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. Traj

    Republicans are still "Stuck on Stupid" when it comes to Middle Class America.. And just down right Ignorant to Lower Class (many of the toothless, trailer park protesters who have no idea what insurance is) America.

    August 12, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |

    Attack the people opposed to the plan and don't answer the questions. This is a deliberate strategy to take the issue of government taking over the healthcare industry and putting the focus on those "evil complainers".

    We CANNOT afford a takeover of healthcare. This country will go bankrupt. PERIOD. You do not have to drain the lake to catch a fish. Legislation can happen to reform healthcare issues and insure people without coverage without taking over the entire system.

    The Democrats are LYING. The American people are educating themselves and know that they are being lied to. They REJECT a takeover by the government of healthcare.

    I REFUSE to let my country turn into a socialist country. The DNC has gone too far. This is the danger of a one-party system. This should be a BIPARTISAN effort. We CANNOT allow this plan to go forward.

    August 12, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Death threats, defacing public property with symbols of hate, hanging people in effigy, raucous mobs that shout down elected officials, people like Dick Morris calling for Democrats to be ‘terrorized’, hate language on signs at protests, and fighting at public forums are just the beginning. Ever since the general election, when Sarah Palin fanned the flames of hatred, the fire has grown and it is surrounding a powder keg of chaos. If it blows, then it will be a dark time in America. I pray that civility returns to this discussion before someone is seriously hurt or worse.

    August 12, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. R in Maine

    It is typical they these fascists will always accuse the opposition of doing the things that they would do. These people are not honest and not honorable. They belong in jail and the government should get on with locking them up.

    August 12, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Will

    It amazes me how ill-informed some of these protesters are regarding health care reform. Death threats? Really?

    I think the best line I've heard yet is....

    "Get your **** government hands off of my Medicare!!"

    Ohh the irony. It's hard to have an intelligent debate when people will believe anything and yet know nothing.

    August 12, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. JP

    The radical elements on both sides have gone too far. The reality is this if a government option is created it will be a monopoly and private carriers will go bankrupt so you can't keep your private insurance. The CBO says the white house numbers are a fantasy that money will not be saved and it will cost 1 trillion. The current version of the bill has no provisions for medical malpractice reform because the trial lawyers don't want it apparently they are more important than the taxpayers. Of the 46 million uninsured, millions are illegal aliens who Obama will make citizens later. This bill is not about reform it's about creating a new entitlement program brought to you by the people who run the bankrupt post office.

    August 12, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    As a white male I had no clue there were so much hatred in this country against minorities. Most of the people carrying around hatred in their hearts also carry around a bible too. What hypocrites! You just can't accept that a black man is our President. Well he is and I am a PROUD supporter of him. He is probably the best thing that has happened to this country and morons like this cannot be allowed to spoil it for the rest of us.

    August 12, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Dave

    So when this SAME type of stupid & ugly intimidation was used against President Bush it was viewed as "a good thing and conducted by proud Americans" by Dem's. Now when it's used against President Obama it's "Un-American and racist and conducted by stupid ignorant people"

    Can't we ALL agree that these tatics are not good in any way shape of form and only cause hatred. Liberals vilified President Bush MUCH worse than anything that has happened so far and lets hope this doesn't continue to escalate to that level

    August 12, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. TCM

    What does he expect? Love notes? He was rude and hateful to the doctor who, upon the congressman's request, waited and asked his question at the right time...he wasn't hijacking the meeting, or causing a disturbance. Perhaps Scott knows the healthcare plan is nothing more than a heavy taxation burden and freebie giveaway for minorities.....
    In his townhalls, and other public venues, he continually whines about racial motives..when he's the one projecting and fueling racial comments! Obviously, he should shut up and listen to his constituents; something that would apparently be new for congress....any democrat, liberal or blue dog, should realize their employment ends in about a year if they vote for the current health plan....they can accuse the GOP all they want about "planting," people, however, when you see the folks citing their concerns, it's obvious to the world, minus the liberals, that these people aren't plants....

    we need TORT Reform, Term limits, and a new president....

