Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Capitalism is in its last rotten stages. It isn't enough that we are propagandized into going broke the day after thanksgiving. Now they want us to start the race to hell on thanksgiving day itself. Enough already. Just say no. Buy nothing!
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Sunday, November 04, 2012
I don't have that much more to say about Barack Obama. I will defer to someone who was a much better writer, the late Juan Santos.
"Obama plays the role of a Black Cinderella. He does for Black folks what Cinderella does for girls. He shows that oppression and silence can be good for you – at least if you are the one the prince chooses, or if you are the one who gets to be the prince. It’s total fantasy. It’s a glass slipper that will break at the arch and be turned on us like a broken beer bottle or a jagged-edged knife; the same knife Obama has threatened to turn on the people of Iran and Pakistan."
Juan Santos, Fourth World
Friday, November 02, 2012
Contrary to conventional wisdom, black people have a wide diversity of opinion on the subject of LGBT rights. We are incorrectly and unfairly labeled as being hyper homophobic despite the fact that millions of people in the black LGBT community have relatives and friends and co-workers who accept them as they are. I have written on the subject in the past on this blog and in Black Agenda Report.
Today the New York Times presented in its Op-Docs column a video from the film The Black Vote for Gay Marriage. Film maker Yoruba Richen does an excellent job of displaying the nuances and complexities of black opinions on the issue of gay marriage. It is worth a look.
While I am on the subject, I will point out yet again that the often repeated statistic that 70% of black Californians voted against gay marriage in 2008 is incorrect. Black voter approval of Proposition 8 was more like 58%, a slightly higher figure than for other groups, but nothing which indicates that we are such outliers.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
"Whether it ends in 2013 or 2017, the Obama presidency has already marked the decline, rather than the pinnacle, of a political vision centered on challenging racial inequality. The tragedy is that black elites — from intellectuals and civil rights leaders to politicians and clergy members — have acquiesced to this decline, seeing it as the necessary price for the pride and satisfaction of having a black family in the White House."
Media coverage of hurricane Sandy makes it appear that nothing else is happening in the world. We are holding a national election one week from today, and there is no better time for analysis of the Obama legacy.
Fredrick Harris is the author of the The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics and a professor at Columbia University. In a New York Times op-ed, Harris explains how the Obama presidency has come at a steep price for black Americans, who have by and large decided to stand down politically in order to protect the black president. Harris explains that Obama hasn't protected them. We have given up our birth right, our legacy of challenging the system, in exchange for seeing a black first family and it has cost us dearly.
People like Fredrick Harris are very important to black people, even though they may be angered by his words. One day Obama will not be president and perhaps that will be an opportunity to speak truthfully about what him and what he has done to black America.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
On Friday evening, October 12th, Black Agenda Report held a fund raising event at the Riverside Church in New York City. We celebrated our 6th anniversary featuring a conversation with Cornel West, presented our pilot episode of Black Agenda Report television, and had a powerful group of panelists moderated by yours truly. I am very proud of not only this event but also of being part of the Black Agenda Report family.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
I did post debate analysis on the Real News Network. I am pleased with my comments and that I stated for the record that I'm not voting for Obama.
"Well, I'd vote for—I'm still a registered Democrat, but I no longer vote for presidential—Democratic presidential candidates anymore. And if I—I live in a blue state, but if I lived in the state where I was born, Ohio, I would do the same thing. I can no longer justify going along with the empire building, the, in fact, criminality of the United States abroad, because of the smaller and smaller number of issues that do in fact matter. She asked about abortion, where there's a very clear difference. But the only differences left are in the issue of personal freedom. I call it personal liberalism on gay marriage or abortion, and I'm not going to say those issues aren't important, but I no longer feel that they are worth giving up principles on the many other issues of foreign policy, the bailing out of the banks, which has continued under Obama. So for me it does not matter any longer, and I think it's time for people on the left to stop allowing themselves to be so frightened of those few issues where there are differences that we keep supporting the same terrible policies."
Monday, September 17, 2012
Today a video showing Mitt Romney sucking up to a rich fund raiser is the hot news story. In the video, Romney is heard telling guests at a fund raiser that Obama supporters are all dependent on the government for help and think the government should supply them with housing and health care.
Big deal. Obama tells his check bundling patrons what they want to hear. At the home of one Richard Richman (real name). He said the following about the people who put him in office.
"Now, the second reason I'm telling you this is because Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn't there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particularly derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven't yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.)"
In other words, just shut the f*ck up and let Obama do whatever he wants.
Of course Romney is making an appeal to racism, but what is so terrible about thinking that the government should help us with housing and health care. They ought to be seen as fundamental human rights, and if liberals had any sense they would attack Romney for the right reasons. They should defend the idea of government assisting people. That is what happens in the truly civilized world, a world which excludes the United States.
