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Block Report breaks the blockade on coverage of Cynthia McKinney kidnapping

July 9, 2009
Upon Cynthia McKinney’s arrival in Washington, D.C., on July 7 after a week in an Israeli jail, she is interviewed briefly by the Council of American-Islamic Relations. – Video: CAIR
Upon Cynthia McKinney’s arrival in Washington, D.C., on July 7 after a week in an Israeli jail, she is interviewed briefly by the Council of American-Islamic Relations. – Video: CAIR
Minister of Information JR caught up with former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 presidential candidate, upon her return to the U.S. from a week’s incarceration in an Israeli jail. She and the Free Gaza 21 – the crew and passengers, including political leaders, human rights workers, Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire among them, and journalists, of the boat “Spirit of Humanity” – had been boarded, assaulted and kidnapped while sailing in international waters by a fleet of Israeli warships.

They had been carrying tons of humanitarian aid – medical supplies, toys and children’s art supplies – and construction materials to Gaza to break the blockade that has locked Gazans in a nightmare since the attack by the U.S.-funded Israeli military on Gaza in December and January. Thousands are still living in tents, unable to rebuild because of the blockade.

This interview with Cynthia McKinney, conducted by Minister of Information JR for POCC Block Report Radio, was recorded and broadcast Thursday, July 9, on Hard Knock Radio, broadcast weekdays at 4 p.m. on KPFA 94.1FM and other major stations around the country. You could hear this interview at www.blockreportradio.com.

Another blockade is that of the major media on news of McKinney’s voyage to bring help, hope and the world’s attention to the Gazans’ plight. The following article enables us to understand the significance of Block Report Radio breaking that blockade.

McKinney kidnapping ignored by media

Had it not been for Twitter, I doubt that I would even have been aware that Cynthia McKinney was held hostage in Israel after attempting to deliver aid and supplies to the Palestinians. There has been a resounding silence on this issue as CNN, MSNBC and other mainstream media sources rush to give us the latest news on the death of Michael Jackson.

Jackson was truly an iconic figure, however the man is dead and Cynthia is alive. His memorial is receiving massive coverage and the announcement that his body would be present was considered breaking news. Even Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s resignation has garnered more media and internet attention. Though McKinney is safely back on U.S. soil, her wellbeing during her ordeal was of little concern.

As celebrities and media personnel rush to speak about the ways in which Michael Jackson transcended race, the erasure of the plight of McKinney proves that race and gender continue to divide the country.

Her mission was righteous and her intentions good, yet it matters not because the world places very little value on the bodies of Black women. “If Israel fears for its security because Gaza’s children have crayons then not only has Israel lost its last shred of legitimacy, but Israel must be declared a failed state,” McKinney said.

Despite her accomplishments, McKinney cannot escape the legacy of her mother’s womb. The media has gone to great lengths to paint her as radical, wild and untamable. One may not always agree with her methods or her arguments, but the reduction of her to an almost animal-like caricature over the course of years allowed her detainment to be deemed unimportant.

Imagine if a white male politician had been held captive by a foreign country. Regardless of what we consider to be the impetus for the detainment, his value would be enough for this to be heavily reported in the media. Israel may be considered a friendly state; however, the welfare of an American citizen should take precedence in this situation. There was not even a strongly worded statement on her behalf demanding her release.

Her voyage to break the blockade of Gaza was a response to Obama’s call to action on behalf of the Palestinian people, and his silence was her reward.

“State Department and White House officials have not effected our release or taken a strong public stance to condemn the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy of enforcing a blockade of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians of Gaza, a blockade that has been condemned by President Obama,” McKinney said in a statement posted on the Green Party’s website last week.

McKinney is a Black woman and therefore the desire to identify with her is minimal. No matter how successful a person of color becomes, few white people would change places with her because a Black identity is still considered “less than.” People can congratulate themselves on being able to recognize the talent or skill of a person like Michael Jackson or Queen Latifah but when it comes right down to it, if our safety, health or happiness is an issue, it is irrelevant because we are all considered disposable bodies.

This story originally appeared in Womanist Musings. Email POCC Minister of Information JR, Bay View associate editor, at blockreportradio@gmail.com and visit www.blockreportradio.com.

6 thoughts on “Block Report breaks the blockade on coverage of Cynthia McKinney kidnapping

  1. jessica

    The one who is the rascist is McKinney. She and her father wish the Holocaust would happen again and all Jews would be murdered. She doesn’t know obviously that the Arabs still have black slaves. All she has to do it go to Africa and see the slave trade with her own eyes. Or should could go to Darfur and conclude like the UN has that the Arab League is in control of that government and cares nothing about the refugees.

