Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Cynthia McKinney Speaks at UC-Irvine (Sort of)
Cynthia McKinney at UC-Irvine, May 13, 2009
with "security" in red and black t-shirts
(Photo by Fousesquawk. Can't you tell?)
Today marked day three of the Muslim Student Union-sponsored week of anti-Israel events at UC Irvine. Today's featured speaker was ex-Georgia Representative and Green Party presidential candidate (really!) Cynthia McKinney. Ms McKinney was fresh back from wandering the seven seas lost in her shipwrecked boat "Leakin' Lena" trying to deliver goodies to the Heroes of Hamas when run ashore by the Israeli Navy. Today, she enthralled us all with her life story-full of conspiracies as to how she lost her last election. I came away from her appearance with two impressions (which I already knew): First, the lady is full of herself. Second: She's not very bright.
McKinney did not go into the exciting details of her near brush with death on the high seas. That was to be the subject of tonight's appearance, which I decided to pass on. She did, however, inform us that the captain of the "Leakin' Lena" (Beanie, perhaps?) told her she should prepare herself mentally to die as the Israel Navy, full of all those sea monsters came near.
Instead, McKinney described her background in Stone Mountain, Georgia and ascension into politics. She described a bold, courageous statement she supposedly made once condemning the bombing of Baghdad under the orders of George Herbert Walker Bush. She described her lonely fight for human rights. At one point, in referring to a statement made by Colin Powell (I believe) that "they hate us because we are free", she remarked that "I could have told them as a black woman that I am not free." (I believe those were the exact words.)
Then she spoke in dark terms of the forces arraigned against her as she struggled to win re-election in recent years. (She was defeated in 2006.) The described how the Anti-Defamation League filed an amicus brief against her interests in a re-redistricting of her district in Georgia. She described the (successful) efforts of the "War Party" in Congress to defeat her in order to remove an anti-war vote in Congress. She concluded by suggesting that her saga might be the subject of a term paper with the greater story being how the people can take back their government or something like that.
For some strange reason, I always seem to get the first question at these garden parties. Maybe that gets the skunk out of there faster, eh? My question went something like this:
"In your recent re-election defeat, your father and members of your security from the New Black Panther Party, specifically Hashim Nzinga, made inflammatory and clearly anti-Semitic comments blaming Jews for your defeat. Do you blame Jews for your defeat?" (Again, I think that's word for word.)
McKinney gave a long answer, essentially saying that there were many factors for her defeat. She did single out AIPAC (America Israel Public Affairs Committee) as being a factor. During her answer, she evoked the name of Gus Savage in a context which I don't recall. What I do recall is that it caused me to laugh and state out loud, "Gus Savage?!!?"
(Gus Savage was a despicable little race-baiting congressman from Chicago who was involved in a host of controversies during his tenure.)
There were a few other questions, some sympathetic, some not. One older Israeli gentleman in trying to make his question heard, approached McKinney as MSU "security" alertly stepped forward to keep him from posssibly doing harm to the "dignitary". A university official rushed in to shepherd the gentleman back to the crowd line.
After the speech, several Jewish and Muslim students engaged in lengthy, spirited, but civil debate about the Israel-Palestinian issue.
So ended another in the long parade of disreputable figures who have cast their shadow over our fair campus.