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

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Sunday’s election is the last thing Haiti’s majority wants or needs. It is the United States that needs Sunday’s election in Haiti to provide “a veil of legality on the theft of Haiti’s sovereignty and independence by U.S. imperialism and its allies.” Haitians have been given a choice to validate their own re-enslavement. Most will choose No.

 

Haiti Election: Theatrical Prelude to Colonization

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It is a charade, paid for by the United States, to provide a veneer of legitimacy to America’s colonization of Haiti.”

The United States, having stolen Haiti’s government in a 2004 coup and re-invaded the country with 22,000 troops after last January’s catastrophic earthquake, now foists a farce of an election on the cholera-wracked nation. It is an election designed, not to allow the Haitian people to express their political aspirations, but to impose a veil of legality on the theft of Haiti’s sovereignty and independence by U.S. imperialism and its allies. In other words, this Sunday, when a small minority of Haitians go through the motions of casting votes for a president, they will in effect be participating in the very opposite of a democratic process. This election is not for their benefit – it does not enhance the power of Haiti’s people to determine their own destiny. Rather, it is a charade, paid for by the United States, to provide a veneer of legitimacy to America’s colonization of Haiti.

Whoever is eventually chosen among the 19 candidates for president – most likely in a runoff election between the two top vote-getters, in January – he or she could not possibly be the choice of the Haitian people. That’s because the party of ousted President Jean Bertrand Aristide, Fanmi Lavalas, which is by far the most popular political organization in the country, has once again been barred from taking part in the election. As a result – and also because of widespread opposition to holding elections at all when cholera is raging in the country – turnout will be low and the outcome unsatisfactory to the majority of people.

Which is the only kind of outcome that the United States will tolerate. The American ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, who is a notorious liar, nevertheless spoke the truth when he told the Washington Post that he hadn’t met anybody among the contenders that he “can’t work with.”

Real power belongs to the Haiti Recovery Commission co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and totally dominated by foreign governments and bankers.”

The United States owns this election, because Washington has paid for it. The nominal cost is $15 million for Sunday’s election machinery. But one must also factor in the cost of arming and training the death squads that swept into Haiti from U.S.-financed bases in the Dominican Republic to reverse by violence the Haitian people’s electoral choices, in 2004. U.S. costs for the colonization of Haiti include funding and organizing the minority political opposition to President Aristide, so that the majority’s will could be thwarted. And it includes the huge expense of bribing and orchestrating the United Nations to become a kind of 12,000-man rent-a-cop security outfit for the occupation of Haiti, against the people's will.

What the U.S. is paying for in this election, is a grotesque caricature of a vote that will produce a nominal president who will sit as a pitiful figurehead over a state that has no power. Real power belongs to the Haiti Recovery Commission co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and totally dominated by foreign governments and bankers whose mission is to restore Haiti to the colonial status it escaped two centuries ago.

Through blockades and invasions and coups and, finally, electioneering theatrics, the Americans think they have purchased a Black Krayol-speaking colony in the Caribbean. They will soon find out they have bought an island of resistance. For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20101124_gf_HaitiElection.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor Jared A. Ball

Hip-hop has become a meaningless word – or worse, a word shellacked with so many saleable commercial and political meanings that it becomes a weapon against the very people that originated the genre. A new film is circulating, with clarifying impact. “The film forces a real conflict over who defines hip-hop, who uses it for what and what those of us who claim to know better are actually doing to address these and related concerns.”

 

Black August and Crises of Hip-Hop as Euphemism

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor Jared A. Ball

“’Hip-hop’ has become more a euphemism that erases the blackness of its progenitors and their condition.”

If you didn’t know already, let me be the first to tell you that there is indeed a crisis in hip-hop politics and intellectualism. It is a crisis of separation, a crisis of deracination and of political trajectory. In part it is a crisis of euphemism and in this case it’s as old as calling the horrors of enslavement a “triangular trade.” But unlike the way, say, “urban” has become a euphemism for Black, and one known as such, “hip-hop” has become more a euphemism that erases the blackness of its progenitors and their condition. The euphemistic erasure of blackness, of Africanness, has long-reached crisis proportions, where it is used to confuse, justify or make invisible the people and their lived experiences. And it is a crisis that needs to be more aggressively addressed by those who accept the brand-naming of a “hip-hop generation,” “hip-hop studies” or “hip-hop activism.” And whether or not she meant to challenge this euphemism, Dream Hampton has so nicely done so with her new film, Black August: A Hip-Hop Documentary Concert.

