I went down to the National Mall on Saturday and witnessed the Health Care Bill Protesters first hand (posting photos soon). They were in rare form, but thank God no one spit on me or called me “nigger”. I was spared, apparently. Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Barney Frank, and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver were not as lucky.
Salon.com: On Saturday, as a small group of protesters jammed the Capitol and the streets around it, the movement’s origins in white resistance to the Civil Rights Movement was impossible to ignore. Here’s only what the mainstream media is reporting, ignoring what I’m seeing on Twitter and left wing blogs:
- Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis was taunted by tea partiers who chanted “nigger” at least 15 times, according to the Associated Press (we are not cleaning up language and using “the N-word” here because it’s really important to understand what was said.) First reported on The Hill blog (no hotbed of left-wing fervor), the stories of Lewis being called “nigger” were confirmed by Lewis spokeswoman Brenda Jones and Democratic Rep. Andre Carson, who was walking with Lewis. “It was like going into the time machine with John Lewis,” said Carson, a former police officer. “He said it reminded him of another time.”
- Another Congressional Black Caucus leader, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, was spat upon by protesters. The culprit was arrested, but Cleaver declined to press charges.
- House Majority Whip James Clybourn told reporters: “I heard people saying things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus.”
- There were many reports that Rep. Barney Frank was called a “faggot” by protesters, but the one I saw personally was by CNN’s Dana Bash, who seemed rattled by the tea party fury. Frank told AP: “It’s a mob mentality that doesn’t work politically.”
- Meanwhile, a brick came through the window at Rep. Louise Slaughter’s Niagara Falls office on Saturday (the day she argued for her “Slaughter solution” to pass health care reform, though it was rejected by other Democrats on the House Rules Committee).
On Thursday MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews grilled tea party Astroturf leader Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity about supporters who taunted a man with Parkinson’s disease at a tea party gathering in Ohio last week.
That video of the guy with Parkinson’s is HORRIBLE. These Health Care Bill Protesters and Tea Party members should be ashamed of themselves. Everyone has a right to protest and let their voice be heard, but racial slurs, spitting on people and mocking the sick is mob mentality. How is Fox News going to spin this? I’m sure they will find a way.