A proven and steadfast law of physics is
that two things cannot exist in the same place at
the same time. So it is that real change is
quite incompatible with the Democratic and Republican Parties
[i.e. the Republicrats], which are in fact the twin bulwarks
of this empire’s systemic terror against the poor and disenfranchised
in the United States and around the world.
Politically conscious Black, Brown, Red,
Yellow, and White peoples know that there can be
no compromise with, or so-called critical support of,
the Democratic and Republican Parties, which Malcolm X clearly,
correctly and succinctly described as being “foxes and wolves.”
To accept the assertion that one can critically support
any candidate from the Democratic or Republican Parties
is akin to asserting that one can critically support
the Manifest Destiny, fascism, apartheid, or Zionism - which
is the zenith of absurdity and hypocrisy. Yet,
there are those who would have us believe that the systemic
Republicrat serpents can somehow be made to be something
other than act as the poisonous snakes that they have repeatedly
demonstrated they are. These Democratic and Republican Parties
are frankly, the guardians of this empires’ system
of terror at home and abroad; gate keepers of the
empire. The reality is that one cannot be in support of
real, systemic change while simultaneously supporting the
very guardians who prop up the empire’s system of terror,
cynicism, and hypocrisy. In this instance, one cannot proverbially
have ones’ cake and eat it too. If we truly desire real
social, economic, and political [i.e. systemic] change,
then we must make the real and conscious choice to
stop supporting the gate keepers of this empire’s system,
and actively build third parties outside of the stifling,
smothering, and controlling box of the Democratic and Republican
campaigns of candidates from the Democratic and Republican
Parties are not, and must not be confused with being,
peoples’ movements. They are not. Rather, they are
fundamentally, highly and cynically manipulated marketing
tools, which utilize various segments of the ‘American’
people as their target populations. To reiterate:
They are not people’s movements. Real peoples’ movements
do not come into being through osmosis or corporate campaign
media advertisements. To the contrary, real peoples’ movements
are organized and built over time by the people ourselves,
from the bottom up, and are not beholden to Wall
Street, or the corporate / military / prison apparatus.
A real peoples’ movement recognizes that the Democratic
and Republican Parties and their concomitant corporate /
military / prison apparatus, is incompatible with
a movement’s effectiveness and ultimately its very existence.
It is in this vein that May Day, 2008, is
upon us. In his excellent piece titled, May Day - The
Real Labor Day, written some years ago, Luther Gaylord
states the following in relevant part: “May 1st, International
Workers’ Day, commemorates the historic struggle of working
people throughout the world…the holiday began in the 1880s
in the United States, with the fight for an eight hour work
It is imperative that critically thinking
people, particularly in the United States, understand the enormous significance
and legacy of May Day. Historically, people of color joined
with White workers / laborers to organize for better working
conditions and a shorter work day. The importance of this
cannot be over-emphasized especially today in the 21st Century
when so much of the leadership of labor unions has
sold out its White, Black, Brown, Red, and Yellow rank-and-file
members to the avaricious Democratic and Republican parties
[i.e. the Republicrats]. Furthermore, it is important to
keep in mind that the call for reparations to Black
American descendants of slaves is legitimate and is also
essentially an uncompensated, unrecognized, and unresolved
labor issue. Plantation slavery (in all of its insidious
forms) in the United States, was not limited to the many
brutal and often unspeakable degradations against the human
spirit, but is steeped in the undeniable matter of compensation
for the collective forced labor that continues to this very
day to be glossed over or outright ignored by educational
and governmental institutions of this nation.
Moreover, similar to their Black counterparts,
Red, Brown, and Yellow peoples in this nation have been,
and continue to be, massively and disproportionately economically
exploited - all in the name of blood sucking corporate profit.
though not collectively enslaved based upon color
as a people in the U.S.,
the economic exploitation of many White workers too, was
and continues to be, utterly unacceptable. Indeed,
May Day is of enormous importance to all the peoples
of the United
States and the world who long for real
In the above mentioned piece by Luther Gaylord,
he appropriately quotes the “IWW song writer Joe Hill’s”
lyrics in relevant part:
is an important part of our ongoing task to politically
educate one another and to ultimately, and once and for
all, put an end to the amoral, vampire-like activities of
the corporate / military / prison apparatus that sucks the
economic, social, and political life blood of and from the
vast majority of ‘Americans’ and of humankind. The Democratic
and Republican Parties are the lynch pins of the U.S. Empire’s
ongoing, systemic terrorism. While limousine (so-called)
Leftists and neo Liberals offer their support, critically
or otherwise, to the Democratic and Republican Parties;
we must unflinchingly resolve to the build a new and just
world outside of, and away from, the repugnant stench, deceit,
and hypocrisy of the Democratic and Republican parties.
