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Jul-09-2009 03:23printcomments

McKinney Kidnapping Ignored by Media

McKinney is a Black woman and therefore the desire to identify with her is minimal. No matter how successful a person of color becomes, few white people would change places with them because a Black identity is still considered less than.

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney who was kidnapped last week by the Israeli military for trying to take relief supplies into Gaza, where people are kept in a chokehold under less than humanitarian conditions, by Israel.

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - - From the blog Womanist Musings

Had it not been for twitter, I doubt that I would even have been aware that Cynthia McKinney was held hostage in Israel after attempting to deliver aid and supplies to the Palestinians. There has been a resounding silence on this issue as CNN, MSNBC and other mainstream media sources rush to give us the latest news on the death of Michael Jackson.

Jackson was truly an iconic figure, however the man is dead and Cynthia is alive. His memorial is receiving massive coverage and the announcement that his body would be present was considered breaking news. Even Palin’s resignation has garnered more media and internet attention. Though McKinney is safely back on US soil, her wellbeing during her ordeal was of little concern.

As celebrities and media personnel rush to speak about the ways in which Michael Jackson transcended race, the erasure of the plight of McKinney proves that race and gender continue to divide the country.

Her mission was righteous and her intentions good, yet it matters not because the world places very little value on the bodies of Black women. "If Israel fears for its security because Gaza's children have crayons then not only has Israel lost its last shred of legitimacy, but Israel must be declared a failed state," McKinney said.

Despite her accomplishments McKinney cannot escape the legacy of her mothers womb. The media has gone to great lengths to paint her as radical, wild and untameable. One may not always agree with her methods or her arguments, but the reduction of her to an almost animal like caricature over the course of years allowed her detainment to be deemed unimportant.

Imagine if a white male politician had been held captive by a foreign country. Regardless of what we considered about the impetus for the detainment, his value would be enough for this to be heavily reported in the media. Israel may be considered a friendly state, however the welfare of an American citizen should take precedence in this situation. There was not even been a strongly worded statement on her behalf demanding her release.

Her action was a response to Obama call to action on behalf of the Palestinian people and his silence was her reward.

"State Department and White House officials have not effected our release or taken a strong public stance to condemn the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy of enforcing a blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians of Gaza, a blockade that has been condemned by President Obama," McKinney said in a statement posted on the Green Party's Web site last week.

McKinney is a Black woman and therefore the desire to identify with her is minimal. No matter how successful a person of color becomes, few white people would change places with them because a Black identity is still considered less than. People can congratulate themselves on being able to recognize the talent or skill of a person like Michael Jackson or Queen Latifah but when it comes right down to it; if our safety, health or happiness is an issue, it is irrelevant because we are all considered disposable bodies.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Steve July 14, 2009 7:35 am (Pacific time)

Daniel I made an error, meant to say "Ward Connerly."

Daniel July 13, 2009 11:19 pm (Pacific time)

One more point the news media in the usa is controlled by publicly traded companies , the ownership is open to ANYONE who has the money . The investors in these companies are not all white men nor are their boards of directors . Their bottom line is to make a buck not divide the races . The news on the networks is taken to the lowest common denominator to sell their worthless crap . In this country there are still many excellent news sources nationally and internationally . Do not over simplify the situation as a bunch of angry white men depressing everyone . The last administration was oppressive for the world , and its greatest spokespersons were Condi Rice and General Powell , the free speech oppressive commissioner of the FCC was Michael Powell . Michael Jackson had it right when he sang I am looking at Man in the Mirror. Its all about PERSONAL responsibility .

Daniel July 13, 2009 8:35 pm (Pacific time)

Steve Ward Churchill claims to be native American altho both parents are white . Skipper if you talked about today and the racist drug war breaking up African american families this rings true . Most violent crime in this country is white on white, black on black, brown on brown, etc etc . Most over money , drugs , or sex . When violent crimes spills over to others in poor neighborhoods , its the Arab shopkeeper , the Korean liquor store owner and other poor people of color who are the victims . These people had nothing to do with slavery and usually have a very current history of there own oppression . By minimizing the suffering of other peoples you become a divider . The real first hand oppressors of women of color are the dead beat fathers who do not nurture there own children or beat the crap out of there family . The city i grew up in has an African American Mayor , police chief and a woman African American school superintendent . The election of our current President and the adoration of people of color in music , sport , business by millions of non African Americans show a changing world .

