|COLUMBUS - In a scene reminiscent of non-violent civil rights confrontations from the 1960s, Ohio Tea Partiers quickly turned ugly when facing off with health care advocates in front of Ohio Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy's office Tuesday.
In shocking video taken by a Columbus Dispatch reporter Doral Chenowith yesterday, Tea Party protestors mock a seated counter-protestor with a sign indicating he has Parkinson's disease. They then proceed to hurl wadded up bills at him shouting, "I'll decide when to give you money!"
On March 17th outside of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy's (D-OH15) district office teabaggers mocked and scorned a man who had a sign stating that he had Parkinson's. They told him "he's in the wrong end of town to ask for handouts", called him a communist and threw dollar bills at him to "pay for his health care".
It turns out the man being insulted by the tea party crowd is a nuclear physicist who had to go on disability five years ago.
|Parkinson's patient gains national attention from health-care rally confrontation
Dispatch video of encounter widely circulates on the Internet
Friday, March 19, 2010 2:53 AM
By Catherine Candisky
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
During a rally on health-care reform Tuesday outside the office of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy in Columbus, opponents of the effort berated Robert A. Letcher, who suffers with Parkinson's disease. A video of the incident, available at Dispatch.com, has fueled Internet and TV debates.
A demonstrator at a Columbus health-care rally who was chided for looking for a handout "on the wrong end of town" actually is a former nuclear engineer with a doctorate from Cornell University.
Robert A. Letcher, 60, had no way of knowing that attending the rally would make him a flashpoint in the raging national health-care debate.
But the treatment of Letcher, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, by two opponents of health-care legislation instantly became the topic of Internet chatter and bloggers and was given a prime spot on cable-news programs in the past two days.
A Dispatch video, widely circulated on the Internet, depicted the angry protestors berating Letcher as he sat on the ground holding a sign explaining his condition.
These obnoxious, hateful protesters have become the new face of the Tea Party and anti-health reform crowd.
The hate and malice motivating the anti-health care reform and Tea Party movement is getting more and more clear. Last week it was mocking a Parkinson's victim, yesterday it was spitting, shouting the "n-word" at one Representative and anti-gay slurs at another.
This ugliness seems to be slowly increasing in the US. We can't let it win.
'Tea party' protesters accused of spitting on lawmaker, using slurs
By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 20, 2010; 10:25 PM
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus said that racial epithets were hurled at them Saturday by angry protesters who had gathered at the Capitol to protest health-care legislation, and one congressman said he was spit upon. The most high-profile openly gay congressman, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), was heckled with anti-gay chants.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) issued a statement late Saturday saying that he was spit upon while walking to the Capitol to cast a vote, leading the Capitol Police to usher him into the building out of concern for his safety. Police detained the individual, who was then released because Cleaver declined to press charges.
"The congressman was walking into the Capitol to vote, when one protester spat on him. The congressman would like to thank the U.S. Capitol Police officer who quickly escorted the other Members and him into the Capitol, and defused the tense situation with professionalism and care," said Danny Rotert, a spokesman for Cleaver.
Protesters outside the Capitol hurled epithets at Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) as they left the building after President Obama delivered an 11th-hour speech on behalf of the health care bill. Carson told reporters that protesters yelled "kill the bill," then used a racial epithet to describe Carson and Lewis, who is a revered figure on both sides of the aisle.
According to observers, Frank was confronted by about 100 protesters inside the Longworth House Office Building, where Democrats were huddling for another meeting about the legislation. Some targeted Frank with anti-gay epithets and urged him to vote against the bill.
Democratic leaders and their aides said they were outraged by the day's behavior. "I have heard things today that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to get off the back of the bus," said House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest-ranking black official in Congress.
And Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement, "On the one hand, I am saddened that America's debate on health care -- which could have been a national conversation of substance and respect -- has degenerated to the point of such anger and incivility. But on the other, I know that every step toward a more just America has aroused similar hate in its own time; and I know that John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, has learned to wear the worst slurs as a badge of honor."
"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," said Rotert, Cleaver's spokesman. "That being said, he is disappointed that in the 21st century our national discourse has devolved to the point of name-calling and spitting."
|mOrpheuS wrote: |
|Merged topics "Anti-Health Reform protesters spit, shout n-word. Tea Party" with "Anti-HCR protesters mock Parkinson's victim".
There's no real reason to start new thread instead of posting in an existing (very relevant and current) thread on the same topic. Please try to keep such discussion together.
