Hip Hop Activist Accepts VP Bid for McKinney's Green Party Bid
Rosa Clemente accepting a bid to run as VP on Cynthia McKinney's Green Party ticket is big news. In fact its great news. First Rosa is no joke. This Bronx born-Puerto Rican-African sista is sharp on the issues and uncompromising on the principals she stands for. She stands tall and fights fiercely for the communities and people she has long represented. She is more than qualified.
The other thing that is equally important is that Rosa gives voice to a variety of issues impacting the community that have been increasingly put on the back burner during this election season.
many of us have waited eagerly for important issues like the prison industrial complex, media justice, gentrification, a just immigration policy, police brutality (i.e Sean Bell), war crimes and impeachment proceedings being levied on those in high office responsible and the Palestinian perspective in the Middle East to be addressed. With each passing day they seem to be tossed under the bus with the conventional wisdom being middle of the road white voters from small towns need to be appeased. Hence important issues like the aforementioned keep getting sacrificed.
The other day, a prominent TV News commentator made a highly offensive, arrogant remark when addressing the recent shift to the right by Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
He was talking about how those who see themselves as progressive and grassroots and played significant roles in the success of the Obama campaign, were feeling disenchanted and had gone so far as to stage a financial protest by withholding campaign donations until Obama reversed himself.
The pundit was asked if this will hurt Obama, he said it would not. Obama can afford to sacrifice those issues because that group of people have nowhere else to go. In other words they (we) can be taken for granted. That is never a good way to go into a campaign. See the way things work is like that. We start off making the sacrifice as our candidate goes for these so called middle of the road white rural voters. The game plan is once he/she gets in office he/she will start addressing our issues.
Unfortunately what usually happens is that as soon as they get into office they have to continue making sacrifices to make sure the party gets people re-elected in Congress and the Senate. We saw this with Bill Clinton. In his attempt to get folks re-elected he led the charge dismantling welfare, building up more prisons and of course shuttling in media consolidation. Wanna know how Fox News and crazed racist right wing talk show hosts came into power? Look at the media policies of Bill Clinton. All this happened when we were all being told to hush up and let him do these things to help make sure the house and senate are won by Democrats.
Well this is what happened. The house and Senate were not won by democrats. All that sacrificing to appeal to white middle of the road rural voters didn't do a damn thing except lay the foundation for problems we are dealing with today. When I see Obama who I've supported cave in on FISA, give a luke warm response to Sean Bell, support faith based Initiatives, do an about face on campaign reform and 'refine' his position on the war, I start having flashbacks to Bill Clinton.
When will the sacrifices stop?
Hell lets look back to 2006 when the Democrats took over the house and senate. The victories was a mandate from voters to immediately end the war and start impeachment proceedings against George Bush for lying about our reasons for going to War. Well as we know that never happened. Progressives and grassroots people were told to pipe down and sacrifice because we needed to make sure the white house was taken back and hence impeachment and ending the war was not feasible if we wanted to make that happen. The sacrifices never stop.
Whether McKinney and Clemente stand a snowball's chance in winning is not the issue as much as it is making sure large bodies of people go on record to say there are important issues that need to be addressed.
Instead of appealing to fickle middle of the road voters who more often than not don't even support us, how about going after the 30-40% of the people who don't vote? How about really being a candidate of change and figuring out innovative ways to appeal to them. Trying to out Bush Bush and his croonies has never ever worked. So right on Rosa Clemente. we wish you luck and we can count on you to ALWAYS speak truth to power and not cave in.
Lastly Clemente, reps a trend of young Hip Hop generation folks making big moves.
First we have BET correspondent Jeff Johnson possibly being the next commentator on the Tom Joyner morning show.
He may be the voice to replace Tavis Smiley.
Next we have Dr Lamont Hill getting a permanent spot on the Fox News Team where he is frequent talking head. Hill is by no means a right winger and he always hold it down. He most recently shut down Bill O'Reilly during an on air debate.
In Brooklyn's 10th congressional district, longtime Hip Hop activist Kevin Powell has a really good shot at unseating a 26 year incumbent.
So good are Kevin's chances is that the democratic machine that has long backed this Congressman Ed Towns has all but abandoned him. Kev is the man with the momentum.
In Atlanta Hip Hop generation head 31 year old Rev. Markel Hutchins is mounting a serious challenge to iconic civil rights figure John Lewis.
In a recent debate, Lewis was a no show which did not bode well with people in his district who are beginning to wonder if he's out of touch. Most importantly, Hutchins campaign forced Lewis to stop backing Hillary Clinton and get behind Obama. Hutchins called Lewis out for being in opposition with 85% of the district.
A recent speech Clemente gave at the media reform conference (is at) http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=mmBrj1PRgkU.
JULY 9th, 2008
Today Rosa A.
Clemente released the following statement:
"I am honored and excited to accept this invitation to run with Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia McKinney is a hero to me and many others across this country and around the world for her courage in standing up to George Bush while the Democratic Party establishment caved.
"This campaign is the opportunity the Hip-Hop generation has been working for. This is our time to address the issues affecting our communities – rising unemployment, the high cost of food and housing, a lack of quality public education and access to higher education, the prison-industrial complex, and unaccountable corporate media. These issues are not being addressed by either the Republican or Democratic nominee.
"I choose to do this, not for me, but for my generation, my community and my daughter. I don't see the Green Party as an alternative; I see it as an imperative. I trust that my Vice Presidential run will inspire all people, but especially young people of color, to recognize that we have more then two choices. Together, we can build the future we've been wanting.
Hip-hop artist M1 says, "I've never voted in the Presidential election; I've never felt strongly enough about a candidate to. Knowing that Rosa Clemente is down with Cynthia McKinney's run, I feel that now is the greatest opportunity for the Hip-Hop community to put our collective strength and power to the test and vote for someone who represents who we are and what we stand for.
For more info visit:
To schedule an interview, email press-secretary@runcynthiarun. org
*W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special~Listen To Sis. Cynthia McKinney Give A Full Report On What's Happening In Mexico & The World On W.E. A.L.L. B.E. News & Radio Special: The State Of Black America 2008 Part 2 (Her Interview Is In The First 53 Minutes Of The Show):