Number 12 - September 19, 2002
The size of the type may be changed by clicking on view at the top of
your browser and selecting "text size". The document will
print in the size you select.
Cynthia McKinney's loss resonated deeply among Blacks and progressives
- and thrilled the opposition, a segment of which appears to scour the
Internet in search of sites to rant at. This is strange behavior. Although
publishers have spent many decades in electronic and print media, the
find-the-enemy-and-scream syndrome continues to amaze us. Someone should
do a paper on the subject.
A dilemma arises,
however, from a set of hostile and often mean spirited writers who,
nevertheless, manage to touch on interesting points - if only by accident.
These are puzzling types, the kind who should know they don't belong
in the conversation, but who chime in anyway. Occasionally, these people
skirt the edges of sense closely enough that we feel compelled to share
their letters with you.
We'll save that
(short) list for the latter part of this column. First, letters from
our writers in-their-right-minds.
Erik Nelson brought
to our attention events that he believes contributed to Rep. McKinney's
defeat, August 20.
I'd like to make
sure you are aware that the Cynthia McKinney campaign was, in fact,
sabotaged. I received an email from her campaign describing how Labor
Union headquarters were ransacked the night before the election. The
burglars stole 31 phones which were to be used to get out the vote;
replacement phones did not arrive until late afternoon, near the close
of the polls. Moreover, keys to 10 campaign vans disappeared the morning
of the election, preventing campaign workers from canvassing neighborhoods
and transporting voters to the booths. Does not this warrant an investigation?
We replied that
Watergate also began as a "third-rate burglary." Call the
law, by all means. It would, however, have required much more than ten
vans and some phones to reverse the solid white tide, reinforced by
a disaffected 30% of African American voters. Vastly more political
vigilance is necessary, if the Hard Right is to be prevented from sneaking
into the house, as it did in 4th district of Georgia.
A few of our most
articulate writers insist on anonymity, which is irritating. However,
in the interest of the free flow of thought, we allow them to keep the
I thank you for
your article about the Hard Right attack on Cynthia McKinney. Finally
someone has noticed that the whole situation, while trying to appear
like it was about what she SAYS, was really about how she VOTES liberally
on issues, especially on issues of concern to the whole economic spectrum
of black voters (social security, prescription drugs, the environment,
affirmative action, economic issues, and the America-Israel situation).
One local alternative paper endorsed Majette after saying that they
agreed with McKinney on (almost) every single issue that she has voted
on over the past several years. Also there were Majette signs every
couple of blocks, and a concerted TV ad campaign. How did a political
unknown get that much money?
One thing about
it, those Majette signs have now come down. The Hard Right, and their
35,000 voters that effectively decided a race that was won by 20,000
votes may win this one outright. I believe they are going to cross
right back over to their own side in November and, helped along by
a disenfranchised working class black vote who might stay away (only
hurting other vulnerable democrats in statewide contests), they could
win a majority democrat district, which would be a shame, but a brilliant
strategy. For whatever it's worth, I am a black middle class voter
in DeKalb county's 4th district.
Anonymous? We bet
half of the county recognizes this person's distinctive voice.
was working in Bourbon, Missouri, enthralling Leona Heitsch.
McKinney was the
only person, outside of [Congresswoman Barbara] Lee in California
who stood up to Bush and his right wing cabal. This is one left
wing WASP from Missouri who was championing McKinney and sooo
disgusted with the machinations that took her out of the House. She
is so good. I contributed to her election campaign and wish I could
have done more. She needs to stay in the public eye and I wonder if
Oprah or somebody couldn't help her set up her own political talk
show. Cynthia just can't shut up. She may be the only one with
the courage to speak up and save this country, and the whole world
from the greedy oil conglomerate Bush represents.
writes from Savannah, Georgia. His is an historical perspective.
Once again the
tricks of slavery have tricked us again. Because a white man says
he does not like the honest and direct outspokenness of Ms. McKinney,
some weak minded pawn jumps at the opportunity to please "Massa".
When will we as a people realize that we will never be treated as
or looked upon as equals by the small minded racists of this country?
Once we come to that realization, we will stop being pawns in destroying
our own race. We still have the slave mentality that kept us in bondage
well after slavery ended. Some of us are still slaves because we still
have that overwhelming desire to please "massa" at the cost
of our brothers and sisters.
