He grabbed; she slapped.
April 8, 2006 12:24 AM   Subscribe

"OK, Now I've seen Cynthia McKinney's new hairstyle. There is just no other way to say this. It's just hideous. She looks like ghetto trash. Get a braider over there ... quick!" Nobody with a modicum of self-respect would go around looking like that. (link to mp3 file) "I don't blame that cop for stopping her" because "it looked like a welfare drag queen was trying to sneak into the Longworth House Office Building." The six term representative from Dekalb Co. Georgia, "didn't stop at an officer's request last week, then turned around and hit him after he grabbed her when she passed a security checkpoint." McKinney described it as an unfortunate confrontation and then claimed she was the victim of racial profiling. A grand jury will decide.
posted by three blind mice (82 comments total)
 
mp3 link doesn't work.
Her hair really isn't that bad. Fashion police are stupid. It's what's on the inside that counts, it has always been that way.
posted by Balisong at 12:32 AM on April 8, 2006


Also broken, the victim of racial profiling link.
posted by Balisong at 12:33 AM on April 8, 2006


By the ever-loving skin of my teeth I graduated High School in 1963 from Pensacola High with something like a C- average. A good collection of Polaroid photos of a member of the admissions staff opened the doors to Texas A&M University, and off I went. I was a worse student at A&M than I was in high school.I entered law school in Atlanta in 1973 and graduated in 1977. Law school finally presented a challenge worthy of my attention, so I worked at it and graduated near the top of my class.

OK, so Boortz thinks he is a clever guy. But TRASH all the same.

I don't buy that he really thinks her hair is all that bad.

In fact, I'm betting that -- deep down -- being that they are both from Georgia and all -- he just wants some of that...
posted by pwedza at 12:40 AM on April 8, 2006


Who the fuck is Cynthia McKinney and why should I care about her new hairstyle?
posted by salmacis at 12:42 AM on April 8, 2006


It's a tempest in a teapot. Grand jury? GMAFB!
posted by wsg at 12:43 AM on April 8, 2006


Ghetto Trash?

Take the suit off Hastert and what would he remind you of?

Trailor-trash Bubba, fixing fer a beer and hurtin fer a Moon Pie.
posted by rougy at 12:47 AM on April 8, 2006


...as if this dork has any business bringing up someone else's hair...
posted by wsg at 12:58 AM on April 8, 2006


First of all I don't think her hair style is that bad.

Secondly. Cops are the most sensitive people on earth about "assault". You swat your hand at them and they'll charge you with "assault". Cynthia McKinney may have behaved inappropriately for a congressperson, but from her perspective some random person grabs you, probably from behind and you instinctively swat at them.

No blood no foul.

Her base probably hates cops anyway.
posted by delmoi at 1:02 AM on April 8, 2006


Also, how can you be a 'welfare drag queen'?
posted by delmoi at 1:04 AM on April 8, 2006


I thought this was a dupe, but I think the first post must have been deleted. Don't see it now.

She's a Democrat, and a powerful black female Democrat, to boot. She did pretty well in the Senate race last time, though she didn't win. I think the Good Old Boy network intends to take her down.
posted by Malor at 1:11 AM on April 8, 2006


Yes, that hair is really, really bad. I couldn't get over it when I saw her on TV the other day. Wow.

Doesn't seem to be terribly relevant to this case tho'

Secondly. Cops are the most sensitive people on earth about "assault". You swat your hand at them and they'll charge you with "assault".

Yeah, seriously that is so true. Of course that only goes one way, they don't seem to hold the same standards when it comes to their behavior towards the citizenry.
posted by Jezztek at 1:32 AM on April 8, 2006


It is of my personal and educated opinion that Neal Boortz cannot achieve sexual climax without stabbing a puppy.
posted by loquacious at 1:34 AM on April 8, 2006


Also it should be noted that many people of African descent are often compelled by a Caucasian majority to torture their hair and scalp with products like lye-based hair straighteners, hot combs and braids in order to better fit into ill-conceived norms of what hair should look like.

Do you think she'd look better bald? Or with hair? Besides being painful and difficult, many of these techniques also lead to hair loss.
posted by loquacious at 1:38 AM on April 8, 2006


Yeah, seriously that is so true. Of course that only goes one way, they don't seem to hold the same standards when it comes to their behavior towards the citizenry.

Hmm, yeah. I bet the cop used at least as much force grabbing her as she did 'hitting' him. So shouldn't he be guilty of assult as well?
posted by delmoi at 1:39 AM on April 8, 2006


I believe the The Rude Pundit summed up this issue nicely.
posted by dopeypanda at 1:48 AM on April 8, 2006


dopeypanda: good link, and well summed. How sad, too, that the question was more focused, direct, and interrogating with McKinney than with Delay. But then, Blitzer is a fucking tool, and we expect that from his, as he is useless and stupid.

