The Black Commentator

Target Assata: How the FBI and Cuba Bashers Are Going After a Black Liberation Activist

Seemingly out of nowhere the FBI announced that fugitive Black activist Assata Shakur was now declared a “terrorist” on their Most Wanted list. In addition, a bounty for her capture was raised from $1 million to $2 million. There are several questions that immediately arise but the most important is perhaps this: why now?

Keep reading... Show less

Conservatives May Deprive Millions of Jobless Benefits Just in Time for the Holidays

The U.S. Congress that convened for its limited "lame duck" session has a lot on its plate; it will act - or not act - on some of the pressing issues facing the nation, wrap up its business and go home for the holidays. From then until the new Congress convenes in January there will be a lot of occasions when the members will have their actual china plates piled high. But for a lot of people the holiday fare will be skimpier than it has been for quite a while - especially the nearly 15 million people out of work.

Keep reading... Show less

Fox News Is Using the Obamas to Perfect Its Racist Attacks on Black America

"… The matter is that, when Bill O'Reilly gets Juan Williams, the eternal happy Negro, on his show to congratulate him on his racism, that's like Hugh Hefner getting a stripper to come on the show and tell him that he's not a sexist.” --Syracuse University Professor Boyce Watkins, on CNN (Sept. 26, 2007).

Keep reading... Show less

The Black Stake in the Internet

America's black misleadership class, which is nearly indistinguishable from its black business class, has struck again. In a stunning coup, a mainline African-American voting rights group has been enlisted on the side of AT&T and other telecom monopolies in their legislative push to privatize the internet and roll back hundreds of agreements with local communities that force these monopolies to extend internet and cable service to poor and rural communities around the country.

A time-worn corporate technique for dishonestly manipulating public opinion is to create what are called in the world of public relations, industry-funded organizations and front groups. The indispensable site spells it out like this:

Keep reading... Show less

Civil War in America

Every year the Sons of Confederate Veterans use the North Carolina statehouse to celebrate their annual Confederate flag day ceremony. It has become more common in recent years for some white Southerners to openly wax nostalgic for the days when their ancestors fought and died to preserve slavery.

It is easy to see a connection between present-day yearnings for a return to Dixieland and renewed efforts to threaten voting rights. It is less obvious to see similar connections with trends elsewhere in the country. South Dakota is a long way from South Carolina, but that state recently joined the battle to turn back the clock on civil rights and return to the bad old days when white men ruled and everyone else was subservient.

The legislature in South Dakota voted to outlaw abortion except in cases where the mother's life was endangered. Even rape, incest and fetal abnormality will no longer be legally justified reasons for abortion. Republican state Sen. Bill Napoli described the only instance in which he thought abortion would be justifiable.

Keep reading... Show less

Rhythms of Resistance

"I don't think it's right that you take our properties. Over my dead body. I didn't die with Katrina." - Lower 9th Ward resident Caroline Parker.

"Joe Canizaro, I don't know you, but I hate you. I'm going to suit up like I'm going to Iraq and fight this." - New Orleans East resident Harvey Bender, referring to the author of the city commission's "rebuilding" plan.

The overwhelmingly black New Orleans diaspora is returning in large numbers to resist relentless efforts to bully and bulldoze them out of the city's future. "Struggle on the ground has intensified enormously. A number of groups are in motion, moving against the mayor's commission," said Mtangulizi Sanyika, spokesman for the African American Leadership Project (AALP). "Increasing numbers of people are coming back into the city. You can feel the political rhythm."

Mayor Ray Nagin's commission has presented residents of flood-battered, mostly African American neighborhoods with a Catch-22, carefully crafted to preclude New Orleans from ever again becoming the more than two-thirds Black city it was before Hurricane Katrina breached the levees. Authored by Nagin crony, real estate development mogul and George Bush fundraiser Joseph Canizaro, the plan would impose a four-month moratorium on building in devastated neighborhoods like the lower Ninth Ward and New Orleans East. During that period, the neighborhoods would be required to come up with a plan to show how they would become "viable" by reaching an undefined "critical mass" of residents.

But the moratorium, itself, discourages people from rebuilding their neighborhoods - just as it is intended to do - thus creating a fait accompli: residents will be hard pressed to prove that a "critical mass" of habitation can be achieved.

"It's circular reasoning," said the AALP's Sanyika. They talk about "some level of neighborhood viability, but no one knows what that means. What constitutes viable plans? What kinds of neighborhoods are viable? Everywhere you turn people are trying to rebuild, but there is this constraint."

