Eshu’s blues: Dr. Wertham was right

comicby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
If life imitates art, political life in the USA mimics comic books. “Gotham City looked to the Grim Avenger and Boy Wonder Robin, the United States looks to the Grinning Pretender and Joe, the Wonder-Boy.” Like in the comic books, the bad guys and the less bad guys are all crazy. “Next issue, the Dynamic Duo are off bombing and strafing in Afghanistan, reinforcing the barricades in Gaza and silently backing coups in Honduras.”

The Crimes of Bongo: Apartheid & Terror in Africa's Gardens of Eden, Part One

bongo againby keith harmon snow
American and European imperialists mourned the recent death of Gabon President Al Hajji Omar Bongo Ondimba, the longtime dictator and servant of western corporations and governments. It is fitting that Paris, London, Brussels and Washington miss him, since Bongo was largely their creation, especially the French secret services. Far from a benign strongman, Bongo and his thugs “have killed a lot of people with no one knowing about it. People just suddenly disappear or turn up dead.” Part One of Two.

Not What Obama Promised

noneby David Swanson
The most telling indictments of Barack Obama's presidency will come from those that initially supported him. Obama got activist/journalist David Swanson's vote last November. Now, after six months in the White House, Swanson has compiled a damning bill of particulars on Obama's broken promises and reneged commitments. “The public must know the facts, make of them what it will.”

Public Education in America: A Pillar of Institutional Racism

edumcationby Solomon Comissiong
Last week, Barack Obama once again “felt the need to lecture black people about what they can and cannot complain about.” No excuses, no excuses, the president hectored – as if to delegitimize Black struggles for redress of real grievances. “On the one hand he knows not to upset white folks by pointing to America’s legacy as a bastion of racism and white supremacy. And on the other hand he knows there are virtually no restrictions on how often he can castigate, vilify, and reprimand the black community.”

Same Sex Marriage, Religiosity and Black Civil Rights Orthodoxies

Sikivu Hutchinsonby Sikivu Hutchinson
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which once fearlessly confronted apartheid America, today threatens to excommunicate a Los Angeles minister for acting in solidarity with gays. “It is abundantly clear that when it comes to gay rights, bucking the black religious establishment on civil rights 'orthodoxy' continues to be a third rail issue.” Conservative Black preachers behave as if all women and gays are white. “Black preachers effectively turn a blind eye to the disenfranchisement of their young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered congregants.”

“My Hell in an Israeli Jail”: Israel Prison Population 90 Percent Black Africans

in jailby Voice Online, UK
It should come as no surprise that a settler state based on the rule of one ethnic group would be steeped in racist public policies. But the sheer scope of Israel's institutional oppression of Africans shocked human rights activists imprisoned for attempting to deliver humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza. “The first day I was there, I witnessed 500 Africans scooped from the streets of Tel Aviv thrown into prison,” said a Black British activist. “The prison population continues to grow daily with Africans falling victim to the Israeli judiciary system.”

Licensed to Kill

john Maxwellby John Maxwell
It wasn't exactly a secret that the Bush administration had gone over to the “dark side” in the wake of 9/11, compiling hit lists of prospective victims. George Bush and Dick Cheney fairly broadcast that a U.S. Murder Inc was on the loose, seeking vengeance. “We know that the government of the United States was itself actively subverting the laws and Constitution of the United States of America, contravening settled International Law and Conventions and the charter of the United Nations and betraying all principles of decency and civilized behavior.”

The Two NAACPs and a Century of Struggle

There have always been at least two NAACPs. There has been a national leadership, more sensitive to corporate interests and devoted to what can be won in the court or passed through the legislature this year. And there have always been the NAACP's scores of branches across the country, more and less active. It's the branches, some of them, which are the heirs of NAACP founders W.E.B. DuBois, Ida Wells-Barnett, of Medgar Evers and a long line of standup activists, the real people of struggle whose names most of us will never know.

Freedom Rider: American War Criminals

war criminalsby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The United States could fill scores of International Criminal Courts with homegrown war criminals, but prefers to honor them as “statesmen” and “the best and the brightest.” The recently deceased Robert McNamara even indicted himself for crimes against Japanese civilians – but only as a mental exercise enveloped in real-world impunity. McNamara has had lots of company in the past forty years since he last served an American president.... Obama expanded war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, continuing a process begun by Carter and Brzezinski thirty years ago.”

Maxine Waters vs. Fatal Derivatives

Maxine WatersA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

The Obama administration is clearly trying to keep Congress from taking legislative action against derivatives, the “financial weapons of mass destruction” that set off the economic crisis. “Geithner claims he wants credit-default swaps brought under control, but only through stricter regulation, not by law.” California Congresswoman Maxine Waters wants derivatives banned outright, and has submitted legislation to that effect. But so far, she has no co-sponsors.