Liberals show their true colors. They are in fact, not so liberal any more. Like Obama and the democrats they move further and further to the right. No, not all Obama supporters depend on government. But they should defend government spending as beneficial to the entire society. It is austerity that is killing our economy. It is the dog-eat-dog individualism and racism and the harshness of our society which have destroyed public education and millions of jobs and housing and put 2 million Americans behind bars.
We need more government help, not less, and democrats should say so. Romney is a mediocre and stupid man and his flailing campaign proves it. The democrats are slicker and know how to pretend to care when they don’t.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
"I think this is why I have always liked math and science more so than the arts or law or politics. I like concreteness. If you solve a mathematical equation, you are wrong and there is no getting around it. Although the more variables yo
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Tutu is definitely laying down the knowledge and making good on his Nobel peace prize winner status. Tutu recently took a very principled stand when he chose not to attend an event in South African which Tony Blair was also scheduled to attend.
There was a time when scoundrels were shunned in polite society. Ah, the good old days. Unfortunately, being a former PM of Great Britain gives one a permanent status of acceptability, even if war crimes are committed. Blair even gets to teach religion at a university. (Try not to vomit.)
Tutu has also done the world a great service by discussing one of the great unmentionables of the day. He asks why powerful white men and their allies get away with what are war crimes by any definition when only Africans are held accountable by international law.
"... in a consistent world, those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague."
Thank you Desmond Tutu. It is too bad that now any riffraff head of state from a killer nation gets to be a peace prize laureate. The honor used to mean something.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
"The time is at hand this year to bring comprehensive, high-quality health care within the reach of every American. I shall propose a sweeping new program that will assure comprehensive health insurance protection to millions of Americans who cannot now obtain it or afford it." - Richard Nixon
The Supreme Court decision to uphold the constitutionality of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act has caused a rejoicing among liberals not seen since the 2008 presidential election. The threat of repeal of the legislation now known by friend and foe alike as Obamacare, has united democrats and republicans too. The inability of any president to successfully provide universal health care to Americans made the passage and survival of Obamacare seem like a greater victory than it actually was. Republicans are united in thwarting the initiatives of any democratic president, especially a black one whose very presence causes them to react like one of Pavlov’s dogs.
Barack Obama’s health care plan is very much like a health care plan first presented by another president in 1971. Then president Richard Nixon presented a plan that was very similar to the over hyped Obamacare. Nixon proposed forcing private insurance companies to cover everyone regardless of prior health condition, and the government subsidizing those unable to pay.
The elation created by the Obama court victory is symptomatic of many things that are very wrong in the American body politic. Once again we see proof that the democrats of the 21st century are akin to the republicans of forty years ago. There is no other way to explain their bizarre rejoicing because a bandaid has been placed over a gunshot wound.
Nixon’s proposal ultimately failed because the late senator Ted Kennedy opposed it. Kennedy was the democratic point person on health care and he saw the obvious flaws in a plan which maintained a dependence on the rule of private health insurers. He assumed that an eventual democratic presidential victory would bring true health care reform, and torpedoed the Nixon initiative which is now being celebrated by democrats as a progressive triumph.
The Obama plan does address some of the major problems inherent in the current system, such as allowing parents to continue covering young adult children and preventing pre-existing conditions from barring access to coverage. These are certainly worthy goals, but a true single payer, medicare for all plan would address those problems too, and would also address the biggest obstruction to true health care reform, the reliance on private health insurance companies to provide care for every person.
Private health insurance companies are the problem, and the Affordable Care Act presents a huge windfall for them. When Obama’s plan goes into full effect in 2014, there will still be nothing to prevent health insurance companies from manipulating the market place and giving Americans access to inferior coverage with high deductibles. Medical care bankruptcies will not disappear, and the true death panel, privately run health care, will continue with the help of government dollars. Nixon’s plan was in some ways superior to Obama’s because it called for strict federal oversight of the insurance companies. Greater regulation would have prevented what will now be an inferior and overly expensive system from dictating health care outcomes.
As Vice President Biden famously said, the Obama plan is a “big f*ing deal.” It is a tremendous political victory for Obama but once again we must ask if political victories and also victories for the people. We now have a deeply flawed health care system which is more entrenched than ever. The argument that this plan will eventually lead to a single payer system is highly problematic. Big pharma and health insurance companies were at the negotiating table every step of the way while single payer advocates were locked out.
This act solidifies their control over our lives and shows once again the degree to which corporations drive American public policy.
A victory for Obama is not necessarily a victory for the people, even if that political victory causes insanity among republicans. Scorn from Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are not necessarily justifications for rejoicing. Republicans can’t strike a blow against Obama in part because he accepted and promoted so many of their policies. From making war around the world, to bailing out the banks, to bailing out health care, Obama and the democrats act like the republicans they say are their political enemies.
We are told that Ted Kennedy must be smiling in his grave because his long held dream came true. After living to see only backward steps in the health care system he acknowledged regret at not accepting the Nixon plan The president who resigned in disgrace ended up winning in the end. Nixon may also be happy in the great beyond. It took a black man and the democratic party to give him his final political victory.
