It seems to be in the nature of plundering packs to reveal their true intentions just before going in for the kill. Something in the character of hyenas compels them to yelp involuntarily as they gather near the wounded prey. They pace and salivate, hyperventilating, hearts pounding in anticipation of the final evisceration. As if already tasting the victim’s entrails, they noisily celebrate the as yet uncompleted act – sometimes prematurely.

Thus, the Bush men telegraphed – yelped – their intention to first remake Iraq and then proceed to dominate the region and the globe – long before the first American tank crossed the Kuwaiti border. The Pirates could not resist telling the entire planet that Iraq was to become a laboratory for loony U.S. corporate think tanks – Texas on the Tigris and Euphrates. As should have been expected, all sectors of Iraqi society recoiled from the prospect. Consequently, the Pirates have no significant Iraqi allies other than the ones they imported for the occasion, and an alarmed world determinedly seeks ways to circumvent and, ultimately, free itself from American power. (See "The Pirates' Blunt, Useless Instruments,” in this issue.) The hyenas yelped too soon.

Domestically, the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) reveals its corporate-Republican nature by shamelessly reveling in George Bush’s political victories. It becomes increasingly clear to the rest of the Democratic Party that the DLC considers Bush’s successes to be their own. Every Pirate legislative and battlefield victory, each rise in the President’s poll ratings, is used as a stick to beat progressives about the head. “Don’t you see, this is a conservative country,” the DLCers snarl. “We need to be more like our President,” they hector, visibly enjoying the idea. Involuntarily, the “New Democrat” snarl turns to an ugly, spit-dripping smile. Confident that total corporate triumph is inevitable, these hyenas are laughing inappropriately, giving away the game, and provoking the current mobilization among progressive, “real” Democrats.

It’s still an open question as to who will have the last laugh. The “New Democrat” plague threatens to destroy political cohesion among African Americans, the only dependable mass base for progressive politics in America. A growing number of Black Democrats are baring their butts for branding as DLC property. In exchange for inclusion on DLC corporate contributions lists, Black “New Democrats” are displayed as evidence of a fractured Black Consensus, the subject of Associate Editor Bruce A. Dixon’s June 12 Cover Story, “Muzzling the African American Agenda – with Black Help: The DLC’s corporate dollars of destruction.

The DLC's mission is to erase the last vestiges of social democracy from the Democratic Party, so that the corporate consensus will never again be challenged in the United States. Acting as a Republican Trojan Horse in the bowels of the Democratic machinery, the DLC claims the "real" party lives somewhere off to the right, where George Bush dwells, and that minorities, unionists, environmentalists, feminists, men and women of peace - virtually every branch of the party except corporatists - must be purged or muzzled. 

The DLC formula for defeating the GOP, hatched in the party’s dwindling white, southern ranks, is, essentially, to become faux Republicans – a losing as well as treacherous proposition. Rowan Kaiser sees the dark humor.

Thank you for the fascinating profile of the DLC. Before reading it, I hadn't been certain what their role in Democratic politics was. After reading it, I'm wondering if DLC should perhaps stand for “Dixiecrat Losership Cabal?”

Unfortunately, most Democrats don’t know the difference between the DLC and the DNC – the Democratic National Committee. (Often, there isn’t any.) However, as their yelping gets louder, the DLC’s true nature becomes more apparent. Gertrude F. Treadway is – shocked.

Yours was a great article on the DLC. I could not believe my ears when I listened to one of their panels on C-span awhile ago. They are surely a divisive element in the Democratic Party.

Tom Johnson writes from Washington, DC.

Thank you for Bruce Dixon's timely and absolutely accurate analysis of the DLC, and especially its negative effects on African-Americans. We need the same critique from a labor writer, but we don't seem to have one as smart and gutsy as Bruce Dixon, so I will send this around as broadly as possible.

As a white ethnic citizen of the U.S., it truly saddens me to see that the only consistent critique of the DLC coup of the Democratic Party and a consistently progressive critique of U.S. society, in electoral politics, comes from the Democratic Black Caucus. It makes me truly proud that I sent money to Cynthia McKinney, who was temporarily derailed by the Zionist lobby, and I look forward to her return.

I think the DLC's Mrs. Clinton may get a surprise in 2008 when she sees a truly progressive woman on her left flank

The DLC is, as Bruce Dixon has written, “the Mother of All Trojan Horses” inside the Democratic Party. Vampire metaphors are also apt. From Texas, Denothra Rose writes:

Bruce Dixon’s article on the DLC was very informative and well written. Now I understand why the Democratic candidates have been so fleshless and bloodless.  I now also better understand what was going on in his article from the previous week.  

