The Black Agenda
Here’s something that came into my mail box. I’m forever disillusioned by the inability of the peace movement to turn out a crowd representative of the diversity of our ranks. I’d never be one to suggest we should further dilute our message to the press – but, more dialogue on how the experiences of activists of color and those who are not differ is critical to our movement. Read and learn my friends.
The latest issue of Black Agenda Report, dated
September 3 through September 9, 2008 is now available on the internet at www.blackagendareport.com.
Those Who Demand Nothing, Get Nothing by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford
Having made no demands on Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy, Black America should expect to reap – nothing. “For the first time since the rebellions of the Sixties, we hardly hear the call for a Marshall-type plan to rebuild the cities – once the near-unanimous, unifying demand of virtually the entire spectrum of Black ‘leadership.'” Obama, who “blames the ongoing Katrina nightmare on ‘colorblind’ incompetence…will never lift a finger to derail the slow-motion displacement of gentrification elsewhere in urban America.” Is it any wonder that our enemies “confidently speculate on the ‘death of Black politics.'”
WQhy Black Agenda Report, and Your Support For It, Matters by BAR managing editor Bruce DixonThe owners of private media, and their puppets at the FCC have decided you don’t need news. As a result, the number of working reporters and journalists have been in free fall for some time, as newspapers, TV and radio stations are permitted to buy out each other, merge, consolidate and savagely curtail their news operations in an effort to produce enough revenue to pay back the debt it took to acquire them, along with the standard bonuses, stock options and platinum parachutes for the geniuses who engineer this kind of thing.The honest and sometimes biting commentary and journalism we bring you every week at Black Agenda Report is no substitute for a democratic mass media or an accountable FCC, but we do our best. At Black Agenda Report, we don’t believe in “herd journalism”, so we don’t necessarily follow the packs of pundits, bloggers and journalists, professional and otherwise. Freedom Rider; America Attacks Russia– by BAR Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The aggressive U.S. encirclement of Russia threatens a new era of Cold War, fueled by American media hogwash about “poor defenseless Georgians” who “suffered a dastardly, unjustified, sneak attack from the evil Russian bear.” It does not phase the U.S. propaganda media that the facts reflect the opposite: “The recent conflict between Russia and Georgia was instigated by the United States and its partner in crime, Israel.” Washington’s foreign policy fictions are bipartisan. “At his acceptance speech for the Vice Presidential nomination Senator Joseph Biden parroted Bush administration lies almost word for word.”
Welcome to the USA, Where All Classes Are Middle A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford
Clear, concise and accurate language must be plowed under to make the American political conversation safe for corporate-speak. In place of various classes pursuing their own interests at each other’s expense, the USA has been peopled by an all-encompassing “Middle Class.” This bulging super-class is said to include almost everybody – or at least, all the decent people. As a result, “there can be no class warfare.” This is quite pleasing to the Ruling Class, which denies its own existence – just as does most of the Working Class, which prefers to call itself Middle. Read more…
Obama and So-Called Post-Racial Politics by Linda Burnham
News of the death of Black politics may be premature. “We will not reach a post-racialist U.S. by announcement or decree,” writes the author. “The only way to get there from here is by way of racial justice.” Besides, the death of Black politics presupposes the death of white politics, which is alive and kicking. “Racist expression has taken new, coded and perverse form. And the presidential campaign itself provides more than enough evidence that some white politicians recognize the power of race-based appeals.”
Obtuse Acute Angles
by Kemet Mawakana, a.k.a the Seven Foot Poet
The contradictions between what we see, and what we know is just, between what we are told, and the realities we live, between the vast horizons of our needs and desires, and the constraints we labor under daily are all, in the poet’s phrase, angles. Our Seven Foot Poet has the angle on those angles. And maybe on the angels too, if there are any.
The Skinny On McKinneyby Gabriel San Roman, Uprising RadioWhat makes Cynthia McKinney run? Uprising Radio’s Gabriel San Roman inquires why she left the Democratic Party and what kind of home she’s found among the Greens, whose presidential banner she carries, this year. “I declared my independence from the [Democratic] national leadership that had made our country so complicit in crimes against humanity, crimes against the peace, crimes against the global community, and crimes the American people,” says the former Georgia congresswoman. “The Green Party can express the views and the values of people who want peace for a change.”
The Four Day Campaign Commercial
by Shannon Joyce Prince
If you want to find the Mother Lode of contradictions, go to a Democratic National Convention. “Obama claims he cares about workers yet he has selected Wal-Mart supporter Jason Furman to direct his economic policy despite Wal-Mart’s abysmal record on racism, sexism, fair-pay, worker’s benefits, the right to unionize, and outsourcing of product manufacturing,” writes Ms. Prince, a student at Dartmouth College. “Americans have to decide if they’re going to base their votes on research or on candidates’ slick four day commercials.” Read more…
Slavery Haunts America’s Plantation Prisons by Maya Schenwar
Angola Prison isn’t “even really a metaphor for slavery. Slavery is what’s going on.” The plantation prisons of Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas are the closest approximation to America’s peculiar institution – places where involuntary servitude is legal under the 13th Amendment. And like slaves, most Angola prisoners will die on the plantation, “due to some of the harshest sentencing practices in the country.” Angola prisoners are paid anywhere from four to twenty cents per hour…and only get to keep half of that.” The rest is put away for after their release – a day that most will never see.
Community College Students Need Not Apply: Our Reward for Bailing Out the Banks by Kesi Foster
Higher education is an American Dream, but may become a “Dream deferred” for community college students. The banks are the villains. “The following lenders have started turning away from community college students: Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust, and PNC. In the case of Citibank, it has stopped offering loans to all community college students in the state of California,” writes the author, a community college student. When the bankers turn their backs on struggling community college students, “does that not mean we should have no problem turning our backs on the banks when they want the government to bail them out? ”
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