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The Racial Profiling of Cynthia Mckinney


John Geraghty
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For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Cynthia McKinney and the capitol hill poilce officer, let me fill you in and set the record straight.

Earlier this year it was alleged that Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney struck a capitol hill police officer after he failed to recognize her.

The story was plastered all over the mainstream media, with some news networks claiming that McKinney had struck the officer in the face and that she hit him with a cell phone. These allegations were completely without factual basis, the media organizations involved did not speak to anyone at the incident and preyed upon circulating rumors. The media also sad that video footage existed of the incident, it did not.

In June of this year a grand jury refused to indict McKinney for the incident. This suggests to me that the grand jury had the advantage of the facts.

In the words of Alan Colmes as said to Rev. jesse Peterson “If a grand jury decides that there’s no case, as is what happened with Cynthia McKinney, why are you so insistent that there is. Do you have information that they don’t have?”.

The media did not leave this story alone. Any time they mention McKinney they refer to her as 'Congresswoman Cynthia MCKinney, who was accused of assaulting a capitol hill police officer', they do not refer to her as 'exhonoreted member of Congress Cynthia McKinney' or simply 'Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney'.

In the initial thunderstorm surrounding the incident McKinney made it clear that this was a case of racial profiling, where a white police officer grabbed a United States Congresswoman and consciously knew what he was doing.

Video interviews with four black capitol hill police officers confirm the fact that McKinney and other African- American Congressmen and women have been racially profiled.

During the visit of Nelson Mandela in the early 90's one white officer was overheard remarking "I hope somebody assassinates him".

One white officer said that if he saw McKinney he would arrest her, other officers met this statement with cheers.

Congresswoman McKinney wrote a letter calling for the resignation of the head of the capitol hill police due to the fact that he referred to a cab driver as a n. From that point McKinney was a target.

If you don't believe me take a look at the video, its 4/5 minutes long.

http://www.archive.org/download/CapHill/LastPlantation.mov

I feel it is a must see in order to understand the level of racism and media misinformation that exists today, which has sought to disrupt the work of progressive leaders.

Edited by John Geraghty
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For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Cynthia McKinney and the capitol hill poilce officer, let me fill you in and set the record straight.

Earlier this year it was alleged that Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney struck a capitol hill police officer after he failed to recognize her.

The story was plastered all over the mainstream media, with some news networks claiming that McKinney had struck the officer in the face and that she hit him with a cell phone. These allegations were completely without factual basis, the media organizations involved did not speak to anyone at the incident and preyed upon circulating rumors. The media also sad that video footage existed of the incident, it did not.

In June of this year a grand jury refused to indict McKinney for the incident. This suggests to me that the grand jury had the advantage of the facts.

In the words of Alan Colmes as said to Rev. jesse Peterson “If a grand jury decides that there’s no case, as is what happened with Cynthia McKinney, why are you so insistent that there is. Do you have information that they don’t have?”.

The media did not leave this story alone. Any time they mention McKinney they refer to her as 'Congresswoman Cynthia MCKinney, who was accused of assaulting a capitol hill police officer', they do not refer to her as 'exhonoreted member of Congress Cynthia McKinney' or simply 'Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney'.

In the initial thunderstorm surrounding the incident McKinney made it clear that this was a case of racial profiling, where a white police officer grabbed a United States Congresswoman and consciously knew what he was doing.

Video interviews with four black capitol hill police officers confirm the fact that McKinney and other African- American Congressmen and women have been racially profiled.

During the visit of Nelson Mandela in the early 90's one white officer was overheard remarking "I hope somebody assassinates him".

One white officer said that if he saw McKinney he would arrest her, other officers met this statement with cheers.

Congresswoman McKinney wrote a letter calling for the resignation of the head of the capitol hill police due to the fact that he referred to a cab driver as a n. From that point McKinney was a target.