I was far more chagrined when Jon "I've completely lost my way" Stewart pulled that same crap on the Daily Show earlier this week. He made a couple of jokes about Delay totaling maybe 30-60 seconds... and then spent the entire rest of the opening segment on McKinney!!! What a non-story this is, whereas the Delay story has real importance, political impact, and "microcosm" appeal in terms of its merit as a lens into broader issues at work in our modern Democracy and health as a nation. So yeah- Blitzer's a freakin' tool, but what was Stewart's excuse for spending more time talking about a fairly marginal Democratic congressperson's minor altercation than Delay's significant levels of corruption, influence peddling, and outright bribery? Did the McKinney story deserve any national play, much less on equal footing with the Delay story?

Stewart's done this shit before, where he'll make a one or two joke rag on the Republicans, and then for some reason decide he needs to then focus on the Democrats. I recall when the Abramoff scandal broke, in the first weeks Stewart did some "The Republicans faked outrage", yadda yadda, then followed up with "The Democrats faked outrage too!", spending more time discussing Pelosi's alleged fake outrage and photo op than that of Hastert and others (what did Stewart expect- the Democrats would open fire on the House floor? Does he not understand they are the minority party, and can only at this point do empty gestures? It's not like Stewart is out there fighting for the preservation of democracy or the Constitution, is he?).

Sadly, this makes Stewart guilty of the same traitorous faux-balance and embracing of partisan definitions and "sides" he once so famously derided Begala and Carlson for on his Crossfire appearance. Jon Stewart is becoming a rank hypocrite of the highest degree.
posted by hincandenza at 2:37 AM on April 8, 2006


No blood no foul.

Hmmm... interesting legal standard. Please elaborate (I'm especially hoping this means I can slap you silly and not be legally liable).

tweak slaps delmoi with a large trout!
posted by tweak at 2:46 AM on April 8, 2006


Here is the old thread. My comment then is my comment now:

Boortz is definitely racist scum with the phrase "ghetto slut," but he's right in that her haircut is godawful. I had hoped that the horrors of the 80s would serve as a reminder for all future generations, but this does not appear to be the case.
posted by Ryvar at 3:25 AM on April 8, 2006


hincandenza ... Stewart is a comedian...not a left wing journalist...I think the standards and expectations are different.

And, who cares what her hair looks like... ?! If we're lambasting politicians for looking funny, the village idiot could use a bit of a makeover himself...the resemblance to Alfred E. Newman is uncanny..
posted by HuronBob at 4:13 AM on April 8, 2006


Are you fucking kidding me? The metafilter are lads just sitting around reducing a respected (in some quarters) politician to her haircut. This is utter shit.

Unless my sarcasm meter is broken this early in the morning.
posted by jmgorman at 4:25 AM on April 8, 2006


Unless Stewart is parodying comedians, hincandenza, he can't be a "hypocrite" just for doing segments about whichever story or group of politicians that his writing team gets more yuks from.

Being topical != being a journalist.
posted by DaShiv at 4:31 AM on April 8, 2006


> Also it should be noted that many people of African descent are often compelled
> by a Caucasian majority to torture their hair and scalp with products like lye-based
> hair straighteners, hot combs and braids in order to better fit into ill-conceived norms
> of what hair should look like.

Compelled, forsooth. Do you think? If, these hundred-and-fifty-odd years after Lincoln, Blacks are still fashion slaves to whites, then how can they ever be free? What kind of event would do the job? Can you specify it?

Frankly it sounds to me like you dig the idea of Blacks being oppressed slaves and are clinging to it because being mad about it feels so good and righteous.

posted by jfuller at 4:50 AM on April 8, 2006


No one outside of her district had ever heard of her until this non-event, and now she's everywhere. The Congressional Black Caucus won't back her, because it's a bullshit issue. She went off on a cop in a 'don't you know who the fuck I am?' manner and allegedly struck the cop when he tried to prevent her from entry. The cop reacted in a predictable cop manner. Now she's apologized on the House floor. Where exactly is the story? Are we on the edge of our seats waiting to see if the Grand Jury will indict?
posted by fixedgear at 5:18 AM on April 8, 2006


i'm fairly sure this crap has already been deleted once.
posted by quonsar at 5:31 AM on April 8, 2006


If you guys are going to hammer this woman about her hair, I suggest you include equally dismissive comments toward her male counterparts who sport such equally horrific rugs, comb-overs, and obvious dye-jobs.
You know...fair and balanced.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:35 AM on April 8, 2006


our political system and the media that cover it continue to decline into irrelevance and parody
posted by pyramid termite at 5:48 AM on April 8, 2006


I like Ms. McKinney and feel bad for her, up to a point, but it's never OK to slap cops.

