Monday, April 03, 2006

Pin the Blame on McKinney

"Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, like thousands of average Americans across this country, is, too, a victim of the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials because of how she looks and the color of her skin." James W. Myart Jr., one of McKinney's attorneys

What a crock. A tempest in a teapot. An inane overreaction. I know it's politics, but give me a break. Three verbal requests to stop at a security checkpoint plus a hand on the arm equals racial discrimination and excessive force? On what planet?

But wait, there's more. In defense of McKinney hitting the hapless cop with her cell phone, Mr. Myart had this to say, "Because she was assaulted and placed in impending fear of her safety, she responded. This case has just begun and we're going to fight, and we're going to use the U.S. Constitution."

I know this guy's a lawyer, but Jeezus! Hyperbole times ten. By characterizing his client a victim, Myart makes a mockery of the real victimization of countless African Americans every day.

Congresswoman McKinney and her lawyers are making wildly inappropriate use of the race and feminism cards. And in case you're wondering what right a white Jewish girl has to make that call, my creds are well established. I've worked with and learned from Black women who knew how to make a point without making a spectacle of themselves.

The Gentlewoman from Atlanta needs to get over herbadself in a hurry. She's not doing her race, her gender or the Democratic Party any favors carrying on like an uptight Republican or a spoiled Hollywood brat.

We're talking about the Capitol Police here, not a Southern lynch mob. Thousands of people work in the Capitol. I don't want to see any of them hurt or worse because these guys don't take their responsibilities seriously. In post 9/11 America, security matters.

Nevertheless, our representatives in Congress get special consideration when it comes to Capitol security. All congresspersons wear special pins identifying their privileged status to bypass metal detectors and security lines. I'm not sure I'm okay with that, by the way. Seems like an invitation for a terrorist to take a congressperson's family hostage and send that rep into the Capitol with a bomb.

As it turns out, Rep. McKinney wasn't even wearing her pin ... she seldom does. By her own words, she counts on "face recognition" to get her way.

Oookaaay. Clearly she's grooving on being an elite member of The Club, with its perks, privileges and power. We all know that 'I'm with the band" rush. Getting in where others can't. I can just see her sweeping by the Capitol police, refusing to stop, awash in "don't-you-know-who-you're-dealing-with" arrogance.

When they stopped her, would it have been so difficult to say, "Hi, remember me, I'm Congresswoman McKinney. I forgot my pin today." How about adding, "Could you ask your supervisor to step over here?"

If that got no response she could have taken names and made a formal complaint. Which may well have gotten results. But no headlines. So she hit the guy with her cell phone instead.

What a joke. What hubris. What a poor excuse for a role model. Her actions show us the real Cynthia McKinney: pugnacious and venal with no impulse control, poor crisis management and negotiating skills and an overblown sense of entitlement.

The incident also sends a message Rep. McKinney feels she's too important to care about national security or the hard working men and women tasked with safeguarding the Capitol.

Yes, the Capitol Police have gotten a bad rep lately for overreacting to a few Bush protestors. But I'm betting those orders came from the top. Clearly their leadership needs a makeover to remove political bias.

However, I don't believe they were politically motivated in response to Rep. McKinney's idiotic hissy fit. I would imagine they were just pissed. I know I am.

There is far too much genuine danger and appalling racial and gender discrimination in this country to have it trivialized and used for political gain by Rep. McKinney, her lawyers and friends -- especially in defense of her own bad behavior.

And as for the star factor:

"We're not going to be absent or indifferent to the fact that she may be abused again." Harry Belafonte

"We're not here to judge the merits of the case, but here to support our sister." Danny Glover
If Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte are so concerned about abuse and injustice, they need to get down to New Orleans and stand up for the thousands of sisters and brothers who really need their support.

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Blogger MamaQ said...

I saw her on CNN yesterday talking about this. Apparently the Capitol police officers didn't recognize her because she had a new hairstyle.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Sally Swift said...

Was she claiming discrimination against hairdos?

6:38 PM  
Blogger MamaQ said...

Actually she was trying to make a case that if the act of changing one's hairstyle is enough to make the same officers who see her enter the building each day suddenly not recognize her, then obviously the Captiol Police are guilty of discrimination against black women.

I felt similarly when I saw that curly-haired Dorothy Krysiuk wasn't selected as one of Philly's sexiest newswomen. Obviously people have a prejudice against women with curly hair.
Actually, I only half-kid. Around the time I graduated college to enter the newsrooms, I read a study that said women with long and/or curly hair are taken less seriously in the workplace. I tried to rock a straight style for a while, but who's got time for all that blow-drying.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Puckpan said...

Deep down I think this is a crock too. But people get in serious trouble for a lot less these days - and I can imagine your shrill howls if a white Republican did that.

But you are missing the essence of this story - which no one is reporting on. It's great realpolitics for the republicans.

Blacks breaking the law then screaming "racist" at white policemen who stop them is a classic Democrat stereotype - born in the 60s generation - which the Dems are desperately trying to run away from.

It's fun watching this thing.

8:51 AM  

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