Lying by the numbers

Associate Editor Bruce Dixon's dismantling of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's contrived "study" of the Denise Majette - Cynthia McKinney primary election resonated among our readership. "Denise Majette's claims to substantial African American support in the August election, as well as the political conclusions offered by the newspaper and the many media outlets that have cited its reports, are based on phantom voters, wishful thinking and phony numbers - lies made of whole cloth," Dixon wrote. Neither was there "evidence in 'predominantly black precincts' of sufficient black Majette voters to indicate a new, rightward trend in DeKalb County, Georgia - much less to extrapolate for the rest of black America." (See "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Bogus Election 'Study,'" Nov. 4 issue.)

Darryl Cox is a strategic planner and knows something about numbers. Cox applauds our analysis, but questions the tone of the article. He also believes Cynthia McKinney shares some of the responsibility for her own defeat.

Bravo!! Your study is a sorely needed antidote to the superficial and misinformed analyses we have been presented with to date regarding the electoral contest between Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Denise Majette. I would like to offer two criticisms or comments about your report, although neither of them refutes your thesis about the election. One, Rep. McKinney's shares a portion of the blame for her vilification at least with regard to her comments about whether President Bush had prior knowledge of the attacks on September 11. Surely, she should have had enough political sense and common, garden-variety mother wit to know that making comments of this type would energize her political opponents and move many of them not to vote for the eventual Republican primary winner but, rather, for her major Democratic primary opponent. If Rep. McKinney did not foresee the consequences of her statements about the president then she was guilty either of hubris or gross naiveté or both. She and her supporters simply cannot claim to be victims as though they had little or no role, in provoking their attackers.

My final comment pertains to your suggesting that Denise Majette be shunned and "shamed at every opportunity." I understand the righteous anger you feel toward her and all that she represents. Black people have always had to deal with the proverbial "Trojan Horse" in our midst. What concerns me, however, is that I believe that you undercut and diminish the power of your analysis by publicly expressing this degree of animosity toward Majette. Your study, in my opinion, effectively undercuts her claims of having attained a certain degree of legitimacy within the black community. Suggesting or demanding that she be shunned makes it appear that you only have an axe to grind and that your real aim is not to bring about clarity and truth but to skewer your political enemies.

Bruce Dixon Replies:

Thank you for your thoughtful comments. The new representative from Georgia's 4th district was elected despite a four to one black vote against her in the primary, and like many Democrats, she expected and got virtually all the black vote cast in November. For the next two years, the only powers people of color will have over Denise Majette are those of public shame and opprobrium. To suggest the exercise of these purely social sanctions somehow "undercuts" the position that she is an enemy artifact planted in a position of ostensible leadership among us, a Trojan Horse, is just a little strange.

Denise Majette benefited from a campaign of unmatched nastiness. Her supporters publicly questioned McKinney's motives, patriotism, character and more. Majette is nowhere on record cautioning them about their lack of civility. She even joined in, claiming that McKinney was funded by people "linked to" terrorism. Majette and her supporters were simply enforcing the consensus of corporate America, in which anyone questioning the "war on terrorism" is fair game for slander and vituperation.

Similarly, in recent days the enforcers of the Corporate Consensus have tried to convince us that use of the labels "house slave", "Uncle Tom" and "Darth Vader in the body of a black woman" as applied to its ex-generals, supreme court justices and national security advisors are vile racist epithets sufficient to require the denouncing and dismissal of any who utter them as beyond the pale.

Let's not be fooled. We have the right to access our own collective experience, our own American history to express shared feelings about the behaviors of public officials who do what they do with our money and in our name. There is no reason to pretend that Majette's pose as some new kind of black leader is legit. Clarence Thomas would not feel comfortable in a room with a lot of African Americans, and for good reason. Neither should Denise Majette.

An important part of our publication's reason for existence is to reveal the lies at the heart of corporate media-spun myths. We appreciate these words of encouragement from reader, Al Kamara.

Great piece of research. If possible let us have the truth of the numbers behind the Republican wins in the recent elections. We have the intuitive belief that the Republican Party has become the refuge of most whites since 1965 in their attempts to maintain racial privileges legally lost with desegregation legislation. In other words, the big question is what percentage of white voters voted Republican this time around? And what percentage of the Democrat vote was white?

Gender breakdowns will also be revealing. We suspect Bush's wins have nothing to do with him at all but rather everything to do with the perception that his party will do everything to "protect" white interests even to the point of cutting off noses to spite faces. This would mean that whites will overlook corporate scandals, bad economic policies, tax cuts for the rich - at their won expense so long as white racial interests are seen to be protected with racist, rightwing judges, locking up more blacks, slaughtering Iraqis, etc.

Loretta Renford is a tireless organizer and truth-disseminator. We're glad she's on our side.