(Although I concede it's pretty hard not to, sometimes, some cops.)
posted by pax digita at 5:57 AM on April 8, 2006


MeFi fiddles while Rome burns. Film at 11. Honestly, folks, even if I think McKinney overreacted initially, she's right imo in thinking that the police failed in their duty to recognize an 11 year member of congress. Meanwhile, why not call for support of John Conyer's move to investigate His Royal Majesty Bush on the Plame leakage? Seems to me a better way to direct congressional outrage.
posted by beelzbubba at 6:03 AM on April 8, 2006


If, these hundred-and-fifty-odd years after Lincoln, Blacks are still fashion slaves to whites,

so you haven't noticed how strangely Aryan all those models look in Chinese and Japanese ads, I guess. jfuller, you're way too smart not to be able to notice that the dominant model of beauty (in Hollywood movies, TV, ads, etc) is definitely white, or white-looking. number of successful white Hollywood movie stars vs number of successful non-white movie stars?

heh.

but then, you've bet money on Rice winning the GOP's primaries in the South, so more power (and less money) to you.
posted by matteo at 6:26 AM on April 8, 2006


Let me be the first to say that I love the rude pundit:
Yet there was still an uncomfortable taste left by the whole rigamarole. It wasn't that Neil "I Can Swallow This Here Pig Whole" Boortz said that McKinney looked like a "ghetto slut," which he later apologized for, although he had previous said that McKinney is "the cutest little Islamic jihadist." One expects such things from idiotic wads of fuck like Boortz, people whose talk radio studios are so filled with the piquant stench of their own farts that the crew has to wear gas masks to adjust the mikes.

posted by psmealey at 6:34 AM on April 8, 2006


She went off on a cop in a 'don't you know who the fuck I am?' manner and allegedly struck the cop when he tried to prevent her from entry. The cop reacted in a predictable cop manner. Now she's apologized on the House floor. Where exactly is the story?

The only reason this became a story was that unlike Delay, Abramoff, or the Plame leak, this was a very simple story that any viewer could understand. There were no complicated explanations to present the story -- it's just person walks in building, gets yelled at by cop, then slaps officer grabbing her.

Part of the problem with the aftermath is McKinney's reaction. She could have the entire nation's sympathy if she simply described what happened. I could understand it myself if she said something like she was walking into work, just like she has for 11 years, was zoning out thinking about the day ahead and didn't think someone was yelling at her, and when she was surprised at someone grabbing her, she reacted defensively. It's a completely natural thing. How many of you work in office buildings that you've entered and exited thousands of times without incident? And what would any of us do if someone grabbed our arm while we were doing something routine?

Instead she backpedaled in the extreme way politicians that have done something horrible would do -- and this was just some routine misunderstanding. The media clamped onto it and ran with it since her reaction didn't fit the crime.

A side issue is that her hair and look spark all the racist undercurrents found in many members of media, but I don't think that's the reason this is a big story.
posted by mathowie at 7:10 AM on April 8, 2006


If, these hundred-and-fifty-odd years after Lincoln, Blacks are still fashion slaves to whites, then how can they ever be free? What kind of event would do the job? Can you specify it?

There is no such thing. We are the White Oppressors forevermore! And it's our fault that the 'fro went out of style, clearly.

Clearly, if there were ever media such as movies, magazines, books, tv shows, etc that were created by blacks for (or primarily geart to appeal to) other blacks, they would be immediately shut down by The Man because such glorification of the black experience would only lead to trouble.

And if you were so delusional as to ever contemplate that, say, a tv sitcom featuring a black family as its main characters, could ever break into the mainstream, you would need to be committed. White culture would never, ever let that happen.
posted by beth at 7:13 AM on April 8, 2006


Oops "geart" should be "geared".

And I penalize myself 20 points for using "clearly" twice in a row. Clearly, I deserve such a penalty.
posted by beth at 7:16 AM on April 8, 2006


So this whole affair boils down to:

1. Oooo look, she has kinky hair, not like the silky tresses she should have if she was respectful of the institution. Laura Bush hair-- that's respectful.

2. She tussled with a guard at the door which resulted in 0 deaths of American soldiers, 0 pieces of legislation that will screw over the American tax payer, and 0 dollar bills slipped to her by big business.

Yeah, there should be some major fall out for this uppity bitch. How dare she serve congress as a black woman! Go home and change your skin and hair, you ghetto slut.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:02 AM on April 8, 2006


beth, have i mentioned lately that i love you?
posted by quonsar at 8:32 AM on April 8, 2006


I bet the cop used at least as much force grabbing her as she did 'hitting' him. So shouldn't he be guilty of assault as well?

