This segment, originally recorded January 27th for Prison Radio, features Mumia Abu Jamal, reporting live from Death Row, commenting about the distinction between the illusion of change and the substance of change. He lends his support for Ms. McKinney's candidacy in this short three and a half minute audio recording. He can be written to at: Mumia Abu-Jamal; AM 8335; SCI-Greene; 175 Progress Drive; Waynesburg, PA 15370.
The Radical Alternative
[col. writ. 1/28/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal
In this age of political discontent, it seems clear that many Americans who plan to vote are voting for "change".
Just what kind of change is an open question. Will that change bring the first woman to the Oval Office? Or will it bring a Black man (or ,to some, a 1/2 Black man?)
Whatever, it is interesting that the nation's punditocracy, the talking heads who act like verbal sheepdogs of the American fleece, have almost totally ignored one candidate who can, in her single self, embody, not just the illusion, but the reality of "change", experience, a demonstrated stand against the Iraq War, and a life of living female.
I speak, of course, of Cynthia McKinney, the bold, outspoken former congresswoman from Georgia, who spoke out against the Iraq War when it wasn't popular.
She is running on the Green Party, according to published reports, but the media has virtually ignored this fact.
Her record of speaking out against the U.S. war machine, the military-industrial complex, and other issues of concern is head and shoulders above any of the other candidates running for office, on either party.
But, without the paid imprimatur of the corporate powers that be, it can be little more than an insurgent campaign, one kept safely to the margins of American politics, off the stage, and off the screen.
This is our loss, for the major candidates (or those supported by the corporate status quo) are, by their very nature, designed to split the votes of two significant blocs in the Democratic Party, which can only leave the loser feeling embittered.
Why not a real Black woman as a candidate?
Wouldn't that be a change?
And although all politics is symbolic, McKinney really is a woman of substance.
She has been politically courageous in many of her stands, which has made her persona non grata among both Republicans and Democrats.
That's because she's not a corporate candidate. She's proven in her career as a member of Congress that she won't be bought off. Of who else running today can the same be said?
People say they want 'change', but do they really?
Many people are terrified of change. They want the safety of the routine, the comfort of predictability.
That's because many people fear losing their already tenuous grip on their lifestyle.
But with millions of people facing foreclosure, and with the rest of the economy on the brink of free-fall, how much safety is apparent?
That's only an economic concern, what about foreign policy?
Foreign policy, for at least the last decade, has been handled (or should I say, mishandled?) by an array of incompetents who have succeeded only in making bad situations far worse.
Do people want change, or are they merely claiming that they do?
Cynthia McKinney would certainly represent that, in a way far more substantial and meaningful than anybody else out there.
Politicians should be far more than paid agents of the wealthy. They should be far more than millionaires working on behalf of other millionaires
Why are we not surprised that the U.S. Senate is a millionaires club?
How could such people have an appreciation of working people?
What do they really know about the poor?
Wouldn't Cynthia McKinney be a significant change?