Over at TPM, Josh asked for backstory on Cynthia McKinney’s (D-GA) PunchGate. After all, lawmakers don’t often erupt into violence, even feisty ones like McKinney.
Well, it seems that cops have a hard time recognizing McKinney as a lawmaker. From a 2002 Slate profile of the congresswoman:
In August 1993, during her first term in office, a Capitol Hill police officer tried to prevent her from bypassing a metal detector, as members of Congress are allowed to do. For years afterward, The Hill reports, the Capitol Police pinned a picture of McKinney to an office wall, warning officers to learn her face because she refuses to wear her member’s pin. (And because officers are innately suspicious of a black woman with braided hair and gold shoes.) Five years later, she blasted White House security after guards thought her 23-year-old white aide was the congresswoman.
I wouldn’t say such treatment warrants violence — but you gotta admit, most lawmakers probably don’t have to deal with stuff like this.