Here are excerpts of this article posted at Black Looks:
The Green Party Presidential ticket of Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente brings something special and unprecedented to U.S. politics. Not only are they the first all women-of-color ticket for President and Vice President with ballot access in most states. These women take racial justice seriously, and have made strides to put gender at the center of a progressive agenda. For these two, it’s more than skin deep.
They’re the Presidential ticket that talks about amnesty for undocumented workers, that opposes guest worker programs as riddled with abuses, because they believe a just immigration reform means addressing the trade and economic policies fueling poverty and migration. They’re the ticket that demands reparations in the form of federal investment in low-income families and communities of color, to end racial disparities in health, housing, education, and incarceration. They call for the right of return for Katrina survivors; an end to prisons for profit, to the War on Drugs. And they speak of reproductive justice – not just the right to abortion, but actual healthcare access; of freedom from coerced or uninformed medication and sterilization.
McKinney and Clemente do not expect to win on Tuesday. Building a movement takes time but it can and will be built along with movements in other parts of the world. Nonetheless I dont support Amee Chew’s suggestion to “support Obama vote McKinney. The time is always right – you cannot delay a struggle which has to begin sometime so why not now. To quote Che “To triumph one must fire the opening shot. And the moment for that has arrived” (My Campaign with Che – Inti Peredo)
In the words of McKinney herself: “We are in this to build a movement. We are willing to struggle for as long as it takes to have our values prevail in public policy.” She reminds us, “Voters in this country are scared into not voting their hopes, their dreams, their aspirations. But in Bolivia and Ecuador and Argentina and Chile and Nicaragua and Spain, and India and Cote d’Ivoire and Haiti, voters were not afraid to vote their hopes and dreams, and guess what. Their dreams came true. Ours can, too.”
The way this campaign has been played out and the failure of the mainstream and progressive media in the US to give any space to McKinney & Clemente is disgraceful. Yet their omission of two women of colour at the expense of the cult like adulation of a man of colour is telling and here lies the truth. This is not about democracy and allowing people to make a choice based on all the candidates not just the chosen two (or four if you want to include their comically stupid side kicks).
The defining moment in American politics is yet to come – a vote for a new political movement as envisaged by McKinney & Clemente will ensure the foundations of this moment begin in the next few days.