American Blackout is an award-winning indictment of the election process that fraudulently prevents black voters from voting, called ‘blackout’ in this film. Guerilla journalist Ian Inaba follows the efforts of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney to expose disturbing tactics that systematically disenfranchise black voters and silence dissent. A passionate advocate for civil rights, McKinney calls on all citizens to question the political machinery and protect democracy from the institutionalized racism imperiling the country. This is a movie about voter disenfranchisement, marginalization, the apartheid-like treatment of black voters in America — and some appalling political practices designed to illegally sway election outcomes. It addresses the ongoing racial disenfranchisement issue, explores the history of U.S. voting, and talks at length about the horrific election-rigging that occurred in the last two presidential elections. Want to know how George W. Bush won election – twice? Well, first in 2000 he had Katherine Harris, a Bush insider who was Florida Secretary of State, and his brother Jeb, then governor of Florida, make sure that some of the black vote wasn’t counted by hiring a company to target, wrongly, some black voters so they couldn’t cast a ballot. Katherine Harris’ manipulations resulted in the disenfranchisement of 57,000 primarily black & Latino voters from Florida’s registered voters list just before the 2000 election — and yet 97% of the list was in error. And then in 2004 they did something similar in Ohio, by restricting the number of voting machines in black precincts so blacks had to wait three hours in line in the rain to vote! You will see what happened to these black voters in Ohio in 2004, this time under the aegis of a black Republican Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell. So there is an alarming pattern of problems with the election process. These discussions about the felony lists in Florida and the voting machine discrepancies in Ohio are particularly disturbing. The public eye has barely seen beneath the surface to the fact that Bush really should never have been President (note: I voted for Bush in 2000 and ’04). If you don’t believe that, watch this documentary. I cannot believe how this issue has been swept under the rug by our representatives and the media. There is something really wrong with the democratic process in our country. Tears flooded my eyes more than once as I realized that we’ve been lied to repeatedly by the mass media. It is infuriating to realize how the media and most of the general public let Bush 2 get away with it without much criticism. This is a very important documentary that exposes another aspect of American deceit and hypocrisy, regarding one of the basic tenets of democracy, the right to vote and have that vote counted. Sad, sad commentary on America and its democracy. I was simply appalled by the blatant corruption exposed by this film, and I have lost faith in the American political system that is apparently democratic only in name. The film spends a significant amount of time telling the story of Cynthia McKinney, a very intelligent black Democratic congresswoman from Georgia who was outspoken in her criticism of the George W. Bush administration. The way this documentary follows Cynthia McKinney makes the story personal, poignant and impossible to turn away from. As the star of the show, Cynthia McKinney is a very smart and engaging woman. She is a straight shooter who was a thorn in the side of the George W. Bush administration. She is a truth-telling and ethical person who asks real questions of our government. Cynthia McKinney is an incredible human being. She brings an illuminated intelligence to everything she does and says. She is funny and lively and never anything but completely spontaneous. Congresswoman McKinney is one of the few voices to pointedly call out the perpetrators of one of the greatest disgraces this nation has ever seen. Watching her go to work on Donald Rumsfeld is awesome. Cynthia is such a joy to watch. What courage! What humor! I want to be like her when I grow up. Witness how an American citizen with guts, courage, and conviction can and should behave in Congress and outside. Witness an American hero, who happens to be an African-American lady. I applaud Cynthia McKinney for her courage, while trying to inform America about what was really happening in Florida in 2000, and then repeated in Ohio in 2004. She is a brave person. I sleep better at night and have hope knowing there are still people like her. A great role model for anyone one interested in getting off their couch and making a difference. There should be parades and statues and streets named after Cynthia McKinney. She is a patriot, and we all owe her a tremendous debt. I am starving for independent minds in Washington, and McKinney was one. But that’s why she’s now gone from DC. While this film focuses on the disenfranchisement of black voters, it is also a story about the tactics of Bush / Cheney in the 2000 and 2004 elections, and the way they tried to take down one of their “enemies,” where enemy is defined roughly as “anyone who stood up to Bush and demanded the truth.” This resulted in Cynthia McKinney being targeted and ousted twice in her district. You have to see it to believe it. And we call ourselves a democracy. You will see the incredible way the Bush administration effectively put an end to Cynthia McKinney’s career for her criticisms. The film documents how her integrity caused a political “lynching.” In one sense, she was treated quite unfairly, but in another, that is what tends to happen when you take on those in power. I found this film very informative, from the perspective of how the political process can be so easily manipulated to obtain a desired result. And I have also lost confidence in the validity of the election process after seeing how easily it can be thwarted in the unseating of Ms. McKinney twice in the state of Georgia. What a shocking and damning piece of filmmaking. I never would have believed that this could happen in America. As the movie so aptly asks, “Where is the outrage?” If you can watch this without being totally outraged, you are either a neo-con or a corpse. It’s time to really start thinking about what is happening to our civil rights. While the film focuses on the disenfranchisement of black people in Florida and Ohio during these two crucial Presidential contests, the undeniable truth is that nobody’s vote is safe when you can have people manipulating the system and discounting votes. This type of voter disenfranchisement wouldn’t happen in Europe without protests — people would be marching in the streets. This is a very thought-provoking film about an important time in recent American History, which hopefully is history and behind us. Another must-see for any citizen and their children interested in the political circus and the dirty deeds done behind the scenes. The film goes to great lengths to make its points both clear and entertaining. Definitely worth a watch! This is an important movie, and no matter what your political leaning is, it will open your eyes. I ask you — beg you — to see this film. Hugely important film. Everyone in the US should see this movie, no matter what your political persuasion. I think the whole world should watch this movie. This is a not-to-be-missed documentary. This film should be required viewing in all history and political science curriculums. Every registered voter in America needs to watch this film! Every non-registered citizen who has the legal right to vote needs to register after watching this film! And everyone, after watching this film, needs to vote guided by their moral compass and enhanced consciousness resulting from viewing this film. Rent it. Buy it. Show it. If enough people realize this is happening, there would be more people working towards getting rid of the dishonest politicians. Take action to prevent the next election theft before it’s too late for our country. Voters Beware! This problem isn’t over. This film stands near the top of the rapidly expanding pile of political documentaries we’ve been privileged to view. Thank you Ian Inaba for American Blackout. Documentary 2006 NR 92 minutes.
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