Since 1998 the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s Black August Hip-Hop Project has made its mission the exposure of political prisoners and the issues surrounding political imprisonment to new generations of young people. Since then organizers have created nice blends of concert performances and political education as methods of raising funds for and awareness of political prisoners. The existence of the work and the making of a film about the work by definition explodes the fallacy of hip-hop’s popular separation by euphemism from the communities of Black and Brown people that created it, the conditions these communities still suffer and the status of some of those captured in struggle against those conditions. The film forces a real conflict over who defines hip-hop, who uses it for what and what those of us who claim to know better are actually doing to address these and related concerns. And at a recent screening of the film in Washington, D.C. all of these wonderful tensions were evident.

De-politicized and empty conversations simply cannot coexist with this film, hence its unyielding brilliance.”

After watching the film, which explores some of the history of Black August, first organized to honor “fallen freedom fighters” like George Jackson in the 1970s, a lively discussion occurred. It was clear that this discussion was one of euphemism v. unmasked reality. Some expressed shock at the very existence of political prisoners. Others talked of joining and reviving a chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Others exchanged community efforts to support and even mimic aspects of the work of those currently incarcerated, exiled or those who had been assassinated. But what was most clear was that no euphemism could withstand the film itself. No tired discussions of hip-hop as some distinct culture divorced from any specific origin, no nonsense of hip-hop being color blind, or of hip-hop as a mechanism of communal economic empowerment or some disconnected intellectual enterprise were even attempted. Nobody even repeated ridiculous claims that hip-hop elected Obama in 2008 or caused his party’s downfall in 2010. In fact, Obama was only raised as an issue of what now impedes the work represented in the film. No, de-politicized and empty conversations simply cannot coexist with this film, hence its unyielding brilliance.

The post-screening discussion, which was not held just among activist circle regulars, or what Obama’s folks call the “professional left,” went straight to the matters at hand. What and who are political prisoners, what do they want, what did they do then and what are we going to do now since not one of their issues has been positively resolved. And this is the power of the film and the work depicted in the film. That those themes might resonate beyond the activist or intellectual elite and explode the euphemism hip-hop has become is precisely the point. Black August addresses the crisis of euphemism which is a crisis in our political consistency. Dead Prez have famously said that “it’s bigger than hip-hop,” and so is this film. It may depict performance but, as Black August organizer Monifa Bandele can be heard closing the film, “It ain’t no damn concert.”

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Jared Ball. Click, link and bookmark us at BlackAgendaReport.com.

Jared A. Ball can be reached via email at freemixradio@gmail.com.

Direct download: 20101124_jb_BlackAugustFilm.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:45am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

It is right to howl at the indignities inflicted on airline passengers – but hypocritical, if the howls come from folks who applaud or remain silent while police in big cities across the country subject hundreds of thousands of Black and Latino males to arbitrary stop and frisks. “As a Black male who is often perceived as Latino or Middle-Eastern, I expect to get stopped and questioned, pulled from the crowd and patted down.”

If the Airport is a Police State, What is the Ghetto?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The police state has long been in effect in Black America – so long, it is experienced as routine.”

Critics of the Obama administration’s escalating intrusions on the dignity and violations of the privacy of air travelers are certainly correct in raising holy hell with the voyeurs and bullies that run the homeland’s security apparatus. The president’s men are a nasty little bunch, who seem to respond to every hint of danger by shouting “strip!” and fondling everyone within reach. But I must admit that I’m not personally overly upset at the government’s deployment of machinery that electronically renders one naked, or the prospect of more frequent and intrusive pat-downs.

As a Black male who is often perceived as Latino or Middle-Eastern, I expect to get stopped and questioned, pulled from the crowd and patted down. My teenage and young adult years coincided with the frequent hijacking of flights to Cuba. I fit the profile. That coincided with the war on drugs that never ended, a war that treated me like an enemy combatant, and still does. A pair of narcotics detectives used to stop me without fail, among thousands of other train passengers, each week, same time, same day, as I passed through Union Station commuting from New York to Washington.

La Migra,” the immigration authorities, have challenged me in DC, all dressed up for an expensive business lunch at nigh noon on K Street, demanding to know if I was a citizen. I’ve been pulled off a bus full of other journalists on the tarmac at the airport in Vienna, Austria, by machinegun-toting police, for no other reason than my physical type. My hometown neighborhood is a designated drug zone – like every Black neighborhood in Jersey City, New Jersey – where anyone can be stopped and questioned about their reasons for being in the area; where one is presumed guilty until the police decide you might not be.