There have been
too many people, black and white, that have paid the ultimate price
to finally end slavery. The modern day slavery we face is no different
than that of the past. The tools of the game are the same; divide
and conquer, treat some better than others and lie to all of us. Cynthia
McKinney, will be alright, she will survive! We must encourage, support
and stand with her in this war. Just as
stated earlier, she is not the last black leader that will come under
such an attack. We must see things as they really are and not as the
"magicians" desire us to. Ms. Mckinney, Stay Strong, Stay
Safe, Stay Black!
Pam Allee thinks
well of this publication and is therefore, by definition, extremely
intelligent. She is also a decisive personality:
My partner sent
me Mr. Ford's letter beginning "Fight on, Sister McKinney."
I had to stop in the middle of reading it and subscribe. I haven't
read such right-on, directly spoken truth for a very long time. Thank
you very much. What a treasure
Mr. Ford and co-publisher
Peter Gamble are appreciative.
It's also good to
know that those who disrespect the sensibilities and dignity of Black
folk are not welcome in the presence of Bob Anderson, of Earlsboro,
book is not worth reading and certainly not worth buying. However,
individuals of Kennedy's mentality must be monitored to let the Black
world know who among the Black race are traitors. Kennedy ought to
try writing a book on character; I bet he would discover that he has
Now that the sane,
progressive people have had their say, let's deal with the problem writers.
believes that readers should be treated with respect. Each email is
accepted as an outstretched hand of greeting; good intentions are assumed
as a given, and we are secure enough in our presentation to accept criticism.
An important part of our mission is to provoke debate among Blacks and
It is both unseemly
and unwise to edit out all negative response; serious politics is not
a love fest.
So, what do you
do with someone like R. Jones?
You just don't
get it! Why is it so difficult to understand why, and that, Cynthia
lost? It reminds me a lot of those loyal Confederates - after all
these years - they still can't accept the fact that they were defeated.
your rhetoric is unmatched by empirical data to support your claims.
For example, give me some statistical demographics of the voting patterns
in the Fourth District and show how it impacted the outcome of the
Jones has just made
it almost certain that his letter won't be published, not because he
disagrees with us, but because he does not address the issues discussed.
"Cynthia McKinney's Honorable Defeat," was concerned with
the general behavior of the district's Black and white vote, and the
scope and source of challenger Denise Majette's African American support.
Majette won one mostly Black precinct, and our research indicates she
could not have picked up more than 30% of the total Black vote. This,
and the widely accepted figure of around 90% white support for Majette,
is all the data necessary to make our point: that Majette was not backed
by a majority of even the Black "middle class," and her victory
is essentially a white electoral triumph. Complex questions flow from
these conclusions, but the factual basis is simple.
The data provided
is not enough for R. Jones, who wants to talk about something else.
He clearly revels in the rightwing victory, cackling on about how "the
voters emphatically expressed themselves and we'll just have to learn
to live with the results," before snidely wishing McKinney well.
Jones is not a person
you want to spend time with, if you are the kind of reader we think
you are. We have made you aware of Mr. Jones' existence, only as a means
of explaining why you won't see his type of letter in our e-Mailbox.
(This is a one-time exercise.)
John Cook represents
a slightly different problem. Responding to a Guest Commentary by Dr.
A. Chika Onyeani, Cook begins his letter as if with compassion for the
people of Africa:
I hope that you
will read this article to its writer when those 11,000,000 Zimbabweans
starve because of what is going to happen there. They have taken the
land from those who will produce [the whites] and given it to those
who don't know how to. Because of the accompanying hunger the wild
life of Zimbabwe may be completely destroyed from poaching for food.
Like Zaire's [he means Zambia's] refusal to accept the 500,000 tons
of our genetically altered farm products, we are going to see a horrible
cost of life due to the arrogance of the leadership in those African
Cook drops the words
"those African countries" in the same way that others mouth
the phrase, "you/those people." Then, the punch line:
Before Ghana threw
off the yolk of colonialism its economy was 4 times greater then that
of South Korea. Now its economy is 1/24 of South Korea. I wonder if
you will have the courage to report on the results of this "return"
of land in say a year.
We don't entertain
the opinions and racist subtexts of those who yearn for a return to
colonialism. We don't believe our readers care what they think, either.
No assemblage of "facts," no amount of repetitive crimes by
leaders or usurpers in Africa or the Diaspora can legitimize white minority
rule, privilege or ill-gotten property. You won't hear from Cook and
his ilk in these pages, again.
The exercise is
No, we don't publish
all of the mail. We have too much respect for you to do that.