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Wednesday, July 04, 2012
ICC Prosecutes Only Africans
As I said in my Black Agenda Report column, the International Criminal Court is itself criminal. Palestine has "no standing" and can't get justice after Israel kills thousands of Gazan civilians. Black Libyans were targeted by lynch mobs but the ICC didn't act. The U.S. is beyond ICC justice because it refuses to sign the treaty which brought the ICC into being. Africans friendly to the U.S. and western European nations have nothing to fear when they commit crimes.
I was honored to appear on Aljazeera's Inside Story program last Sunday. Listen up. I lay down a little bit of knowledge.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
"Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future."
"Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?
Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart."
But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation (Babylon) whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin.
Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!"
To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world.
My subject, then, fellow citizens, is "American Slavery." I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing here, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July.
Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity, which is outraged, in the name of liberty, which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery -- the great sin and shame of America! "I will not equivocate - I will not excuse." I will use the severest language I can command, and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slave-holder, shall not confess to be right and just.
But I fancy I hear some of my audience say it is just in this circumstance that you and your brother Abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more and denounce less, would you persuade more and rebuke less, your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slave-holders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of these same crimes will subject a white man to like punishment.
What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments, forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read and write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then I will argue with you that the slave is a man!
For the present it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are plowing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver, and gold; that while we are reading, writing, and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants, and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators, and teachers; that we are engaged in all the enterprises common to other men -- digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hillside, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives, and children, and above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave -- we are called upon to prove that we are men?
Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? That he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to understand? How should I look today in the presence of Americans, dividing and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom, speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively? To do so would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him.
What! Am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood and stained with pollution is wrong? No - I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.
What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman cannot be divine. Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may - I cannot. The time for such argument is past.
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation's ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be denounced.
What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.
Go search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival."
Frederick Douglass - July 4, 1852
Why Black Boys Don't Succeed
“Do it. Go ahead. No balls. Oh you’re a tough guy. Hey boss, show me your nine."
Racist teacher talking to three year old
This daycare worker was so certain she could humiliate a child with impunity that she filmed herself doing it and shared the video with at least one other person. Whenever the issue of black success or lack thereof is raised, remember this scene.
Actually the portion of the video shown on WFSB doesn't show the worst part. See text of the confrontation here.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Today we had congressional primary elections here in New York state and I did something unheard of, for me anyway. I didn’t vote. I am one of those people who always votes in primaries and general elections, so much so that I am then victimized by annoying robocalls and election flyers in my mail box.
My congressman is Charles Rangel. He has been around a long time, more than 40 years. Rangel is one of the longest serving members of the house of representatives and he needs to go. His seniority doesn’t benefit the people of his district, and if we have anything to show for his time in office, he is keeping it a closely guarded secret.
The last straw for me with Rangel was his pathetic defense of Israel as the Gaza freedom flotilla approached that country in 2010. He actually compared it to the Cuban missile crisis. Like I said, pathetic. But for me it was liberation day. It signaled the beginning of the end between me and the democrats.
I know that you can’t raise campaign money in New York unless you bow down to Zion. I know Rangel didn’t believe one word he was saying, but I don’t care any longer. I can’t keep supporting this system which I abhor.
May Rangel live a long life. He is a charming man of the old school and came of age politically before the congressional black caucus was bought off by corporations. He fought to protect Haiti from America’s most recent intervention, and publicly took Colin Powell to task for aiding and abetting the over throw. He deserves credit for that.
But the Obama era has ended black politics and the CBC is a shell of its former self. Harlem is being gentrified out of existence and Rangel and the rest have done nothing to stop it.
I think he will win his primary and go on to yet another term. But he will do so without my help. I am done with the democrats.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
“When you’re young and you’re black no matter how you look you fit the description.”
So says Tyquan Brehon. He is featured in the short documentary, The Scars of Stop and Frisk, in which he states that he was stopped and frisked at least 60 times in a three year period.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is presiding over the worst police state in the country. Young Mr. Brehon is one of over 600,000 people stopped and frisked by the NYPD last year.
Not only was he stopped numerous times, but he was also locked up at his local precinct when he dared ask why he was being stopped. Brehon was eventually expelled from school when in his anger he began to misbehave as a result of the abuse he surfaced. He is now back in school and hopes to be a lawyer some day. Hopefully his experience will make him a better advocate.
But as for the city policy, it is blatantly racist and is a tool to force black people out. Gentrification is apparently not happening fast enough to suit Bloomberg. More police mistreatment will make the city more attractive to the “hipsters” and Europeans intent on homogenizing New York so that only they and their friends will have a place to live.