If Philly were New York-sized, the cops would be stopping and frisking 1.2 million people on the streets each year.”

I spend much of my time in New York City, where about 600,000 pedestrians, the vast majority of them Black or Latino and male, will be accosted by cops, by the end of this year. There is an eight-block area in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where 50,000 stops were made over two years, many if not most involving the same Black, male neighborhood residents over and over again.

But it gets worse. In Philadelphia, a city one-sixth the size of New York, at least 200,000 mostly Black, male pedestrians are stopped each year. That means, if Philly were New York-sized, the cops would be stopping and frisking 1.2 million people on the streets each year, twice as many as in the Big Apple. This is stop-and-frisk gone wild, used as a weapon of racial bullying and control, and as an intake valve for Black mass incarceration, sending huge proportions of Black makes into institutions where they don't render you naked electronically, but up close and personal, at any and all times the prison authorities see fit, and where visiting family members are subject to have their bodily orifices explored.

So, Yes – federal search policies at airports are a sign of a growing police state. But the police state has long been in effect in Black America – so long, it is experienced as routine. I fear that some of those who recoil at heightened airport security also believe that the people in the Bed-Stuys of America get what they deserve.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20101124_gf_AirportVsGhettoes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57am EST

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A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

The United States does as it pleases in Haiti, behaving as a conqueror while pretending to have no responsibilities for the welfare of the people whose government Washington has stolen. “The U.S. is obligated to spend as many billions as it takes on the human needs of the people of Haiti – not as a matter of charity, but as a solemn legal responsibility” – or set Haiti free.

 

America’s Obligations to Haiti

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

Haiti is a U.S. possession in every practical sense of the term.”

If you want to know what the rulers of the United States would do if they had unchecked power to order the world as they saw fit, look at Haiti. It is in Haiti that the United States shows its true face: a face of infinite greed, boundless cruelty, absolute cynicism, naked aggression, and a total lack of respect for human dignity – especially, the dignity of Black humanity.

Since 2004, Haiti has been a de facto colony of the United States. By organizing and funding the armed coup that toppled the freely elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide, and then physically kidnapping and transporting him into African exile, the United States made itself responsible for everything that has transpired, since. This is a principle embedded in international laws of war, of conquest: that the conqueror takes responsibility for the welfare and safety of the vanquished population. The rationale is simple: by conquering a people and seizing authority over the defeated country, the conqueror assumes the responsibility to protect the inhabitants and their human rights, since the conquered people have lost the means to provide and ensure that for themselves.

The United States helped codify that principle into international law more than 60 years ago, but fundamentally violates its spirit every day, in Haiti. The Americans claim they didn’t overthrow President Aristide, but simply had their Marines transport him to safety. The Bush administration installed in Haitian government the most vicious pack of criminals ever assembled in the Americas, and watched while these handpicked degenerates murdered thousands. But the U.S. claimed that was not their responsibility, since America had not conquered Haiti. The U.S. joined with the long ago colonial ruler, France, and the new-jack colonialist, Canada, to figure out what to do with Haiti, without seeming like they were legally responsible. The great white powers snapped their fingers and the United Nations appeared. Haiti became a kind of international protectorate, which is something like being everybody’s colony.

By conquering a people and seizing authority over the defeated country, the conqueror assumes the responsibility to protect the inhabitants and their human rights.”

But no one doubted, certainly not the Haitians, that the UN was just a blue-helmeted security service for Uncle Sam – that Haiti was a U.S. possession in every practical sense of the term. If any fool thought differently, last January’s catastrophic earthquake proved that the United States was the occupying power in charge. The Americans seized the Port-au-Prince airport, blockaded the coast, and sent in 22,000 troops whose word was LAW in Haiti. Washington did all of this unilaterally, as if it had every legal right – which it would have, if the Americans acknowledged themselves as the conquering power. But of course, that would mean the U.S. was obligated to spend as many billions as it takes on the human needs of the people of Haiti – not as a matter of charity, but as a solemn legal responsibility. After all, the U.S. took their government from them.

The Americans prefer to deny that they are the power-in-charge while pulling all the strings, including keeping former president Aristide's party – the most popular in the country – out of the November 28 election.