We must resolve to build a just and fairer society and world.
We must demonstrate the courage to cut the umbilical cord
from the empire’s rotting Democratic and Republican Parties.
One such person who has demonstrated, and
is continuing to demonstrate such courage is former
U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who left the Democratic
Party. The courage and integrity of Cynthia McKinney does
not stop at her having left the Democratic party; she has
moved forward and is prominently engaged in helping to lay
an invaluable foundation, outside the Democratic
and Republican Parties (Republicrats), by running as a third
party candidate for President of the United States.
In doing so, she is helping to educate and really empower
people as to what we can and should be doing to throw off
the despicable yoke of the Democratic and Republican Parties.
These actions of Cynthia McKinney, were and are, irrefutable
acts of courage, integrity, and demonstrate love for the
people - all the people.
What is Cynthia McKinney’s message and how
is she fundamentally and systemically different from
the candidates of the Democratic and Republican Parties?
This interview in its entirety, of Cynthia, on April 7,
2008, speaks for itself:
McKinney Interview with the ILC International Newsletter
[Note: The following interview was conducted
by Michaël Mana in Mexico
City on April 7, at the time of the Second Continental Conference
Against NAFTA and Privatizations.]
You are running for president at a time when record numbers
of voters in the United States have gone to
the polls in the primary elections to register their deep
aspiration for change. Please tell us about your campaign
and how you have addressed this call for change that is
emanating mainly from Barack Obama.
McKinney: I first must note that I'm not yet the nominee of
the Green Party or of any other party. The Green Party will
have its delegates convention in July, and at that point
the party will name its nominee. The Peace and Freedom Party
convention in California
is in August.
I am presently touring the United
States to get out the political message
of our "Power to the People" presidential campaign.
Our ultimate objective is [to] be on the November ballot
in 27 states across the country.
Yes, the number of people who are registering
to vote and getting active in the political system is impressive.
I don't think anyone could have foreseen the amount of actual
participation in the process that we have seen to date,
with the renewed interest of people who basically have been
left out or left behind in the process. We're seeing this
because people have heard the word "change." There
is a real expectation, a real desire, for change.
But the change that people want so deeply
will not be delivered by either of the two main political
parties - the Democrats or the Republicans. On the big questions
of the day, both parties are in fundamental agreement.
They are in agreement that impeachment is
not an option, that the high crimes committed by the Bush
administration are not to be punished. They agree that nothing
can be done about putting an end to the war funding. A large
majority in the Democratic Party-controlled Congress continue
to vote the funds for the war. This goes against the whole
idea of change.
There is more: The violation of the U.S.
Constitution, with the spying on the American people, was
confirmed by the votes of the Democratic Party members of
Congress. The Democratic majority in Congress has failed
to respect labor in terms of instituting a living wage.
They have failed to repeal the tax cuts for the wealthy,
or to address the situation with the national debt. The
United States, according to our former comptroller,
is US$53 trillion in debt, which is a debt that the U.S. government cannot pay.
None of the front-runners in this presidential is talking
about this serious situation.
So we have a lot of things that are not even
being discussed by the major party candidates. But someone
has to discuss them. They're unpleasant, they're inconvenient
- but in order to move our country forward and to be truthful
to the people, they are issues that have to be tackled.
We would be shirking our responsibilities
as a voice for real change if we did not put certain facts
on the table. One fact that is never talked about, and that
has not yet been talked about in the presidential campaign,
is the increasing racial disparities that exist in our country.
There are many indices that racial disparities
are worse today than at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. There are countless authoritative reports - from United
for a Fair Economy, the National Urban League, Loyola
University, and more - that paint
a very bleak picture of conditions that Black people in
United States continue to
The Democratic Party relies on the Black
vote; nine out of every 10 Black votes go the Democratic
Party. But the Democrats aren't even taking about these
disparities. This is the biggest contradiction
of all: People are going to the polls to express their hope
for change, but living and working conditions for a majority
of Americans will not improve if a Democratic Party president
Why? 1,664 years is how long it will take
to close the home-ownership gap between Blacks and whites,
according to United for a Fair Economy. Black people cannot
expect to go to work every day and come back to a home that
is theirs. 581 years is how long it will take, with no public
policy intervention, to close the family-income gap. And
we are not even talking here about the disproportionate
statistics concerning imprisonment, social injustice, and
poverty. None of the major party candidates is talking about
In 2003, The New York Times did an
investigation, and they found that nearly one half of all
the Black men in New
York City were unemployed between the ages of 16 and 64.
