Obama Pulls U.S. Out of UN Conference on Racism, But Congressional Black Caucus Should Attend Anyway

Cynthia McKinneyby Cynthia McKinney

When Eric Holder, the new U.S. Attorney General called the nation to account for its historic reluctance to honestly talk about race and racism, its manifestations and consequences, he could have been talking about his boss the president.  By withdrawing from the UN Conference on Racism he is leading backwards, in the direction of Clinton and Bush rather than forward into the 21st century.  The fact that the President of Change wan't bring himself -- or us --- to an honest discussion about race says a lot for his willingness to lead on the subject.


But Obama's willingness to cave in the face of white racism and business as usual is no excuse for the Congressional Black Caucus, supposedly among the best and brightest Black America has to offer.  It's time for the CBC to step up where the president has stepped back.



The author is a former U.S. Representative from Georgia and Green Party presidential candidate.

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.”

I have played around with this idea for hours now, on whether or not to write this piece.  But the events of the last few hours, I believe, mandate that I raise my voice once again.

I have read and re-read President Obama's Joint Congressional Address.  All of the "acceptable punditry" have spoken and given the President glowing reviews.  And so, to them and the population that still believes in them, "All is right with the world."  But for the rest of us, who refuse to swallow the pill that puts us into the Matrix, a good dose of reality is strongly called for.

But reality is not what we're getting, not even from one of the national columnists whom I've met, Maureen Dowd.

I think Maureen Dowd characterized it as "Spock at the Bridge."  Now, being the Trekkie that I am, that headline grabbed my attention.  I nearly gagged, however, when I got to the line supposedly from President Obama calling President Bush to proclaim, "'I’m ending your stupid war.' Mission Relinquished."

Why write things like this now that it is clear that the Obama Administration is continuing the Bush policies for missile strikes inside Pakistan; torture; rendition for torture; public release of Bush Administration e-mails; illegal wiretaps; status of prisoners at the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan; and workplace immigration raids?

For the record, President Obama is also pursuing Bush policies on Iran and Israel.  As recently as yesterday, President Obama's Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, responded when asked whether Iran was capable of building an atom bomb.  Admiral Mullen replied, "We think they do, quite frankly."

Dowd concludes her “Spock” piece by imbuing the President with "a Vulcan-like logic and detachment."  But I think the detachment of “acceptable” political punditry from the real world is what is totally lamentable.  In the process, they render themselves irrelevant.


The Obama Administration is continuing the Bush policies for missile strikes inside Pakistan; torture; rendition for torture; public release of Bush Administration e-mails; illegal wiretaps; status of prisoners at the U.S. base in Bagram, Afghanistan; and workplace immigration raids.”

So, it's clear.  I'm about to step into marshy soil here, by noting that I found 19 questionable Obama policies or statements in his Joint Congressional speech delivered three days before his announcement that upon the end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq, up to 50,000 U.S. troops could remain through 2011, after the "pullout."

And while various "mint" operations are peddling Obama "Change" coins for purchase, complete with a certificate of authenticity, I wade further into the muck by noting that the President continues the giveaway of our hard-earned coins to an economic team intent on keeping mismanagement structures in place, serving economic ends that do not constitute the common good.  I would refer readers to the many statements that I issued during the final days of our Power to the People Green Party Presidential campaign about re-creating an economic system truly and finally owned by the people, operating in our interest.  It is possible to do that.  All it requires is enough political will.

But what forces me out into the open marshland of "non-mainstream" political punditry has to do with the latest Obama "pullout": the decision to withdraw from the April 2009 Geneva United Nations World Conference Against Racism, dubbed Durban II.

We heard the same palaver in 2001 from the same forces inside our country, basically that a discussion of Zionism, in the context of such a Conference, would be anti-Semitic; therefore all the world's dispossessed and marginalized people must continue to suffer and sacrifice while muting their grievances so that no discussion of Israel would take place on the world stage in this context.

Well, in 2001, upon hearing this line of reasoning, I went to then-Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chairwoman, Eddie Bernice Johnson, and asked if I could be appointed as the CBC Task Force Chair on Durban.  The non-participation argument was also a handy "peg on the track" with the potential of derailing many conversations, including a real discussion about the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the issue of reparations.  Respectful of the excellent preparatory work that had been done, I wanted to avoid that outcome.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson made the appointment and I led a delegation of 5 Members of Congress to Durban.