This is how the Americans would rule the world, if they could: standing on everyone's necks.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20101117_gf_CaptiveHaiti.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:08am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball

In the Seventies, Black radio news was a powerhouse reaching virtually every Black household with hourly newscasts that fueled political movements and incubated youthful Black leadership. Famed journalist and educator Phyl Garland chronicled and helped shape the era. “This time the struggle is not only for jobs and meaningful representation, but for the control of black minds through the grist they are fed by the communications media,” she wrote. The present generation’s mission is to seize control of Black-oriented media in service of the people.

 

More than Remembering Phyl Garland! Black Power and Community Controlled Broadcasting

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball

Radio today has been stripped of its capability to produce relevant news to its audiences and has its musical content determined by no more than three European and Asian conglomerates.”

In October of 2011, from DC to Baltimore and probably a city near you, the most popular radio stations targeting Black and Brown people have their FCC licenses coming up for renewal. They offer no news, orchestrated play lists filled with songs selected by the companies that own them which are played with deadening repetition in between the sale of their audiences to the highest corporate bidder who can then advertise any number of useless and harmful products. These stations do not address our needs. Instead they redefine those needs into their interests. Our refusal to address this means we routinely turn ourselves and our loved ones over to the whims of others and suffer the consequences. So lets lay claim to the airwaves which belong to us already and forcibly redefine our relationship with our media environment. Its been done and it needs doing again.

Though she died four years ago this month Phyllis or “Phyl” Garland wrote forty years ago this month of similar efforts happening around the country. Garland herself taught and was the first woman granted tenure at the Columbia School of Journalism, she loved and wrote about music and had been a journalist with the Pittsburgh Courier and Ebony magazine. And in the November 1970 issue of Ebony magazine, she explained the one-to-one correlation between radio programming and radical political movements. She described efforts around the country among Black people who were threatening the very licenses which give our public airwaves to corporations who, in exchange for the extremely lucrative public property, are theoretically supposed to provide us with relevant information, cultural expression and freedom to make public the concerns of our communities. Garland was as right to cover those efforts as were the people who then claimed that those stations did them a disservice. And we would be right in our similar claims today.

The airwaves which daily convey news of wars, moon landings, consumer products and so-called entertainment to millions of Americans are the property of the people.”

Defining the importance of public challenges to radio and television broadcast licenses Garland wrote, “Black Power, that dynamic political economic concept born of both hope and pride, is finding new directions in these uncertain days of ‘good news, bad news and Agnews.’ The objective has been selected, the strategy plotted and the offensive is underway. This time the struggle is not only for jobs and meaningful representation, but for the control of black minds through the grist they are fed by the communications media... The distantly perceivable results could revolutionize a people.”

She continued, “The premise supporting this battle is the underpublicized fact that the airwaves which daily convey news of wars, moon landings, consumer products and so-called entertainment to millions of Americans are the property of the people. They are only leased to those who use them through licenses granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a regulatory government agency which is supposed to determine whether the licensee is upholding his obligation to ‘fulfill the tastes, needs, and desires of his community.” Broadcasters have not often lived up to this responsibility, so far as blacks are concerned, and gradually this neglected segment of the public is coming to understand that it has a right to challenge the media barons who have so blatantly ignored black tastes.”

She writes of an Atlanta-based “ad hoc Community Coalition on Broadcasting composed of civil rights groups” who pressured and got signed agreements from 23 of 26 local stations to employ more Black workers both “on-air and behind the scenes” and to return some of their millions of dollars of revenue back into the community via scholarships, job-training programs and to “more accurately reflect black life of the past and present.”

As we’ve highlighted for years radio today is as important in Black America as ever, but has been stripped of its capability to produce relevant news to its audiences and has its musical content determined by no more than three European and Asian conglomerates. Let’s flood the public files of these radio stations with emails and letters that express our concern over their programming. Specifically, we must begin to further document the absence of news, local reporting and locally-based artists from the airwaves. We must challenge the complete dominance over our programming, music and news, by an ever-decreasing number of white-owned corporations and advertisers who reduce even nominal Black ownership to meaninglessness.

Stay tuned for more calls to build new Community Coalitions on Broadcasting, or what we have more recently called a News For the People Coalition. Lets begin by making the fundamental point that the airwaves are ours to begin with and what happens with them is up to us.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Jared Ball. Check us out at BlackAgendaReport.com.

Jared A. Ball can be reached via email at: freemixradio@gmail.com.

