Monday, April 10, 2006

Cynthia McKinney guilty of crimes she won't be charged with

Cynthia McKinney should be ashamed of herself. As a black woman she should know what racism is and as a U.S. Representative to Congress it should be her mission to eliminate it. Instead, Cynthia chooses to make it worse. You see, instead of addressing the issue of racism as it applies to the black community, Cynthia wants to draw attention to the racism she believes affects her in her daily life as a career politician.

Racial discrimination is a serious issue in this country, perhaps more serious now than it has ever been. The reason is because too many people want to believe that racism is no longer an issue. Slaves have been emancipated, amendments have been passed and laws have been enforced so there is no longer a legal host in which racism can fester, but it is still there in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans and the only thing that will remove it is time.

Of course time alone is meaningless. While the latent racism that remains still holds people of color back, the legal structure that is in place allows those who are willing to work a little harder an opportunity to overcome it. By achieving success and setting a positive example they can show other people of color that it is not impossible to beat racism, while giving the bigots out there less of a reason to cling to their ignorance.

The along comes an imbecile like Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia is not a black woman who pulled herself out of the ghetto in hopes of one day making the world a better place. She's a spoiled rich girl who got started in politics because her daddy put submitted her name as a write in candidate on a 1986 ballot for the Georgia state house. She's a career politician.

In 1992 Cynthia McKinney won her spot in the U.S. House of Representatives and immediately Cynthia decided to start trouble. In 1993 she had an altercation with a Capitol Police Officer which prompted the department to post her picture with all officers since Cynthia opted to not wear her security pin. Interestingly enough, this same issue is what led to the recent altercation.

Contributing to the problem is Cynthia's decision to change her hairdo from her trademark corn rows to a rather wild 'fro. It's a good look, but it certainly does alter her appearance. Her face is framed differently and she looks a little thinner-- even younger because her hair has a carefree look to it. And since Cynthia is a woman, she knows all too well that a change in hair style can completely change a woman's entire look. Most women count on it. So she should have expected a little confusion.

Cynthia initially claimed she was inappropriately touched, but after she realized that nobody was jumping on her bandwagon, she backed off and subsequently offered a carefully crafted apology. On one hand it looks like she is admitting that she was wrong, but it's vague enough that it can't be used against her in a court of law. She might be charged with assaulting an officer, which would seem a bit severe given the fact that the officer was not harmed. Cynthia's outburst was a tamer version of Zsa Zsa Gabor's incident where the aged actress slapped a cop for pulling her over. Cynthia is a spoiled brat who likes to be the center of attention. We get it.

Unfortunately Cynthia doesn't get it. As a black woman who has pursued public service, McKinney should have better judgment than that. There's more at stake than her ego. She's educated, having graduated from USC and attended the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy... Diplomacy? We didn't see any diplomacy in action during this whole ordeal, did we? In fact, McKinney displayed very little diplomacy or decorum at all. Even if she had a reason to be upset, there was a better way to express it.

If there was a situation with racial profiling that needed to be addressed, Cynthia knew that there were other means available that would have been more effective than a tantrum. She's a powerful woman with considerable resources. If that cop was guilty of racial discrimination she could have had him working third shift security at an Alexandria Burger King. But Cynthia's issue was not one of racism, it was one of ego. As a Representative she expects royal treatment. This wasn't a black thing. It was a diva thing.

The frustrating point in all of this is the damage McKinney did to the struggle against racism. By laying down that race card to defend her selfish actions, McKinney made future claims of racial discrimination a little less significant. Every time that race card is played out of turn, it makes the next problem that much harder to draw attention to. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have both suffered tremendous blows to their credibility for rallying to the wrong cause. Did you notice how neither of them wanted anything to do with McKinney? They know crap when they see it.

Cynthia McKinney already has a team of lawyers ready to handle anything that comes her way as a result of this. If criminal charges are filed, she'll have a pile of briefs and motions ready to have the case dismissed. If the cop files a civil suit, they'll have so much dirt on him he'll drop the claim. Chances are Cynthia McKinney will walk away from this with a slap on the wrist and a paltry fine. Given the details of the case, it's hard to expect much more. At least from a legal perspective.

Cynthia McKinney doesn't deserve to be in Congress, but only the voters in her district can do anything about that. Hopefully they're as disgusted over Cynthia's behavior as the rest of the country is and they do the right thing when Cynthia's seat is back on the block. Even if Cynthia can convince them that she was challenging an issue, there was a better way to do it. Instead of demonstrating intelligence, wisdom and a little diplomacy, McKinney went ballistic and made an ass of herself and by extension made fools of everybody in her district.

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