Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

the multiracial sheepby Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

A government and society that is ever ready to restrict the freedoms of Black folks now offers “freedom” from Blackness. This census and social “opt-out” for the progeny of interracial couples allows them to hope to be considered “as something entirely separate, different and apart from” what Curtis Mayfield called the “dark deep well.” The Black “baggage” can be left behind.



The Multiracial Sheep IS the White Supremacist Fox

by Jared A. Ball, Ph.D.

More people born to interracial couples are happily accepting the racial placebo of ‘multiracial’ and multiple racial choices as official census categorization.”

Let’s be very clear from the outset.  Multiracial categorization is an aggressive defense of white supremacy.  Multiracial census categorization, particularly in the era of what some are calling the first Black and multiracial president, is, pun-intended, the bulked up steroid-induced version of the old sports aphorism that “the best defense is a good offense.”  By aggressively encouraging younger generations to identify officially as multiracial the national desire to disappear worsening racial divides gets further juice by offering folks a chance to both adopt the illusion of the “post-racial” and to seemingly categorize themselves away from, if not out of, oppression. The beautiful dialectic traditionally developed in this country’s form of white supremacy was its built-in inability to be white and forced inclusion into Black which has made Black America, if even to a fault, among the most diverse, open and accepting communities in the world.  It also increased the potential that that community would become more threatening to white domination which has led to the centuries-long development of neocolonial-styled light-skin privilege as a mechanism of siphoning off some of the more willing participants in an escape from blackness. 

This continues and now in the form of official racial category.  No longer, as a recent USA Today story suggests, will younger people be forced or even encouraged to see themselves as light-skinned extensions of Curtis Mayfield’s “dark deep well,” but as something entirely separate, different and apart from.  Younger generations are being encouraged in far greater percentages to accept forms of, what some academics call, hyperdescent, or degrees of identity up the so-called racial caste scale.

Black America is, if even to a fault, among the most diverse, open and accepting communities in the world.”

As we have previously described, there is a general delusion happening where the material conditions of Black people are worseningwhile assumptions of progress among Black people are increasing.  Similarly, we have also recently discussed, that there is right now are-inscription of America’s racial slavery caste system forcibly locking Black Americans into permanent recessions and entombment at the bottom rungs of the nation’s social or colonial pyramid.  So it seems equally alarming that more people born to interracial couples are happily accepting the racial placebo of “multiracial” and multiple racial choices as official census categorization. 

As the 2010 census is disseminated nationally this month it brings with it all the old baggage of the enterprise, that is, it is used to mask gross inequality in distribution of national wealth, the locked-down gerrymandered political districts designed to assure that this fraudulent “two-party” system remains safely intact, and the sweeping under the rug of stolen prisoners who when caught up in an equally unjust system of mass incarceration are disappeared into distant regions and used to bolster the economic and electoral strength of their captors communities while not, of course, being able themselves to access any of the benefit they help to create by their incarceration.

National offerings of mobility in racial category, combined with a president whose multiracial background is used more to blunt discussions of racial inequality than to make them known and addressed, will further allow white supremacy to go unchecked and, therefore, to become more invisible and ultimately powerful.  Self-identification is, of course, personal and ultimately up to the individual.  But racial categorization is decidedly political and, therefore, means a responsibility that goes beyond any one person’s private choice.  The history and current structure of race in this country and its impact materially on Black people who don’t have the immaterial option to be categorized out of their blackness nor the material option of avoiding that category’s real-life meaning in this society demands that we who are offered the devil’s hand up reject it and remain happily categorized with the those in our families whoare our family and who are not able to escape the ravages of being fixed to the racial floor.

For Black Agenda Radio I’m Jared Ball. Online go to

Direct download: 20100317_JB_Multicultural.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 10:32pm EDT

Congressional Black CaucusA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The advent of America's first Black president has resulted in Black congresspeople voting for wars that their constituents overwhelmingly oppose, which could lead to the conclusion that Obama is “a morally corrupting influence on some Black lawmakers.” More than half the Congressional Black Caucus sided with Obama – and war – last week. Three-fourths of all House Democrats did the same. George Bush should be green with envy.



