by M. Abdul-Qawiyy
On Aug. 21, Cynthia Mckinney, former congresswoman, gave a talk at the Pittsburgh Monumental Baptist Church regarding against the latest bombings in Tripoli, Libya. She has been traveling the country speaking out against the Libya bombings supported by the Obama administration.
McKinney both charismatic and passionate stated, “We are here because we care about Justice.” Her nationwide speaking tour was sponsored in Pittsburgh by the ANSWER Coalition, Nation of Islam, Thomas Merton Center Anti-War Committee, and International Action Center.
During her talk, she was joined by Akbar Muhammad, who is the international representative for the Nation of Islam and Brian Becker, the national coordinator of the ANSWER Coalition.
McKinney, who has just returned from Libya, is convicted that the American government and its overall stance with foreign policy is to keep the American people misinformed; especially African-Americans. She stated that there is discrimination of the press. “It seems that if we, “Blacks” get involved with or try to have a voice about this country’s foreign policy we are ignored because it is not in the category of being racial or about civil rights.”
Throughout her presentation, McKinney gave a detailed report about the death and destruction caused by the NATO bombing in Libya. To illustrate the appalling reality, an uncensored video of on-the-ground footage was shown. The film exhibited mutilated bodies in Misurata and Benghazi regions. Also, residential areas were shown with families in emotional ruin. Mckinney stressed that NATO backed the rebels and killed innocent Libyans. However, it has been stated in mainstream media that the United States does not have troops on the ground.
McKinney’s followers include grassroots organizations and her past has influenced her current political stance. Not only was she the first African-American to represent Georgia in the House of Representatives, but also served six terms as a member of the the Democratic Party. Also, in 2008 the Green Party nominated McKinney for President of the United States. “We need to cultivate candidates who are willing to put the community first instead of political favor,” she said.
As her talk came to a close, the audience asked pertinent questions regarding McKinney’s opinions on the 2012 elections. “I will say this, no matter what country or town I’m in, I can tell when I’m on the “Black” side. You can see the pain in the concrete. We will continue to be shafted as long as we put our own morals and consciousness on the back burner and agree with political figures who do not reflect our morals. And I think we all can agree that the change of race in the White House does not mean change of regime.”
It was clear that those present were in total agreement as audience members clapped and nodded in unison. The religious and political representation was very diverse and there was an honest concern about the political future of this country.
Walter Smolarek, of The ANSWER coalition, stated that the meeting was a big success. “There was a lot of interest in spreading awareness and starting a movement. The Libyan people need our support and even though the war is not over, I am still very optimistic.”
A low murmur constantly circulated the room and one audience member, a young man wearing Islamic attire, spoke out and directed a question at McKinney, “What do you think—that Obama doesn’t care about us?”
McKinney calmly responded, “I think the president should tell the people of this country the truth.”