Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Unsure what to think...

Elaine Brown's Open Statement to the Green Party

The full text is also behind the "Read more!" link...
Elaine Brown's Open Statement to the Green Party

May 1, 2007

Vicious Rumormongering Will Not Deter Me
from My Campaign for the Green Party Presidential Nomination

The vicious rumor being floated among Green Party members that I am or ever have been a government agent is a lie. I have never consorted with the U.S. government or any of its myriad agencies against the interests of black people, the Black Panther Party‹of which I was a leading member‹or any other people. I have dedicated my very life to the freedom of all oppressed people. Because these rumors are unfounded, unsupported by one scintilla of evidence or any citation to any specific act, they are, in the end, indefensible and, therefore, all the more insidious. I stand on my history of struggle in the Black Panther Party and since that time as the strongest refutation of this lie.

On the occasion of my announcing my candidacy for the Green Party presidential nomination, Mike Feinstein, a ranking California Green, and Nan Garrett, chair of the Georgia Green Party, launched this sinister campaign to discredit me, Feinstein, in a series of telephone calls to key Greens across the country after meeting me in March, and Garrett, in a recent, nationally-distributed, vitriolic email. It is particularly ironic that, while neither Feinstein nor Garrett has any history of involvement with the cause of the freedom of black people, they would challenge the credentials of the former Chairman of the Black Panther Party. This dangerous rumormongering is especially egregious as to Garrett, who, as a lawyer, makes her accusation without even the appearance of presenting evidence.

Their lie is based on a statement made at a meeting held by Cynthia McKinney in 2000, when she was a Congresswoman. Even though this meeting was not a Congressional hearing, Feinstein and Garrett would elevate its record to an "official" document. McKinney, who claimed to be conducting an investigation into the FBI's COINTELPRO activities against blacks, had invited only two former members of the Black Panther Party to her meeting to serve as ³witnesses,² Kathleen Cleaver and Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt. At the meeting, Pratt is recorded to have asserted that I was an "agent"­This is a statement he has never dared make directly to me, and I challenge him now to do so and to present one iota of evidence to support his J. Edgar Hoover-like accusation against me.‹And, I would assert that, as McKinney has stood by surreptitiously and allowed her so-called forum to be used to validate Pratt¹s lie, she has endorsed that lie.

Cleaver and Pratt were expelled from the Black Panther Party in early 1971 as conspirators in a plot led by Eldridge Cleaver to take over the Party, whereby they denounced Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, David Hilliard, Fred Hampton and others, called for their deaths and declared the Weather Underground group the "vanguard" of revolution. Their attack against the Party resulted in internecine violence and, even, death. All of this is documented in the Black Panther Party newspaper, housed in its entirety in an archive at Stanford University.

One other glaring irony in all of this is that, while Feinstein is promoting McKinney as the Green Party presidential candidate, despite that McKinney remains a Democrat to this day, it is McKinney who has engaged in activity that has undermined the efforts of black people for freedom, specifically in her vote in favor of the Bill Clinton "three-strikes" crime bill.

Raising suspicion about someone as a traitor, a "government agent," was a key tactic employed by the FBI under its COINTELPRO operations against the Black Panther Party. The resulting distrust frustrated our efforts and destroyed lives. That was what the FBI intended. When J. Edgar Hoover declared in 1968 that the Party was "the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States," he announced he would wage a campaign to discredit, disrupt and destroy the Black Panther Party.‹While the Party is long gone and Hoover is dead, COINTELPRO is, clearly, very much alive.

Given all of this, I call for the resignations from the Green Party of Mike Feinstein and Nan Garrett. In the alternative, I urge the Green Party leadership to impeach Feinstein and Garrett or otherwise remove them from their ranking positions. Their rumormongering has done more than defame and endanger me. It has embroiled the Green Party in destructive, counterproductive activity‹and at a critical crossroad.

The mass rejection of Bush and his policies has opened a door for opposition. It is the Democrats, however, who are poised to walk through that door, and only to replace this Bush with another Clinton. The Green Party proffers a progressive agenda, though it has failed to gain the support of the very constituencies it would serve‹especially blacks, the majority of whom remain dedicated to the Democratic Party. I stand,and still, as a prospective nominee for the presidency who is singularly committed to the Green Party agenda, capable of bringing blacks into the Party ranks, veteran in articulating the contradictions between black and other poor and working people and the Democrats, and able to stir national debate on the issues, toward the election of more Greens and, ultimately, real progressive change in the United States of America.

ElaineBrown.Org 2007
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