Kudos to Brehon for speaking up and to all those who are fighting back.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
“Political campaigns are pretty much where movements go to die, get betrayed or are stillborn … When movements become campaigns their participants lose their independence and initiative. Instead of being ready and willing to act outside the law, they become its most loyal supporters.” Bruce Dixon
Republican governor Scott Walker survived a recall vote in Wisconsin not just because he had more money at his disposal. He won because the democrats were incompetent and because they do not want to activate their base.
Why would the democrats choose an opponent who had already lost to Walker? Why would they demobilize the thousands of people who turned out in the state capitol to fight Walker’s union busting?
In last week’s Black Agenda Report Bruce Dixon explained why politics is a sorry substitute for movement building. Michael Smith of Stop Me Before I Vote Again shows us what can happen when movement builders tell politicians what do do, as was the case in Quebec.
Democrats would rather lose than create movements which would supplant their rule. The end result is of course, defeat. We can learn the what to do from Quebec and the what not to do from Wisconsin.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Fredrick Harris is a professor at Columbia University who made news because he did nothing more than tell the truth about Barack Obama. In a Washington Post op-ed Harris explained what we at the Black Agenda Report have been saying for years.
Barack Obama is no friend to black people, nor is anyone else who succeeds in making it to the oval office. Indeed, a black president must by necessity become an enemy of black people. Our desire to see a black face in a high place and the racist foundations of American life are a toxic mix. True, Obama can’t advocate for black people without alienating white people, but that means we should never have wanted to see him or any other black person in the presidency in the first place.
We are left with nothing more than swooning over the sight of Obama presiding over state dinners, meeting the queen of England, or wearing his POTUS jacket onboard Air Force One. The pride in Obama’s accomplishment is akin to wanting a black actor to win an oscar or a black athlete to medal at the winter olympics.
Yet we are talking about politics, and our very survival. Black people have advanced the most when we made demands upon the political system. We are now left with nothing but defending Obama, regardless of his deliberate decisions to do nothing on our behalf.
History will show that the Obama era was among the worst in the political life of black America. In fact, we now have no political life. The combination of the effects of corporate cash on black politics and the Obama stand down have been absolutely disastrous.
I am looking forward to reading Harris’ new book, The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics. Black politics has been in decline for some time and for a variety of reasons, but the Obama election was the nail in the coffin.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
“Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.”
The American people are a blood thirsty bunch. How else can one explain the white house using the New York Times to brag about President Obama personally killing so many terror suspects.
I emphasize the word suspect. That means they haven’t been found guilty of anything. They haven’t been accused, charged, indicted, or anything else we used to do in federal court houses. Our constitutional law professor has taken it upon himself to personally decide who should get whacked.
It is appalling, and if people in this country had any morals, Obama would not be able to show his face outside of the white house without being booed. But I said it all in the first sentence, Obama and his team knew that publicizing details of how the president arrives at his hit list would raise his approval ratings.
Why do you think they went on and on ad nauseam in bragging about bin Laden’s assassination? Snarky remarks about Romney being unwilling to pull the trigger became daily campaign rhetoric. What better way to gain and keep popularity than to tell voters how the president decides who he is going to kill next.
I’m now going to be the middle aged baptist lady that I am and call him and his henchmen and women to account.
This is evil. Yes, it is unconstitutional. Yes, congress has not done its job. Yes, the federal judiciary have given up their independence. All of that is true, but is also true that we have pure evil running our government. The lowest rung of hell is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Monday, May 28, 2012
We are still headed towards full fledged fascism and we now have a democratic president. It will be the same no matter which party is in power. Alexander Cockburn explains it all in Counterpunch.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of May 14, 2012
Black Agenda Radio has a great line up this week. Paul Street, Tony Monteiro, Doug Henwood, Chris Gauvreau of UNAC and Abayomi Azikiwe discussed the NATO protests, election boycotts, the derivatives disaster and Obama's true allegiance.
Professor Johnny Williams of Trinity College was also a guest. I was not familiar with him, but he spoke powerfully on the concept of a maximum wage and how everyone in our country would be better off if the rich took less from us than they do now. His final words were very powerful, they win my award for words of the week. His interview begins about 39 minutes into the program.
I wish that more black folk would join the [occupy]movement and stop coddling up to Obama and thinking that just because Obama is running into extreme right wing, white racists in the congress and so forth that somehow that’s why he can’t get things done.
Obama can’t get things done because he’s not trying to get things done for poor people and for black people in the country. Once we have that in our heads we realize the people who we have been waiting for are us. We’ve got to do it, we can’t wait for him to do it.
As I have said many times, no one who is really interested in changing our system will ever become president. Black people in particular must act in opposition to presidents, even democrats and even black ones. Williams and the rest of this week's guests make it clear why that is the case.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Pilger is one of my favorite writers. Read here to see why. I love his term "lifestyle liberalism." It explains so much of what I hate about the gay marriage and war on women debates. Obama wouldn't be president unless he promised to continue the multiple front wars on human rights around the world. He won't stop mass incarceration, or drone strikes, or bailouts to wall street. So no, it doesn't matter that he is black. He does what presidents do, and that is bad news for the entire world.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Yesterday Barack Obama made big news by actually saying very little. The brouhaha of the last 24 hours is a result of his dim bulb Vice President, Joseph Biden, doing something that every mid-level manager knows not to do.
