by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Adebayo
The “revolving, rigged system” that purports to be American democracy was revealed in all its corporate vulgarity on a Baltimore university stage, last week. Two U.S. Senate candidates of the duopoly parties pretended to support the Green Party’s candidate’s right to join the debate, but failed to protest when cops hauled her away. “This was their ‘Rosa Parks’ moment when they could have stood for integrity and democracy” -- but failed the test.
Green Party’s Margaret Flowers Challenges US Senate Debate in Maryland as Undemocratic
by BAR editor and columnist, Dr. Marsha Adebayo
“The corporate media and the political duopoly collaborated to ensure that the Green Party message would not be heard.”
US corruption during this campaign season is on full display for the entire world to ponder. No one paying even scant attention can deny the thin veneer that is used to hide state sponsored police murder of Africans, structural poverty and the cozy relationship between the 1% rulers in the Democratic and Republican parties. Green Party candidates, such as Jill Stein, Ajamu Baraka and Margaret Flowers have forced sunlight’s disinfectant power to expose a rigged, racist and revolting political system that politically and economically devours communities of color, condones police murders of Black youth, intentionally exposes communities, like Flint, Michigan, to poisoned water, promotes drone warfare and the pilfering of the natural resources of Africa and South America.
The system, however is finding it more difficult to block out the voices of dissent. Such was the situation this week at the University of Baltimore College of Public Affairs where Dr. Margaret Flowers, the Green Party candidate for the Maryland US Senate seat, was refused the opportunity to participate in the only televised debate alongside Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Republican state Del. Kathy Szeliga. The corporate media and the political duopoly collaborated to ensure that the Green Party message would not be heard. The sham excuse used to exclude Flowers was that her poll numbers had not reached 15%. But, of course it is difficult to reach the magic number of 15% in the polls when one is systematically excluded from debates and public events. This is the revolving rigged system that Black people know so well.
“When the police came to escort her off the stage neither candidate provided a meaningful protest of the anti-democratic process unfolding.”
When the rigged debate started, audience members called for Dr. Flowers to join Van Hollen and Szeliga. Shouts of “let her speak” could be heard from the audience. Responding to the audience, Dr. Flowers took her place on the stage shaking hands with both candidates. Standing on the stage, she turned her attention to the audience and said:
“I think it’s important for voters to understand the differences between myself and Congressman Van Hollen and Delegate Szeliga.” With the police moving on stage to remove her, she said, …”I mean, you say you’re a public university and you want to educate the public, but without having a full public discussion, that doesn't actually happen.”
While Van Hollen and Szeliga seemed to agree with Dr. Flowers participating in the debate, when the police came to escort her off the stage neither candidate provided a meaningful protest of the anti-democratic process unfolding. Delegate Szeliga noted that a third podium was available but both politicians remained silent while Dr. Flowers was forced to leave the stage. This was their “Rosa Parks” moment when they could have stood for integrity and democracy but Van Hollen and Szeliga, failed to show the smallest amount of courage, leadership and commitment to anything greater than their individual ambitions and desire for power.
Margaret was escorted by police to a sidewalk outside the debate hall and that symbolically represents the state of US democracy.
After church on Sunday, a sister said to me, “I know a lot of Black folks are going to vote for Hilary Clinton but I can’t vote for the lesser of two evils. I’ve decided to vote for Jill Stein. I’m going to vote my conscience!” My only response after agreeing with her analysis was to add, “Don’t forget to also vote for Margaret Flowers.“
Dr. Margaret Flowers of Green Party Interrupts Maryland Senate Televised Debate:
Margaret Flowers Campaign Information: http://www.flowersforsenate.org
Dr. Marsha Adebayo is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated: No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. She worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered South African vanadium mine workers. Marsha's successful lawsuit led to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act). She is Director of Transparency and Accountability for the Green Shadow Cabinet and serves on the Advisory Board of ExposeFacts.com.