Jesus Christ, delmoi, he's doing his fucking job. She didn't show credentials and then didn't stop when instructed. His responsibility is to prevent people that haven't been cleared through the admittance process from being admitted, and grabbing someone who has not shown the required credentials was the minimum-force approach for doing so. For his trouble he was struck by her with a cell-phone. That is assault, and she's not getting any sympathy from me for being held accountable for it.
posted by NortonDC at 8:42 AM on April 8, 2006


Was that her real hair?
posted by caddis at 8:50 AM on April 8, 2006


A side issue is that her hair and look spark all the racist undercurrents found in many members of media, but I don't think that's the reason this is a big story.

The GOP media machine was all over this story, commending the Capitol Police and babbling about how McKinney shows that the Dems aren't serious about national security, helping to give the teapot-tempest "legs" in the mainstream media, because a cascade of articles about an obese, uppity black-woman Democrat with bad hair and a big mouth successfully helped deflect or displace front-page coverage of DeLay's ignoble exit from Congress, a storm of violence in Iraq, Feingold's censure motion, Gonzales' revelation that NSA wiretapping of Americans communicating with one another in the US is legalTM, and this week's revelations about the Leaker-in-Chief. The tactic could only work so well, because the other issues are, shall we say, of more gravity, but for several days this week when I checked Google News for stories on Iraq and Libby, McKinney's big black face was staring at me from the top of the page. Mission accomplished -- with help from McKinney.
posted by digaman at 8:59 AM on April 8, 2006


From what I have read, the cop was not injured. He manhandled a member of Congress. The member of Congress was offended by being grabbed. She pushed him.

Can the police not just let this go? Cops are supposed to be tough --- is getting pushed by this lady such a big deal?

The Capital Police, if they had any perspective at all, should say, "We regret the misunderstanding and harbor no ill-will toward Representative McKinney."
posted by jayder at 9:01 AM on April 8, 2006


quonsar, I love you too, darling :).

And let me get this straight... are some people suggesting that "authentic" (i.e., not oppressedly white-emulating through chemical or other manipulation) "black" haircuts are by definition ugly and worthy of mockery?

Because if you're saying that afroid hair can't look un-mock-worthy without submitting to so-called "white" definitions of beauty... that sounds kind of racist to me. Someone espousing such a view should be encouraged to visit Africa and see all the amazing beautiful forms of hair on display there.

(None of which look anything like Cynthia McKinney's hair).

And if someone wants to form a crack commando comb-over mocking mob, I would pay you money to let me join. We could hold up signs / wear t-shirts at events with featured comb-over perpetrators that say "YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE WITH THREE STRANDS ACROSS YOUR BARREN PATE!!!".
posted by beth at 9:01 AM on April 8, 2006


Secondly. Cops are the most sensitive people on earth about "assault". You swat your hand at them and they'll charge you with "assault".

Amen to that. I haven't the foggiest clue if one or both parties were in the wrong here, and I don't think anybody else does either (unless there's evidence I haven't seen).

Given the police penchant to play the assault card, and the black politician's penchant to play the race card, it's pretty much a dead heat for which party is more full of shit.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:14 AM on April 8, 2006


Compelled, forsooth. Do you think? If, these hundred-and-fifty-odd years after Lincoln, Blacks are still fashion slaves to whites, then how can they ever be free? What kind of event would do the job? Can you specify it?

I was actually talking to a friend of mine about this... she works in the financial services industry, which is pretty conservative. She felt intense pressure to loook more "professional," and by "professional," I mean "like she had white hair."

One data point, but off the top of my head, I'm having trouble coming up with a successful, high-profile black woman who doesn't have processed hair.
posted by snickerdoodle at 9:33 AM on April 8, 2006


I Love Tacos, multiple witnesses at the scene back up the cop's version, and they've been subpoenaed. One works for a Democrat and one for a Republican.
posted by NortonDC at 9:36 AM on April 8, 2006


"And let me get this straight... are some people suggesting that "authentic" (i.e., not oppressedly white-emulating through chemical or other manipulation) "black" haircuts are by definition ugly and worthy of mockery?"

The hair is ugly. It woudl be ugly on a white girl. It would be ugly blonde. It would be ugly on Jessica Alba (no easy feat).

It has nothing to do with racism. It's just ugly hair.
posted by soulhuntre at 9:58 AM on April 8, 2006


I'm having trouble coming up with a successful, high-profile black woman who doesn't have processed hair.

We could hold up signs / wear t-shirts at events with featured comb-over perpetrators that say "YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE WITH THREE STRANDS ACROSS YOUR BARREN PATE!!!".

