On this occasion of The Black
Anniversary, we the publishers salute you, our readers. You are
a very special group of people, now numbering between 30,000 and
40,000 unique visitors per weekly issue – nearly 100,000 individuals
We know you are a special group, because we picked the first 20,000
or so of you, based on your political activism and influence, as
we prepared to launch the site on April 5, 2002. Most of the rest
of you were introduced to us by extremely intelligent friends and
co-strugglers. Without a doubt, is
blessed with the smartest audience on the Internet – people whose
opinions shape the views of many others. You are the catalysts
for change; we are simply here to assist as you contemplate how
to effect these changes.
Ours is a political mission – as is yours. The twin evils of corporate
dominance over civil society and racial oppression – and the ghastly
horror of war – leave no room for ambivalence about the duties
of decent citizens who are also journalists: they must fight the
powers that be. For most of the history of Black people in the
United States, the obligations of advocacy for justice were a given
among African American journalists. Oppression and exploitation
are objective realities, not questionable notions to be carefully
balanced by lies. Liars and thieves have no rights that honest
men and women are bound to respect. There was a time when such
values were near-universally understood among African Americans
who called themselves journalists. No more. Now, for far too many,
journalism has become simply one more route to individual upward
mobility, devoid of social obligation and contemptuous of truth.
conceived as a fighting journal, a tool to aid our people
in righteous struggle. The journalist’s mission should be to provide
a framework of facts and analysis that serves his fellow humans.
The journalist’s unique calling is to warn his co-humans of impending
dangers, or inform them of emerging possibilities for progress.
All else is pretense, self-serving, and dishonest.
We did not at first realize how critical a role would
play in the unfolding African American saga. But 2002 was a bellwether
year, when the corporate Right launched its electoral offensive
against the historical Black Political Consensus, massively infiltrating
the Black wing of the Democratic Party. Corporate money had never
been deployed so directly to distort the politics of Black America. arrived
on the scene just in time to intervene in the mayoral race in Newark,
New Jersey, where the Bradley Foundation’s Black Trojan Horse candidate,
Cory Booker, a product of the phony, white-Right funded voucher “movement,” was
challenging Sharpe James. We exposed Booker
as a mercenary, and take credit for preventing the capture of a
major Black city by our people’s worst enemies, now parading in
In the process, we also made the front page of the New York Times
in the first two weeks of publication. has
consistently “made” news, ever since – not by serving the Master,
but by fighting him.
Newark Mayor Sharpe James secured a narrow
victory, but Alabama Rep. Earl Hilliard and Georgia Congresswoman
Cynthia McKinney were
ousted by the same corporate money machine – with the massive assistance
of corporate media. Shamefully, many Black hirelings in the corporate
press joined in framing the Right’s message: that African Americans
were becoming more conservative.
The reality was that, on an historically unprecedented scale,
key African Americans were being bought. In 2005, at least eight members
of the Congressional Black Caucus are serving the interests of
corporate America, not their Black constituents. The entrance of
Big Capital into Black Democratic politics has created a
political crisis. is
in the forefront of explaining and confronting this new threat.
So avaricious are our antagonists, they are now acting like cannibals,
attempting to devour the American state, as we reported on March
24, 2005 and as Maya Rockeymoore explains in her explosive
analysis of Bush policy toward social insurance in the current
The threats multiply, and require a vigorous, much more aggressive
journalism. Most importantly, what is necessary is a Black journalism
that defends the interests of the people as a whole, rather than
African American luminaries who are increasingly on the payroll
of the enemy.
We will try to be that voice.