Whether Ken Hackwell wins in Ohio as governor may depend on whether or not there’s a blackout on one of the most important movies of the year – “American Blackout,” a winner at Sundance and the Cleveland Film Festival this year. American Blackout documents and reminds us of the blatant racism in our voting system. While focusing on Republican attempts to defeat Rep. Cynthia McKinney, the film also documents a triumph by underfunded grassroots forces against the slush-fund money-laundering organized crime approach preferred by the Republican Party.
Rep. McKinney made an appearance at the Arena Grand Theatre last Sunday night in Columbus, where “American Blackout” played to a nearly full crowd. McKinney also spent some time afterwards at Victorian’s Midnight Café with director Ian Inaba and local activists, like Cliff and Sibley Arnebeck. McKinney suggests that there needs to be a grassroots tour for the film throughout Ohio, particularly in the heavily African American wards of Ohio’s inner cities. She believes that the African American community needs to be reminded of how they were treated as second class citizens on November 2, 2004.
The Dayton Daily News had an article today noting how Hackwell is planning to peel off black Democratic voters using the religious issue and “smear the queer” tactics. Hackwell wants Blackout blacked out. The illegal Jim Crow practices used by Hackwell in Ohio are really riveting and unforgettable and unforgivable in American Blackout. We must do everything we can to get the widest possible audience for this important film.