I am thoroughly amazed, yet proud that The Black Commentator, Bruce Dixon and others continue to investigate and put together a solid piece of indisputable facts that expose the slick entry of the Trojan Horse in our midst.

Again, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney deserves our continued support and another apology as the charlatans once more move among us, sliding into the honored seats in our weakening political arena. While most of our eyes and ears were opened to observe, we heard the pre-acceptance speech of the Congressional Black Caucus, accepting another Trojan Horse into its midst. We demand that they take steps to eject this charlatan based on her disgraceful entry as an elected representative of Georgia's 4th district. Perhaps, if all the allegations are true, maybe they are getting their just desserts. But, not all voters were involved in this disgraceful plot to unseat Congresswoman McKinney.

Now, where do we go from here? Where and when will the outrage become such an unbearable burning in our bellies? Will we ever stand for justice and kick these Clarence Thomas-like gutless wonders in the butt and make all of them accountable and respectful to our people? We need politicians that choose not to prostitute themselves or the people they represent.

and staff... Keep up the good work. I thank you on behalf of all.

We at firmly believe that, ultimately, the Black Trojan Horse strategy will collapse under the scrutiny of a wise people. However, there will be many defeats along the way. People like Ms. Renford keep us strong and alert.

Actin' the fool

CherylAnn enjoyed our Briefs section in the October 17 issue, especially the rundown on George Bush's mock-insanity.

Congratulations on this wonderfully written article, describing our present state of affairs so very succinctly. (Of course the article was written before election-day depression set in.)

When I reached the subtitle "Lethally Stupid" I was totally amazed by the truths that are staring all of American's in the face yet they seem to be mesmerized by this "regime"! I know that there has been several references to Hitler and our present "chief of stuff" but the influence isn't only the persuasiveness of the so-called "down home" type charisma... no, this is a far more nefarious "regime".

"You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it." - Malcolm X

Anyone who quotes Malcolm cannot be too far wrong.

Wild about Harry

Mail continues to arrive from readers of Harry Belafonte's Larry King Live interview, reprinted here, in which the singer/activist dramatically explained the difference between Colin Powell, the Role Model, and the actual role he plays for the Bush Administration.

Reader Russell offered these comments:

I was not surprised, but encouraged, by Mr. Belafonte's candid remarks. He lets me relish in the idea that there are still men out there that think for themselves and do not follow the rest of the cattle. This perspective that we are all being spoon fed by the mega media does nothing but promote piracy on a worldwide scale. This country, faults and all, deserves a better role than that of thieves stealing the resources of weaker countries around the world. It appears we will ignore the "threats" of more powerful nations and only flex our muscles when our opponents are obviously weaker. The problem with the bully picking his battles to make himself appear strong is that the size of the dog in the fight is not nearly as important as the size of the fight in the dog. Thank you to Mr. Belafonte for letting the world know the people of this country are not behind the policies of our illegal leaders.

We call our readers' attention to the sad and silly statements by Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) on Harry Belafonte's criticism of Colin Powell, in the Briefs column of this issue.

David Oberweiser has greetings, observations and a prediction.

Sisters and Brothers: Wish I could send more than praise for the work you have done. The Belafonte interview is a jewel and most commentary on our corrupt racist politics is on the money. Stay the course in these stormy seas. We may get the shit knocked out of us for now, but once the people really unite, we shall prevail.

That's why we do what we do.

Keep writing.

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Issue Number 16
November 14, 2002





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Other commentaries in this issue:

Trojan Horse Watch
Bush Funds Black Voucher Front Group... Your tax dollars pay for propaganda blitz

Dr. Todd Burroughs Defends CRISIS Editor’s "Opinion"... Dr. Martin Kilson Cites Lack of "Viable Analysis"... BC: Editor Valentine undermines NAACP

The Simple Sayings of Harold Ford, Jr.... Sad and silly remarks from Sharpton, Rangel... Putting together a winning minority

Environmental Justice for People of Color... Summit draws 1,200 delegates to Washington

Guest Commentary
The Sniper & the Nation of Islam...By D.H. Muhammad

Commentaries in Issue 15 November 4 , 2002:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Bogus Election "Study"
Black Majette vote grossly inflated, analysis reveals By Bruce A. Dixon, Associate Editor

Guest Commentary 1
Harvard Professor Lambasts THE CRISIS Editor
Martin Kilson says magazine bolsters NAACP foe

Wellstone: The best of them all

Permanent war, permanent Uncle Toms
NAACP for peace
Solitary killers and mass muderousness
Prisoners of the American gulag

Politics Trumps Religion:
Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative
By Barbara Miner

Belafonte’s courage
Race and war hysteria
Baraka’s verse
Unpaid debt in Zimbabwe

You can read any past issue of The Black Commentator in its entirety by going to the Past Issues page.