Joe McFerrian July 12, 2009 11:33 am (Pacific time)

Skipper I met you a long time ago at a fuction at Jefferson High School in Portland. Mel Renfro (Dallas Cowboys) and I were speaking about Jeff's coach Tom Desylvia (he coached us both a few years apart/back in 50/60's). Anyway it's stories like that found in the below article that is always going to throw a monkey wrench into race relations. It would be a good idea for AG Eric Holder to see these people referenced below are prosecuted, and for black organizations and major personalities to condemn the below behavior: "Obama's Justice Department thwarts Congress on voter intimidation case Washington Times ^ | Sunday, July 12, 2009 | Editorial For some reason, the Justice Department is covering for the Black Panthers. For months, congressmen have asked the Justice Department a simple question: How could the department drop one of the worst voter-intimidation cases ever? The department's only explanation was revealed in its dismissal filing with the court; the case was dropped because the defendants, two members of the New Black Panthers, offered no defense. This is unsatisfactory grounds for such a serious civil rights abuse. As the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights summarized in a letter of inquiry to the department: the "defendants were caught on video blocking access to polls, and physically threatening and verbally harassing voters during the November 4, 2008 general election." The defendants made racial threats to voters, and one of them was brandishing a night stick. Frustration with Justice Department stonewalling boiled over Thursday . . . . (Excerpt) Read more at ..."

Steve July 12, 2009 11:06 am (Pacific time)

So Skipper Osborne what's your view of Justice Clarence Thomas? How about African-American Ward Churchill and his movement to discontinue affirmative action programs that many see as having morphed into a quota system? The vast majority of Americans are against affirmative action as evidenced by all past different state elections along with all major polls that deal with this matter. I certainly agree that there are racial and gender divisions going on, but what some people see as fair others see as a form of tyranny. When people start taking personal responsibility for their own behaviors, then that would be a good start in addressing race issues, otherwise we are engaging in a circular blame game that only instigates a continuing impasse. Seems that things have gotten worse between the races since certain programs were instituted back in the mid 60's. Personal responsibility works both ways.

Skipper Osborne July 11, 2009 10:27 pm (Pacific time)

Well, well, well. It is always interesting to me that when there is an article about a prominent Black, we have people who want to talk about this oppressed race and that oppressed race; and historical tibets to marginalize the featured article. The main news medias of The United States of America are not owned by African-Americans, but by White men; who control what is written or what is aired on television. The editorial on former Congresswoman Chynthia McKinney, by Salem-News is correct especially when they stated '...the plight of McKinney proves that race and gender continue to divide the country...' Let me repeat "RACE AND GENDER CONTINUE TO DIVIDE THE COUNTRY!" And if you think otherwise, you are really only stroking your bias, guilty, or racist ideology and trying to intellectualize a serious event by attempting to marginalize it. Racism and genderism is two of Americas' greatest enemies! America greatly needs a dialogue on race. Damn good article!

Editor: Skipper Osborne is the former President of the Portland, Oregon NAACP and he is one of the most fair minded activists I have ever known.  I appreciate your words Skip, as always, and I am shocked that people use a story like this to spout racial propaganda.  In spite of progress, I'm afraid we have a long way to go in this nation and we may or may not reach that destination.  This is the truth and that is what will always be published here.  God bless Cynthia McKinney on behalf of everything in the world that is right.  Her critics have a mere fraction of her courage and character.    

PNWCC July 10, 2009 11:30 am (Pacific time)

McKinney should remain in jail, she should be given no special treatement for her despicable behavior. Running blockades... hah. Only fools do such things.

Editor: Well, that is an interesting opinion, how much AIPAC money do you get for bothering us with this type of fantasy comments?  I recently read about the Union blockade runners who jammed up the Confederacy in a Harper's Weekly story from 1863.  Blockade running was required to win the Revolution and establish the United States in the first place.  Of course you are for Israel, not the United States, so you probably don't care. 

You do realize that the actions of Congresswoman McKinney are akin to the Red Cross trying to break down the Nazi's stronghold on the Warsaw Ghettos don't you?  The big difference, is that McKinney and her brave compatriots weren't happy with a little show tour like the Nazi's offered and the Red Cross accepted.  She tried to get aid to people who have been terrorized to no end by the IDF.  We live in a modern age of information, and that my sad little friend, is your real enemy.  It is growing too, and becoming more and more powerful.  Israel's charade is over; people are learning in increasing numbers what a series of Murderous acts this religious state has committed against its innocent neighbors.  The most important way to solve this is for the good people of Israel who don't approve of their nation's military nonsense to push us past this dark time period.  You're just like the U.S. in having a mix of rational people and right wing loonies.  Get them out of power, that is your responsibility.  Help Israel find a way to behave as a decent nation.  Help it grow a heart.  Of course when religious bigotry is the national agenda it is hard, but it is possible.  

Actually, I read some of your other comments and I see that you are nothing but an idiot.  Still, I hope others reading this can get something from it.    

