South Africa On the Potomac: Washington, D.C. and Black Incarceration

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

Washington, DC, like other majority-Black metropolises, squeezes African Americans out of its borders through gentrification, while trapping growing proportions of those who remain in a rapacious criminal justice system. Activists charge that DC’s policy of hiring more white officers from surrounding states amounts to “coon hunting” in the nation’s capital.

Two Black Caucus Members Ask Gaza Flotilla Probe, the Rest are Silent

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Terrified of offending the Israel lobby, Black congresspersons routinely vote for anti-Palestinian resolutions as “if they represented some Arab-hating constituency in Utah.” Two Black Representatives – Barbara Lee (CA) and Keith Ellison (MN) – last week dared to ask President Obama to support lifting Israel's blockade of Gaza and an investigation into last week's savage attack on the aid flotilla – but were careful to note they did not speak for the Congressional Black Caucus as a body.

Freedom Rider: The Trouble with Arizona, and Obama

Brewer and Obama

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The history of the state of Arizona is as much stained by the Confederacy as by the usual Old West pathologies, having once been claimed as a territory of the breakaway Slave Republic. Reconstruction never reached Arizona, which has enacted what might be called “Brown Codes” to shackle its Latino residents. “What Governor [Jan] Brewer and her anxious citizens really fear is too many brown faces.”


“Felony is the New ‘N-Word”: Michelle Alexander on Mass Incarceration as “The New Jim Crow” in the Age of Obama

by Paul Street

The author – himself a renowned Left, anti-racist scholar and activist – calls Alexander’s work “as close to being a perfect book as you are going to see.” While established Black leadership spent most of its political capital defending affirmative action programs that never reached the masses of Black people, the U.S. was busy establishing a “new racial caste system” based on mass Black incarceration and “unimpeded by the Fourteenth Amendment and federal civil rights legislation”


The Failure of Negro Leadership

TR and Booker

by Benjamin Woods

The crisis of Black American leadership is rooted in 1830s and 1840s political strategies designed to convince whites of Black people’s “humanity and worthiness” – an elitist approach that cut the masses of Blacks out of the picture. In 1920 Harlem radical Hubert Harrison referred to the NAACP as the National Association for the Advancement of Certain People.”


Federal Authorities Paid Journalists To Sabotage Trial

cuban five again

by Linn Washington Jr.

Members of the rabidly anti-Castro Miami press got some extra incentives to make it impossible for the Cuban Five to get a fair trial, in 2001. The federal government spread plenty of cash around among the press to inflame opinions in an already hostile environment. “Extensive pre-trial publicity and publicity during the trial, coupled with prosecutorial misconduct, created a ‘perfect storm’ of gale-force unfairness against the defendants.”


Obama and the Charter School Sugar Daddies

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

As hedge funds spin their financial webs to spur charter school expansion and President Obama bullies states to lift caps on charters, "right-wing foundations are attempting to swallow whole the entire school district of Washington, DC." For a $65 million donation, the Wal-Mart family and other fat cats demand DC schools drop union rules - and threaten to take back the money if the voters change administrations.


Yes, Obama is “Engaged” – in a Colossal Crime

your president is engaged

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

Corporate media pretend to measure degrees of presidential “engagement” with the Gulf crisis – an “oceanic version of Chernobyl.” Such superficial reporting is totally disengaged from the truth that screams from the depths of the sea: “Huge corporations are empowered to seek profits with absolutely no regard for the consequences to Earth or Man.”


Black America, Corporate Media and the Siege of Gaza

This weekend, heavily armed Israeli military forces intercepted a flotilla bearing relief supplies for Gaza in international waters. The intention of the crew and passengers, who hail from more than a dozen countries and include a number of Israeli Jews, was to run the more than three year old blockade of food, trade goods, medical supplies and construction materials to the 1.5 million people of Gaza, the world's largest open air prison, to force US corporate media to cover the slow motion starvation imposed upon Gaza by the US and its client state of Israel, and ultimately to end the siege.

Obama's Scheme to Kill Public Housing and Give the Land to Banks

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

For the Obama administration, every bit of public space and property is "on the table" - subject to privatization.  Transfer of public wealth to private hands seems a White House obsession. Next on the auction block: the nation's public housing stock. "This is gentrification and urban displacement on a gargantuan scale."

The "Predatory Buccaneer" and the Overpopulation Lie

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

The logic of the world-stealers leads inexorably to genocide. Thus, the vast miseries that are the inevitable result of imperial mega-theft must be blamed on the victims who insist on continuing to breathe. There is no overpopulation, and "Mother Nature is not the problem.  Predators and imperialists are."

Eshu’s Blues: Make Them Drink It

it's burning

by michael hureaux perez

The Earth bleeds from a deep wound in the Gulf of Mexico, and humanity suffers the agonies of a thousand cuts – many if not most of them inflicted by the United States and the corporations it serves. What is a progressive to do? “We must begin by conducting a militant defense of the public sector of the economy through whatever grassroots community and labor organizations at our disposal - once again, with the notable exception of the 'democratic' party.”


AFRICOM and the ICC: Enforcing international justice in Africa?

by Samar Al-Bulushi and Adam Branch

The United States, which has never joined the International Criminal Court for fear that it might be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, is gearing up to use the ICC as a pretext to act as world gendarme. “The ICC risks becoming the latest pawn of US military strategy on the continent…in particular in conjunction with AFRICOM”


Texas School Board Disappears Race History


by Linn Washington, Jr.

The South is rising again – at least according to the narratives of books vetted by the Texas Board of Education. Right-wing icons and shibboleths are in, the struggle against racism is out. “It is unlikely that students will receive Education Board sanctioned instruction about the May 1916 lynching on the Waco, TX City Hall lawn that was attended by 15,000 spectators.”


Freedom Rider: BP Rules

oily president

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley


BP and the mere humans that run it remain “in charge” of the scene of their crime, despite President Obama’s protestations to the contrary. “The Coast Guard only allows as much media access as BP will allow” – proof that the Obama regime treats the multinational corporation’s interests as paramount even to its own. BP has nothing to fear “because they know who is boss.”




Her Name Was Aiyana Jones

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

Rev. Al Sharpton preached that her death was a "breaking point" - but he's said that too many times before. Even the police execution of a child fails as a catalyst for change. "These issues are the result of a legacy of enslavement which has seemingly permanently inscribed an archetype of Black people as property and predators."

Click here to download the MP3 of this BA Radio commentary.

Rand Paul Tells On Self and Fellow Tea Partyers

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It was like pulling teeth, but Tea Party star Rand Paul finally blurted out his core, racist ideology in front of national TV cameras.  Property rights trump Black rights, every time. "White supremacy is the connective link that holds the 'Tea Party' together - that, and relentless media coverage."

New York City Beats Arizona Hands Down in Police Abuse of Citizens

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

New York City - a place imagined as a center of liberality - is a mega-human rights violator, where 8:30pm curfews are enforced to make minority neighborhoods into "ghost towns." In the Bedford-Stuyvesant section, police "are told to make arrests for incidents they have not seen and probably didn't happen, all to meet quotas and clear the streets."

Iran Apocalypse Soon


by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The Obama administration’s behavior toward Iran is eerily reminiscent of George Bush’s mobilization for war against Iraq in the half-year before the actual invasion. A recently leaked Pentagon directive and a host of other factors are “consistent with preparations for a general mobilization, as begun against Iraq by the Bush regime in the summer of 2002.”



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