Direct download: 20101117_jb_PhylGarland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Still unwilling or unable to admit that they were “psyched out” by Barack Obama and his corporate handlers, Lefties search for psychological reasons that the First Black President has been such a disappointment. It’s the failure to fight thing, or the lack of vision thing, or the failure to communicate thing, they say. “It isn’t that Obama has trouble conveying his vision, it’s that his actual vision is unacceptable to progressives.” As for his willingness to fight, Obama fought his own left wing, and “stomped their butts into the dirt” over his corporate health care plan.

 

Psycho-Babbling Obama

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Rather than face the fact that Obama is not a friend of the people, leftish commentators insist on conducting a psychological analysis of the president.”

For two years we watched Barack Obama undercut the left wing of his party at every turn, with a disdain so palpable his minions could not resist insulting leftists in the most juvenile terms. For two years we watched the First Black President facilitate the greatest transfer of wealth in human history – $12 to $14 trillion – to Wall Street, and we watched as he put the U.S. war machine back on the offensive in the world. For two years we heard Obama say over and over again that he had no intention of taking targeted action to help Black and brown communities that had been targeted for destruction by banks. After two years, one would think that folks on the Left would have gotten the idea that Obama is pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, and doesn’t have a transformative bone in his body regarding either race or class. But, for many, the message, however obvious, has not sunk in. Rather than face the fact that Obama is not a friend of the people, leftish commentators insist on conducting a psychological analysis of the president. They seem to be trying to find some quirk in Obama’s personality that can by corrected in time for the Armageddon showdown with the Republicans.

Take Paul Krugman, of the New York Times, for example. People on the Left quote him a lot, which I find strange, since Krugman can talk about the political meltdown of 2008 for 45 minutes and never say the word “corporation” – as if corporations had nothing to do with the meltdown. But anyway, the liberal Krugman insists that Obama’s problem is, he tried to transcend partisan divisions, not understanding that sometimes one has to fight. That’s a recurring theme with Obama apologists, that Obama won’t fight. But Obama showed plenty of fight during the health care debate. He fought the left wing of his own party every step of the way, exiling single-payer supporters to the margins while he kissed Republican boodie and empowered Blue Dogs and DLCers. He didn’t just fight progressives, he stomped their butts into the dirt.

They seem to be trying to find some quirk in Obama’s personality that can by corrected in time for the Armageddon showdown with the Republicans.”

Dr. Ron Daniels, of the Institute for the Black World, thinks the problem is Obama’s “failure to effectively communicate” his “vision, programs and policies.” I think Obama has communicated quite effectively, that he wanted expanded theaters of war, trillions for Wall Street, and nothing special whatsoever for Black or brown America – those places that he says don’t exist. It isn’t that Obama has trouble conveying his vision, it’s that his actual vision is unacceptable to progressives. Of all people, Barack Obama doesn’t need communications lessons.

William Greider, probably the left-most of our three subjects, says Obama “needs to learn hardball” so he can fight the Republicans that are “trying to bury him.” This, however, would require a 180 degree vision change on Obama's part, since his actual “vision” has always been to join with Republicans at some point much further to the right than the rest of us would ever want to go.

The psychological problem is not Obama's. It's the problem of much of the Left, who imagined an Obama that never existed. That's why it was so easy for Obama and his corporate handlers to psyche-out the Left. If you think Obama is salvageable, then you're the one with the psychological problem.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20101117_gf_ObamaBabble.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

American investors, who refuse to put money into productive enterprise in their own country, are flooding developing nations with destabilizing dollars, creating asset “bubbles” and other dangerous distortions. In defense, nations are collectively rejecting “dealings with U.S. companies, or even transactions in U.S. dollars, in order to insulate themselves from the irresponsibility of U.S. economic rulers.”

 

U.S. Endangers Global Financial Stability

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The U.S. decision could set in motion a chain of events that might knock the dollar from its artificial pedestal as the world’s reserve currency.”

When you live in a dying system, expect bad things to happen with quickening regularity. We are now in a general crisis of capitalism, which means that so many things are wrong with the system, it’s hard to predict where the next disaster will come from. Think of an old, worn out, beat up automobile. You don’t dare take a long trip in it because something – you don’t know what, but something – is sure to break down.

