Democrats played the R-card yesterday, as Reps. Jim Clyburn, John Lewis and Andre Carson claimed that anti-government medicine protesters shouted the “N-word” at them as they left the Cannon House Office Building. The Associated Press bought it hook, line and sinker, headlining “Raucous, ugly buildup to House health care vote”:
House Democrats heard it all Saturday–words of inspiration from President Barack Obama and raucous chants of protests from demonstrators. And at times it was flat-out ugly, including some racial epithets aimed at black members of Congress. …
The tone was set outside the Capitol. Clogging the sidewalks and streets of Capitol Hill were at least hundreds–no official estimate was yet available–of loud, furious protesters, many of them tea party opponents of the health care overhaul.
Rallies outside the Capitol are typically orderly, with speeches and well-behaved crowds. Saturday’s was different, with anger-fueled demonstrators surrounding members of Congress who walked by, yelling at them.
I’m guessing that the AP’s huffiness about “clogging the sidewalks” depends entirely on who is doing the protesting. Actually, far from being “ugly,” I find the sight of Americans exercising their Constitutional rights in defense of their freedom beautiful. And “at least hundreds” of protesters? The number is being debated, but the crowd was obviously in the thousands.
But is the “N-word” charge true? It is inconsistent with every description of the protest that I’ve seen. At least one video of the event exists, and it does not confirm the Congressmen’s allegation. The protesters were yelling “Kill the bill,” but there is no racist language in the video:
Any number of people, including news organizations, were covering the protest and House Democrats’ actions yesterday. If the Democrats’ charge is true, evidence of it should exist. Clyburn et al. should either produce video that confirms their allegation, or else apologize to the anti-Obamacare demonstrators. And the AP should investigate before it reports charges as facts.
UPDATE: Here is another, longer video of the same scene. The Congressmen are booed, as well they should be, and there are chants of “Kill the bill.” But no racial epithets.