By Brenda Sutton

The second presidential debate between George Bush and Al Gore ended with a commentary from something called the "truth squad" on NBC. This was a panel of three white women and three white males. Whether intentionally or not, the squad consisted of no people of color.

NBC, in its infinite wisdom, determined that its viewers would be best served on this "squad" with a skewed representation of the nation's population. The underlying message is that white Americans are the only people capable of presenting and telling the truth. This blatant tactic of persuasion and brainwashing undermines this society by presenting limited information to the public. It also sends a message that the general public is gullible and incapable of making rational, non-discriminatory decisions.

As I watched the debate, I wondered about the third party candidates. Why were these men not present in this discussion? How can the news media present non-judgmental views to the public without proper representation from all of the candidates? Why are our choices limited to Democratic and Republican candidates?

The answers are crystal clear: Create an illusionary truth that pacifies the masses.
The "truth squad" probably does not even realize this distortion exists - - a distortion that only further illustrates the subjective, egotistical view of white America.

For years, the Democratic Party's tactics have remained the same - - ask Jesse Jackson to speak at the convention, then Black folks will follow blindly like sheep. As for the Republican Party, their tactics are at least grounded in astounding realism - - their party is about money and less governmental control. On the other hand, the third party candidates have fresh, interesting perspectives and deserve consideration.

Afrikans must rise above the predictable and select a candidate with an agenda that uplifts our communities. We, as Afrikans, have suffered long enough by ingesting the crumbs from the controlling parties and their version of the "truth". Neither of the controlling party platforms has incorporated the virtues of the Afrikan concept of Maat - - Truth, Justice, Harmony, Balance, Order, Reciprocity, and Propriety.

However, I understand the reason behind their amnesia.
The law of Reciprocity mandates too much responsibility on this nation for the actions of its political leaders. Given the wasteful attitudes of our leaders about the environment, Africa and any other continents(many with oil and other useful natural resources), it is amazing that this nation has not exploded into nothingness.

Make no mistake about it: This nation has karma that it owes to the universe!
We, as Afrikans, cannot depend on the media to present the truth. The truth stimulates a free society, a society where people are able to live their lives in ways that are varied, creative and expressive of their unique experience.

Television is a powerful tool that, if used properly, promotes the cultural and political perspectives of all people. I look forward to an era when we can rise above the control of the media and demand the creation of a virtuous society.

- - Brenda Sutton is an administrator for the Afrikan Consciousness Center eGroups ( She is also an independent production coordinator and a researcher. She can be reached at (c)2000 HYPE Information Service

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