Ward Churchill: Academic Freedom Denied

ward churchillA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

An anti-imperialist ethics professor has no rights that his university is bound to respect. That's the lesson from a Denver District Court that refused to reinstate Ward Churchill, despite a jury's finding that he was fired from the University of Colorado because of his political statements. “There is no such thing as academic and political freedom if you can be fired for exercising it.”

Obama’s Good Move on Student Loans

studentsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Click the flash player below to listen to or the mic to download an mp3 copy of this BA Radio commentary.

President Obama has done students in need of loans a good turn, and surprised BAR by oving to snatch $15 billion a year out of the jaws of the banks. “For decades the bankers have been getting risk-free federal money at taxpayer and student expense, by handling student loans already guaranteed by the federal government, collecting fees and then selling the loans to the U.S. Treasury.”

Eshu’s blues: Obama in Africa

brotherman in the motherlandby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez
“Six months after his ascent to power, Barack Obama has proven to be exactly the nightmare we at BAR have long predicted he would be.” His recent visit reveals Obama has as much contempt for Black Africans as for African Americans. “Just days ago in Ghana, the First Black President of the Empire of the United States delivered a speech laden with homilies on responsibility and 'democratic values' that could have been written by speech writers for Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.”

“African Blood” Saved Obama From Scrutiny in Ghana

thicker than waterby Edwin Okong'o
Just as in Black America, many Africans on the continent hesitate to criticize Barack Obama for reasons of blood solidarity. Obama bemoans African “wars over land and wars over resources,” but “his African blood prevented us from asking him whether most of those resources (diamonds) end up in the hands of Africans.” The president talks of bribery as if it were an African disease. “African blood makes us hush instead of telling Obama that what Africans need is an end to the policies that allow multinationals to bribe governments to let them to continue stripping the continent of its wealth.”

President Obama's "Tough Love" Sermon to Africa

ron danielsby Ron Daniels
President Obama has developed a reputation as an avid reader with a wide range of interests, yet he appears to have learned little about the history of Africa's encounters with Europe and America over the past half-millennium. “He might have done well to read How Europe Underdeveloped Africa where Walter Rodney documents this tragic dynamic.” The history of super-exploitation is by no means over. “Neo-colonialism has been the order of the day as many African nations have been reduced to 'flag independence' where they ostensibly control the political process but have only nominal control over their economies.”

Take a Look in the Mirror, America

africaby Solomon Comissiong
President Obama this week deployed his impressive oratorical skills to frame a false historical and current reality about Africa. “He used cheap rhetorical devices to essentially deny that his own country and other Western nations are equally, if not more, responsible for the destabilized condition in which so many African nations find themselves.” What's needed is a “real alteration in American governance,” to replace a system that thrives on exploitation and death.

Pimps, Peeping Toms & Frotteurs

John Maxwellby John Maxwell
Rupert Murdoch appears to have turned his flagship British newspaper, News of the World, into a huge criminal enterprise, specializing in gathering dirt on celebrities of all kinds. However, given the right-wing publishers political influence, it doesn't look like anybody's going to jail. “It's not just a media story; it raises serious questions for Scotland Yard, top prosecutors and for judges."

Miami's Young are Dying

by Paul A. Moore
They fall with regularity, in a rhythm of death. The youth of Overtown and Liberty City and all points of poverty in are rushed to their graves to the accompaniment of beats and rhymes that profit the few and lock the many in a dance of death. “All of us grown folks who sit and watch you die one after another failed you.”

U.S. Press Misses Honduran Official's Racist Assault on U.S. Prez

by Steve Rendall
Enrique Ortez Colindres may be a coup plotter from the original “banana republic,” but as a white man he feels comfortable calling the president of the United States a “little black sugar plantation worker” and other Spanish variations on “nigger.” Ortez's comments were not deemed newsworthy by most of the U.S. Media.

Barack Obama or Cynthia McKinney -- Who Represents Black America Toward Palestine, Israel and the Middle East?

by BAR managing editor Bruce Dixon

Former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has just returned from an Israeli jail where she was briefly imprisoned, along with human rights activists from several nations, for her second attempt at publicly running the brutal US-Israeli blockade trying to bring coloring books, food and medical supplies.  Why are the US and Israel imposing this collective punishment upon 1.5 million civilians.  How does McKinney's stand match up against that of our first black president, the most powerful man in the world who calls it a "humantarian crisis" but will do nothing about it?  And how do they both stack up against the legacy of Dr. King?


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