Moseley-Braun's participation in the Democratic primaries provides
the first opportunity
to observe how African American and non-Black politicians operate
when more than one Black is on the presidential ballot. In coming
months we will discover a great deal about the workings of the Democratic
Party, the corporate media, and the primary electorate.
two Black candidates are already well known. Rev. Al Sharpton brings
with him all of the skills - and baggage - of three-plus tumultuous
decades of civil rights struggles. Carol Moseley Braun will forever
be connected to the superlative of "first" Black female
U.S. Senator (1992 - 98), a post in which she managed to make even
less noise than did Republican Edward Brooke (R-MA, 1966 - 78),
the first Black to serve in that body since Reconstruction. Brooke
was known as the "quiet man" of the Senate, who eschewed
anything that smacked of political "posturing." During
her six years in the Senate, Moseley-Braun's profile was near invisible.
Chicagoan did not decide to enter the primaries until the year-end
holidays. In last week's commentary "Moseley-Braun
and the Game to Contain Sharpton,"
stated, "She is, purely and simply, the 'I'm not Al' candidate."
Ann Johnson, of Seattle, vigorously defends the former Senator.
don't agree with your article regarding Carolyn Moseley-Braun's
candidacy. She has a right to run. This woman has served
as a US Senator (from which many presidential candidates ascend)
and as an Illinois State legislator. In what political office
has Al Sharpton served? Being a "Rev." alone, does not
give you the credentials to serve as President! I'm tired of Black
leadership always coming from the pulpit.
now need leaders to emerge who have political as well as business
experience come to the fore. Carolyn has a better chance of winning
than Al Sharpton; I think she is more qualified. That has to matter
- doesn't it? Plus, we need to wait and see what these candidates
stand for - all of them - before we start pitting one against
the other and accusing one of joining the race just to be a spoiler
for another. Please!
Would your criticism of another black male candidate
be as harsh as your criticism of Moseley-Braun? I wonder? You
brothers ought to start learning how to support the sisters at
something! If for no other reason than she's qualified!
We don't usually arrogantly jump out there for shoes we are not
qualified to fill.
anticipated being accused of trampling on Moseley-Braun's right
to run for the presidency. "The operative question," said
"is not why an individual desires to become President, but
why others decide to support him or her." We remain convinced
that, "If Moseley-Braun hasn't consciously taken on the role
of spoiler, then she is whimsical in the extreme - far too flighty
to be taken seriously."
reject Ms. Johnson's baseless charge of sexism.
could compile a wish list of former and current Black female officeholders
whose name we would never connect to the pejorative, "spoiler":
DC Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, California Congresswoman Barbara
Lee, and former Georgia Rep. Cynthia McKinney, for starters. They
chose not to run. Moseley-Braun, on the other hand, busied herself
telling all who would listen that she wanted to make another run
for the Senate. Democratic moneybags didn't want to hear that. "Instead,"
we wrote, " somebody offered Moseley-Braun another assignment
for the 'good of the party' - one for which no white person is qualified
and few Blacks are foolish enough to accept: stop Sharpton."
Moseley-Braun stalwart, Deborah Barabino, takes us to task:
think that Ms. Braun can and should run for President regardless
of who invited her to, or who is willing to pay for her candidacy.
Rev. Sharpton has the right to run as well as she. Black voters
have as varied an opinion as any other group in this country.
Certainly in the initial stages of any election we can vote for
candidates that have absolutely no chance of winning the coveted
office. However, the role that Rev. Jackson played in previous
elections was to make sure the issues of Blacks and other marginalized
people were on the front burner of national discussion.
suspect that it goads folks that Moseley-Braun is a woman, and
a Black one at that, running in an election filled with men.
for Ms. Braun! In the first round of voting she has my vote.
corporate media appears to have been successful in preventing Ms.
Barabino from hearing Rev. Sharpton's well developed positions on
a wide range of issues - although he was caught with his overalls
down when questioned about farm policy in Iowa, recently.
Moseley-Braun's newly revealed stances on war and other issues differ
in no important degree from Sharpton's, reinforcing the impression
that she is the "I'm not Al" candidate.
