An Apology to Cynthia McKinney and Chuck Baldwin

On Friday August 15, Antiwar.com featured a front page template with the images of John McCain, Barack Obama, Bob Barr and Ralph Nader below the caption, We are holding their feet to the fire: Without fear or favor. Some of our readers expressed a concern that by not including Cynthia McKinney we were deliberately ignoring a prominent woman of color.

If you note, we did not include Chuck Baldwin either. The reason is simple. Former Representative McKinney and the Reverend Baldwin are unequivocally antiwar.

We apologize if that was not explicit.

21 thoughts on “An Apology to Cynthia McKinney and Chuck Baldwin”

  1. Bosnia: Force acceptable to help against mass slaughter

    Q: Foreign policy, the Middle East, Bosnia: your general view in that area?

    A: Well I think when there’s mass slaughter going on or about to go
    on, as in some countries, there should be a multinational
    expeditionary force to help those people. Burundi is an example.
    And second, I think we should be very careful about getting into
    foreign difficulties, because we’re protecting big business,
    investments like oil in the Persian Gulf, which led us into that
    whole morass to begin with.

    Source: Interview on “Larry King Live” Oct 6, 1996

  2. Given his deep anti-war commitment I think it’s absurd to include Nader alongside McCain and Obama, especially for such a carefully-circumscribed comment, but if that’s really the standard you’re employing you shouldn’t except McKinney either:

    ======================================================

    ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Okay. I want to come back to that issue, but Congresswoman McKinney first, how did the trip affect your views?

    REP. CYNTHIA McKINNEY, (D) Georgia: (Capitol Hill) The trip deeply affected me. There was no way that I could enter into Sarajevo and see the total destruction and see the lines etched in people’s faces and at the same time their hope and their joy. They were overcome, in many instances, even with tears at the prospect of the American presence there in Sarajevo. Sarajevo is an example of what happens when racism goes mad, and it’s abhorrent to the very nature of our political idealism. I think we have a moral responsibility to respond.

    ======================================================

    In fact, by the standard you appear to be suggesting Justin Raimondo wouldn’t qualify either.

  3. Really, if there is an apology due, based on your note of apology, it is due to Ralph Nader, who many of your antiwar.com readers are supporting.
    Because he is antiwar, anti-corporate and anti-poverty.
    Thanks for all your good works.

  4. I’m anti-poverty, too. Poverty? I am against it. And all the problems which stem from it.

  5. Perhaps someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Cynthia McKinney support the U.S. invasion of Haiti in 1994?

    1. Are you referring to the restoration of democratically elected government in 1994? Yes, McKinney supported it.
      Or are you thinking of the coup in 2004 that removed Aristide from power? McKinney was the loudest voice in Washington against it:
      http://www.counterpunch.org/mckinney03192004.html

      A vote for McKinney is a vote for the candidate with the absolute best record on human rights and peace. She is serious about turning the Dept of State into the Dept of Peace. By voting for the Greens, you are helping to build the party that will bring sanity and peace to US foreign policy.

      Peace!

      1. “Are you referring to the restoration of democratically elected government in 1994? Yes, McKinney supported it.”

        So, she’s supports using the military to make the world safe for democracy. Sounds very Wilsonian to me, even a bit Neoconservative.