Ms. Rose is referring to Dixon’s June 5 commentary, “In Search of the Real Barack Obama: Can a Black Senate candidate resist the DLC?  (For the full and updated story, see "Not 'Corrupted' by DLC, Says Obama,” in this issue.)

Marc Brammer is a New York investment analyst:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Bruce Dixon’s piece on the DLC muzzling Black America is one of the most concise and important analyses of this dread organization the DLC, I’ve yet read.  I will be sending every Democrat I know to your site to read it!  This is knowledge all of us should have.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had discussions with other Democrats and we’ll look at each other and say why are they (the leadership) doing that?!?  Now it’s beginning to make sense.  Let’s hope you gain readership because everyone who depends on the Democratic Party needs to understand the basic thesis that you’ve outlined.  

We are happy to inform Mr. Brammer that our readership is expanding quite nicely. Brammer also remarked on Dixon’s use of a quote from Robert Dreyfuss’ excellent 2001 American Prospect article, “How the DLC Does It”:

To ensure that liberals don't slip through the cracks, NDN requires each politician who seeks entree to its largesse and contacts to fill out a questionnaire that asks his or her views on trade, economics, education, welfare reform, and other issues. The questions are detailed, forcing candidates to state clearly whether or not they support views associated with the New Democrat Coalition, and it concludes by asking, "Will you join the NDC when you come to Congress?" Next, [the DLC] interviews each candidate, and then NDN determines which candidacies are viable before providing financial support.

Sold! Anthony Kennerson, of Lafayette, Louisiana, can hear the auctioneer at work.

Excellent article, Mr. Dixon, and the rest of you at . This brings to mind something that has been yanking my chain for time immortal:  why in the holy hell are so many progressives still – even after getting duped again and again and again – breaking out that old canard that any Democrat would be better than Bush??? 

Yes indeed, it goes without saying that the GOP Bu shites are open fascists, raw racists, and brutal "Pi-Rats " (using the word "Pirates" to describe this band of louts is an insult to legitimate, honest, pirates) who need to get their butts driven far, far away from any seat of power.  But… we should remember the basic fact that the Pi-Rats would not have gotten away with even half their gains without the stellar assistance of those quislings over at the Democratic Leadership Council, including the Great Triangulator Bill Clinton and his dear wife Hillary, who is even now as we speak proving with her ridiculous biography and her latest rightward political shift (she's even to the right of Bush on Middle East policy) how spineless the "liberals" can be when they really get their mind to it.

Of course, I'm not at all surprised that the DLC is trying to get its hooks into Brother Obama. Since they feel that they already own the other two Democratic candidates, why not try for the sweep and block out any meaningful progressive candidate?  They can do this because they have control of the main strategic asset in today's whack electoral system: the $$$$$.  With labor flat on its back and about to be buried deeper and deeper, and the traditional civil rights and social rights movements more concerned with celebrity worship and lining up to the Greedygut Faith-Based Welfare Clearinghouse than actually defending their constituents against this ‘offensive’ offensive, I guess that Al From's guys feel that there's now nothing standing between them and complete control of the Dems.

In my opinion – and as stated in Mr. Dixon's excellent article – the only cure for this is for the regular Black, Brown and Red folk – and please, please, my brother and sister White progressives and Leftists, feel free to join in on this whenever you get your heads out of the sand – to rise up collectively and either take back the Democrats and reform it into a real party of opposition and ideology, or just abandon it to the stinking, rotten grave that it will deserve if the DLC continues its stranglehold, and form a true second party of their own.  Given the track record of the Dems so far in my lifetime, I'm more for the second option... but then again, I've been an Independent since 1986, so I have the advantage of being able to see the Jackass Party from the outside.

Memo to Barack Obama:  If you're going to be the progressive, then be the progressive and throw out the DLC bums.  Otherwise, you will learn what countless victims have paid the price for:  you can't be a progressive and a reactionary at the same time.