Riley July 10, 2009 10:42 am (Pacific time)

Go anywhere in the world and you will see so-called hate crimes. Either for racial, tribal or religious/ideological views. For example being a Korean in Japan can promulgate considerable grief. It's just an empirical fact that some groups engage in far more crime than others. With the down economy it will probably be getting worse. When it comes to blaming "acting out" behavior, and all the sociological dust up that causes, Daniel is correct, it just augments the "me v.s them" scenario. Historically whites had been oppressed for countless centuries, and in some countries this is still happening in the eastern bloc areas. Maybe some day we will learn to get along, but that time may be far into the future. One must consider that the teens out there are getting their cues from someone intent on manipulating them.

Daniel July 10, 2009 12:51 am (Pacific time)

Tim , Bonnie we both know the mainstream televises nothing about the non Israeli point of view regardless of race or gender . If ones news is limited to the 20 minute network news cast or foxes repeating the same stories over and over again , they are totally misinformed . What is happening in too many north American cities is spiraling out of control violence . Look at the racial tension in LA for one , this group vs that group vs this group . There is way too much ignorance from black, white, asian ,and hispanic young , about the other groups . There are also too many un or under supervised teens . Are there too many violent teens causing havoc , yes there is ! This is a tragic situation and answers have to be found . The problem with the slave heritage argument is a great number of non african north americans migrated to this country long after slavery ended , and a large number of african americans leaders have mixed heritage with the white oppressors . The migration after the second world war consisted largely of war refugees and displaced people , a much closer history of suffering and oppression . After Viet Nam it was refugees and boat people , again a recent and very oppressed group . The migration from mexico came from poverty and oppression , largely in the last few decades . The migrants from Haiti are coming from real hardship , and often find themselves at the bottom of the black social circle oppressed by those who are mixed race . Talking about the hardships of over 150 years ago does not help to advance but hinders progress in the black community . It helps to foster a us and them mentality , also if some one has a self identity as victim , they tend to become one . Back on topic the story did get over 2300 links on google more than most news stories but was not carried by the big 5 . There was plenty of coverage if one looked or cared , most people dont care unless its spoon feed to them, between the pharmaceutical bogus meds and the unhealthy junk foods commercials . If most North Americans actually read the news they would have a much different view of our society and its place in the world . Thanks for your coverage and different from mainstream views , even tho you think yourself mainstream

Vic..the regular poster July 10, 2009 8:31 am (Pacific time)

FWIW, I am not the "vic' who posted earlier..July 9 12:46..I may be an anti-government antagonist type, but never have been a racist, and have very low tolerance for that crap.

dude- END THE FED July 9, 2009 2:59 pm (Pacific time)

Thanks for covering yet another important story ignored by the media (or is it people themselves dont care, most likely both- a chicken/egg timeline situation) just like this monumental bill the media is finally forced to do some minor reporting on. "Bid to clip Fed's wings gains support in Congress"--WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A proposal from a long-time congressional foe of the Federal Reserve that could give lawmakers sway over monetary policy has won the support of a majority in the House of Representatives, alarming officials at the U.S. central bank.-- reuters @

John July 9, 2009 2:16 pm (Pacific time)

I see these two different hate crimes below happened on July 4th. They are clearly hate crimes. My take is that if the races were reversed it would receive national, if not international attention because whites jumping on blacks has been statistically low for decades now. By the way blacks at 14% of the population commit violent crime at from 4 to 5 times their population ratio (see U.S. Justice Department database to see how bad it really is). What happened years ago does not mean a hoot to the current hate crime victims. I frankly priortize the crime in this country than somewhere else. I'm sure most Americans feel likewise.

Editor: Oh please, if it was the other way around you would probably be complaining that it wasn't a hate crime at all.  I believe your figures are fantasy and even if they were true, it takes no rocket scientist to know why the black race is having a hell of a hard time.  It seems the white race thought they could "own" the black race up until 1865 or so.  150 years of further oppression and you're surprised that people from this culture turn to crime... funny because it is all so simple.  I should not have approved your comment because it is off topic and pointless, but I guess I'm being a good sport today.  Are you simply try to keep history in repeat pattern?   

Editor July 9, 2009 1:31 pm (Pacific time)

I just approved the two comments about the white man being attacked but I absolutely fail to understand why not one, but two people find this to be the most important comment to make. I'm so sick of all of this; black people weren't even free 150 years ago to live as human beings. They were barely ahead of that status 50 years ago.  In the south today in certain places, it had hardly changed at all. You guys find it important to talk about the poor white guy getting beaten up, and I am very sorry for this man, but what about all the stories of black people being terrorized by whites? Gee, try about a 100 to 1 ratio and then you might start to see how petty it is to compare a single gang incident to the oppression and kidnapping of people trying to get supplies in for the beleaguered people of Gaza.  Why aren't your comments about the bigotry of the Israeli government? 