Biden got ahead of his boss, or as Obama said, “a little bit over his skis.” On Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press Biden announced to the world and to his unsuspecting boss, that he was comfortable with gay marriage. Whoopsy Daisy.
Biden’s blurting forced the president to say the same thing. Yesterday he announced that he too was personally in favor of gay marriage. Liberals predictably fell into a state of collective idol worship, despite the fact that Obama didn’t say anything more enlightened than Dick Cheney said in 2009.
Obama said that while he favored gay marriage, he favored leaving decisions up to individual states. Big deal. That is already the case.
It is all enough to make an anti-Obamaite crazy. Liberals still don’t care that their beloved president asserts a right to jail them without charge or assassinate them if he decides their terrorists. So what. They have an opportunity to look down their noses at yahoos and think themselves superior as their idol drops drones on little children in Afghanistan.
We have also been subjected to endless bloviation about how much more homophobic black people are as compared to whites. Not true. I wrote this column back in 2008 after the passage of Proposition 8 in California, and the unfair smear that black voters alone were responsible for the passage of this ban on gay marriage.
Take a look. I don’t think the issues have changed very much.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Barack Obama has now expressed his support of gay marriage. It isn't surprising. Liberals will love the decision, mostly out of true conviction, but the problem is they don't have much conviction about any issues outside of the social realm.
Obama has eviscerated civil liberties, has given himself the right to jail or even assassinate citizens without charge, and keeps killing people in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Somalia and Fillintheblankistan.
I am in favor of marriage equality, but it bothers me that outside of most issues regarding personal choice, the "social issues", liberals don't care what Obama or any other democrat does while in office. Drone strikes, dead babies, bank bailouts, and good old fashioned imperialism, don't rate on the liberal scale of concerns. If Obama gives the green light for Israel to attack Iran, these same people singing his praises won't bat an eye.
No, gay is not the new black and I said as much last year when the New York state legislature made gay marriage legal. This is the Black Agenda Report column I wrote at the time.
Gay Is Not the New Black
On June 24, the New York state legislature passed a groundbreaking bill that legalized gay marriage, making New York one of only six states in the country which permit same sex couples to marry.
Marriage equality legislation was introduced on a yearly basis and was defeated with regularity, albeit by small margins. This year the Democratic-controlled New York Assembly supported the legislation as it had in the past. It is the Republican-controlled Senate whose support was new and significant.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg were both staunch supporters of the bill. More importantly, so were the wealthy Wall Street donors who run New York politics and decide who will and won’t serve in office and under what conditions.
According to the New York Times, history was made because these financial heavy-hitters donors made it so. They worked hand-in-hand with Cuomo to assure the Republicans willing to change their votes that they would be protected from opposition and not pay a political price for their actions. Marriage equality now exists in New York because enough rich people wanted it.
These same donors made certain that the state’s millionaire’s tax also made history – by disappearing. The same Democratic governor who forced wage and pension concessions from public employee unions was adamant that rich people would not pay their fair share in a time of growing budget deficits.
He refused to even consider raising the income threshold and allowing the tax to exist in some form. The result is that wealthy New Yorkers now pay less in taxes than working people do.
The marriage equality outcome is right both morally and politically, but it is not the only item on the progressive agenda that New York legislators need to address.
New York City continues its draconian practice of rounding up Blacks and Latinos through marijuana arrests. State legislative action that would make this misdemeanor a violation – and therefore not subject to arrests – languishes. Rent regulations which allow apartments to be lost to so-called "vacancy decontrol" have not been addressed, pushing more working people out of New York City because they cannot find affordable housing.
Black and Latino legislators came up empty-handed in this session, having nothing to give their constituents that improves their lives or brings them any measure of justice. Gay rights have now usurped the progressive agenda to such an extent that the inaction on rent protections and police state malfeasance will be seen as irrelevant.
Too many progressives shy away from the harder work of fighting the good fight against tough opponents like the hedge fund chieftains who demand that laws work for them and against working people. This is the most troubling aspect of this vote. Its success depended entirely on the largesse of people who have no interest in promoting legal and economic justice. They profit by undermining democracy and making their needs paramount and the needs of most citizens inconsequential.
Gov. Cuomo spent his first legislative session acting like a Democrat in name only. Money-driven politics presents clear disincentives to him or to any other governor who wants to represent the needs of most citizens. A candidate for governor in New York is not considered viable unless he or she raises a minimum of $25 million. Like the presidency, the office is for sale, and the winner is automatically beholden to the people who put him there.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
I hated that little bastard, French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and I’m glad he’s gone. He never hid his obsequious love for the United States nor his willingness to play the role of puppet. He brought hell to Libya and even showed up in person to oversee the imperial destruction of that nation. The loss couldn’t have happened to a more deserving little douchebag. Je suis heureuse! (I’m happy!)
