Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cynthia McKinney- The Fallback Choice

Statement by Cynthia McKinney, Power to the People Candidate for U.S. President, on the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic Party's image Presidential Candidate in 2008

Statement issued June 9, 2008
On Saturday, June 7, 2008, Hillary Clinton announced that her 2008 presidential bid is over, making Barack Obama the first-ever Black presidential nominee of a major party in the history of the United States.
Congratulations to Senator Obama for achieving such a feat!
When I was growing up in the U.S. South in the racially turbulent 1960s, it would have been impossible for a Black politician to become a viable Presidential contender.  Nothing a Black candidate could have done or said would have prevented him (or her) from being excluded on the basis of skin color alone.  Many of us never thought we would see in our lifetime a Black person with a real possibility of becoming President of the United States.
The fact that this is now possible is a sign of some racial progress in this country, more than 40 years after the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts. But it is also a sign of the deep discontent among the American people, and particularly among African Americans, with the corporate-dominated, business-as-usual politics that has prevailed in Washington for too many years.
Coming from Barack Obama, the word "change" did not appear as just another empty campaign slogan.  It galvanized millions of people --mostly young people--to register to vote and to get active in the political system.  The U.S. political system needs the energy and vision of all is citizens participating in the political process.  Citizen participation is always the answer.
Senator Obama called for healing the wounds inflicted on working people and the poor in our country after eights years of a corrupt and criminal Bush-Cheney Administration.  Just as in November 2006, people full of an expectation for change, including those the system has purposefully left out and left behind, flocked to the polls to vote for Senator Obama.  Across a broad swath of the people of this country, and from those who are impacted by U.S. foreign policy, there is a real expectation, a real desire, for change.
While congratulating Senator Obama for a feat well done, I would also like to bring home the very real need for change and a few of the issues that must be addressed for the change needed in this country to be real.

The rest of Cynthias statement can be read here.

I thought that it was important to post her commentary on Barack.  Cynthia has not been given the attention that she deserves in the media because she is not considered a serious contender for the election.  Even though she and Barack are adversaries in the political system, Cynthia is more than cognizant of the historic nature of his nomination and bears him no ill will, unlike the white feminists that are considering voting for her now.  Gasp...white feminists supporting a black female candidate??  You see, now that their darling Clinton is out of the running a black female candidate will do.   Suddenly Cynthia has been reborn, reclaimed, cleaned, washed and presented as an "acceptable" choice. They'll show the man...yep support a black female that is just revolutionary.

Where is this coming from you may ask...Well it is coming from the commentary section of The Reclusive Leftist. 

Gayle says: "If Obama’s the nominee, I’m taking my measly little “WOW” vote that the party doesn’t want or need and I’m giving it to Cynthia or Cheryl. Unity ended the moment they decided Hillary was the enemy."

Alikatze says: Violet, I will be voting Green if Hillary does not win the nomination. Cynthia McKinney appears to be the Green front-runner so far for Pres. After what I have witnessed in this campaign - the absolute abandonment of Hillary for the first MALE candidate the Democrats could rally around, the appalling smear job because she is female, and the “nudge-wink” attitude of Obama himself - I will not, never, ever give my vote to Obama. In fact, after this race, I may never vote Dem again. The Democrats are without any courage, fortitude or long-term goals (and this current nominating process is not the first time I have thought this). I turn my back on “Democrats.” This country needs something more than “Republican” and “RepublicanLite” on the ballot.

julia says: We have a chance to support a real progressive, who is also a woman: Cynthia McKinney. This could be the year that women give a boost to the Green Party. If the Greens get enough votes we could eventually have a third party, and a real diversity of choice. So don’t vote for “the guys” - vote for Cynthia!

Red Queen: If the Obamabots think I can cast my ballot from under the wheel of their campaign bus, they are sadly mistaken. I’m either writing Hillary in or voting for Cynthia McKinney and the green party. Could we take over the green party, us escaping vagina americans?

Joseph Cannon: If Obama is the nominee, Cynthia McKinney would be the ideal alternative choice. How can anyone label us racist if we vote for her?

Apostate: Come on! I’m not thrilled with Obama and if I had to make a choice, probably would vote for McKinney over Obama OR McCain, but Obama is nothing like the disaster McCain would be.

Jacilyn: IMO it isn’t about Obama being sexist. It’s about whether or not we are OK with the Democratic party basically saying they don’t have to do look out for us. Women aren’t important the way blacks are. Right now, I am thinking about voting Green if Obama is the candidate. What I will actually do will depend on circumstances ‘on the ground’.

idear: The more I think about it, the more I agree that if HRC does not get nominated by the dems, then voting green is the next best way to go.

ea: Please consider Cynthia McKinney if you find you can not vote for Hillary in November–write-in opportunities are not automatic.

Kali: If Obama gets this nomination, we really need to start up some grass-roots movement for McKinney. Just look at that platform. It is amazing. I didn’t even know that. There’s nothing to lose (since Obama is not all that different from McCain anyway) and everything to gain. How do we do this?