I'm in. I still can't figure out why people do that. When my hair started to go post college, I basically just said fuck it, bought a nice electric razor, and shaved it all off. Been a proud cue ball ever since.
posted by psmealey at 9:58 AM on April 8, 2006


I caught Boortz on a parking lot stairwell and made him squeal like a pig.

Now he keeps calling me up asking to do it again.
posted by surplus at 10:49 AM on April 8, 2006


Jesus Christ, delmoi, he's doing his fucking job.

Surely part of his job is also recognizing the very few people who are actually members of the House or Senate. Especially recognizing people who are as distinctive as McKinney. There aren't a lot of black women in Congress to remember the appearance of. There are even fewer black women with GET HER OUT OF MY MIND crazy-eyes in Congress to remember the appearance of. The idea that a police officer, supposedly trained in identifying people, would actually fail to immediately recognize someone with as distinctive an appearance as McKinney, who they would have seen before on many, many occasions for years on end, boggles the mind.

grabbing someone who has not shown the required credentials was the minimum-force approach for doing so

Umm, no. The minimum-force response would be to step in front of her and block her path, notice that it is in fact Cynthia McKinney, and step aside saying "Sorry, ma'am, didn't recognize you with the new hairdo." Or to shout ahead for the next cop to step in front of her.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:34 AM on April 8, 2006


The hair isn't THAT bad. What is bad is McKinney's attitude. First, she goes to the security checkpoint without her pin, and then haughtily feels that it's her right to pass through without it. When the cop tried to stop her, she gets physical. All of that's silly and embarrassing, but the worst part comes after, when she accuses the police of racial profiling. What a fucking joke.

This isn't McKinney's first experience with race-baiting. I think it was 1999, she sent a memo to news organizations saying that Al Gore had a low "negro tolerance" because he didn't have enough black people on his staff. In the middle of the campaign for president, from his own party! This woman is a serious liability to democrats. This lives up to the stereotypes of democrats as using the role of victimization to permit ridiculous behavior. That's why the story has caught on...if she had just apologized for her initial blunder, it would have disappeared.

I'm not saying this is as newsworthy as Delay, but it is a good example of what is wrong with the democrats. Democrats allow themselves to be derailed from any kind of coherent message by this kind of clowning. They would be better off without McKinney, she's kind of a crazy woman who sees things through the lens of victim-identity politics. As someone who would like to see the corrupt GOP money machine publically tank, I am extremely frustrated at the lack of discipline and intelligence of the democrats.
posted by Edgewise at 11:36 AM on April 8, 2006


ROU_Xenophobe, she blew past the checkpoint without displaying the required credentials, ignored his multiple calls to her as "Ma'am" and forced him to chase her. Upon reaching her he touched/grabbed her shoulder or arm.

And then she hit him, multiple times, with her cell phone.

Letting an unidentified person who circumvented the security screening proceed though THE US CAPITOL BUILDING is not an option.

Media reports indicate that the screeners deal with 30,000 people per day, and the whole Congress has at least 536 members (including DC's impotent non-voting rep whose name is on the tip of my tongue). Because of the enormous numbers of people to be screened and identified, Congress members are issued credentials that allow them to bypass the screenings. The credentials are required, and their intended purpose is to speed the passage of Congress members while avoiding exactly this situation.

McKinney failed to present her credentials. That's her failure, not the officer's.
posted by NortonDC at 12:01 PM on April 8, 2006


I'm having trouble coming up with a successful, high-profile black woman who doesn't have processed hair.

Odetta?

Did I just date myself?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:15 PM on April 8, 2006


I wish Odetta was high-profile.
posted by digaman at 12:25 PM on April 8, 2006


snickerdoodle: I'm not sure what you mean by "high-profile" or even "processed," but there are tons of famous black women without straightened hair. Off the top of my woefully low-profile dreaded head, there's Tracy Chapman, Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg, and, of course, Grace Jones, although I'm not altogether convinced she's a woman.
posted by eunoia at 1:53 PM on April 8, 2006


I hope this incident doesn't jeopardize House Resolution 4210 - The Tupac Amaru Shakur Record Collections Act of 2005. Maybe she thought the security guard was an East Coast rapper.

John McCain's introductory remarks on "The Daily Show" were great.
posted by Frank Grimes at 2:08 PM on April 8, 2006


Letting an unidentified person who circumvented the security screening proceed though THE US CAPITOL BUILDING is not an option.

That's just it. This isn't like failing to identify one of the thousands of middle-aged white men with short, thinning hair who pass through a checkpoint. The idea that Cynthia McKinney could be reasonably "unidentified" is as daft as thinking that Jerry Nadler (the wicked-fat guy from NY) could go anywhere in the congressional buildings and be actually unidentified, or that someone could reasonably fail to identify Max Cleland (dude from GA with missing limbs) when he was in the Senate. If you are so unobservant that you can't identify McKinney (or Nadler or Cleland) on sight, you have no business being anywhere near one of these checkpoints.

