On March 20, 2010,tens of thousands of Americans rallied against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, as it was in the process of being rammed through Congress against the will of the majority of Americans.
As the protesters were peacefully assembling, the Congressional Black Caucus decided it would be a good idea to take a “historic” walk through the crowd, aware of course, that the people they would be brushing up against, were adamantly against what they were about to do in Congress. What ensued was largely uneventful based on all of the evidence. The Congressmen worked their way through the crowd, (with one of their own members videotaping the scene with his cellphone) and they endured what should have been expected under the circumstances: protesters lustily booing and hollering, “kill the bill!” Cleaver, walking directly in front of a guy yelling, “kill the bill” through cupped hands, by all appearances, received some spittle spray on his cheek, which to any fair minded person watching the video, was obviously unintentional.
But that’s not what he reported to left wing news outlets immediately after their walk. Cleaver, for reasons known only to himself, decided to turn the minor invent into a grotesque racial incident.
His office released the following melodramatic statement, which was posted at Huffpo at 6:55 PM ET on March 20:
For many of the members of the CBC, like John Lewis and Emanuel Cleaver who worked in the civil rights movement, and for Mr. Frank who has struggled in the cause of equality, this is not the first time they have been spit on during turbulent times.
This afternoon, the Congressman was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The Congressman would like to thank the US Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the others Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care. After all the Members were safe, a full report was taken and the matter was handled by the US Capitol Police. The man who spat on the Congressman was arrested, but the Congressman has chosen not to press charges. He has left the matter with the Capitol Police.
This is not the first time the Congressman has been called the “n” word and certainly not the worst assault he has endured in his years fighting for equal rights for all Americans. That being said, he is disappointed that in the 21st century our national discourse has devolved to the point of name calling and spitting. He looks forward to taking a historic vote on health care reform legislation tomorrow, for the residents of the Fifth District of Missouri and for all Americans. He believes deeply that tomorrow’s vote is, in fact, a vote for equality and to secure health care as a right for all. Our nation has a history of struggling each time we expand rights. Today’s protests are no different, but the Congressman believes this is worth fighting for.
Cleaver was soon interviewed by The Washington Post’s Courtland Milloy, who was eager to fan the flames of racial discord:
Cleaver told me: “I said to this one person, ‘You spat on me.’ I thought he was going to say, ‘Hey, I was yelling. Sorry.’ But he continuing yelling and, for a few seconds, I pointed at him and said, ‘You spat on me.’ “
How about pointing and declaring: “Spit in my face, fist in yours”? But that’s just me.
Jack Cashill, researched the Capital steps tea party controversy of March 20, and came to this conclusion: The William Douglas story in the liberal McClatchy Newspapers, which broke the alleged racial incidents “seems to meet the standards for libel. It is provably false, preposterously reckless, quite possibly malicious, and has caused real damage to publicly identified Tea Party leaders”.
Here is what happened. Rather than use the tunnel from the Cannon Office Building to the Capitol, a contingent from the Black Caucus chose to walk through a crowd of protesters. In none of the videos shot that day, including those by the members of the Caucus themselves, has anyone identified a single audible racial slur.
What the videos show are protesters booing the black congressmen as lustily as they did their white counterparts. The one thing they do scream is the racially neutral “Kill the bill.” The caucus members pass without incident until they reach the Capitol steps. There, an inattentive Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), flanked by a police officer, walks right in front of a man who has been screaming “kill the bill” through cupped hands for at least the last ten seconds.
Cleaver appears to get caught in the vocal spray. Once the videos emerged, Cleaver would tell the Washington Post that the man “allowed saliva to hit my face.” In the immediate aftermath of the incident, however, a visibly angry Cleaver — he poked his finger in the man’s face after being sprayed — spread a much darker story. As Douglas reported in his 4:21 posting, Cleaver’s office claimed in a statement “that [Cleaver] had also been spat upon and that Capitol Police had arrested his assailant.” The Cleaver statement continued, “The man who spat on the congressman was arrested, but the congressman has chosen not to press charges.”
Yael T. Abouhalkah, the editorial page columnist in Cleaver’s hometown Kansas City Star, a McClatchy paper, captured the party line nicely with the claim that “some Tea Party supporter spat on Cleaver Saturday on Capitol Hill because the U.S. congressman is black.” The video evidence belies all this nonsense.
About a minute after the incident, Cleaver returns to the scene of the crime with a Capitol Police officer. The “assailant” is still standing there shouting, unaware that he has committed anything like a crime. Heck, until a year or so ago, he had been led to believe that dissent was patriotic, not racist. More embarrassingly, Cleaver fails to recognize the man even though he is standing right in front of him, and the man is making no effort to hide. There is no arrest, no detention as Cleaver’s office would later claim, no noble decision to not press charges.
See the above press release.
“There were no elements of a crime, and the individual wasn’t able to be positively identified,” a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police would tell FoxNews.com. “[Cleaver] was unable to positively identify.” More troubling, in Douglas’s report, it was only Cleaver who was said to hear the word “nigger.” Even in the later posting, “Tea party protesters call Georgia’s John Lewis ‘nigger,’” Lewis himself does not make this claim.
“They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis told Douglas. What they shouted, Douglas reports, is “kill the bill, kill the bill.” House majority whip James CIyburn, who walked with the contingent, heard no racist remarks, either. “I experienced some of [the anger],” Clyburn told Keith Olbermann on March 22. “I didn`t hear the slurs.“Douglas cites only Cleaver as the person who “distinctly heard ‘nigger.’” It is Douglas himself who inflates that one one word into multiple “protestors” who “scream” it at Lewis. There is no story without that word, and given the lack of video evidence and Cleaver’s willingness to dissemble on the alleged arrest, there is no reason to believe him.
Here is a video, created by Cashill, that lays out how it all went down:
In an interview about a week later with Fox 4 in Kansas City, Cleaver denied ever saying anything about the incident:
” I never reported anything…I never reported anything in Washington – not a single thing….”
“I’ve never done an interview on it…”
“…I didn’t plan to have it known by anybody…”
He told Fox 4 that had the incident not been caught on tape, no one would have even known it had happened, because he wouldn’t have made it an issue.
On March 20, not long after the minor incident occurred, someone from Cleaver’s office released a completely bogus statement about what had happened to the left wing media. That is called a report. Then he talked to WaPo’s Courtland (fist in your face) Milloy, that’s called an interview.
That is not what someone does who wants to “defuse” a situation. Cleaver is lying.
What Emanuel Cleaver and the CBC attempted to do to the tea party on March 20, was beneath contempt.
Linked by Ace of Spades HQ :For Congress: Jacob Turk, MO-5