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On this occasion of The Black Commentator’s Third 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 per month.

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.

was 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 blackface.

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 issue.

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.

Your comments are always welcome.

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Thank you very much for your readership.

 

April 7 2005
Issue 133

is published every Thursday.

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