Hogan's Alley

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cynthia McKinney - Who's The Racist? - Let's Go To The Videotape

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's story is that the Capitol Police person who stopped her as she attempted bypass a metal detector while entering a House office building was a racist who deserved what he or she got because they should have recognized her as a Member of Congress. Here is part of the report from the Times:

The encounter took place at a checkpoint to a building across Independence Avenue from the Capitol. According to accounts by police officers and Congressional officials, Ms. McKinney went around one of the metal detectors that are at the entrances and staffed by the police. The officer reportedly told her to stop, and when she did not he apparently tried to stop her, provoking a physical response from Ms. McKinney. Members of Congress are allowed to sidestep the metal detectors.

Ms. McKinney, a lawmaker known for provocative statements, acknowledged that she had not been wearing the lapel pin that would have identified her as a member of Congress. But she said the police responsible for protecting lawmakers should recognize them on sight.

Here is Congresswoman McKinney herself:

"Let me be clear," Ms. McKinney said, surrounded by supporters at the historically black university. "This whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman. I deeply regret this incident occurred, and I am certain that after a full review of the facts, I will be exonerated."
Her lawyers and other supporters go on to declare that she was harassed solely because she is a black woman who holds progressive political views.

What a crock of shit.

It seems clear to me that what happened is that Congresswoman McKinney was hurrying into the building wearing no ID, was not recognized by the cop, who appropriately stopped her. She took offence and slapped the officer. The identity of the officer has not been released, but I'd be willing to bet my house that he or she is white. So what we really have is that Ms. McKinney saw a white face who had the temerity to not recognize her, assumed their motivation was racist (as she may view all the behavior of whites) got angry and struck out. It seems to me that seeing evil motivation behind every white face one encounters is plainly racist.

By the way, a Congressional office building must be one of the most heavily secured buildings in D.C. and must be lousy with video cameras. Let's see the video tape. Did the officer behave appropriately or not. Was Ms. McKinney rationally responding to harassment or irrationally acting out of her beliefs and the probable stress of her busy day?

Lastly, does she now propose that a requirement of employment of all Capitol police should be the ability to recognize on sight members of Congress, with either physical punishment or other sanctions for failures? If I were a terrorist I'd be looking to recruit the finest makeup artists in the world to provide me with Congressional lookalikes I could strap a bomb vest on.