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Congressmember Cynthia Mckinney Under Fire: A Discussion with Georgia's First African-American Congresswoman

StoryAugust 12, 2002
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Cynthia McKinney is Georgia’s first African-American Congresswoman. She is the only woman serving in the state’s congressional delegation. In her nine years in Congress, she has become an internationally renowned advocate for voting rights, human rights and Africa.

This month’s Georgia Democratic primary has turned into a battle over Middle East politics. That’s because McKinney, Congressmember for nine years, has come under fierce attack for her support for Palestinian rights, and her early call for an 9/11 investigation of the Bush Administration.

In April, McKinney issued a statement pointing out that "President Bush’s father, through the Carlyle Group had — at the time of the attacks — joint business interests with the bin Laden construction company and many defense industry holdings, the stocks of which have soared since September 11." In May, McKinney was among only 21 House members who voted against a pro-Israel resolution that passed with 352 votes.

In October, McKinney wrote to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, thanking him for offering $10 million to New York after September 11th. City officials rejected the money because bin Talal used the occasion to say: "Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek."

McKinney’s primary race echoes that of another black politician from the south, Representative Earl Hilliard, a five-term congressman from Alabama. He lost the primary to Artur Davis, a black attorney and political newcomer. Davis visited this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention in Washington. Hilliard is one of a few congressmen who occasionally voted against the interests of the Israel lobby and spoke out about the conditions of Palestinians.

McKinney’s opponent is Denise Majette, a retired state judge with centrist domestic positions and pro-Israel views. Like Davis in Alabama, Majette is ardently courting Jewish support.

Next Saturday after the Millions for Reparations March, Cynthia McKinney’s supporters-political activists, musicians, and artists—are kicking off a "We Love Cynthia Freedom Ride" bus tour from Washington DC down to Georgia.


  • Kharabia Rayford, McKinney outrreach coordinator, political activist and musician organizing the "We Love Cynthia McKinney Freedom Ride."
  • US Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)

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