From the Bullet to the Ballot: An Unfavorable Review of a Work on the Black Panther Party

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Historians are supposed to help us make sense of the world, by illuminating the forces and trends that shape the lives and destinies of ordinary people. But historians in the service of power do something else. Whether carelessly or carefully, they omit and distort to come up with histories that justify today's establishment as the inheritors of a noble tradition of struggle on the part of ordinary people. It's time for more people's histories of our movement, and of the historic Black Panther Party. Regrettably, this is not one of them.

The Need for an Ethical and Political De-Colonization of Human Rights: A Reflection on International Human Rights Day

By Ajamu Baraka

Can human rights rhetoric be deployed in the service of empire? You bet. In the current state of the planet, asserting human rights without fighting for local and global transformation is at best hollow, and at worst hypocritical, because the principal violators of these rights are global and transnational economic and social systems.

Eyewitness to America Betraying Mandela’s South Africa: The Gore – Mbeki Commission – Part I

by Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo

Nelson Mandela's ANC leadership negotiated the form of the new South Africa on two tracks, the political wrangling in one set of meetings, & the decisions on the nation's economic future separately at another location, headed by Thabo Mbeki. The results were predictable, as Miriam Makeba said: "We got the flag, but they got to keep the money."

The Souls of Black Boys

By Sikivu Hutchinson

Black males are now down to about 1% of current UCLA freshmen. It's neoliberal California, where black boys are destined for marginal labor if they're lucky or pipelined to prison if they're not. Still, community activists in Los Angeles are fighting back, trying to nurture and prepare the next generation of black organizers, scholars and intellectuals.

Two Parties, One Game: Barack Obama’s War on the Poor

by Pascal Robert

Enabled by the progressive chorus which barks furiously at evil racist obstructionist Republicans but ignores Democrats enforcing austerity on the poor, President Barack Obama has carried on the proud Democratic party tradition of campaigning to the left, but governing from the right, imposing neoliberal policies that Republicans could only dream of.

Unemployment Drops Mostly Because People Stop Looking: The New Normal in the Age of Black Political Empowerment

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A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Black unemployment at twice the levels of white unemployment is the old old normal. Black politicians not bothering to fight for reductions in black unemployment has now become the old normal. And the new normal, in this the age of black political empowerment, is tiny drops in unemployment driven in substantial part by large numbers of folks giving up the job search. Welcome to the new normal in unemployment.

Obama & Holder Win Court Case, Keep Thousands in Prison Under Unfair 80s Crack Sentencing Laws

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Who's opposed to mass incarceration and the prison state, and who is faking the funk? Our president and attorney general, who talk on one side of the issue and act on the other side? Our traditional civil rights outfits like the NAACP-LDF who won't speak against the nation's chief jailers as long as they have black faces?

A More Perfect Union”: Historian Henry Louis Gates Mangles, Obscures Black History

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A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

Establishment historians are whores, dedicated to presenting the past as inevitably leading to and justifying the present. Henry Louis Gates is the dean black of establishment historians, so the closer his his six part PBS series, Many Rivers To Cross came to the present, the less enlightening and informative it had to be. In its final installment, Skip Gates has lived up, or more accurately down to this challenge.

Giving Thanks For Whistleblowers, Leakers, Old and New Maroons

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A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

In these United State, built with stolen labor upon stolen land what do we legitimately possess that we can be thankful for? Our tradition of resistance to unjust authority, today carried out by our selfless and courageous whistleblowers and leakers, in the tradition of our maroons.

Obamacare is Doomed by Its Internal Logic

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Republicans had nothing to do with passing Obamacare, and they will not bring the program down. The falsely named Affordable Health Care Act is coming undone on the strength of its own contradictions. It’s not a national health program, at all – “just Obama working a scam for the insurance companies.”

Obama’s Ludicrous Afghanistan Declarations

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama thinks he can make war appear to be peace with a wave of “his semantic magic wand.” U.S. troops in Afghanistan, including elite killer teams, are to be redefined as mere “advisors” to Afghan forces so that America’s “combat” role can be declared ended – to be followed by ten more years of mass killing and occupation.

Obama and GOP Speak Same Language: Corporate Tax Cuts = Jobs

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A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

President Obama, like his Republican colleagues, says the word “jobs” when he really means “corporate tax cuts.” He lectured in the same Corp-Speak in Chattanooga, where he told low-wage workers how wonderful their bosses are, and what economic miracles could be accomplished by lavishing corporations with “incentives” to do the right thing.

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