Friday, March 31, 2006

Rodney King, meet Cynthia McKinney

Congresswoman Star Jones McKinney is never one to mince words, whether she's subtly baiting Jews (something learned from her father, former state Rep. Billy McKinney) or airing ridiculous conspiracy theories that Bush was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now she's gotten into trouble after fighting with a Capitol police officer, and instead of apologizing, she's playing a familiar card.

Her lawyer, James W. Myart Jr., said, "Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, like thousands of average Americans across this country, is, too, a victim of the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials because of how she looks and the color of her skin."

"Ms. McKinney is just a victim of being in Congress while black," Myart said. "Congresswoman McKinney will be exonerated."

Keep in mind that McKinney has been in Washington since 1992 (save for one term when she was defeated for re-election in a mostly black, mostly Democratic district), so if the cops were out to get her, they're response time is lacking.

Here's what happened, according to press accounts:

Members of Congress wear identifying lapel pins and routinely are waved into buildings without undergoing security checks. McKinney was not wearing her pin at the time, and the officer apparently did not recognize her, she has said (full disclosure dictates that McKinney drastically changed her hairstyle recently after maintaining the same look for more than a decade).

"Congresswoman McKinney, in a hurry, was essentially chased and grabbed by the officer," Myart said. "She reacted instinctively in an effort to defend herself."

Several Capitol Police officials have said the officer involved asked McKinney three times to stop. When she did not, he placed a hand on her and she hit him, they said.

My guess is that many minorities work for the Capitol Police. I can also safely assume that they're underpaid and overly familiar with diva-like behavior, from male and female politicians alike.

But because McKinney can't control her rage when 'dissed, some poor working man will likely be forced to defend himself against certain character assassination. These are the very people the liberal McKinney claims to represent.

The shame of all this is that is obscures the fact that racism remains a problem in America. But when the likes of McKinney and Barry Bonds try to take advantage of that reality, all it does is make people suspicious of otherwise valid claims of discrimination.

Note the congresswoman's strategic use of gender and race in her first comments about the incident:

"Let me be clear. This whole incident was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman," McKinney said, surrounded by supporters at predominantly black Howard University.

Although the full story has yet to be told, McKinney's history speaks volumes.

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