If there was ever a case of raw Elitism by a public figure then Cynthia McKinney, Dem Rep-Georgia, is it. Her insistence that racial profiling is involved in her altercation with the Capitol Police officer she allegedly assaulted last week is both amusing and pathetic at the same time.
Ms. McKinney would have you believe that the officer not recognizing her at a Capitol office building security checkpoint and asking her to stop when she tried to bypass the metal detector was akin to the police stopping a car on a quiet street in the middle of the night just because the driver was dark skinned. How hard is it for someone who thinks they should be allowed to bypass a security checkpoint to stop and confirm that with the officers there if questioned? And even if you felt the police shouldn’t have asked you to stop you can’t fail to stop and then strike the officer when he puts a hand on you to restrain you. Ms. McKinney is waving the race issue around but what is really going on here is her attempt to put herself above the law and above the safety of her fellow District of Columbia residents. She isn’t special. She is a representative of the people of Georga. Like every one of her constituents back home she is required to obey the law and the instructions of law enforcement officials at those security checkpoints. They are there for a reason, to protect those buildings from attack. If she doesn’t want to show her ID she can go through the detectors like everyone else. If she had been wearing the congressional pin like she is encouraged by the Capitol Police to do she probably wouldn’t have been stopped in the first place. Her claim that the pin is just jewelry and not identification would be a fine argument if she were pushing to have Congress members show ID but she is proposing nothing of the sort. Essentially her idea of security is that every Capitol police officer recognize her every day no matter what and as her defense she points out that this is a expectation of congressional pages. She ignores the fact that if a congressional page forgets who someone looks like no one gets killed for it. The same can’t be said for potential mistakes by capitol police.
I think the whole idea that congress members can bypass the security checkpoint is questionable anyway. Why are they exempt from going through the detectors? If they are to be exempt then they should be required to have an ID badge that can be used to confirm their identity. The statement that most illustrates my opinion on this matter is a quote from U. S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer in an article on
CNN.Com earlier in the week.
“Even the high and the haughty should be able to stop and say, ‘I’m a congressman’ and then everybody moves on.” –U. S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer