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John Conyers: What Of Impeachment?

It had been my intention to write on a different topic, but after reading Race is the Tripwire for the Progressive Movement: John Conyers and Impeachment, by Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., I felt compelled to write the following:

There has been a bit of a buzz emanating for some time from certain quarters about impeaching President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Recently with this buzz has come a virulent attack by certain white so-called progressives and leftists upon US Representative John Conyers who is a member of the Democratic Party and Chair of the Judiciary Committee in the US House of Representatives.

So what of impeachment?

In reading the above mentioned piece, I noted with interest its specific reference to what it termed as "the White progressive anti-war movement." Therein lies a part of the problem, for indeed it is fundamentally a "White" movement, with all the privileged assumptions of there being a supposed American democracy [reference Black Commentator - American Democracy: Legacy of Hypocrisy & Deceit - March 15, 2007 - Issue 221]. This is not a people's movement and definitions do very much matter. At the outset it becomes obvious as to why this "White progressive anti-war movement" apparently felt no compunction in publicly attacking John Conyers. It is, after all, by definition a "White" "anti-war movement." However, first and foremost, what is needed in the US is a Pro Peace With Justice movement, not a "White progressive anti-war movement" that is, by definition, fundamentally flawed and privileged. I repeat: Definitions do matter. [reference BlackCommentator - Definitions Do Matter-Anti-War... - June 28, 2007 - Issue 235].

It should be clearly understood that no politician, Democrat or Republican, can, if the overwhelming majority of the masses actively demand it, put the issue of impeachment off or on the table. With dogged commitment, education, and organization, the masses of Americans could bring the offices, institutions, and concomitant machinery of this nation to a screeching halt if they so chose and in so doing, irrevocably demonstrate the power of the people. No politician or group of politicians can do this. The people can do this if they so choose.

For a certainty, there can be no question that Bush, Cheney, and their arrogant and bloody ilk (including certain alleged people of color) have committed (and are no doubt continuing to commit) impeachable offenses. However, the public targeting of John Conyers by some in the US white left is undeniably racist, totally unacceptable, and in the final analysis it is self defeating and divisive. For certain, Bush and Cheney are a despicable and repugnant plague upon this nation and humanity as a whole, and clearly need to be removed. However, this removal needs to be accomplished by recognizing and acting upon the fact that Bush and Cheney are part and parcel of a racist, capitalist system, built upon white privilege. Ignoring this reality is, in fact, facilitating the continuation of this system and serves to bring about new political bosses who are essentially the same as the old bosses in all but their rhetoric. Thus, for example, a 2008 Hillary Clinton / Barack Obama ticket would not only be disastrous, but would continue the same racist, capitalist systemic madness and hypocrisy, albeit under the hypocritical guise of different rhetoric.

Moreover, it would behoove certain privileged white folks such as David Swanson who are supposedly on the left to cease acting as if they have somehow come into possession of the political holy grail. They have not; their racist arrogance is divisive and unacceptable.

What needs to be impeached by the majority of the people is this entire filthy, hypocritical, bloody, racist, capitalist system. How is impeaching the Bush / Cheney ilk going to provide the immediate decent shelter, clothing, food, and education needed by the victims of Katrina in particular, and Black and other people of color throughout the US? How is impeachment going to provide the immediate viable health insurance and health care so desperately needed by many millions of Americans of both genders and all colors? How is impeachment going to dismantle and stop the US military / corporate killing machine ravaging this planet, and supported by most politicians of both the Democratic and Republican Parties? To reiterate: What needs to be impeached [i.e. dismantled] by the majority of the people is this entire filthy, hypocritical, bloody, racist, capitalist system.

Herein lies another important flaw that is not at all merely a matter of so-called "partisan politics." To the contrary, the Democratic and Republican Parties of this nation are simply two wings of the same Party. They fundamentally do not represent the vast majority of the people. Nor have they ever done so. "The Democrats" (and their Republican counterparts) have, by their very nature, already failed us, which is why brother Malcolm X correctly referred to the Democrats as "Dixiecrats," and to both so-called parties as being either a [hungry] "fox or a [hungry] wolf." Thus, attacking John Conyers and clamoring for impeachment might serve adequately to assuage the consciences of some in white America, but it does not seriously address the horrible ongoing systemic injustices and 21st century economic apartheid, experienced on a daily basis by Black, Red, and Brown peoples in this nation. Only real systemic change will do this.

With all due respect, the virulent and unjustified public attacks upon John Conyers do not in any way serve to weaken or neutralize "the precedent...that Bush has established, which severely oversteps the bounds of executive power." These nasty public attacks are, in addition to being racist and self defeating, quite indefensible. Once again, as my dear Chicano comrade and former Brown Beret, Eddie Perez would say regarding much of the US white left vis-a-vis people of color: "The left has left us out!"

Finally, the public attacks upon John Conyers have nothing whatever to do with "racial betrayal." To the contrary, those public attacks were naive, desperate, and tactically & strategically incorrect - it would have been much better to go after House members (particularly any on the Judiciary Committee) who agree with Pelosi that impeachment is "off the table". Nonetheless, whether impeachment of George W. Bush and / or Dick Cheney were to proceed or not is not at all the point. It is the system itself that must be changed, not merely the Democratic or Republican Party puppets / managers that represent it.

In the final analysis, the majority of Black, Red, Brown, and certain disenfranchised White peoples in America know that the most effective way to keep it real at this stage in history is to really change the system. Columnist Larry Pinkney is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.  

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August 2, 2007
Issue 240

is published every Thursday.

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