2009-07-04

Even A Notable Black Woman Can't Get Media Attention


Cynthia McKinney is a former Congresswoman. She is also a former Presidential Nominee for the United States of America. As of today, Ms. McKinney is in an Israeli prison. Apparently McKinney and 20 other people were on a humanitarian aide trip to Gaza. Per Israel, the boat was in Israeli waters and trying to enter Gaza illegally, per the folks on the boat, they were in international waters.

A former member of Congress is sitting in jail,why isn't this making headlines? I found this story at Daily Kos, not ABC, CBS, the New York Times, or CNN. When you do a search on the news websites, it is there, but as an afterthought. It seems this story isn't newsworthy. Where is the outrage? Why has mainstream media not covered this? She has been in jail since Tuesday. Are we proving once again America doesn't care about black women, in particular a black Congresswoman? Or is this the continuing need for America to stand by Israel, no matter how right or wrong they may be?

28 comments:

roslynholcomb said...

My guess is McKinney doesn't get media attention because she's known for being more than just a bit nutty. The last time she got media attention it was for a confrontation with a Capitol Hill cop. When it's all said and done, it's probably best to ignore the former Congresswoman.

Anonymous said...

Sad indeed. I found out about her arrest on black agenda report, truth dig, and democracy now. The mainstream media will not cover it because it highlights Israel's offenses and actions against humanitarians and the Palestians. This is a respected member of the American government and yet she is treated like a common criminal. Where is the outrage from the black congressional caucus, president Obama and others. When that guy got hijacked by the Somalian fisherman, that shit was on tv twenty-four seven. But i forgot, they have more important news to cover like who got what in Michael Jackson's will and footage of his last rehearsal.

Anonymous said...

People are probably still faking outrage over what she did on Capitol Hill a while back.
Hearing stuff like this is disheartening. I wish people would wake up and realize that Israel isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Grata said...

OMG! This is unbelieveable. See that is what happens when you over bend backwards for people in the name of support. Israel of all countries should be the last country to hold such an American in a jail. This is a major disgrace.

In my language, there is a saying that goes, "if you over familiarize yourself with a dog, it will end up calling you its inlaw".

sky said...

Omg thanks for sharing this. I certainly didn't know about this. I had to turn off the TV because everything was about MJ's death (may he RIP). I'll def. have to look into this.

Jamdown said...

Ms. McKinney should be very careful playing around with the Israeli army. There was a young girl who was killed by the Israeli army - a play was made about it. I don't think anyone has ever been punished.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Corrie

Perhaps Ms. McKinney should advocate for Palestinians from the safety and protection of the good ole USA.

Siditty said...

My guess is McKinney doesn't get media attention because she's known for being more than just a bit nutty. The last time she got media attention it was for a confrontation with a Capitol Hill cop. When it's all said and done, it's probably best to ignore the former Congresswoman.

I don't understand why Israel putting 20 people in jail for trying to provide medicine, food, and supplies to Gaza is not newsworthy.

Because she acted a fool once, should even be more of a reason to take notice.

People use the past of someone to justify current injustices, which I guess why the media doesn't care?

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But i forgot, they have more important news to cover like who got what in Michael Jackson's will and footage of his last rehearsal.

That is way more important than the lack of supplies getting to Gaza. I guess I just don't believe the hype the Israel has done no wrong and all fault lies with Palestine. I don't get it.

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People are probably still faking outrage over what she did on Capitol Hill a while back.

I think that is exactly what it is. We too often think in terms of black and white. She jacked up then, so she must be jacked up now and her getting arrested while providing aid is all her fault. She is to blame for the other 20 people as well.

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Perhaps Ms. McKinney should advocate for Palestinians from the safety and protection of the good ole USA.

No one will listen to her. Apparently she can't be forgiven for her mistakes, that is only reserved for white folks when it comes to the media. We like to pretend she is the crazy black woman.

Kaikou said...

I am shocked and knew nothing of this. It's sad to say that I am not surprised.

Hopefully she and the other humanitarians will be released safely.

