You hold a special position and trust. The United States government is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Your power is given to you because “we the people” consent to let you govern. This is an amazing trust. In return, you are charged with upholding The Constitution. A major part of The Constitution is the right of free speech. This is one of the rights that acts as the glue holding our republic together. Imagine our history without the right of free speech? Even if you don’t agree with the speech, you are charged to protect it. In politics we expect disagreement. We also expect civility.
On March 20, 2010 members of the Congressional Black Caucus walked through a crowd of protestors on their way to vote on the healthcare bill. Shortly after, the Speaker of the House walked the same route. Following this walk, charges were made against the civilian protestors. The charges include use of racial epithets and spitting. These are charges that nobody should take lightly. At the same time, these are charges that shouldn’t be made lightly. Despite a sea of people with modern technology, including Congressional aides, there exists no evidence of what Congressional members charged. There is no video evidence. There is no police evidence. The events that follow make no sense in the wake of the charges. With the ability of anyone to record anything, is it possible that no video would exist? Would the Speaker of the House be allowed to walk through a possibly violent crowd?
We are all human beings. Human beings make mistakes. If someone in the crowd shouted epithets that needs to be addressed. We need to distance ourselves from that. This argument is about government’s relationship to citizen and the individual versus the collective, it has nothing to do with race. At the same time, we need to be sure that the trust between Congress and citizen was not breached. We need to make sure that charges were not falsely made to score political points. We are asking for either proof or a public apology. This is directed at members of Congress who made the charges and the media who followed up on those charges.
The United States should not be divided through false accusations from government against the citizen. Disagreement is natural. But in order to thrive, we need honesty and trust. It is said that money and power corrupts. That’s not true. Lack of character corrupts. It’s time to get character back.
P.S. We live in a society that says you are innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the accuser. Any silence on this issue will be evaluated by the people accordingly.
If you agree, please comment using your name. Also, please contact your member of Congress and express your concern.