Being a Florida resident for longer than I care to remember, there is nothing I hate being reminded of more than the 2000 election. To quote an interviewee describing the event, it was nothing other than a “debacle of democracy.” “American Blackout” starts out by shedding some light on what actually went down in Florida, as far as the black vote is concerned, and turns out to be quite a revealing look at Cynthia McKinney, a U.S. Representative from Georgia. McKinney has been labeled a lot of things by our fine media establishment – conspiracy theorist and drama queen – unfortunately not anything truly relevant to her actual accomplishments.
It’s hard to say what is or isn’t publicly known about 2000, but this film starts by covering the infamous “felon list” in Florida that was created to keep felons out of the voting halls. Unfortunately many names on this list weren’t actual felons, thus a giant number of voters got the democratic shaft and their vote went uncounted. How could such a fiasco take place in our great free society? If it’s such a conspiracy theory, why are the facts so easy to come by? It’s obviously too late to do anything about it now, since it was almost 6 years ago, but let’s hope we won’t allow it to happen again.
The film continues onward to Cynthia Williams’ own problems, as the media takes a quote from one of her interviews and takes it out of context, spreading a negative reaction towards her all throughout the state of Georgia. This little flub costs her the election to continue representing Georgia. So she journeys across the country speaking out against or beloved President, until finally redeeming herself through a grassroots campaign that gets her back into a governmental position.
“American Blackout” exposes a few issues we have already known about for years (the voting situation) before finally turning towards greater things by focusing itself on a truly remarkable individual. Williams is spirited and fiery – she’ll never back down from anyone or anything. Seeing stories about politicians like this that are so strongly passionate and enduring uplifts our feelings of dread towards politics. If only more politicians followed her example, perhaps we wouldn’t be in the current state we are in today.