|‘We Must Resist!'
Former Congresswoman McKinney delivered the following remarks at
a March 2 fundraiser for Pacifica Radio station KPFK, in Los
By Cynthia McKinney
"Voting is necessary, but it isn't enough to get the kind of
change we must now demand"
03/15/07 "BAR" -- -- I'm hoping there are some folks here
tonight who have never been to an event like this before. I'm
hoping that people are so moved by their own intolerable
circumstances that they are now willing to do something
different in order to get something they've never had before.
For, in order to solve the massive problems this country now
has, it can no longer be business as usual for a critical mass
Whether it's the thawing tundra in Siberia or the melting
glaciers in Greenland, our contribution to global warming is
something that must be dealt with.
Whether it's the massive amounts of money we spend on the war
machine or the fact that we still don't know what happened on
September 11th, the values and priorities of the American people
must be reflected in the public policy we pursue. I do not
believe that is the case today and there are specific reasons
I have long said that the black body politic is comatose: unable
to sustain itself after the massive infusion of COINTELPRO-type
"clean Negroes" who don't truly provide representation for a
body of people in need.
Unfortunately, now, the entire American body politic is in dire
"The black body politic is comatose."
I have also said that the prescription for the black body
politic is radical surgery. So, too, now, I believe, is the case
with the American body politic.
The extreme corruption of our political system by the greedy,
unseen hand that comfortably operates in the backrooms of power
is turning our heroes into caricatures of themselves.
Why can't we know the truth about 9/11 and this war on terror?
Why can't we immediately repeal the Secret Evidence Law, the
Patriot Act, and the Military Tribunals Act?
Why can't we get back that 2.3 trillion dollars Rumsfeld admits
is missing and use it to fully fund education and health care
They're asking poor, devastated university students to return
their Hurricane Katrina money, but I don't see anyone going
after Blackwater mercenaries, the law enforcement officials who
took federal money and then denied Katrina survivors safe
passage over public thoroughfares. They're not going after the
Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff whose
incompetent behavior directly led to the delayed response,
causing as-yet unmitigated pain and suffering on the people of
New Orleans, and whose continued bumbling results in one of the
largest depopulations of an American city in memory.
Why can't we know if there were explosions along the levies, as
historically was done before to safeguard certain parts of New
The reason we can't get answers to our questions and doubts
linger is because our leadership today just isn't what it used
The current state of black America didn't arise only because of
Republican policies. Despite the election of thousands of black
elected officials since passage of the Voting Rights Act, nearly
half of the black men in New York City between the ages of 16
and 64 are unemployed - according to the New York Times. It will
take 200 years for black Chicagoans to catch up to the quality
of life enjoyed by white Chicagoans - according to a Hull
House/Loyola University report. It will take 1,664 years for
blacks in this country to achieve a homeownership rate equal to
that of whites; racial disparities on infant mortality, family
income, unemployment, police stops, imprisonment, and more, have
not been eliminated and in some cases are worse today than at
the time of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
People of color have less wealth, less net worth, work longer
hours with insecure pensions and stagnant wages.
And now all Americans do, too!
We have got to do something different because we can't stand any
more of this.
So what are we to do?
Just voting isn't enough. Voting is necessary, but it isn't
enough to get the kind of change we must now demand. We have to
change the structure within which we cast our vote.
We must have a different kind of leadership than is possible now
without the kind of change I'm talking about.
"It will take 1,664 years for blacks in this country to achieve
a homeownership rate equal to that of whites."
This is revolutionary in its impact.
And so, I will be fought even more fiercely than I've already
been fought, and all I wanted to do was improve the lot of
people of color in the U.S. and around the world; institute the
kind of respect for human rights at home and abroad that would
change the policies of our government toward the global
community, including the American people; and make the U.S.
government accountable to the taxpayers for the way it spends
their dollars. Now, that's all I wanted to do. And you see
what's happened to me!
So, what I have in mind won't be easy. But it will be worth it.
And, I believe, it's possible to achieve.
Now, it would be nice if we could count on someone else to do it
for us. And we would all join that person and make it happen.
But, I reluctantly say that if no one else will do it, then I
guess I'll have to do that, too!
Just like the Articles of Impeachment.
Finally, I have complete belief in the young people of our
country and their ability to lead the kind of change that I'm
After all, it was the young people from just a few generations
ago who faced attack dogs, water hoses, police beatings, and
lynch mobs. They sat in at lunch counters across the country and
stood up for our country.
And they won. And I know we all can do it again.
Now, should you ever waiver in your faith, just acknowledge
The world's most marginalized and dispossessed are already ahead
of us in taking their countries back! Of course, starting in
1959 with Cuba, but then Venezuela, Cote d'Ivoire, Brazil,
Argentina, Spain, India, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, and
Nicaragua all have stood up to imperial domination - and won!
In the meantime, we have to demand more from our
representatives. How can you be against war if you finance war?
And how can you be against George Bush if you won't impeach him?
"We will build a broad-based, rainbow movement for justice and
The American people are being fed madness as sanity. But, this
is not Oz, Wonderland, the Twilight Zone, and it's not 1984!
With every fiber in our being we must resist. Resist like Mario
Savio told us to resist: with our entire bodies against the
gears and the wheels and the levers of the machine.
We must resist because we claim no partnership in war crimes,
genocide, torture, or crimes against humanity. We claim no
complicity in crimes against the American people.
We will build a broad-based, rainbow movement for justice and
peace. And we will win.
I want to thank Dedon, Adrienne Cole (my former Chief of Staff),
Anastasia King (Producer of American Blackout), Tracy Larkins
(my scheduler, host, and everything assistant), and all the
people associated with this program, and all of you for
Cynthia McKinney can be contacted through her web site,
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