Roger L. Chapman is a Black Howard Dean supporter from Montclair, New Jersey.  Dean, the former governor of Vermont, is rising rapidly in the polls and is not (currently) connected to the DLC. Mr. Chapman pitches his candidate:

I ninety percent agree with your article and that is why I am supporting Howard Dean.  The DLC statement quoted in the article pertaining to the "elites" was drafted as a response to the political rise of Dean in Iowa and New Hampshire.  Although you quoted Kucinich and Sharpton, Dean has also spoke truth to power.  Unlike Kucinich and Sharpton, I believe Dean is electable as President of the US.  This is in part due to his principled stands on many issues from the Iraq war to equal rights for all of America's citizens but also his staff, utilizing the internet have put together a network of supporters that number over 30,000 through Meetup.  This establishes a base of support as well as a network that Dean can tap into for financial contributions and direct action.

Due to their statements about Dean and the "elites", the DLC received over 10,000 emails as a direct request from Dean to his supporters telling the DLC that they are wrong about Dean, they are wrong about the Democratic Party and they are wrong about America.  Dean states that he is from the "Democratic wing of the Democratic party".  Dean states that he "wants his country back", but before he can have it back, he has to get his Democratic Party back.  I believe the African American community, of which I am a proud member, has to pick a "political horse" in this election that can get to the finish line while also maintaining a progressive message.  Dean fits that description.  Besides Kucinich, Sharpton and Braun, the other democratic contenders are all tainted by the DLC and have already sided with Bush on key issues of great concern to the African American community, in particular the Iraq war.

Sharpton has past baggage as well as never holding political office, which raises serious liabilities.  Kucinich has flip-flopped on many issues now that he is running for President, in particular abortion rights.  Brawn is only in it to keep Sharpton from getting too large a political voice for the DNC convention.  I believe African Americans cannot afford a "new millennium Jackson run" from Sharpton and we must be in it to win it.  Dean readily admits that he cannot win the Democratic nomination without African American and Latino support and he says it unabashedly….

I am not an official representative of his campaign, but I am an enthusiastic Dean supporter, financial contributor and volunteer.  Keep up the good work, and the excellent journalism.           

The McKinney Factor 

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is assuring local supporters that she will attempt to take back the suburban Atlanta seat won by Denise Majette with overwhelming white Democratic and Republican crossover support, last year. In our July 12 commentary, “McKinney Seems Set for Comeback Bid,” we noted that many Green Party activists seemed to be counting on McKinney to join their ticket in 2004.  

The Greens should find someone else to carry their banner. McKinney has unfinished business to take care of in the majority Black 4th Congressional District, now represented by the white people's choice, Majette, whose presence in the Congressional Black Caucus is an affront to African Americans, nationally. Majette rode to victory in an open primary tidal wave of commingled white Democratic and Republican votes. McKinney supporters sued, charging that Democrats were effectively disenfranchised by GOP crossovers - a case that is still pending but should not figure into the five-term lawmaker's plans. Majette must be removed, and there is no one but McKinney on the horizon.

Vic Chaubey just wants Cynthia McKinney back in the game, whatever office she chooses to pursue

Thanks for the article on McKinney. It was very informative. I agree with your analysis on what happened to McKinney. I believe she can beat Majette. Let us also not forget that Majette was supporting Keyes in the Republican primary for President, this is a fact that the mainstream media is not going to tell you neither will AJC. Majette was a creation of the media just like the Lieberman campaign for president for 2004. Let us support McKinney in 2004 as much as possible. To be honest with you, I wish she were running for president instead of Sharpton. I believe her honesty is very impressive. Her support for so many progressive causes needs to be highlighted. I believe people like her and [California Black Congresswoman] Barbara Lee proves that Black progressives are putting up a vision for the future. Let us support McKinney in 2004.  


On the face of it, Cynthia may be a more attractive candidate than Al Sharpton. But history does not deal us the cards we want, and there is a specific task for McKinney to finish in DeKalb County, Georgia. The Right is attempting to shut down Black politics as such, and without a coherent Black politics there is no such thing as progressive politics in the U.S.  McKinney’s defeat last August was a national blow to African Americans that can and must be reversed, to demonstrate to everyone that the Black Consensus does, in fact, exist. The most important audience for this demonstration is Black people, themselves. We hope she is up to it.

Sharpton has a somewhat different task - to demonstrate that the Black electorate cannot be chopped in little pieces.  