If you don't believe me take a look at the video, its 4/5 minutes long.

http://www.archive.org/download/CapHill/LastPlantation.mov

I feel it is a must see in order to understand the level of racism and media misinformation that exists today, which has sought to disrupt the work of progressive leaders.

John,

I find it odd that in your brief account of the career of Cynthia McKinney, you didn't mention the reason this gutsy black politician first came to national and international prominence.

McKinney is among a tiny minority of members of Congress who has questioned the official version of 9-11. She also takes a somewhat 'independent' position on the middle east, and occasionally refuses to go along with the craven, mind-numbing pro-Israel policies demanded of US politicians in return for an easy ride from the pro-Zionist mass media (that's almost all of it).

It's not unreasonable to surmise that her clash with a policeman would have been no news at all, if the mass media hadn't been out to 'get' McKinney beforehand. They are out to make trouble for McKinney, not because she's black, but because she dared threaten a 100% "Israel right or wrong" and "don't question 9-11" policy consensus in the bought-and paid-for US Congress.

Postscript: I just noticed that John and others have been discussing McKinney in other contemporaneous threads. Had I read that m,aterial first, I might not have made this post - although I still find the stand-alone introduction to this topic surprising and somehwat off the mark.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Sid,

Your overplaying the whole Israel thing. She does not support war-period.

The confrontation with Rumsfeld over 9/11 and Dyncorp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eootfzAhAoU...nney%20rumsfeld .

I agree that the mass media had it in for McKinney. Two such examples of selective media coverage, The possibility of Rove being indicted and the Jack Abramoff scandal were raging, yet the media decided to go with the McKinney story. The media also ran with a reporter following McKinney up the steps of the capitol asking her questions, rather than covering the fact that supporters of Tom Delay disrupted a press conference in Texas that very same day. Footage of the Delay matter was broadcast on tv in Houston, so why not nationally? Because they are told what to cover and what not to cover.

People seem to keep bringing up Israel and McKinney, only because McKinney is a voice for minorities in Congress, thus having support from the muslim community. People equate her relationships with muslim groups as anti=semitism, which is ridiculous as she has a significant mount of Jewish supporters.

John

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Sid,

Your overplaying the whole Israel thing. She does not support war-period.

Well John, I am not resident in the USA and may not have your detailed knowledge of the case.

But Alexander Cockburn in 2002 certainly thought the Zionist lobby brought her down - see THIS ARTICLE in Counterpunch.

A short extract:

Don't you think that if Arab-American groups or African-American groups targeted an incumbent white liberal, maybe Jewish, congressperson, and shipped in money by the truckload to oust the incumbent, the rafters would shake with bellows of outrage.

Yet when a torrent of money from out of state American Jewish organizations smashed Earl Hilliard, first elected black congressperson in Alabama since Reconstruction, you could have heard a mouse cough. Hilliard had made the fatal error of calling for some measure of even-handedness in the Middle East. So he was targeted by AIPAC and the others. Down he went, defeated in the Democratic primary by Artur Davis, a black lawyer who obediently sang for his supper of the topic of Israel.

Then it was McKinney's turn. A terrific liberal black congresswoman. Like Hilliard she wasn't cowed by the Israel right-or-wrong lobby and called for real debate on the Middle East. And she called for a real examination of the lead-up to 9/11. So the sky fell in on her. Torrents of American Jewish money showered her opponent, a black woman judge called Majette. Buckets of sewage were poured over McKinney's head in the Washington Post and the Atlanta Constitution.

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Sid,

Your overplaying the whole Israel thing. She does not support war-period.

The confrontation with Rumsfeld over 9/11 and Dyncorp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eootfzAhAoU...nney%20rumsfeld .

I agree that the mass media had it in for McKinney. Two such examples of selective media coverage, The possibility of Rove being indicted and the Jack Abramoff scandal were raging, yet the media decided to go with the McKinney story. The media also ran with a reporter following McKinney up the steps of the capitol asking her questions, rather than covering the fact that supporters of Tom Delay disrupted a press conference in Texas that very same day. Footage of the Delay matter was broadcast on tv in Houston, so why not nationally? Because they are told what to cover and what not to cover.