You obviously can't keep a family together if one half of
the leadership of that family is unemployed, with no public
Politics is about public policy, and that's
what we are trying to get across to people. We are saying
that when you go to the polls and cast your vote, that vote
should be translated into an agenda for change for the community.
But that's what's being lost in the United
States right now; the media and politicians
don't promote a public debate about policy, so people are
left to choose their candidate on the basis of how they
look or the way they speak.
University issued a report titled
"Minding the Gap" in which they found that it
would take 200 years for the quality of life of Black residents
in Chicago to catch up with white residents. There
should have been a public policy initiative to address this
gap. The Democratic mayor Chicago should have said, "200
years of racial disparity is intolerable; I've been elected
with a large number of Black votes, I'm going to put forward
an initiative to change this!" But this didn't happen.
In 2005, Dr. David Satcher did a study where
he found that 83,000 Black people died for no other reason
than the color of their skin, than they were Black. Mind
you, this didn't have anything to do with access to healthcare,
or health insurance, because they all had insurance. What
happened is that once the Black patient entered the white
medical system, with a white doctor, the Black patient didn't
get the same level of care. And so hence 83,000 Black people
died because they didn't get the same level of care, for
no other reason than they were Black. Nobody talks about
These are things that are easily changeable
- but both Democrats and Republicans keep telling us that
we need to continue spending $720 million every day for
the war. It is sinful to spend $720 million a day for war
when we have such racial disparities in our country. People
are registering to vote and going to the polls in greater
numbers - but their hopes and desire for change are being
On March 28-30, you participated in a meeting of the National
Organizing Committee for a Reconstruction Party in Philadelphia.
Can you tell us about this meeting and what was decided?
McKinney: I'm not the spokesperson for the organizing campaign
for the Reconstruction Party, so I can only give you my
The Philadelphia meeting was important. It reaffirmed our support for the
call to build a Reconstruction Party in the United States, and we took
some important organizational steps forward by establishing
a functioning National Organizing Committee for a Reconstruction
Party. We also created working committees to improve our
Draft Platform, establish Draft Bylaws, and organize our
fundraising. We also called for building Local Organizing
Committees duly chartered by our provisional leadership.
It was also a moving meeting. I learned that
there were Black people - in fact, some of the best and
brightest minds in the Black community - who had long ago
given up on the two-party system. They understood a while
back, as I only am just now learning, that the differences
between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are
superficial at best, and that all the conditions described
in study after study on the state of Black America would
not be resolved by the Democratic Party. They had learned
that faith in the Democratic Party as a means of alleviating
Black pain and suffering was misplaced.
So I learned that there is an entire community
out there of people who gave up a long time ago and decided
to do other things. Voting was not one of the things that
they were going to do, because they understood that the
Democratic Party was not going to solve the basic racial
contradictions that exist in United States.
I called my campaign the "Power to the
People" campaign because basically I looked at what
was happening down here in Latin America.
And what the people of Latin America
have done with the their votes is so powerful. It reaffirmed
what the Black Panthers in United States had said two
generations ago: "All power to the people!"
Based on that background, and on the facts
of what's happening on the ground in Latin
America today and the important successes that are being
won by ballot power, I launched the "Power to the People"
campaign. What I didn't know at the time, well there's a
lot of things I didn't know at the time, was the extent
to which the "Power to the People" campaign would
actually come up against Š the people who gave up a long
Our campaign must give them a voice. Through
my participation in the Reconstruction Party movement, I'm
getting to know a whole group of people who didn't really
know me personally. Now they're beginning to have far more
confidence in me and what I stand for. We want to bring
them back into the political process, to run for office
and become office-holders as independent Reconstruction
Party activists. They have a track record. They have proven
that they won't sell out the community once they get elected;
they've already rejected the lures of the Democratic Party.
But our "Power to the People" campaign
also has to address and win over people who still support
the Democratic Party because for many Black people in United States their relationship
with the Democratic Party is an emotional, almost familial
kind of tie. However, they also understand the limits of
the Democratic Party even as they try to apply pressure
from within the Party.
Our insistence on bringing facts and real
issues into the discourse gives these people something to
talk about and fight for, other than the politics of popularity
and superficiality. We are focusing on the issues and explaining
that people need to organize themselves independently to
secure their rights. We're asking the American people to
think critically, analyze the situation, and vote independently.
