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Sunday
Oct092011

Occupation Army Denies Civil Rights Hero a Chance to Speak


Representative John Lewis (D-GA)In the latest news from occupied America, leftist forces for change in Washington, D.C. chose to storm a museum!  The whiney-whine percenters, however, were repelled by a guard with a can of pepper spray.

The occupiers were successful in closing the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum for the day, no doubt upsetting countless taxpayers and their children.  Chalk that up as another victory against greed.

Meanwhile, while I am still trying to find an instance of a single Tea Party activist anywhere being arrested or acting in a similarly uncivil manner as the crowd on the National Mall yesterday, there was another very interesting situation that occurred among the occupation forces in Atlanta that begs a comparison to the Tea Party.

At a Saturday assembly of Occupy Atlanta, Representative John Lewis (D-GA) made an unscheduled appearance and wanted to address the horde.  The trouble was that the occupiers couldn’t come to a “consensus,” and the civil rights hero was sent packing.

In an exchange that was caught on video, the call-and-response democratic method of blocks, jazz hands affirmations, temperature checks and straw polls found there was no consensus for allowing Lewis to speak.  So the shocked-looking Lewis, who tried to jazz hands in support of their form of governing before he left, was escorted away by a Teamsters union thug (check it out, the guy actually has a t-shirt that reads “union thug” in big letters on the back).

While some member of the crowd felt it was an insult to a historic champion of civil rights to deny him the microphone for a few minutes, it seems that no one challenges the mob once the mob has spoken.  Those who did try to speak up in favor of Lewis saying something were drowned out by a call-and-response  “mic check”drubbing.

Last year, Lewis was a central player in allegations made against Tea Party activists during the U.S. House of Representatives vote on Obamacare.  Members of the Congressional Black Caucus charged, with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bringing up the allegations made about that day again in an interview this weekend with ABC News, that Tea Party activists called Lewis and other black members of Congress the n-word and spat at them as they strolled over to the Capitol Building to vote.

Despite all the media in attendance, despite all the personal video cameras in use (and in the possession of the members of the CBC as they passed through the crowd) and despite the $100,000 reward offered by conservative activist Andrew Breitbart for information proving the n-word was used or spittle flew, the myth of Tea Party activists’ boorishness remains just a myth.

One thing that the Tea Party movement has not done is denied someone the ability to speak.  While it was the occupiers event in Atlanta, and Lewis had no unfettered claim to address the rabble, what happened yesterday appears to unmask the closed-mindedness of the left-wing activists.

Whatever Lewis was planning to say, there’s no doubt in my mind the occupiers would have found it appealing.  Lewis is staunchly on the left in his voting in Washington.  But he is also, in their eyes, part of the old-style of governing.  He’s not part of the jazz-handing, temperature-taking, call-and-response consensus style of governing that was born on Wall Street and is now sweeping the nation!

At least in their opinion.

Project 21’s Coby W. DillardProject 21 spokesman Coby W. Dillard, a founder of the Hampton Roads Tea Party, was shocked and appalled by the video of what happened to Representative Lewis in Atlanta on Saturday.  Here are his comments about it and the distinctions between the left-wing occupiers and the Tea Party he knows:

One would hope that “outrage” will be forthcoming from the same individuals who condemned the Tea Party for supposedly disrespecting Representative John Lewis, though no proof has been offered of that disrespect.  Were this a Tea Party rally, press releases would be flying to a salivating media.

For all the allegations, suspicions and negativity towards the Tea Party, my personal experience with the movement has shown them to be an organization that goes out of its way to keep itself an issues-based movement, and not one driven on racial hatred and political purity as many of its opponents would like to portray.

When merited, invitations have been extended to lawmakers who ally themselves with the Democratic Party to speak at Tea Party rallies just like they have to Republicans.  And while they’re never accepted in my experience, I believe that, even in disagreement, they would at a minimum be respected for presenting their viewpoints publicly.

As an emcee at a Tea Party rally I attended in March 2010 put it, “we would listen… and consider.”

That organizers of the Occupy Atlanta obviously did not feel the need to extend the same courtesy to a congressman who probably has much more in common with them than does with the Tea Party speaks volumes about the anarchist nature of their movement.  Rather than hear a perspective on the discussions within the government, they would rather trash the American experiment in favor of the collectivist society seen in the video. 

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