And it wasn't the Capitol, it was an ancillary office building.

Of course McKinney fucked up, which is hardly a new thing for her. But the cop fucked up too.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:20 PM on April 8, 2006


Does any part of the fuckup you attribute to the cop excuse striking him multiple times with a cell phone?
posted by NortonDC at 2:47 PM on April 8, 2006


The politics of hair as a woman of African descent are extremely tenuous and involve numerous issues, including (but by no means limited) to racism and sexism. Discrimination has hardly gone the way of the dinosaurs, and while hairstyle matters aren't the most prevalent form of it, it absolutely exists. The EEOC will not involve itself in matters involving grooming, even where corporate policies or behaviors where such matters are concerned take on a decided Caucasian ethnocentricity.

The long and short of it is that those of us who decide to forsake the dangerous chemicals or the burning hot devices and go for sa style that works with - not against - the natural state of our hair can find ourselves on the wrong side of grooming policies with our jobs hanging in the balance. If you work in the arts, especially if you're essentially self-employed (like the notable famous names mentioned throughout this thread such as Whoopi Goldberg or Maya Angelou) you don't have to worry about fitting in with some hiring (or promoting) manager or human resources department perspective on what is appropriate for you to do with your own head.
posted by Dreama at 3:01 PM on April 8, 2006


ROU, that's a silly argument. Black women, while under-represented on the hill, do not stand out like a 400lb dude (who's actually lost some weight) or someone missing limbs.

Delmoi: "her perspective some random person grabs you, probably from behind and you instinctively swat at them."

That's also silly. This was not a random person, it was a uniformed capitol police officer and it wasn't a suprise as he had asked her multiple times to stop and show her ID if she wanted to bypass the metal detectors.

Look, maybe the cop is crap at his job. Tell the sgt at arms, hold a press conference, whatever. Don't hit him.
posted by jaysus chris at 3:21 PM on April 8, 2006


Does any part of the fuckup you attribute to the cop excuse striking him multiple times with a cell phone?

You make it sound like cell phones are deadly weapons and that she was trying to injure the guy.

Yes, it should excuse her actions. When you work to protect a class of VIPs and mistakenly manhandle one of them, and you do so to one of the pricklier VIPs that you're tasked with protecting, you should something minor like a bop with a cell phone. You shouldn't expect to be actually injured, and actual injury might be reasonable cause for legal action, but this hardly rises to that level. It might be embarrassing to have a middle-aged woman thump you with her cell phone or her purse.

But I find the whole notion that even the slightest contact with a cop becomes OMG THAT'S ASSAULT AND RESISTING ARREST AND A FELONY JUST LIKE MURDER is, frankly, ridiculous.

ROU, that's a silly argument. Black women, while under-represented on the hill, do not stand out like a 400lb dude (who's actually lost some weight) or someone missing limbs

Cynthia McKinney isn't just a black woman. Her appearance -- with her freaky I EAT BABIES eyes -- is otherwise distinctive. I find it hard to believe that anyone could look at her and feel those eyes boring into them and not instantly recognize her after that.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:37 PM on April 8, 2006


Yes, it should excuse her actions. When you work to protect a class of VIPs and mistakenly manhandle one of them, and you do so to one of the pricklier VIPs that you're tasked with protecting, you should [expect] something minor like a bop with a cell phone.

No, you shouldn't. You should expect legislators to obey the law.
posted by NortonDC at 4:19 PM on April 8, 2006


there's Tracy Chapman, Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg...

Sex symbols, each and every one of 'em.
posted by youarenothere at 4:34 PM on April 8, 2006


And wait, why is a post about a hatemongering moron degrading into comments about negro hair? Give me a fucking break.
posted by youarenothere at 4:40 PM on April 8, 2006


Hair and race aside, McKinney acted like an ungrateful asshole. As mentioned above, thousands of staff, lobbyists, and visitors enter Congressional office buildings every day. No one could identify every member of congress in that mess. Also, McKinney's offices are in Canon, not Longworth.

The Capitol Police are on the front line. On a bad day, they give up their lives for the protection of people like McKinney. She ignored the people who are there for her protection. Furthermore, she threw a fit like a five-year-old.

Sounds like she's ready for the Senate.
posted by anotherbrick at 5:09 PM on April 8, 2006


There was a good article on the front page of today's Washington Post style section about McKinney's current and former hair styles, and what they represent.
posted by pruner at 5:17 PM on April 8, 2006


I don't think that having a traditionally/typically "black" hairdo excludes having a professional, attractive hairdo. Okay, so because you don't want to submit to white beauty standards or whatever, don't get your hair straightened; don't even braid it. But what's the matter with a nice 'fro or clean dreadlocks? They say to your constituents, "I'm black, and it's cool," and they say to your colleagues, "I'm respectful and put effort into my appearance."

