*House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said he received racist faxes Monday in the wake of Sunday’s House vote approving health care reform legislation.
A veteran of the civil rights movement, Clyburn told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann Monday about the racist images faxed to his office. [Watch clip below.]
“If you look at some of the faxes that I got today, racial slurs, nooses on gallows, and I’m telling you, some very vicious language,” he said. “This stuff is not all that isolated. It’s pretty widespread. I hope it’s not too deep.”
Olbermann read Clyburn a National Review reader’s statement that racism is dead, and asked Clyburn to comment.
“Well, you know, I’ve always said that we are but the sum total of our experiences,” said Clyburn. “And I think that if you have never experienced it, maybe you don’t recognize it when it’s there in front of you. But when you’ve been through this and you look into the eyes of people like we did on Saturday, you know that there’s something very much alive in the hearts and minds of a lot of people in this country.”
The racist faxes sent to Clyburn’s office follow a string of nasty comments directed at Democratic supporters of health care reform legislation.
On Saturday, Tea Party protesters in a crowd egged on by Republican lawmakers called African American Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) a “nigger” and at least one protester spat on African American Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO). The slurs and spitting came as Lewis and Cleaver joined other Democratic lawmakers in marching to the House.
Protesters in the same crowd called Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) a “faggot.” Frank is one of a few openly gay members of Congress.