We successfully argued for U.S. participation in that Conference at a Hearing designed to quash our effort.”

The current Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Barbara Lee, was a member of my delegation to Durban.  From my position on the International Relations Committee, we successfully argued for U.S. participation in that Conference at a Hearing designed to quash our effort.  We not only met with then-United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, we also presented her with the untold story of COINTELPRO and the remaining unsolved deaths of its Black Panther Party member victims, commissioned by me and written by Kathleen Cleaver and Paul Wolf. 

Our CBC Chairwoman made a beautiful statement of why it was imperative that the United States join with our Native American and Latino brothers and sisters and with oppressed peoples all over the planet and not only make our statement of solidarity, but also institute policies at the Congress that recognized their needs.  It is incorrect to say that the United States was not present at Durban.  We were there and only when the duties of Congress pressed us to return to Washington, DC did the Bush Administration make a big deal about anti-Semitism and then staged its phony walk out.  The United States delegation of Congressional Black Caucus Members was there to support the phenomenal work of U.S. activists and the African and Caribbean delegations, in particular.  I think everyone in Durban was moved by the plight of the Dalits in India and understood better the surging political power of Afro-Latinos.

Durban was a clear victory for the world's marginalized peoples, including those of us who reside inside the United States.  But, when the Congressional Delegation returned to the U.S., there was no time for celebration because the tragedy of September 11, 2001 unfolded.

What has happened in the interim has devastated the very people that Durban was designed to address, unfortunately, much of it due to U.S. policy.  Now is not the time for the United States to shrink from this call.

In order to prevail in Durban, I had to go toe to toe with the Anti-Defamation League and Members of Congress Tom Lantos and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who, among many other Members of Congress, vociferously denounced Durban.  This was something that I did because I felt it was the right thing to do.  Given Israel's recent actions in Gaza that have brought upon it the world's opprobrium, I can imagine that this is the last point in time that Israel might want to revisit Durban.  Israel has said that it will not attend the Conference in Geneva.


The Bush Administration make a big deal about anti-Semitism and then staged its phony walk out.”

Early last year, a government official announced Canada's decision to not attend Durban II after deeming the Conference to be anti-Israel.  Shortly afterwards, France followed suit with French President Nicolas Sarkozy stating that the "excesses of 2001" transformed the Conference "into an intolerable platform against the State of Israel."  I would note also that France must be particularly loath to discuss racism now with what is happening in Guadeloupe and Martinique as I write this piece.  And remembering that Paris, itself, was literally on fire just a few years ago.

The UK, which has been under severe racial tests with Asians rebelling openly in the streets since Durban 2001, and the Netherlands have both threatened to withdraw their support for the Conference if a "negative spiral" of events takes place.  Interestingly, these remarks came at the same time as the release of a European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance report which found that the tone of Dutch political and public debate on immigrant integration, racism, and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities, had experienced a "dramatic deterioration."

So, we shouldn't be surprised that the racism stress test is revealing cracks and fissures in human relations.  But the United States and President Obama should not shield them or this country from these stresses.  This Conference gives us the opportunity to get the issues out in the open and to deal with them. That's the way to put them to an end.  The world might have changed because of events occurring in September 2001, but it wasn't because the United Nations successfully convened the World Conference Against Racism.


Given Israel's recent actions in Gaza that have brought upon it the world's opprobrium, I can imagine that this is the last point in time that Israel might want to revisit Durban.”

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.

I observed last year that I thought U.S. voters went to the polls in large numbers to try and regain a bit of dignity lost during the eight years of outright banditry played out in our names, with our resources, against our interests.  But I was reminded at the recently adjourned Transpartisan Alliance convention in Colorado that 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.  Something as easy as a vote, alone, is not going to be enough to wrest us from this mess that has been wrought.

This morning [Monday], 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.”

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.


Cynthia McKinney can be contacted at [email protected].



Thank you for this, Cynthia, and Glen.

