Saturday, April 01, 2006

Keeping with the theme of racism and the humble concept

This came up as a mention by liberal_dem in the comments but I've been reading quite a bit about the Cynthia McKinney incident. Then I came across this. It's been a while since I read America Blog but I think John Aravosis makes some valid points. Since in the past I've pointed out where I disagree with John, I felt it was appropriate to point out this time I tend to agree with him.

I wondered why McKinney wasn't wearing the lapel pin. To me it seemed as if you wanted to be clearly identified as a member of Congress to speed up the process you would wear one.

According to this semi unflattering article by Slate, some information concerning that is revealed:

In August 1993, during her first term in office, a Capitol Hill police officer tried to prevent her from bypassing a metal detector, as members of Congress are allowed to do. For years afterward, The Hill reports, the Capitol Police pinned a picture of McKinney to an office wall, warning officers to learn her face because she refuses to wear her member's pin. (And because officers are innately suspicious of a black woman with braided hair and gold shoes.) Five years later, she blasted White House security after guards thought her 23-year-old white aide was the congresswoman.

First, according to CNN McKinney regreted the incident:

"I know that Capitol Hill Police are securing our safety, and I appreciate the work that they do. I have demonstrated my support for them in the past and I continue to support them now," she said.

Today, the Washington Post is stating:

"Let me be clear: This whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman," McKinney said. "I deeply regret that this incident occurred."

Race is now supposedly a factor. In an updated CNN article:

Civil Rights attorney, James Myart said his client (McKinney) was "assaulted" by a Capitol Police officer, whose name the department refuses to release.

"Because she was assaulted and placed in impending fear of her safety, she responded," he said. "This case has just begun and we're going to fight, and we're going to use the U.S. Constitution."

However, she has two lawyers, the second one:

Michael Raffauf, downplayed the possibility of pressing charges against the officer, saying, "Not every assault deserves to be criminally prosecuted."

She also states:

"The pin is not the issue," the six-time congresswoman said. "The issue is face recognition."

I disagree, the pin is the issue anyone could be made to look like her, face recognition alone should not be enough to allow someone to bypass metal detectors. Frankly I think all of them should have to go thru the metal detectors just like everyone else. Sure create a special line because God forbid one of them be treated like the rest of America but no lapel pin? Sorry...back of the line like the "rest" of us. There seems to be some discussion as to Congresspersons being advised to not wear the pin so that they cannot be easily "marked" by terrorists, so if that's true they still have Congressional ID, and the process should be clearly defined. All a "terrorist" would have to do is to do the same "face recognition" that is being used now so that to me isn't a logical excuse. Some have gone to say the security guard should have said "Congresswoman" rather than "Ma'm" to get her attention. Umm duh moment here but if he knew she was a Congresswoman he would not have been trying to stop her.

I'd also point out that if the Democrats don't want this to be used by the Republicans perhaps press conferences claiming she was "inappropriately touched" or "assualted" with Danny Glover might not be a wise thing to do. If you don't want it to be made a big deal? Don't make it one.



Stephanie said...

I agree that this is not an issue of race, but an issue of security. Whether she's black or female should have absolutely NOTHING to do with her bypassing security. IF Congresspeople should be able to bypass security (which I disagree with), then they should be doing so in a customary way. Since she refuses to follow the customs it's her own fault she got stopped. If she ignored the person trying to stop her, then yes she's going to get "touched."

historymike said...

I think this has more to do with McKinney's abrasiveness than anything else.

And I would bet that her track record of pissing off the Capitol Police made what was probably a non-event an opportunity for some serious payback.

Lisa Renee said...

Maybe Mike, but it sounds like the security guy was just trying to do his job. She supposedly changed her hair so maybe it is true he didn't recognize her at first.

It does raise some interesting questions as to how secure these areas are if by "face recognition" alone these people can just walk thru without having to go thru a metal detector.

Myra Langerhas said...

When psychos go wild. She has a long history of this type of behavior. Dems lose any sense of credibility when they stick up for unhinged loons. Let her fight on, she discredits every opinion the party espouses.

Stephanie said...

" to how secure these areas are if by "face recognition" alone..."

Maybe watching some epidsodes of Alias or 24 should be requisite for anyone who wants to control matters of security. If Hollywood can make believable look-alikes, don't you think the terrorists can figure out how too?

Anonymous said...

As a Georgian, I say its another embarrasment to the state- along with Zell Miller and that fascist Phil Gringey.

liberal_dem said...

When psychos go wild. She has a long history of this type of behavior. Dems lose any sense of credibility when they stick up for unhinged loons.

Praise be to Jesus that there aren't any of these 'loons' in the GOP!

God bless the GOP.

Cyberseaer said...

This woman is a compele ass. I'm just glad that Nj isn't the butt of the current political jokes for now. Let Georgia have their time to since in who they pick to represent them.

If this is what the people are electing to be in high seats of power, the countyr is doomed. The Democrats and Republicans alike are showing that the US governement is looking like a circus. No wonder other countries laugh at us.

Hell, I should be in Congress. I can be as crazy, lazy, smug, and crooked as the next jerk or board in there now.

liberal_dem said...

Let Georgia have their time to since in who they pick to represent them.

Indeed Georgia has its kooks: Zell Miller and its two right-wing nut senators say it all.