Even as the robo-signing scandal reveals massive fraud at the heart of the U.S. mortgage system, which could lead to a kind of meltdown, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to pump $600 billion into the system could set in motion a chain of events that might knock the dollar from its artificial pedestal as the world’s reserve currency. When that happens, the non-military component of U.S. imperialism, will crumble. But that’s a chance Obama’s bankers are willing to take because…well, because creating rivers of money for their fellow bankers to play with is what the Federal Reserve does. The banks were already sitting on $1 trillion in cash when Obama’s crew decided to create $600 billion more out of thin air.

To justify this policy of so-called “quantitative easing,” the Obama administration is singing the same old tired song: that flooding more money into the banking system will result in the banks making more loans to businesses that will then expand their workforces and reduce unemployment. But of course, none of that has happened, because the banks have not loaned the money to U.S. manufacturers, they have hoarded the cash, or used it to buy federal debt, or spent it in their derivatives casinos or sent it overseas to wreak havoc with developing countries’ currencies.

Nations are taking steps to isolate the dollar, to avoid using American currency as much as possible.”

All these billions in U.S. dollars, thrust into the system by Obama’s Treasury and federal bankers, and which do no good for American small businesses and workers, now threaten to create asset bubbles overseas, pushing up prices of land and stock in countries like India and Brazil. In other words, Wall Street is using the oceans of money provided to it by their friends in the Obama administration to export to the developing world the same financial bubbles that ultimately brought down the U.S. economy and created a world financial crisis.

The flood of U.S. cash is also designed to have the effect of making the dollar cheaper. The idea, here, is to make American exports cheaper, which will theoretically create more U.S. jobs. In the real world, the tidal wave of greenbacks threatens to destabilize the planetary financial system. The Americans are viewed as so irresponsible and dangerous to global stability, nations are taking steps to isolate the dollar, to avoid using American currency as much as possible.

This is what I call the redlining of America: when nations collectively reject dealings with U.S. companies, or even transactions in U.S. dollars, in order to insulate themselves from the irresponsibility of U.S. economic rulers. That means the dollar is on the way to losing its position as the world reserve currency. When that happens, all that will be left of the U.S. global empire, is guns.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go towww.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted atGlen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20101110_gf_RedliningAmerica.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:16pm EST

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A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

Black voters have still not reversed their 75-year record of rejecting Black Republican candidates for majority Black congressional districts. The two new Black Tea Partyers are from mostly white districts, and will have little reason to become involved in Black Caucus affairs. Besides, Black corporate Democrats are fully capable of doing great damage to Black interests, without GOP help.

 

Tea Partyers in the Black Caucus?

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by Glen Ford

Incoming congressmen Tim Scott of South Carolina and Allen West of Florida will have no influence on the Congressional Black Caucus.”

Congressional Black Caucus chairperson Barbara Lee has announced that the two Black Tea Party supporters elected to Congress from South Carolina and Florida are welcome to join the Black Caucus. That’s no surprise. In its 41-year history, the Black Caucus has always had an official open door policy to non-Democrats. But the CBC has been fortunate that the three Black Republicans elected to the House of Representatives in the last two generations have opted not to complicate the lives of Black Caucus Democrats. Former Oklahoma congressman J.C. Watts declined to join. Connecticut’s Gary Franks, who served from 1991 to 1997, was a nominal Black Caucus member, but totally inactive. And Melvin Evans, a non-voting congressional delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands, made hardly a ripple in House of Representatives, serving only one term between 1979 and 1981. Senator Edward Brook, of Massachusetts, never joined the Caucus.

Except for the non-voting Melvin Evans, the Virgin Islander, all three of the Black Republicans elected to Congress since the 1930s have represented majority white constituencies. Black voters on the U.S. mainland have not elected a Black Republican to the House since Oscar De Priest lost his seat from Chicago in 1934.

In other words: Republicanism is dead in Black America. Even Republicans no longer believe they can hope to win office by running Black candidates in Black majority districts. In the mid-Nineties corporate strategists decided their best shot at directly influencing Black politics was through the Democratic Party. Rather than beat the dead horse of Black Republicanism, they would finance the careers of a new breed of corporate Black Democrats – like Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker, and outgoing Washington, DC mayor Adrian Fenty, and – the most prominent Black corporate Democrat of all, Barack Obama.

Black voters on the U.S. mainland have not elected a Black Republican to the House since Oscar De Priest lost his seat from Chicago in 1934.”