I'm still waiting to hear the words "United Nations" pass Obama's lips.  But, then, I haven't been watching him on television regularly.  Considering the state of the world, I should think getting the U.S. back into the United Nations with the rest of the world should take precedence over beating the rest of the world over the head about its racism.  But that's just one man's opinion.
It's wonderful to see the new format, and to read another penetrating article by Ms. McKinney.
Oh, Glen.  I'm still planning to make that dollar contribution I told you I would.  And you don't even have to be civil to me in an email.
Lloyd Rowsey

Obama is NOT change and more of the same

Hi this is a great Blog I'm glad I found it.
I have analyzed Barack Obama since he started his race for presidency and I've seen the promises he has made before and what he has actually done so far.
Obama said that he would "bring home the troops" during his presidential race, now he wants to stop combat missions bring home some troops but leave 50,000 still there to occupy Iraq permanently. This is a complete reversal to what he said he would do.
Why doesn't Obama want to investigate the Bush crimes?
Why did Obama rush that so called "economic stimulus" bill?
Why did Obama decide to hire many of the same Bush and Clinton folks that have helped created this economic crash?
Why is Obama bombing Pakistan? Wasn't this the same guy that said War wasn't the answer?
Now Obama is gearing up to send more troops to Afghanistan...Unbelievable wasn't this the guy that was totally against war? That said peaceful diplomacy will be his strategy.
Did you catch what Gordon Brown just mentioned in his first meeting with Obama "A Global New Deal"
Why does Obama want to ban firearms?
I'm sorry but you have to read between the lines and keep your eyes open. Why do we need a global new deal and what does this deal consist of? It sounds like they want to consolidate the worlds wealth, keep common people like me and you down, and in the dark.
Obama will be made to be a scape goat, when in two years the economy is still bad, he can not fix this problem by throwing money at it when the same people involved in creating this financial mess are in the Obama administration.
I strongly believe that there is a scam going on. More sinister that we can probably imagine. Obama is indeed slick willy. He is intelligent but he thinks people like you and me are stupid.
Don't be mesmerized by his big speeches just look at his actions...look at his actions. Don't believe anything he says but only what he does.

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  -Very good and equally interesting points there Casey.
  ...you know how back in Bill Clinton's day, he was touted as the first Black President.
Well, there are some who are whispering that Mr. Obama is the nation's first "Jewish" President.
 I wonder how many Jazz records Obama has..... Anyway.
 I like the new regime Mr. Dixon and look forward to the new perks... change is challenging and it is in the nature of power to make us think.
 Won't be long before Drupal is fitting like, um arahhh, damn! What rhymes with Drupal-


I, for one, certainly appreciate the candor of Ms. McKinney. As a black man toiling for many, many years in America, I've heard just about every argument--right, left, center--with respect to our government. First, can black folks solve their own Gaza problems where there are neighborhoods all over this nation where life for a good number of us in absolutely unbearable?
Second, in terms of the larger prophetic leadership (which is different than politically elected leadership), I don't think there is anyone who is intelligent that believe that Obama's administration would radically change this nation's policy on Isreal. If he did, though, can a people as dependent as black folks are for dollars outside of our community (with the exception of the black church), survive?
Eric Holder is/was right; however, the Obama administration is not trying to make radical overtures in American domestic or foreign policy and, secondly, I do think that there needs to be a reassessment of Palestian leadership (at an organic level) as it relates to the rank and file of their own suffering people.
I recall reading about the wife of the late Yasser Arafat and ho she was living in absolute luxury in Paris while poor Palestians were being murdered and trying to make do. Where did she get the money to live this way?
In short, I do believe that the United States' policy is dead wrong as it relates to the Palestians. I also think the Arab world has to step up its game, as a whole, and deal with very real issues in their own countries. Period.
We have a lot to do and those of us who thought that regime change in Washington meant that every unrightable wrong was going to be righted are in a fantasyland of epic proporations.


Thank-you very much. Have a nice day.