Agreed. That is certainly not very good behaviour. On the other hand there does not seem to be much of a debate ongoing. The louder people protest, the more determined Obama and the Democrats have become to push the Health Reform Bill through in its current form. It must be frustrating to those who have tried very hard to get the message through.
The Tea Party hate continues. Here they are threatening violence.
Republicans in Congress refused to condemn the Tea Partyers spitting on Representatives and shouting the n-word.
You mean ******?
There are animals in both camps, why focus only on the Tea Party'ers? And why condemn a word to banishment?
I say that the majority of people on both sides are too stupid to vote because they don't know what is:
and I think I won't be wrong if I say that neither really understand what's going on in politics at any given moment except a chosen few, who really focus in politics?
It just strikes me that the people pictured are rallying against something they know nothing about, they're fighting a concept that doesn't exist, and they're supporting things they don't know and they're using words they don't understand
|handfleisch wrote: |
| "I'll decide when to give you money!"
Heck, I completely agree with that.
Why should the government tell me when to give money? Why can't I decide for myself?
You may be interested in a broadcast earlier today on BBC Radio 4. Particularly the section with Jonathan Rabin - a British writer living in the US - where he talks about the teaparty movement.
I think it gives a reasonable perspective on what many Brits feel on the matter....
I've chopped the broadcast to give the section mentioned:
Unfortunate that the tea party was hijacked by the conservatives... very unfortunate.
Well, he's probably lived there enough and is savvy enough to have known that.
Agreed with Ocalhoun. It is a pity that the Tea Parties got high-jacked by Conservatives. I'm sure there are intelligent people who have attended some of those Tea Parties with sincere intentions to "protest", and may not do so any longer as the tea parties have become completely discredited. Previously it has at least been a forum where people could air their criticism about taxes, but the forum has become completely discredited by politically motivated irrational exhuberance.
|deanhills wrote: |
|Agreed with Ocalhoun. It is a pity that the Tea Parties got high-jacked by Conservatives. I'm sure there are intelligent people who have attended some of those Tea Parties with sincere intentions to "protest", and may not do so any longer as the tea parties have become completely discredited. Previously it has at least been a forum where people could air their criticism about taxes, but the forum has become completely discredited by politically motivated irrational exhuberance. |
I think it's a myth to describe the Tea Party as being hijacked. It was never anything but a product of corporate power, exploiting extremists. Some traditional conservatives might have been taken in by it, but that doesn't change its history.
1. The small-c traditional conservative movement is practically gone. It died when Reagan hijacked the movement. These days, "Conservatism" is a cover for only two things: Corporate power and right wing extremists. Corporate power owns the Republican party and much of the Democratic party. Corporate power isn't really into extreme issues, except in extremely wanting any and all legislation that will get them more money (less employee rights, no minimum wage laws, less health and safety workplace laws, less pollution laws, etc). But corporate power uses extremists like blunt tools. This is shown by 2.
2. The Tea Party movement could not be hijacked, it was originally started by corporations interested to further their power, and to use the energy of extremists in that goal. The Tea Party movement was mostly the product of the organizations Freedomworks, Americans for Prosperity, Dontgo, and FOX News.
Freedomwork is a corporate lobbying group, and on its board of directors:
Dick Armey (a major Republican from Texas)
Steve Forbes (one of the richest men in the world)
Frank M. Sands, Sr. of Sands Capital Management (an corporate investment firm)
Americans for Prosperity's boss is Tim Phillips, a former partner of right-wing Christian activist Ralph Reed in the lobbying firm Century Strategies. Americans for Prosperity has often worked on behalf of oil corporations. During the 2000 GOP primaries, Philips's organization worked for George Walker Bush's campaign for president.
Dontgo is an internet-activist group originally started to mobilize people to support the call for off-shore oil drilling.
FOX news organization serves the same function as the Pravda news organization did for the Communist Party in the USSR, except it does it for the right wing of the Republican party. That function is to appear as a new organization while spreading propaganda.
FreedomWorks Launches Nationwide “Tea Party” Tour
There have been Frihosters who have had positive comments about the Tea Parties they attended last year. Refer discussion in a previous Tea Party Protest thread.
|handfleisch wrote: |
|I think it's a myth to describe the Tea Party as being hijacked. It was never anything but a product of corporate power, exploiting extremists. |
|Moonspider wrote: |
|I attended the protest in Modesto, California. It lasted from 11:00am to 6:00pm. I was there for about 90 minutes late in the day and about 200 or so were in attendance at the time. However a lot of people were coming and going. I spoke with a woman collecting signatures on letters to senators and representatives and she claimed to have collected 4,000 signatures since she started at about 10:30am.