The voters are the people whose expressions
form the content in a Republic. Well, that's the way it's
supposed to be anyway. To the extent that voters get more
options, we can encourage participation even among those
who have rejected the two-party paradigm, as I have now
rejected the two-party paradigm.
You took part in the Second Continental Conference this
past week-end. What did you think about this conference?
McKinney: The continental conference was convened for the purpose
of protecting the human rights of the peoples of the Americas. We talked about
labor rights, workers' rights, the environment, national
patrimony, self-determination but at the end of the day
it was really about human rights.
As a citizen of the United States, I can say that
it isn't pleasant to see that my government - through both
the main political parties - is responsible for the violations
of basic human rights of the people throughout the hemisphere.
During my years in Congress, that is something I tried to
For example, I opposed giving funds for the
Plan Colombia because the U.S.
military has been inflicting pain on the people of Colombia, dispossessing in particular the Afro-Colombian
community of all their lands and their rights. This plan
also provided a launching point for U.S. interference in the internal affairs of other
countries of the region.
This was most evident in recent weeks with
the murders perpetrated by the Colombian military with the
support of the U.S.
military during the illegal incursion by Colombia
I am glad that the government of Ecuador stood up and said that it would not tolerate
incursions into its country.
It is clear from U.S. government papers that have been released
that there has been collusion on the part of U.S.
corporations and paramilitary forces in Colombia. That collusion has resulted in the denial
of human rights to the people of Colombia and the deaths of
all-too-many trade unionists, especially among workers in
the Coca Cola bottling plants.
I want the Mexican people to own their own
resources. I want the Colombian people to own their own
resources. The American people, the American voters, could
change that - as it's our government policies that are behind
the violations of sovereignty and human rights across the
continent. But the issue of U.S. conduct internationally, again, is not part
of the official discourse during this election - which is
why our "Power to the People" campaign is so important.
Only through critical analysis and independent organizing
and voting will we be able to change the interventionist
policies of our government.
Take the Calderón government in Mexico.
It's a government imposed by the United States against the majority will of the
Mexican people with the purpose of implementing the dictates
of NAFTA and the multinational corporations, to privatize
Pemex. This is unacceptable. The Mexican people are mobilizing
to stop the privatization offensive. We in the United
States need to support them by joining
with them in the fight to turn back and repeal NAFTA.
This has to begin with our trade union movement.
It is shameful that our unions should be spending $50 million
or more to elect Democrats, who turn around and vote to
support NAFTA and all other "free trade" agreements.
I also was very pleased that at the conclusion
of the Conference, we were able to march to the Monument
to the Revolution in downtown Mexico City, where Sister
Claudia Sheinbaum and Brother Andrés Manuel López Obrador
- both leaders of the National Democratic Convention and
the struggle to defend Mexico's oil from the predatory U.S.
oil corporations - were addressing 10,000 women "Brigadistas."
It was a very moving event to see these women
deputized to carry forth with the Peaceful Civil Resistance
plan - a mobilization plan that will not stop until the
privatization law is dropped by Calderón.
What impressed me especially about the speech
by López Obrador was his call to break with the undemocratic
political institutions in Mexico
and build a New
Republic, premised on the defense of the nation's patrimony; equality
of rights for all; and full economic, social and political
What immediately came to mind was that López
Obrador's call also applies to the United States. We need a new
Republic, with new institutions to put an end to the massive
and continuous election fraud, to ensure self-determination
for all oppressed peoples, beginning with Black people,
to take back our country from the greedy corporations that
have enshrined a corrupt, two-party system that monopolizes
all political power, preventing a true, representative democracy
to get a foothold in the country. We in the United States also need a new Republic to ensure
equal rights and social justice for all.
You signed the Appeal issued at this conference to convene
a World Conference to defend the sovereignty of nations,
to defend peace and democracy, and to defend labor rights,
human rights, and the independent organizations of the workers
and peoples. Why was this important for you?
McKinney: The ability of the corporate media to black out information,
to hide the truth, and to lie to the people has been very
well documented. One study found that the corporate media
repeated the lies of four administration representatives
9,035 times. Those four people of the public administration
lied to the public, and the corporate media repeated the
lies without any questions.
We know that, I know that, because of the
way Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was treated. There was a
government program called the Counter Intelligence Program
(COINTELPRO) that specifically used the corporate media
to disseminate outright lies about Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. and the movement he was trying to launch. They did it
then. That was in the 1960s. They're even more sophisticated
today. It has never stopped.