McKinney’s defeat was falsely trumpeted by all of the national corporate media as evidence that Black voters were split along age and income lines. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published the unverifiable results of a fraudulent “study” to prove that Majette had won with the support of a “biracial coalition” including a third to a quarter of the Black vote. Bruce Dixon exposed the lie in the November 4 issue of , “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Bogus Election 'Study,'” which showed that Majette could not have garnered more than 19 percent of the Black vote. Later, University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock – no fan of McKinney – concluded that Majette received just 17 percent African American support. Bullock urged Majette to begin getting out into “the black community, trying to broaden her coalition because she did so poorly in her community."

McKinney’s comeback prospects are also buoyed by the fact that, in 2004, Georgia Republicans will be holding hotly contested, statewide primary races, making a huge crossover vote less likely.

Loretta L. Renford, CCAPA, from Buffalo, New York, is a non-stop community activist. She knows how to lead, how to follow, and how to cheer.

Go Girl! Cynthia McKinney is a strong Black Woman and one who rides out the storm with tenacity and determination to right injustice.  She is moving past the racial injustice and the obvious attempt to obscure the Black Voters.  A woman and political representative that is well deserving of our support and admiration.

McKinney gets moral support from Ron Chandler, a scientist of limnology in Gainesville, Florida.

I appreciate Black Commentator – excellent articles, wonderful political cartoons. I met Ms. McKinney a few months ago at the "Town Hall Meeting" for peace and the reclaiming of government by the people. I was thoroughly impressed with her professionalism, intellect and genuine personhood, thank you for supporting her.

Black male-bashing

Under the rather aggressive title, “Right Hook at the Bell! Bell Hooks’ Black Male Bashing,” Joseph Anderson struck a counterblow against author bell hooks (she eschews capital letters) in his June 12 Guest Commentary. Hooks, white feminists and others, wrote Anderson, routinely engage in the “pundit sport” of Black male pathologizing.

This is precisely because the rules of analysis - and white acceptance - set forth by the establishment and media require acceptance of the premise that Black males - albeit with "the good Black" provisional exceptions - are fundamentally different than other human beings. Under this analysis, Black males are, at root, not only fundamentally different, but uniquely pathological, uniquely predatory (especially sexually) and misogynist - in Hooks' words, sexually immature, traumatized and dysfunctional. Those white and Black feminists who at least implicitly accept this general premise get rewarded. They are awarded, fęted and, most importantly, regularly invited back to white highbrow social and media forums. They are well paid for such service.

reader CD Goodison was very disappointed with us.

I'm sorry if I didn't read the entire Joseph Anderson essay on bell hooks. I believe it's the first time I didn't read 100% of my BC. I have to say though, as a "black feminist", that I'm in shock and awe that someone out there actually takes the prolific, egoistic, powder puff ding dong hooks (lower case letters) seriously. I mean, really, guys, let's get back to business, eh?

The publishers of , who have no interest in bell hooks, were also initially put off by the often-trivialized subject matter of Mr. Anderson’s piece. However, after reading three or four sentences we decided that Anderson was not engaging in “barbershop” conversation, and that he correctly identifies the essentially murderous premises embedded in what he calls "Black male-bashing."

The widespread insistence on the supposed peculiar and unique (usually predatory) characteristics of Black males is actually a justification for casual murder and perpetual imprisonment - just another variation on the ancient theme. Anderson seems most concerned that these conversations occur in white forums. However,  is also alarmed that intra-Black barbershop-type discourse often mimics this white racist construct.

We are confident that Ms. Goodison will forgive us whatever lapses in rigor she found in our June 12 issue.

Another angle on Jayson Blair

It seems that the Jayson Blair-New York Times discussion has more wrinkles than the human brain, touching as it does on the nature of objectivity, the endless permutations of white supremacy in America, and Black people’s responses to racism.

Having quoted ourselves at great length in previous e-Mailbox columns, we will go straight to Lawrence Watson’s thoughtful letter.

Jason Blair like many in our current society has opted to indulge himself at the expense of all around him. There is no particular need to single him out. He shares this space with a myriad of opportunists, Black, White and "other" who have trampled over the backs and legacy of civil rights activists and workers who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could experience full humanity in America.

Today we find a conglomerate of drugged up entertainers, lying preachers, ego inflated politicians, wanna be entrepreneurs and a perverse fraternity and sorority of "affirmative action" babies whose only commitment is to acquiring greater disposable income.

It is no wonder that this "brother" looked around and saw that as some Blacks moved into the boardrooms of America, they embraced all the values of greed and unabashed "whoredom" that continues to sustain America.

