The ONLY reason why the otherwise sexist Republican Party let Sarah Palin be John McCain's Vice Presidential candidate is because the G.O.P. desperately hopes it can pick up all the female voters dissatisfied with the fact that Hillary wasn't nominated or chosen as Obama's VP. Well, Cynthia McKinney is a woman and she's running for President under the Green Party banner, so those who're so hell bent on voting for a female Presidential candidate this November will still be able to!
So why haven't white female voters who intend on voting for Palin in order to spite the Democrats flocked to the Greens then? At the 1851 Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio, Sojourner Truth asked the first white feminists this classic question: "Ain't I a Woman?" Unfortunately, after all these years, McKinney (an African American) still has to ask white women that question...
However, it's entirely possible that one hasn't even heard of the McKinney-Clemente 2008 ticket –the corporately-owned MASS media will cover Britney Spears' every single insignificant move (the Roman Empire called it "bread and circuses"), but won't give a former six-term Georgia congresswoman like Cynthia McKinney the time of day. Well, despite how I'm not nearly as famous as I deserve to be, I'll lend how much ever name recognition I do have to this most worthy cause. The following is my recent interview with McKinney...
In 1991, you spoke out against Gulf War Part I and many legislators stormed out as a result - what do you say to those who'd claim that one must be subtle or "tone it down" in order to reach a white/wide audience?
Is that subtlety only required when addressing that white audience you mention? There doesn't seem to be any attempt at subtlety in the comments that a truly wider audience of people of color and the poor must bear with constantly from those in power. Clearly, my principled position of opposition to that war and other military adventures and misspent military funding did reach a wide, white audience. But, that is not the principal audience I represent or try to reach. Their response was far more exaggerated than my comments at the time about a disastrous and costly military response which was called a victory, and which opened the door for more wars abroad that continue to this day.
I speak truth to power, and I am constantly surprised at the level of response and vehemence I seemed to cause by asking simple questions of accountability in Congress. It was my job to take those stands on behalf of my constituents and to raise the questions I did in various oversight Committees. In fact, I believe that the values and principles that guide my actions reflect a real majority of both white people and people of color in this country, even though they may upset the smaller minority in power.
You've stood in solidarity with Aboriginals against Australian mining companies and with the U'wa people of Colombia against the oil industry - how would such experiences influence the foreign policy of a McKinney administration?
I stand in solidarity with any people here or abroad that stand and fight against injustice, inequality and for their own survival in the face of both corporations and military forces that threaten them. If we restore justice and give people hope through our foreign policy, if we stand on the side of people being oppressed, then peace will follow. I have watched the major changes toward real democratic rule take place in many countries by way of huge, non-violent social uprisings that ended the corrupt governments that had been previously supported by American funding and weapons.
My foreign policy would not be to blindly defend the interests of global corporations or the desire of a few for control of the resources of the planet at any cost. It would be guided not by the oil industry or the weapons manufacturers, but by establishing fair trade, mutual agreements, decent pay here and abroad that would curb the global displacement of working people from their home countries. My foreign policy would withdraw US troops and end wars, using the resources we have to help people and the planet survive instead. I have proposed that the State Department be converted into a Department of Peace and do the critical work to negotiate peace with justice around the world, instead of funding and supporting wars and conflicts that have killed millions of people and ruined the environment for decades. If our foreign policy was more like that of Canada, for instance, we would not need such a huge military to enforce our will on the rest of the world or defend ourselves from the consequences of our actions.
How would you propose to infuse the predominately white Green Party with more people of color?
I already have, by addressing the concerns of people of color more directly in my work with the Reconstruction Party, my own lifelong involvement in the civil rights movements and so many other issues that affect people of color here and in other countries. The historic choice of two women of color as running mates on the presidential ticket for 2008 represents a new sort of leadership that is already transforming the Green Party and the society as a whole. Green politics are the real politics of people of color and the poor anyway. Social justice has always been on their agenda. Every issue the Greens deal with in their platform, from ending war, to participatory democracy and fair elections, to changing energy policies and putting people before profit, has a profound and disproportionate effect on people of color and women of color.
By addressing other social justice issues, including reparations and police brutality, and D.C. Statehood, the Greens are taking the lead away from the mainstream parties on the issues that most effect communities of color. When people of color see this new leadership and understand the values of the Green Party, they will know it is their party, the only one that truly stands for them. My choice of Hip Hop activist and scholar Rosa Clemente as my Vice Presidential candidate is also engaging millions of young people of color in the Hip Hop Nation who do not vote in most elections, but who see someone finally speaking to their issues and reality. The Green Party has taken a new direction with our Power to the People Campaign, and it is being transformed already.
If elected president, what would you do for those who still suffer from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina?
We need comprehensive federal investment in low-income families and communities, with an emphasis on people of color. The continuing plight of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors, demonstrate the unfulfilled need to address these basic issues for communities across our country. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors specifically need recognition as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs); protection of their right of return, including protection of their right to vote in their home states; and reparations for the losses they incurred due to government abandonment and negligence. If you read my supplementary section to the Katrina Commission's final report, you will see that I was among the first to address the immediate environmental and toxicity needs of the people in those flooded areas, the violation of their rights and their displacement, and the misplaced use of federal funds and priorities to bring in military forces faster than they brought in assistance.
All too many have turned a blind eye to Obama's saber rattling attempts to appeal to right-wing voters; his denouncement of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's honesty, and so forth, because of a desperation to keep a Republican out of the White House – how do you deal with those desperate Democrats who'd view your presidential campaign as treasonous?
The idea that an independent or third party candidate in a democracy could be viewed treasonous by anyone, when those who are clearly rigging elections and stealing the vote are not strikes me as a commentary on our poor understanding of history and of democracy itself. Is it treason to run for office because the votes I earn from a principled position supposedly take votes away from other parties who have abandoned those principles and the people who voted them into office last election to end the war and change the economy for the better?
We have a President, Vice President and administration deserving of impeachment for their constant violations of their oath to defend the Constitution and uphold the laws, and their policies are creating both domestic and international crises that are ruinous to this country. They lied to Congress to get us into an unnecessary and illegal war. Is that treason?
I believe the values of the Green Party reflect the real majority of Americans and what they believe in and want. If they held an election without taking polls designed to predict a winner in a closed two-party race, and they let the people hear from all candidates in open debate, I believe you would have a very different outcome on election day. Instead, we are trapped every four years into believing we only have two choices, and any other choice takes away from their chance at winning. I don't think third parties did as much in the last two presidential elections to affect their outcome as both the disenfranchisement of uncounted voters and the refusal of Democratic candidates to stand on principle and speak out for what the majority wanted.
The documentary American Blackout amply catalogs the deliberate disfranchisement of black voters in both Presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 and the Democratic Party's abandonment of those voters in the face of Republican behavior. I believe in electoral choice, and I believe that most of the people who will vote for me and for the Green Party this year are people who do not normally vote, and who would not vote for either major party, anyway. I believe that because I think that the major parties are so far from what the majority of people really want, that I am appealing to those who have long felt they have no choice in an election but the lesser of two evils. Polls show that a large percentage of people want another option in this election. But the corporate controlled media won't even let them hear from another option in a debate. I am giving voters a real choice for real change. As Patrick Henry said long ago, "If this be treason, make the most of it."