Obama's Violin: Who's Playing, Who's Being Played?

by Paul Street

Delving into the speeches and writings of the President of Change reveals a Barack Obama sharply at odds with the popular image.  On war, peace and a host of other issues the gulf is widening between what many voted for, and what they are beginning to get from the 44th president.

Coverage of Obama and Ethnicity Says More About Media

moreThe picture of a post-racial America that corporate media pundits fondly paint and serve up to us is about as credible as the declarations six months ago by some of the same experts that the economy was "fundamentally sound," One need look no further than corporate media coverage of the Obama administration.

The Bloody History of ‘Race Management’ in the U.S.: An Interview with David R. Roediger

race managementThe notion that the U.S. is is anywhere near "getting over" race is foolish, ahistorical, and only useful to elites who would hide our own history from us, argues Dr. David Roediger, author of "How Race Survived U.S. History: From Settlement and Slavery to the Obama Phenomenon.


Roediger argues that you cannot be about change without owning your history, and in U.S. history race is foundational; it's so high you can't over it and so low you can't get under it.


What's Really Happening In Darfur?: An Interview with Mahmood Mamdani

againThe picture of the conflict in Darfur as "Arab-on-black" or even "black on black" genocide tells more about the U.S. than it does about Darfur, Sudan, or Africa.  It is a false picture, brought to us by the corporate U.S. media to justify one of Uncle Sam's (maybe even Uncle Barack's) oil and resource wars in Sudan.  After all, Sudanese oil IS flowiing to China through Chinese companies, not Western ones, and that will not be tolerated.


Haiti, the Financial Crisis, and International Solidarity


Ignored by the U.S. corporate media in the wake of the violent coup and kidnapping of Haiti's elected president by the U.S., Canada and France, a brutal occupation force under the flag of the United Nations enforces the rule of the transnational investor class upon Haiti's population .  As the country's economy is further removed from even the possibility of democratic control by its people, and remittances from Haitians abroad shrink, the misery of Haiti's poor increases.   After 205 years of nominal independence, the descendants of Toussaint and Dessalines are not likely to cease their resistance, but real international solidarity remains key to their success.

A Challenge to ‘Radical’ and ‘Pan-Africanist’ Obamites

obamitesby BAR executive editor Glen Ford

In an "Open Letter to the People of Zimbabwe," U.S.-based activists denounce sanctions against that country as "war crimes and the officials who initiated them as war criminals." By that definition (a good one), Barack Obama is a war criminal. The problem is, some of the signers of the Open Letter are prominent Obama supporters. What use are their declarations of solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, when they support the "war criminal" who imposes sanctions against them and makes common cause with banksters here at home? It's past time to call these confused and conflicted people out by name, and challenge them to a real debate.

Holder Rings in New Era at Justice Department

Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.


A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

"Much of Holder's remarks were not so much about cowardice - the fear of speaking honestly on racial questions - but an abysmal ignorance. To the extent that Black people are omitted or marginalized in the teaching of American history, American history makes no sense."

New Orleans Gets Least Job Creation Money in U.S.

NOLAPovertyA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

The federal economic stimulus plan provides less stimulus for New Orleans than for any other congressional district in the United States. The logic is simple and savage: Less people, less money, rather than more needs, more money.

To download a broadcast quality MP3 of this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click here.

How Can U.S. Recover Without Manufacturing Capacity?

Click the flash player above to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, or click here to download an mp3 copy.

AbandonedFactoryA Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama has put a huge emphasis on building a green economy. However, most of the sources of solar panels and wind turbines are located in Europe and Asia. They'll have to be imported, creating jobs for workers in other countries.

The Day the Music Died: Malcolm X's Assassination

"When I looked up, I saw Malcolm X standing up and glaring down at one of his assassins. At that point, from the corner of my eye, nearby to my left, I saw a flash from a gun as I watched Malcolm X fall down and back about ten feet."

Malcolm X on Zionism

whateverMalcolm X (Omowale Malcolm X Shabazz)

 Malcolm X spelled out his views on Zionism during the last half-year of his life. "These Israeli Zionists," said Malcolm, in an issue of the Egyptian Gazette, "religiously believe their Jewish God has chosen them to replace the outdated European colonialism with a new form of colonialism."

