Elaine Brown withdraws from Green Party presidential race

Elaine Brown

Former Black Panther Party leader and long-time activist Elaine Brown has resigned from the Green Party.

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.

I completely understand. The unending, pointless, vicious infighting was a primary reason that I left the GP in 2004 after being Co-cordinator of the Green Party of Los Angeles County. Quite simply, it was impossible to get anything done.

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.

Then there’s the long-time members who jealously guard their little fiefdoms.

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.

She was immediately sabotaged by rumors that she was a government agent and it became clear that some in the GP hierarchy did not want an influx of people of color.

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.

True. Let me re-phrase that, embarrassingly true.

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.

They tried to block support for repealing Three Strikes? Wow, which of the Ten Key Values does that represent? Certainly not the one about Social Justice…

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.

If Cynthia McKinney gets the same treatment from the GP in her current run for the presidential nomination, then it will probably have succeeded in destroying itself.

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.

Brown is not speaking about the rank and file of the Green Party, but of a dysfunctional, inept “leadership” that manages to get little done except for internal warfare.

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.