On March 13, we participated in the antiwar
rally that was held in Los Angeles. We marched to the CNN building and held a big rally. Nothing,
absolutely nothing, was broadcast on CNN about our rally.
So, yes, we need a World Conference to bring
forth all the truth about the destructive policies implemented
by the U.S.
government around the globe. And if such a conference could
be held in the United States that would be even better.
We know that the corporate media in United States will try to
black out all the discussions. But every time they commit
an act against their own journalistic ethics, they stand
It would be important to have this World
Conference inside the United States where so many contradictions exist.
For example we have labor unions that support the two-party
paradigm instead of supporting the public policies and initiative
that are truly in the interests of working people in the
Then there is the travesty that is taking
place in New Orleans right now, with
respect to even the ability to apply national U.S.
laws to what's happening in New
Orleans - because an exemption from environmental laws and
labor laws has been granted because of Hurricane Katrina.
Yet there's no effort to bring the people back, and the
few who are able to return are often returning to areas
that are still toxic. Nobody is talking about that. This
needs to be exposed far and wide.
So despite the much greater turnout in the
primaries by voters who are hoping for change, we have seen
no discussions of New Orleans and Hurricane
Katrina survivors, and no discussion of U.S.
militarism being extended throughout Africa
under the new "Africa Command." There has been
no discussion about what we are going to do about Medicare
or Social Security. The United States is in danger
of being swallowed by its own version of runaway corporate
greed. And it is in the process of engulfing the entire
world into this vortex. All this needs to be brought to
the fore by a World Conference.
[End of interview]
As a result of greed and deceit our planet
is facing climate change, food shortages, and the ongoing
pillage of our mother earth. We cannot and must not allow
this to continue. At stake is everything.
There is nothing short of systemic change
brought about by we the people that will make a serious
and real difference in and for the peoples of this nation
and world. Want real change? Build third parties-- not beholden
to the Republicrats. Whether you become a part of the Reconstruction,
Peace and Freedom, Greens, or some other political party
working for social, economic, political justice and systemic
change; it is clear that the Democrats and Republicans [i.e.
the Republicrats] represent death by suffocation or death
by strangulation--but certain death for sure.
We must remember that we the people are
not helpless. People around the nation and the world have
been and are in the process of leaving the Republicrats
and creatively seeking the ways and means to bring about
real systemic change and different political parties. An
example of this is the upcoming Building A New World
conference to be held in Radford,
Virginia, on May 22 – 25, 2008. People have had enough of this insanity
and are continuing to do something about it.
This is what struggle and systemic change
are all about: Taking control of our own destinies. Liberals
and would-be Leftists need to come clean and be for real,
but of course if they actually did that, they would no longer
be “Liberals” and/or “would-be Leftists” would they?
Recently I sat listening, as part of an audience
to a live presentation by Amy Goodman, of the Democracy
Now show. In her concluding comments she said to the gathered
crowd, with presumptive and primary reference to the U.S.
Presidential candidates of the so-called major political
parties, that the “candidates” are “malleable” and that
“they [these candidates] will respond” presumably to the
expressed desires / demands of the people.
She is absolutely wrong. Without systemic
change the candidate/s, including of the Democratic Party
are “malleable” not to the people, but to their corporate
/ military / prison apparatus masters. For these are the
real puppet masters. Good wishes and inspiring stories won’t
change this reality; only hard work and consistent political
organizing and third party building “outside” of, and apart
from, the Democratic and Republican Parties will.
The wanton police murder of Sean Bell in
New York City,
and countless other despicable and reprehensible
acts, are made possible and sustained by the very system
that the Republicrats would have us support. We must stop
being dupes and start taking control of our own social,
economic, and political destinies.
Collaborating with the Democratic or Republican
Parties is just that: collaboration. It is tantamount
to leaving the door of the chicken coop open and expecting
the wolf not to eat your chickens; and then being
surprised upon finding only feathers and a bloated wolf
when you return to collect your chickens’ laid eggs. It’s
time to get real. We must reject collaboration with the
Democratic and Republican Parties, which sustains this empires’
systemic terror against us and the world.
If it’s real change you / we want,
then its time to start being seriously revolutionary, understanding
that the only real change is radical [i.e. root]
change - nothing else is real.
Time to get busy…
member, 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. In
connection with his political organizing activities in opposition
to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988
on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century
Activist and Thinker
, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click
here to read excerpts from the book) Click
here to contact Mr. Pinkney.