Former Cornell “Professor” Cynthia McKinney Supports (Another) African Dictator
Posted by michael on May 24, 2011
MetaEzra’s Matthew Nagowski is somehow surprised that Cynthia McKinney is a crazy person. Apparently what has given him this epiphany is her latest publicity stunt, an appearance on Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s state television station. I think I can safely speak for the entire Review staff when I say that we join Nagowski’s call for the University to “retroactively revoke” McKinney’s Rhodes professorship, but I would like to take this opportunity to point out . . . we told you so (and when I say “we,” I mean campus conservatives in general–I was only ten when all of this went down).
You see, ever since McKinney was made a Rhodes guest professor back in 2003, campus conservatives have been wondering how long it would take our liberal friends to realize she might not be the best representative of the University. It took her punching a cop in front the US Capitol for the Stun‘s editorial board to come to this realization . . . three years after her appointment. (I will note that the Sun, which back in the day had more than one conservative on staff, ran some great op-eds about the pick in Fall ’03 and Jamie Weinstein ’06 also picked apart John Pilger, who was given a Rhodes professorship at the same time as McKinney.) But she never should have been associated with the University in the first place and it certainly shouldn’t have taken otherwise intelligent people like Nagowski eight years (!) to figure this out. Now I can’t come close to documenting all of McKinney’s craziness in one blog post, but here’s a quick rundown of the highlights, er, lowlights.
All the McKinney ridiculousness after the jump . . .
- McKinney is a avowed 9/11 truther, meaning she believes that the American government, not Al Qaeda, orchestrated those unspeakable tragedies. She was one of the original founders of this “movement,” which counts Rosie O’Donnell and Charlie Sheen as its most famous spokespeople, when she wrote a letter to a Saudi prince weeks after 9/11 claiming that the attacks were a legitimate response to American foreign policy. She has since gone even farther, endorsing the idea that the attacks were actually carried out by the American government.
- McKinney is an anti-Semite. When McKinney lost her primary election in 2002, her father, then a Georgia state legislator himself and her campaign manager, blamed the loss on “Jews. Yes, the Jews. That’s J-E-W-S.” She has also accepted campaign contributions from supporters of Hamas and was involved in the infamous “Free Gaza” flotilla.
- Lastly and most ironically, McKinney has previously supported African dictators. In 2002, while her colleagues were approving bipartisan legislation to sanction Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe, McKinney gave a speech on the House floor heaping praise on his regime.
With that said, I have two questions about this whole matter. For one, why are University administrators so eager to kowtow to the far leftists in the Africana Center, something they’ve been doing since the Center was founded in response to an armed takeover of Willard Straight? I just don’t get it. Putting aside the fact that the ASRC is probably the only academic department on campus that could get a doctoral program amidst historic budget cuts everywhere else, complain about it to a receptive administration, and get another million in funding, the McKinney appointment proves that they have a mysterious hold on the powers-that-be in Day Hall. The ARSC first invited McKinney to speak at (no joke) the “Summer Institute on Critical Theory, Black Womyn Scholarship and Engendering African Studies” and later helped sponsor her professorship. When asked to respond to the controversy, ARSC founder Professor James Turner laughably replied, “I find very interesting all the attention given to this selection. At least people have become engaged. But I must express a deep concern in the way in which this has been politicized. We have looked at her congressional records and speeches and have not found any support for her opponent’s allegations.” I’ve come to expect this kind of thing from the ARSC and I’ve given up trying to figure out where they come up with these conclusions; at this point, I just want to know why the administration gives them so much clout.
Finally, I’d also like to ask Nagowski why this incident in particular raised a red flag about McKinney for him. She has made similarly traitorous statements throughout her career supporting our enemies in the War on Terror, like in her interview with Iranian state media just last year (this is only one of the countless examples available online, many of which involve her aforementioned truther tendencies), and this is the first I’ve heard of any calls from the campus left to denounce her.
Is it because this time she’s criticizing a war (I think it’s safe to say that the NATO countries are at war with Qaddafi) started on President Obama’s watch? There aren’t very many differences between President Obama’s mission in Libya circa 2011 and President Bush’s mission in Iraq circa 2003, yet only one of these examples of American military intervention against a Middle Eastern dictator has gotten the left riled up. Personally, I see the wisdom in the decisions both presidents made in these very difficult situations, but I find the hypocrisy of hyperpartisans that support one while criticizing the other disconcerting to say the least and I suspect this is behind Nagowski’s selective criticism of McKinney’s anti-war tactics.