People seem to keep bringing up Israel and McKinney, only because McKinney is a voice for minorities in Congress, thus having support from the muslim community. People equate her relationships with muslim groups as anti=semitism, which is ridiculous as she has a significant mount of Jewish supporters.

John

John,

Cynthia McKinney sounds like a politician of substance. Of course its ridiculous to brand someone as anti-Semitic for merely questioning America's current Middle East policy. Anyone in America brave enough to question America's wholesale support for Israel's actions in Lebanon risks being branded as such, in these decidedly dodgy times.

I must confess that I was unaware of the media's attempt to smear McKinney until you brought it to our attention. It's disgraceful of course. Apparently the mainstream media is attempting to marginalise 'independent' thinkers in the Democratic Party in an attempt to mould that party into a pale reflection of the Republicans, thus giving the electorate no choice at all, really.

The question of America's Middle East policy is important and it's a debate Cynthia McKinney shouldn't shy away from (I'm not saying she does, btw). Sooner or later America must face this question. It may be just one of many progressive policies she advocates, but it's one of the most important, IMO.

You're getting a close-up look at 'democracy' in action :blink::lol::lol: Thanks for your posts keeping us informed, btw. Maybe you should write a book about it all.

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  • 2 months later...

The former Representative is surely one of the most tolerant politicians around... :rolleyes:

Atlanta, GA, August 9, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed outrage over the incident last evening in which members of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's security entourage, including individuals associated with the New Black Panther Party, physically and verbally attacked members of the media, spewing racist and anti-Semitic epithets.

"It's astonishing that in a democratic election anti-Semitism still rears its ugly head. Once again some McKinney supporters have resorted to anti-Semitism and racist language and are blaming Jews for her loss to an African-American opponent," stated Shelley Rose, ADL's Southeast Region Associate Director. "The fact that she has frequently included The New Black Panther Party -- which is perhaps the largest organized anti-Semitic and racist Black hate group in America-- in her security entourage is extremely troubling."

According to reports and video coverage, as McKinney arrived at her campaign headquarters late last night, Steve Muhammad, one of McKinney's security staff scuffled with the media and was accidentally struck by a news camera carried by a television photographer, receiving a cut on the right side of his head. Muhammad then physically lashed out at the photographer. During the scuffle, another member of her entourage who wore a New Black Panther Party pin shouted expletives at the media, including calling them "crackers" --a derisive term for whites – and telling them, "You got what you damn wanted. You got your Uncle Tom, now go put your cameras on him," referring to Hank Johnson, the African American candidate who defeated Ms. McKinney. He continued to rant, "You ain't in Israel and this ain't no Lebanese people, so back up. Gonna get your Jewish [expletive]… (inaudible)…."

Following McKinney's concession speech, a reporter attempted to ask the Congresswoman why she thought she lost. The New Black Panther member interrupted, shouting, "Why do you think she lost? You wanna know what led to the loss? Israel. The Zionists. You. Put on your yarmulke and celebrate."

"This incident is reminiscent of the 2002 campaign in which Rep. McKinney's father "blamed the J-E-W-S" for her defeat," said Ms. Rose. "Rep. McKinney did not distance herself from the anti-Semitic comments then, and her service in Congress has been clouded by a perception that she also harbors such feelings."

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I don't find her anti-semitic and I am Jewish. I do find there has been a concerted campaign against her at the highest political and intelligence dirty-tricks levels because she was too progressive and saw through all the xxxx all the other members of congress let 'slide'.....IF that is a correct report of one of her supporters, then they did make a not very nice remark....but as I said she has been the focus of CIA, FBI and other dirty tricks and much media slander...so careful on what you read and believe on her. He is against Israeli foreign policy and their many oppressive actions in the Middle East and occumpation of Palistinian lands etc. I have not heard a verifiable comment she has made leading me to bellieve she is anti-semitic and one of her staffers, a friend of mine, I know would quit if she ever did or even mentioned such in private. When someone is such an enemy of the National Security State don't believe much of what you read or see about them. And for her opposition to the NSS and Israel's oppressive actions, I say Brava!

