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    What Is Bob Johnson Up To?


    by BAR Managing Editor Glen Ford.

    This item was originally published on February 24, 2005 in Black Commentator.


    "Of the eight Johnson 'questions' listed, all but three implicitly urge collaboration with the GOP or a boycott of Democrats" 


    In a transparent bid to boost Republican fortunes among Blacks, billionaire Bob Johnson attempted earlier this year to convene a secret meeting of prominent African Americans at BET headquarters in Washington, DC. obtained a copy of the invitation to the “retreat,” scheduled for January 13 and 14 and ostensibly designed “for the purpose of brainstorming ideas as to how we as African Americans can best confront the political and demographic realities of the 21st century.” None of the invitees were told the identity of the others and the press was scrupulously kept in the dark, but we have learned enough to report that the mix was high-powered and politically diverse. (Click here to view the Johnson invitation letter to the retreat. The page may load slowly for dial up users due to the large size of the image.)

    Most of Dr. King's People Never Did Get There

    by BAR Managing Editor Glen Ford
    Originally published in Black Commentator on January 20, 2005 
    "The crisis of mass incarceration and no employment has shattered has shattered every institutional connections with which the old order might communicate with the younger base in African American communities."
    Most of Dr. King'sPeople Never Did Get There
    by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford 

    I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in Memphis, April 3, 1968 – the eve of his assassination.

    Dr. King wasn’t talking about civil rights or voting rights legislation when he gave the last speech of his life, that rainy night in Memphis. With the exception of the Fair Housing Act then awaiting action on Capitol Hill, the legislative demolition of Jim Crow was already complete. (Lyndon Johnson pushed the bill through Congress a week after the assassination as a kind of memorial to King.) So, what was that metaphorical “promised land” that King saw from the mountaintop, and how many Black folks have managed to “get there” in the 37 years since his death?

    The Awesome Destructive Power of Corporate Media

    The Awesome Destructive Power of Corporate Media:  How Corporate Media Killed the 2004 Howard Dean Campaign

    by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

    Howard Dean has joined the list of victims of U.S. corporate media consolidation.

    Barefoot, Sick, Hungy and Afraid: The Real U.S.Policy in Africa

    by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

    What is the real objective of a US foreign policy in Africa which offers military aid, weapons, logistics and training to the armed forces of more than 50 of the 54 nations of the most war torn and impoverished continent on earth? Is it building and strengthening civil societies? Or is the permanent state of insecurity, dependence, endemic violence and poverty which characterizes Africa today just better for business?

    In Search of the Real Barack Obama: Can a Black Senate Candidate Resist the DLC?

    by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
    Below are three articles originally published in Black Commentator on June 5, June 19, and June 26, 2003.  
    In these we initiated a dialog between the editors of Black Commentator and Barack Obama, then a state senator from the south side of Chicago and candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate regarding his ties to the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), his opposition to the invasion of Iraq, and questioned him on the repeal of NAFTA and single payer health insurance.

    Who Killed Black Radio News?

    by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

    This item was originally published in Black Commentator on May 29, 2003

    There are more than one million Black radio listeners apiece in metro Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore-DC, Houston, Philadelphia, and twice that many in the tri-state metro area centered by New York. But not one of these major markets has a single full time black news reporter reporting on and packaging news for a black audience. Not one. It wasn't always this way. What changed and why? What does the absence of news reporting mean to our communities, our futures, to the public space for black on black dialog?

    Treat Corporate Media Like the Enemy - Revoke the Free "Black Pass" for BET & Black Radio

    by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford

    In this May 1, 2003 article, originally published on that date in Black Commentator, Glen Ford explains why the free "Black Pass" of outfits like Radio One and BET must be unconditionally revoked.  For the shot callers of commercial black radio and TV, African Americans are not a polity, entitled to our own opinions coming out of our unique histroical experience.  For them, we are merely a market.

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Bogus "Election Study" Grossly Inflates Black Vote For Denise Majette

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    Corporate media and establishment black "political scientists" want us to believe Rep. McKinney lost her congressional seat because black voters walked away from her, and that her opponent Denise Majette put together some new kind of "biracial coalition." But analysis of the precinct by precinct figures reveal that nothing could be further from the truth.

    BET's Black Billionaire Trojan Horse: Bob Johnson Fronts for Republican Agenda

    by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford 
    Bob Johnson, the Black Entertainment Television founder with a personal net worth of $1.3 billion, is a Trojan Horse, an aggressive political operative of the Bush White House posing as a Democrat. He has used his high profile status as one-half of all African American billionaires (the determinedly non-partisan Oprah Winfrey is the other half) to advance the most politically perilous item on the GOP agenda: privatization of Social Security.

    How Sister McKinney Lost, and What We Can Learn From It

    by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

    On August 8 or 9 I walked into Cynthia McKinney's campaign office and offered to help after work and on weekends for the last ten days. I've served as volunteer in and consultant to a couple dozen political campaigns and voter registration drives in the Chicago area in the 70's, 80's and 90's.

    Newark: The First Domino? The Hard Right Tests Its National Black Strategy

    In this May 2, 2002 article, which appeared in the second issue of the Black Commentator, co-founded by Glen Ford, the author continues the examination of the strange career of Corey Booker that began in April 2002's Fruit of the Poisoned Tree. This was published just before Newark's 2002 mayoral election.

    Fruit Of The Poisoned Tree: The Hard Right's Plan To Capture Newark NJ

    In this groundbreaking 2002 article, which appeared in the very first issue of the Black Commentator, co-founded by Glen Ford, the author throws prophetic light on the early career and sponsorship of a new type of African American politician --- Corey Booker in his first run for mayor of Newark NJ.

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