There are more examples but I got sick of the unacknowledged racism and sexism.  These commentaries reflect a point of view that I have repeatedly stated, WOC only matter when it is convenient.  Suddenly McKinney is acknowledged as a woman too? Imagine that. According to Julia, this a good time to use her for a figure head, so that feminism can have its very own marionette. That is exactly what McKinney aspires too, I am sure. Now that Hilary is officially bust, Cynthia can join the vagina club.  I wonder if this makes her feel like Susan Lucci did when she finally got her award...Since there is no one better, let's vote black female.

Comments like these are why I refuse to identify as a feminist.  As I have repeatedly stated feminism has no room for WOC unless we are serving in a support staff position.  We are not conceived of as leaders, or innovators.  We are simply fillers until something better comes along.  If they truly view McKinney as a woman, where was the outrage when these images appeared?

image  image

image image image

Silence was the response...Why call out racism, and sexism when it is aimed at a woman of color?  Remember our bodies don't matter in a system that is predicated upon the exploitation of our sexuality and labor.  What really matters is that HRC lost because of sexism.  Did you know that only white women are subject to sexism, because they constitute the ideal womanhood?  Black women have never been subject to a single racial or sexual construct, so why the hell are we so angry? Ooops I forgot, all black women are naturally angry, it goes along with being ball busting shrews.

S'ecuse me everyone I forgot my place again. But I sho  nuff won't make that mistake again missus... I sho nuff loves me Missus Clinton. I tell you wat...I's gonna get me some uh dat hair relaxer and soma dat  dere skin bleachin stuff, make it easier on yo white folks to scratch my name on da ballot. Don't you worry none about sireee just tell me what to say and I'll say it.  I knows you been right bout evrythin all along...That is the Cynthia McKinney that white feminists are looking for.  They want the Aunt Jemmima that they have grown used to exploiting. What could be more comforting than the loving embrace of Mammys ever abundant tits. You jus hush now honey chile everythin sure nuff goin be aight. And it most certainly will, but just to ensure that this conversation of allies starts off on the right note, let me throw a welcoming salvo....FUCK YOU, AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON!


Vadim said...

This is not something new. In fact, the debate over black rights and women's rights (white as a norm) goes back a hundred plus years. Such prominent advocates for the right of the women to vote as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton denied the same right to the black man. This could come as a surprise since a lot of the women who were engaged in the women’s' rights movement also participated in the abolitionist movement. It was, nonetheless, unacceptable to those women that black men (and immigrants) should have the right to vote before they do (the middle to upper class white women). So, they denied the rights granted to blacks in the 14 and 15th amendments to the Constitution.

I also find it interesting that you do not want to be affiliated with the feminist movement. It is interesting to me as a political science major because that is the trend that has surfaced quite recently in that movement. Recently two types of feminism have been identified by Karen Offen of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. She defined two types of feminism, as well as a definition of it. I think that you will find the following article to be very interesting and helpful.

Jah Guide/ras babi babiker said...

much respect.

carissa said...

If they truly view McKinney as a woman, where was the outrage when these images appeared?

As I recall, there was plenty of outrage across the blogosphere. The Democratic "leadership" on the other hand hid its collective head in the sand, as always. One reason I'm not a Dem any more. She was treated despicably by the media, leadership and the voters in her district.

Renee said...

Though we are all heavily invested in the blogosphere the world is larger than that. My point is that what happened to her should have screamed from the highest tower and it was not.

Radfem said...

McKinney is a very excellent first choice in my opinion. Thanks for your article.

Blackamazon said...

This all of this all ove rit


ms_xeno said...

[shrug] Some of us were planning to vote McKinney all along. Personally I am White, but stopped considering myself a Democrat ages ago.

Sometimes people do the right thing for the wrong reasons. I would have been much happier to see feminists supporting McKinney from the get-go, both for the issues you cite and because Clinton II was a poor poster child for any hue of feminism in any case. But at this point, I'm happy to see that there are cracks in the glue that has bound mainstream/White feminism to the DP for wayyyy the hell too long. This subordination of women's rights to the desire of the DP to protect and grow its own power needs to end. This is true of other social movements exploited by the dp, too, of course.

Heart said...

Renee, I am a long-time fan of McKinney and have written about her in many different venues over years now. I found the images you've published here a long time ago, shortly after her despicable arrest, and I thought to blog about them, but I couldn't bring myself to post those images to my blog. I thought about it later, too, when I posted sexist images from the early presidential campaigns, but again I couldn't bring myself to post them. I did post some misogynist images of Condoleeza Rice which were also so offensive, but not nearly so offensive as those you've posted.

I've never been a Democrat, never voted Democrat, never supported a Democratic candidate nor identified as a Democrat. I don't relate to the mainstream and never have, another topic for another day. I just wanted to say some of us certainly did pick up on these hideous images, and your point about McKinney's candidacy is well taken.

vadim, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood for universal suffrage -- suffrage for all people, men and women. It was entirely acceptable to them for black men to have the vote, not only acceptable, they dedicated themselves to that goal, but they wanted the vote for ALL, black women and white women as well.

Stanton and Cady certainly had no power to "den(y) the rights granted to blacks in the 14 and 15th amendments to the Constitution." In fact, black men were legally enfranchised over 50 years before any women were, including Stanton and Cady, who remained disenfranchised and denied the rights of citizenship until their deaths.