I saw the video where her racist protectors, the New Black Panther party, started hurling the slurs at the newsmen. Sure it wasn't her who hurled the insults, but what kind of person surrounds herself with militant racists? Doesn't say much at all for her character.

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I don't find her anti-semitic and I am Jewish. I do find there has been a concerted campaign against her at the highest political and intelligence dirty-tricks levels because she was too progressive and saw through all the xxxx all the other members of congress let 'slide'.....IF that is a correct report of one of her supporters, then they did make a not very nice remark....but as I said she has been the focus of CIA, FBI and other dirty tricks and much media slander...so careful on what you read and believe on her. He is against Israeli foreign policy and their many oppressive actions in the Middle East and occumpation of Palistinian lands etc. I have not heard a verifiable comment she has made leading me to bellieve she is anti-semitic and one of her staffers, a friend of mine, I know would quit if she ever did or even mentioned such in private. When someone is such an enemy of the National Security State don't believe much of what you read or see about them. And for her opposition to the NSS and Israel's oppressive actions, I say Brava!

I saw the video where her racist protectors, the New Black Panther party, started hurling the slurs at the newsmen. Sure it wasn't her who hurled the insults, but what kind of person surrounds herself with militant racists? Doesn't say much at all for her character.

I haven't seen this, so can't comment. But know that Malcolm-X was surrounded by agent provocateur FBI and NYPD men, as well as supporters....so don't jump to conclusions......and don't blame a person for the actions of another not officially connected to them. I'll ask my friend about this....but, I'm sceptical......very!

Find the video- it's very clear. They were escorting her out (she later acknowledged they were her security detail.) They started shouting the epitaths. It got a lot of play on cable news here when it happened- I guess you're not in the US. I'm sure it's probably on youtube.com

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Virtually the same thread exists in the MLK section in the 'Political Conspiracies' section.

Here is Congresswoman McKinneys response to this the day after the election.

August 13, 2006

Statement from Cynthia McKinney

Everybody who puts on a T-shirt isn't a McKinney supporter, and everybody who stands around with folded arms in some doorway is not playing security in any campaign of mine. It's come to my attention that several errant individuals at and near my campaign office on election night uttered some unfortunate remarks including singling out a Jewish member of the press.

The people who made those remarks were not associated with my campaign in any formal way, and I want to make clear from this hour that any informal ties between me and my campaign and anyone holding or espousing such views are cut and renounced. The fact that the remarks occurred after some verbal and other provocation initiated either by members of the press or so-called security people attached to members of the press is no excuse for the content of the remarks themselves.

Denunciations of entire religious or racial groups, statements ascribing this or that behavior or motivation to "the white man" or "the Jew" have never been part of my lexicon, my public or even my private dialogue. Anyone who makes blanket denunciations of Jews or "the Jew" is certainly not a supporter of mine, not a staff member, not a consultant to, nor is welcome to be a volunteer in my campaign. Such people are in fact not living in the real world.

In the real world the Jewish people are heirs to an incomparable tradition of resisting oppression in all its forms. Nelson Mandela's longtime military commander was one Joe Slovo, a Lithuanian Jew. In Israel today, thousands of members of the armed forces from highly trained pilots to ordinary citizen soldiers are, at great personal risk to themselves, refusing to take part in the roadblocks or the occupation of Palestine, or in the current bombing and invasion of Lebanon. Hundreds of these heroic Jewish resisters, called "refuseniks" languish daily in Israeli prisons. And the worldwide peace movement owes a debt to Mordecai Vanunu, the Israeli citizen who revealed to the world the truth about his country's nuclear arsenal, and who has paid for that act of conscience with more time in prison than Nelson Mandela, most of it in solitary confinement.

