BAR February 8 2012: Black Politics Atrophies / Super Pac Obama / Nigeria Oil Scourge / No To Drones and more…

8 February 2012Black Agenda Report • News, commentary and analysis from the black left

‘By far the best left publication, never mind ‘black left’, on the Web. WB’

Black Politics Atrophies Under Obama

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
“Traditional Black progressive and movement politics has been replaced by fear and sycophantism, as Blacks once again circle the wagons around Obama and contort the events of the last three years to justify their unrequited loyalty to the Banker’s President.” Can the proud African American progressive legacy survive another four years of cowing to the corporate servant in the White House? – Read more

Freedom Rider: Despots of the West

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
White privilege appears to extend to whole nations, if they are also rich and armed to the teeth. “Their countries are white, and rich, and powerful, so their atrocities aren’t even considered as such.” A harsh, but more equal standard would dictate: “If it can be said that Muammar Gaddafi deserved to be butchered like an animal, then the leaders of G-8 and G-20 and G whatever should also face the same fate.” – Read more

Obama: “The Devil” Made Me Take the Super Pac Money

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
President Obama is behaving true to form, embracing corruption only days after denouncing it. The greatest campaign fund raiser of all time has never rejected an opportunity to collect more corporate dollars. He has also never accepted responsibility for breaking a promise. This time around, he’s claiming those devilish Koch brothers made him do it. – Read more

As Gas Fires Burn, Devastated Nigeria Pays Horrific Price to Ensure Profits of Big Oil

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Big Oil ranks among the most profitable enterprises on earth. But capitalist corporations don’t pay their own costs – these are borne by the people and their environments. Few have paid a higher price than the oil-producing regions of Nigeria, now among the most devastated and toxic wastelands on the planet. – Read more

Obama‘s Proliferating Wars: Empire on Full Throttle Offensive

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
President Obama is leading a general imperial offensive around the globe, and “were it not for the Russian and Chinese vetoes at the United Nations Security Council, the U.S. and its allies would by now have declared the city of Homs or some other parts of Syria as areas to be ‘protected’ by U.S.-led air forces.” History will record Obama as “a man of war – many wars.” – Read more

No, Drones are Never OK!

by BAR editor and columnist Jemima Pierre
If any American group should be appalled at U.S. drone policy, it is Blacks, who “have seen the unspeakable become acceptable. We should know better.” Those who send the drones deny the fundamental humanity of their targets. “There is something deeply wrong about killing someone accused of a crime before giving that person a right to prove her or his innocence.” – Read more

Part One: No FEAR: A Whistleblower‘s Triumph

by BAR editor and columnist Marsha Coleman-Adebayo
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo has permitted us to serialize excerpts of her new book, No FEAR: A Whistleblower‘s Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA [Chicago Review Press, 2011]. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo incurred the wrath of EPA when she protested the agency’s alliance with corporations that were poisoning miners in South Africa. We begin with the forward to the book, by Noam Chomsky. – Read more

The London Conference on Somalia: An Act of False Generosity?

by Abdi Dirshe
The British government has taken it upon itself to organize a conference on Somalia, which raises a fundamental question: “Can the London Conference be in solidarity with the Somali people who are yearning to address their political, social and economic problems and at the same time continue to support the war crimes continually committed by Ethiopia and recently joined by Kenya? – Read more

Occupying Corporations: How to Cut Corporate Power

by Bill Quigley
Bringing corporations down to controllable size is a gargantuan task, but an absolute necessity if there is to be any hope for democracy. “Corporations have worked the courts mercilessly since 1819 to take a wide variety of constitutional rights that were designed to cover only people.” In one 30-year period, “African Americans lost their legal personhood, while corporations acquired theirs.” This historical crime must be reversed. – Read more

Harriet Tubman Tests?

by Raymond Nat Turner
The poet is talking about those who peddle “pork barrel pedagogy…selling blankets bearing smallpox- blankets smothering spirits and crushing minds of black and brown babies, like cigarette butts.” – Read more

Listen to Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network, with Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey – Week of February 6, 2012

U.S. Pursues War, Chaos in Middle East and North Africa

“If there is a substantial military strike on Iran, it is going to create mayhem in the region,” said Dr. Vijay Preshad, director of International Studies at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut. “And that is precisely what the Gulf Arabs and the United States would like to see. The last thing they want is a proper Arab Spring germinate into new, democratic regimes in North Africa and Est Asia.”

McKinney: America Guilty of “Sociocide”

The U.S. is engaged in “sociocide” – the “wholesale destruction of entire societies,” said Cynthia McKinney, the former Georgia congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate. “One can honestly say that sociocide has occurred in Iraq and Libya,” she said. “This is purposeful behavior, to go into these countries and destroy all aspects of the infrastructure.”

Obama Outdoes Bush in Power-Grab

Obama has claimed vastly more power than Bush did,” said peace activist David Swanson, publisher of the influential web site WarIsACrime.org. “He has gone to great lengths to protect and cover up and provide immunity to his predecessors and, in doing so, claimed greater powers of secrecy than his predecessor ever claimed.” Of 35 article of impeachment drawn up by Rep. Dennis Kucinich against President George Bush, in 2008, 27 would also apply to Obama, said Swanson. “Many of these are offenses that a great many people would be outraged about – if Obama were a Republican.”

DemoPublicans Speak with Forked Tongue

Organizers of the Occupy encampment at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, expect large numbers of protesters to gather for month-long activities in April, including direct actions. In addition to protests, said Dr. Margaret Flowers, “we also need to build something that will replace the power structure.” The Democratic and Republican electoral rhetoric amounts to “a false conversation that’s limited by their corporate funders. The real conversation will be happening in the Occupy movement.”

Stop Stop-and-Frisk

“Spying on communities has got to go, stop-and-frisk has got to go,” shouted Kalfani Nkrumah, leading the chants at a Bronx, New York, demonstration by Stop Stop-and-Frisk. “If our elected officials refuse to stand up for us, then they have to go to, too.”

Michelle Authenticates Obama

Attendees at a recent conference on “African Identities in the Age of Obama,” at Virginia’s George Mason University, “were outright frank about why they voted for Obama, in 2008: “because he was married to a ‘sister.'” Conference organizer and professor of history Benedict Carton said President Obama “didn’t come from a historical trajectory of slavery in Ameriva and post-slavery dynamics.” African Americans “needed to root him through his wife.”

In the Spirit of Lumumba

The election of Patrice Lumumba as prime minister of newly independent Congo, in 1960, was that country’s first and last free election, said Luwezi Kinshasa, secretary general of the African Socialist International and a Congolese. In the spirit of Lumumba, Africans must “struggle to overturn all compromises made with imperialism,” and take ownership of the continent’s resources.

Lynn Stewart’s Appeal

On February 29, imprisoned movement lawyer Lynn Stewart appeals her 10 year sentence on charges of aiding “terrorists” – in her defense of “blind sheik” Obama Abdel Rahman, convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. “If there were the rule of law” in the United States,” said Stewart’s husband, Ralph Poynter, “Lynn would not be in jail.”

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