Equally, nobody -- or at least hopefully nobody; I haven't searched them all yet -- parades the Capitol in ratty jeans and a holey undershirt. We dissed Cheney when he showed up to an Auschwitz ceremony dressed inappropriately. Dissing McKinney for showing up in the Capitol or at news conferences looking inappropriate doesn't mean we're necessarily racist/sexist.

And I'd be thrilled to join the anti-comb-over mob. Can we include a side vendetta agaist toupees? Please?
posted by booksandlibretti at 5:44 PM on April 8, 2006


The most remarkable aspect of this entire escapade: nobody - not one single American - appears to be familiar with the Constitution.

The Constitution explicitly states that a Congressperson is absolutely immune to being stopped when on their way to or from Official Business. Go read Article One. It was important enough that the Founders spelled it out for us.

If the Capitol Police don't understand the primacy of the US Constitution, they should all be fired and replaced with a crew who DO understand this.

She might have been rude, but she was entirely in the right.

In related news:
Does anybody recall when Bob Barr PUNCHED OUT a female security guard? Gee, somehow it's not a big story when a white male Republican overreacts.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:13 PM on April 8, 2006


Section 6, you mean? They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same. . . .

Two problems with that.
(1) Privileged from arrest, not from being detained or stopped.
(2) Could it arguably have been a breach of the peace? Depends on how people reacted when they saw an officer being assaulted.
posted by booksandlibretti at 7:36 PM on April 8, 2006


Dissing McKinney for showing up in the Capitol or at news conferences looking inappropriate doesn't mean we're necessarily racist/sexist.

No, it just means you're expressing an entirely subjective opinion about a personal matter and expanding it into an opinion on her state of mind or ability to do her job when you have no objective reason to believe that either are affected by a hairstyle.
posted by Dreama at 7:41 PM on April 8, 2006


That's true, Dreama. People's appearances affect the way I think about them. If I see a person in a bathing suit, I assume they'll be swimming, not skiing. I admit that maybe in an ideal world I shouldn't.

Did you post the same "appearance doesn't affect ability" comment on the thread about Cheney's parka gaffe, too?
posted by booksandlibretti at 7:59 PM on April 8, 2006


Section 6, you mean? They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same. . . .

Two problems with that.
(1) Privileged from arrest, not from being detained or stopped.
(2) Could it arguably have been a breach of the peace? Depends on how people reacted when they saw an officer being assaulted.
posted by booksandlibretti at 7:36 PM PST on April 8 [!]


Essentially, this part of the Constitution is outdated. It referred to arrests in civil cases, which were quite common back then, and not arrests in criminal cases.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:14 PM on April 8, 2006


Go read Article One. It was important enough that the Founders spelled it out for us.

Go read it more carefully. booksandlibretti is exactly right.
posted by jaysus chris at 8:27 PM on April 8, 2006


I caught a discussion of the Article One issue on CNN yesterday.

the legal analysts they had on said it was probably moot because – if it comes to it – she'd likely be given the opportunity to turn herself in rather than be arrested.
posted by pruner at 8:32 PM on April 8, 2006


The Constitution explicitly states that a Congressperson is absolutely immune to being stopped when on their way to or from Official Business. Go read Article One. It was important enough that the Founders spelled it out for us.

AsYouKnow by now Bob, that is false.

From Article 1, Section 6, Clause 1
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, beprivileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
So first off, the protection does not cover any "Official Business," wherever you got that phrase from. Secondly, as ROU_Xenophobe pointed out, this occured during entry to an ancillary office building, not her protected "respective House." Third, booksandlibretti is right that this could easily be considered "Breach of the Peace." Fourth, the basic problem is that McKinney failed to identify herself as a protected member to begin with.
posted by NortonDC at 8:54 PM on April 8, 2006


Uh, where in that description does it say that the onus is on her to identify herself as a "protected member?"

"they shall not be questioned in any other Place."

seems to cover this territory. I guarantee that a year ago, if a campus cop grabbed Tom Delay by the arm when he was in a hurry, dude'd be opening up the want ads the next morning.

The difference here?

Cynthia McKinney is black, female, and a Democrat, and not totally corrupted like many of her fellow party members, and this makes great copy that knocks *some* of the multitude of GOP scandals in which lives, livlihoods, laws and constitutional protections have been severely and repeatedly abused, from the front pages.

In essence, it's a load of shit.
posted by stenseng at 10:06 PM on April 8, 2006


"they shall not be questioned in any other Place"

seems to cover this territory.


