August 12th, 2009
09:50 AM ET
13 years ago

GA congressman describes hate mail, Nazi graffiti after protests

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. David Scott's staff found a swastika on a sign outside his district office in Georgia."]
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - A Georgia congressman said Wednesday he's received death threats and found Nazi graffiti outside his office in the aftermath of heated protests about health-care reform.

David Scott, a Democrat from north-central Georgia, told CNN he has received several offensive faxes and letters, including some with death threats and racial abuse.

Scott is black. His district includes part of metro-Atlanta.

In a CNN interview, the congressman showed a cartoon of Barack Obama, depicting the president as a clown with a swastika on his head, which he said he had received in the mail.

Tuesday, his staff found a swastika painted over Scott's name on a sign outside his office.

"I was just simply appalled," he said.

"This symbol represents the most heinous period in world history, indicative of man's greatest inhumanity to man, where nearly 6 million Jewish people and others were murdered purposely by Adolf Hitler," Scott said. "So when you reach that point... this is very very dangerous."

Local police and the F.B.I. are investigating.

Scott said he believes the swastika and hate mail are a result of the acrimonious health care debate.

Lawmakers holding public forums in their home districts during their August recess have been the target of some angry protests over the proposed health care overhaul. An argument Scott had with a doctor at a public meeting has been featured on both local TV and CNN.

The Georgia representative said he does not believe the vocal protests against Obama's proposed changes to the health care system are spontaneous.

"I think to a degree they're organized and orchestrated," Scott said.

"There's no question about that but they have a right to do it - that's very, very important. This is America, it's rough and tumble, that's what we're here for, but this is something else," he said.

"This is not good for America, not good for this debate, it's a distraction," the congressman said.

And he says Obama should call for an end to it.

"I think he really has to speak strongly... before somebody gets hurt at one of these things."

Another congressman, Washington state Democrat Brian Baird, has canceled public meetings after saying he's received death threats.

–CNN's T.J. Holmes in Atlanta, Georgia, contributed to this report.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    This is truly frightening. The people who are behaving like this MUST be stopped. They are a danger to life. Especially since they are associating themselves with the Nazi's.

    Painting swastikas... despicable. Yes, its organized. No matter what some people are trying to say. Thats the only explanation for that insanity.

    August 12, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Tony in Maine

    To which the manure spreaders – Palin, Beck, Dobbs et al – will hold up their hands in mock horror and shriek, "We had nothing to do with it!"

    It's time for CNN to act like a responsible media outlet and tell Dobbs to spread his hate somewhere else.

    August 12, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  3. Randolph Carter

    The party of lies, fear and hatred are up to their old trix again. Lovely. have a nice day!

    August 12, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. cedgar

    I saw him at his town hall on the road project.
    This man is rude and uninformed!
    I think you can thank the house speaker for the sign.
    I also think our representative's are wimps!!!
    We know we have a problem when the Presidents LIES!! (AARP statement)
    Our representative's need to LISTEN to the American public.
    We all want health care reform NOT A TAKE OVER!
    Before any one makes a statement read HR3200.

    August 12, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. phillip Marlowe

    This outcry is hiding behind 'healthcare' but it is racially motivated and part of the conservatives to make sure Obama does not succeed. If anyone cannot see this then they are more naive than Dorothy in th Wizard of Oz was.

    August 12, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    This is appalling, and should not be happening. We are in a debate of freedom and liberty, the core to this debate has to be non violent! There is no gray area here, these are elected congress people, and they do need to have our respect, they do hear us, let them begin to review the constitutional value of the direction our government has been on for the last forty years.
    This violent behavior is what derailed the Vietnam war protests of the late 1960s, lets not make the same mistake again.

    August 12, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. GOP= Birthers,Deathers, Whiners & Kooks

    Just another example that these "protesters" are just Racists..who can;t handle the fact that a Black man is President, A woman is Secretary Of State , a Latina is on the Supreme Court...and this country is on the road back from the disaster and mess left from 8 years of incompetence.....Health Care reform is on the way!!!

