Frances M. Beal is a political columnist for the San Francisco Bayview newspaper and national secretary of the Black Radical Congress.

AIPAC, the American Israel Political Affairs Committee is tasting blood with the defeat of Earl Hilliard in Alabama. The U.S. Congressman had enraged the Zionist lobbying group by often voting against legislation that one-sidedly favored Israel and introducing a bill to drop sanctions against Libya and Iraq.

AIPAC is now aiming its big financial and political fangs at Cynthia McKinney from Georgia's 4th congressional district. She faces a primary runoff on August 20th, which for all intents and purposes, determines the general election with an overwhelmingly Democrat constituency. Her stance on a balanced Mid East policy and her outspoken criticism of the Israeli occupation army has enraged AIPAC and it has arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be poured into her opponent's campaign coffers.

McKinney's Black female opponent is a former Judge who was appointed by Sen. Zell Miller, a Georgia democrat who initially appointed this Jonetta come lately to the bench. He has joined the AIPAC chorus with an unprecedented assault on Democratic Party colleague McKinney. Thus, AIPAC is joined in this all-sided assault by the local and national apparatus of the Democratic Party because of McKinney's views on peace, human rights and civil liberties.

The question posed sharply is whether progressives will permit AIPAC and the Dixiecrats tofoist Israeli policy on voters as the defining issue for the mainly Black district in the Atlanta suburb McKinney represents. More importantly, will they tolerate AIPAC to further subvert 37 years of struggle to implement the 1965 Voting Rights Act by its use of the discriminatory campaign financing laws to oust an African American woman whose outstanding performance on a peace and justice agenda has earned her the hatred of the racists and the war mongers.

Months of slanderous assaults have been directed at this first African American congresswoman from Georgia, including labeling her a "loony" for suggesting that the Bush Administration be investigated for what it may or may not have known and failed to act upon about the tragic events of September 11th. Even though she has been vindicated by subsequent exposures, the attacks on McKinney's "intemperate remarks" continue unabated.

Black politicians, however, are beginning to feel threatened by outside support of Black stooges and have begun to mobilize on behalf of McKinney, the first African American female elected to the U.S. Congress from Georgia. The Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials (GABEO) unanimously adopted a resolution on June 22nd accusing Zell Miller of "scurrilous comments" and demanded that he repair his relations with the Black community by offering McKinney "the same respect given to other elected leaders in the state of Georgia."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on the other hand, has been unrelenting in its attempts to discredit McKinney. "[She] has shown herself to be a fringe lunatic, well outside the congressional mainstream," writes Cynthia Tucker in a typical commentary. She asserts that McKinney is "incapable of aiding any cause," and exhibiting an astonishing level of hypocrisy writes, "The plight of the Palestinians and their desire for an independent homeland is a serious cause deserving of thoughtful, mainstream advocates. Hilliard wasn't one and neither is McKinney."

The problem with Tucker's own "intemperate remarks" is that there are no "thoughtful, mainstream advocates" prepared to take up the defense of Palestinian sovereign rights. But there are others, and they are determined to build a financial and political fight back to protect the outspoken advocate that is not afraid of AIPAC's vilification nor its financial war chests.

Nevertheless, spirit and courage alone do not win campaigns in the year 2002. It takes grassroots organizing combined with financial support - lots and lots of financial support. A national grassroots campaign to provide Cynthia McKinney with the necessary funds to fend off AIPAC's blood lust has emerged from coast to coast. Peace and justice forces nationwide are combining with local Black political organizations to draw a line in the sand.

Noting, "We must stand by those who stand by us," CAIR-PAC, a Moslem based group has called for its members to "step forward" and donate to McKinney's campaign. "Her victory will also give strength to those other members of Congress who also want to vote their conscience on issues relating to the Middle East" CAIR-PAC concludes. Other Arab American groups are also soliciting their members for financial support for her re-election efforts.

Typical of the peace forces galvanizing support is Just Peace Contacts, which includes many Jewish activists. They have set an ambitious goal. "Through our networks across the country of Jews, Arabs, Christians and others active in the struggle for Justice in Israel and Palestine, we ought to be able to raise $100,000 by August 1," they say. Lastly, a variety of Black websites and free thinkers like The Konformist are also carrying calls for financial assistance as are scores of listserves of racial justice and peace advocates.

The irony here is that Hilliard's defeat in Alabama may very well have provided the impetus for Cynthia McKinney to amass the financial means necessary to push back AIPAC's reactionary assault on Black political power in Georgia and on a congressional peace advocate nationwide.

Contact info for Frances M. Beal:
e-Mail - fmbeal@igc.org
Black Radical Congress - http://www.blackradicalcongress.org/

 

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Other commentaries in this issue:

Hilliard Calls for New Institutions to Protect Black Interests: Defeated Congressman expresses deep distrust of Ivy League - A Black Commentator interview

A letter to our readers: Reparations: The Value of White Privilege... Highly Suspicious Christian Soldiers... Neighborhood Watch in Havana... Binges and Wars Over Wall Street

e-Mailbox: Troublesome author wants space... J.C. Watts claims his face helps Black people... Vouchers cure "uncivilized" behavior, enhance brain... Moderate Republicans blame for woes

 

Commentaries in Issue Number 7 - July 11, 2002

Voucher Tricksters:The Hard Right Enters Through the Schoolhouse Door

Randall Kennedy: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Fool... How the NAACP Handled the N-word...J.C. Watts, Gone in a Flash

Race and National Security:
"Tar Baby Outrage" Update


Commentaries in Issue Number 6 - June 27, 2002

The N-word as Therapy for Racists: Randall Kennedy's Idiotic Assault on Black People's Honor

A Monument to George Washington's Slaves: Picking favorites among Black heroes and What a real man said on the 4th of July

Goin' South:
To save itself, organized labor must capture Dixie

CIA Trumps FBI: Forget about a War on Drugs


National Security News Alert: President is Warned Race Bias “Threatens National Security”- Special Edition - Issue Number 5 - June 13, 2002


Commentaries in issue 4 - June 7, 2002:

Tar Baby Outrage!: Racism and Corruption at the Redstone Arsenal

Condoleezza's Complaint & Paratroopers in the Basement: Connie's image and the Venezuelan coup

Did the Green Party Betray Black America: by Dr. Jonathan David Farley, Guest Commentator

A Law That Gives Racists Something to Fear:by Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Fogg, Guest Commentator


Commentaries in previous issues :

Condoleezza & Geraldo, a Fine Pair: The Role Models' Burden

Hard Right Cash Defeated in Black City - This Time
Ultra-Conservative Favorite Cory Booker Loses in Newark, New Jersey

Newark: The First Domino? - The Hard Right Tests its National Black Strategy

Fruit of the Poisoned Tree: The Hard Right's Plan to Capture Newark NJ

A Letter from Harvard: "How to spot a "Black Trojan Horse." Dr. Martin Kilson, Guest Commentator

Reparations Part One: The True Value of Some Land and an Animal

The Living Wage Movement: A New Beginning - Bread, Power and Civil Rights in 19 Languages

Rep. Cynthia McKinney's Statement on the Events of September 11: The need for an investigation of the events surrounding September11 is as obvious as is the need for an investigation of the Enron debacle.

Make The Amendment: How to Get the U.S. Government Out of the International Drug Trade

Psychologically Unfit: The U.S. Can't Handle the Death Penalty

Linquistic Profiling: By Patrice D. Johnson, guest commentator