"All this week, some of us have been distressed by the events of November 2nd. If I recall correctly, there was something that Cabral said, 'Tell no lies and claim no easy victories.' Kerry was a lie for us, and he was an easy victory. We now know with the clarity we didn't have on Monday that we have work to do. We can't expect anybody else to do that work. We have work to do. The urgency of that work is real, so we must refrain from telling ourselves lies: that the electoral system can address the injustice in this society, and that we can leave it to somebody else. To somebody who is flawed, somebody who is inadequate, somebody who has a flexible moral structure.
For this next four years, it behooves all of us to work very hard and not shy away from taking it on ourselves. Some of you have already begun to think about the ways in which you want to address those questions. I've been asking some of you to think about putting together a Black and Brown book on the theft of the vote in 2000 and 2004. I think that would be the beginnings of perhaps an important manual on what we want to do over the next three or four years. But in any case, we must think much more seriously than an electoral campaign allows us to about the task in front of us. For those in my generation, we got caught napping. We thought that much of what we had addressed was no longer possible to occur again. It's not happening again in the sense of historical cycles or repetitions, but it is something entirely new. American society is not something most of us recognize, but we must come to a recognition of it to improve the lives of poor people.
I was looking at a research study by the People Organization at the University of Maryland, which came out on October 13th. They looked at Bush supporters and Kerry supporters, and asked these supporters to identify certain constructions of events in Iraq. They found an extraordinary ignorance in the public at large, which complemented the research they published in the Political Science Quarterly earlier this year when they asked 3,000 or more respondents about their sources of news. 80% of them said electronic news. They then asked which news sources they paid closest attention to and tried to determine if the misperceptions on Iraq - with respect to the world's support for American policy, the connection to Al Qaeda, and weapons of mass destruction - were tied to one's principal news source. They found that 80% of those that reported Fox as their principal news source shared one of these misperceptions. But the next largest cluster of holders of false beliefs was the audience of CBS at around 71%, and then ABC, NBC. Not much better, but slightly better. There has been a homogenization of news reporting which we can all report about and to some degree, explain, which cocoons the American public in a fantasy world. Kerry alluded to this cocoon, but he was also a subscriber to it.
I remember seeing the first ten minutes of Fahrenheit 9/11 when the Congressional Black Caucus went to the Senate to beg consideration of the false election, and their petition required just one vote from a senator. Kerry was in the Senate, and Edwards was in the Senate, and Kennedy was in the Senate. But they got no signature. Not one. That was 2001.
As I said, much of what we have engaged in during 2004, we were telling ourselves lies. We must move on from that."