Anonymous said...

they're probably glad she's gone at that lol, i can just hear it now "i'm glad that bitch is gone..." i think some members of israeli gov. are starting to act a bit crazy though...that's not cool. notice i government and not the people there's a big distinction and not even all of the government either as i'm sure their dissention even within the government.

Anonymous said...

I am getting so sick of Israel right about now. America continues to support those monsters and all I hear is constant criticism from them. I stand by Palestine. How can you call yourself God's chosen people and throw people in jail for being a humanitarian. I tell you what, I think I would have to go out fighting. I would bust as much Israeli ass as possible. I just don't give a damn what happens to that country. I really don't.

American Black Chick in London said...

I agree with roslynholcomb.Cynthia McKinney used to be my representative when I was living in Atlanta and she definitely has a reputation, at least in Atlanta, for both being a bit (a lot) out there and for being a publicity hound. The incident with the Capitol Hill cop is just one instance of that...and the only one that got national coverage. When she was a representative (and even when she wasn't) she was often in the Atlanta press for saying/doing out there stuff until the Atlanta press (and some of her constituents) just got tired of it and stopped covering everything she did/said.

All that being said, I'm still surprised that there's not at least a little mainstream coverage of this. I suspect it has more to do with Israel being a US ally than the media willfully ignoring McKinney...or perhaps it's a bit of both.

G said...

If I could inject a bit of mundane minutia into this post.

In spite of what everyone here is saying about Israel, the U.S., etc., etc., etc. it seems to me that the reason she's still in jail is something a lot more simpler.

Isreal has said that if she and the other 19 would sign some papers, they would be free to go.

She, along with the other 19, has said that the paperwork contains something that they strongly object to, thus they won't sign it.

Seems to me that the reason for her and the others not being released has more to do with the content of paperwork than anything else.

Anonymous said...

The Anti Defamation League (they have ties with many prominent Jewish groups) have condemned Mckinney in the past for her support of the New Black Panther Party and for the anti semtic rhetoric of her father. If the Israelis are at all aware of that, I'm sure they might be giving her a hard time. However, like another poster mentioned, it's not wise t play around with the Israeli military.

Grata said...

"However, like another poster mentioned, it's not wise t play around with the Israeli military"

This is the kind of nonsense that keeps the trouble going. There is this glorification of the Israel Military like they are the mightiest of them. I am even surprised to hear Amercians praise them as such. They are not that special and they are beateable. But the propaganda machinery always tries to make them as these sorts of Gods of warfare and that is not the case. Just recently they were beaten in Lebanon.

And that so called Raid on Entebbe where they went into rescue Israeli hostages from Uganda under Idi Amin has been so romanticzed by living out the crucial fact that about 5 comanders and some hostages were killed in that operation including the leader of the Mission, Benjamin Netanyahu's own brother. But we never stopped hearing of the Israeli might and how they did the operation under an hr. If you have no army to face you in such a situation, its really not that incredible an achievement to enter an airport exchange fire with a few security people and getting your hostages out. But this tale has been spun to show Israel as a great Military force.

Going into gaza and killing palestians is not evidence of military prowess. This whole Israeli might has so been over sold and people just buy it at face value. Take America out of the equation and see if they can last a week.

S said...

Speaking of Rachel corrie...in situations like these i always wonder....if she was black, what the hell would they do to her? Remember the young WW who was strip searched,beaten up and tortuted by several police men and women? i thought "if she was black they would have killed her!"
I always think, if they can do THAT to a woman of their own race, think of all the things that they would and could do to a BW and actually get away with it too!

I'm not surprised at all that news stations haven't covered this story.

A. Israel is involved
B. Her past
C. She's black

I mean, are we really that surprised...really?

I always tell BW, especially young BW/girls that they HAVE to be model citizens or else things can get very ugly.

This got me thinking of the pregnant young black girl who smuggled heroin and got caught at an air port in Laos, she was sentenced to death by a gun squat...she's lucky because i think the british decided to put her in jail in the UK and she was also lucky because she was pregnant.

Certain things BW just cannot do and expect to get away with.