We will see how the first black president does his job, I guess he will do just ok

Truth to Obama's Misrepresentations

I thought President Barack Obama said he wanted to bring about change from the evils of the Bush administration? They called Bill Clinton "Slick Willie," for his lies and misdeeds.
Mr. Obama said he wanted to bring change, but, in regard to Iraq he is more of the same. Obama does not want to leave Iraq, but to use the new military bases there as a launching pad to see over the region and possibly for bombing Iran, if not, to intimidate other nations with U.S. military power.
Mr. Obama has yet to come clean on the money he took from the nuclear arms industry. It is too bad the Obama administration is continuing the nuclear arms strategy policy of the Bush administration.
I hope the Obama cultists take their rose colored glasses off soon and start to smell the same imperial military strategy which exists in this "change" administration. After all, Obama is a distant cousin of Dick Cheney and praised Ronald Reagan more than he did other past Democratic presidents, in his campaign. Yes, Mr. Obama, you certainly did praise Ronald Reagan in the past campaign and you also ridiculed former President Carter when you did not allow him to speak at the DNC because it was too "politically incorrect" due his (Carter's) criticisms of Israel in his book, "Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid."  According to the claims made by Alan Dershowitz, he (Dershowitz) was instrumental in persuading you Mr. Obama to diss former President Carter at the Democratic National Convention, in 2008.  
I am afraid that Obama will be the president who bombs Iran or is too weak to stand up to Israel when they start dropping the bombs there. I am also acfraid that Obama is a puppet for the New World Order-which does exist and the Trilateral Commission. Obama is a globalist and his administration is full of members from the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.
As Hillary Clinton said in the campaign: "Shame on you Barack Obama," which is not to praise Hillary Clinton either.
I left the Democratic Party and joined the Green Party. I hope others will follow after realizing what a Fraud Barack Obama is. I like to call him President Barack "Fraud" Obama. Obama may be a master reader of that teleprompter but he just a more intelligent version of a puppet president than was Mr. George W. Bush.
Bill Clinton--Slick Willie
George W. Bush--A Dunce
Barack H. Obama--Sly as a Fox and a Fraud.
 Obama is not bringing change. That change motto was a big lie. Obama is continuing the imperial war strategies that continue to bankrupt America both morally and financially. The U.S. cannot sustain its global military missions any longer. The costs are just out of sight and the American people can no longer afford it. The biggest earmark is the military aid sent to Israel. Yet I do not hear Obama or John McCain taking issue with that unnecessary earmark.

Shame on President Obama for Boycotting UN Racism Conference!!!

Shame on Barack Obama for boycotting the UN Conference on Racism!!!!
If there is one nation which needs to attend this conference, Israel notwithstanding, it is the United States for its past and continued racism, along with its racist foreign and domestic policies. Then again, Obama praised former President Ronald Ronald Reagan so much, that it is no wonder he has decided to boycott this conference. Obama is doing far worse on this racism conference than the Bush administration ever did. But shall we expect no less from Mr. Obama? At Tavis Smiley's get-together in 2008, Obama was a no-show on the day the Jena 6 was discussed. Obama was a complete no-show to the entire State of Black America hosted by Tavis Smiley. Then again, Obama shows little courage or loyalty to those who have stood behind him all these years. Obama threw Rev Wright under the bus even though his pastor was spot on with 99.9% of what he said.
Rev Wright stood up for the Palestinians and that was enough to get him vilified. Rev Wright was then an outcast in the American media in the same way former President Carter was vilified after his book, "Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid," had been released. Obama refused to allow Carter to speak at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Alan Dershowitz now goes around boasting that he was successful convincing Obama in stopping Carter from speaking at the DNC. It is obvious now that Obama has no moral convictions and lacks political courage. Obama ran and won on the anti-war, anti-Bush sentiment first engineered by Howard Dean in 2003-2004 and the outrage of people like Jack Murtha-also vilified by Obama's now Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.
Who is this Obama anyhow? Some reports suggest he is a former CIA operative who used that community organizer routine as a front for who he really is working for, which is the corporate elite. It has been reported in the past that Obama's first job as a lawyer was for a CIA-front business enterprise. If that is the case, then, the fact that Obama was a so-called community organizer was done in a sinister manner and thus explains the ease of throwing Rev Wright under the bus. Anybody with a CIA-less conscious could not toss someone aside that coldly unless under the pay and service of others like his corporate elite pals. 
Who groomed Obama for the presidency? Do you really think you know Obama as much as you think? Obama does a wonderful job reading that teleprompter. Obama has the coolness of a very skillful CIA man. The CIA after all seeks the best and brightest. Bill Clinton was also CIA. Unlike the right-wing who claim Clinton was in Moscow as part of the "youth Communist movement," the former president was working for the CIA at that time as well. There are few presidents who rise to the top who do not have corporate or military or intelligence ties. Obama is no different. Obama is a puppet to his paymasters. Those paymasters reach around the globe, including to Israel itself. Zionism can be interpreted as being racist or racism. American policy should not be seen as an extension of Israeli policy, but it increasingly is. Obama said he offered "change" from Bush, yet on Middle East and foreign policy is very much the same.
Obama is a fraud. Obama may not be as bad as Bush, but that is not saying much. In this case Obama just has the body odor of stanky underarms while Bush and his crime family smelled like skunks. The bottom line is that one smells worse than the other does not remove the smell altogether. Yet, the  Bushies showed up to the initial UN Racism Conference in 2001.
Hey, Attorney General Eric Holder--you listening brother? Get off your sanctimonous ass and show up, yourself, to this UN Conference on Racism next month in April, or, otherwise do not speak out about racism again, because talk is cheap. Mr. Holder you may have spoken the truth about racism but boycotting this conference makes you look quite idiotic and hypocritical for saying what you did and then having the arrogance to be a no-show to a conference the U.S. has no good reason with its racist history to ever skip!

