Black Agenda Report 7 July, 2010: Peniel Joseph, Courtier / Nadir of Black America / Roots of Anti-Black

8 July, 2010 — Black Agenda Report

Dr. Peniel Joseph: Peoples Historian or Establishment Courtier? Part Two of Two: Peniel Joseph vs Hubert Harrison on Democracy
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
It’s not that hard to tell an honest people’s intellectual from a brand name huckster. One is engaged in making and propagating brands, terms with no fixed meaning of their own crafted to evoke unanalyzed, but useful feelings in an audience. The other is about the business of helping clear the cobwebs, cutting through received wisdom and official deceptions, explaining how the lives of ordinary people affect and are affected by the lineup of social forces, and what we can do about it. A quick look at how Dr. Joseph treats the word “democracy” in his latest work illustrates which side of the divide he is on.

Freedom Rider: Obama and the Nadir of Black America
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
For Black America, it is the worst of times, but a kind of collective insanity leads African Americans to believe they live in the best of times. A Pew Research Center study shows Blacks are the most upbeat on the economy of any major group, despite being the group most negatively affected by the economy. The root cause of the delirium: Obama.

First Black Presidency Has Driven Many African Americans Insane
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
A section of Black America has lost their minds – literally – unable to make contact with reality since November 2008. Despite the horrific and disproportionate damage suffered by Blacks in the Great Recession, a psychologically impaired group of African Americans believes they are better off than before the recession began, and that the future is bright. When Obama entered, their powers of reason exited.

Paul Street on Obama & the Real World of Power; Rosa Clemente –Taking Risks for Justice; Jared Ball, Last Word on the USSF; Decline of Black Detroit; Unhealthy People in Unhealthy Neighborhoods – Black Agenda Radio on PRN, the Progressive Radio Network

Corporate Obama
Obama’s election “was a pretty nice deal for the top one percent that owns half the wealth,” says Paul Street, author of the new book, The Empire’s New Clothes: Barack Obama in the Real World of Power. Street’s 2008 volume, Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics was perhaps the most blistering examination from the Left of then-candidate Obama.
Taking Risks for Peace and Justice
Rosa Clemente, the Green Party’s 2008 vice-presidential candidate and a founder of the National Hip Hop Political Convention, says Hip Hop politics must be prepared to take risks in 2012. Two years ago, folks that Clemente considered allies wound up going with the Democrats – and look what that got us!
The Decline of Black Detroit
In 1969, the Detroit-based League of Revolutionary Black Workers was a huge influence on Black Left and labor politics. Today, the U.S. auto industry is broken and retirees make up a majority of United Auto Workers membership – but the League’s General Baker continues to organize for decent health care benefits.
Social Forum Dilemma
Dr. Jared Ball met friends and influenced people at the recent U.S. Social Forum, in Detroit, but sensed that “a vague desire at the forum for ‘consensus politics’ meant in the end ‘no politics.’ No clear goals and no clear steps to reach them.”
Bad Health and Poverty
Living in “concentrated poverty” is much worse than simply being poor, according to a new study. Robert Phillips, of the California Endowment, reports that Black and Latino youth are unhealthy because “their neighborhoods are unhealthy.”
Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. Length: One hour.
Click the player below to listen.

Hip-Hop and the “Anti-Blackness Antagonism”
by BAR columnist Jared A Ball, Ph.D.
The world created by half a millennium of European conquest requires that Blacks be portrayed as non-human – which is why “we must begin to destroy the world.” That world works 24-7 to destroy Black people through the pervasive commercial imagery of “anti-Blackness.” These relentless assaults are more about enforcing the racial order, than monetary profit.

New Study Shows Racial Bias in SATs
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Words hold meaning, but sometimes they mean different things in different cultures. A new study shows the difference in the understood meanings of commonly used words is big enough to adversely affect the SAT scores of Black students. It turns out that Blacks do better than whites on the hard questions involving big words – but not enough to even the odds.

Africans Are In A Constant State of Resistance
An Interview with Omali Yeshitela
With the African People’s Socialist Party 5th Congress set for Washington, DC, July 10th-14th, BAR executive editor Glen Ford spoke with the APSP’s chairman, Omali Yeshitela. “Our people are slowly beginning to awaken to the fact that President Obama does not represent us,” said Yeshitela. “The awe of the state has worn off, and desperation is pushing the people.”
More information on the APSP is available at their web site.
Length of interview: 10:48.

A Philadelphia Story: George Washington’s Slaves Slept Here
by Linn Washington, Jr.
George Washington not only kept slaves in the first official Executive Mansion in Philadelphia, he “carefully rotated slaves in and out of the residence…to avoid running afoul of the Emancipation Law operative in Pennsylvania after 1780, which barred out-of-state slaveholders from bringing slaves into the state for more than six months’ time.” This is one national landmark that won’t be whitewashed.

The Two Sides of the Same Coin: Global Capitalism and U.S. Militarism
by Benjamin Woods
Social movements inevitably arise to challenge American imperial goals. “To counter this trend, the United States, the military arm of transnational capital, will display more military aggression.”

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