The corporate shift to financing and nurturing Black Democrats friendly to big business was hugely successful. By 2005, there were enough right-leaning, corporate-friendly members of the Congressional Black Caucus to comprise a mini-caucus of their own. Ten of them voted with Republicans on personal bankruptcy, 8 sided with the enemy on repeal of the Estate Tax, and 11 made common cause with big business on energy issues. Not long afterward, two-thirds of the Black Caucus voted to allow the telecom companies free rein in cable television and the Internet.

With a Democratic Black Caucus like that, who needs Black Republicans?

The Republican Party cannot make significant inroads among Black Americans because the GOP has thrived by being the White Man's Party. It's a winning formula at the ballot box. The Tea Party phenomenon is an even more virulent strain of the same racist disease. Incoming congressmen Tim Scott of South Carolina and Allen West of Florida will have no influence on the Congressional Black Caucus, and if either of them do join, will probably fail to show up for any serious business. The problem with the Congressional Black Caucus is corporate-bought Democrats, who already infest the place.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20101110_gf_BlackGOP.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball

Michael Eric Dyson, who claims to have recovered from Obama-ism, blames Black youth for failure to save the Democrats from themselves in the past election. Perhaps Dyson and his ilk should consider that non-stop police beatings, imprisonment and frameups of young Black people may “have had something to do with Obama’s 'enthusiasm gap.'” He should also ponder whether “45% unemployment for Black teens might be part of it.”

Dyson's Message to Black Youth: You Are Cowards to Be Blamed, Beaten and Jailed!

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR columnist Jared A. Ball

Michael Eric Dyson seems to blame Black youth for nearly everything that has gone wrong since 1965.”

Michael Eric Dyson has recently produced two very telling video commentaries. To the extent that they may reflect any general trend they are disturbing. But that they do reflect an overall troubling trend in Black politics they are simply sad. The first of the two videos to which I refer is Dyson’s post-mid-term election call to Obama to “be more like Bush” in aggressively promoting his agenda. The other is Dyson’s full-blown attack on youth, particularly Black youth, who he seems to blame for more than just a mid-term election loss but for nearly everything that has gone wrong since 1965. In both cases, according to Dyson, the problem is courage and honor. Obama has been too soft on implementing his agenda and Black children have been absolute cowards who trample on the very civil rights history that produced them.

The first problem with these views is that Obama is indeed acting just like Bush. Dyson’s call for him to be more like Bush is simply redundant and Dyson’s lack of clarity here is unfortunate. Understandably Dyson cannot be seen to have been wrong prior to the 2008 election when he was proudly proclaiming to be the first Black leader to support Obama and defending that decision against all reason by saying we must first get him elected and then exercise some mythical influence. And Dyson isn’t alone here. This was the liberal mainstream pre-election argument. Now that Obama’s corporatist and militarist politics have for two years been on full screen surround sound stereo the Dyson-ites have to call for more bold action as if this was all that was lacking. What the Dyson-ites miss or cannot afford to publicly acknowledge is that Obama is and has been just like Bush and regarding foreign policy more so. Obama is out Bushing Bush! If you have doubts just ask the people of Yemen who will now be dodging the same predator drone missiles Obama has been launching on the people of Pakistan since he took office. And isn’t this just sadly humorous considering Pakistan remains officially an ally of the United States, so much so that during this week’s visit to India Obama was asked why he supports what one young man said of Pakistan, a “terrorist state.”

Dyson and the Dyson-ites are more than encouraged to join the Black Is Back rally November 13 in Washington, D.C. where they might reconnect with the genuine traditions of liberation struggle.”

And as if to simply further a defense of his indefensible position Dyson’s next video is actually an invective against the young, Black youth in particular, who he says lacked the boldness, the “intestinal fortitude” to stand with the president and vote this mid-term. He upholds the conservative ideology of the underclass who are simply too lazy and filled with “self-pity” to help themselves out of their misery. He tells them to, in fact, “grow a pair of brains” and get over themselves and their “self-indulgence.” Even in the same publication, though he reaches equally spurious conclusions that call for more boldness by the Democrats as if that is why they traditionally abandon any real progressivism, James Rucker outlines why Black youth might not have been so excited to come out to vote. Sixteen percent overall Black unemployment and 45% unemployment for Black teens might be part of it. Maybe it’s the choice Democratic leaders make to imprison rather than educate Black and Brown children. Or looking at this week’s non-sentence imposed on killer cop Johannes Mehserle in the Oscar Grant case, or the police beating in Philadelphia of Askia Sabur, or the vicious assault by police on a student at Roxbury Community College or the more rallies needed to save the lives of Troy Davis and Mumia Abu-Jamal have had something to do with Obama’s “enthusiasm gap.”