Boycott Israel, NOT A conference on Racism!

Wow! Excellent point! I completely forgot about that Eric Holder speech where he called America cowardly in the topic of Racism. Boy was he absolutely correct. I mean a President of color, boycotting a Conference on Racism, and in defense of who? The Overtly Racist Zionist regime. Truly this is a disgrace and a step backwards and it surely is NOT change anyone can believe in, well Unless you are one of the racist, War mongering, oppressors that our government seems to enjoy supporting!
For Shame on Mr. Obama and Eric Holder and the whole of the Administration. Thank goodness for honest and strong politicians (or former politicians) like Cynthia McKinney.

um....I thought black people were against racism...

The reason that the administration opted out of attending the UN racism meeting is that there were stipulations placed on this country if we were to participate. One such stipulation is the payment of reparations, which is the last thing we need to worry about in this economic climate.  Second,  the forum was planned to be an "Israel bashing session" and this country does not need to stoop to that.  Why would we want, as a country, to participate in a conference where the sole purpose is to bash one particular race (the Jewish people)?  I would think the black community would understand that aspect.  It seems that this conference on racism is not about abolishing racism, but transferring it onto the Israeli people.  Why on earth would you support attending MUCH LESS funding that crap?
I am not Jewish, I just think this lady is full of it.  Obama, too. 

Bro....are you serious?

When you say "reparations, which is the last thing we need to worry about in this economic climate. ", you can't be Afrikan/Black or you can't be for real. First, let me say that I could care less about "racism" as a principle. The bottom line to it is that we are supposed to spend our lives trying to get the white establishment and white people to "love" all of us. All I care about is ending oppression(white supremacy) and Afrikan/Black self-determination globally. So, for you to say that somehow reparations(unpaid labor) to the Black naton(which BUILT the economy you are talking about) is an impertinent issue is totally assinine. Obama just transferred $ 8.3 billion dollars(and still counting) to the white boys and "Jews" on Wall Street. The pathetic thing here is that those fools didn't even EARN any of that wealth, nor the wealth they had before. Bit, you seriously think that discussing the unpaid debt to the ACTUAL people who created that wealth through THEIR labor is " the last thing we need to worry about"???? My grandmother always said that "the Creator takes care of fools and babies". So, may the Creator bless you lol. Oh, and ask the "Jews" about their "nation" STILL getting reparations from Germany to this very day, on top of the millions of dollars in aid they receive from Amerikkka. AND, they bring this issue up EVERY YEAR in international forums.......
Lastly, if you think that "Jews" and Blacks have ANYTHING in common, then I suggest you do some SERIOUS research on this topic. Start with Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Pastor Ray Hagins, Professor Tony Martin, etc.....I have read articles on this site which discuss the reality between Blacks and "God's people"(lol....sorry, that gets funnier everytime I think about it lol).
Anyways.............Uhuru & Upinduzi(freedom and revolution) to all!

