Almost four weeks after the alleged episode, no evidence has surfaced that anyone called any member of the Congressional Black Caucus a “nigger” on Obamacare Sunday. None will surface although any visual and auditory evidence would be worth hundreds of thousands to the media. I watch the media and listen to it carefully, including NPR. No one has pointed out the lack of validation of the allegation, I think. The main media are dishonest to the core, the New York Times first of all. Please, tell me if I missed something. (4/16/10)
To Representative John Lewis of Georgia:
Dear Mr Congressman:
This letter is more about the “L” word than it is about the “N”word. Over ten days ago, you claimed that a health bill protester called you a “nigger.” You can be completely sure I will not call you that hurtful name nor any of its derivatives or synonyms. In fact, now and in the future, I will call you whatever your want. I believe that calling people what they wish to be called is matter of courtesy, be it “pink rabbits” or whatever.
Your report, of course, took its place in a preemptive concert of stern media warnings about right-wing extremism immediately following the signing of the so-called “health care” bill into law. The concert was intended to give some backbone to media liberals who dimly understand how much disgust the law has created and who are frightened of what they have wrought. It was intended also, preemptively and childishly, to intimidate the majority of the American people who want to resist a law that will increase the cost of health care, decrease its quality, put their children in debt for a lifetime, and mandate that government agencies meddle in their most private affairs.
The fact that the dire warnings about extremism referred to a handful of episodes, some of them imaginary, did not escape the attention of well-informed, alert, mature people. I can’t say the same about the young, fed from childhood on the theme that America is an incurably racist country that ought to take itself to the woodshed frequently. You are not just anyone, you are an elected representative of the people. You have stared real racism in the eye. You should know better. Your accusation gave the silly chorus of scared liberals the measure of gravitas it lacked, almost some credibility.
In the long lapse of time since your reported the alleged abuse, not a single item of evidence has surfaced to support your claim. Zero evidence has been produced although there must have been dozens of television mikes around the demonstrators, and thousands of cell-phone cameras. No evidence, although the ineffable and terminally-ill New York Times chose to place the alleged racial insult on its front page the day following your report!
It does not help that Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for such evidence, to go to the United Negro College Fund, and that no one, not one person, not a counter-demonstrator, not a cop, no one in your entourage stepped forward to accomplish this double good deed. (It would be a double good deed because it would contribute to sullying the honor of all opponents of the so-called “health care” law while benefiting a worthy cause.)
You personally confirmed my worst suspicions by continuing to decline the open invitation from Bill O’Reilly to repeat the charge on his nightly show. I believe you don’t want to to go there because O’Reilly, with all his limitations, is a bulldog when it comes to exposing dissembling, beating around the bush, and simple lying.
Speaking of the O’Reilly show, on the March 29th, self-styled black activist and self-styled “Reverend” Sharpton whom he was hosting, asserted that he had “heard the tape” with the racial insult against you. Bill O’Reilly lit into Sharpton who retreated with his tails between his legs. No one came to the good Reverend’s defense, it seems. Incidentally, this is not some rumor I picked up on the Internet but something I saw on television with my own eyes and heard with my own ears, together with millions of others. Sharpton was straightforwardly lying about a non-existent tape. Anyway, you are not responsible for current black activists’ irresponsibility. And anyway, strangely, I don’t dislike Sharpton, most of the time. There is something attractively candid about him again, most of the time.
You had a good, constructive life, Mr Congressman. You were once a brave young fighter against segregation, a shame on this country that the white majority was not remedying quickly enough. You occupied many useful and honorable positions. For 26 years, you had a normal if ordinary career in Congress, like many elected by nearly automatic vote from safe districts.
You have been an honorable man. This forces me to ask if you have become delusional. I have to ask: Has senility crept in? Are you confusing in your mind, Washington 2010, with its affirmative action but fairly elected, supposedly “black” President, and Tennessee’s segregated lunch counters, 1960? If you do, it’s time to go, to let other men or women wrestle over the seat you held for so long. (Personally, I would like to see another African-American win your seat, a black female conservative, for example.)
And, referring again to the allegation that a health law protester called you a “nigger,” if you are not delusional:
Are you a fucking liar?
It would be a relief to me personally if you simply stated that the media, and Associated Press, in particular, misquoted you. It’ would also be easy to accept. AP is guilty of daily misrepresentation. If you do, I will immediately put up your denial on this modest blog, announce it on my local radio show, and otherwise do anything in my power to propagate the good news. If you don’t say anything along these lines, my question stands
Let me sign this letter:
Of course, I am an angry white man, and armed. I also drive a pick-up truck (to tow my sailboat). But I live on the Left Coast, not in Alabama. I never go to church and I never open the Bible, except to locate some erudite citation to confound others. I am an immigrant. I am married to a “woman of color” to use the grotesque jargon in favor among your white liberal allies. We have two grown children, also “of color.” My doctorate is from a good university and I enjoyed a pretty good academic career. My scholarly production was in the social sciences. In fact, I am a good enough social scientist that I recognize the warning signs of fascism when I see them: “Big lies….” (Google “Joseph Goebbels” for an exact quote.)
PS : In one of the next Tea Party demonstrations, there will almost certainly be a progressive plant shouting “nigger!” and worse.
04/0510. Here is the best audiovisual evidence of the relevant short period. It shows members of the Congressional Black Caucus walking through a hostile crowd. It’s difficult to understand how one could confuse the many “boo” and “kill that bill,” with the word “nigger.” Again, there is a fortune to be made showing the media that this video was edited or cut to take out the offensive word. (The video link is off my friend Nadir’s Facebook. I thank him.)