Kiebler is a social activist from Kansas City. He has specific questions
find myself having mixed feelings about Carol Moseley-Braun's
run for President. While I think it is great an African-American
woman is running for President, I fear she is also being used
in a presidential race the way Denise Majette was used against
Congressperson Cynthia McKinney in her re-election bid. In this
case, I believe the person intended for defeat is the Reverend
Al Sharpton. Sharpton has been more and more vocal about opposing
a war on Iraq.
I understand that Ms. Moseley-Braun might be opposed to the war
as well, I don't believe she has been as open as Sharpton. I'm
also concerned about Ms. Moseley-Braun's support of the late General
Sani Abacha of Nigeria. I'm sure you already know about the death
of Ken Saro-Wiwa [the world-renowned Nigerian poet executed in
1995] and the responsibility of the Abacha
regime. The Multinational
Monitor claims Moseley-Braun was getting paid junkets to visit
with Abacha. I don't wish any harm for Ms. Moseley-Braun, but
I do not savor the prospect of one African-American pitted against
another one in a presidential race.
Al Sharpton's Battle
to Transform the Democrats in this issue)
for the almighty dollar
world is slowly awakening to the structural conflict underlying
the U.S. war on Iraq, which is at root a war for dollar supremacy.
In her brilliant analysis "Why
African Americans Should Oppose the War" (February 20),
Dr. Sonja Ebron shows that U.S. rulers are desperate to maintain
the dollar as the sole currency for the world's oil purchases. "An
OPEC switch from the dollar to the euro would bring a quick and
devastating dollar and Wall Street crash that would make 1929 look
like a $50 casino bet," Dr. Ebron wrote. "Iraq's currency
action adds urgency to the coming oil price and supply crisis, so
our leaders have moved to control both the flow and the currency
denomination of oil."
Baccouche read Dr. Ebron's piece, and saw the light.
Excellent! Consciousness-raising! Thank you Dr. Ebron for so eloquently
expressing the arguments on "Why African-Americans should
oppose the War". You have cleared the smoke (chaos) so that
we can finally see the fire. This is a "Must Read" and
a "Wake-up Call" for every African-American. It is an
overwhelmingly urgent appeal for all of us to get involved in
the anti-war movement and not support America's immoral foreign
policy whereby the killing of innocent non-whites is insignificant
in its efforts to legitimize armed robbery.
Tripp also directs his remarks to Dr. Ebron.
just read your piece on Oil, the Euro, and Africa, and it's excellent
(saw it on Counterpunch
although I get the newsletter as well). Thanks for writing it.
This administration's enmity toward the euro is the real enemy
in this war, and the exchange rate will be measured in African
lives - here and in Africa.
someone whose ancestors left Africa half a million years ago,
I believe your publication is an excellent vehicle for people
of all races to understand black issues in the world.
Buono writes, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida:
give Dr. Ebron my congratulations and thanks for an incredible
primer on the state of world affairs from every perspective of
race and culture, and thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.
Amos has every reason to suspect ulterior motives behind the war
was quite pleased to have been made aware of your website. Today
is my first reading of it and I must say I did enjoy many of the
articles especially the article on why we as blacks should oppose
the war. Let me say that I am an African American male, who served
in Viet Nam in the late 60's. I know the horror of war having
been in numerous firefights over a year's period of time. As a
Project Phoenix participant killing was second nature to us. If
given a picture of a supposed enemy we stalked and killed in the
name of "democracy." Years later the question became
whose democracy and in whose eye. I oppose the war and am vocal
in that position. Kudos on that article.
John Furnish laments that he cannot effectively share Dr. Ebron's
insights with his students.
Sonja Ebron is a genius soothsayer, with such deep sociopolitical
and economic knowledge that she teaches her reader on many, many
I only sorrow that I cannot share her powerful
insights with my students (about why African Americans should
not support the impending war) because they have been made literary
cripples in this Philadelphia public school where I teach. It's
true - black kids, however powerfully intelligent they are, and
they are - are disadvantaged from the beginning, and now
in ninth grade I'm losing the battle to save most of my students.
It isn't even that I'm a white male teacher,
and the gangsta rap culture and negligent parenting are only two
elements of the causes. The true root causes, in the long analysis,
are capitalism and one of its great support pillars, racism.
There is no more time. I'm glad for my background
as a radical and my discovery of The Black Commentator as one
of my primary sources of sociopolitical thought and information.