The commission is empowered only to make recommendations, but with the help of corporate media, pretends their plan is set in stone. "They keep pushing their recommendations as though they are the gospel truth," said Sanyika, who along with tens of thousands of other evacuees has been dispersed to Houston, five hours away. "There is confusion as to all of these recommendations, issued as if they are policy. The Times-Picayune contributes to that confusion. None of this is a given."

Activists believe the way to play this situation is for residents to forge ahead on their own. "Trying to figure out the logic of that illogical proposal is a wasted effort - all you're going to do is wind up going in circles," said Sanyika. He emphasizes that the commission's recommendations are not binding on anyone - certainly not on the majority black city council, which claims authority in city planning matters. They're not buying the nonsense. "The city council has rejected it. Nagin says 'ignore it.' I think it's dead in the water," said Sanyika.

The city council has attempted to block Nagin's collaboration with corporate developers - a hallmark of his tenure - voting to give itself authority over where to place FEMA trailers. (Only about 5,000 of a projected 25,000 trailers arrived, say community activists.) Nagin vetoed the bill, but the council overrode him. The council has also endorsed equitable development of neighborhoods, rather than shrinking the city. "We [the African American Leadership Project] are developing a resolution to that effect," said Sanyika. Odds are that it will pass - but the question is, who wields power in post-Katrina New Orleans, where only one-third of the city's previous population of nearly half a million has returned?

It is in this context that one must view Mayor Nagin's statement to a mostly Black crowd gathered at City Hall for a Martin Luther King Day march, on Monday: "I don't care what people will say - uptown, or wherever they are. At the end of the day, this city will be chocolate.... This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."

Ray Nagin is probably the most disoriented person in the country, these days - the fruit of his own venality, sleeziness, and opportunism. A corporate executive, sports entrepreneur and nominal Democrat, he contributed to the Bush campaign in 2000 (Democrats dubbed him "Ray Reagan") and endorsed a Republican candidate for governor in 2003 (see BC November 20, 2003). Now he doesn't have a clue as to where the power lies or where his base is centered. "Nagin is playing a game, trying to have it both ways," says the AALP's Sanyika - but his options are shrinking as fast as the city envisioned by his buddy, Joe Canizaro, with whom he habitually worked hand in hand, but whom he now tells Blacks to "ignore."

Who's in charge in New Orleans?

Canizaro is clearly the center of gravity on the "mayor's" commission which, although integrated, is essentially a corporate concoction. The commission's slogan, "Bring New Orleans Back," is a euphemism for bringing the city "back" to the days before Black rule by erecting multiple barriers to the return of Black residents. Of course, even when Black mayors hold titular office in New Orleans, Canizaro's crowd runs the show. His bio, posted on the commission's website, shows Canizaro to be the major domo of the city's real estate, development, banking, and pro-business political machinations. Canizaro is also a Trustee and former Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, the planning outfit that is determined to turn Black neighborhoods into swamp.

Since shortly after New Years, the commission has been feverishly working to appear to be an empowered governmental entity, tasking subcommittees to present reports and recommendations several days a week on Government Effectiveness, Education, Health and Social Services, Culture, and Infrastructure. What black New Orleans had been waiting for was presentation of the Urban Planning Committee Final Report, Wednesday, January 11. An overflow crowd at the Sheraton Hotel hissed Mayor Nagin and booed the hated Canizaro. Others cursed and vowed that they would be exiled only over their dead bodies.

"Four Months to Decide" read the headline of the Times-Picayune, on the day of the official unveiling of the commission's recommendations, a blueprint for the displacement of hundreds of thousands. In the packed hotel spaces, residents alternated between rage and deep anxiety at the ultimatum. "I don't think four or five months is close to enough time given all we would need to do," said Robyn Braggs. "Families with school-age children won't be able to even return to do the work necessary until this summer."

Cities with 25,000 or more displaced New Orleans residents include Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Memphis, and Baton Rouge. Others are scattered to the four winds. Their children will be enrolled in far-flung schools until the June deadline.

Former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, currently president of the National Urban League, called the commission's scheme a "massive red-lining plan wrapped around a giant land grab." With the situation so uncertain, and time so short, homeowners will have difficulty settling with their insurance companies in time. Said Morial: "It's cruel to bar people from rebuilding. Telling people they can't rebuild for four months is tantamount to saying they can't ever come back. It's telling people who have lost almost everything that we're going to take the last vestige of what they own."

