Obama Runs a Crooked Game


BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Obama specializes in rigging political games so that African
Americans can’t win – that is, unless the African American is
named Obama. So intent is Obama to retain his huge support among
white males, the Senator constantly admonishes Blacks to avoid
upsetting white men or their peculiar notions of American history.
Obama calls for a “dialogue” between Blacks and whites, and then
removes from discussion all items that might cause stress or loss of
privilege to living whites. From Obama’s point of view, the worst
conduct imaginable for a Black man is to exaggerate the effects of
slavery on the captive Africans or the society that enslaved them.
Should the one million Black prison inmates be subjects of
Black-white dialogue? Nope – too upsetting to white folks.

Freedom Rider: Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran

madman_mccainby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
It took a force of rebellious generals and senior intelligence officers to thwart the Bush regime’s plans to attack Iran, just a few months ago. But the Bush/Cheney war criminals are intent on an armed assault on Iran before the clock runs out on their terms in office. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers is once again making noises about possible impeachment, but only after Bush’s planes and missiles hit Iran. The nearby Saudi Arabians are taking U.S. threats against Iran seriously, holding drills to counter leaking of nuclear material from a American strike. There’s no need counting down the days until Bush and Cheney leave office. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are as war-crazed as the Republicans when it comes to Iran.


7_foot_poet_upright_250wideKemet Mawakana (aka “The Seven-Foot Poet”) is a highly acclaimed spoken-word artist, and has published two books A . . . Z . . . Infinity and Crucifixion of My Soul. The collective body of his works presented weekly in BAR are in tribute to Listervelt Middleton, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, and “For The People”. Currently, he is a facilitator at AYA Educational Institute (www.ayaed.com) and can be reached at sevenfootpoet(at)gmail.com.

To read or listen to "Vietnam", please click on the link below. 

Obama's Multiracial Coalition and the Politics of Racial Reconciliation


by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
As the presidential campaign heats up, the precarious nature of Obama's "multiracial coalition" along with the nature of the "racial reconciliation" his candidacy brings becomes more.  Under the Obama version of "racial reconciliation" the opinions commonly held by most of Black America are deemed "divisive" relics of the past.  Black opinion, wherever it differs from that of  white corporate media is off the table.   A shrewd and savvy politician, Obama is entitled to make these choices for himself, and for his own reasons.  But should the voices of Black America be silenced and banished from the national discourse because they do not serve the career plans or short term interests of the Obama campaign?  Just what shots does Black America call in this reconciliation, and what benefits do African Americans receive in this "multiracial coalition"?   

Poetry from Kemit Mawakana


A.K.A. the Seven Foot Poet

This week the 7 foot poet muses on the worth of a life spent spitting on the mic, a life lived for the "culture" of hip-hop, a life spent in pursuit of something that was maybe never there at all.  Click the link below to read or listen to "2216". 

Who Sounded the Black Ideological Retreat

liberation_theology02by Mel Reeves
When did Black liberation theology and the prophetic tradition of the black church become "hate speech"?  When did asserting that racism was and remains foundational to the nation's settlement, development and culture become itself "racist" and "anti-American"?  When did advocacy on a wide range of fronts and issues begin to take a back seat to the advancement of political figures who build careers and multiracial electoral coalitions by convincing whites that they have repudiated what Barack Obama famously called the "excesses of the sixties and seventies."   

Fire and Damnation Awaits Those Who Transgress Against White America’s Civic Religion

by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford
The transgression of Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, pastor of  Barack Obama's church home of twenty years in Chicago were not Scriptural.  Wright questioned white America's civic religion, its fraudulent self-image as benevolent conqueror and justified leader of the planet.  Heretics of this kind are speedily cast from the public American public discourse, despite the fact most of the planet agrees with them.  What does it say about the "change" Obama "brings with him" that his "multiracial coalition" seems to depend is eagerly endorsing pernicious lies rather than speaking truth to power.  Who will Obama denounce, or be required to denounce next?

An Unfinished Agenda: Fair Housing And Community Development To Fight The Vestiges Of Segregation

by Elizabeth Julianfair_housing01
The mass movement for fairness in housing died more than a generation ago, and consistent rollbacks of  that eras gains have been the rule for more than two decades now.   The cynically misnamed Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere, or HOPE VI program instituted by the last Democratic administration and carried forth with enthusiastic bipartisanship in every urban jurisdiction in the land, has demolished public housing, dispersed it s residents and privatized the land upon which low-income housing once stood, flinging low-income families to the tender mercies of landlords, developers and the almighty Market.
For the millions of families in substandard housing or facing homelessness, what are the policy alternatives? 

Billionaire Bangarang

john_maxwell03by John Maxwell 
From Montego Bay to Moscow, and from Aspen to Islamabad, the gap between the very rich and the rest of us continues to widen.   Is the increasing distress of the poor and working classes the world over connected with the rise in fortunes of the most fortunate?  John Maxwell, the dean of Jamaican journalists and commentators thinks so.

Brazilian Military’s Experience Comes Full Circle in Haiti

by Kevin Pina
brazilian_troops_haiti03Since the withdrawal of most US occupation forces from Haiti, Brazilian troops have taken on the task of hunting down grassroots activists, and terrorizing the neighborhoods that shelter them.  But what comes around definitely goes around.  Just as American torture tactics from Vietnam migrated into the culture of US law enforcement when the vets returned home, lessons of  calculated brutality practiced in the military occupation of Haiti have returned to Brazil, to be deployed against her own poor and dispossessed.