    August 12, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Motive

    Theres no reasoning with people like this. Channeling the 3rd right to proclaim their freedom.

    bunch of idiots.

    August 12, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. MatthewDetroit

    BUT the fact is EVERYONE is against this plan.
    Mostly because the plan is hollow and a big lie.
    YOU are trying to take more money from us and that is all this is about. Pushing us to a socialist state.
    Finish the fence on the southern border. Give Illegals 30 days to get out. Otherwise, you can lock them up in work camps for 6 months. They can be used for any labor. Then they will be released and told not to come back. Their must be punishment for crime. Not free education, free healthcare.
    That will cut 20 million out of our health care responsibility right there.
    That will cut 20 million our of our prisons, schools, etc....
    That is how you save some money and cut some costs.
    Your healthcare initiative is a tragedy.

    August 12, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. jodipo

    How sad. The republican pawns are showing their true colors... ignorance and racism. I sometimes wonder how people that inept manage to get to adulthood in the first place.

    Nazism? Socialism? Communist? They need to pick their bogeyman and stick to it, because they are making no sense whatsoever.

    August 12, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Peoples Voice

    It will not be long before acts of violence will start. The hate mongers on talk radio and GOP based talk TV has done a very good job of riling up their ignorant base.

    I am tired of trying to be compromising and cordial to these idiots. You want a civil war? Okay, bring it on.

    August 12, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Neutralizer

    Scott deserved to be called Nazi, in fact all Democraps deserved to be called nazi, they're dictating to the people; they do not listen. The servant of the people is now telling their master to shutup and let them do whatever they want. You've awakened the sleeping giant. People who are not politically active, silent for years; suddenly wanted to attend Townhall Meetings. Young people who campaigned for Obambi last year are now rising against him; these young people don't want their government to take away their right to choose and their right to privacy. The democraps intention is to USURP the right of the people guaranteed under the Constitution. I live university belt, college students are just as angry with Obambi as their folks. The most common words I hear from these young people; "This is not the kind of change I want from him, I don't want socialism for my country."

    August 12, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. Barrett

    Interresting that they are claiming to get death threats when tea-party people have been getting death-threats for months now from Union Thugs that guys like these two have sent to intimidate the peaceful protestors. The only acts of violence that have been committed have been by the leftists trying to keep the anti-socialists down. People are not going to sit around while Nationalized Socialist (Nazi) healthcare is shoved down our throats and we will not be intimidated into silence by your union brown-shirt thugs (Fascism). What did they expect after they tried to ram this bill down our throats without inviting public discussion beforehand? I don't know a single person who would grafiti anything or make any sort of threat – we are older and more peaceful than the punks they send. This was probably a liberal stunt to try and make the conservatives look bad. It's not going to work and we won't be intimidated into compliance by a despot or his henchmen.

    August 12, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Please, NO more republicans!

    Republicans across this country should be ashamed of themselves but they are not because I have learned through experience that most, not all, republicans have no conscience. They don't care about their fellow man, will resort to violence against others with differing views and promote hate. There is nothing Christiany about republicans, just hate.

    August 12, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. Robert jay

    These fear mongering attacks regarding helathcare proposals are simply pathetic. First 90% of the protesters don't know what they are talking about and are paranoid constitutional rights quoters who haven't even tried to understand what the constitution states. Second these same paranoid schitzo's who are too simple minded to understand that there belief in self support are completely blind to reality. Taking care of ones family and not others is not only moronic and selfish it cannot be accomplished. Take your pick. Either we have gov. controled insurance companies or a gov sponsored health care competition. Or we all go broke and die from lack of real quality health care. look at the simple root cuase and the simple facts and then shut up and lett sensible people work thru the options and possibilities without all the radical rhetoric!

    August 12, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. Republicans are evil!

    Way to fight against your own best interest there guys! Resorting to violence is a typical republican tactic when others disagree with them. When will the hate end??

    August 12, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. Bette Childress

    Congressman, you are not as "appalled" as most of America is right now with the congress supporting that idiot Obama's socialization of this country. Liberals just can't seem to get it through their skulls that when government controls anything, that takes away Constitutional freedoms and rights. BTW, healthcare is not a right given in the Constitution. Healthcare by the government is only for those who refuse to take care of themselves.

    August 12, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "This is not good for America, not good for this debate, it's a distraction," the congressman said.

    Distraction? That is PRECISELY what they intend it to be and the media is apparently more than happy to give them exactly what they want. The more distraction, the less factual information can be successfully disseminated to quell baseless fears, correct errant assumptions and overcome unjustified criticism. That is the last thing these people want to happen. They would much rather spread lies and have everyone running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

    August 12, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Tekkatron

    Sanity and Christian morality were lost a loooong time ago on the right wing. Apparently they've decided to throw in the towel regarding human decency as well.

    Anyone invoking Nazism and using the swastika has gone beyond the pale and is no longer thinking rationally. It's time to start putting people into nuthouses where they belong and off the streets where they can harm others. What will it take before the threat of violence turns to a killing? The next Tim McVeigh is probably already on his way. It's time that police departments and the government looked more carefully into this before innocent people get killed because the crazies on the extreme right go too far.

    August 12, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. Simmy

    Such atrocities were spawned by the abuse of freedom of speech by Palin, John McCain (by default), Limbaugh, Gingrich, Malkin, Coulter, Drudge, Boehner, McConnnell, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Really, Hannity, Big Insurance Lobbyists, PHARMA, and so many more.......

    Many poor and uneducated; many senior citizens have allowed themselves to be used by those above, to channel their hateful, racist, anti-Obama sentiments.......

    In the midst of the upheavals, ALL Republicans are silent........That begs the questions, "Are they (GOP) ALL in the same boat?" "Do they (GOP) ALL hate America?" .......Their actions are speaking louder than their words.....May God have mercy on them ALL.......

    August 12, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. Obediah

    Get real. If they catch whoever the loon was that put that Nazi trash on his office prosecute them. But lets get real Mr. Scott was unprofessional and this is just an oppotunity for him to go off on a tangent about us Jews like he sympathizes with us when all the Congressional Black Caucus ever does is bash Israel. Stop all the race baiting and get back to the healthcare debate.

    August 12, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. WhoCares?

    Oh yes...Conservatives. The holders of the Christian Faith in America they would have us believe and this is how they display their "Christianity" to the world.

    August 12, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Dan Holiday

    And I am sure that the Nazi graffiti came from a liberal trying to make it seems that the people protesting are radical. Typical of the left. Say something about a person or group, then when it is proven to be wrong, make it appear right even if you have to do it yourself. Disgusting. Vote out the dumbocrats in 2010. They are ruining our country with their class warfare, racist tactics. They hate Americans and America. They are all racist, narrow minded, fear-mongering, lobbyist befriending, middle class taxing, elitist. Vote them out.

    August 12, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Enlightened Voter

    The hatred and evil spouted by republicans is festering this horrific tone in society today. Republicans could care less about bettering this country or its' people, they only care about being in power. Don't they realize they are turning off too many people? As a white woman, it sickens me how deeply racial hatred runs in this country.

    August 12, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    I have little sympathy for those who say “Waaaah, my Republican voice isn’t being heard in government anymore!” As a Libertarian Party member, my political voice will NEVER be heard clearly in my lifetime. The LP is simply too young to successfully field a national candidate in the current, long standing two-party monopoly. But we keep trying. The Democrat-Republican pendulum can swing back toward the right if the Republicans begin offering effective electable legislation and candidates. My party isn’t even ON the pendulum. So I work with what I have nationally, as I support regional and local LP candidates. And nationally, I’d prefer see conservative leaders get back to leading, without resorting to divisive “social conservative” causes and jingo rhetoric. I disagree with the Democratic Party initiatives, but I respect the intelligence and sense of vision they seem to be operating from. It’s like watching “The West Wing” in real life.

    August 12, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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