And what about renters, who made up well over half of residents? Such people have no place in George Bush's "ownership society" - especially if they are black. Bush put his smirking stamp of approval on the corporate plan during an oblivious visit to New Orleans, last week. "It may be hard for you to see, but from when I first came here to today, New Orleans is reminding me of the city I used to visit."

Apparently, the president doesn't read newspapers because he is blind - except to the cravings of his class. Bush's Gulf Opportunity Zone Act provides billions in tax dodges for (big) business, while the threatened permanent depopulation of Black New Orleans would eliminate the possibility of return for the nearly 8,000 (small) Black businesses that served the neighborhoods.

Self-styled Black capitalists take note: this is the nature of the beast. Bush fronts for a class for which Katrina is not a catastrophe, but an opportunity. They believe devoutly in "creative chaos" - the often violent destruction of the old, so that new profits can be squeezed from the rubble. Through their Catch-22 ultimatums, they are deliberately inflicting additional "creative chaos" on the displaced people of New Orleans. The fact that the victims are mostly Black, makes it all the easier. Or so they assume.

The Resistance

Grassroots community groups, along with platoons of non-native volunteers, are refusing to acquiesce to the greatest attempted urban theft in American history. At a conference organized by Mtangulizi Sanyika's African American Leadership Project and affiliated organizations, progressive urban planners explored ways to make the new New Orleans a better place for the people who live there, rather than for ravenous corporations and new populations. The experts included Dr. Ed Blakely, of the University of Sydney, Australia; MIT's Dr. Phil Thompson, housing aide to former New York Mayor David Dinkins; and Abdul Rasheed, who helped rebuild the flood ravaged Black town of Princeville, North Carolina after a hurricane in the Nineties.

The coalition also held a Town Hall meeting attended by leaders of 15 national organizations, including Dr. Ron Daniel's Institute of the Black World, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and movers and shakers from the Progressive Baptist Convention and the National Baptist Convention USA. National co-sponsors included the Hip Hop Caucus, Black Voices for Peace, the Black Family Summit of the Millions More Movement, and the National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN).

Neighborhood groups are mobilizing to confront the racist/corporate onslaught. "Every other day some major event is happening," said Sanyika. Various groups held marches during MLK weekend, carrying signs such as "We're Back," "Stop Displacement," and "Rebuild With People."

On February 7th, a National Mobilization of progressive forces will descend on the U.S. Capitol in Washington to pressure Congress to halt the juggernaut of expulsion and give substance to the people's Right to Return. Although there are literally thousands of large and small Katrina-related projects operating throughout the nation, many of the New Orleans organizers are handicapped by the fact of their own displacement. A great moral and political challenge presents itself to black and progressive America: Will they rise to the occasion in the face of a real, imminent, well-defined crisis - as opposed to the general conditions addressed by the Million Man and Millions More rallies? February 7th will be a test of black political resolve and cohesion. And there will be many more.

Meanwhile, New Orleans in some ways resembles a poignant scene from bygone wars, when lists of the dead were published on public walls. The "Red Danger List" is posted in local papers, designating properties that are "in imminent danger of collapse" and, therefore, subject to demolition without the consent of the owners. To date, over 5,000 buildings have been red tagged.

The "Flood Map" is a kind of municipal schematic of a cemetery, delineating the parts of the city that will be caused to die. Residents on the wrong side of the lines will be unable to get flood insurance, which certainly means no meaningful investment can occur in those areas. The map was last published in 1984, and is now being updated.

You can be sure that Black folks are not in charge of the mapping.

Katrina has shown us many things. One, is the hollowness of the purely electoral black strategy (and its cousin, lobbying) that followed the shutdown of mass movements after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. It is a great irony that, while we rant at FEMA's inability (or unwillingness) to respond to the Katrina crisis, Black America finds itself desperately searching for the "people power" tools to effectively counter the post-Katrina aggression.

The citizens of New Orleans are paying the cost for the mistakes of the late Sixties and early Seventies, when aspiring electoral and corporate officeholders convinced black folks that mass movements were no longer necessary. Progress would trickle down from the newly acquired heights. Popular political capital could be wisely invested in the few, the upwardly mobile.

What we got was chicken-with-his-head-cut-off Ray Nagin and his many counterparts in plush offices across Black America. We must invent Black Power all over again, under changed conditions. New Orleans in its present state is the worst possible place to start - but that's where we're at.

