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Transcript: Glen Ford on Groundhogs Day, Susan Rice, Gaza, Obama, and the Silence of the Progressives

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Rob : Now, you've had some discussions along these lines with Professor Michael Dyson.  Can you summarize some of the key points where you disagree?

Glen :  We disagree entirely with Dr. Dyson.  We think that Dr. Dyson actually repudiates himself, so Dr. Dyson is in disagreement with the Black Progressive political consensus that has reigned until the ascension of this Black president.  Now this is the great tragedy here, that with the forces that Barack Obama actually represents - and we're talking about Wall Street capital and the Military Industrial Complex - they really got, they found black America's Achilles heel.  That is, you know, African Americans are not smarter, or nicer and kinder, than white Americans.  The only thing that sets us apart is that throughout our history we have had a deep suspicion of power, because power, US power, has always been used against us.  And that gave us the right instincts.  It made us skeptical of anything that the US and its military was doing abroad, especially in the non-White regions of the world.  We, in a nutshell, did not trust "The Man."  But when a man who looked like us became the President, that short-circuited all of our defenses, and led to essentially a Black political collapse into irrelevancy. 

Rob : Ok .

Glen : And that's expressed by, and we see that personified by, the Dysons and others who actually"

Rob : Van Jones: Is that another one maybe?

Glen : And Van Jones, the Czar of what?  Whatever he was supposed to be the Tsar of in the White house, does that Czardom still exist?  Did it ever exist? (laughs)

Rob :  You know, the other thing about Susan Rice is she's a woman, so she's also doing all these bad things as a woman too.  So in a sense, the Obama administration is using the people who have long deserved and fought for more rights and representation and power, to manifest the Old Power and Imperialism.

Glen : And so here we have a young, attractive black woman, who is covering up the criminals responsible for the death of six million Black people in Congo, and all that organized Black America, the blackness leadership class, can think to do is to circle their wagons around her, because a White racist politician like John McCain says that she is unqualified, and somehow that is a besmirchment of African America's good name.  But it's not an insult to Black America's good name for her to act as a shield and protector of Genociders in Congo.  This is madness.

Rob : Now, I'm going to cover a couple of other areas here with you.  One, I call the show Bottom Up Radio, because I believe we are transitioning from a top down to a bottom up world.  Right now, we're seeing some very bloody, very ugly manifestations of the top down powers in going after the changes that are happening from the bottom up, like Occupy Wall Street and grass roots activism.  Have you any thoughts on this at all?

Glen :  Well, you know, the American public, although when compared to other publics in the world are certainly not a Progressive public, is far to the left of the American ruling circles, far to the left of Obama.  And it was amazing that this small group of poorly organized, and sometimes politically muddled people in the Occupy Movement could spark, at least briefly, enough political interest that by October or November of last year, all this talk about austerity was overwhelmed by talk about the 1 percent and the 99 percent.  I don't think it's because the Occupy folks were brilliant tacticians - they were anything but - but the fact that just speaking simple truths was enough to ignite a public opinion that is decidedly to the left of this Democratic Administration, which is an austerity administration, which is a clear and present danger to Social Security, and is, if anything, more effective at spreading wars in the world than their Republican predecessor.  I think the very weakness of the Occupy movement, and its ability to have such a brief impact, shows how out of sync with the actual public opinion these powers-that-be really are.

Rob :  What do you think about the state of Occupy now, and its role in the future of change in America?

Glen : It was Occupy's fate to launch itself right before a Presidential election year.  It was inevitable - and we thought so way back in October when it was gaining traction - that it was inevitable that substantial elements who were attracted to Occupy, not the core group of Occupy folks, but the substantial elements who were attracted to Occupy, would soon be co-opted back into the Democratic Party - and that's what happened.  That doesn't mean though that Occupy-like phenomena can't occur again.  The only sad part is that, as long as there is this black man in the White House, I don't think that we are going to see the participation in any projects - future projects, like Occupy - I still don't think we are going to see adequate participation by African Americans. And that is fatal. (laughs)

Rob :  Now, I'm going to try a third time, because I've asked you twice where you see activism happen in the near future and the coming years.  And each time you've given me a pretty negative assessment of where things are.  Are you doing anything in terms of activism?  And what do you see?  I know that you've been involved with some peace organizations, with anti-war with UNAC.  Do you see any organizations, any efforts under way that you support, that you're involved with, that you encourage our readers and listeners to check out?  I'm trying to get some kind of a vision that you have of what can be done now, what can be done  in the near future, in terms of activism, in terms of protest, in terms of helping to make the change happen so that we don't continue on the road down from Capitalism to Pluto-imperialism or Pluto-capitalism; How's that for a word?

Glen : You know, we do analysis.  Now we are involved with lots of groups and organizations.  We've been involved with UNAC and worked for a time on the Committee of National Anti-war Coalitions since it was created, and I'm on the executive committee and Vice Chair of the Black is Back coalition, so we do lots of activism.  But the primary hat that I'm wearing on your show is that of editor of Black Agenda Report, which is not an activist organ.  It's an organ of analysis and commentary, and so that's what we're doing today.  In that capacity, I'm not going to do the Ra-Ra and fire up the troops about the wonderful prospects for Progressive change right around the corner, because"

Rob : Now I'm not asking you to do that.

Glen : Because I do think, especially with Black America, which is our primary focus - that is Black Agenda Report, like Black Commentator before I t- is primarily, first and foremost, concerned about the internal workings of the Black national policy, and the prospects are not good, for all those reasons that we've been talking about for the last fifty minutes.  Occupy has shown that there are currents in White America that are ready, willing, and able to make some kind of assault on the actual castle (laughs) of the powers that be, simply by pointing out that finance capital is the enemy, and with the sloganizing of the 99 percent versus the 1 percent.  And the success of that sloganizing shows that there is potential to speak truth to power and to get a following, but we do often times despair about the state, the political state of Black America.  Now that Obama is a lame duck, and it'll feel more like a lame duck after the inauguration, we believe that, incrementally, many more Black folks are going to start seeing the world more clearly, and assess our true condition, and how our ship has just about sunk economically under the Obama watch.  But this is going to be an incremental process, and we don't foresee that the primary, the main pull, the main center of Progressive politics is going to come from Black America as it has for the last forty years in the next several years.  So that does color my commentary on this.

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Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the

Listen to over 200 of Rob's Podcast interviews here.

Rob is, with the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here.

To learn more about Rob and, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..

And here's a one hour radio interview where I was a guest- on Envision This, on 10/23/13. And here is the transcript. 

And Rob's quotes are here.

To watch me on youtube, having a lively conversation with John Conyers, former Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click here Now, wouldn't you like to see me on the political news shows, representing progressives. If so, tell your favorite shows to bring me on and refer them to this youtube video.

Rob's radio show, The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, runs 9-10 PM EST Wednesday evenings, on AM 1360, WNJC and is archived at Or listen to it streaming, live at

Rob also hosted a health/mind/body/heart/spirit radio show-- the Rob Kall Futurehealth radio show. Check out podcasts from it at

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Kudos to you and to Glen Ford !Henri... by mhenriday on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 2:29:21 PM
I agreed with most of it.  I'm not as anti-Ob... by Sheila Samples on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 at 7:25:17 PM
The notational value shouldn't be compared to m... by Jerry Scott on Monday, Dec 3, 2012 at 4:12:58 PM