  6. Wow, I just came across this site while searching for something else and decided to pop in and see what everyone had to say…Well, after my nausea went away the three words that came to mind are uneducated communist cult. Do you people really believe this crap you are preaching? Yes of course we all want peace – more than anything, but are you all willing to stop wars, pull out troops, give up your freedom, and most likely die at the hands of someone that want to kill you because they don’t like your religion or beliefs? I’m one of the guys that crosses the oceans to fight for YOUR freedoms and this is how you repay our sacrifices? It’s not sad, it’s a duty, an honor – none of us want to die but we will to protect your freedoms! And, if we stop tomorrow and all come home? This war will be fought as will many others – If we don’t fight the wars on their own soil the fighting will come to us, is that what you really want? Do you want your family, your children to be exposed to bloodshed in their streets and homes? Yes, it’s ashame the world can’t be a peaceful place – We, and I have worked very hard to make our United States of America safe from foreign threats and peaceful. There is much that goes on in this world and in the US everday that the public eye does not see, All you hear is what the press is told to report on – You think the press is free? The reason you don’t get the facts and the real news on TV is because in the past the press has been responsible for more military and civilian casualties the “The War” ever has. The press reports their view of what is going on in the distance, and what is fed to them by Public Affairs – it’s done that way to keep our troops safe from reporters reporting troop movements and positions over satellite upfeeds. You all need to take a step back and take a look at reality because from what I’m reading everthing you’re writing about is based on opinion and false information. Face it, you may never know the real answers – It’s a fact. If you want to help – stop working against us and start supporting us, you think we don’t know the odds when we head off to war? We signed the oath, we made the choice, we know the risk. Stop with the crying, hold your heads high and honor us with your strength, honor us with the stars and stripes of old glory. It’s honor for us to do our duty and die if necessary – stop taking that honor away from us, stop mourning our deaths and start celebrating our life and sacrifice! If you really want to honor us stop with the death toll count, and start giving us the moral support we need to finish the job and come home. Remember I’m not fighting for me – I’m fighting for all of you and your families so that you can wake up tomorrow in a safe USA. This web site is a disgrace to me, the military and the red, white, and blue I took an oath to protect! If you don’t believe in the freedoms we’re giving you that I suggest you start looking for a new country to live in because this one will be free as long as i’m alive to fight for it!

    1. Jamo, I was in the military during the Viet-Nam War (11 months in the combat zone according to my DD-214). The Viet-Nam War was bullsh-t and the Iraq War is horsesh-t. Horsesh-t being a little less believable than bullsh-t. There is no honor in killing a million innocent people and destroying a 6,000 year old culture. I imagine that you do think you are fighting for something noble, but you will eventually figure it out – you are killing and risking getting killed for horsesh-t — that and a chance for the oil companys to make a buck and for the pleasure of the Zionists who really get off on Arabs getting whacked. I don’t hate you but I really don’t appreciate what you are doing. Why don’t you become a man and quit killing people?

      1. Whew! thanks for letting (Jamo) know the truth Richard. He will figure it out somewhere down the line. I am sorry that you had to fight in Vietnam over bullshit, no man should have to be lied to and suckered into someone elses bullshit. It's a crazy world we live in and when you are taught what you think is right and it turns out to be a lie, you come away feeling like a donkey. the disgrace that the Vietnam war was. the disgrace that this middle eastern war will soon become when the truth comes out. and the light always shines thru

    2. First off, Jammy, use paragraphs when you froth at the mouth. Indentations aren’t just for describing warmongers’ heads anymore.

      Second, have you been channeling Tim R.?

      Third, since even the man whose boots you assiduously lick, the Bushman himself, said we invaded Iraq under mistaken intel, how does it feel knowing you’re fighting for a mistake? (Of course we know Bush lied us into Iraq, which makes your compliance even worse yet.) Since Iraq didn’t harm us or even intend to harm us, and couldn’t have even if it wanted to, exactly how can you be protecting us against a threat that was never there?

      In sum, how does it feel being a horse’s ass manipulated by a warmonger who would smirk behind the scenes after praising your sacrifice in public?

  7. Jamo,

    I suggest you read “War is a Racket” by United States Marine Major General Smedley Butler, who was twice awarded the Medal of Honor.

    You might also check out former Five Star General and Commander in Chief Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address where he warned Americans to beware of the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the Military Industrial Complex.

  8. The “apology” is a disingenuous response to this reader’s concerns about why Cynthia McKinney was left out — sexist and racist bias in progressive groups and third party politics. Whether or not the sexism was “deliberate” is besides the point.

    The fact that other white men like Baldwin were left out, too, does not diminish the pattern in who gets exposure and who gets ignored. I suppose antiwar.com will also say the fact that over 80-90% of its columnists and regular contributors are male has nothing to do with institutional sexism — because Joe Smoe was omitted, too?