Freedom Rider: Hugo Chavez and the Obama/Clinton Twins

venezuela_ecuadorby BAR Editor and Senior  Columnist Margaret Kimberley
With Republican candidate John McCain singing "bomb, bomb Iran", muttering about keeping troops in Iraq another hundred years, and offering US military solutions to the world's every problem, voters might reasonably expect Democratic candidates to offer sane and sensible alternatives to the aggressive foreign policies of the Bush regime.  But both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seem poised to continue the Bush regime's support of death squads and narco-kleptocracy in Columbia.  Neither Democrat complains when Columbia's US trained and equipped army conducts murderous cross-border forays into Ecuador, or masses on the Venezuelan border.  When it comes to foreign policy in South America, this year's Democrats offer little, if  any "change".

Black Prison Gulag and the Police State

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The U.S. is King of the global prison hill, the result of a ferocious policy of mass Black incarceration. A new study by researchers at the Pew organization shows the U.S. is number one in numbers of prisoners per capita and sheer size of the national inmate population - many more inmates than are incarcerated in 1.2 billion population China. Seven times more Americans are locked up than during the early 1970s, when the prison explosion began, with non-whites now representing large majorities of prisoners. Mass Black incarceration is a deliberate policy of every state in the nation - a furious backlash against Black gains during the Sixties that continues unabated, disconnected from actual crime rates. Prison "reform" is a worthy goal, but the ongoing crime against African Americans as a people must be tackled head-on, by confronting the true nature of the beast.

Do You Have A Slave Mentality?

7_foot_poet_upright_250wideA.K.A. "The Seven-Foot Poet"

Our resident poet asks what should be a burning question.  Readers may be certain that the answer for themselves is, No - until they discover Mawakana's criteria for defining the mentality-afflicted. Experience the written and audio versions of this week's offering from the very tall man of poetry, and re-examine your own mentality.

To hear this question posed in the poet's own voice, click the link below. 

Can't Knock the Hassle: Chavez Challenges Baseball

by Dave ZirinZirinChavezatBat

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is pitching a
(literal) shutout to Major League Baseball owners that scour his country in
search of "talent on the cheap." Baseball employers "sign children for pennies,
treat them like trash when they're finished, and face contact lens-thin
regulations for their troubles." Over the past two decades, "200 Venezuelans
have played in the Major Leagues with more than 1,000 in the minors," while fully
"30 percent of all minor league players are from the Dominican Republic."
President Chavez is demanding MLB regulation and fair play for his athletes,
anathema to the Baltimore Orioles,
Boston Red Sox, and San Diego Padres. The teams have "cut and run" in order to, in the
words of one executive, "avoid some of the hassle of having to deal with some
of the legislation that Chávez passes down there in hiring coaches, worrying
about severance pay, and just getting in and out of the country."

The Kerner Commission Report at 40: A Real Program for “Change” that is Still Being Ignored

KernerNewark1967by Dedrick Muhammad

The 1968 Kerner Commission, created by
President Lyndon Johnson in the wake of the previous year's riots in Newark and
Detroit, proposed economic solutions to the vast disparities that had led to a
nation that "is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and
unequal." The commission proposed the creation of two million public and
private sector jobs, subsidized on-the-job training for the chronically
unemployed, federal assistance to all schools that worked to end de facto segregation,
compensatory education programs serving disadvantaged children, six million new
and renovated units of affordable housing, and - most sweepingly - a uniform
national welfare standard to bring everyone's income up to the poverty line.
Congress chose instead to pass anti-riot legislation, and the commission's report
has been ignored ever since.

The Obama Bubble: Why Wall Street Needs a Presidential Brand

BubbleObamaCowbyHatby Pam Martens

Despite Barack Obama's claim that his campaign
represents a mass "movement" of "average folks," the initial core of his
support was largely comprised of rich denizens of Wall Street. Why would the
super wealthy want a percieved "black populist" to become the nation's chief
executive officer? The "Obama bubble" was nurtured by Wall Street in order to
have a friend in the White House when the captains of capital are made to face
the legal consequences for deliberately
creating current and past economic "bubbles." Wall Street desperately needs a
president who will "sweep all the corruption and losses, would-be indictments,
perp walks and prosecutions under the rug and get on with an unprecedented
taxpayer bailout of Wall Street." Who better to sell this "agenda to the
millions of duped mortgage holders and foreclosed homeowners in minority
communities across America than our first, beloved, black president of hope and

Freedom Rider: Economic Meltdown

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret KimberleyFRdownArrow

The dollar's implosion and the global banking
spiral demand that Americans contemplate what was previously unthinkable: the
toppling of the United States from its 60-plus years of economic
dominance.  The very idea of a greatly
reduced U.S. world role is alien to most Americans, who "won't know what hit
them when the hammer falls." Conditioned by a media that owes allegiance only to corporate
owners, never to the truth, and believing that the U.S. is a "light unto the
nations," much of the public find the looming economic meltdown
inconceivable except in terms of "enemies" abroad. In a nation that increasingly
produces nothing but weapons, "the response to the loss of domination will be
more wars." Lack of a real social safety net ensures that "economic upheaval
will create crime, family disruption and untold psychic damage" as Americans'
most basic understandings of their country" are "shaken to the very

Obamarama: Is it a Movement? Or is it Marketing? And What Should We Be Doing?

 A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce Dixon
Is the Barack Obama campaign actually what it claims to be - the heir to and continuation of an historic and broad-based transformative movement for social change? What exactly are the differences between a social movement, a political candidacy, and a marketing campaign? How do we begin to unravel how much of Obamarama is movement and how much is marketing, and where will the promised and hoped-for "change" actually come from, if it comes at all?
  We regret that the audio of this Black Agenda Radio commentary is no longer available.


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