The Dyson-ites have quite hypocritically denied pre-election education, critical analysis, and movement-development by their only seasonal push to get out the vote and their pre-Obama-election stamping out of dissent. To only now return two years later to blame Black youth for not sheepishly returning to the polls on cue to save a man and a party that cannot even be said to have turned on them because they never were with them in the first place is just ridiculous. Whether it was a foolish refusal to engage the youth vote this time around or a well-planned attempt to triangulate themselves out of having to act on their own false claims of progressivism, the fact remains that for two years nothing has been done to earn the support of the youth and their refusal to return should be seen as more revolutionary than cowardly.

Dyson and the Dyson-ites are more than encouraged to join the Black Is Back rally November 13 in Washington, D.C. where they might reconnect with the genuine traditions of liberation struggle that should be flamed into the movements that will produce the leadership they claim they want. But whatever you do, take it from the Peter Tosh classic anthem, “You Can’t Blame the Youth!”

For Black Agenda Radio I’m Jared Ball.

Bookmark and make your daily visit online to BlackAgendaReport.com. And for a more complete and honest look at the condition of the youth and their response to the mid-term elections hear our round table radio discussion on Hip-Hop and Politics with activists and educators Lumumba Bandele, Rosa Clemente and Dr. Chris Tinson online at voxunion.com.

Jared Ball can be reached via email at: freemixradio@gmail.com.

Direct download: 20101110_jb_BlackYouth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47pm EST

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The mortgage foreclosure “robo-signing” scandal has morphed into a crisis of credibility and legality that goes to the core of the U.S. banking system. The bankers can handle desperate homeowners and cowardly politicians. However, Wall Street’s denizens will soon “turn on one another like frenzied, fat, white cannibals – just as they did in 2008” – over which pig owes which.

 

The Banksters’ Last Meal

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The bankers will be tearing themselves to shreds.”

Nothing stands in the way of Wall Street establishing a dictatorship of the billionaires that will last a thousand years – nothing, that is, except the laws of political economy and the unchangeable imperatives of the banksters, themselves. If it seems that the pace of financial crises is quickening, you’re right, and you best get used to it. Finance capitalism cannot be saved – that’s why it has created an alternative universe in which the Lords of Capital gamble all day and night with phony money notionally worth ten times the value of all the goods and services produced by all the peoples of the world. The very existence of such “derivatives” is proof that finance capitalism some time ago reached the point at which it could not survive on the rates of profit available down here on planet Earth. So Wall Street created its own $600 trillion casino universe, whose main connection with the real world is to use it as collateral for its gambling ventures. Unfortunately, there is not enough real world to cover their wild parties and huge debts – which must ultimately be paid in real money, not derivatives.

Having created an alternative economy fueled by phony money, the banks decided it was perfectly alright to separate themselves from the earthly rule of law – laws written over generations mainly by other bankers, but within whose constraints the current Lords of Capital find it impossible to live. In order to sell toxic mortgages at top prices, the bankers chopped them up and made them into sausages. Then they sold these securitized sausages to each other used them as collateral on those hundreds of trillions of dollar bets they were making with each other in the alternative universe. It seems that every single mortgage originated between 2005 and 2008 was processed illegally, its ownership technically, and perhaps literally, unprovable. And, of course, one cannot foreclose on what one does not own.

It seems that every single mortgage originated between 2005 and 2008 was processed illegally, its ownership technically, and perhaps literally, unprovable.”

The massive black hole of fraud in the core of the mortgage securities trade was first revealed by homeowners contesting foreclosure. Homeowner suits could pose a serious problem, but not one that bankers worth trillions can't handle. And Wall Street owns both the executive and legislative branches of government. So what if a fraud is at the center of trillions of dollars in transactions, upon which have been built hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivatives bets in the alternative banking universe? In 21st century America, Wall Street need fear no one.

No one, except itself. The bankers will be tearing themselves to shreds. Normal people like you and me don't own securities made up of illegally processed mortgages – the banks do, and the government that the banks effectively control. The bankers defrauded each other, and as the crisis deepens, they will turn on one another like frenzied, fat, white cannibals – just as they did in 2008. And so it will transpire in each succeeding crisis of a dying finance capitalism. Finance capitalists are carnivorous parasites, who spend most of their lives eating each other. Soon, sooner than you think, they will have their last meal. For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20101103_gf_BankFraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:09pm EST