For those of us in the hip-hop community committed to doing something with our vote this year other than supporting John McCain or Barack Obama, i.e. all eight of us, the emergence of Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente as the Green Party ticket in this year’s presidential election has been a mystifying development to say the least.
It was one thing, back when I read that Cynthia McKinney was probably gonna snag the Green Party’s nomination this year. I figured I was about done with her, a few years ago, when she tried to beat up that (male, armed) cop on Capitol Hill. But I figured I might have to reconsider, now that I was gonna have a chance to vote for her for president.
That whole cop incident still strikes me as a buncha bullshit, but in many other ways Cynthia McKinney strikes me as an impressive figure. The fact alone that she was run out of Congress on a rail by the Jews, as depicted in the film American Blackout, lets you know she’s on the right side of a lot of important issues, let alone her raising important questions about 9/11, and introducing articles of impeachment against President Sieg Howdy.
Aside from her being an insane black beeyotch, she’s pretty much my idol. And lets keep it real, it’s not like I don’t have my own share of issues. Lord knows I’ve done a number of things over the years that I can’t say I’m particularly proud of. And doesn’t Jesus have a saying about people who live in glass houses? Or was that Confucius?
I’m also a big fan of Ralph Nader, even more so now that he keeps running for president despite people telling him it’s gonna be bad for his “legacy.” But I kinda like the idea that Cynthia McKinney is running with the Green Party, which already has over 200 elected officials in this country, and is probably gonna be on the ballot in over 40 states. Where as, with Ralph Nader, you’ve gotta cut him a check, and go knocking on people’s doors, just to see if you can get him on the ballot. So he can lose.
I’ll throw away my vote, but I’m gonna throw away any money along with it. Certainly not while I’m here with XXL!
Plus, Cynthia McKinney is black, and I figured it might be a good look for the Green Party to run a black candidate in this election. Aside from helping make them not look like a buncha cracka-ass crackas out to deny black people their right to America’s first black-ish president, I figured this might actually help the Green Party make some inroads with the black community, which would stand to benefit from many of the policies they put forth.
Maybe some of the more analytical amongst us would see that there’s not one, but two black candidates in this year’s presidential election, and wonder to themselves, “Why is it that Barack Obama has been so successful where other black candidates like Cynthia McKinney and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson before him haven’t been? Is Barack Obama the first black person that’s clean enough and smart enough to have a serious shot at the presidency, or is he just that much more palatable to the white power structure?”
“Probably the latter, right?”
So there was all that. But I became concerned the other day, when it was announced that Rosa Clemente was gonna be Cynthia McKinney’s running mate. At that point, I was only familiar with Clemente from her being involved with what I called the Axis of PC, that was throwing salt on Hot 97 for airing the still-hilarious “Tsunami Song” a couple of years ago. But I was at a loss for what it is about her that made her a desirable vice presidential candidate.
I was especially concerned because she self-identifies as a member of the hip-hop community, and I’m pretty sure that would make her the first person in hip-hop to represent a major party in a presidential election. I know Cynthia McKinney has made some overtures to the hip-hop community over the years, but I don’t think she’s generally regarded as a hip-hop head. She’s a little bit old for that sort of thing. And Barack Obama’s got a lot of rap songs about him, but that’s just because a lot of these rappers are especially vulnerable to appeals to emotion.
I conducted an investigation into Rosa Clemente, using Google, since I figured there’s a chance I might be voting for her in this year’s presidential election, and I didn’t want to just vote for someone I’ve never heard of, just because I like the idea of disrupting the political process in this country. Yeah, she’s got the Cynthia McKinney cosign, but Cynthia McKinney also once tried to beat up a a cop. Also, I’m not gonna lie, sexist that I am, the idea of voting for a presidential ticket with two women on it kinda bothered me.
Call me crazy, but I find that guys tend to make good leaders. Having one woman in the White House is one thing, but two? It’s a scientific fact that two women who live in the same house together will often get on the same cycle. Can we afford to have both the president and the vice president go through mood swings in the same week? What if something bad happens?
In my investigation, I couldn’t find too much about Rosa Clemente that suggested that she would make any better a candidate than I would be. If there’s a difference, it’s that a) she’s actually old enough to run for vice president, legally; and b) she’s nominally been involved in various forms of activism, like starting groups and joining protests and what have you. Though what any of this has actually accomplished, I’m not sure.
I can’t claim to have done a whole lot along those lines myself, unless you count my petition to have Kanye West banned from the Grammys, but I’d say I’m a much more prolific hip-hop journalist than she is. I had seen her referred to as such even before she was running for president, but I’d never actually read anything she’s written. And I do my share of reading. Hmm… And in my investigation, all I turned up is an article she wrote for Davey D’s ancient website about how Russell Simmons isn’t hip-hop.
I figured this might be a matter of her having written a bunch of things for publications that aren’t available, or aren’t particularly prominent on the Internets. But then I came across this recent video where she was talking about how Davey D had published this article she had written about Russell Simmons back in 2001, and if he didn’t, she wouldn’t be a hip-hop journalist. So it could very well be the case that that silly article is more or less the extent of her contribution to hip-hop journalism.
If that is the case, I might have to write an article about how Kobe Bryant isn’t a basketball player and submit it to some guy’s personal website. For a while now, I’ve heard that all of the money is in sports journalism, but I figured there was no way I could actually get into, because I know jack shit about sports, and there’s no way in hell I’m actually gonna pay attention to sports. Could this finally be my opportunity to become a sports journalist? Shit, I’m better-looking than Jason Whitlock. Someone get Fox News on the phone.
But I digress.
So I ended up catching Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente on Democracy Now! the other day, and it pretty much confirmed all of my worst fears about them as a ticket. Cynthia McKinney, for her part, aside from being dressed in what looked like an outfit from Fascists R’ Us, acquitted herself reasonably well. But Rosa Clemente, who was clearly out of her league, did nothing at all to convince me that she was qualified to be vice president, or that her being on the ticket was gonna be a good look for the Green Party.
Which makes me wonder how she got to be a candidate for vice president. Did the Green Party give Cynthia McKinney carte blanche, and, in an act of recklessness roughly akin to when she punched that cop, she just picked one of her homegirls? It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, since they’re not gonna win anyway, except, when you throw your vote away like that, you want it to be something you can really get behind. If I wanted to do something on election I’m not gonna feel quite right about the next day, I’d vote for Barack Obama. Then I’d head over to the East Side.