Our language and our practice should always reflect our deepest values. The struggle against racism and injustice in all their forms has always been and will always be at the core of my private and my public values.

I urge the people who made those unfortunate remarks to study a little history, to reflect upon our common humanity, and wherever they go in the future, to try do better. And to do good wherever they go.

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Here is a letter from a constituent of Georgias fourth district to Dr.Ronald Walters, who wrote an article in the Chicago-Defender in August.

It pretty accurately sums up how Congresswoman McKinneys defeat came about.

Dr. Ronald Walters

Professor

The Department of Government and Politics

University of Maryland

3140 Tydings Hall

College Park, MD 20742

Dear Dr. Walters:

I read with interest your article, “Lieberman and McKinney: Voting political change,” which appeared in the Chicago Defender on August 16, 2006, and while I cannot comment on your assessment of the Lieberman loss, I do take issue with several of your statements regarding the defeat of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in Georgia’s 4th District. First of all, I believe you must have read the comments of Political Science professors Alan Abramowitz of Emory University and Moshe Haspel of Spelman College, which appeared the day after the election in the New York Times, and assumed they were correct. (It is important to note that Abramowitz is hardly an unbiased observer, for he is a conservative Republican living in the 4th District. For years, he has railed against her, and attempted to unseat her. Haspel, on the other hand, is a protégé of Abramowitz, having received his doctorate in Political Science from Emory.) I say this because the two of them pronounced that middle class Blacks were moving into the 4th district and were disenchanted with McKinney’s outspokenness, a view you echoed in your article.

Allow me to set the stage for the political climate in Georgia’s 4th congressional district. As Congresswoman McKinney has said, many see the Atlanta area as a Mecca for fair-minded, progressive people, but it is still in Georgia. Many whites still believe Black people should stay in “their place,” and in a number of ways, Black people are still subjected to the degradation and discrimination of yesteryear. The conservative white owned media in Atlanta, Georgia, does not feel that Black America—especially those living in the Atlanta area—has a right to a voice in decision-making…on the international, national, or local levels. They certainly do not feel that Black people should vote for and be represented by an intelligent, articulate Black woman such as Cynthia McKinney, who speaks “truth to power.” To them, she is like Ida B. Wells-Barnett…speaking the truth, she is simply too dangerous.

As a result, most of the staff at the local Atlanta Journal Constitution has consistently waged war against her, especially Cynthia Tucker, the AJC Editorial Page Editor, a Black woman of the same age as McKinney, and the daughter of parents who fought for Black political empowerment in Alabama in the 1960s and 1970s. Although Tucker is purportedly a “liberal” on social issues, she regularly attacks any and all Black people who challenge the status quo, from all of the family of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., inclusive of the late Coretta Scott King, Andrew Young, DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones, and, of course, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Tucker has been particularly venomous toward McKinney, writing editorials that are so filled with distortions and untruths that she and the paper have been warned that they would be sued for libel.

Further, most of the AJC staff believes that Congresswoman McKinney won her past six races because poor, uneducated Black people voted for her, a fact divulged by a close friend who is a reporter for the AJC. In reality, the southern portion of the DeKalb County in the 4th District is the largest middle class and upper middle class, educated Black community in the United States. Suburban DeKalb County was built in the 1960s for whites in middle management and their families; and when they sold their homes to move even farther out from the city of Atlanta, Black middle class families moved in. Hence, Congresswoman McKinney’s strength was and still is with the Black middle and upper middle class in DeKalb County.

The geographical location of the 4th District, itself, is important in assessing Congresswoman McKinney’s defeat. When she was first elected to the old 11th District, her territory included most of DeKalb County as well as most of the counties going toward Savannah. One of her first actions was to successfully take up the cause of farmers, Black and white, who had been stripped of their kaolin rich soil. A group of wealthy whites in the rural area filed suit, and the court ruled her district would be redrawn to include mostly DeKalb County and a small portion of nearby Gwinnett County. In 2002 after the 2000 U. S. Census, the district was redrawn, during which one of her strongest areas, Ellenwood, was removed and put into a newly formed district, the 13th, a district that was won by David Scott, a Black man who has one of the most conservative voting records of all Democrats, and is especially weak when dealing with issues relating to Black people.

