barbarahowardweb.gifIn the ‘70s, I worked for the OIC (Opportunities Industrialized Center created by Rev. Leon Sullivan). We trained low-income black folk for entry-level jobs. I also worked with the Urban League, placing degreed black professionals in mid- and upper-level positions in corporate America. We would joke that our names were on J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI most-wanted list.

We knew we were in good company.  On that list were Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Rev. Leon Sullivan, Urban League President Whitney Young, and others who were fighting for equal rights.  It was a badge of honor.

Now, 39 years later, I find my name on a similar list.  This time, it comes straight from the Obama White House. 

During Hoover’s time, I was defined as un-American because I worked to put black folks in jobs.  Now I’m defined as un-American because I have criticized the White House and the Congressional healthcare bill. 

My name is probably on the Homeland Security List as one of the “right-wing extremists” since my articles have appeared on some of the so-called “right-wing” blog sites.  That’s how this administration compiled its domestic terrorist list. Seriously.

Then this administration has asked my email friends to report me to the White House because I have sent them emails criticizing the healthcare bill that I read but that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bullied the Congress to sign without reading. 

The White House put out a video on YouTube that said,

“There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to”

Pelosi and the White House called my email friends who attended some of the healthcare town hall meetings an “orchestrated and manufactured mob” because they confronted the members of
Congress about issues, such as giving the government access to your bank account. This is scarily similar to the language in the “Cash for Clunkers” program, which says when you log onto the site, your computer becomes property of the United States government. 

“Any or all uses of this system and all files on this system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized CARS, DOT, and law enforcement personnel as well as all authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign. By using this system, the user consents to such interception, monitoring, recording, copying, auditing, inspecting and disclosure at the discretion of CARS or the DOT personnel.”

So, like “Cash for Clunkers,” are they offering money to people to turn in their family and friends who send an email criticizing Obama’s healthcare reform?  I mean are they for real?

Yes, they are.  In fact, according to, gives an eyewitness report from someone who protested outside of a town hall meeting in Bristol, Virginia:

"There were several vehicles following the limo that contained the Secret Service. The vehicles had all the windows rolled down, and back hatches open on the SUVs with the men holding their (sic), I assume assault rifles, machine guns, drawn on everyone lining the streets. Needless to say, it took my breath away at the sight of them, and made my friends and I dizzy with fear…. I turned on a local talk radio program as we were leaving and all the calls were about witnessing the guns being pointed at them."

So ordinary citizens who disagree with this administration are treated like protestors in Iran.  But didn’t Obama praise the Iranian protestors for exercising their rights?

Didn’t the “great Agitator” himself train ACORN and the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) to disrupt meetings?  Didn’t he tell his supporters during his campaign to argue with their friends and neighbors and “get in their face?”

So why is it OK for Obama supporters to be a part of an orchestrated group and protest things they don’t like, but we who disagree with Obama get put on a list with domestic terrorists? 

Is this Stalin-like tactic of intimidation the change you voted for?  Looks like J. Edgar Hoover has been re-incarnated.

Barbara Howard is president of Barbara Howard & Associates and the Florida state chair for C.O.R.E. (the Congress of Racial Equality).