Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has assured key supporters
that she is serious about recapturing the suburban Atlanta
district she lost to Denise Majette, last August. McKinney
operatives began the filing process, last week, causing some
consternation among Green Party members, many of whom want
to place her name at the top of their presidential ticket
Greens should find someone else to carry their banner. McKinney
has unfinished business to take care of in the majority Black
4th Congressional District, now represented by the white people's
choice, Majette, whose presence in the Congressional Black
Caucus is an affront to African Americans, nationally. Majette
rode to victory in an open primary tidal wave of commingled
white Democratic and Republican votes. McKinney supporters
sued, charging that Democrats were effectively disenfranchised
by GOP crossovers - a case that is still pending but should
not figure into the five-term lawmaker's plans. Majette must
be removed, and there is no one but McKinney on the horizon.
unfinished business in DeKalb County is a national Black concern.
Although many on the Left see only the progressive vs. corporate
front aspect of last year's McKinney-Majette race, the assault
on McKinney was actually a concerted Right effort to prove
that the Black Consensus has collapsed, shattered by fundamental
class and attitudinal differences among African Americans.
Corporate media described the race as a contest between the
civil rights-oriented Old School, and an "independent
minded," "more conservative" Black youth and
middle class. Racists came out of their closets long before
the votes were cast, celebrating the dawning of a new era
in which race relations were finally freed from the shackles
of Black bloc voting. Every major corporate electronic and
print media organ in the nation took a keen interest in the
outcome, and cheered when Majette won by a 16 percent margin.
House Negro reporters danced in the aisles of their newsrooms,
for the benefit of their editors.
the white hoopla depended on the two candidates effectively
splitting the Black vote, thus demonstrating that the DeKalb
Black community was, in fact, fractured. This "truth"
would then be proclaimed as a general condition among African
Americans, nationwide, and the civil rights era could be declared
lying, racist rag
was a problem with the new paradigm, however: it wasn't true.
It immediately became apparent that McKinney had, indeed,
been the overwhelming Black choice, while whites and Republicans
expressed themselves through Majette. National media found
it convenient to walk away packing their pre-election propaganda,
never bothering to note, post-election, that Blacks had rallied
to McKinney as if she were the only African American in the
race. They voted in a near bloc, treating Majette as the surrogate
white candidate. At least 90 percent of the white electorate
also voted as a bloc, for Majette. An unknown number of Republican
crossovers gave the election the numerical character of a
landslide, but there was no doubt that this was a white racial
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, having nowhere to slink away
to, decided to falsify the evidence. In a crime against journalism
and reality itself, the newspaper invented a "study"
that showed Majette had won with a "biracial coalition"
including a quarter to a third of Black voters.
easily exposed the lie. Armed with the detailed racial data
required under the Voting Rights Act, associate editor Bruce
A. Dixon showed conclusively that Majette received no more
than 19 percent of the Black vote. The Journal-Constitution's
claims were "based on phantom voters, wishful thinking
and phony numbers - lies made of whole cloth." In order
to provide a false basis in fact to buttress its political
fantasies, the paper assigned Majette between 6,000 and 8,000
Black voters who could not have existed.
headlined the November
4, 2002 story:
Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Bogus Election 'Study': Black
Majette vote grossly inflated,
is no emerging cohort of black, centrist leaning voters.
The figures are public, a link to the precinct-by-precinct
stats is provided at the end of this analysis and we challenge
the Drs. Bullock and Boone, at the University of Georgia
and Clark Atlanta, along with their colleagues in the press,
to show otherwise. It's an urban myth, concocted and spread
by the AJC, the Washington Post, Fox News, NPR and other
news and opinion outlets. Neither McKinney nor Majette constructed
a "biracial coalition" for this election. Four-fifths
of the black vote went to McKinney and 90-95% of the white
vote to Majette. Whites turned out in bigger numbers, and
their candidate won ....
at The Black Commentator searched the election returns in
vain for signs of the "18,000 black voters who made
up one-fourth of Majette's total," as proclaimed by
Ben Smith and David Milliron in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
on October 14. Their conclusions depend upon the votes of
people that never were; black and white ghosts, inhabiting
"predominantly black voting precincts" that must
be invented to accommodate a fictional political class of
conservative black voters. For perhaps the first time in
history, a significant white southern institution has resorted
to, in effect, padding the black voter rolls!
crime has come back to haunt the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In reporting that McKinney's people were filing papers for
a return match, the AJC was compelled to share the results
of a study by University of Georgia professor Charles Bullock,
one of the paper's regular quote men. During the campaign
and its immediate aftermath, Bullock had given credibility
to the Majette "biracial coalition" myth. Later,
however, he conducted his own study, and found that Majette
had garnered only 17 percent of the Black vote - entirely
consistent with 's
analysis, which had bent over backwards to give Majette the
benefit of the doubt whenever questions of voters' race arose.
5 issue quotes Prof. Bullock: "What Majette needs
to be doing is getting out, courting in the black community,
trying to broaden her coalition because she did so poorly
in her community."
like he's talking about the white candidate, doesn't it?
back to basics
time around, Georgia Republicans will be involved in hotly
contested statewide primary races, unavailable to cross over
to tip the Democratic primary scales. But that doesn't guarantee
success for the McKinney camp. Although the forces arrayed
against her in 2002 may have been insurmountable, McKinney
did not have to lose as badly as she did. Bruce Dixon, a veteran
of many campaigns, also worked briefly on McKinney's. In our
post-mortem on the race, Dixon wrote:
no field operation whatsoever. The McKinney campaign had
failed to conduct a voter registration drive in her district.
They hadn't performed a pre-election voter canvass in any
parts of heavily black south DeKalb, which should have been
her base areas. These are the organizing basics, the ABCs
of electoral success for black progressive candidates against
opponents with more money and media. Her campaign ignored
the basics and it cost her. And all of us.
McKinney's allies in the Green Party should make every human
and material resource available to her, so that she can beat
Majette soundly as a Democrat in 2004. When she takes her
seat back, McKinney can proclaim herself to be as Green as
she likes. Bernie Sanders is a Socialist/Independent Congressman
from Vermont, who sits with the Democratic House Caucus. The
Greens should be happy to have McKinney represent them, in
reverse fashion. That's real solidarity.
first, the stain needs to be removed from DeKalb County, Georgia.