Half of Black Caucus Votes for More Afghan War

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

“When Obama surges in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Black lawmakers who purport to be for peace, retreat.”

Slightly less than half of the Congressional Black Caucus, 46 percent, broke with the Obama administration last week to vote for a bill to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. Given that the nation’s first Black president has made the Afghanistan/Pakistan theater of war his own – depicting the ever-expanding aggression as a “good war” – getting 18 Black votes for peace was probably as much as could have been expected. Black Democrats certainly behaved with more decency and sanity than Democrats as a whole, three out of four of whom voted with their war mongering commander-in-chief. Some progressive lawmakers felt it was a victory simply to have been permitted to hold a three-hour debate on the merits of war and peace, at this time of global imperial offensive, and disarray on the Left.

Nevertheless, the Black Caucus’s near-even split on Obama’s wars reveals the gross perversion of African American politics as it is filtered through a Democratic Party lurching steadily rightward under the weight of corporate money and the guidance of a president who is, if anything, more militarily aggressive in the region than his predecessor, George Bush. When Obama surges in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Black lawmakers who purport to be for peace, retreat.

The 18 Caucus members that voted “Yes” for withdrawal from Afghanistan reflect the overwhelming sentiments of a people that polls have for generations shown to be the most pro-peace demographic group in the nation. That 19 members of the Congressional Black Caucus would support U.S. wars against poor people half a world away, is evidence of deep moral and political corruption among the Black leadership class. (See breakdown of CBC vote, below.)

“The Black Caucus’s near-even split on Obama’s wars reveals the gross perversion of African American politics as it is filtered through a Democratic Party lurching steadily rightward.”

We are shocked that reliably progressive congresspersons like Gwen Moore, of Milwaukee, and Bobby Scott, of Virginia, cast their votes for war, as did a number of other Caucus members who, if Obama were not the president, would surely have been counted on the side of peace. Obama’s very presence in the White House can be viewed as a morally corrupting influence on some Black lawmakers, leading them to give a “pass” to policies they would otherwise oppose.

We note that Congressman John Conyers, the Dean of the Black Caucus and usually a dependable progressive, failed to vote, as did Artur Davis, the most right-wing Caucus member, who aspires to be a senator from Alabama.

We have not singled out for praise any of the 18 members that voted “Yes” for withdrawal from Afghanistan. They were doing their moral duty and expressing the political sentiments of their constituents; therefore, no accolades are in order. There is no significant war constituency in Black America – even the advent of a Black president cannot change that fact.

The peace constituency is obligated to turn out this Saturday, in Washington and San Francisco and other locations in between, to register our outrage at America’s wars – which are now Obama’s wars. That outrage should also extend to the three out of four Democrats and half of the Black Caucus members that cast their votes for mass murder of our fellow human beings, last week. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Breakdown of Congressional Black Caucus vote on HR 248, a bill to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by end of 2010:


Yes (18)

Yvette Clarke (NY)
William Clay (MO)

Emanuel Cleaver (MO)
Danny Davis (IL)

Donna Edwards (MD)
Keith Ellison (MN)

Alcee Hastings (FL)
Jesse Jackson (IL)

Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)
Johnson, E. B. (TX)
Barbara Lee (CA)
John Lewis (GA)

Donald Payne (NJ)
Charles Rangel (NY)
Laura Richardson (CA)

Edolphus Towns (NY)
Maxine Waters (CA)
Diane Watson (CA)


No (19)

Sanford Bishop (GA)

Corrine Brown (FL)
G.K. Butterfield (NC)

Andre Carson (IN)

Elijah Cummings (MD)

Chaka Fattah (PA)

Marcia Fudge (OH)
Al Green (TX)

Hank Johnson (GA)
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (MI)
Kendrick Meek (FL)

Gregory Meeks (NY)

Gwen Moore (WI)

Bobby Rush (IL)

David Scott (GA)
Bobby Scott (VA)

Bennie Thompson (MS)

Melvin Watt (NC)


Not Voting (2)

John Conyers (MI)

Artur Davis (AL)

Direct download: 20100317_gf_AntiWarVote.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 9:43pm EDT