Barack Obama and Black American Ethnicity

by Marian Douglas-UngaroAAheritage

The hoopla surrounding Barack Obama's "historic" run for the White House leaves Marian Douglas-Ungaro cold. Barack Obama does not represent her ethnicity. "I am a Black American - a descendant of Africa and the slave trade, a descendant, too, of Europe and of Native people of North America; bred, born and raised in the Americas, specifically the USA." Such is not Obama's ethnic background. "Ethnicity is not solely race, nor vice versa." If Obama is elected president, that will make history of a kind - but he cannot become the first ethnically Black American to hold the office, says the author.

Obama’s Choice of Biden: ‘The Devil Made Me Do It.”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordFlip Wilson - The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress-1

Flip Wilson's comedic character "Geraldine" knew who to blame for her own indiscretions: "The Devil made me do it." The same goes for Barack Obama who, his supporters are quick to explain, is blameless for his political sins and betrayals. The "white folks" made him do it, or "the polls" made him do it - but never the candidate, himself. However, it will be hard to find a devil to blame for Obama's choice of Sen. Joe Biden - "as much a war monger as George Bush" - as his running mate. The fact is, Obama "was never a progressive - he just briefly played one to win points in an Illinois Democratic primary election six years ago." Let the Devil be.

Click the flash player below to hear this Black Agenda Radio commentary.


Cynthia McKinney: Power to the People! Stop the War!

McKinney08The Democratic Party "takes impeachment off the
table," finances "an illegal and immoral war," fails to "even mention
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors in their Congressional agenda for the
first 100 days," and aids and abets "illegal spying on us" - yet has the gall to
call itself the party of "change" and "hope." 
As Democrats prepared their corporate-financed nominating convention,
Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney told protestors: "We declare
our willingness to be radical in pursuit of peace and in our hunger for
justice.  We can see clearly now who the real stickup artists are and
that's why we're in Denver!"

Denver 2008: Hope Is For The Weak

hope_bongby BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
As the Democratic wing of America's permanent ruling party convenes in
Denver, Democrats have dominated the Congress for almost two years.
There are more US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan than in 2006 but no
Democratic deadline to end these useless, predatory wars. 1.1 million
African Americans languish behind bars while the dispossession and
exile of hundreds of thousands of blacks from the Gulf Coast begins its
fourth year. The convention will be a media circus and will culminate with the co-branding of Barack Obama with Dr. King's 1963 "I Have A Dream" speech is intended to establish deep symbolic references between the two in the minds of voters, despite their diametrically opposed politics.
Hope is a
powerful drug indeed.

Obama and the Legacy of the 1963 March on Washington

by Touré F. Reed

The coincidence of the 45th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and the Democratic national convention is a political PR person's dream. "The Obama campaign is doing its best to co-opt the rally's legacy in its effort to reinforce the notion that the charismatic centrist black politician is operating in the tradition of civil rights leaders past." Electoral campaigns are not social movements, yet the Democratic machinery attempts to conflate the two. The "belief that a single individual can...transform society...has clouded the vision of contemporary pundits, voters, and even activists in this election year."

For America's Scholars Of Race, An Obama Dilemma

Equalityhandsby Jonathan Tilove

Will Barack Obama's presidential candidacy amount to a net positive for race relations in general and African American fortunes in particular? There is no consensus among scholars, interviewed by the Newhouse News Service. "Barack Obama, if elected, could be the salvation of a country in free flight failure," said Derrick Bell, a professor of law at New York University.  University of Michigan professor Angela Dillard calls Obama's avoidance of racial issues "an odd paradox that this will shrink even further any kind of public space to talk about race," while Brown University's Glenn Loury warns that Blacks are "voting for the end of affirmative action and they don't even know it."

Some Prisoners Declared Innocent, But Not Freed

by Maya Schenwar

HandsOnBarsSometimes being innocent doesn't mean a damn
thing. Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox's 35-year-old conviction in a prison
guard killing was overturned last month, but the Louisiana Attorney General is
keeping Woodfox locked up until a new trial can be arranged - no matter how
long that takes. This, despite the fact that Woodfox's allies include Rep. John
Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and a number of
sympathetic judges. In America, a judgment of innocent isn't a Get Out of Jail
Free card.

What Racism Does to White People

by David WeinerWhiteRacism

"Authoritarianism, the soil of racism, makes dominant
white culture in the United States an easy pawn of fascism." So said
social-psychiatrist Erich Fromm and others who argued that racism "renders its
proletarian benefactors passive and weak, ready to coalesce into angry or
obedient mobs but unable to pursue the goals of a self-actualized citizenry."
The U.S. has been a nurturing culture for white racism, an environment that
taught young whites to believe that, "If black people, or brown for that
matter, did poorly it was because of bad attitude, poor parenting, and cultural

If Obama Loses

by Paul StreetOBAMA

The author, no fan of Barack Obama's "neoliberal
centrist" ambitions, believes that "hubris and overreach" as well as race
"could play a role in a hypothetical Obama defeat." Like other Democrats of his
corporate bent, "Obama has done everything he can to reassure the nation's
ruling bipartisan political class that he is fully on board with the American
Empire Project." An Iraq and Afghanistan war funder, Obama "deserves to lose
Iraq as an issue working in his favor." If he loses, "it will be important
for progressively inclined citizens and activists to understand that it was
corporate-imperial centrism, not the left and not the People, that got defeated." 