Way to quote. Try the original which was right in front of you while you were ignoring it: "for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place." First of all, this isn't about speech; she's not up shit creek for saying she'd like to do violence to the cop, she's up shit creek for doing violence to the cop. Second, this took place outside the specific locales named in the very text you're "quoting."

So, once again, this was not during travel travel to House chambers, could easily be a "Breach of the Peace," is not speech, is not speech on the House floor, and she did strike a person multiple times before identifying herself as a member.
posted by NortonDC at 10:48 PM on April 8, 2006


McKinney has been a gross embarassment for most of her time on the Hill, and after 9/11 was a charter member of the let's-give-terrorists-the-benefit-of-the-doubt club. So off her rocker was she that she was actually kicked out of office in the primary in 2002 (together with her state legislator father, a piece of work himself).

That she was able get back into office in 2004 is one of the choicer pieces of evidence about how unserious the Democratic Party is about winning elections: in a safe seat in Georgia, which doubtless offered hundreds of African American local officeholders, businessmen, preachers and what have you, each of whom would have held up the flag better in Congress than McKinney, they still let her waltz back in.
posted by MattD at 5:57 AM on April 9, 2006


And let me get this straight... are some people suggesting that "authentic" (i.e., not oppressedly white-emulating through chemical or other manipulation) "black" haircuts are by definition ugly and worthy of mockery?

the suggestion would be that the definition is made in reverse, that black haircuts have been socially defined as 'ugly and worthy of mockery'.

The only picture I saw (the "this is hideous" link) looked like totally normal hair to me. I honestly don't know what people are talking about. That it's curly? That it's a little bit lightened? That it's short? Again, I wouldn't even notice her hair in a regular context.

And hair is quite a deep issue for the black female community - there was a great collection titled simply "Hair", I think, by a former village voice writer, but I can't find it now because all searches with that title turn up hairstyling guides and I can't remember the author (I think she was the daughter of another writer or maybe songwriter...)
posted by mdn at 7:07 AM on April 9, 2006


For anyone interested in how she does her job, her voting record should count more than her hairdo. I agree with more of her votes for than those of my current "representative".

I think she was ousted (Plamed) for being the first to question the Bushies about 9/11 back in 2002, who have demonstrated a rabid streak concerning anyone who crosses, or even questions, their plans.

"We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11. What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? What do they have to hide?" "What is undeniable is that corporations close to the administration have directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the aftermath of September 11th."

These questions and statements are pretty much common knowledge now, but regarded as treasonous back in 2002. I applaud her for standing up when nobody else would.

That being said, I'm with the cop for stopping her. Arrogance from the powerful is nothing new, but adequate security is necessary. He disregard for security procedures amounts to the pot calling the kettle black... so to speak.

No wonder he didn't recognize her, though. When I saw her new hairdo, I must confess this is the first thing that popped into my head.

I'm going to Hell for that.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 7:31 AM on April 9, 2006


People, let's not pick on the hard-working Congresswoman.

*cough* H.R. 4968: Tupac Shakur Records Release Act of 2006 *cough*
posted by ninjew at 11:13 AM on April 9, 2006


"And wait, why is a post about a hatemongering moron degrading into comments about negro hair? Give me a fucking break."

Why is indeed the point. Why? Because 'hatemongering morons' aren't the only ones who are taught to hate Negro hair. Because we don't live in a pluralistic utopia; we live in a country that is still quite hostile to anyone who questions the relevance of a white standard of beauty as a monolith.

When has it ever been an American ideal to value the difference of all its citizens - particularly its citizens whose free labor made our money and enabled our luxury (well, somebody's luxury) - in any way that's core to what we believe about who we are as Americans? Where is the evidence? It's no surprise that Negro hair either could be or would be the flashpoint. Negro hair reminds us of irrevocable core differences that most would eliminate to live well here, if they could.

And no one has hair on the Internet, right?
posted by dagarrat at 11:53 PM on April 9, 2006


"Democrats allow themselves to be derailed from any kind of coherent message by this kind of clowning. They would be better off without McKinney, she's kind of a crazy woman who sees things through the lens of victim-identity politics."

Man, that's what all of Detroit's government is like...


As for this incident, I caught the discussion on News and Notes about it, and it was funny to compare their reaction with the predominantly white one here: N&N pointed out that the officer was doing his job and that "the sister was grandstanding." They had no sympathy for McKinney and roundly condemned her.
posted by klangklangston at 7:42 AM on April 10, 2006


Don't these GOP south Georgia boys all have mules for their first girlfriends?
posted by nofundy at 9:54 AM on April 10, 2006


First and last.
posted by Balisong at 6:29 PM on April 10, 2006


« Older wikibooks for young and old   |   we'll be the Pirate Twins again, Europa Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments