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March 21, 2010
About those racial slurs allegedly tossed at black congressmen yesterday (updated with pictures)
See also Scurrilous charge or outrageous racism?
I find it fascinating that in all the reports in the MSM on the story involving racial epithets being shouted at black Congressmen, very few mention that the only evidence for these racial slurs comes from the Congressmen themselves.
And they'd never lie about something like that, right?
Dan Loesch has a video of the Congressmen in question walking past tea party protestors and, while the slurs might have been shouted before or after the video, they are not being used while this particular camera was rolling:
Now let's be clear and let's be fair; it is possible that Rep. Lewis - an icon of the Civil Rights Movement who suffered and nearly died for his advocacy - did indeed, hear the "N" word shouted at him either before this camera started to roll or after it stopped. After all, the recording is only 22 seconds long and only proves that for those 22 seconds, it is impossible to make out any "screams" or "shouts" of the "N" word.
But the fact is, all we have is his word for it. There is no video or audio evidence that has surfaced that would confirm his very serious charges. On the other hand, we have the video above that debunks them.
Who to believe?
Lewis has earned the right to be believed. Would he abuse that trust to make up charges like this in order to cast aspersions on a very effective lobbying force against health care reform? I honestly don't know. But I believe he would not be above exaggerating what happened in order to score political points against his enemies.
Indeed, even if a few yahoos tossed racial epithets in Lewis' direction, is that any cause to tar the entire 10,000 strong protest with the smear of "racist?" Certainly not. And if he's going to make that charge, he better have a helluva lot more proof than his say so.
Carl Sagan used to say "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." In this case - and because this video exists - the burden is on Lewis to prove his incendiary charges. Even with his stellar and much admired reputation, the use of the term racist by Lewis when applied to a fellow American demands more evidence than the Congressman has offered so far.
Update, a reader who prefers to remain anonymous sends in the following pictures, and writes:
Some pictures taken directly in front of the Rayburn HOB yesterday. Noted in the pictures are several Capitol Police officers along each side of the street.
One photo demonstrates at least three shown.
Griff Jenkins from Fox was also there at approximately 2:45-3:00pm.
I don't know what time that video was shot where the Congressman was allegedly assaulted, however, here is proof that ample law enforcement was on hand and readily available.