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Can't Keep a Good Woman Down


Short Version: mp3, 2.35 MBs, 2:56

Long Version: mp3, 3.60 MBs, 4:30

[Col. Recorded 11/12/04]

While the recent national elections brought disaster to some (and delight to others), there were some rare bright spots on the darkening horizon.

In Georgia's 4th congressional district, Cynthia McKinney won overwhelmingly, drawing some 60% of the vote, and thus returning to the House of Representatives to begin her sixth term.

McKinney's last attempt drew the ire of Republicans who objected to her rare and righteous criticism of the Bush administration's handling of 9/11. When then-Representative McKinney suggested that members of the administration knew more than they claimed before 9/11, the press had a field day, and bigwigs in the Democratic Party joined the Republicans in trying to isolate her for daring to challenge the White House. Under Georgia's open primary system, Republicans came out in droves to vote for her Democratic challenger, and their crossover votes helped elect a political neophyte, and ex-judge, Denise Majette.

In the two years out of Congress, McKinney's star has only grown in luster, as a slew of revelations from former White House aides (like anti-terrorism aide, Richard Clarke) have supported her charges. The Green Party tried to draft her to run for president, but she declined. She intended to retake her seat lost in 2002.

The day after announcing her run for the seat, Rep. Denise Majette announced she would try for the Senate Seat of the retiring, rambunctious Zell Miller. She lost her bid, getting approximately the same percentage as the loser to McKinney. Majette was supported, in her first race, by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which opposed McKinney for her criticism of the Israeli occupation.

McKinney, as a strong, independent-minded Black representative, has only grown in popularity, both in her district, and beyond.

Among radicals and progressives, she is seen as a shining light in the Black and Progressive congressional caucuses, and as a voice that will not be bullied or bribed into silence. Her presence in the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) can only strengthen her will and determination, as only a Black woman can. Back during her 2002 primary run, national Democratic figures, like former president Bill Clinton, (he who is said to be so beloved by Blacks that he has been called 'the first black president') actually came to Georgia to help Democratic senatorial candidate, Max Cleland. As for McKinney, 'Brutha' Bill never lifted a finger.

The Clinton snub is emblematic of a party that welcomes Black votes, yet consistently betrays Black interests, at every available opportunity.

A century and a half ago, the great ex-slave abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, would write an editorial for the *North Star* newspaper, condemning *both* major political parties:

We have no preference for parties, regarding this slaveholding crusade [here he refers to the Mexican-American war (1848)]. The one is as bad as the other. The friends of peace have nothing to hope from either. The Democrats claim the credit of commencing, and the Whigs monopolize the glory of voting supplies and carrying on the war; branding the war as dishonorably commenced, yet boldly persisting in pressing it on. [Fr. Frederick Douglass, "The War with Mexico," ("North Star, Jan. 21, 1848), in: Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove, *Voices of a People's History of the United States* (NY: Seven Stories Press, 2004), p. 161.]

It's amazing how little things have changed in so great a span of time. While the names may have changed, the general natures haven't, have they?

And yet, Cynthia McKinney, relying on her constituents, is a bright spark in the dark. How Americans could have used her vision in the run-up to the war in Iraq!

We can say, without a hint of sarcasm, that Georgians are lucky! For they have something that millions of Americans don't: representation.

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal


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Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.