Daniel, I do not believe that the story got much in the national press.  We have published search results about this.  A paper in Ireland, Al Jazeera, - these names came up under searches for the vessel's name.   Sure DemocracyNow had it, they are fantastic but they are an interest site that preaches to a choir of those who already agree., right wrong or indifferent, swims in the mainstream of news and when we rank high on the search engines with stories about Gaza and the inequities of the people there, we are often the only U.S. news agency present.  I am proud of that.  Again, for the positive and rational groups that covered it, kudos to them.

Daniel July 9, 2009 1:20 pm (Pacific time)

The Mckenny story was in over 2000 google links , Democracy now had extensive coverage . If you rely on the mainstream media for your news you are totally misinformed on most issues . Former Presidents Carters interactions on the Israeli issue have been buried or underreported , he is a white man . You will NOT get fair and balanced reporting on Israel from the mainstream . At the end of the article the author states , '' no matter how successful a person of color becomes few white people would change places with them because a black identity is considered less'". I believe this statement to be incorrect, outdated and racist .

Vic July 9, 2009 12:46 pm (Pacific time)

Cops: Man beaten in Valley Stream, possible hate crime Newsday.Com ^ | 6/6/2009 | CHAU LAM AND CARL MACGOWAN A white Valley Stream man remained in critical condition Monday after police said he was beaten by a group of young African-American assailants in what authorities are investigating as a possible hate crime. The 30-year-old victim, a Long Island Rail Road worker, was not identified by police, who said the attack was unprovoked. The victim was repeatedly punched and kicked in the face, head and body at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday by a group of about 12 to 15 male and female assailants, said Nassau police Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone. The man had gone outside to move his car off the street during a July Fourth party when he was attacked, Repalone said. He sustained a concussion and fractured eye socket, Repalone said. "There is no motive at this time," Repalone said Monday. You self-hating white trash, go live among the negroids. Soon, self-defense will cure this crap!

American Reality July 9, 2009 8:01 am (Pacific time)

Imagine the headlines if the races were the reverse: Out of nowhere, the six were attacked by dozens of teenage boys, who shouted ''This is our world'' and ''This is a black world'' as they confronted Marshall and his family. The Marshalls, who are white, say the crowd of teens who attacked them and two friends June 27 on Girard Street numbered close to 50. The teens were all black. ''This was almost like being a terrorist act,'' Marshall said. ''And we allow this to go on in our neighborhoods?'' They said it started when one teen, without any words or warning, blindsided and assaulted Marshall's friend as he stood outside with the others. When Marshall, 39, jumped in, he found himself being attacked by the growing group of teens. His daughter, Rachel, 15, who weighs about 90 pounds, tried to come to his rescue. The teens pushed her to the ground. His wife, Yvonne, pushed their son, Donald, 14, into bushes to keep him protected. ''My thing is,'' Marshall said, ''I didn't want this, but I was in fear for my wife, my kids and my friends. I felt I had to stay out there to protect them, because those guys were just jumping, swinging fists and everything. ''I'm lucky. They didn't break my ribs or bruise my ribs. I thank God, they concentrated on my thick head because I do have one. They were trying to take my head off my spine, basically.'' After several minutes of punches and kicks, the attack ended and the group ran off. The Marshalls' two adult male friends were not seriously hurt. ''I don't think I thought at that moment when I tried to jump in,'' Rachel Marshall said. ''But when I was laying on the ground, I was just scared.'' Marshall was the most seriously injured. He suffered a concussion and multiple bruises to his head and eye. He said he spent five nights in the critical care unit at Akron General Medical Center. The construction worker said he now fears for his family's safety, and the thousands of dollars in medical bills he faces without insurance. ''I knew I was going to get beat, but not as bad as I did,'' Marshall said. ''But I did it to protect my family. I didn't have a choice. There was no need for this. We should be all getting along. But to me, it seems to be racist.'' Akron police are investigating. Right now, the case is not being classified as a racial hate crime. There were no other reports of victims assaulted by the group that night. The department's gang unit is involved in the investigation, police said. ''We don't know if it's a known gang, or just a group of kids,'' police Lt. Rick Edwards said. The Marshalls say they fear retaliation at home or when they go outside. They are considering arming themselves, but they're concerned about the possible problems that come with guns. For now, they are hoping police can bring them suspects. They believe they can identify several of the attackers. ''This makes you think about your freedom,'' Marshall said. ''In all reality, where is your freedom when you have this going on?'' -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or

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