John Edwards and Fake Morality

by Mel ReevesEdwards affair

Big Business media are coming to resemble the National
Enquirer more each day. Former senator and presidential aspirant John Edwards'
marital indiscretions loomed larger in the corporate media mind than matters of
war and peace, fiscal solvency or human rights. There seems to be no
correlation between spousal fidelity and presidential performance. "It does
appear that the current president has been faithful to his wife - yet George
Bush has committed every transgression imaginable against the U.S.
Constitution, and has behaved faithlessly towards to the citizenry he is sworn
to protect."

U.S. Mercenary Chickens Will Come Home to Roost


A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The wholesale privatization of U.S. war-making
capabilities continues apace, despite the expected indictment of six Blackwater
mercenaries involved in last year's massacre of Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad
traffic jam. Domestically, for-profit prisons are popping up like Wal-Mart
superstores, while Katrina brought soldiers of fortune to the streets of a
major American city. "As the current corrupt order decays, the rulers find that
due process and other niceties of law - including armies operating under codes
of military justice and civil service police forces - restrict their freedom

To hear this  Black Agenda Radio commentary, click the flash player below


Let them eat Croissants!

MAXWELLjohn_maxwell03by John Maxwell

The author, a renowned environmentalist as well as veteran journalist, bemoans Jamaica's failure to make the right development decisions at the right time. Kingston Harbor is being prepared to receive supercargo ships from the far East, yet "soaring energy costs are threatening to...force some overseas manufacturing to return closer to North America." In other words, as Jamaica gets ready to receive more goods from China, "oil prices and transport costs will soon cancel out the advantages of low-wage driven globalization." The result: destruction of the environment of Kingston Harbor for an out-of-date reason.

New York Times Attempts to Define and Dictate Black Politics

by BAR executive editor
Glen Ford

The Sunday magazine of the nation's most influential
newspaper predicts that Black politics as we know it is headed for extinction,
that Barack Obama's "brand of ‘race-neutrality' shows Black politics is
obsolete, and should be abandoned." Of course, that's wishful thinking from a
hostile quarter, based on assumptions that all Black politics is electoral,
Blacks are becoming more conservative, and a generational crisis deeply divides
Black America - none of which is true. However, Blacks have been set up for a
fall. "To the extent that African Americans expect more from Barack Obama than
they got from Bill Clinton, they will be devastatingly disappointed."

The Need for Real Debate on South Africa’s Future

by Raymond SuttnerANCcolors

South Africa is in a state of high excitement at the
changing of the guard in the African National Congress, the ruling party. But
the author wonders "Why is there little real debate over the country's problems
and alternatives?" More pointedly, "Why
is there a conscious blindness to [new ANC leader Jacob Gedleyihlekisa] Zuma's actual positions?" At this juncture, an open
debate is more needed than ever. "We fought not only for the ANC to rule but
for the freedom to speak our minds, even if that should lead us to conclusions
that differ from the ANC leadership."

Joining the Corporate Bail-Out Receiving Line

by Carolyn PatmonForeclosuresACORN

What's in a name? If it's Fannie Mae, billions in
bailouts. The author plans to change her name to Fannie Mae, to secure a place
in the lengthening line of corporations demanding the people's money to save
their private butts. Financial firms saw nothing wrong with sucking tons of
money from over-extended homeowners, until the bubble burst, "but the buck
always stops with the taxpayer who ends up footing the bill for every corporate
crash." There oughta be a law, "Like how about a rule that bank robbers and
embezzlers can't be mortgage brokers?

What About the Black Community, Obama?

Diop Olugbala, International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement

The Uhuru Movement, which forced Barack Obama to
defend his record in Black America at a campaign stop in Florida, are preparing
for their national convention, next month. Party spokesman Diop Olugbala says
the candidate has a lot more to answer for. "If anyone looks
seriously at the positions, programs and advisors of Barack Obama, they will
see that he does not stand for any kind of real change, but for the defense of
the same old status quo, with a new face." The Uhuru Movement works toward an
"independent political agenda" that addresses in depth the question, "what
about the black community?"

Church of the Ascending Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen FordHeavenObama

Obamamania has much in common with religion,
which requires no proof to defend its tenets or claims, only faith. "The
Obamites rely on faith alone to predict that their spiritual leader will usher
in a glorious era of ‘change'... even though their Holy Man is hopelessly
surrounded by and beholden to international finance capital and their global
protectors, the U.S. military-industrial complex." Obama incessantly preaches
change, but the money-changers that paid for his church "stand to lose the most
from fundamental change, real reform." But Obama blesses them all, including
those who pray for "more money for weapons, more troops, more tools of global

Is Obama the End of Black Politics? Lord, No

ObamaDrawingby Mel Reeves

The New York Times magazine predicts that Black
politics will fade into "mainstream" American politics as happened with the
Italians and Irish, conveniently forgetting that "the Irish and Italian machines
were white!" Moreover, the article seems to maintain that "electoral politics
is the primary form of black political struggle" when "the most significant
black struggle has occurred in the streets." Black electoral politicians aren't
rated too highly in the ‘hood. "If asked to name black heroes off the top of
their heads, most blacks would instantly nominate Martin Luther King Jr. and
Malcolm X - neither of whom held elective office."


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