How A Swann Became An Ugly Duckling

Former football star Lynn Swann recently announced his candidacy for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Pennsylvania. Swann has no qualifications to be a Governor. In fairness, that makes him no different from Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose only qualification to govern California was movie stardom. If unqualified white people can run for office and win, it is hard to argue against unqualified black people doing the same.

Athletes have always made attractive political candidates. They have instant name recognition and popularity. Voters have warm and fuzzy feelings for them. Swann was a legendary player with the Pittsburgh Steelers when they won four Super Bowls in the 1970s. He is good looking and articulate. Those are solid political credentials in this country.

In recent years Swann began earning his Republican bona fides. He is Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. While campaigning for George W. Bush he actually called him "the most qualified and credible candidate" and managed to keep a straight face.

Swann hasn't said very much about what he plans to do should he be elected. He is in favor of "responsible" tax cuts, sounds like "compassionate" conservatism, and is against abortion. He also says that Democrats take black voters for granted. He clearly knows the GOP mantra by heart.

Swann was a Democrat until he saw the light and joined the GOP. Who knows if he had a change of heart or if he saw the political light. If he is being cynical then he has made a sensible move.

The incumbent Governor is a Democrat, unlikely to be challenged for a second term by his own party. A black Republican is still enough of a rarity to get attention for being a Republican. In addition, it is hard to tell the ambitious and unprincipled that they should stick with the loser Democrats.

Of course, Swann might be a true believer in the Republican agenda. Even so, it doesn't bode well for black Pennsylvanians.

Only registered Republicans will be able to vote for Swann in a Republican primary. That means he would win his party's nomination only by appealing to the political demands of conservative, white, high-income voters. In other words, he can't win if he addresses the needs of the black community.

For all of Swann's strengths, he still has the same disadvantages that burden every other black candidate for a statewide office. His pollsters will have to account for white people who will claim to support him but get cold feet upon entering a voting booth.

In addition, for all their talk about increasing support in the black community, the Republicans haven't really promoted any viable black candidates. Their goal in claiming they will reach out to black voters is more of a ploy to attract fence sitting white voters who like to pretend they are truly compassionate and conservative.

But they may be on to something. There may be enough black voters who will succumb to the siren song of race pride and vote for the guy who looks like them, especially if he is a celebrity. If a race is close, and enough black voters can be peeled away from the Democrat, Swann might be able to win.

Ironically, Swann does have a story to tell that would be of interest to black voters. In 1974 he was a star player at USC who was chosen as the Steelers first round draft pick. After celebrating his success with his brothers and a cousin he had an experience that made him a true brother with thousands of other black men.

San Francisco police stopped Swann and his party for going through a red light. A scuffle ensued, 11 officers in a total of five patrol cars were called to the scene, and the Swanns were all arrested and charged with assault. Eventually they were awarded damages, but so were the cops who countersued them.

If Republicans want to appeal to black voters they should start talking about the issues that matter to us, issues like police brutality. Instead of us trying to convince us that we don't need Social Security, or that we should admire Condi's war making abilities, why not promote a candidate because he was arrested for driving while black?

Swann should certainly give up lame statements like this: "We need to get over the issues of color and focus clearly on talent and work ethic. But we've been saying that since 1620." Swann was always talented and hard working, but it didn't prevent him from wrongly ending up in the long arms of the law just like his less fortunate brethren.

Swann will just repeat GOP talking points. Police misconduct is not on that list of issues. He certainly won't bring up the subject himself and if forced to discuss it will probably apologize for being mistreated. The incident certainly won't be mentioned in his stump speech.

Instead of a Democrat who takes black votes for granted, we are now seeing black Republicans who take our votes for granted. They think we won't care when they support policies the rest of us reject. Black Pennsylvanians should tell Swann they are grateful for the memories, but their politics won't change for the sake of his political ambitions.

A Hurricane of Differences

Hurricane Katrina may mark a watershed in black perceptions of the African American presence and prospects in the United States. "It could very well shape this generation of young people in the same way that the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King shaped our generation," said Prof. Michael Dawson, of the University of Chicago whose team conducted a survey of black and white reactions to the disaster between October 28 and November 17, 2005. "It suggested to blacks the utter lack of the liberal possibility in the United States," said Dawson, the nation's premier black social demographer.

Huge majorities of blacks agreed that the federal government's response would have been faster if the victims of Katrina in New Orleans had been white (84 percent), and that the Katrina experience shows there is a lesson to be learned about continued racial inequality (90 percent).