Two more times since 2002, the 4th district has been redrawn, in 2004 and again in 2006, each time the Congresswoman lost more of her supporters and was given instead more white areas. In 2006, part of northern DeKalb County was given to the 6th district which is basically affluent and white, and represented by Republican Tom Price; the portion of Gwinnett County in the 4th district was removed and replaced by another small section further to the south of Gwinnett County; small portions of the western part of the DeKalb County were given to David Scott, Congressman of the 13th district, and John Lewis, Congressman of the 5th district; and finally, the western half of Rockdale County—as you said, a predominately white county—makes up the southeastern portion of the 4th district. To change the boundaries of a district three times in less than five years has got to be a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which two Georgia congressmen, Charlie Norwood and Lynn Westmoreland, attempted to water down when it was clear it would be extended this past summer. And as it stands right now, we do not know what the actual boundaries of the district are…neither the DeKalb County Board of Elections nor the Election Division of the Secretary of State’s office could tell us. Despite the changes, this district is still majority Black.

Besides the redistricting, 2006 was the third time Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has been targeted by those who believe that she should not represent the majority constituency in her district, or champion the rights and causes of black, brown and low-income white people. Besides the Republican Party, organizations like the American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) have encouraged their membership to give millions of dollars and physical support to candidates to challenge Black elected officials who refuse to blindly support Israel, right or wrong. For instance, former Congressman Earl Hilliard, Alabama’s first U. S. representative, was defeated in 2002 in a runoff against his opponent, Artur Davis, as AIPAC raised $1.5 million as well as sent in operatives to defeat Hilliard.

Interestingly, Congresswoman McKinney lost in 2002 to a former District Court judge, Denise Majette, who voted Republican in the 2000 presidential primary for Alan Keyes. Actually former governor and U. S. senator, Zell Miller—who still calls himself a Democrat but follows the Republican Party line—was and is Majette’s mentor. Miller appointed Majette to the bench when he was governor, and he had her give up her judgeship to run for Congress in 2002. As the Democrat, Majette was a shoo-in in the November 2002 election, and shortly before being sworn in, she was rewarded with a trip to Israel. In 2004, Miller had her run for his vacated U. S. senatorial seat, to prevent a white male Democrat from possibly beating the Republican candidate, Johnny Isakson.

Following the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Georgia was one of eight southern states that enacted laws to continue to control the Black vote through the use of the “open primary” (as opposed to their former “closed” or “whites only” primaries) allowing all voters, Democratic as well as Republican the right to vote in whatever primary they choose; and majority vote, which dictates that if the leading candidate in an election does not receive 50 percent plus one vote, there will be a runoff between the two highest vote getters. In 1992, incumbent Democratic U. S. Senator Wyche Fowler won the November general election, but because a Libertarian was also in the race, he did not get 50 percent plus one vote, and subsequently lost the runoff to Paul Coverdale.

Georgia is also a state that uses the Diebold voting machines that do not give the voter a receipt or allow for a paper trail or audit of the votes cast. At the end of the voting day, all that can be ascertained is the number of voters who cast votes, and that is even suspect. A group of Princeton University computer scientists recently demonstrated vote stealing software that can be installed within a minute on a common electronic voting machine. The machine they studied was a Diebold machine—although they state that had they had access to other machines, they would/could have studied them instead.

Edward Felten, director of the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton, said, “We found that the machine is vulnerable to a number of extremely serious attacks that undermine the accuracy and credibility of the vote count it produces…[furthermore, the machines]…are susceptible to computer viruses that can spread themselves automatically and invisibly from machine to machine during normal pre- and post election activity.” Felten also informs that all of Georgia’s counties—including those in the 4th District—use the exact machine examined by his group.

