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Black Agenda Report - Feb. 21, 2007

Black Agenda Report - Feb. 21, 2007


The latest issue of Black Agenda Report, dated Feb. 21, 2007 is now available on the internet at www.blackagendareport.com.

Racism is the Growth Engine of the American Prison Gulag
by BAR Managing Editor Glen Ford

The U.S. prison system is projected to suck up 200,000 additional bodies between now and 2011, half of them African American. The burden of the Gulag, which has grown eightfold since 1970, is unbearable for Black America, whose institutions and dreams have for two generations been ravaged by a public policy of mass Black incarceration. The very existence of the American Gulag - the largest and most pervasive prison system in the history of mankind - presents a clear and present threat to U.S. society at-large, as the Bush men scheme to assassinate the Constitution in their bogus War on Terror. Over the past two decades, an infrastructure of social death has been constructed, that may ultimately become the tomb of American freedoms. It is past time to place a cap on any further expansion of the American Gulag, lest it swallow us all.

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Freedom Rider -- America the Stupid
by BAR Editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley

The chairman of one of the most powerful committees in the Texas legislature thinks the sun and planets revolve around the Earth. A U.S. congressman cites Davy Crockett at the Alamo to justify the Iraq war. America's collective IQ is fatally undermined by the worship of white supremacy, religious fundamentalism and capitalism - a core belief in "manifest destiny" that fuels aggressive wars against other nations and opposes reality, itself. The problem isn't just the Bush gang and the corporate media: it's the people, stupid!

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A Domestic Marshall Plan to Transform America's "Dark Ghettos"
by Dr. Ron Daniels

Black America must revive the concept of a Domestic Marshall Plan to reverse the deterioration of the nation's ‘dark ghettos' - most immediately, to restore New Orleans' exiled population. Dr. Daniel's suggests the campaign be called the Martin Luther King-Malcolm X Community Revitalization Initiative, a mobilization to begin on April 4. The guiding principle behind the campaign must be the idea that oppressed people should exercise the power to control their communities and the conviction that every person in this country is entitled to enjoy certain basic human rights, as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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Army Grants "Moral Waivers" For Recruitment
By Paul Street

Faced with declining enlistments, especially among the Black youth military age pool, the top brass have lowered their standards byintroducing euphemistically named, "moral waivers" for prospective soldiers with criminal records. The author, a determined foe of the relentless stigmatization of persons caught up in the U.S. criminal justice system, argues that the most "antisocial" elements in the nation are those who launched the illegal Iraq war in the first place: George Bush and his cronies. More defiance of authority in the military might be a good thing, under the circumstances.

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The Hearts of Darkness: How European Writers Created the Racist Image of Africa
Part Five
by Milton Allimadi

The defeat of British troops by an African, Muslim army at Khartoum, Sudan in 1885 sent shockwaves throughout the European world. The Mahdi's triumph over colonial forces challenged both white and Christian notions of supremacy over "black savages" and "Mohammedans," sparking fears that all North Africa might rise in revolt. European and American "journalists" dubbed the Mahdi a "madman" - as if one must be mad to challenge white rule in Africa. Newspapers reworked old articles on African cannibalism and Muslim treachery, extolling white Christian rule as a civilizing necessity.

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Americans Prepare to Sieze Iraq's Oil
by BAR Managing Editor Glen Ford

In a bid to achieve by legalistic trickery that which it could not win through war, the U.S.-crafted Iraq Oil Law is now under consideration by the Iraqi cabinet. The law would vastly advantage multinational oil corporations; devolve contracting authority to regions and sub-regions, thus marginalizing the Iraqi central government; lock Iraq into 35-year exploration and drilling deals; and prohibit Iraq from deciding how much oil it will export. In short, the proposed law would negate the very concept of national sovereignty. However, even if the measure is signed into law, it will be renounced by whoever comes out on top in the current conflict.

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Mardi Gras 2007 - Lessons From New Orleans
by Bruce Dixon

In the 17 months since Katrina we have seen the dispossession and dispersal of a black city of hundreds of thousands with no effective challenge from black leadership. What lessons can we learn from this? And why are some black folks in New Orleans still dancing for free this Mardi Gras?

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