Glen Ford’s Heroes

Question: Who are your heroes?

Glen Ford: Domestically, I have great admiration for Cynthia McKinney. She’s the former congresswoman from Atlanta, Georgia. She was just in the news recently for participating in two humanitarian interventions or attempts at interventions in Gaza. I don’t like the word heroes or heroines, but I have great admiration for her and I think her story is worth telling, because here is a black woman who grows with every encounter, with the power structure, who explores every area of potential progress. And even when beaten down, as she was with her arrest on Capitol Hill, after being, I believe, set up by Capitol Hill police, made to look like a crazy woman, and then her subsequent defeat, decided that, “Well, just because electoral politics has turned out to be a dead end here, just because I couldn’t even get solidarity with the rest of the Congressional black caucus, doesn’t mean I give up struggle.” And so now, she’s re-making herself as a non-elected politics activist at something like 50 years of age. And I think that’s admirable. Not everybody gives up. Some of us just keep on stepping and Cynthia McKinney has my deepest admiration for doing that.

Question: Internationally, whom do you admire?

Glen Ford: Oh, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, a real light to the Southern Hemisphere. He’s performed what ten years ago we would’ve considered a miracle, a real left is coalescing in Latin America and much of the credit is due to him. He never lets up. He never allows the imperialist to walk around without his name tag, imperialist. He calls George Bush a devil when he acts devilishly and Latin Americans love it. He has become a focus for the folks who the United States has treated like trash for centuries. And if you’re talking about individuals who deserve admiration, yeah, Hugo Chavez.

Recorded on: August 6, 2009

The Executive Editor of doesn’t love the word "hero," but he tells Big Think the political figures he admires.

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