Does Israel Justify Racism? (Just asking)

Is exclusion or racism okay? Does that mean that if the U.S. decided to become an all-White Aryan nation, it would be okay? I guess apartheid South Africa was just morally fine too, right? Of course not. Do you know what a real democracy looks like? That minorities are protected and that they have rights? Or that the majority is also protected from the small minority whom has all the deadly weapons, say, U.S. military weapons and money, backing it, at their beckon call. There is more to being a democracy than mere voting rights. Hamas wins a fair and free election and most of their Parliament get jailed by the Israeli government. Most of them are still in jail to this day having had no trials. Even Palestinains whom want to leave are not so readily allowed to do so.
William Cook wrote in Counterpunch on January 25, 2003, in the article titled: “Israeli Democracy: Fact or Fiction?”:

“that touts Israel as the only bastion of Democracy in the mid-east warrants consideration of the truth of the claim in light of Tuesday's devastation. It would appear that the American public accepts the reality of Israel as a democratic state and finds comfort in its compatibility with American values. That comfort translates into approximately three billion dollars per year for Israel, more aid than any other country receives….A true Democracy must meet two criteria: one philosophical that presents the logic of its argument in a declaration and/or constitution; the other practical that demonstrates how the Democracy implements legislation, distributes resources, and makes equitable all policies and procedures for all its citizens….Democracy is first and foremost a concept, a philosophical understanding concerning the rights of humans relative to the government that acts in their name. A Democratic government serves through the manifest consent of the governed. That government receives its authority through the citizens in whom the right resides. Inherent in this philosophical understanding is the acceptance of the rights of all citizens that reside in a state: each and every citizen possesses the right to consent to the legitimacy of those who govern, and each and every citizen must receive equal treatment before the law….For a state to claim a Democratic form of government, it must have an established geographic area accepted by other nations as legitimate and defined. The need for established borders is both obvious and necessary with necessity arising out of the obvious. Without borders, there can be no absolute determination of citizenry, and, therefore, no way to fulfill the establishment of the rights noted above. What has this to do with the Democratic state of Israel? Everything….Israel has no accepted legitimate borders other than those provided to it by Resolution 181, according to Anthony D'Amato, Leighton Professor of Law at Northwestern University, in his brief "The Legal Boundaries of Israel in International Law": "The legal boundaries of Israel and Palestine were delimited in Resolution 181." Since the 1967 war, the borders of the current area controlled by Israel exceed those outlined by the UN in Resolution 181 of 1948 as the current incident in Nazkt Issa illustrates. Despite numerous resolutions from the UN demanding that Israel return to its proper borders, most especially Resolution 242, Israel defies the world body continuing to retain land illegally held. The reality of this dilemma is most manifest in the settlements. Here, Jews residing in Palestinian areas continue to vote while Palestinians literally surround them and cannot vote. Where is the state of Israel? A look at a map would make it appear that Israel has the spotted coloration of a Dalmatian. Clearly, those living under Israeli domination are not considered citizens of the state of Israel even though they reside within parameters controlled by Israel. Since they are not citizens of Israel, and since there is no Palestinian state, these people are without a country and, therefore, without rights; an untenable position for any group which is recognized as a distinct governing group by the UN through its election of the Palestinian Authority as its governing body. That election followed democratic procedures including the creation of a constitution and the international monitoring of the election process…A Democratic state must declare the premises of its existence in a document or documents that present to the world the logic of its right to govern. That usually comes in the form of a constitution. Unlike the Palestinians, Israel has no constitution….”
Cook also writes in this article that:

“Perhaps the most graphic illustration of the non-democracy that exists in Israel comes from Human Rights Watch and the US State Department reports published in Jurist Law. The range of abuses listed by the State Department includes detainees beaten by police, poor prison conditions that did not meet international standards, detainees held without charge, holding of detainees as bargaining chips, refusal to allow access to Obeid by the Red Cross, imposition of heavier sentences on Arabs than Jews, interference with private rights, etc,, and finally, "Trafficking in women for the purpose of forced prostitution is a continuing problem."”

Read the rest at: http://www.counterpunch.org/cook01252003.html

William Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California.

