Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rep. McKinney and the Constitutional Question

With all the furor over the racial profiling scuffle of Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who is now apparently about to be arrested over the incident, it's suprising that no one has brought up the constitutional question.

The constitution clearly states that members of Congress "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; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place." (Article 1, Section 6)

From my understanding as to what happened, it was all a mistake, but like a lot of innocent mistakes, it has a reverberation and a resonance far beyond the simple facts of the case.

Especially when you have the loudmouth fascists on the radio right taking up the cudgel to describe her hair as "ghetto slut", like "Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence", and saying that she looks like a "welfare drag queen". And don't let's forget The Vulgar Pigboy, Rusty Make-That-Ten-More-Oxycontins Limbaugh, who said "Breaking news - the US Capitol has been evacuated because of a power failure. It could be that Cynthia McKinney's hair got stuck in a light switch and shorted everything out." Ole Rusty, I'll bet he never met a racial slur that he didn't like, that boy.

So it's the Republicans who are doing this to Cynthia McKinney. They'd like to remind you that they are the party that freed the slaves (not true) -- but their history since then has been to keep those former slaves in a condition of servitude and second-class citizenship. It's not a coincidence that the Democrats lost the South with the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And lost it to the Republicans, who to this day know something about keeping the uppity Negroes in their place.