The tea party movement finally starts to show their true colors under the pressure of Hope and Change –
In the leadup to the vote this past weekend, a white racist teabagger actually spat on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). From Roll Call:
“They were shouting the N-word,” Carson said. “It was like a page out of a time machine.” Carson said Capitol Police surrounded the group and escorted them across the street to the Capitol.
And staffers and Members reported seeing Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slurred for being a homosexual and a protester spitting on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), another African-American lawmaker.
Cleaver’s office released a statement Saturday evening saying: “For many of the members of the [Congressional Black Caucus], like John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver who worked in the civil rights movement, and for Mr. Frank who has struggled in the cause of equality, this is not the first time they have been spit on during turbulent times.”
The protester who spit on Cleaver was arrested, the statement said. But “the Congressman has chosen not to press charges. He has left the matter with the Capitol Police.” The Capitol Police were not immediately available for comment.
Jack Turner has already posted on the slurs (one of our most popular JJP posts to date) but I thought the spitting incident was also worth a mention. My parents, aunts and uncles have told me stories of being spat on by racist whites who wanted to keep their shopping malls and lunch counters “nigger-free”. While the Congress has voted to make sure, among other things that all children including those of the teabaggers receive healthcare coverage –> there are people so afraid of black power in action that they fight against their own best interests.
Wow. That is psychosis of a high order. It’s striking to me that the same southern-sounding Congressman who shouted “Baby-killer” on the House floor during last night’s vote went on to vote minutes later against providing all children in America immediately with healthcare coverage. Just who is the baby killer, exactly?
You can say a lot of things about those in favor of healthcare reform. But we’ve called no one Stalin nor Hitler. We’ve used no slurs. We definitely haven’t spat on anyone. Here’s Cleaver’s statement on Saturday, which I found kinda inspirational (via Crew of 42):
For many of the members of the CBC like John Lewis and Cleaver who worked in the civil rights movement, and Mr. Frank who has struggled in the cause of equality, this is not the first time they have been spit on before during turbulent times.
This afternoon, the Congressman was walking into the capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The Congressman would like to thank the capitol police officer who quickly escorted the other members and him into the capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care. After all the Members where safe, a full report was taken and the matter was handled by the capitol police. The man who spat on the Congressman was arrested, but the Congressman has chosen not to press charges.
This is not the first time the Congressman has been called the “n” word and certainly not the worst assault he has endured in his years fighting for equal rights for all Americans. That being said, he is disappointed that in the 21st century our national discourse has devolved to the point of name calling and spitting. He looks forward to taking a historic vote on health care reform legislation tomorrow, for the residents of the Fifth District of Missouri and for all Americans. He believes deeply that tomorrow’s vote is, in fact, a vote for equality and to secure health care as a right for all. Our nation has a history of struggling each time we expand rights. Today’s protest are no different, but the Congressman believes it is worth fighting for.
(Note to Rep. Cleaver from me — um, time to update your otherwise awesome website — your press releases are only as recent as Sept 2008! I was not able to find this statement on Cleaver’s site. That said, kudos on a decent blog.)
This pathway of bigotry that conservatives have embraced will backfire. God don’t like ugly and neither does the younger, increasingly multicultural/diverse, somewhat less racist generations of voters that comprise the emerging demographics. We won’t soon forget this behavior that hearkens back to a time when some people thought other people were second-class citizens — and oughta stay that way. The video above is actually a white congressman — younger than the Tea Partiers on average. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) admonished the GOP Sat for condoning uncivilized and racist behavior in eloquent terms that echo my thoughts exactly.
The Tea Party’s supporters, polls have shown, tend to be overwhelmingly white, older, rural, richer, right-leaning males who are fearful of what hope and change might mean for them personally. I’m glad they are threatened – their values are not my values nor are they shared by most Americans. Most Americans believe in the American Dream for all, not for some. And if working towards that means we get a little spittle, well, honey I ain’t afraid of no rain.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
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