal authorities press forward with
murder charges against eight former Black Panthers, 37 years after the shooting
death of a policeman. The dragnet for Black villains never ends.

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


Obama's Money Cartel: How Barack Obama Fronted for the Most Vicious Predators on Wall Street

by Pam

The candidate that claims to be the only presidential
contender who doesn't take money from lobbyists is in fact the biggest
recipient of lobby-related contributions. Barack Obama rakes in millions from
law firms serving the interests of Wall Street, including the financial institutions
that gave us the subprime lending crisis. Lawyers that work for firms that earn
hundreds of millions of dollars for lobbying may technically not be lobbyists,
but they share in their colleagues' earnings as influencers of Congress - a
legal loophole that allows Obama to claim his hands are clean of lobby loot. "The top contributors to the Obama campaign are the very
Wall Street firms whose shady mortgage lenders buried the elderly and the poor
and minority under predatory loans."

The Campaign, part 3 of 4: Open Letter to White America


by Kemet Mawakana (aka “The Seven-Foot Poet”)

So goooood.  The presidential campaign of Barack Obama makes Black folk (and many whites) feeeel so gooood.  Admit it.  Wouldn't a Black president make you feeel gooood?  Can't we all just get along?  Can't they let us just feeeel gooood?   


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