I know one cannot criticize Israel or talk openly about it or be attacked by the poster I am responding to. But this is America and unlike Israel, one can criticize the government of Israel without being killed or jailed for it. Israel kills people whom are political activists, or who oppose the Israeli state.
Democracies can commit crimes against humanity. The British and oooppss a goodle, the United States have both committed  crimees against their own populations throughout history. I know right-wingers do not like historical accuracy or honesty, but it is the truth whether you like it or not. The United States entitre history has been land grabbing and expansion while KILLING, YES, KILLING Indigenous Peoples. The war in Iraq---people with dark skin is just another RACIST USA WAR.
So, Yes, questioning nations, be it they are Israel, the USA or Great Britain, as to its racism OR NOT, is absolutely necessary and Just fine to do. If you are unhappy with such questions LOOK IN THE MIRROR and ask yourself "WHY DO  SUCH QUESTIONS BOTHER ME SO MUCH?" 
Have a good night/day.

Know Your Quotes by Israeli leaders!

Know the definitions of “transfer” and of “ethnic cleansing” before you lecture others on what democracy is and isn't. Slavery and bringing slaves to America was even worse than what Israel does. I will not make a judgment on whether Israel is a racist state, or, whether it is a bonafide “democracy,” but I suggest you do some research and become more knowledgeable about the modern state of Israel, AND, NOT the Biblical Israel. I am tired of this deliberate confusion. While you are at, read some of Robert Dahl’s books on Democracy or Polyarchy before you criticize other posts in here. And one last thing, why is there is so much resistance to reparations? Reparations are not new and I suggest you read some history books on the topic of reparations as well. I guess only one people have the “right of return” in the world and I suppose only one people have the right to claim they have been wronged as well.
"With compulsory transfer we [would] have vast areas .... I support compulsory [population] transfer. I do not see anything immoral in it. But compulsory transfer could only be carried out by England .... Had its implementation been dependent merely on our proposal I would have proposed; but this would be dangerous to propose when the British government has disassociated itself from compulsory transfer. .... But this question should not be removed from the agenda because it is central question. There are two issues here : 1) sovereignty and 2) the removal of a certain number of Arabs, and we must insist on both of them." Ben Gurion in 1938,
"With compulsory transfer we [would] have a vast area [for settlement] .... I support compulsory transfer. I don't see anything immoral in it." Ben Gurion  in 1937
".... because we will not be able to countenance large uninhabited areas absorb tens of thousands of Jews remaining empty .... And if we have to use force we shall use it without hesitation -- but only if we have no choice. We do not want and do not need to expel Arabs and take their places. Our whole desire is based on the assumption --- which has been collaborated in the course of all our activity in the country -- that there is enough room for us and the Arabs in the country and that if we have to use force - not in order to dispossess the Arabs from the Negev or Transjordan but in order to assure ourselves of the right, which is our due to settle there- then we have the force." Ben Gurion in 1937
"we adopt the system of aggressive defense; with every Arab attack we must respond with a decisive blow: the destruction of the place or the expulsion of the residents along with the seizure of the place." Ben Gurion in 1947
"Transfer could be the crowning achievements, the final stage in the development of [our] policy, but certainly not the point of departure. By [speaking publicly and prematurely] we could mobilizing vast forces against the matter and cause it to fail, in advance." Moshe Sharett director of the Jewish Agency's Political Department, said in 1947
"[houses were destroyed] not in battle, but as punishment . . . and in order to CHASE AWAY the inhabitants . . . contrary to government policy." Moshe Dayan said soon after the 1967 war
"We must expropriate gently the private property on the state assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly. Let the owners of the immoveable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back."---Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, wrote in 1895
"There is no choice: the Arabs must make room for the Jews of Eretz Israel. If it was possible to transfer the Baltic peoples, it is also possible to move the Palestinian Arabs."—Ze’ev Jabotinsky writing to one of his Revisionist colleagues in the United States in November, 1939
"It is not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them, they did not exist."—Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said in an interview with the Sunday Times, in June,1969

Race Problems?

Please do not assume. It makes an ass out of you and me,
I am not Black. I am a "White" American, who likes this site, Black Agenda Report, and come here loyally, every week a new edition is put online. It is one of the best sites on the Internet too.
And ya know what? I believe in some form of reparations for black folks and do not find this post by Cynthia McKinney to be "racist" at all.
So be careful, prudent and more judicious in assuming that the only people who come here or post here are "Black."
I find your headline, "I thought black people were against racism" to be very presumptuous. It is obvious you do not come here very often and that your post is a reactionary one, rather than well-thought out.
The fine writers in their excellent commentary here at BAR have had some of the harshest criticisms of Barack Obama and the exploitation of rap musicians by the big recording studios among other critiques. Agaiin, I urge you in the future not to make such outlandish assumptions as well as presumptions and be careful not to assume only black people come to this site and agree with what is written here.

