Eshu’s blues: Ode to Charles Rex Fisher/Christmas Night in Harlem

by BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

A teacher/activist offers some holiday ruminations on education: "Let us celebrate punitive testing, carved up tables and chairs, chain link fence in the stairwells and high strung civil servants who are just marking time until they can get away from the children of the great unwashed." Not cheered up, yet? Let's think of kinder times and inspiring educators, like Rex Fisher, who introduced the author "and my peers to the words of David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Martin Delaney, WEB DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Fannie Lou Hamer and Malcolm X -  and that was a rare thing from teachers in the public schools of 1973."

Perversion of Justice: Gulag America

 by Rady Ananda

perversion-of-justice--590-x-165-20081124-473

The American Prison Gulag, already one-half Black, is becoming increasingly co-ed. "The US jailed one in 746 women in 2006, up from one in 100,000 back in 1925.  Compared to other nations, the female portion of the prison population is highest in the US - at 9%." Melissa Mummert's film, Perversion of Justice, tells the "story of Hamedah Hasan and her three children" to "exemplify the need to repeal the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, and the mandatory minimum laws."

Freedom Rider: Rick Warren and Barack Obama

WarrenAndObamaby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Some folks like to call him "No-Drama Obama," but it appears that the president-elect doesn't care how much drama he stirs up - on his Left. Obama and his handlers should have known that bestowing the invocation honors to "evangelical preacher/businessman" Rick Warren was sure to cause drama among gays, as well as pro-choice advocates. But, "like Bush, Obama believes that he is the decider. The Warren invitation is yet another instance of the patronizing Obama telling the left that they shouldn't worry their pretty little heads about anything that he decides is inconsequential."

Black Agenda Radio

gf

BAR Radio Commentaries from Glen Ford

BAR features three radio commentaries per week for use by broadcast and Internet radio (schedule them as you please), or simply for our audience's listening convenience.

To subscribe to the Black Agenda Radio commentary podcast,  click here.  The podcast delivers four commentaries per week, daily on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with an encore commentary on Thursday.
Or you can listen to them using the flash player on this page.

No Economic Recovery Without Downsizing the Military


no warThe U.S. cannot pay
for recovery and fund its wars, too. Barack Obama must choose between the imperial
military and saving what's left of the economy.
 
To hear this Black  Agenda Radio commentary, click  the flash player below
{mp3}20090102_gf_downsize_the_military{/mp3}

Great Meltdown Followed by Great Theft


-Wall_Street
 
"A four-person,
congressionally-appointed panel stands between the most voracious thieves ever
assembled, and the wealth of a nation."
 
To hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below
{mp3}20081231_gf_meltdown_and_theft{/mp3}

Israel and the U.S.: Partners in Permanent Aggression


gazaDead"Israel is taking measure of the incoming Obama
administration's sensibilities to the spilling of Palestinian blood in the
besieged enclave of Gaza."
 
To hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below
{mp3}20090101_gf_us_isreal_aggressors{/mp3}

West Seeks to Intimidate Mugabe Supporters

ZimbabweNewspaperby Stephen Gowans

The corporate news media, especially in Britain,
constantly rail against the state-owned press in Zimbabwe, charging The
Herald
and The Sunday Mail with acting as "mouth-pieces" for
President Robert Mugabe. But "coverage of foreign affairs in the West is almost
wholly dominated by news media that are controlled by the wealthy, operating to
amplify the views of the Council on Foreign Relations and high state officials
who are either wealthy themselves or owe their position to the patronage of the
wealthy." In southern Africa, so-called "independent" media are in fact funded
by the British or U.S. governments. The Zimbabwean state has every right to
defend itself, through media.

McKinney to Obama: “Say Something” About Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

 Asks Congress to Stop Sending "Weapons of Mass Destruction"

2CynthiaGaza"As we are about to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's
birthday, let us remember what he said. He said that the United States is the
greatest purveyor of violence on the planet.  And guess what: we experienced a
little bit of that violence, because the weapons that are being used by Israel
are weapons that were supplied by the United States government."

Did Barack Obama Just Appoint An Underqualified Stooge and Privatizer Secretary of Education?

Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon interviews Chicago educator and activist George Schmidt
The short answer seems to be "yes."  Before being appointed CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Arne Duncan never saw the inside of a classroom as a teacher.  This is probably a good thing, since Duncan does not possess the academic qualifications to be even a substitute teacher.  Worse still, Duncan's idea of improving inner-city schools in Chicago is handing them over to corporate-run charter schools or converting them to military academies.  This, says longtime Chicago educator and activist George Schmidt, is not the change we voted for. 

The “Wait ‘Til He Gets In” Delusion: The President Elect is Not a Latent Lefty

by Paul Street

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, there are still those who think that Barack Obama "is a ‘true progressive' whose left and democratic orientation has been ‘squandered' or carefully hidden thanks to his national political ambitions and/or the influence of his political handlers." In reality, "Obama came to the political game with an already advanced and highly cultivated bourgeois taste for incremental change and compromise with concentrated power." Obama is tricky. "He posed for the liberal base as an ‘antiwar candidate' even while he signaled clearly to the foreign policy establishment that he would continue the Iraq occupation for an indefinite period."

Poverty: Policies and Possibilities, Part 2

community-garden-2by Shannon J. Prince

Many of the solutions to poverty begin in the minds and experiences of poor people, themselves. The author examines two unconventional anti-poverty efforts, one that finds "people willing to employ marginalized people, matches young people with jobs that meet their interests, and seeks out mentors in their fields for them." Another initiative is built around cultivation of community gardens. "The gardens change spaces once used for prostitution and drug dealing into crime free areas.  They also reduce crime by providing young people with a positive activity in which to engage."


Africa, AFRICOM and Proxy Imperialism

by Mark P. FancherAFRICOM

Imperialism ain't easy. Times change, and the neocolonial exploiters have to stay on their toes. They must encourage "the illusion of independence" in the formerly colonized world, the better to maintain effective economic control. "Enter Africa Command - better known as AFRICOM," whose "mission is to conduct ‘sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy."  The key phrase is, of course "in support of U.S. foreign policy," a point that has not been lost on African nations.

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