April 29, 2008

Elaine Brown Withdraws as Green Party Presidential Nominee

Elaine Brown was the highest ranking woman in the Black Panther Party back in the day. She had a taste of power that stayed with her through last year when she announced her candidacy to become President of the United States. She had many supporters. I didn't realize until recently that Sis. Brown pulled out of the race.

She wrote on her website,

"As of today, I am no longer a candidate for the Green Party nomination for president of the United States, and I hereby resign from all affiliation with the Green Party. I believe the leadership of the Green Party of the United States has been seized by neo-liberal men who entrench the Party in internecine antagonisms so as to compromise its stated principles and frustrate its electoral and other goals. They have made it impossible to advance any truly progressive ideals or objectives under the umbrella of the Green Party, and, thus, rendered it counterproductive for me to go forward as a Green Party candidate or member.

I believe this small clique that has captured control of the Party has transformed it into a repository for erstwhile, disgruntled Democrats, who would violate the Party’s own vision and sabotage the good will and genuine commitment of the general membership. Indeed, these usurpers foster a reactionary agenda, supporting partisans in and backers of the Bush wars and disavowing the Party’s more progressive tenets in favor of promoting high-profile participation in the politics of the establishment.

This became clear to me almost from the moment I announced my candidacy in February of 2007. I intended using my campaign to bring large numbers of Blacks and browns into the Party, particularly from the hood and the barrio—as would come to be reflected in the lists of supporters and delegates I’ve submitted in connection with my candidacy.

As I asserted I would use the respect I enjoyed as a former leader of the Black Panther Party to do so, some in the hierarchy seemed utterly fearful of the prospect of a massive influx of blacks and browns into the Green Party. Soon, there was wide circulation of false rumors that I was a one-time “government agent,” which was intended to discredit my history in the Black Panther Party so as to undermine my potential influence.—And, since then, I have had to devote significant time and energy to addressing these lies.—What this effort revealed, though, was how the Green Party, while advocating “diversity,” remains dominated by whites. Indeed, the Party is able to count less Blacks, browns and natives in its membership than our national population percentages and certainly less than the Democrats themselves.

In effect, the present Green Party leadership promotes a kinder, gentler capitalism, a moderated racism, an environmentally-sustainable globalism, which I cannot support. They are dedicated to the underside of the Party’s platform, which falls short of repudiating the capitalist state, source of all the social ills the Party would address. They equivocate by promoting “an economic alternative to corporate capitalism and a socialist state,” advocate a “re-formulation” of the IMF,NAFTA, so forth, and advance the institution of “stakeholder capitalism.”

On the other hand, they demonstrate a willingness to override the best of the Party’s platform. My sharp criticism of high-profile Party members’ support for the “three-strikes” crime laws, the sole basis for the inhumane mass incarceration of people in the United States, particularly Blacks—the repeal of which the Party’s platform advocates—has been met with outright enmity. And, to divert attention from this and other critical issues, the leadership has employed chicanery in their promulgation of defamatory lies about me—which they finally extended to character assaults on my supporters and critics of their unscrupulousness.

It is my sincere belief that the Green Party as it now exists has no intention of using the ballot to actualize real social progress, and will aggressively repel attempts to do so. To remain in the fray or in the Party, then, would require a betrayal of my lifelong and ongoing commitment to serving the interests of Black and other oppressed people by advancing revolutionary change in America."

Any thoughts on the Green Party or Elaine Brown that you care to share with us?


The Urban Scientist said...

That is disappointing because I very much align with the Green party platform. I wish it weren't so, but humans are corruptable.

Danielle said...

I didn't even know she was a candidate of the Green Party. When they had their convention I saw several other candidates other than Cynthia McKinney and didn't see Ms. Brown.

I wonder if McKinney is experiencing the same thing. I do know that her {McKinney} website isn't updating that frequently and even though I am on the email list have never received any correspondence at all.

This is a real shame as the Green Party represents the only viable third party we have. I have never had any one on one experience with the Green Party since their not active in Nevada but this is such a shameful waste of resources.

Is this the political beast, who devours good intentions with corrupt closet racism and a fear of the painful truth?

I wonder if she'll run for office again?

Villager said...

Urban Scientist & Danielle - I don't know very much about the Green Party. However, I did read Elaine Brown's book when I was younger and I find her to be a talented and engaging public person...

SheCodes said...

Hi villager,

I will another Green party presidential candidate on my podcast tonight: Cynthia McKinney. We make certain to educate everyone on the stances of the Green Party, and what it has to offer to Black Americans in particular. Check my blog for details.

As for Elaine Brown, yes she withdrew a while back. I was really excited to see her involvement though, and hope to see more of her in the future.

SheCodes said...

Oops: I meant "I will have another Green party United States presidential candidate on my podcast tonight: Cynthia McKinney.

Villager said...

SheCodes - I hope Danielle sees your message as she is looking for current update on Cynthia McKinney. I consider Ms. McKinney to be a unique political figure who experienced the ups and downs of success. I wonder how this effort will serve her. I'm reminded of the Carol Braun (the Black female senator who was defeated for her second term election). Carol ran for president as a Democrat as I recall. I wonder what she is doing now?

The Urban Scientist said...

A while back I blogged about why I like the Green Party so much.
http://sciedsociety.blogspot.com/2007/06/promoting-prosociality.html. Within the post is a link to the Green Party's homepage where you can learn more about its platform.

The Party's 10 Key values are
Grassroots Democracy
Social Justice
Ecological Wisdom
Community-based Economics
Future Focus

SheCodes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SheCodes said...

whoops, sorry villager. I accidentally posted to the wrong blog, but that comment is deleted now. (blushing)