    Antiwar.com insidiously implies that there are dozens of anti-war candidates out there we don’t need to grill, and as such, we’re to accept McKinney’s omission was just “random.” She was not singled out to be ignored, she just happened to belong to a group of people not worth attention.

    But why does it happen again and again, that truly left candidates who are women or non-white are kept invisible by the media? Why is it that white men are put forth as the main anti-war, anti-corporate figureheads?

    It’s not because people like Cynthia McKinney don’t exist, and when they do and get underplayed, that truly indicts the organizations who perpetuate it. This comes at a political cost to progressives: e.g., Hillary Clinton’s campaign showed how gender could be used as a wedge issue to advance a centrist, pro-war agenda. Meanwhile, it’s a shame that candidates like Nader are weak on gender and race — which only exacerbates the identity politics rather than substantive approach to issues of gender and racial justice. Why let Obama or Clinton monopolize what it means to have a black or woman candidate?

    When it comes to systemic oppression — the way institutional sexism is reinforced — it doesn’t matter if omitting McKinney was “deliberate” or intentional. I.e., not intentional does not mean not sexist, racist, etc. Instead, the test is whether institutional sexism and racism in progressive organizing shaped why this kind of omission occurred in the first place — and moreover, whether invisibilizing McKinney has helped perpetuate that status quo.

    I believe institutional sexism and racism have already had a lot to do with the difficulty McKinney faces in getting recognition both inside and outside the Green Party; in why a big name like Nader would choose not to use his clout to build movement by supporting a candidate like her.

    Given this status quo, the real way to avoid perpetuating sexist or racist bias is first to recognize it exists, and then take active steps to reverse it.

    A real apology would not focus merely on whether Antiwar.com intended to be racist or sexist. It would acknowledge how sexist and racist biases have been complicit in causing candidates like McKinney to be taken less seriously, and that media have a responsibility to help correct this. Rather than scrapping the candidates page, Antiwar.com should create a new and expanded edition — that recognizes what diverse, female and non-white anti-war candidates can add to the debate, that ultimately acknowledges the importance of a real politics of gender and racial justice (as opposed to a Clinton or Obama politics).

    Even if McKinney is decisively anti-war, why shouldn’t she be held to scrutiny, “without fear or favor”? Shouldn’t we still know and consider what her positions are? Isn’t it all the more reason to give her air time if we agree with her stances, since we know the mainstream press will ignore those positions? Is she really that perfect anyway?

    A picture of four men sends the message, both obvious and subliminal, that women’s participation doesn’t matter, or doesn’t matter as much. Moreover, this same message is repeated again and again throughout media coverage. It feels like a slap in face.

    For more commentary see: http://www.feministpeacenetwork.org/2008/08/17/sexism-in-the-peace-movement-is-alive-and-well-antiwarcom-invisibilizes-presidential-candidate-cynthia-mckinney/

    Now Antiwar.com diverts debate to whether the included candidates like Nader, are really pro-war….

  9. Yes, you’re all absolutely correct. I believe we should load every last one of you onto a C-5 and drop you off in the middle east to negotiate peace with all that want to kill us for our freedom and beliefs. Good Luck!

    1. Come on, Jammy. You haven’t told us yet what it’s like to fight for what your Commander in Chief himself says is a mistaken war. How does it feel to be used like an old dishrag and then thrown away? How is it to kill and be killed because a lunatic in the White House lied about a threat in Iraq?

      Tell us why you support the president over the Constitution, even though you swore to uphold the latter, not the former. When did our common defense include attacking countries that didn’t threaten us?

      You’re not a patriot. You’re not even American, at least not an American our forefathers knew. God save us all from serfs with guns.

    2. I believe you should attempt some background research before littering the blog with such idiocies as this. Terrorism has exactly nothing to do with America’s rapidly eroding internal freedom and everything to do with American foreign policy, as has been conclusively demonstrated by real research into the topic. I also suggest that we send you over to Iraq to fight the Islamists on equal terms. Certainly, it would rid us of your stupidity.

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