I feel no particular burden to distance myself from Mr. Blair. He takes his place amongst the litany of hustlers of Black culture, history and most of all our people. I have to claim him just as we have to claim all of those amongst us who whether we like it or not come from our collective experience as African descent people in America.

Integrity and morality are not inherent requirements or prerequisites for competence. Mr. Blair is a brilliant writer who recognized early in the game, that despite his talents, The New York Times would always view him as an exception, "different" from the run of the mill Negro. Armed with that patronizing and condescending insight, Blair did what any self-respecting American whore would do. He hustled his pimp. 

Lawrence "Larry" Watson ( is a performing artist and faculty member at Boston College and The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

Double-overdose of Powells

In the process of describing the near-death of local news on Black radio (“Who Killed Black Radio News?” May 29), we referred to the current FCC chairman as “Colin Powell's totally corrupted son, Michael.” Leutisha Stills, from Oakland, California, likes that kind of talk:

Thank you, Black Commentator, for keeping our media REAL!  I notice no one else is calling Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice to task for being the "lackeys" under the current administration being run by a Sock Puppet!  Did anyone else notice that now that the Administration is under pressure to produce those WMDs (since we were told that was the reason for the war), they didn't send Rumsfeld, Cheney, or any others of those who authored that PNAC [Project for a New American Century] document, but good ol' Condi and Colin were sent on the talk show circuit to explain and put spin on the fact that this country was pimped in order to start a war in their quest for global domination and wealth to the few.

Amiri Baraka was right: Condoleezza is a skeeza who can't see that if no WMDs are found, Bush is going to lay the blame at her feet and set Equal Opportunity Progress back another 60 years. Colin Powell gives new meaning to the phrase, "Uncle Tom." He's also taught his son the fine art of selling out as well.

Keep the stories coming; thanks to Powell's son, and his actions on the FCC, your publication may be the only thing left if we want true, honest journalistic news reporting.

Poisoning the atmosphere

The phantom WMDs Ms. Stills writes about are also of dubious practical use, according to last week’s Guest Commentary by Dwight Welch, “The Weapons of Mass Destruction Hoax.”

First, the only true WMDs are nuclear weapons. On this front, the leaders of Russia, the USA, France, and England are the four aces of mass destruction. Unfortunately, nerve gas and pathogens also get grouped into this categorization. But examine the facts: the atomic bombs of WWII instantly killed hundreds of thousands of people. The Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system killed only 12 while sickening more than 5,000. Hardly a comparison.

Second, nerve gas and pathogens are tricky to work with. They may wind up killing the user….

Another disingenuous complaint is about Saddam using poison gas against the Iranians and Kurds. Hello, this nerve gas was supplied by the USA (the world's largest producer of nerve gas) under the Reagan Administration. After Saddam gassed the Iranians Donald Rumsfeld, now Secretary of Defense, recommended diplomatic recognition of Saddam's regime, something he doesn't care to discuss these days.  

From Tampa, Florida, Alicia Adrian gives big props to the author:

Dwight Welch is da man!  Excellent article. No, Rummy does not want to discuss this "untidy" business. Kudos to you, Dwight Welch.

Stephanie Luce, of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Labor Center, dropped us a nice note, which we greatly appreciate.

I've been receiving your emails for awhile now, and been meaning to write and say thanks. I think the Black Commentator is great. It is sorely needed in these horrible times. Please keep up the good work.

Keep writing. 

gratefully acknowledges the following organizations for sending visitors our way during the past week:

Common Dreams

Democratic Underground

Black Planet
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Issue Number 47
June 19, 2003

Other commentaries in this issue:

Cover Story
Not "Corrupted" by DLC, Says Obama - Black U.S. Senate candidate responds to BC critique

The Pirates' Blunt, Useless Instruments - The Iraq occupation cannot possibly succeed

Borg Queen

Disrespect, Distortion and Double Binds: Media treatment of progressive black leaders by Jacqueline Bacon

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Contents of Issue 46 June 12, 2003:

Cover Story
Muzzling the African American Agenda - with Black Help... The DLC’s corporate dollars of destruction by BC Associate Editor Bruce A. Dixon

McKinney Seems Set For Comeback Bid
by The Publishers

Tweedle DLC & Tweedle GOP

Many ways to pressure Black radio... The Powells: A congenital problem?... A Black candidate’s DLC dilemma

Right Hook at the Bell!... Bell Hooks’ Black male-bashing by Joseph Anderson, Guest Commentator

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Hoax by Dwight Welch, Guest Commentator

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