You can't play indiana jones and travel to certain countries and be an "angelina jolie" aka a humanitarian and risk your life by "playing" with the israeli military.
You can't go to mali or russia and backpack and feel at ease and at home like a WW could.
I'm sorry to say but while you could do these things, it is at your own risk.
Not even being with an all white crew will save you.

Miriam said...

From what I read she does not want to sign the papers stating that she tried to enter Gaza illegally and by passed a blockade.

Apparently two co-helpers of hers who signed the papers were released.

I wonder why she didn't go in a legal route (like Carter before her)? Or the other side via Egypt. But I don't know the whole situation.

RiPPa said...

Now you know these fake activists don't give a good damn about this woman. Yeah I know it's sad, but it's the reality of the country we live in.

Where is all the people screaming about democracy for Iran? The same people who don't give a rats ass about Honduras are the same people who were only caughtup in the moment.

The last time she was anywhere near Israel or Gaza was when they were doing the very same thing and was being shadowed by the Israeli military when they were dropping bombs on Palestinians earlier in the year.

Siditty said...


Seems to me that the reason for her and the others not being released has more to do with the content of paperwork than anything else.

They don't want to admit guilt. If I weren't guilty or at least felt I wasn't, I wouldn't either. Of course per many it seems they think McKinney herself was navigating the ship and the other 20 people were all crazy too.

------------

You can't play indiana jones and travel to certain countries and be an "angelina jolie" aka a humanitarian and risk your life by "playing" with the israeli military.
You can't go to mali or russia and backpack and feel at ease and at home like a WW could.
I'm sorry to say but while you could do these things, it is at your own risk.

The thing is, in the year 2009, a black woman should be able to do these things. Something as harmless as going backpacking in another country should not get you killed, kidnapped, or arrested. No one of any race should be smuggling heroin.

In terms of Rachel Corrie, we in America pretend that never ever happened. It was just an "accident" depending on who you talk to.


----------------

Where is all the people screaming about democracy for Iran? The same people who don't give a rats ass about Honduras are the same people who were only caughtup in the moment.

Exactly. No one gives a damn about what is going on in China, Honduras, or anything else. They are excited about the fact that the Iran thing was reported to us at least by utilizing new media. That gets everyone excited and all the folks on twitter think they did something to help.

Siditty said...


Seems to me that the reason for her and the others not being released has more to do with the content of paperwork than anything else.

They don't want to admit guilt. If I weren't guilty or at least felt I wasn't, I wouldn't either. Of course per many it seems they think McKinney herself was navigating the ship and the other 20 people were all crazy too.

------------

You can't play indiana jones and travel to certain countries and be an "angelina jolie" aka a humanitarian and risk your life by "playing" with the israeli military.
You can't go to mali or russia and backpack and feel at ease and at home like a WW could.
I'm sorry to say but while you could do these things, it is at your own risk.

The thing is, in the year 2009, a black woman should be able to do these things. Something as harmless as going backpacking in another country should not get you killed, kidnapped, or arrested. No one of any race should be smuggling heroin.

In terms of Rachel Corrie, we in America pretend that never ever happened. It was just an "accident" depending on who you talk to.


----------------

Where is all the people screaming about democracy for Iran? The same people who don't give a rats ass about Honduras are the same people who were only caughtup in the moment.

Exactly. No one gives a damn about what is going on in China, Honduras, or anything else. They are excited about the fact that the Iran thing was reported to us at least by utilizing new media. That gets everyone excited and all the folks on twitter think they did something to help.

brohammas said...

McKinney is from the school of no publicity is bad publicity.
She was traveling with a group opposing Israel... that is fine.
They were trying to get arrested.
Groups like these load up with supplies to enable thier declaring a noble mission, which it would be, but then in stead of slipping in and accomplishing that mission, they intentionally antagonize the Israelis looking to provoke a confrontation, hoping the confrontation or incarceration will draw attention to thier cause.

Greenpeace used to be pros at this.

I have no problem with someone fighting for thier cause, I do have a problem with doing it under false pretenses.

Siditty said...

McKinney is from the school of no publicity is bad publicity.
She was traveling with a group opposing Israel... that is fine.
They were trying to get arrested.


