Hypocritical Obama "Two-Step" on Human Rights and Racism

Obama 2 stepA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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One step backward: last month, the Obama administration sabotaged the Durban II anti-racism conference, by first watering down the event's language and then refusing to participate. The first Black president of the United States created a coalition of European and white settler regimes - the same powers that inflicted centuries of racist terror on the planet - in defense of the racist Israeli regime. One step forward: Obama expects to steal a public relations coup by joining the UN's Human Rights Council - where he will doubtless pursue the same status quo policies..


Torture Lawyers Ought To Be Disbarred

disbar the torturers A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
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President Obama considers U.S. use of torture as an instrument of national policy is best relegated to the past, unpunished - even though a web of international treaties and laws, and U.S. statutes, obligate the executive branch to prosecute the guilty. It has been left to a coalition of activist groups to pursue some small measure of punishment for the 12 Bush lawyers that conspired to make torture, legal. The coalition has filed complaints with state bar associations to pull the torture lawyers' licenses.


The Grant Park Dream Has Died


by Paul A. Moore
What a difference four months make. On November 4, 2008, tears "tears flowed like a mighty river" from half a million pairs of eyes in Chicago's Grant Park, where Barack Obama made his victory speech. Today, "Obama has no intention of withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and ending that war," "there will be no genuine single payer national health care system under this president," and Obama invites "voucher and charter school boosters to the White House." The dream has turned into a hoax.


Obama's War: Drunk, Bored Trigger Happy Mercenaries Kill Afghan Civilians

justiceby Jeremy Scahill

Blessed with immunity from the laws of any nation and a new company name mercenaries for the company formerly known as Blackwater are still hard at work, doing what mercenaries do.. getting paid, while corporate media protect us from the news.  Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill uncovers another instance of oru tax dollars at work in Afghanistan

A Sincere and Painful Apology to the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus

Alberto Jonesby Alberto N. Jones
Mainly white Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida, and Union City, New Jersey, who have never been friends of Blacks in either Cuba or the United States, now claim to be champions of racial equality on the island. The author, an Afro-Cuban whose roots go back to Jamaica, apologizes to Black U.S. lawmakers for the antics of the hypocritical Cuban rightwingers. Afro-Cubans, who have the most loyal to all of Cuba's revolutions, need no assistance from "mercenaries" from Miami.

No News Is Bad News: The Death Dance of Journalism and the Twilight of Democracy

by Robert McChesney

In this 90 minute address, Dr. Robert McChesney argues that the disappearance of journalism from newspapers and broadcast media marks the twilight of democracy.  Back in the days when Frederick Douglass and other abolitionists started their newspapers, the US Postal Service was mailing them for free.  At the time, newspapers were 90% of post office volume, and accounted for 2% of its income, a massive government subsidy.  Only a massive subsidy --- a stimulus program for journalism, and stripping corporate owners of dozens and hundreds of stations that some of them own, can begin to make real democracy possible.

What You Need To Know About Darfur and Sudan

The conflict in Sudan's Darfur region is presented to us in the U.S. as an unambiguous case of genocidal racism, worthy of a virtuous response from Americans.  The Save Darfur Coalition, the foremost perveyors of this story, are backed by the bipartisan U.S. foreign policy establishment, from rabid end-of-the-world fundamentalists to supposed liberals and everyone else in between.

What You Need To Know About Black Radio

What You Need To Know About Black Radio

In a schema unique to the United States, nearly all broadcast media are exclusively licensed to private owners, on the supposed condition that they serve the public interest.  In fact, broadcasters are utterly free to reap vast fortunes using the limited public resource of the broadcast spectrum.  Black commercial radio is no different, whether or not its nominal owners are African American.  

Obama’s Health Care Charade

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
President Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to suppress advocates of single-payer health care. He has choreographed a grand theater of faux-change, in which he "seeks to create a façade of unity along lines that do not threaten corporate power." The goal is to "sidetrack, possibly for decades, the most broadly supported idea in American politics, today." This "requires elaborate reconstructions of reality," starting with "methodically erasing single-payer advocates from the picture, with the enthusiastic collaboration of the corporate media." Thus, Obama and compliant Democrats on The Hill stage "summits" and "public roundtable discussions" on health care from which majority U.S. opinion is totally excluded.


Freedom Rider: Af-Pak Is Obama's War


Af-Pak Warby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
President Obama, who campaigned behind a thin veil of peace, dragged two heads of client states into the White House to demand “that both Afghanistan and Pakistan allow their citizens to be murdered and or displaced in the thousands” – or else. Obama read Presidents Zardari and Karzai “the riot act” to let them know who is boss in the military theater called “AfPak.” Obama claims to “want to respect their sovereignty, but” – there’s always the imperial ‘but’ – America has “huge national security interests” in the region. Afghanistan’s Karzai later wondered, “How can you expect a people who keep losing their children to remain friendly?”