As for the New York Knicks, I assumed they would be swept by the Miami Heat. They hadn’t won a playoff game in 11 years and I didn’t think today would be any different. I’m glad the fat lady didn’t sing quite yet. They had fallen pretty far over the years, with bad management and awful ownership. It was hard to root for the home team, but I would never become a fan of any other NBA team either. As for winning a title, it has been almost 40 years. Maybe I’ll live to see it.
"I think George Clooney is a great guy. I'd like to meet Charlize Theron. But I don't think a big press event in Washington should be that kind of a glittering event where the whole talk is about Cristal champagne, taking over the Italian embassy, who had the best party, who got to meet the most people." – Tom Brokaw
It looks like Brokaw is reading my work. I wrote about the dangers of the media being in bed with the president in my Black Agenda Report column. I know his politics aren’t mine, but thanks anyway Tom. You are on the right track.
Note the photos in the Huffington Post story. Claire Danes and Bob Schieffer, George Clooney and Chris Wallace, seriously? There is a lot wrong with these pictures.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Once again, an FBI informant has created a crime. It seems that is all the FBI does these days, create phony terror plots to keep us all afraid and keep us from questioning the endless war on terror.
Now we are told that anarchists wanted to bomb a bridge in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The informant has been quickly identified as Shaquille Azir, who like other informants is a common criminal who implicates others in crimes he creates in order to keep himself out of jail.
We can expect more of this government sponsored criminality to continue.
Alexander will now be going to jail for a minimum term of 20 years. Florida’s stand your ground law didn’t help her. Of course it didn’t. It was written to help white people only.
Besides, there is a war on black women and children in this country. They are being jailed and harshly punished, even if they and their children are victims of crimes.
The right to self defense does not exist for black people. It is too bad that Ms. Alexander and her lawyer were unaware of this fact. She might have pleaded guilty despite her innocence and gone to jail for a much shorter period of time.
All of which brings to mind another question. How many innocent people plead guilty because they fear, quite rightly, that the system will not give them justice? We have no way of knowing the number, but it must be thousands of people who languish in jails and prisons in this country, which of course has more people behind bars than any other on the planet.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Black Agenda Report Team at UNAC Conference
I haven't posted in a few weeks because I have been quite busy. Among other things, I was a panelist at the recent United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) conference on March 24th and March 25th. The entire Black Agenda Report team was on hand with me, Glen Ford, Bruce Dixon, and Nellie Bailey. Check out the video of one of our panels.
UNAC is the real, anti-war deal. It is one of the few truly anti-war groups, opposing U.S. interventions even if committed by a democrat, and first black president is in office. There were about 500 people in attendance in Stamford, Connecticut, all of them committed to a left agenda of peace abroad and justice at home.
It was great to be with old friends and new, like minded people who do not cringe in decrying NATO and G8, and who aren't afraid to use words like imperialism or condemn the impending attack on Iran. I met people I have long admired like Vijay Prashad and felt galvanized to keep writing and speaking out.\
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Murdering Pompous Ass Hypocritical New Year Greeting
Every year Iranians, Kurds, Afghans, Iraqis and others celebrate the first day of spring as the new year. Unfortunately for all of those people, since 2009 the Nowruz celebration is marked by a phony greeting from president Obama. He will start killing Iranians as soon as he finds it convenient, but part of his scam is to look like the nice guy.
I do wish we had a dumb president who was easily dismissed. Mr. Blood Thirsty, smarty pants, nobel peace prize winner really gets on my nerves.
I send a happy new year greeting, but I'm not going to kill anybody.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Slaves, obey your masters. So says the bible. The Pennsylvania Association of Nonbelievers quite rightly wanted to point out that the bible supports many things that no civilized person approves of any more. They installed this billboard in Harrisburg to prove a point to the state legislature, which declared “the year of the bible",” exhorting citizens to “study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.” Does the legislature want to bring back slavery? One would hope not, but the blanket approval of scripture would mean supporting slavery, the stoning of adulterers, and casting lepers out into the street.
Let’s just say that reaction to the billboard was swift, and not in a good way. The bill board was vandalized and groups such as the NAACP demanded an apology. The atheist group removed the vandalized board and apologized.
It isn’t clear to me what the fuss is about. The billboard shows a man shackled as many enslaved people were in horrific contraptions which kept them running away. I don’t think most people have this picture in their minds when they think of slavery, but they ought to. The billboard doesn’t support slavery, it merely points out that the bible says it was acceptable.
Christians always talk about discerning the scriptures, which ought to mean reading them critically. I guess if the same message comes from atheists it can suddenly be ignored.
I think the brouhaha emerged because black people don’t know how to think about slavery. It is a subject which is just too painful for us to comprehend. We don’t see images of slavery like this, and we don’t want to either.
