Anti Health Care Reform Protesters Get Rowdy, Racist
March 21st, 2010
Everybody Has a Right to Protest.
Shouting (the N-word!) to — and spitting on — Black elected officials because you disagree with their politics is unacceptable, downright racist, un-American and, as some Tea Partiers found out, illegal.
Yesterday, Tea Party and other anti-health care protesters crossed the line outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
As Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and three Black staffers walked out of the Cannon Building at the U.S. Capitol, a group of demonstrators closed in on them and shouted the n-word. Another protester spat on another Black lawmaker, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)
Capitol police pushed back the unruly group of protesters that assaulted Lewis and arrested the man who spat on Cleaver.
“It was absolutely shocking to me,” said House Majority Whip James Clyburn. “I heard people saying things today I had not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus.”
Another angry group lobbed another favorite that begins with “F” at Rep. Barney Frank (D-Ma.)
All around the Capitol grounds and nearby in Washington’s Union Station yesterday, it was common to see protesters walking around holding signs with clearly racist words and images.
Cleaver’s office released a statement shortly after the incident. “The Congressman would like to thank the US Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the other Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care,” it read. “After all the Members were safe, a full report was taken and the matter was handled by the US Capitol Police. The man who spat on the Congressman was arrested, but the Congressman has chosen not to press charges. He has left the matter with the Capitol Police.”