Your publication is actually essential for the
entire working class, in America and the world. It has impeccable
honesty, deep insight and all-around editorial excellence, never
mind the timely stories and commentary.
It is an essential publication to working-class
conscious radicals of all stripes. I shall be with you until the
government finds you to be a threat to its ability to misinform
the masses, and I may well be with you in jail once they cart
May you have the honor of sitting in the cell
next to Leonard Peltier, the great Native American activist.
Mr. Furnish (say we, with mixed emotions.) Such a day may not be
far off. ( See In
the Time of Disappeared People in this issue)
Robert E. Reynolds, of Orange Park, Florida, rescued us from our
have done a real public service with this article. You provided
info I have not seen elsewhere that can be used to fight these
fascist bastards. Many, many thanks.
Nilsen gets all misty in the presence of the truth - a rare commodity
in the U.S., these days.
Ebron's Analysis: "Why African Americans Should Oppose the
War" is so damned informative and well written that it brought
tears to my white eyes.
If all of our public discourse in this "civilized"
world were so incisive, erudite, and most of all civil, perhaps
we'd get somewhere. This is how progress is made.
Thank you, Dr. Ebron. Thank you Black Commentator.
Indian Voice on oil, dollars and race
Iyer is a visiting professor at the Department of Mathematics, Indiana
University, at Bloomington. We are pleased to share Prof. Iyer's
perspective on wealth, privilege and war fever in America.
read the article "Why African Americans Should Oppose The
War" by Dr. Sonja Ebron. It was a very good article, explaining
many things that I was not aware of (explaining the relevance
am an Indian immigrant over here. For a long time I have felt
the burden of enjoying the benefits of slavery. All these institutions
of higher learning, all these companies, all this wealth in this
country, carries some stain, even if a little, of the dispossession
and oppression of the African origin people and of course, the
the same time, I have felt very frustrated seeing Dr. Rice and
General Powell support this war (and actually any war for that
matter). Just as we immigrants have benefited from the oppression
and dispossession of slaves and the original inhabitants, cheap
oil prices in the US (brought about by having utter contempt for
others' lives and aspirations) have kept this society prosperous
and given power and voice to people like Dr. Rice and General
Powell. In other words, we seem to all be culpable for the misery
of people, here or there.
the television when I hear someone or the other saying things
like "Whites and Blacks are united since the Sept.11th,"
I really do not understand what that is supposed to mean. Are
whites and blacks going to be united just as the Jewish and Christians
have? For the persecution that the Jewish people faced in Europe,
the Arabs have had to pay (and still are paying) very dearly.
For the oppression that African Americans have undergone in the
US, who will have to pay very dearly? Afghans? Iraqis? Who?
can already see a lot of effort being put in by television, movies,
magazines where the good guys are whites and blacks, whereas the
bad guys are the bearded Arabs.
mainstream American media, American scholars and politicians,
take great pleasure in highlighting the ills of other societies.
Being an Indian, I know exactly what it is to be on the receiving
end. "Hindus and Muslims killing each other", "Being
a Hindu is same as practicing untouchability", "How
they burn their wives", " How they treat their animals"....
The same American media/scholars/politicians would think it extremely
racist (and rightly so) to scrutinize African Americans or Jewish
Americans so contemptuously.
the immigrants, are told that the American society has come a
long way from its racist past and that non-Americans are just
too immature to handle their problems. I ask Americans to take
note that just as it is racist to express contempt for colored
Americans, it is racist to express contempt for colored non-Americans.
correctness and basic compassion for humanity doesn't have to
disappear at the end of a human-made boundary.
"new" Colin Powell
of the corporate media's job is to exaggerate minor differences
within the War Party in order to squeeze the entire public discussion
into the cracks that separate Killer Tweedle Dumb and Executioner
Tweedle Dee. Through this process, we are given a "choice"
between the "dovish" Colin Powell and "hawks"
such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Corporate voices urge
us to listen closely to variations in tone and 'tude within the
Bush administration, while accepting the inherently aggressive premises
that are shared by all of the loathsome players.
from Connecticut, was recently subjected to such packaged nonsense.
was only a bookmark away.
recently viewed the life story of Colin Powell on cable television,
and was left believing that Colin was not the multidimensional
man I had believed him to be. Your recent in-depth material on
Colin has confirmed every one of my suspicions. Thank you for
being out there. I will forward your insightful material to many.
