High Stakes Teaching and the “Value-Added” Sham

by Sikivu Hutchinson

The Los Angeles Times recently weighed in against the city’s scapegoated teachers, giving public school elementary educators low marks on so-called ‘value-added’ assessments – a term that is as corporate as they come. The new regime serves neither teachers nor students. Rather, “the intersection of high stakes testing and zero tolerance discipline policies have created a perfect storm for black and brown students already deemed expendable by teachers and administrators.”

The Dark Underbelly of American Public Housing: What Lessons can we Learn from the Case of Chicago?

660 W. Division, Cabrini Green, 1980s

by Anthony DiMaggio

In Chicago, as in most cities, the term “urban renewal” is effectively a lie – a scheme to “make room for more affluent white families.” The resulting harms to Black and poor people are premeditated, since “there was never any intention of relocating the vast majority of the former public housing residents in the new, more affluent ‘mixed income’ sites” of the Hope VI program.

Tom Joyner, Julius Hollis & the Alliance For Digital Equality: Black Sock Puppet Spokesmen For AT&T & the Telecom Giants

By BAR Managing Editor Bruce A. Dixon

You want to believe, when somebody gets on the radio and says they are about bringing “jobs, education and technology” to black and brown communities, that they really mean it. But in the real world, greedy corporations aiming to gouge the public, secure more government bailout, or protect themselves against accountability will pay lots of people to say almost anything.

The Current Economic Crisis and the Way Out

piglet banker

by Anthony Monteiro

Wall Street rule has created a kind of “vampire economy,” a parasite on the “real” economy of work and production. Government acts as servant to the plunderers, deeming them “too big to fail” and bailing them out “to the tune of $12 trillion” of the people’s money. Although progressive white economists like Joseph Stiglitz often “don’t get it,” liberating the “masses of black folk from the plunderous combination of white supremacy and finance capitalism is fundamental to solving the crisis.”

Freedom Rider: Israel, Big Money and Obama

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Wealthy Americans whose paramount issue is unlimited support for Israel create huge distortions in U.S. politics, bending presidents to their will. Barack Obama’s career has long been nurtured by one such billionaire hyper-Zionist, who hopes to instigate an attack on Iran.

Obama Snarls at the Left, But Winks at the Right

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Obama's press secretary's assault on the Left also represents a presidential "wink" to the Right, "reassuring the corporate world that Obama will not yield an inch to the Left in this election season." Once again, the president shows that he regards the Left as either his flunkies - or his enemy.

Housing Policy? Obama Leaves It To The Bankers

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

President Obama is pulling the same stunt with the housing crisis as he did with health care: packing his public policy events with corporate operatives while excluding the grassroots and progressives. "Only the bankers, the stock speculators and the academics that are paid by the rich, qualify as stakeholders at Obama's housing conference."

France, U.S. Must Pay Their Debt to Haiti

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Were it not for slavery and ruthless imperial exploitation, modern Europe and the United States - and global capitalism, itself - would not have existed. In that sense, all of the developed nations are fundamentally indebted to the formerly colonized world.  But Haiti's bill includes a very explicit $17 billion directly extorted by France (and the U.S.).

Shooting Cans: The Racist Assault on the 14th Amendment

Freedom for All Political Prisonerst

by Kevin Alexander Gray

The Right is aiming at the “very foundation of U.S. civil rights law” with its attacks on the 14th Amendment. Repeal would “return the U.S. to the doctrine of the Dred Scott decision, the idea that one can never overcome the status of his or her previous condition: once a slave, always a slave; once undocumented, forever undocumented, down to one's children and children's children.”

Political Prisoners in America

by Stephen Lendman

Besides race – but inextricably linked to it – the existence of political prisoners is among the biggest taboos in American life. "The United States is very, very concerned when its citizens begin to raise questions in these international forums, because (America) still prefers to posture itself, including the Obama administration, as the leader of the free world and that they don't have any human rights violations, and they certainly don't have any political prisoners.”

