Black Agenda Report 12 May, 2010: The Supreme Court? Is This Why We Vote For Democrats?

The Supreme Court? Is This Why We Vote For Democrats?

by BAR executive editor Bruce Dixon
We vote for Democrats, the argument goes, because sending a Republican to the White House means sending racist conservative neanderthals to the Supreme Court.  A clinching argument right?  What would John McCain do?  But is that the right question to ask?

Forget “Skip” Gates: There Are Real Differences on Reparations

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Harvard corporate henchman Henry Louis Gates’ attempt to absolve Europeans of blame for slavery is easily dismissed as an absurdity. But honest activists on the Black Left disagree on the debt that is owed to African Americans. Some think reparations are a diversion. Others hold that “the debt is inseparable from the fabric of the African American past and present.”

Freedom Rider: Endless Terror

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Once citizenship can be stripped away by the state, the Constitution becomes a dead letter. Yet that is the self-mutilation prescribed by American politicians who would jettison every U.S. citizen’s rights just to spite the alleged Times Square bomber, a naturalized U.S. citizen. Most Americans seem incapable of understanding why Pakistanis, Yemenis and others that are being killed by the U.S. might also feel the need for vengeance.

The Boondocks as Black Public Sphere

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball Ph.D.
Some folks are too dense even for cartoons – when they’re produced by Aaron McGruder. The Boondocks author’s political take on President Obama is too heavy for at least a portion of the audience, who tend to see the world as divided between those who are “hatin'” on Obama and those who are not. McGruder’s attempt to create Black political “space” for meaningful discussion confronts the empty spaces inside people’s heads.

Click to listen

Secret NYPD Tapes Document Routine, Massive Police Racism

A Black Agenda radio commentary by Glen Ford
We were right when we said it in the Sixties. The police are an occupation army in the Black community. Secret NYPD tapes reveal the cops’ quota system for stopping and frisking hundreds of thousands of innocent minority residents every year. But when New Yorkers of color are victimized by crime, they “are often threatened with arrest, themselves, by belligerent detectives trying to fudge the figures.”

Click to listen

The Tea Party’s Mass White Appeal

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Weasel corporate media operatives strain to erase the stain of racism from the Tea Party “movement” – largely a media creation – while white nationalist leaders hide the hoods and nooses in the darker recesses of their bunkers. Yet the data seem to show that racism is what gives the Tea Party mass appeal (45 percent approval) among whites.

Click to Listen

The Elite Re-Capture New Orleans City Hall: End Of An Era, Beginning Of An Era. A Definitive Analysis

by Dr. Mtangulizi Sanyika
New Orleans has its first white mayor in 32 years, but that doesn’t mean the city has entered a “post-racial” era. Mitch Landrieu won a landslide with a majority of the Black vote, but whites remain highly reluctant to vote for Black candidates that African American majorities can support. “Race was a factor in 2010 and it will remain a factor in future elections, unless power and wealth are more democratically distributed to eliminate racial disparities and class inequalities.”

Pardon You: Racism, Reparations and the Politics of Blame (as Explained by Henry Louis Gates Jr.)

by Tim Wise
Harvard Prof. Henry “Skip” Gates attempt to blame the trans-Atlantic slave trade largely on Africans and to absolve Europe and America of their historical crimes is a “moral and intellectual absurdity.” The U.S. owes a debt to African Americans, and to lots of other people. “The nation reaped enormous wealth on the backs of unpaid or underpaid black and brown labor, from imperial adventurism and conquest abroad.”

Update on Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald in California’s Corcoran State Prison

Two weeks ago we ran a story on Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, a political prisoner and former Black Panther imprisoned forty years in California.  Fitzgerald was refusing food and demanding transfer out of solitary confinement and full access to medical care.  We asked BAR readers and supporters to join those calling the prison and California elected officials, and inquire about Fitzgerald’s condition.  As a result of their, and your calls Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald has been transferred out of solitary confinement and expects to be accorded necessary medical care.  We convey to all of you the thanks of his family and friends.  More information is available at

Revisiting the Immigration Reform Debate: An African American Perspective

by Dr. Ron Daniels
While supporting legalization of millions of immigrants and other genuine reforms, the author urges that legitimate Black concerns over immigration be addressed. “To suggest that somehow millions of undocumented people have no impact on the social-economic and political standing of African Americans runs counter to what millions of our people see and experience in their daily lives.”

Take Back the Land: May 2010 Month of Action
by Max Rameau
There is no scarcity of housing in the United States, yet millions are deprived of adequate shelter through a system designed solely for private profit. “Federal and local governments are actively vacating, boarding up and demolishing public housing and underfunding rent subsidy programs in order to free up monies for bank bailouts and sports facilities.”

Assassination of U.S. Muslim Cleric is Illegal, Immoral and Unwise

by Bill Quigley
With each year in the endless war on terror, the American state claims another exceptional right – most recently, the right to murder whoever it wants, wherever it wants. “Under this argument, the US government is allowed to decide who represents a possible threat to our nation anywhere anytime and then exterminate them before they can damage the US.” American citizens are also eligible for the hit list.

Four Dead in Ohio; Two in Mississippi
by Howard Lisnoff
Forty years ago, government atrocities on two college campuses provoked hundreds of thousands to action in cities across the nation. Today, an even more lawless government terrorizes the world and robs its own citizens of rights that were once believed sacrosanct. “What is left of the peace movement is less than a toothless tiger.”

Mystery of Salt Spring Island: Who Killed Canada’s Black Landowners?

by Janet Singleton
Before the Emancipation Proclamation, before the defeat of the slave states, Blacks from the United States were seeking better lives in the far west of Canada. On one verdant isle, they found the promise of prosperity – and later, violent death.

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