But only 20 percent of whites believe that the federal government's failure to respond had anything to do with race, and only 38 percent think there is something to be learned about racial inequality from the Katrina disaster.

Keep reading... Show less

A Bitter Pill for Black Hearts

It is hard to oppose an effort that purports to improve health care for African Americans. Black people suffer more from everything bad, including ill health. When a drug company announced that it would market a heart failure treatment specifically for use by blacks, the silence from otherwise thoughtful persons and organizations was noticeable but not very surprising.

In 1997 the federal Food and Drug Administration declined to approve BiDil, a treatment for heart failure. BiDil is actually a combination of two generic drugs used to treat chest pain and hypertension. The FDA concluded that there was no proof of BiDil's effectiveness. That should have been the end of BiDil, until good old-fashioned capitalism and marketing turned its fortunes around.

BiDil has now been approved for use in black heart failure patients. It is the first drug in America that has been approved specifically for the use of one racial or ethnic group. NitroMed, the pharmaceutical company that will produce BiDil, acted very shrewdly. The drug maker achieved this success by giving the heads up to black leadership, lest it be accused of recreating the infamous Tuskegee experiment.

NitroMed first went to the Congressional Black Caucus, the National Medical Association and the NAACP. The drug company was "aware of the political fallout if they did not have African American participation," said B. Waine Kong, executive director of the Association of Black Cardiologists. Too bad the participants didn't ask a question or two in the process.

We are told that BiDil showed great success in black patients. That doesn't mean very much because it was only tested on black patients. There is literally no evidence that the drug works better on one racial group than on another.

NitroMed did what other pharmaceutical companies have always done. It gave money to people who later gave its medication the thumbs up. The Association of Black Cardiologists co-sponsored the clinical trials for BiDil, received $200,000 from NitroMed, and enthusiastically supported the drug's approval.

That arrangement wasn't unusual. In July 2004 the National Institutes of Health published a study urging millions of Americans to take statin drugs in order to lower their risk of heart disease. It was later revealed that eight of nine authors of the study had financial ties to makers of statin drugs. The ties were not made public when the dubious findings were first announced.

No one knows if BiDil is very effective or safe. If it isn't it will not be different from other drugs given FDA approval that were later discovered to be dangerous. Fenfluramine was marketed as Redux, a drug used to treat obesity. It was taken off the market after causing cases of heart valve damage and pulmonary hypertension. How many commercials exhorted consumes to ask their doctors about Vioxx and Celebrex? We now see commercials from law firms exhorting us to pursue malpractice suits against the makers of those drugs.

Past experience indicates that BiDil shouldn't be greeted as a health care panacea for anyone. It should be treated like all newly approved pharmaceuticals, with great caution if not suspicion. As Raymond Woosley, vice president for Health Sciences at the University of Arizona, advised Public Television, "Americans need to recognize that every time they put a pill in their mouth, especially a new pill that they've never taken before, it's an experiment. How big an experiment depends on the pill and how well it's been studied."

NitroMed is using black people to get a drug approved that it couldn't get approved otherwise and in the process maintaining a patent that keeps cheaper generics off the market until the year 2020. "[I]f BiDil is approved for African Americans only, the drug will have patent protection to 2020," wrote Motley Fool biotechnology industry analyst Karl Thiel. "That's because patents based on this demographic were filed after studies showed the drug was ineffective in a broader population. If the drug is approved for a general heart failure audience, older use patents will apply and the drug would appear to have exclusivity only to 2007."

BiDil isn't the 21st Century equivalent of the Tuskegee experiment. It is an example of what the pharmaceutical industry now does best, which is to produce drugs with dubious effectiveness that guarantee them large profits. NitroMed shares have risen from $6 last July to more than $19 when approval was imminent.

There should be an outcry over BiDil. A system that allows millions of people to go without health insurance, and consequently creates conditions such as heart failure, is now using those same people to repackage two generic drugs as a sort of medical magic bullet. Surely many of the African American heart failure patients would have been better off with universal health care, not a profit making gimmick that does them little good.

BiDil is more than just another example of the market place run amuck. It also gives justification to beliefs about biological differences between races. These beliefs are never expressed for the benefit of black people. BiDil makes it more difficult to argue against theories of racial superiority and inferiority. BiDil's supporters, regardless of their race, should not be let off the hook when this drug becomes the latest justification for the dogma of white superiority.

It doesn't matter that African American physicians or other leaders vouch for BiDil. The health care system in this country serves the profit motive more than it serves up good health. BiDil is just the latest example. The market place is definitely not the place to cure broken hearts.

