CommunityMy FDL

The U.S. Empire’s Achilles Heel: Its Barbaric Racism, from BAR’s Glen Ford, and Other BAR Highlights

My original intention had been to announce Black Agenda Report’s impending launch of their own Black Agenda TV (BATV) section later in the year; their maiden video wasn’t up on youtube, but the one I embedded above from March 17 is great, even considering some quibbles I have,  like there being so many ‘achilles heels’, for instance.

The BAR editors hope their video productions will be another strong vehicle for social transformation in The People’s media.  They want it to be ‘pleasing to the eyes, ears and mind’ as well as politically and socially edifying.  Toward that end, they are requesting our help, and are soliciting comments, seeking technical and video production help, as well as ideas for inclusion.  The BATV link above shows how to get involved.  They clearly need help, and I hope they get it; it’s a very promising vision they have in the works.

The video launch demo/pilot of Black Agenda TV is on Vimeo, which we will soon be taught to embed here, if I recall correctly.

BAR’s writers have been very vocal about the many ways they see Obama and his administration continually failing black America.  Their indictments, and indeed even the questions they pose, will be either like Bathing in Fresh Air or very uncomfortable depending on your POV.   A few of the recent entries are:

From Glen Ford’s ‘Why Barack Obama is the More Effective Evil’:

“No matter how much evil Barack Obama actually accomplishes during his presidency, people that call themselves leftists insist on dubbing him the Lesser Evil. Not only is Obama not given proper credit for out-evil-ing George Bush, domestically and internationally, but the First Black President is awarded positive grades for his intentions versus the presumed intentions of Republicans. As the author says, this “is psycho-babble, not analysis. No real Left would engage in it.

Power to the people!

Let me say from the very beginning that we at Black Agenda Report do not think that Barack Obama is the Lesser Evil. He is the more Effective Evil.

He has been more effective in Evil-Doing than Bush in terms of protecting the citadels of corporate power, and advancing the imperial agenda. He has put both Wall Street and U.S. imperial power on new and more aggressive tracks – just as he hired himself out to do. (the rest is here)

Occupy Education vs. Gates Foundation: Policy Throwdown!’ Is a great narrative of events at Seattle’s Occupy Bill Gates Foundation, protesting the racist and classist standardized educational testing, and Bill Gates’ heavy involvement with this adminstration’s embrace of corporatized charter schools.  As an aside, if you haven’t heard Arne Duncan or his deputies lecture yet, you don’t know how ‘snooze-worthy’ they are.  It may be part of the reason they’re getting away with what they are; or it may just be another case of there being too many bad educational policies brewing to monitor that we fail to address them all.  I dunno.

‘New data show black students have been Jim Crowed’ concerns the tendency of schools to mirror our greater society in regard to blacks being more often targeted by school officials and teachers, then found guilty and sentenced more harshly in school systems as well as outside of them.  The data are not surprising, but hard to read, especially given the short shrift given to the funding of education in recent years, and the trends of increased local control by unsavory and often biased boards, and ineffective, or worse, state boards of education. (Opinion, no links, sorry.)

‘US/NATO-supported Libyan rebels continue persecution of blacks in Libya’ is especially tough; the editors bring video from Libya in which Sub-Saharan blacks are caged, tormented, tortured…and made to eat parts of the Libyan flag.  Charges are that it’s members of the NTC performing the barbarity.

Ford’s ‘The Need for a Black Agenda’ is here; in it he castigates black politicians and the African American Left for its failure to create an agenda for blacks, and whose main agenda is ‘Obamaism’, which is short for re-electing Barack Obama.

My heart is really with BAR editor Margaret Kimberly and her recent ‘Freedom Rider column: ‘Liberal Whores’ lamenting the putative Liberal Left’s failure to choose the right stories:

If liberals are good for anything, it is being outraged about all the wrong things. If one were to measure the amount of media debate in the past week, the conclusion might be that a law student being called a slut was the worst thing happening in the nation and the world. Liberals can’t be bothered to protest against war, even if they did so during the Bush administration, or indefinite detention, or targeted killings, or drone strikes, or the destruction of Libya or Somalia.

Rush Limbaugh, a man who would have to have been invented if he didn’t exist, called law student Sandra Fluke, a “slut” and a “whore” after she testified in favor of religious institutions being required to include contraception in their health care plans.

The liberals then lost their collective minds. There was no limit to their ire. One would have thought that Rush Limbaugh was killing Afghan children with drones, or torturing black Libyans, or planning to attack Iran. Of course, Limbaugh has absolutely no power to do any of those things. He is a celebrity, a media personality who advocates the right wing point of view. He is a sexist and a racist, but he has no power to take anyone’s life. That is Barack Obama‘s job.”  [snip]  (Hint: she skewers Obama, then Holder,]

“What could happen if these same people used as much energy opposing policies that literally kill thousands of people around the world? Quite a lot would change, but they don’t take actions against people in power because they don’t really care about what they do.

At the same time that these angry and outraged citizens were claiming victory against a radio personality they ought to be ignoring, the attorney general of the United States publicly claimed that the president of the United States has the right to kill at will whenever he feels like it.”

She’s outraged, and I understand her frustration and fury at journalists and bloggers too often reaching for the lowest-hanging  social wedge issue fruits and giving the most major issues affecting all of us and the planet a pass.

BAR has highlighted ‘The Build People’s Power Tour’ and Cynthia McKinney’s involvement with the group ‘International Action Center’ whose aims are demanding jobs, education, and housing, and fighting against capitalism’s crimes.  While the March events have passed, there may be more in the future; reading at the group’s site is heartening.

(cross-posted soon at


Previous post

The Last Word on the Ryan Budget - A Massively Dishonest Document

Next post

Fight Back Against Cheats and Liars By Making Technology Your Friend