    Reply
  2. Skeffington

    Jessica, I don’t know if it’s drugs you are taking or drugs you need to take. President Jimmy Carter visited Gaza and said “Gazans “are treated more like animals than human beings.” President Carter also said ” I have to hold back tears when I see the deliberate destruction that has been wreaked against your people,” he said. Noting that many Israeli weapons are built in and provided by the United States , he added, “I feel partially responsible for this, as must all Americans and all Israelis.” It is easier for the likes of you to pick on McKinney. Why do you challenge President Carter on his statements? This is about Gaza that became an open air concentration camp.
    Please do not bring up the slave trade, because we know all who benefited from it and are still benefiting from blood diamonds in the world.

    Reply
  3. Jerry ram

    To all the self-rightous libertarians, get a life. I have no pity for you. If you opt to go to a country and display utter foolishness, then also be willing to pay the consequences. Wake up and smell the coffee. Your time could have been better spent by going to DARFUR.But wait, you could have been taken hostage and then be killed, right?

    Reply
  4. Skeffington

    Who stands to gain for what is going on in Darfur? Do your homework. You are obviously an activist chic. Since when do people her cared so much about Africans? White flight is still a reality. Please, Darfur is your Issue du Jour. Those who stand to benefit from the natural resources of the Sudan, please raise your hands. You do not care about the Palestinian genocide the same you do not care about all the Native Americans who where killed. sod off

    Reply
  5. junya

    It’s good to see this reporting on Palestine, Free Gaza, and the kidnapping of Cynthia McKinney.

    While the systematic marginalization of Cynthia McKinney is a story worth telling, it is misleading to imply that the media silence on her imprisonment was simply because she is an African woman. The media blockade in support of Israel is equal opportunity: it ignores, justifies, or soft-sells ALL crimes of the government of Israel.

    But her marginalization was not the story she brought us from the Israeli jail. The July 1 press release of the Free Gaza movement tells us where our focus should be:

    “We are not the story. Since its founding in 1948 the State of Israel has regularly kidnapped and tortured Palestinians, throwing them into forgotten prisons where they can languish for years. Today, over 11,000 Palestinian political prisoners without benefit of due process, some never even charged – men, women, and children – endure torture and isolation in Israeli jails, outdoor prison camps, and secret black sites.”

    Moreover, Cynthia McKinney reported on the immigration jail that she was held in (http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/cynthia-mckinney-letter-from-an-israeli-jail/):

    “But I’ve learned an interesting thing by being inside this prison. First of all, it’s incredibly Black: populated mostly by Ethiopians who also had a dream … The idea of Israel tricked them and the rest of us. In a widely propagandized slick marketing campaign, Israel represented itself as a place of refuge and safety for the world’s first Jews and Christians.

    The truth is that Israel lied to the world.”

    Why should Bayview readers care about Palestine? From the outset Israel was positioned as a defense against what one writer in 1920 called “The rising tide of color against white world supremacy”. The father of modern political Zionism, Theodore Herzl, proposed in 1896:

    “If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine…We should there form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.”

    Substitute “democracy” for “civilization”, and “terrorism” for “barbarism” and you can see that the rhetoric has not really changed – despite the blackface Obama puts on the white supremacy minstrel show.

    But for the economic outcasts of the world – from the kampungs to the favelas, bidonvilles to barrios – Palestine is as much a state of mind as a geographic location. Palestine means unshakeable resistance against a brutal corrupt Goliath. That is the the threat that our rulers fear will spread. We must not only support them, we must recognize that their survival IS our survival. Palestine is OUR state of mind.

    Reply
  6. Kahoneez

    Liars and dis info amateurs like JESSICA that slander Cynthia McKinney with made up comments she NEVER made , do it to cover up the REAL REALITY , Israel denies WOOD & Steel into GAZA as reported by the CBC , unlike the pro-zionst sycophants in U.S. media that cover up for Israel , by never reporting her abduction or her illegal incarceration in an israeli prison . Blitzer has NEVER said one WORD , not ONE .

    So even though she brings supplies that are inhumanely denied by , medicines , wood , even crayons , yes crayons for kids , that’s not important to Zionist apologist and propagandist .

    SHE has NEVER said she want to see all jews dead , you goddamn liar , jessica !

    Reply

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