Obama Shows His True Katrina Colors

traliersA Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

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The line between Bush and Obama has not simply blurred in New Orleans: it has disappeared." President Obama has adopted, in whole, the Bush approach to rebuilding the city - minus the Black Diaspora that was scattered to the winds in 2005. Notices of eviction have been served on the mostly elderly and Black inhabitants of 3,000 FEMA trailers. The Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development is putting the finishing touches on public housing demolition in the city. Not a single "Katrina Cottage" has been made ready for occupancy. Obama no more favors the "right to return" to - or remain in - New Orleans, than Bush did.

U.S. Economy: The Cancer is Still There

the american diseaseA Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford


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"In the cold assessment of history, Barack Obama will be remembered more for his massive transfers of national wealth to the finance capitalist class, than as the first Black president of the United States." Mostly under his administration, $12.8 trillion dollars has been committed to prop up the Wall Street oligarchy. Yet the five banks that are the biggest recipients of federal largess continue to hold $195 trillion in fatally toxic derivatives - a notional value more than three times the planetary domestic product! "There is nothing rational to do but to wipe the obligations, and their holders, off the face of the Earth, in order to save the real economy."

First Black President Cuts Funds For Black Higher Education

whateverA Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

 Click the flash player to listen to or the mic to download this commentary in mp3 format.

President Obama's economic stimulus was very kind to the general category of education. But Black higher education got the butt end of his budget, with a net of $73 million in cuts, while traditionally Hispanic schools got an increase in funding. "It would be difficult to find anyplace in the federal budget where $73 million has a more concentrated impact on the fortunes of a particular ethnic group." Even southern Republican lawmakers are wondering aloud about Obama's priorities.

The Case for Race-Based Remedies to Achieve Racial Justice


ron_danielsby Dr. Ron Daniels
Race-based remedies for historical Black grievances seem increasingly out of favor with the executive and judicial branches of government. President Obama has once again signaled his distaste for programs specifically targeting institutional racism, while the U.S. Supreme Court appears prepared to gut the Voting Rights Act. However, they are beating a near-dead horse, since “race-based remedies to overcome past and present affects of enslavement, segregation, discrimination and structural racism have virtually been eradicated.” Various forms of affirmative redress for Blacks have seen only brief and spotty use, while for most of the nation’s history “affirmative action for Whites” has been “the order of the day.


Framing Race in Mississippi


mississippiby Michelle Chen
As Nina Simone sang it, “Mississippi Goddamn!” The Magnolia State, which ranks last in the nation on human development criteria, achieved that distinction by relentlessly debasing the life prospects of its Black citizens. Black Mississippians earn about $10,00 a year less than whites, and die four years sooner, according to a new study. High rates of infant mortality are linked directly to poor health care for Black women – one of many “lifelong barriers” the state erects to block Black social advancement. “The state currently spends twice as much to house each prisoner as it does to keep each child in school.”


Freedom Fighters or Criminals? AFRICOM Doesn’t Care.

by Mark P. Fancher
AFRICOM extends its tentacles on the east and west coasts and deep into the interior of the continent. Its mission: “to keep Africa safe for western corporations that need access to the continent’s oil and mineral resources.” All indigenous opposition to imperial policies and interests is deemed “criminal” or “terrorist” – whether along the internationally exploited shores of Somalia or in the oil-rich delta of the Niger River. As African Liberation Day approaches, we must understand that “AFRICOM…is really all about building the capacity of western corporations to hold fast to Africa.”

“Out of the Closet”: Black Atheists

churchby Sikivu Hutchinson

It’s not easy being a Black atheist, “partly due to the fact that the history of African American civil and human rights resistance is heavily steeped in Judeo-Christian religious dogma.” If you’re a woman, it’s worse. “While black male non-believers are given more leeway to be heretics, black women who openly profess atheist views are deemed especially traitorous, having abandoned their family role as purveyors of cultural and religious tradition.Church dogma exerts a warping influence on the culture. “In these (black) communities,” notes one Black writer, “you find more tolerance towards gangbangers, drug addicts, and prostitutes, who pray to God for forgiveness than for honest productive citizens who deny the existence of God.”

Nine Things The Diaspora Can Do About Somalia

somaliaby Cedric Muhammad

In their vicious campaign to legitimize Western military intervention in East Africa, US and European government and corporate media present us with stories of Somali “piracy.” Cedric Muhammed sketches the outline of a broad plan to counter the media and political offensive that can be undertaken by Africans in the U.S. to defend their own interests and those of the people of East Africa, particularly Somalia.

Blacks and Latinos in the U.S.: Still an Evolving Relationship


us and usby Robert Suro
Although a fair number of Americans are aware that the United States will become a “majority minority” nation sometime around the year 2050, few contemplate how the “distinct experiences” of the two largest non-white groups – Blacks and Hispanics – will affect their interactions in this changed environment. “We are in the process,” writes the author, “of revising our notions of both what constitutes the norm and what constitutes ‘the other.’” The old Black-white paradigm is being eclipsed. “Twenty-five years from now the Hispanic population will be twice as large as the African-American population.”



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