Electronic voting is a Republican plot to disenfranchise black voters, U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney said Tuesday, and she repeated earlier accusations that President Bush profited from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Speaking in Augusta at the National Dialogue and Revival for Social Justice in the Black Church, Ms. McKinney said voters don't know whether their votes are being counted in the electronic process.
"So not only are we in a captive state due to certain things we've allowed to take place inside our own community, we battle against principalities and powers in high places, spiritual wickedness," she said.
That wickedness manifests itself in many ways, she said, and one of them is through electronic voting machines. Ms. McKinney called on Karen Fitzpatrick, whom she identified as her expert on electronic voting machines, to explain the alleged irregularities in Ms. McKinney's recent 4th District Democratic primary runoff, which she lost to Hank Johnson.
Ms. Fitzpatrick said the McKinney camp knew its candidate won in DeKalb County because of poll watcher reports, but she said the votes were manipulated. The system was designed to "steal elections," she said.
"We are being technologically disenfranchised," Ms. McKinney said. "They don't use the rope anymore."
She targeted Georgia's open primaries, which allow members of one party to vote in another party's balloting. She called them "patent, outright violations of the Voter Rights Act" that, she said, caused her election defeats.
"How could it be I could be elected and kicked out and elected again and kicked out because Republicans switched over and voted Democratic to get rid of me?" she asked. "That must mean I've got something good for you."
In 2002, Democrats didn't know how many Republicans would cross over, she said. This year they were looking for the signs, but they came late.
After citing social ills in the black community, including what she said were unwarranted arrests of black youths, she said the "black body politic is comatose and almost dead" and the black church must mobilize.
"How can it be that the black church has to be reminded what its mission in this country and around the world needs to be?" she asked. "But unfortunately, we have come to this point in time where we have to discuss reinvigorating the idea of social justice inside the black church."
Ms. McKinney had harsh words for the president and the war in Iraq.
"How is it they could send your children to a war, and they come back damaged, psychologically and physically, if they come back at all, and we not be outraged?" she asked.
During a question-and-answer session in which Ms. McKinney told the media to sit down and let other people ask questions, Paine College professor Mallory Millender said Ms. McKinney had been quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the election that Mr. Bush had made a lot of money from the Sept. 11 attacks. He said he felt she must have had a reason for saying that.
"Can you tell us what you based that on?" he asked.
Ms. McKinney said: "We have a media that don't tell us what we need to know. We have to ferret it out for ourselves."
She then said that before the attacks, media around the world were reporting on unusual stock trades and other factors.
"Now the common parlance is there were warnings," she said. "The president has acknowledged that with respect to the events starting in Italy with the meeting of the G-8 in Italy and thereafter," she said. "The fact that the generals didn't fly. (Then-Attorney General John) Ashcroft canceled his commercial flights. The public record now is replete with all that information.
"The administration story didn't add up. It still doesn't add up."
Afterward, bodyguards surrounded Ms. McKinney, blocking media access as she made her way out.
Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUIPS ON CRACK, CHRISTIANS AND CHOCOLATE
In a speech that was often funny, conspiratorial, rambling, profound and irreverent, comedian, social activist and businessman Dick Gregory offered his thoughts on various issues at the National Dialogue and Revival for Social Justice in the Black Church.
- "I had a little problem getting here on the plane. White folks done gone crazy. You can't bring no water on, can't bring no gel on. I said what about this crack cocaine. (The guard) said, no problem. That's OK." - On recent airline security measures
- "In a Christian society, you let these thugs rebuke you down to name a school after the devil and your children come home with them helmets and them sweatshirts with a devil with a pitchfork, and you call yourself a Christian. Duke University, a leading university, ... they're the blue devils. Wake Forest down the street, a church school, they're the demon deacons. I've seen demons, I've seen deacons, but never both of them together." - On hypocracy
- "He got so high once he went and stole his own TV." - On his son, who he says is a recovering crack addict
- "God don't work like that. If you were dumb at 9 years old, you're going to be dumb at 90 years old." - On getting wiser with age
- "You got a white boy governor of California and he can't even pronounce the state." - On the criticism of some blacks not speaking standard English
- "I don't want no last supper. The guy who started them didn't come out too well. I said I'll take a bottle of wine. Normally you can't have no alcohol, but since we're getting ready to kill you, we'll give you a bottle of wine. What year? 2075 and I'll wait for it." - If he were facing execution
- "You call New Orleans Chocolate City and white Americans get upset, but New Orleans all over the world is known as Sin City and that don't bother nobody. Sin City don't bother nobody, but chocolate do." - On New Orleans
- "Forty-five years ago, a white woman couldn't be a pilot on a commercial airline, couldn't be a mechanic. A black man couldn't be a pilot, a black woman couldn't be a stewardess. It's because of this civil rights movement that didn't say for Negroes only." - On the Civil Rights Movement