The Language of Looting

RobberBaronsby Michael Hudson

In order to steal literally everything, the Lords of Finance must render language incapable of describing the crime. "Society's basic grammar of thought, the vocabulary to discuss political and economic topics, is being turned inside-out." The banksters still think they can rule from the center of confusion. "Today's policy is to ‘rescue' these giant bank conglomerates by enabling them to ‘earn' their way out of debt - by selling yet more debt to an already over-indebted U.S. economy. The hope is to re-inflate real estate and other asset prices."

A Congo Journey


Her father taught his students to "value, study and honor their collective history," and his daughter to follow her heart. That legacy took the author on a journey to the Congo, where six million have died without shocking western sensibilities. "I vowed that when I returned home I would talk and write about the Congo in as many public forums as possible. To advocate for the Congolese, I must teach friends, family and others that the deaths of millions is a global issue that cannot be ignored."

by Makeda Crane

Obama Administration and Wall Street Predators Target “Entitlement Reform”

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
When the corporate media, Wall Street predators and their favorite politicians talk of "entitlement reform," they are not referring to their bonuses, or tax breaks, golden parachutes or consulting fees.  They mean to "reform" your Social Security, your Medicaid, your Medicare, all of which they view as "fiscally irresponsible."  When President Obama endorses a bipartisan summit on "fiscal responsibility" it's time to look out.

White Recession, Black Depression


"As the United States delves further into a serious long-term recession, African Americans are facing the challenge of coming from a 7 year silent recession into a depression." During the seven years between 2000 and the official declaration that the U.S. was in recession, "Black employment decreased by 2.4% and saw their incomes decline by 2.9%," while Black family income declined "more steeply than for whites or Latinos." President Obama must take measures that directly confront the problem of income and wealth inequality, as the British are attempting to do.

Boycott and Disinvest in Israel, in Solidarity and Self-Defense

"Black Americans, who have experienced apartheid at home and fought successfully against it in Africa," feel most intensely the need to register their opposition to Israel's version of apartheid. Yet their elected officials cower at the feet of the pro-Israel lobby, which has successfully targeted independent-minded Black officials for defeat. A boycott Israel movement will have to roll over cowardly Black elected officials, but so be it. "If solidarity with Palestinians who suffer the aggressions of a regime as fundamentally racist as apartheid South Africa is not a compelling enough reason - and it surely is - then self-defense against Zionist subversion of domestic Black politics should move us to action."

Eshu’s blues: Ron Sims, Hometown Boy, Makes Good


Our columnist knows a little sump'in about Ron Sims, the Black former executive of King County, Seattle, Washington, who's been nominated to become President Obama's Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. "Sims has long had the consistency of weak oatmeal... a perfect complement to the Oba." Ron Sims and the citizens are in for a rough ride. "Like it or not, Hurricane Katrina was the test forum for a widespread application of a ‘new' Housing and Urban Development policy, which, as that troublesome spirit Russell Means pointed out a few days ago, is nothing more than the treatment that has been dumped on the Indigenous American for centuries." 

Why Imperialism Needs Proxies to Do Its Dirty Work in Africa

AFRICOMcolin powell

Despite resistance from virtually every nation in Africa, the U.S. continues to seek a home for its Africa Command, AFRICOM. The lure of African oil and other resources causes Washington to devise various schemes to dominate the continent - especially the recruitment of proxies to do the Americans' bidding. A central Washington political thrust in Africa revolves around the Darfur region of Sudan, where Colin Powell first charged that genocide was occurring. What the U.S. really wants is regime change in Sudan, and control of its oil resources. "AFRICOM is made to order - provided it can overcome the near unanimous opposition that it faces from Africans the world over."

Who Won the Civil War?


If the Union won the Civil War, and the slaves were truly set free, why was the author persecuted and threatened for complaining about a statue honoring a Confederate General? Furthermore, if the NAACP is a genuine civil rights organization dedicated to the well being and dignity of Black people - especially lifetime members - then why wouldn't the organization side with the author against the racists? And why couldn't he get a defense from the Legal Defense Fund? If the South lost the war, how is it that the United Daughters of the Confederacy drove the author out of town?



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