I was pleased to see ours was not related to any political party, just a lot of Americans upset with the course of our government.
|bigt wrote: |
And, yes, I went to a TEA Party yesterday. There were several hundred people there. No, they're not Republican or Democratic "things". TEA Party's are about stopping the government waste on both sides. Bush did not stop the over-spending and Pres. B.H.O. has increased spending by many times Bush's. But, the ultimate root of the problem is still going strong....Congress. It's the policies of Congress that got us into all this mess in the first place. They have not figured that out or owned up to it, and Congress keeps trying to spend everyone else's money!
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy." - W. Churchill
In the short time since the Health Care Reform passed Sunday, people have attacked at least five Democratic offices, leaving death threats, and cut the gas line of a home they mistook for a Democratic representative's (it was his brother's). Tea Party websites published the address of that last one with not-so-subtle hints about what to do. Is this the real face of the anti-HCR movement and Tea Partyers? Have any Tea Party groups or Republicans condemned this?
Democratic offices vandalized across the country
Health Care Reform Leads to Threats
Vandals hit at least five Dem offices nationwide, threaten to ‘assassinate’ children of pro-reform lawmakers
FBI investigates Virginia incident
Update: The mocking protester who threw the money has come forth and apologized. He sounds really sorry. Shows you that people are complicated, and how good people can be influenced to do awful things. I bet this guy had a steady twinkie diet of FOX, Palin and Limbaugh, which helped make him "snap" as he says. Anyway I hope he comes out okay and changes his life for the better.
Man who threw money at Parkinson’s patient calls behavior ‘shameful’
Health-care bill opponent says he snapped during confrontation at rally
Thursday, March 25, 2010 2:54 AM
The man protesting federal health-care legislation who berated and tossed dollar bills at a supporter with Parkinson's disease last week says he is remorseful - and scared.
"I snapped, I absolutely snapped, and I can't explain it any other way," said Chris Reichert in a Dispatch interview.
In his first comments on an incident caught on video that went viral across the Internet and was played repeatedly on cable-television news shows, Reichert said he is sorry about his confrontation with Robert A. Letcher, 60, of Grandview Heights.
Letcher, a former nuclear engineer who has Parkinson's, was verbally attacked as he sat before health-care-reform protesters during a rally outside U.S. Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy's district office.
"He's got every right to do what he did, and some may say I did, too, but what I did was shameful," Reichert said. "I haven't slept since that day."
Reichert, a 40-year-old father of two who lives in the Harrison West neighborhood, said he apologizes to Letcher and everyone else at the rally.
"I made a donation (to a local Parkinson's disease group), and that starts the healing process."
When approached by a reporter this week, Reichert would not acknowledge that he was involved in the confrontation on March 16 featured in a Dispatch video that drew an emotional response from viewers across the country.
The next day, he contacted The Dispatch and acknowledged his participation.
"I wanted this to go away, but it won't, and I'm paying the consequences," Reichert said.
Definitely not the way to tackle an issue, however has to be a reflection of people who are unhappy with the outcome of the "voting" of the Bill. The Bill was won by a very slim majority, perhaps if there were no negotiations to have been had, there would not have been a majority win at all. It is obvious that there has to be a large number of people in the United States who do not support the legislation. Not all of them are hooligans. Obama may have "won" his legislation by the skin of his teeth, but he has lost a lot of the people's support, especially those who were trying to get their message through to him.
|handfleisch wrote: |
|In the short time since the Health Care Reform passed Sunday, people have attacked at least five Democratic offices, leaving death threats, and cut the gas line of a home they mistook for a Democratic representative's (it was his brother's). |
|handfleisch wrote: |
|In the short time since the Health Care Reform passed Sunday, people have attacked at least five Democratic offices, leaving death threats, and cut the gas line of a home they mistook for a Democratic representative's (it was his brother's). Tea Party websites published the address of that last one with not-so-subtle hints about what to do. Is this the real face of the anti-HCR movement and Tea Partyers? Have any Tea Party groups or Republicans condemned this?
Anytime the citizens feel that their government is ignoring their wishes, and doing things they don't want, they'll search for another way to make their voice heard... and sometimes that means they'll resort to violence.
Didn't get the entire thing yet. Didn't even understand the speeches in that video. Yet.
|These obnoxious, hateful protesters have become the new face of the Tea Party and anti-health reform crowd. |
The ugliest thing on earth occurs when when a legitimate movement, for it's strenght of coherence, is targeted by criminals who see in the movement a good place to gather and have mob fun.