Racial overtones at healthcare protest

March 21, 2010

John Lewis

The protests against healthcare reform took an ugly turn on Saturday. Black congressmen told reporters that demonstrators called them the N-word and one representative said he was spat upon.

“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,” said a statement from the office of Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver.

“That being said, he is disappointed that in the 21st century our national discourse has devolved to the point of name-calling and spitting.”

The statement said the man suspected of spitting on Cleaver was quickly arrested by police but that the congressman would not press charges.

The confrontations came as Democratic House members were going to the Capitol to hear President Barack Obama rally members to vote for the healthcare overhaul, which Democratic leaders predict will be passed in a House vote on Sunday. A crowd of at least 100 loud, sign-toting protesters gathered around the representatives.

“I heard people saying things today I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try to get off the back of the bus,” Representative Jim Clyburn was quoted as saying on politico.com. “It was shocking to me.”

Representative John Lewis, who was severely beaten during a 1965 civil rights march, was among those harassed and called the N-word by protesters as they shouted, “Kill the bill,” according to The Washington Post.

“It was like a page out of a time machine,” Representative Andre Carson, who accompanied Lewis, told reporters.

Photo credit: Reuters/Mike Segar (Representative John Lewis in a file photo taken during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver)


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I sure hope all these “patriots” are proud of themselves. I’m sure all those in Arlington Cemetery are glad the baggers are exercising the freedoms so dearly won for them in such a wise and moderate manner.

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

I watched 5 different videos and not one of them showed any racist behavior. Only one article stated that when Lewis was called a name, everyone in the crowd turned on the name caller. He (the name caller) being a Liberal/Marxist plant to discredit the protesters. So, YES, those in Arlington Cemetery would be proud of the people fighting against Marxism. The Race Card is being played more than Texas Hold’em…..it no longer has any power.

Posted by Out2Sea | Report as abusive

Many of these people were hiding in the shadows until Fox News actively promoted the tea party movement. They aren’t just a sliver of the make-up of the crowds, they ARE the crowds. It’s not just limited to name-calling either. Read their signs.

“If Brown can’t stop it, Browning can”

“Shove it down out throats in 2009 and we’ll shove it up your (insert cartoon image of Democratic Party symbol with Barack Obama’s head protruding from hindquarters here) in 2010″

“I own a gun and I didn’t bring it-YET”

Classy people.

Posted by SteveoOOo | Report as abusive

I can see where there would be name calling in anger. These people are very angry. I wish there would have been this much anger back in ’03 during the lead up to the unnecessary Iraq war .

Posted by bluemen | Report as abusive

This behavior did not surprise me due to the the signs held at the previous Tea Party rallies or the statements made by various republicans “Take back our Country” Take it back from whom? ‘We represent Americans and the Majority of Americans do not want this bill.” Who do the Democrats represent? Are we not Americans. Spitting on people; sounds like the KKK is back without the sheets. The question is: Are they angry because of the health care bill or because the President is bi-racial?

Posted by eon | Report as abusive

Out2Sea, Marxism? Really? I’m am afraid my friend that you have fallen victim to the right wing propaganda machine.

Posted by emh | Report as abusive


It is apparent you are overjoyed with glee and want to stick it to the majority of Americans who are clearly against what just happened.

Have fun coming out of the woodwork with your evil progressive friends president Obama who was gloating with his speech and rep Jim McDermott and his tirade on the floor of the house….gloating glee.

Their shameful speeches don’t mention the care we will get, but it does tell volumes about their “got ya” attitude toward the majority who don’t want anything to do with their evil plan.

America and Americans lost big today and the minority view won.

Have fun you…Oh never mind. I won’t stoop to your level.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

It’s called majority rule.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

There’s no way of knowing if this disrespectful element were of the Tea Party or infiltrators and agents-provocateurs making them look bad. This happens all the time; our own government does it. If so, it achieved its purpose.

Posted by pilgrimson | Report as abusive

Yeah, sure. Agent provocateurs are throwing bricks through windows and cutting people’s gas lines all over the country. It’s a big liberal conspiracy to make the teabaggers look like violent racist nuts.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

True yellow.

You forgot to add the bullet shot through a campaign office window of Mickey Cantor.

Oh, forgot about that one…doh!

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

The bullet that hit House Republican Whip Eric Cantor’s office was the result of random gunfire, the Richmond, Virginia police said.

“A preliminary investigation shows that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window,” the Richmond police department said in a statement. “The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds.”

Oh, dear, TyC caught in yet another lie. What else is new?

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

Take a hard look at the $7Billion CA Bay Bridge Project that hired thousands of Chinese because they could not find enough US workers and the Chinese could complete the project in less time. Since the US is already EXPORTING large quantities of petroleum products. Will Keystone just provide the ability to EXPORT more?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/22  /keystone-pipeline-boehner_n_1221925.ht ml

Bay Bridge:
http://www.npr.org/2011/09/16/140515737/ california-turns-to-china-for-new-bay-br idge

http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/05/news/eco nomy/gasoline_export/index.htm

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-ta kes/for-first-time-in-20-years-us-become s-net-exporter-of-fuel/16058

Posted by GP_RogueCowboy | Report as abusive