Anytime anything is involved with McKinney the assumption is it is for publicity. The problem with this is the organization she was traveling with do this all year long, with or without McKinney. Were they trying to get arrested all those other times? It seems because it is Cynthia McKinney folks want to dismiss the whole thing. The problem is Israel has put a very strict blockade on Gaza since 2006. The Red Cross has stated this over and over again, are they doing it for publicity?They have the same problem as the Free Gaza organization. Jimmy Carter has said the same thing. I don't think Israel is all bad, but in this case, they are wrong, they broke the cease fire, and I know that isn't popular and I will be labeled as anti-semitic.

If you have an issue with Cynthia McKinney fine, but don't turn this into providing aid for Gaza as a bad thing.

brohammas said...

YOu are right Sid, as I said, it IS a noble mission.
I just don't think Cynthia came along just to deliver aid. As you said, they do this all year long.... Do they get arested every time?

Siditty said...

I just don't think Cynthia came along just to deliver aid. As you said, they do this all year long.... Do they get arested every time?

This isn't her first time doing this, and she I don't believe was navigating the boat.

Anonymous said...

This is not Cynthia's first time getting arrested and being put in jail by Isreali officers. I believe she was imprisoned in Israel at the beginning of the year as well. As much as people will like to frame her as a publicity monger, she is drawing attention to the Isreali government's treatment of humanitarians and Palestinians. What is going on is apartheid and is no different from how black South Africans and Jews in
1920-40s Europe were abused and mistreated. She is risking her life to do this and yet we are ignoring the purpose of their trip and dismissing her as an attention grabber rather than examing the context of what's happening in this region. I find that living in Europe, they are very critical of Israel's actions than Americans are. One of my German friends is going to Israel and then trying to sneak into Gaza. We all wished him and hope for his safe return.

Just my two cents

Jamdown said...

I applaud her motives - getting supplies to needy people in Gaza is all well and good. But my question is - couldn't this be done differently and more effectively?

For example, wouldn't it make more sense to pressure President Obama to put more pressure on the Israelis to do the right thing, i.e., stop building settlements on occupied land in the West Bank, allow Palestinian refugees to return home, etc.?

By the way, now that she's been arrested, what has happened to all the supplies she (and other activists) were trying to sneak in to Gaza? Did they fall into Israeli hands? Has her arrest helped Gazans?

I was active in the anti-apartheid movement, but it never crossed my mind to sneak into South Africa with supplies. Don't know if that really makes any sense.

Siditty said...

I don't think they were "sneaking" in. Israel is claiming the supplies with go to Gaza, but like the Red Cross attempted to do so many times before, they tried going in for supplies and were stopped by Israeli military. The Red Cross has said numerous times this has been an issue for them, that Israel has blocked Gaza from getting supplies. There are walls being built that make it difficult for ambulances to access people.

Lisa J said...

roslynholcomb, Cynthia is nutty. I've met people who worked for her and they said her pic should be next to the definition of DIVA in the dictonary. But there are plenty of crazy white men in Congress who would still be covered if they did this. Like old crazy Jim Trafficant, who we don't hear about as much now he's in jail. There are a few others.

Lisa J said...

"But i forgot, they have more important news to cover like who got what in Michael Jackson's will and footage of his last rehearsal"

I'm betting a little tired of folks blaming MJ when the media doesn't cover something. If he didn't die they would have still not covered this story and lots of others that people are currently complaining aren't being covered all for the sack on MJ. The mainstream media, is sorry and is more worried about entertainment value than real news. I'm sure if you flipped on the News Hour, the BBC news, or NPR, you would hear this stuff. Folks need to stop thinking they are getting some news by watching the McNews channels, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, even the networks. No real news there. Shoot, you can't even rely in the NY Times sometimes. Trust me, when say Paul McCartney or Bruce Springsteen dies, you will see tons of coverage too and though I'm too young to remember it I know they made a big deal when Elvis died, and I vaguely remember the outpouring over Lennon. But as always, when it is a black person, somone has to complain and decry it. If it was Bruce Springsteen you wouldn't hear half the outrage.