Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cynthia McKinney on Obama boycott of Durban conference

San Francisco Bayview

Despite Obama boycott, Black Caucus should attend Durban racism conference

March 17, 2009 In Africa and the World |

And now that I am as completely in the middle of the marsh as I was as completely in the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea when my boat was rammed by the Israelis, let me make an observation about one aspect of marshes. I have witnessed the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets on the Savannah, Georgia, marshland. And the most beautiful rainbows. Being away from the glass and concrete can give one a better perspective.

by Cynthia McKinney

...This morning, I sent the following message to the White House:

“Mr. President, it was with great disappointment that I read of your decision to pull out of Durban II. Even the Bush administration, under pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus, provided some funding for the United Nations effort and sent staff to support the Congressional delegation that attended the conference. I was there. I was head of the Congressional Black Caucus Task Force that negotiated Congressional and administration engagement on this issue. There is still time for the U.S. to participate. Your decision is not irrevocable. I would encourage you to please reconsider this decision and not only attend the conference, but also provide funding to ensure its success.”

Dignity will not come without first an acknowledgment of the truth: With truth we can have justice; and with justice we can have peace; and it is only with peace that we can truly have dignity.

I implore the members of the Congressional Black Caucus to spearhead the participation of the United States in the United Nation’s World Conference Against Racism: to boldly go where we have gone before. Dr. King reminded us that “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” On this issue, President Obama has shown us his measure. I hope that the Congressional Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus and the Democratic Caucus can show us, oh, so much more.