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.
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.
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."
Johnson, of Seattle, vigorously defends the former Senator.
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.
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
being accused of trampling on Moseley-Braun's right to
run for the presidency. "The operative question,"
"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."
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:
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
that it goads folks that Moseley-Braun is a woman, and a Black
one at that, running in an election filled with men.
Ms. Braun! In the first round of voting she has my vote.
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.
is a social activist from Kansas City. He has specific questions
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
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.
Sharpton's Battle to Transform the Democrats in this issue)
for the almighty dollar
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."
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.
also directs his remarks to Dr. Ebron.
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.
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.
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
has every reason to suspect ulterior motives behind the war
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.
Ebron is a genius soothsayer, with such deep sociopolitical
and economic knowledge that she teaches her reader on 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
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 you off.
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 jailhouse anxieties.
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.
gets all misty in the presence of the truth - a rare commodity
in the U.S., these days.
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.
Voice on oil, dollars and race
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.
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 of currency).
I 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 Native Americans.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
correctness and basic compassion for humanity doesn't have
to disappear at the end of a human-made boundary.
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.
Connecticut, was recently subjected to such packaged nonsense.
was only a bookmark away.
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!
known as Robbie has dropped Colin Powell's given name entirely,
and coined him a new one.
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
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.
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?
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 debate.
Robinson practices medicine in Alabama. With no assistance from
the corporate media, Dr. Robinson found a documented vector
of today's looming conflagration.
As 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
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
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.
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 of Baghdad.
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
It's exactly what I enjoy reading most: intelligent, articulate,
and straight-to-the-heart-of the-matter writing. Thank you
ponders the kind of nation that gives assent to crimes against
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.
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
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.
my first articles are your site today. I love what you are
doing. How can your readers help? Spread the word?
is already helping us in our mission, which is to encourage
the conversation among African Americans and progressives about
What Is To Be Done.
does his bit, daily, in the trenches of education. He writes
to us from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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 page.
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