Last week Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney found a new way to multitask with her cellphone. It’s alleged the Georgia Democrat poked a U.S. Capitol Police officer with her phone when he thoughtlessly challenged her for bypassing a House office metal detector. Ms McKinney made the usual excuses. The incident happened because she’s black. Because she’s female. Because she’s “progressive.” If those oldies but goodies don’t work, she may turn to a more original defense: PTHD, post traumatic hairstyle disorder.
Last week Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney found a new way to multitask with her cellphone. It’s alleged the Georgia Democrat poked a U.S. Capitol Police officer with her phone when he thoughtlessly challenged her for bypassing a House office metal detector.
Ms McKinney made the usual excuses. The incident happened because she’s black. Because she’s female. Because she’s “progressive.” If those oldies but goodies don’t work, she may turn to a more original defense: PTHD, post traumatic hairstyle disorder.
Atlanta’s WSB TV’s Web site posted a statement made by the congresswoman and then withdrawn. In it she says:
“The US Capitol Police mission statement makes no distinction about selective application of its mission depending upon whether a Member of Congress is black, woman, or has a new hairstyle. But, honestly, this incident is not about wearing a Congressional pin or changing my hairstyle. It is true that I have changed my hairstyle. . . Do I have to contact the police every time I change my hairstyle?
“I have agreed to try to remember to wear my pin and to notify Capitol Hill police every time I change my hairstyle. . . It is, however, a shame that while I conduct the country’s business, I have to stop and call the police to tell them that I’ve changed my hairstyle so that I’m not harassed at work.”
Cynthia’s fixation on her new do aside, the incident would not have occurred if she’d been wearing the label pin all House members are issued. The emblem allows them to avoid normal security procedures.
She asserts she is now doing her gosh darn best to remember to wear the pin. That’s disingenuous. In her first term in Congress, in 1993, she refused to wear it. So the matter is far from a novelty for her.
The congresswoman called in the media last Friday evening. She may have characterized it a press conference, but it was really a Support Cynthia McKinney rally. Representatives of the National Organization for Women and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People were there to demonstrate their solidarity.
So were entertainers Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover, who earlier this year were in Venezuela cheering socialist leader and America hater Hugo Chavez. The celebrities have become permanent house Negroes, to use a term employed by Belafonte, in service on the Far Left plantation.
Harry’s description of President Bush as “the greatest terrorist in the world” is indicative of where he is on the political spectrum. So his support of McKinney, who’s espoused wacky conspiracy theories (she’s asked if the president knew about 9/11 in advance and did nothing to stop it), is hardly unexpected. Nor is the has-been’s efforts to get his name in the news a few more times before he heads for that people’s republic in the sky. His last big hit was recorded the same year Ms McKinney was born, 1955.
Rally participants claimed the police officer was at fault for not instantly recognizing McKinney. They described her as having a face recognized around the world. That may be true in Havana or Caracas or other anti-American hotspots, but not here.
Most of us wouldn’t know our own congressman if we tripped over him. Ms McKinney’s image may be well-known among fringe elements, but that’s about it. Expecting officers to know all 435 House members by sight isn’t reasonable, less so if any of them are sporting new and improved dos.
As this is written, no decision has been made by the U.S. Attorney’s office on issuing a warrant for the congresswoman’s arrest. If it were you or I who scuffled with a police officer, how long do you think the bureaucracy would dawdle while deciding whether or not to press charges?
It was eight years ago that two Capitol Police were killed while on duty. Subsequently, security was ratcheted up. The events of 9/11 make Washington safety measures even more important.
Ms. McKinney has used the perfunctory I deeply regret the incident happened line. She hasn’t apologized for hitting the officer, who she contends instigated the incident by inappropriately stopping and touching her.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi terms the confrontation a mistake caused by “an unfortunate lack of recognition of a member of Congress.” I see. It was the police officer who was at fault.
If arrogant, self-absorbed members of Congress don’t wish to use the identification provided them to avoid security measures, eliminate the procedure. Let the prima donnas be treated like all those commoners who are paying the freight. Maybe then post traumatic hairstyle disorder sufferers like the Honorable McKinney won’t feel so victimized.
Notes: This appeared in the April 6, 2006 Oak Lawn Reporter.
Biography - Mike Bates
Mike Bates wrote a weekly column of opinion - or nonsense, depending on your viewpoint - for over 20 years. Additionally, his articles have appeared in the Congressional Record, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Mensa Journal. He has been a guest on Milt Rosenberg's program on WGN Radio Chicago, the Bruce Elliott show on Baltimore's WBAL, the Jim Sumpter show on the USA Radio Network and the New Media Journal's Blog Radio. As a lad, Mike distributed Goldwater campaign literature and since then has steadily moved further to the Right. He is the author of "Right Angles and Other Obstinate Truths." In 2007, he won an Illinois Press Association award for Original Column