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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Congresswoman McKinney Plays the Race Card

This week on The Situation Room , Wolf Blitzer interviewed Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, D-GA, who has been accused of assaulting a U.S. Capitol Police officer last Wednesday. The following are portions of the transcript of that interview.

BLITZER …Tell our viewers what happened last week. You were walking into the Longworth House office building, one of the House of Representatives office buildings right near the U.S. Capitol. You were going through the metal detector. Pick up the story. What happened?…

MCKINNEY …What I can say is that this idea that the security of members of Congress is contingent on either a piece of jewelry or the way they wear their hair, I don't understand.

It means, then, that the Congress and the members of Congress are not secure. If the members of the United States Capitol Hill police, who are charged with the responsibility of protecting the members of Congress, don't know who they are, what does that say to us about the kind of security that we have?

McKinney didn't seem interested in talking about what happened, as Blitzer had asked. She seemed more concerned that Capitol Hill police don't know all the members of Congress, so Blitzer reminds her of just how many members of Congress there are.

BLITZER Congresswoman, there are 435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 senators…Members of the House wear a little lapel pin to identify them as members of Congress. Thereby they can avoid going through the metal detectors. They go around them as you well know. On that day, you weren't wearing your lapel pin.

MCKINNEY …Let me just say, the requirement for pages to become a Congressional page at age 16 is to know by face, and by name the members of the United States Congress. Don't you think that the United States Capitol police ought to also know the members of Congress by name and by face? And then, there are only 14 African- American women members of Congress. I don't understand what it is about my face that certain members of the Capitol Hill police department can't remember.

So, according to McKinney, Capitol Police ought to recognize the faces of 535 lawmakers; at least they should recognize the faces of African-American women members of Congress, and because McKinney seems particularly upset that the certain members of the Capitol Hill police can't remember her face, Blitzer points out that McKinney had recently changed her hair style.

BLITZER …We'll put a picture up. A recent photo that is in the Capitol Hill book. This is what you looked like. Now obviously, you have a new hair style as opposed to your old hair style. What they are saying is when you changed your hair style they didn't recognize you. They politely asked you to stop. You resisted several attempts by one of the Capitol Hill police officers to stop and to identify yourself. As a result, there was this altercation, in which they say you allegedly hit the police officer.

MCKINNEY Wolf, the only thing I can say about the juxtaposition of those two pictures is that in one of them I happen to have a little more makeup on. About the way I am here on CNN today. The bottom line is that my face hasn't changed. And I haven't changed. I have looked like this for the entire 11 years I have been in Congress.

So, I don't understand exactly why it is that certain police officers have a problem remembering my face.

At this point McKinney seemed really obsessed with people remembering her face, so Blitzer let that go, and asked a really good question.

BLITZER I guess the basic question is if you stop and identify yourself and go through the metal detector, what was the big deal? Why not do that?

Well, if I had to answer this question, based on what McKinney has said so far, I'd say the big deal is that McKinney seems to be so egotistical that she doesn't want to have to wear her identifying lapel pin, she doesn't want to have to stop and identify herself, and she doesn't want to have to go through the metal detector. She wants every Capitol Hill police officer to recognize her face. That's how I would answer Blitzer's last question. McKinney, on the other hand, doesn’t answer the question at all. Here is her response.

MCKINNEY That goes to the heart of press conference that we had today. I want to thank you for covering the other press conference that we had on Friday with Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte.

But today, we had Black elected officials from the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. At the time Coretta Scott King's body lay in state at the Georgia State Capitol, the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus was not allowed into the building to form a part of the procession. Why? They can't even answer the question. Except that the security at the Georgia Capitol didn't recognize them as duly elected members able to carry out the mandate of the people who sent them to legislature.

As a result of police action, that was -- we can't understand why -- the members of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus were disrespected, that is what they said today and forced to look at the body of Coretta Scott King from the third floor of state capitol. The bottom line on this, is that it doesn't matter if you're in the United States Capitol or the Georgia Capitol, the issue is racial profiling.

What? Remember Blitzer’s question? “I guess the basic question is if you stop and identify yourself and go through the metal detector, what was the big deal? Why not do that?” How does McKinney’s answer address Blitzer’s question? It doesn’t!

Blitzer then went to a commercial, and when he came back from commercial, he asked McKinney point blank, “Congresswoman McKinney, did you strike one of those Capitol police officers during this incident on Capitol Hill?”

MCKINNEY Wolf, before you bring on my two attorneys, let me just say for the record -- and this is something that you might want to do a little further investigation on. But I'm sure that if you would look, you would find that even inside the Capitol Hill Police Department, there are problems inside with the treatment of -- or the respect for diversity, let me say.

After a little back and forth between Blitzer and McKinney, with Blitzer talking about McKinney turning this into a racial incident and with McKinney telling Blitzer that he should look into “some of the proceedings that are going on right now with black officers and white officers inside Capitol Hill Police Department,” Blitzer finally tells McKinney, “This is an extremely serious charge you're making, Congresswoman.”

MCKINNEY Well, I haven't made a charge. I just asked you to do a little bit of research.

BLITZER No, no, no. But you are talking earlier about racial profiling and that there was racism involved.

MCKINNEY Now, Wolf, you know I didn't say that, so don't twist my words.

BLITZER Well tell us what you said.

MCKINNEY Don't even begin to twist my words. And whatever it is that I said is already is on the tape. So you can replay the tape. Now, I think it is probably a good time for you to bring in my attorneys...

So she didn’t say this was a case of racial profiling, and she thinks we should replay the tape. OK, let's replay the tape.

MCKINNEY ...The bottom line on this, is that it doesn't matter if you're in the United States Capitol or the Georgia Capitol, the issue is racial profiling.

Sorry, Congresswoman McKinney, but you did say that. Blitzer did not twist your words.

Cynthia McKinney did not answer a single question Blitzer asked her. She spent her entire time arrogantly complaining that people don't recognize her face and shamelessly playing the race card.


Blogger Christina said...

Although I did not see or hear the Wolf Blitzer interview, I did see McKinney being interviewed by Fox News' Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday morning. McKinney's filibustering sounds almost exactly the same. I have rarely watched an interview so frustrating. McKinney agreed to talk about the incident on Fox, then refused to provide an answer to almost any of the questions. I wonder if she even would have answered the question, "What is your name?"

Her actions are a disgrace to her constituents and this country.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Larry Head said...

Perhaps they don't remember her because she is just so...I don't knw..."FORGETTABLE"..Typical Liberal Politician...When you get caught..throw a bunch of rocks until you hit someone else...that way you can defend being defensive about something that was blatantly wrong...

8:49 AM  

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