It is the journalist's responsibility to bring bad news, and the political analyst's job to explore the meaning of events. The Bush Administration, acting as a kind of clearinghouse for thieves, threatens to overload the nation's dwindling chroniclers of political crime. Writer Cheryl Seal's kind words for our November 21 essay, "War for Private Profit," did a world of good for our morale.

proves the old adage, "'tis an ill wind that blows no good." Though there has never been a fouler, more withering wind than that belched out by the Bush administration, it has obviously fueled a passion in your writers that has driven them to fantastic heights of the craft. The Essay on Bush's War for Profit is absolutely brilliant. It combines a powerful, solid statement with a literary passion that shines - Tom Paine himself would have been filled with admiration. It is this kind of writing that just may ignite a spark in the public's apparently dead-ash consciousness.

You are an inspiration to all of us. Congratulations on your wonderful work.

We hoped to contribute something of value to an understanding of African American internal political structures through our analysis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies survey of Black opinion, also in our last issue. In evaluating the JCPES data, we confirmed a number of beliefs we already held, and discovered some new and important trends in our people's evolving political life. Dr. Paul Beckett wrote to say he also found the piece useful.

Terrific analysis of opinion data in today's -- thank you!!!

(P.S.: I'm a polisci Ph.D. with some experience with survey data.)

Needless to say, accepted Dr. Beckett's evaluation as a scholarly benediction - with all due humility, of course. (See "Poll Shows Black Political Consensus Strong," November 21.)

Youth is wasted on the...

Not through our efforts, but his own, Black Memphis Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. has been sucking up a lot of news time, lately. We have not enjoyed the experience, which is much like having to review a performance by an actor who embarrasses himself and the rest of the theater company with every mangled line. Thus, it is good to know that Eddgra Fallin, of Huntsville, Alabama, shares our reluctant assessment of the man, and is already looking sideways at the Democrats' new House Leader.

Thank you for your commentary on Harold Ford, Jr. He is a tool for the right wing. He is only thinking about himself, not the masses of people.

Nancy Pelosi had best check herself. She was on Tim Russert's show Sunday saying "we stand shoulder to shoulder" with the President. I don't want to stand shoulder to shoulder with Bush on anything and I don't want my so-called leaders doing that either.

It's the Media, Stupid! Why doesn't BET stop playing those worthless music videos and become a full time public affairs program? They should be using all that precious airtime to enlighten and empower the people.

Unfortunately for Ms. Fallin and the rest of us, BET owner Bob Johnson is busy helping to further empower George Bush. For details on his efforts on behalf of the White House, see "BET's Black Billionaire Trojan Horse," October 3, and "Bob Johnson's Message Invades Black Radio," October 17.

But, back to Harold Ford. D. Adrian Bryan doesn't want to hear it.

Enough about Harold Ford! I'm convinced. He's an opportunist and a self-promoter, but let's not forget that when presented with an opportunity in the primary to vote for a 26 year old wet-behind-the-ears Michigan law grad. vs. a state representative, the people of Ford's district overwhelming chose wet-behind-the-ears. They got what they deserved. But please, no more Ford.

We believe that what the Black people of Memphis and the rest of the nation deserve is as thorough a discussion as we can provide on the merits of those who make a claim to Black leadership. Having said that, we also wish Ford would stand down, since he does not stand up for us. And as long as Ford continues to pump out his simple sayings for the corporate media to regurgitate, we at will keep our little light on him! (See the "Harold 'Wrong Way' Ford, Jr." section of the November 14 Briefs column.)

Bum rush the show!

This seems like a good time to point out that far too many of the subjects and personalities on the Black political menu are placed there by the corporate media to work mischief among us. We, too, wish the manufactured "leaders" and bogus "movements" would expire for lack of interest. But corporate media turns on the spotlights, and we have no choice but to expose the performance as a scam on the audience and hope the crowd will get incensed enough to shut the minstrel show down.

Which brings us to the next act in the Hard Right's bought-and-paid-for Trojan Horse Review: the heavily-financed, professionally-staffed, made from whole clothe by Milwaukee's Bradley Foundation, private school vouchers "movement."

Alan Miller, writing from Tennessee State University, became agitated over our November 14 piece, "Bush Funds Black Voucher Front Group: Your tax dollars pay for propaganda blitz." He still wonders what our complaint is about.

Why in the world would you oppose money spent to educate folks about the benefits of school vouchers? It couldn't be for racial reasons since a large majority of blacks are sick and tired of the failure of their NEA-influenced schools and favor school vouchers. I can only conclude that it is for political reasons and that you are blindly beholden to the democratic party (small "d" for obvious reasons) which is run by far left liberals who make all kinds of nice sounding promises but never follow through. Who's the fool?

Please keep me on your mailing list. I would like to see what other tomfoolery you are up to.

does not Tom, and we are not foolin'. However, Mr. Miller has come to the right place to begin his education on school vouchers. We suggest he start with our April 5 inaugural issue lead story, "Fruit of the Poisoned Tree." This investigative piece figured prominently in the 2002 State of Black America report of the National Urban League, which is available in our August 8 issue. If Mr. Miller is still unconvinced that evil men are behind vouchers - including the people who funded "The Bell Curve," Charles Murray's assault on Black intellectual capabilities - he can visit our July 11 article, "Voucher Tricksters." We also exposed the corporate media's role in inventing a phony Black constituency for vouchers, in our November 21 analysis of the JCPES national Black opinion poll.

That should keep Mr. Miller busy until our next issue.

Keep writing.

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Issue Number 18
November 28, 2002



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Other commentaries in this issue:

Commentary 1
Bush’s Domestic Enemies List... Preparing for "National Emergency"...

Commentary 2
Black Democrats Urge Media Counteroffensive... But media is no substitute for substance

Commentary 3
Secret Bomber to Probe Secrets of Bombing...

Guest Commentary
Trail of Heritage and Tears; Black Indians to meet in Oklahoma to claim their rights. By Eleanor "Gypsy" Wyatt

Iraq's Nuclear Non-Capability: Iraqi scientist tells of impoverished colleagues, defunct program. By Imad Khadduri

Commentaries in Issue 17 November 21 , 2002:

Poll Shows Black Political Consensus Strong... Analysis of JCPES survey reveals consistent class, gender, age agreement

NEWS from goes weekly

The Harold Ford Show vs Serious Democratic Business

THE CRISIS, ongoing... Homosexuals singled out?... Disgruntled readers’ revenge

War for Private Profit... Bush’s Drugs of Choice

You can read any past issue of The Black Commentator in its entirety by going to the Past Issues page.