Attacking the bible is no small thing either. No one wants to hear that the book they are told is inerrant also supported the same thing that brings them so much pain.
As they say in church, this was a teachable moment. I hope someone was doing their homework.
Monday, March 12, 2012
“I would have so liked to see an obvious madman at the helm of the national pirate ship, instead of a high-functioning sociopath who appears, superficially, to be a human being, and lends the whole mad and evil project a certain factitious gloss of reasonableness.” – Michael Smith
Friday, March 02, 2012
The 1% are laughing themselves silly. While they continue to steal the rest of us blind, and destroy the planet, democrats are having pissing matches with the likes of Rush Limbaugh because he called a college student a slut. The people and corporations at the top could give a rats butt about abortion or birth control because the two major parties do their bidding, even as they fight over social issues.
As I pointed out in my weekly Black Agenda Report column, republicans are taking extreme positions on abortion and birth control because Obama has stolen their thunder. As Ben Stein said, he is the perfect republican candidate. He has agreed to republican austerity measures, destroyed Libya, killed American citizens at will, and plans more war for Iran and or Syria. Instead of protesting these outrages, liberals get the pants in a twist over Rush Limbaugh. The divide and conquer strategy which keeps the status quo, very much status quo, is alive and well.
No, I wouldn't want Rush Limbaugh to call me a slut or a prostitute, but seriously people, the bail outs continue, unemployment numbers have improved only because millions are no longer counted in the numbers, and we spend time thinking about Limbaugh?
If he didn't exist, we would have to invent him. I have joked that Obama pays Limbaugh, Palin and company to make racist or sexist or stupid remarks, because everyone stops questioning him in order to defend him from the barbarians.
Here is the real question which should be on everyone's mind. Will Obama attack Iran before or after election day? Ponder that and ignore Rush Limbaugh.
Obama's phone call to the parents of the aggrieved young woman is all the proof one needs. The 1% get theirs, and we get political theater because the economic elite are in cahoots with both parties and the corporate media never point this out.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
"When Obama was elected many people were very happy because he was a black man; they thought he would be different. To me, he is neither black nor white, he is a capitalist; skin colour has nothing to do with who you are in Cuba ... I'm not disappointed in Obama because I never had any great expectations. The Cuban people now realise Obama is no different to all the others." – Victor Dreke, Cuban internationalist
I guess Obama is “post-racial” after all.
“We always said, ‘All we’ll bring out of Angola is our comrades’ remains. We won’t take any oil, diamonds or anything. Only the remains of our dead comrades.’ ” Jorge Risquet
Last night I saw a wonderful documentary, Cuba: An African Odyssey. It told the story of Cuba’s decades long support for liberation movements in Africa. The story spans some thirty years, from the rise and fall of Patrice Lumumba to the end of South African apartheid.
After watching the film, I had feelings of anger and embarrassment. I always feel this way when I realize the enormity of the lies and propaganda I have been fed my entire life.
Our government and the wealthy and powerful work hand in hand with the corporate media to keep us uninformed. The specter of white supremacy is also a factor in the misleading of people in the telling of history. I was raised to read the paper and/or watch the news every day, but despite all my years of reading newspapers, I did not know that the Cubans were instrumental in freeing Nelson Mandela from imprisonment.
The Cubans agreed to leave Angola if the South Africans agreed to leave Namibia. The Cubans also demanded that Mandela be released. That important fact of history was left out of news reports of the day.
In other words, the New York Times and Washington Post and CBS and CNN lied to the world. Omissions are lies just as much as misstatements of fact are also lies. I was never told that Cubans attempted to continue Lumumba’s revolution in the Congo, or that Che Guevara led a command there, or that the Soviets attempted to dissuade the Cubans from their African involvements.
I suppose it isn’t my fault, but as a writer and a leftist who claims to have knowledge others do not, I still get very angry about the propaganda bombardment I and millions of others have been subjected to.
A luta continua.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
"You know you live in a police state when wardens force pregnant women prisoners to deliver their babies while in chains. (Not exactly “the new birth of freedom” of which Abraham Lincoln spoke.)
You know you live in a police state when the president orders the assassination (i.e., murder) of American citizens without bothering to arrest them and bring them to trial."
Answer, hell yes! Read the sad litany of proof here.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Two days ago I had never heard of Tim Thomas. It turns out he is a professional hockey player, a member of the reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
When the Bruins were invited to the white house for the standard champion’s photo opportunity with the president, Thomas demurred. He made this statement explaining his decision.
“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government. Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.”
Thomas has won few fans outside of his obviously tea partyish world. He has been called selfish, bush league, un-American, spoiled, petty, unpatriotic and a bad example of esprit de corps. My first observation was that Obama lovers had gotten themselves into yet another collective snit because someone doesn’t love their idol. I responded with a shrug of the shoulders and a determination not to be upset about the decision of a NHL goalie who I didn’t know existed until the story broke. I even called him a “loser” on my twitter page.