Make Jesse Jackson, Ben Jealous and Big Labor Own Up to Their Words


by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Established Black and labor leaders are compelled by the spiraling economy to at least pretend to make demands on the First Black President. However, “the Obama administration has no intention of supporting a direct government jobs creation program, the only measure that could begin to counter Wall Street’s decade’s-long jobs destruction policies.” The political crunch is coming.

Freedom Rider: Public Theft and the End of Empire

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

If it feels like this economic roller coaster ride is stuck on down, you’re right. At the same historical moment that the public sector is put on a starvation diet, the demands of the military reach record levels. “The height of brute force brings with it the nadir of support for human needs.”

Social Movement: Obama’Laid and the Internet

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

The recent Netroots Nation conference shows that Obama'Laid is easily dispensed in digital form, inebriating millions. What does it matter if 25 percent of Twitter users are Black, when “by 2012 75 percent of the country will have only one Internet service provider offering high-speed broadband Internet?” Clearly, the revolution will not be Twitterized. A real mass movement is needed.

Black Mass Incarceration, Unemployment, Unjust Wars, Corporate School Reform, Rampant Privatizations Are All “Off The Table” at CBC's Annual Legislative Conference

For a generation, the CBC's Annual Legislative Conference, popularly known as “CBC Week” has billed itself the penultimate gathering of Black America's political elite, its best and brightest and most forward thinking minds brought together for our collective advancement. If that's anywhere close to the truth, then why are there no workshop sessions on black mass incarceration or the unjust wars in Africa and the Middle East which are massively unpopular in black communities? Why no sessions on how to stop privatizations, or defend public libraries, public schools, public transit or the public sector?

Paul Kagame: America's Genocidaire in Central Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Precisely like his predecessor, President Obama empowers a pro-western Murder Inc. in Black Africa, a roster that includes the most vicious mass murderers and assassins on the continent. One of them, Rwanda's Paul Kagame, who is culpable in the death of millions in Congo, recently held an election in which he got 93 percent of the vote. But you won't hear any complaints from the White House.

Wyclef Jean Godsend for U.S., France; NYPD Top Cop is “Rogue”; Cynthia McKinney Bikes for Peace; Blacks Get Little News Coverage

Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network

Wyclef Jean Godsend for U.S., France; NYPD Top Cop is “Rogue”; Cynthia McKinney Bikes for Peace; Blacks Get Little News Coverage

by Nellie Bailey and Glen Ford

Wyclef Jean’s “Divisive” Role in Haiti

Should we take entertainer Wyclef Jean’s candidacy for the Haitian presidency serious? “In normal times, in a country that was functioning normally,” said community activist and radio host Roger Le Duc, “it would be a joke.” But with the state that Haiti is in today, Jean’s role could be to “divide the popular masses” to the advantage of American, French and Canadian overseers.

Blacks Not Newsworthy

Roosevelt Offered the New Deal, Obama Launches the Old Deal

Laughing Obama

by michael hureaux perez

Since Barack Obama has clearly reneged on any new dispensation for Black and working people in America, we may soon see him pitching an Old Deal as the Best Deal. Need affordable housing? “Please know that if a barn was good enough for Secretariat, it’s good enough for you. You’re an American.”

President Obama Meets African Youth Leaders

Haitians cremate Monsanto effigy

by C. Uzondu

President Obama appears to be avoiding any real discussion of the biggest challenges facing Africa. At a White House forum for young African leaders, there was nothing on the agenda about AFRICOM, climate change, or international economic justice. With the U.S. rapidly militarizing much of the region, “Africans inhabiting the richest continent will necessarily become terrorists whenever they resist US corporate-state plunder.”

Race and Redemption: The Shirley Sherrod Debacle

Haitians cremate Monsanto effigy

by Dr. Ron Daniels

Often ignored in discussion of the Shirley Sherrod affair, was the question of whether Sherrod was actually obligated to give assistance to a white farmer in danger of eviction. After all, Sherrod’s not-for-profit job was specifically to help Black farmers. “Had she simply stopped at making a referral (as she initially did) that would have been above and beyond the call of duty under the circumstance – but she chose to do more.”


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