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Censure Andre Carson
by Jack Cashill
Spittlegate is a media and political scandal that should not be allowed to die, at least not until the congressmen who provoked it are censured and the reporters who enabled it are fired.
The censuring should begin with Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana. On the afternoon of March 20 th, the day of the Obamacare protest, Carson walked along with Rep. John Lewis and one other person from the Cannon Office Building across Independence Avenue to the Capitol.
At the Capitol, Carson told reporters what happened en route. Fortunately, the audio exists. Kudos to Andrew Breitbart and company for keeping this story alive.
As Carson explained, the three were “walking down the steps” of the Cannon Office Building when they heard ‘n-word, n-word,’ at least 15 times, hundreds of people, and Capitol Police finally became aware and started protecting us.”
When questioned on specifics, Carson reduced the hundreds of people to “maybe fifteen,” who were shouting "Kill the bill, then the n-word." Added Carson for dramatic flair, “Yeah I expected rocks to come.”
On the return to the Cannon Office Building from the Capitol, a larger contingent of the Black Caucus chose to avoid the tunnel, which they would normally take, and brave the racist, would-be rock throwers. They also carried at least three video cameras among them.
The Caucus members passed without incident until they reached the steps of the Cannon Office Building. There, an inattentive Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), flanked by a police officer, walked right in front of a man who had been screaming “kill the bill” through cupped hands for at least the last ten seconds.
Cleaver appeared to get caught in the vocal spray. Videos would show a visibly angry Cleaver poke his finger in the man’s face.
Roughly ninety minutes after the alleged spitting, William Douglas of the McClatchy Papers would post an article with this inflammatory headline, “ Tea party protesters scream 'nigger' at black congressman.”
Douglas appears to have interviewed the “congressman” in question, civil rights icon John Lewis, but Lewis does not give him what he wants:
In his very next line, Douglas makes a reference to Andre Carson. “A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying ‘Kill the bill, then the n-word.’”
Douglas immediately follows the Carson reference with the following:
Given the video evidence, we can see Douglas’s reporting for the Democratic agitprop it is. Lewis never hears the word “nigger.” If he had, Douglas surely would have shared it with the reader.
Curiously, Douglas quotes Carson on the most lethal of the slurs but attributes the quote only to “a colleague.” Does Carson have a reputation for lying? Or does Douglas fear that by citing Carson, he admits into evidence his preposterous claim about crowds of screaming bigots? Or both?
Instead, Douglas slides the burden onto the Reverend Cleaver who claims no more than to have heard one person say “nigger” one time, a claim that will be much harder to disprove than Carson’s.
Douglas then takes Cleaver’s “chorus” quote and makes it sound as though he heard a chorus of slurs when surely Cleaver said no such thing. The reader is left with the impression, however, that Cleaver is “the colleague” who heard “kill the bill, then the n-word.”
Douglas also implies that Cleaver was walking with Lewis from the Cannon Office Building to the Capitol when this happened, but he was not.
Cleaver accompanied Lewis only on the way back, which suggests that there should be evidence of racial slurs both coming and going. Despite Breitbart’s offer of a $100,000 reward for such a video, none has emerged either coming or going.
Jesse Jackson Jr. carried two cameras with him. Standing next to Cleaver, he pointed them at the soi-disant spitter. Jackson has not yet queued up yet for his 100K.
The dissembling did not end here. Immediately after the protest, Cleaver’s office put out a press release that reads in part: "The man who spat on the congressman was arrested, but the Congressman has chosen not to press charges.” The Douglas article incorporates the release.
This was all nonsense. "There were no elements of a crime, and the individual wasn't able to be positively identified,” said the Capitol Police. The video supports the police. It shows a clueless Cleaver, accompanied by a policeman, walking back to the scene of the crime and looking vainly for the “assailant.”
Until a year or so ago, the protester had been led to believe that dissent was patriotic, not racist. More embarrassingly, Cleaver failed to recognize the man even though he was standing right in front of him, and the man was making no effort to hide.
Cleaver faces his first serious electoral challenge this year. His minions are now running around town claiming that his Republican opponent is a “teabagger.”
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star, a McClatchy paper, continues to repeat the tale of a transcendent Cleaver rising above hate as though the tale had not crumbled underneath them. And locally, it has not.
This story is too consequential to let the smear artists prevail. Carson needs to be censured. Douglas needs to be fired. And Cleaver needs to be sent packing in November.
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