The Meaningless Apology on Lynching

Why are some black folks so happy to hear an apology from people who don't mean it?

There are nearly a million African-Americans in prison - one out of eight inmates on the planet - a gulag of monstrous proportions, clearly designed to perpetuate the social relations that began with slavery. We demand an end to those relations, not an insincere, risk-free "apology" that sets not one prisoner free.

It is appropriate that the great anti-lynching leader, Ida B. Wells (1862-1931), who documented the murder of nearly 5,000 blacks at the hands of white mobs in the terror-filled years that followed the death of Reconstruction, be verbally honored by Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu and Virginia Republican Senator George Allen. Yet both senators supported laws that will impose draconian equivalents of post-Civil War "black codes" on inner city youth, who will now be designated as criminal conspirators if they congregate in groups of three or more.

No thank you, Senators Landrieu and Allen - the crime you committed against us in May vastly outweighs your weak apology in June. You have guaranteed that hundreds of thousands more young black people will be interned in your gulag - a crime against humanity. And both of you are determined to commit more crimes. Should we ask for an apology in advance?

There can be no absolution for those who continue to profit from past crimes, and plot new ones. Lynch law was the effective law of the South - and, truth be told, the rest of the United States - and the "lawful" authorities sanctioned it by refusing to pass 200 anti-lynching bills. The terror of lynching created the social relationships that resulted in white households accumulating ten to twenty times as much wealth as black households - our collective national inheritance. An apology will not do.

Is that what our movement has been about all of these generations - to get an apology from people who became rich on our backs? There is a method to this racist madness, an assumption that African-Americans can be bought by a simple nod from a few white people. Some of these racists will not even give us a nod - the twelve or sixteen senators who did not join in the anti-lynching vote, all but one of them Republicans. The Republican Senate Leader made sure that no member would have to go on record against lynching. However, are we supposed to be grateful for a non-binding resolution that admits thousands of murders were committed with the complicity of the United States government, but that does not redress the wrongs in any way.

Where is the sense of justice in this apology? What do the descendants of the terrorized class expect? That wrongs be righted, or that those who have profited gain absolution?

Lynching was genocide

The United States Senate did not ratify the Convention on Genocide until 1988, 40 years after African-Americans circulated the petition, "We Charge Genocide," in an effort to make international law applicable to the U.S. By this time, most of the former Dixiecrats had become Republicans, and felt safe in blaming their former party for their own crimes.

The United States, controlled by a Republican majority and feckless minority of white Democrats whose greatest fear is their black constituents, is now engaged in a grand venture to export the ideology of white terror, planet-wide. They have not learned a thing. Having never practiced democracy on their own shores, they claim a copyright to the concept. The fact that nobody believes their claims does not phase them, because they are marching to the tune of Manifest Destiny - the white man's right to rule. It is that belief that drew tens of thousands of whites to the lynching fields of Georgia and Indiana, for the sport of Negro-killing. Now they are in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming moral authority.

The march of civilization goes on, leaving the United States behind. The bubble of news communication fools only those inside. The rest of the globe sees its own interests, and recognizes white arrogance, intuitively.

This intuitive knowledge, born of gruesome experience, also informs black Americans. Although surrounded by the same bubble of misinformation as the rest of Americans, blacks smell the lie. The vast bulk of us see the "apology" for what it is - a scam, with no substantial benefits, and less good faith. But there is a class that is paid to say "Yes sir," on command. Most of us pay them no attention.

Lynch law was no law at all. It was pure white power - the right to declare oneself a higher form of being, and reduce the "other" to charcoal. The current rulers of the United States are spreading lynch law to the far reaches of the planet. They claim the right to "pre-emptive" warfare, and reject all other people's rights to live under collectively accepted rules. They wage war against the concept of international law, just as they violated every law that did not enshrine white privilege.

Nothing has changed, except the world. We will not tolerate such criminality, anymore. In fact, we have collectively called the behavior that white folks in the United States routinely engaged in, criminal. It's far too late for the U.S. Senate to pass a non-binding resolution announcing some vague objection to lynching, when they pass legislation that makes it a crime to be black and a youth, vote billions to fund a military machine that seeks to enslave the planet, and rejects the authority of the World Criminal Court. In doing so, they have made themselves outlaws.

We will not forgive, or accept an apology that does not come with a change in power relationships. And we will reject any so-called black leadership that makes its own deal.


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.