Be blessed, my Brother!
reader known as Robbie has dropped Colin Powell's given name entirely,
and coined him a new one.
friend Paul recently wrote and ended his remarks with "Didn't
Colon Powell use to be Black? What's up with that?" I replied
that he used to also be touted as the voice of moderation in the
Bushit Administration. Cool, calm and collected Colin. But, now
that he is so enthralled with his self that he can do a power
point show (and tell) and he can succeed in sucking in a few folks
to endorse a slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent people,
he has become "Colon". Two incidents illustrate why.
one of the other talks that Colon gave at the UN after his power
point sent Microsoft stock price up, he insisted that the painting
above and behind the room's podium be covered up. The painting
was a print of the Picasso Guernica. The painting shows
the utter horror to man and beast of the Nazi experimental holocaust
on a small defenseless Spanish village using a "massive show
of force" the Nazis called Blitzkrieg, and it is a clue to
what the U.S. has in store for the City of Baghdad, Iraq.
is therefore not surprising that Colon Bowell, who used to give
a shit, who is now obstructed with Bushit, insisted that the painting
be covered up before he began his spiel. What else does Colon
intend to cover up? Will he succeed in covering the Asses of Evil?
corporate media also pretend to suffer from selective amnesia, a
peculiar malady that allows them to remember every negative detail
(or press invention) of Al Sharpton's involvement in the Tawana
Brawley case, but blots out whole areas of recent American history.
The U.S. alliance with Saddam Hussein during eight years of poison
gas-filled war with Iran in the Eighties, for example, disappears
from the corporate media record. Similarly, the impending war against
Iraq is depicted as something that has been forced on the Bush administration,
rather than the result of long years of planning and very public
Audra Robinson practices medicine in Alabama. With no assistance
from the corporate media, Dr. Robinson found a documented vector
of today's looming conflagration.
a veteran, I had actually viewed the original "Wolfowitz
Memorandum" where he attempts to set forth American hegemonic
and imperialist policy, immediately after Gulf War I (circa 1992).
This document was and is the playbook that is used by the current
Bush administration to orchestrate the takeover of Middle East
oil. Paul Wolfowitz also authored an open letter in 1998 (which
led to the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998) which was to encourage
then President Bill Clinton to overthrow Saddam Hussein, and Mr.
Wolfowitz and Richard Perle co-authored the Iraq invasion policy
of then presidential candidate GWB in the year 2000. (So it seems
this "war" has been in the works for at least 10 years.)
an article that I ran across last November. I hope that it is
as enlightening for you as it was for me. I pride myself on being
informed, but I did not know all of the true "players"
in today's war politics... The attached article lists all of the
members of the Bush cabal (both Bush I and Bush II administrations)
who are really responsible for the current Middle East
policies, and it shows who stands to gain the most from this so-called
war (Halliburton, Inc.).
is the perfect venue to get this kind of information out to the
urge you to view the pdf file in Dr. Robinson's letter. The document
includes a link to a 1998 Open
Letter by 40 hot-breathed warmongers, calling for "a comprehensive
political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam and his
regime." At the top of the list of signers are Dick Cheney
and Donald Rumsfeld, now Vice President and Secretary of Defense.
years later, the world finds itself at...
to "Shock and Awe"
it comes, the U.S. assault on Iraq will explode as global spectacle,
an awesome pyrotechnic display of rolling thunder and lightening
death intended to shock and cow the entire planet. The effect, the
planners fervently believe, will be comparable to that which occurred
when cannon clashed with spears and arrows on the ever-expanding
frontiers of European empire: incomprehensible devastation, soul-consuming
terror, complete political disintegration, followed by abject submission.
In the grand imperial scenario, the satraps and sultans of the Earth,
heads bowed at angles of unmistakable subservience, will gather
up their robes and beseech the Americans for life on any terms."
of All War Shows,"
Morris, of Los Angeles, counts down along with the rest of us to
the hour when 800 missiles will begin raining down on the metropolis
clicked on a link in BuzzFlash.com
and found this outstanding commentary on "The Mother of All
War Shows." So I just had to write to thank you - and compliment
you - on publishing it. I thought it was absolutely brilliant.
It's exactly what I enjoy reading most: intelligent,
articulate, and straight-to-the-heart-of the-matter writing. Thank
you so much.
Taylor ponders the kind of nation that gives assent to crimes against
upon your site one day a couple months ago when I was toolin'
around the web looking for some good and insightful commentary.
This Bush trick is enough to drive a man to drink or to stand
up. I've been standing up for a while now, so it was great to
reach your site, read what you brothers are saying about things,
and to perceive that you cut it right to the quick! I've told
all those I know about your site. A week is too long to have to
wait for your work. But I understand the energy it takes and the
resources it consumes to do good work consistently.
a commercial that plays showing some suburban street with flags
adorned all over every surface while a voice intones about how
9-11 changed America, ending with (I think) "It did"
with a pan of the flags propped on every house and lawn in sight.
I think 9-11 changed AmeriKKa also, but the "patriotism"
is just a sham for the weakness and degeneracy in the America
the rest of the world shrinks from.
me, Bush is trying to make good on his supposed off-hand remarks
that if he "was dictator" everything would be simpler
and is pushing to make your basic undereducated, over-privileged,
self-righteous and ignorant US citizen so fearful that he can
foist a "burning of the Reichstag" scenario to justify
suspending the Constitution and elections, declare martial law,
and name himself the "Leader". The consistent lies,
fault-finding with the "other" (but never a potent 'Other'),
and the constant invoking of the word "Providence",
bring to mind the flag waving rantings of a mad-man from the previous
century who mesmerized the people of what had been the leading
economic and military power of Europe. That earlier madman invoked
God as it suited his purposes and declared he was the state and
the state was himself and all allegiance was to him, and the current
occupant of the seat of power in this nation is certainly as jingoistic
Nixon is a Dallas attorney and father of three - a responsible fellow
who cares about the planet. We're glad he thinks well enough of
us to write.
read my first articles are your site today. I love what you are
doing. How can your readers help? Spread the word?
Nixon is already helping us in our mission, which is to encourage
the conversation among African Americans and progressives about
What Is To Be Done.
Billings does his bit, daily, in the trenches of education. He writes
to us from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
just wanted to let you know that I enjoy you regular email alerts.
I find your articles insightful, to the point and (thankfully!)
relatively brief. They are also very readable. I especially enjoyed
your coverage of Cynthia McKinney's race in Georgia last fall.
I have been a big fan of hers.
have been actively involved in the ABC (A Better Chance) program
for 7 years. This program offers minority youth (mostly Black
and Hispanic teenagers) the opportunity to attend high school
in our school district (Wallingford/Swarthmore, PA). We are the
longest running public school ABC program (25 years) in the country.
We have a total of 16 kids- 8 girls and 8 boys who attend the
local high school. All expenses are covered - we have a 90% college
graduation rate for our students.
worry about the role models our kids see - they have the benefit
of being well educated, but are still influenced by the mass media,
TV, etc. Maybe I should direct them to your web site - they are
far more computer savvy than this creaky old ABC board member!
the faith and the excellent reporting - I read every issue.
Dunkley is also a regular reader of .
He says, "The only belly laughs I get these days are when someone
has the balls to tell it like it is."
is a line that is being drawn, and this might be the event that
we have been preparing for since the 60's. Just as the Hitler
horror was analyzed as the greatest evil in history over the last
half century, I believe what is flowering now will be one day
understood as its cursed successor into that shameful category.
us keep our brains sharpened by tuning in and disseminating the
truth as shared by you, with style and wit no less; you guys are
a shining example, right up there with Alternet
and Counterpunch, which incidentally was how I found you. I bookmarked
so that it will become a daily part of the political education
the mass media has been withholding from me my whole life, and
without which I would maybe be putty in some fool's hands. Thank
you from the bottom of my heart, for your courage and perception,
humor (black, the funniest) - in short, for helping me
keep the faith.
to the thousands of you who found us through BlackVoices.com
the biggest referrers to our address, this month, and to LiberalOasis.com,
who also sent lots of intelligent readers our way. (Counterpunch.org,
are also linked elsewhere on this page.) To view a list of all the
Websites we find informative and inspiring please visit our Links
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