This may explain the tremendous irregularities that took place during the primary and runoff, such as machines whose final screens indicated the voter had cast a ballot for Johnson, although the voter had voted for McKinney, and McKinney’s name appearing on machines in counties not even in the 4th district. It may also explain why it took hours—long after the votes from the rest of the state were in—before the tallies were released for the 4th district, and how a runoff election resulted in such a high vote turnout…much higher than the primary itself.

Because of the aforementioned political conditions, Georgia now has a Republican governor, who was formerly a Democrat, and Republicans control both the Georgia Senate and House, many of whom were elected to office initially as Democrats. There appears to be a fairly strong Republican Party organization here, but the Democratic Party is non-existent at worst and ineffective at best. White Democrats show little interest in developing a party apparatus that builds support from one election to another, since so many of them are actually Democrats in Republican clothing, or the new Dixiecrats. The reason for this is the fact that the majority of Democrats are Black, and whites of both political persuasions do not want to give any semblance of political power to people of color.

Although my paternal grandmother was born a slave near Athens, Georgia, around 1860, I am not a Georgian by birth, but by choice. My wife and I chose to retire here ten years ago, and what we have experienced are political conditions that are insane. Despite their numbers, Black voters are taken for granted by both parties, and Black candidates for public office have no platforms, no issues, and no loyalties to their prospective constituencies. Black elected officials do not even have loyalty to each other. Congressman John Lewis has stayed as far away from Cynthia McKinney as he could throughout the years, and during the recent campaign, publicly stated he had known her opponent, Hank Johnson, for many years and he would make a fine representative. Of course, John Lewis has been a captive of his minority Jewish constituency throughout his political career.

Some of us have had the tremendous opportunity to be exposed to real education through, thank goodness, great educators. Some of us have taken our knowledge and skills to share with and do for others. Unfortunately, some of us have used our educational opportunities to assume a social status that benefits us personally with prestige and money, but does little or nothing to benefit our people. It should not surprise you that Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who has spent all of her political life fighting to make government work for everyone, was sabotaged in both the 4th district’s primary and runoff elections by a former county commissioner, Hank Johnson, who told her that she should not take his candidacy against her personally, because, “…it was a business deal.” He also has stated publicly that he would be the “pothole” congressman, and not concern himself with other issues. (Fixing potholes, of course, is a role for the county commissioners, which he was at the time he made the statement.)

There is no question that Cynthia McKinney was decidedly the most qualified candidate in the 4th district race. While her opponent has a B. A. from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) and a law degree from Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law, he does not appear to be very knowledgeable or thoughtful. He has had numerous financial problems (filing for bankruptcy twice), as well as been censured by the bar association. He has taken money from owners—and the attorneys for owners—of landfills, which is why many in the Black community refer to him as Hank “Landfill” Johnson. Recently, a large middle class predominately Black community called Hidden Hills (part of which is in his county commission district) requested aid from him, because the white owner of the Hidden Hills private golf course—which is encircled by the more than 1600 homes in Hidden Hills—stated he was developing the property for more homes. The community wants the county to intercede, purchase the land, and maintain it as a public course. He informed community members he could not help them…it was later they discovered his wife, Mareda Johnson (also an attorney), is being retained by the white owner of the course.

On the other hand, when she was elected to Congress, Cynthia McKinney already had a B. A. in International Affairs from the University of Southern California, an M. A. from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and only had to complete her dissertation to earn a doctorate from that same school. It should be pointed out that the mission of the Fletcher School—established in 1933—was to educate professionals from around the world, prepare them for positions of leadership and influence in the national and international arenas, and increase understanding of international problems in order to develop relationships of mutual benefit, security, and justice. Prior to being elected to Congress, she served in the Georgia House of Representative, was a diplomatic fellow at Spelman College, and was on faculty at Clark Atlanta University and Agnes Scott College. Cynthia McKinney has never generated any negative press (note: she has refused to take money from lobbyists), except that created by those who wanted to unseat her.

