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.

Freedom Rider: Gay Rights and Black America

FRblacksGaysFistsby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

"It wasn't possible for black votes to have single handedly provided the margin of victory" for California's ban on gay marriage. "A majority of whites, Latinos and Asians all voted for" Proposition 8, and "those black voters who approved of Proposition 8 did so for the same reasons that people of other races did." Black political behavior on this issue and many others is also rooted in unique conditions of African American life, such as chronic high unemployment and mass Black incarceration. If society does not allow honest and sensitive discussion of African American problems, Blacks should not be expected to be paragons of correctness.

Don’t Be A Buffalo Soldier

by Carl DixBuffalo-Soldier-800

Barack Obama, the vaunted "role model," wants a greatly expanded U.S. war machine capable of putting lots more "boots on the ground" around the globe. The author poses the question: "Is having a Black commander-in-chief enough to get you to enlist in America's war for empire, to kill people, and maybe die yourself, trying to keep America's strnglehold on the world in effect?" The "Buffalo Soldiers" of yesteryear now fill America's imperial legions, continuing the "shameful legacy" of "driving the native inhabitants off their lands to make way for the expansion of America[n]" power.


Lords of Capital Decree the End of Personal Security

JobSecurityStrike"Those politicians
who would allow Detroit to go down the drain, are loyal to capital, not to
country." They are intent on obliterating the very idea "that working people
have the right to protect themselves from the ups and downs of capitalist booms
and busts."
 
Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary
{mp3}20081217gf_security{/mp3}

Obama’s Opportunity to Show Respect for the Rule of Law

TorturePrisonersDick Cheney has
openly confessed to a personal role in shaping U.S. policy in the torture of
prisoners. A Senate Committee reports that a long list of administration
officials are culpable in torture, starting with George Bush. Will President Obama let the
guilty walk free?
 
Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary.
{mp3}20081217gf_torture{/mp3}

U.S. Proposes International Gang Rape of Somalia

SomaliFightersThe U.S., having
failed to subdue Somalia through Ethiopia's proxy invasion, now appeals to the
world's militaries to turn Somalia into a "free fire zone." Somali "piracy" is
a pretext for old fashioned imperial aggression.
 
Click the flash player below  to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary.
 {mp3}20081217gf_somailia{/mp3}

The Great Debate on Obama --Last Week in Harlem, This Week in Baltimore

Transcript and audio remarks by Glen Ford, Dr. Leonard Jeffries and Dr. Donald Smith

great_debate_baltimore

Was the election of Barack Obama good for Black people? No, argued BAR's Glen Ford, 
Baruch College professor emeritus of education Donald Smith, and two
other distinguished Black educators at a debate in New York's Harlem, last
weekend. Four activists lined up on the other side of the question, before a
crowd of over 1,500. Dr. Smith evaluated Obama based on his "personnel
appointments, post-racial philosophy, and cultural incompatibility."  Said Ford: "I'm not mad at Obama. He's just
another cynical center-right politician, doing whatever he can get away with.
The people I'm mad at are the ones who let him get away with it."

Next week the Great Debate moves to Baltimore, with a live webcast on www.livinginblack.com.

The Malik Rahim Campaign in New Orleans -- An Analysis

112_montage
 
by Robert Caldwell
Competent and responsible organizers do not just take credit for their
victories, they critically analyze their defeats and shortcomings in
order to extract useful lessons.   We want to take this
opportunity to thank those BAR readers who donated or worked the phones
for his campaign, and we here republish a critical
analysis of the performance of Malik Rahim's campaign written by its
campaign manager. 
The editors

Will Obama Privatize Public Assets To Pay For “Economic Recovery”?

texasBy BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon

Obama's old school economic team are on record as favoring privatizations of public resources in principle. Unless Obama is willing to significantly cut the military budget or tax the rich, neither of which seems very likely, the only way to pay for even a reasonably large jobs and recovery program is to kill other jobs through a wave of Chicago-style privatizations. And privatizations are always bad for democracy.

Obama’s ‘Center-Right’ Presidency: The Die is Cast

ObamaKoolAidby BAR executive editor
Glen Ford

In case there are any lingering doubts, it's
official: Barack Obama has earned a well-deserved rating of "center-right"
politician, courtesy of the New York Times. The president-elect worked
hard to pull himself rightward, after starting off with a reputation as a
liberalish "peace" candidate. Nobody calls Obama that anymore, not since he
endorsed the bankers' bailout, put the economy's future in the hands of the
same people that set the stage for financial meltdown, and let Bush's War
Secretary keep the keys to the imperial armory. So let's give it to Obama. He
won't ever have an identity crisis, again.

Eshu’s blues: President Barancklin Husseinalo Roosobamavelt

ESHUgreenjobsby BAR columnist michael hureaux perez

"President-Elect Obama has promised us a massive public works program that will put two and a half million people to work in various forms of ‘green' industry" - a promise that may or may not turn out to be worth something. "Green" is a shapeless category that can include "use of healthy agricultural acreage for the production of fuels for the automobile." Obama's leftish supporters anticipate a second coming of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, but "even the Obamaists have to see that there's something slightly hinky about the names that are turning up in the presidential cabinet."

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