I now think that Thomas deserves some credit for his decision. Most people may rage against a particular president, threaten to leave the country because of his election and never pass up an opportunity to point out that person’s deficiencies. But if presented with an opportunity to visit the white house, how many would actually turn it down?
My issues with Obama are nothing like Thomas’s, but I would turn down a chance to visit the white house too, unless I had an assurance that I could dispense a piece of my mind. Despite what critics have said, no one has to “respect the president.” I don’t respect anyone who makes it to the oval office for the simple reason that having done so is proof of some serious evil doing.
Thomas made a principled decision based on his political beliefs. He and I probably don’t agree on anything and if I had to go out on a limb, I would say that he probably wouldn’t like me for the simple reason that I’m not white.
Even so, he doesn’t have to like Obama. It is fine if he doesn’t want to meet him. When Obama attacks Iran, no one of conscience should want to meet him either, but somehow I doubt that he will miss any dinner guests. Liberals will still flock to rub elbows with him, despite his war criminal status.
Unless Tim Thomas has sent drones to kill people, invaded countries and bailed out banksters, by comparison he isn’t such a bad guy anyway.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Israel Picks America's President
I nearly vomited when I watched this video. How is that foreign politicians endorse our president? Well, if the foreign politicians happen to be Israeli it apparently isn't a problem.
I could go on and on, but I have just one question. Am I now allowed to say that Israel controls America? Because if the Obama campaign can produce this masterpiece of propaganda with one clear audience in mind, I and every other anti-zionist should be free to state the obvious.
Zionists and their money control our political process. There I said it. The end.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
These mourners at the funeral of Iranian scientist Mostafi Ahmadi Roshan know who to blame for his assassination. Israel is probably behind this murder and that of four other nuclear scientists in Iran. The goal is simple. First, those scientists will be too afraid to do their work, secondly, Iran may be goaded into firing the first shot. Israel also gets to yank Obama's chain, something they love doing to American presidents. Not that they have to, the U.S. is on board with their plans, but why not stick in the knife and twist it just to be sure.
I don't know what to say about the upcoming war. I don't say that casually, the thought brings me to tears. But it is clear that no one is going to stop the U.S., Israel and perhaps Britain, as they work together to attack Iran. Our only hope, and by us I mean all of humanity, is for Iran to be able to fight back. Hopefully it is the can of whoop ass that I hope it is, and Russia will not take kindly to its neighbor being attacked. If Americans have to pay more for gasoline they may even protest a little bit too.
Who am I kidding? Sorry, I couldn't help but fantasize.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Sunday, January 08, 2012
“Sharpton is shuckin' and jivin' with the enemy – and presumably, getting paid.” – Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report
Two years ago, Al Sharpton, unofficial spokesperson of the Obama administration, went on an anti teacher union, pro charter school speaking tour with Newt Gingrich and Arne Duncan. Sharpton is now trying to live it all down, but the history can’t be forgotten.
Sharpton is the biggest scoundrel in the country, and that is saying quite a lot. When he ran for president in 2004 his campaign was taken over by the infamous GOP dirty trickster Roger Stone, who gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars and the marching orders that always go along with patronage. He also gave Sharpton direction, and assisted in the destruction of then democratic front runner Howard Dean.
When Obama became president, Sharpton knew a good thing, that is to say a meal ticket, when he saw it. He latched on to the president and became his defender on those rare occasions when black people asked a tough questions or two.
Sharpton always follows the money, and Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg know it. Sharpton can be counted on to defend them and get paid in the process. Sharpton has said nothing about Bloomberg’s horrific stop and frisk police state program. Why would he when he is on the payroll?”
So when Gingrich calls Obama the “food stamp president” or says that black children don’t see anyone who works and may as well be school janitors, remember that Sharpton and Obama have allied themselves with this man when they think it benefits them.
Saturday, January 07, 2012
In my most recent column in Black Agenda Report, I wrote about the New York City police department’s use of “stop and frisk” to harass black and latino New Yorkers. Approximately 700,000 people, few of them white, will be stopped and searched by the police this year, and for no lawful reason. I was going to say no good reason, but as my colleague Glen Ford points out, the reason is good in Mayor Bloomberg’s eyes. Black people will get out of the city altogether if they are harassed enough.
In today’s New York Times, I read that 1,600 people were actually arrested last year for putting their feet on a subway seat. They are arrested, not just summonsed, and they spend hours or perhaps days in jail. One man, Abdi Omar, was sent for psychiatric evaluation when he refused to be finger printed without proof of the warrant that police claimed he had. As I read this story I wondered if I was living in 21st century New York or Mississippi fifty years ago.
As I pointed out in my column on stop and frisk policies, the only solution to this outrage is a political change. None of the candidates for mayor should get black votes without a promise to end police state tactics. It will be a very difficult fight, but this is a bright line issue, and no amount of pleading for democratic party unity or putting a black person in office should keep this issue off the table. No justice, no votes!