Opinion

AS I SEE IT

Once again providing ample proof of why it’s never a good idea to vote while you’re drunk, Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is back in the news.

In this latest episode, McKinney was apparently entering the capitol building and, as is the right of all members of Congress, walked around the security checkpoint. One of the policemen manning the station didn’t realize who she was and requested that she stop. Apparently she ignored him and continued on her way.

Not knowing who she was, the policeman allegedly tried to stop her by attempting to physically restrict her movement. In response she is said to have thrown her cell phone at the man.

When asked why she responded this way, McKinney, in addition to claiming that she was touched inappropriately, alleged that she was only dealt with this way because she’s African American.

You would think by now that she might at least try to be a little more creative in her reasons for acting like such an ass. But why, when the race card has served her so well? Cynthia McKinney is an unbridled idiot, but more importantly she’s also a perfect example of how racism is not an inherent condition; it’s a learned trait.

To understand how she got this way we need to review the record of one Billy McKinney, Cynthia’s father.

The elder McKinney, himself a former long-term member of the Georgia legislature, was fired from his daughter’s 1996 congressional campaign because he continuously maligned her Republican opponent’s religious heritage-he’s Jewish. Apparently that’s such a terrible thing to McKinney the elder that he thought it was perfectly appropriate to label the man “a racist Jew”. As a result, Cynthia was forced to ask her father to stay away from the campaign.

Six years later, when Cynthia was defeated in the ’02 Democratic primary, her father stated he could spell the reason why she lost. He then looked at the camera and mouthed the letters-J-E-W-S. Actually, I think it would have probably been more accurate to say that she lost because she’s an I-D-I-O-T. But what do I know?

Let us not forget that on March 17, 1995, the last day of the Georgia legislative session, the elder McKinney brandished a knife at a fellow white legislator telling him according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I’ve had enough of you this year” and “I will get you in the street and I will cut you.” Later McKinney claimed there was no way he could have pulled a knife on anyone: “I don’t carry a knife,” McKinney said. “I carry a gun.”

Little wonder that whenever Cynthia does something completely unacceptable by the standards of reasonable humans, it’s always her claim that she’s being unfairly held to a different standard because she’s African-American.

Unfortunately she’s committing the same crime as her father. In her 2002 concession speech, McKinney said that now that she wasn’t going to be in Congress anymore she was going to devote herself to teaching her son to be a “good, black man”. I guess we should infer from that statement, that in the mind of the McKinneys there’s a significant difference between being a “good, black man,” and being a good man.

I just don’t accept that. One is either a good person or they aren’t; melanin has nothing to do with it.

Having said that I am willing to grant one point: there is indeed a readily apparent difference in her case.

There are reasonable, responsible adults… and then there’s Cynthia McKinney.

Scott Wacholtz is a graduate student in the history department. He can be contacted at s.wacholtz@umiami.edu.

April 7, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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