Monday, February 9, 2009

BIC History Month: The Honorable Cynthia McKinney

"so glad that i can see/the man can't put no thing on me..." --Curtis Mayfield

Born in Atlanta, Georgia to a police officer father who later became a state congressman and a nurse mother, Cynthia McKinney was always special. She attended USC, earning a B.A. in International Relations and then an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. She entered political life as a state congresswoman alongside her father in the Georgia House of Representatives and promptly popped off a long history of public BIC that continues today. A list of Cynthia's top BIC moments after the jump.

15. Entered the state congress and promptly began a public attack on the dress code for women legislators.

14. Spoke out so passionately against the Gulf War that it caused many of her colleagues to walk out of the Congress.

13. After the Georgia State Supreme Court ruled that her district was unconstitutionally gerrymandered and had her district redrawn, she went on a media tour to call them out in protest, comparing her plight to the Dred Scott verdict that legally declared slaves comparable to chattel.

12. In sidebar DIC proving that her crazy came honestly, her father repeatedly referred to her 1996 Republican opponent as "a racist Jew". When asked about his comment by the New York Times, he responded, "A racist Jew; that's what he is, isn't he?

11. In response to her father's antics, she "fired" him from her campaign. He was not employed by her campaign. Not to be outdone, Cynthia referred to supporters of her opponent as "holdovers from the Civil War days" and "a ragtag group of neo-Confederates". 

10. Cynthia so adamantly refused to wear the mandatory congressional lapel pin necessary to get into congressional buildings that Capitol police were forced to pin a picture of her on the bulletin board so that all the officers would easily recognize her.

9. During the 2000 presidential election, Cynthia put in print that "Al Gore's Negro tolerance has never been too high. I've never known him to have more than one Black person around him at any given time."

8. In 2001, she publicly and unapologetically suggested that then-President George W. Bush had advance knowledge of the 9-11 attack on the US and profited from it.

7. When a Saudi prince was rebuked for the suggestion that post 9/11 US should reevaluate policies concerning the Middle East and begin a more balanced approach to Israeli-Palestininan causes, McKinney wrote the prince a letter agreeing with him.

7. She also used that same letter to request funds for Black American causes.

6. McKinney hired The New Black Panther Party as her security during her 2002 reelection campaign.

5. McKinney was then defeated by her 2002 opponent, widely considered a defeat due to her continued assertion that President Bush had prior knowledge of 9-11 and also because of her perceived anti-semitism, not helped by her father stating in a television interview that "Jews have bought everybody". He then accented his point by spelling "j-e-w-s" on air.

4. One of her most publicly submitted bills in Congress has been the "MLK Records Act" calling for the unsealing of all records related to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The other was the "Tupac Shakur Records Act".

3. During a Hurricane Katrina Congressional interview of the Department of Homeland Security secretary, she asked the secretary if he should be arrested for negligent homicide.

2. In 2006, McKinney--wearing her hair natural after years in braids--wasn't recognized by Capitol police when entering her congressional offices, of course without her identifying congressional lapel pin. When she sidestepped the metal detectors in impatience and was chased by an officer requesting identification, she turned and struck him "with a closed fist", prompting him to press charges.

1. When being interviewed after the punching incident, McKinney called her top aide "a fool" while still on mic, and promptly announced that anything she said "while not sitting" in her chair was off the record and not to be aired. All of her comments were subsequently aired.

In 2008, Cynthia McKinney ran for President of the United States under the Green Party banner. Happy BIC History Month to a woman who is a shining testament to the power and impact of thorough, consistent, unapologetic BIC.

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