What has occurred, however, is a vendetta against her by those who resent that she believes—in accordance with her studies at Fletcher School—that the United States must be an “honest broker” in dealing with world governments and international affairs, whether it means support for the Palestinians, against a pre-emptive war in Iraq. In short, she refuses to ascribe to the school, Israel, right or wrong. She was particularly castigated when she raised questions during her fifth term in office about the mistreatment of Palestinian people by Israel while a member of the House International Relations Committee. The vitriol spewed by many American Jews is outlandish. But she is not alone. Earl Hilliard, Congressman from Alabama’s 7th district (Birmingham, Selma, et al) also suffered the same fate, won the primary, but lost in a runoff to Artur Davis.

So heinous is the hatred generated toward Cynthia McKinney that she has been forced to cover the windows of her home, in order to keep people from being able to ascertain her movements when at home. She has received death threats, and some of the vilest hate mail—both snail and e-mail—imaginable. After the grand jury in Washington, D. C., refused to indict her for allegedly striking a D. C. police officer (although he accosted her from behind first), a DJ in New York stated on the air that she should be lynched. A talk show host here in Georgia, Neal Boortz, said her new hairdo looks like “Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence…” and made her look like “a ghetto slut.”

In 2003, after McKinney was defeated in 2002, a committee at Cornell University offered her a visiting professorship, a contract was signed, and a campus visit was arranged for her to meet faculty and students. Unfortunately, the conservative Jewish community, led by former mayor of New York, Ed Koch, opposed her appointment, and her visit on campus was made most unpleasant, with death threats, verbal abuse, vile language, et al. She fled Ithaca, New York, and the school has never made any compensation to her, although some of the members of the selection committee apologized to her. Some of those same people are now trying to keep her from being able to secure speaking engagements when she leaves Congress next January.

Significantly, the ultimate winner in the 4th congressional district is not Hank Johnson, but the leadership of the faith-based prosperity ministries, primarily New Birth Baptist Church, headed by Bishop Eddie Long, and allegedly the largest church in Georgia, Black or white. Bishop Long has ties to President George W. Bush, and is tied to Bishop T. D. Jakes, who has the same White House entry. Politically, the election of Johnson is actually just a diversion for the moment. DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones is a member of New Birth, and as CEO, he is constrained by term limits from running for a third term. He has already served in the Georgia State House, and his next step would be the U. S. Congress, and he needed to move Congresswoman McKinney out of the way for a run at the office in 2008.

Thus, using the white animus toward McKinney, the Diebold voting machines, the close association between Jones and the County Director of Elections (and Jones’ close friend), Linda Latimore, Jones and Eddie Long manipulated the vote to give Johnson the win. Although Johnson sees himself as a long-term congressman, he will never win again, the Christians will make certain of that. You see, he is a Buddhist, while his wife and children are Presbyterian, a fact not widely known. Moreover, he will be vilified over the next two years by Black people in the district, just as they did Denise Majette during her tenure between 2003-2005, which is why she did not seek re-election. (She was booed whenever and wherever she appeared in the Black community.) Believe me, in 2008, Vernon Jones will be running for the seat against a very weak opponent, for as he stated in April of this year during a trip to Washington, D. C., he would be back in the nation’s capitol in 2008. Unfortunately, Johnson, Jones, Bishop Long, are of the same stripe: they are neither Democratic nor Republican, but Opportunists.

There you have it, my friend, the defeat of one of the most progressive members of Congress, Cynthia McKinney, as succinctly as I could make it. There is much more, of course, but suffice it to say, Cynthia McKinney was victimized by practically all of the things that make for bad politics. Sadly, we, her constituents, and people everywhere are the real victims.

Philip G. Smith

Formerly of Chicago, Illinois

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Edited by John Geraghty
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