This was posted by McClatchy Newspapers last night:
Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol , angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted “[the n-word]” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis , a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.
The protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, lawmakers said.
“They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis said. “But, it’s okay, I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean.”
Lewis said he was leaving the Cannon office building across from the Capitol when protesters shouted “Kill the bill, kill the bill,” Lewis said.
“I said ‘I’m for the bill, I support the bill, I’m voting for the bill’,” Lewis said.
A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying “Kill the bill, then the n-word.”
“It surprised me that people are so mean and we can’t engage in a civil dialogue and debate,” Lewis said.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver , D- Mo. , said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard “[the n-word].”
On Sunday morning, Republicans denounced the language. “What you had out there yesterday was a handful of people who got stupid,” said Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Steele, who is African-American, denied that the language used by Republicans during the health care debate fueled the harsh language outside the Capitol on Saturday.
On Friday, the last two Georgia congressmen chose sides on health care: John Barrow (D-Savannah) announced he would voted against it. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany) said he would vote yes.
Over the weekend, the Atlanta Tea Party in essence took out a classified ad, soliciting primary opposition to Bishop:
“Despite thousands of phone calls, trips to his offices in Georgia and Washington, D.C., and countless polls that show Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to Obamacare, Congressman Bishop is completely ignoring the will of the people of Georgia who elected him,” said Atlanta Tea Party organizer Julianne Thompson.
“The organizers and members of the Atlanta Tea Party are looking for a strong Democratic primary candidate as well as Republican candidates that will listen to the voters, and represent their interest, instead of special interests,” she continued.
Bishop already has two Republican opponents: Mike Keown and Rudy Adams.
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