Lee denounces racist comments



Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman and Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee issued this statement in response to the racist comments directed at black congressmen at “Kill the Bill” health care rally Saturday in Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C. – Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement in response to racist and inflammatory incidents during yesterday’s health care protests.

“As the House of Representatives is on the cusp of passing historic health care reform, many opponents of progress have resorted to using racist and inflammatory tactics to express their opposition.

“Two weeks after leading a delegation of members of Congress on a civil rights pilgrimage to Selma , Alabama on the 45th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, Rep. John Lewis was accosted while walking with two other CBC members on their way to vote on the House floor.‪

“Congressman Lewis has since remarked that what he encountered yesterday was reminiscent of what he experienced 45 years ago as a young man marching for freedom for all Americans.‪‪

“During the same incident, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was spat on by a protester and on a separate occasion a sexual slur at Rep. Barney Frank.‪

“For a protester to spit on a public official and hurl hateful epithets is wrong, it speaks to a deeper motivation that has nothing to do with the issues at hand. No one should fan the flames of hatred nor tolerate this despicable behavior which draws from one of the ugliest periods of American history.‪

“In December, members of the Congressional Black Caucus held a ‘Discussion on Race’ to examine the critical role of race in our society; its scientific, historic, legal and socio-cultural role.‪

“The incidents yesterday are examples of the unfinished business of America .  We cannot sweep race and racism under the rug. Our nation needs and deserves a national dialogue on race.”‪

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • AJ

    Spitting, accosting and hurling hateful epithets are all deplorable! But can you clarify the hateful epithet portion of the story? Unless actual “racial” slurs directed towards one’s color of skin or ethnicity were verbalized I don’t think racism can be broadly applied.

  • Josh Richman
  • AJ
  • Josh Richman

    Well, AJ, I wasn’t there, so I can’t say what happened. I guess everyone will have to choose between believing the words of Fox News, the Washington Times and some right-wing blogs versus believing the words of several members of Congress and most major news outlets:

    Roll Call
    The Hill
    CBS News
    USA Today
    Washington Post

  • Mike F.

    Josh, your objectivity rating is in decline. This is not the first time I’ve seen you lodge “rocks” at Fox and the Washington Times. There has been no solid evidence to support the claims by Rep. Cleaver. Look closely at the videos and you’ll see several members of Congress march into the Capitol with cameras pointed at the crowd to record the protest. Look at those that where ahead of Rep. Cleaver. What are they attempting to achieve? “Racist and inflammatory tactics” is part of the release from Rep. Lee, perhaps this was to the hopes of some members of Congress. Yes, the crowd was loud, but this is free speech and freedom of assembly. I saw no violence or demeaning behavior.

  • AJ

    Even more evidence of debunking the fabrication now that we have soooooo much video evidence!

  • Elwood

    Re: #6

    Please do not confuse Josh with the facts.

    His mind is made up. And has been for some time.

  • Josh Richman

    Elwood –Wow, look’s who’s talkin’.

    AJ – The spitting incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7wYt9jee2U

    Barney Frank being called a f—–: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/health-care-opposition-turns-ugly-10160724 (Yes, I know, they bleeped it.)

    And did someone call Lewis a n——? I don’t know, AJ; I wasn’t there. But Barbara Lee, as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, took her colleagues at their word that it happened. She’s from Oakland. We report on the East Bay delegation’s actions and words, so Lisa posted Lee’s statement. That’s it – no conspiracy. If you think she’s wrong, or that she intentionally lied, so be it.

    If you think the fact that the word isn’t audible on the videos definitively means it didn’t happen, that seems like a classic argument from ignorance: the claim that a premise is false only because it has not been proven true. (It’s a rhetorical term; I’m not calling you ignorant.) There’s a lot of shouting and screaming in those videos, and I’m sure you’d agree it’s possible that something was said that wasn’t picked up by the microphones.

    Some would say the tea partiers have a vested interest in claiming/proving it didn’t happen, lest the movement be defined by its bad seeds; some would say the members of Congress have a vested interest in claiming/proving it did happen, as a means of creating sympathy for them and their cause.

    Only the people who were actually there know for sure what happened, and they’re not likely to agree, so I guess we can keep posting clips here ad infinitum, ad nauseum, or we can get on with our lives.

  • Elwood

    OK, Josh, you’ve convinced me of the rightness of your cause.

    The first link you posted is the same one AJ posted, which seems to prove HIS point.

    The second link you posted is dead.

    ONWARD to the ultimate liberal victory!

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    The Congressional Black Caucus is one of the best clubs in DC. Members have great travel and dining opportunities. Once in a while, when pressed, they deal with race relations.

  • Josh Richman

    You’re a hoot, Elwood. The links seem to work fine when I click ’em; I guess one sees what one wants to, huh? And, I neither want to nor believe I could convince you of anything.

  • Mike F.

    So if a Congress member says it, then it must be true. Hmmmmmm, I had hoped our local print media could at leaset tell both sides of a story and do some of their own truth-testing. Instead we get a reprint of a media release from a local member of Congress member. Maybe congressional staffers could also do the editing before you make the post.