Well, they're at it again, y'all. A small minority of Black people are hard at work doing everything they can to undermine the Black community. This time it's in the guise of trying to drag down Barack Obama by promoting Cynthia McKinney's dead-on-arrival candidacy with the Green Party.
They're touting Ms. McKinney's candidacy like it's some kind of intellectual fashion statement on Black independence, or Black people's right to speak, when all it actually represents is the same old "crabs in a barrel" mentality that we've been dealing with for the past four hundred years.
But of course, they'd say, "You people are treating Barack Obama like he's some kind of Messiah. He has flaws too, so why shouldn't Black people have the right to disagree?" In response, let me be the first to concede that they're absolutely right on both counts-Obama's definitely not the Messiah, and Black people have every right in the world to disagree-but what sense does it make to cut our own throat in the process?
In an interview with Ms. McKinney in "Your Black Politics," staff writer, Tolu Olorunda, indicates, "For many, the name "Cynthia McKinney" is synonymous with loaded-descriptions such as "progressive," "activist," "relentless," "fighter," "frank," and "courageous."Cynthia McKinney has been described by political-prisoner and internationally-renowned journalist, Mumia Abu Jamal, as "bold," "outspoken," and a "woman of substance." I'd add two other descriptors to that-questionable judgement, and voted out of office. In fact, she gained nationwide fame for her poor judgement.
Ms. McKinney represented Georgia's 4th District in the House of Representatives. On the morning of March 29, 2006, she entered the Longworth House Office Building by going around the security detectors. Members of congress are given a special lapel pin that allows them to do so, but on this morning Ms. McKinney wasn't wearing her pin. Thereafter, Ms. McKinney allegedly proceeded westward down the ground floor hallway and about halfway down the hallway was grabbed by United States Capitol Police officer Paul McKenna, who states that he had been calling after her– "Ma'am, Ma'am!" Reportedly, McKinney then struck the officer. Two days later, Officer McKenna filed a police report claiming that McKinney had struck "his chest with a closed fist."
On April 6, 2006, Ms. McKinney rendered a Public apology on the floor of the House of Representatives, indicating that "There should not have been any physical contact in this incident." Then on April 23, 2006 during an interview, she became frustrated with the questions she was being asked, and in a Jackson-like 'hot mike' moment she called her aide, Coz Carson, "a fool." After realizing what she'd done, she said, "anything that is captured by your audio … That is captured while I'm not seated in this chair is off the record and is not permissible to be used … Is that understood?" But of course, her warning was ignored and the segment was aired by CBS.
While both of these incidents are indicative of a woman who lacks a firm grasp on her emotions, they are the exact qualities that one would seek out if the motive was to undermine the presidential campaign of a Barack Obama. Her behavior tends to say, "I don't give a damn-I'll go for broke against these suckers!" Her attitude is both, in complete contrast to the reasoned and measured approach of Barack Obama, and at the same time, reflects the anger and frustration of many who feel disenfranchised by the system. So she's the perfect candidate if you want to appeal to the fist shakers.
But there's only one problem with Ms. McKinney's approach-it appeals to the emotions rather than common sense. While it may very well be cathartic to throw one's fist in the air, that kind of behavior doesn't win elections. So for those who would waste their vote on Cynthia McKinney–the very vote that many have died to secure-the question should be the following: When all the smoke has cleared, and this election has been relegated to history, what do you want to be left with, a tired arm from shaking your fist in the air, or a president, who could possibly change the course of the world, and provide a better way of life for you and your children? Thus, it simply does not make sense to take the position that "If Obama doesn't give me everything I want, I'm going to help McCain to win–who will certainly give me nothing.
McKinney indicated in Bro. Olorunda's interview that she supports reparations and the freeing of all "political prisoners." That may sound good to many, but what chance do you think she has of winning an election based on such an agenda? After the way the Bush regime has ravished the U.S. Treasury, we'll be lucky to get social security, much less reparations. And how are we to determine what constitutes a "political prisoner." According to some, every Black man in the joint is a political prisoner. So how many White folks do you think are going to vote to swing the prison gates open? In fact, never mind that-how many Black folks would vote for such a measure?
If we're dumb enough to let John McCain win this election, he'll be able to complete the process of creating an entirely conservative Supreme Court. That could send Black people back to the days of Jim Crow and beyond. They could overturn Brown V. The Board of Education, Roe V. Wade, The 1964 Civil Rights Act, and even The Voter's Rights Act. And according to the ACLU in a statement entitle "No Laughing Matter," they say, "Attorney General Michael Mukasey is demanding that Congress issue a new declaration of war so that anyone that this president or the next one declares to be an "enemy combatant" can be held indefinitely without a trial. The new declaration of war would make the entire globe – including the United States itself – a "battlefield" where the president decides who will be locked up forever."
So take the time to lookup the term "Cointelpro," then ask yourself, why is a handful of Black activists fighting so hard against Obama, in spite of the horror that John McCain represents? Then think about what you come up with before you decide to throw away your vote.
In conclusion, I think it's important to go on record that I'm not implying that anyone who supports Cynthia McKinney is Judas–I'm sure that most of her supporters are very honorable people who have simply been misguided. But let there be no doubt about it–Judas has a hand in there somewhere, and you can bet the ranch on that.
Eric L. Wattree