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Questions & Answers

Can we ask that if Israel is not a "racist" nation and for the UN to stop "bullying' Israel, whether Israel adheres to true and authentic "democratic values?"
Can we ask if Israel is a true "democracy?"
Can we also ask if Israel has "racist" policies?
If Israel and the U.S. are not "racist" then why not show up to the UN Conference on Racism and tell those "two-bit dictator nations" why they are not so.
I agree that many of the Arab regimes are corrupt and violate human rights every day. But these corrupt and criminal regimes like Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia do not claim to be "democracies" and are fully supported by the U.S. in both political and economic terms.
Israel and the U.S. should show up at that conference and using the applicable evidence prove to the world how wrong it is for accusing Israel of being "Racist." 
After all, the beauty of democracies is being able to prove one's case in court and with the proper evidence. I do not know why innocent nations or leaders would refuse to show up to such a pesky little UN Conference on Racism, but I guess having to use the pen to prove one's case on a fair playing ground is harder to do when all you know is exiling people off their land.
So, may I respectfully ask whether, Israel is a true "democracy?" or if the Israeli state takes part in"racist" policies?
One way or the other, please show the evidence.

Your points are quite right.

Your points are quite right. Well if you are talking about democracy non of the government of this world has true democracy. Governments who are claiming to be democratic are actually lying and making false statements. Any way I like the website design of this site but there should be some company logo design for this site. Any recommedation for logo design service, contact me

Is Israel a Democray?

Whether Israel is a democracy depends on how you define 'democracy'.  Ordinarily, a democracy is defined by how a state is internally governed, and by what means and methods those who govern it are elected.  In this respect, Israel is a true democracy - they have a system of proprtional representation which is far more 'democratic' than the 'first past the post' systems in place in the US and the UK.  This, of course, has nothing to do with whether a country follows 'racist' policies. Don't forget, the US has long considered itself to be a democracy, but still had segregation of public services between whites and blacks as recent as the 1960's. Custom Logo Design

speak to power

Keep speaking truth to power, Ms. McKinney.  Your bravery inspires.
for the rhyme...
Drupal fits like a dress on RuPaul.


It does inspire. It makes me feel so good. How is it that I can feel so good while I feel so angry?
"...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."
Those words are amazing. That rings like holy scripture.
Thank you, Ms. McKinney!  

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keep fighting

I am agree for Ms. McKinney to keep fighting with it.

The United States "will not

The United States "will not join" the UN conference on racism starting ... attacks on Zionism(which they were planning on doing anyway) but Obama ... The U.S.-Emmmmm???? Why is America scared to attend? ... Where is Al Sharpton and the Black Congressional Caucus to slam Obama for skipping out
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ravee raghavan

It scares me what Obama has become so soon, an agent of corporate America and friend of economic and political lobbies. Where is the voice of the Black leadership (including the CBC)? Why are they so quiet? I have noticed for many years now that the Black leadership of America is very reluctant to criticize their own and so poor choices imposed on everybody by the powers to be (which is White)like Clarence Thomas reign quietly and supremely. This may be why there is no serious outcry among Black leaders for Obama's "betrayal" of the important campaign promises.It appears that the CBC has come of age and adapted to a lifestyle of compromises with the White lobby groups and in the process selling out prime principals they once held. People dont change core principles/campaign promises that fast. He must all along have been an intelligent opportunist with great rhetorical skills. The lobbysts must have created him having studied his young character. They are experts at this. Obama came to us alread sold-out. It embarrases me at how desperate he is to be accepted by the conservative/corporate White system as if to say " I am a good Black man in the White House that you dont need to fear". I know of no recent President who just "loves" the use of the term "my country" at every chance he gets instead of "America". The man has a serious wanting to be accepted complex and that is why he is selling us out so casually. I am glad that at least in these columns I see that educated Black people are waking up to the nightmare called "Michelle and Obama".

Obama out?

This is a surprising news, anyway this a hard decisions to UN conference.
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you are right!

I think everyone in Durban was moved by the plight of the Dalits in India and understood better the surging political power of Afro-Latinos.

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