    August 12, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Skip Wilson

    What I've seen is not simply people wanting to talk or debate the health care issue. What I've seen on CNN reports are people that still upset that Pres. Obama won the election. Take notice of the name calling and hatred look on some faces and in the words or questions that are asked. The gentleman that addressed Sen. Arlen Spector yesterday was completely out of line with his rant. He trampled on everyone's rights at that meeting and the rights of those who were watching on TV. We want information about the Health Care bill. What has happened to David Scott is about hate not health care.

    August 12, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Carol from Pennsylvania

    Their behavior is horrendous! The death threats and racial abuse should be investigated by the FBI. No DECENT person would do such
    a thing, and intelligent people know better than to even listen to them.

    I believe mostly all of these protests are orchestrated by the hate-mongering, far-rightwing portion of the Republican Party. Their main goal is to cause chaos and confusion about health care reform so that it doesn't go through. Well, I'm not buying it.

    August 12, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. Markus

    Very mature and productive actions, all being promoted by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. I hope they are proud of their irresponsible behavior.

    August 12, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Death threats. Swastikas. How deep the hatred runs.

    Thank you GOP for callously, and insanely inciting these fringe groups to express their hate, and bigotry. Thank you GOP for exposing our American President to this additional threat of physical harm. Thank you GOP for tacitly and actively encouraging these lunatics to let free with vile acts, and actions. Thank you soooo much for your total lack of decency, common sense, and political fair play.

    You have crossed the line GOP. You are prying open a pandora's box that can mean NO GOOD for our beloved country, and for what? So that you may continue to enrich yourselves with ill-gotten gains while the common American continues to suffer and struggle. Evidently you're willing to have others hurt or killed all in the name of greed and political power.

    May God have mercy on what little soul you have left. Us humans? Well, that's something else altogether isn't it?

    August 12, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Donkey Party

    After the conservatives and those who support them have raped this country of it's resources and soldiers over the past 8 years, it's incredible any of these right-wing mental midgets would even show their faces in public. I'm 6ft tall and 260lbs of pure nightmare. If one of these "disruptors" starts a yelling match at any of the events I go to, I will beat them to within inches of their lives (I don't hit women, but they will be ridiculed to tears). Then they can really bask in their media moment, and question if it was worth it or not to be used as a tool by the health industry as they're picking up their teeth. I will not sit by and watch my country be taken over by screaming, racist, mindless windbags. Consider this your warning.

    August 12, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  15. z

    Goes to show you that the deep south has not changed much since the civil war. The GOP is now controlled by the southern white regilous nuts.

    Why are some of these actions not considered hate crimes?

    August 12, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Johnny DC

    And what is the point of this? To incite retalliatory support to the Democrats against the evil GOP?

    If true - and I would put money on this being the work of a smart Democrat strategist - this represents the beliefs of one moronic individual and not the entire party or the Conservative ideology.

    Let's see if the Liberal posters can comprehend that, before slandering the entire opposition.....

    August 12, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. Lisa in Shelton

    can anyone explain the rather confusing link between health care reform, clowns, and swastikas? Aren't congressional offices secured? Video monitored? Is the FBI tracking down the purpetrators?

    August 12, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. The real Mike in MN

    Well obviously he did it to himself since all republicans and right wing wackos are good God fearing Christians who love their fellow man and would only ever want the best for them...

    August 12, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Erasmus

    Hand it over to the FBI. When the perpetrators are found, lets hear them and their right wing handlers scream that such actions are free speech.
    Most of them wouldn't know the Constitution from a roll of toilet paper.

    August 12, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. Mark S.

    The hysterical fringe of the radical right have so little faith in the United States and the Constitution that they actually think that "death panels" and euthanasia could become the law of the land. Shame on their lack of faith in this great country and our Constitution. The Republicans have an important philosophy that needs to be a part of the debate. The highly publicized hysterical fringe are not helping that debate nor the Republican party.

    August 12, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Turnabout is Fair Play

    You are a congressman in one of the most ignorant, racist states in the South. It's no surprise that you would get some redneck, backwoods, inbred hicks riled up when you got "uppity" as their kind like to call blacks that speak up for themselves. The cowardly spraypainting of the swastika on your sign during the night and the hide-behind-a-fax or letter hate just shows you were right in telling these idiots to stop the arrogance and phony ass outrage at townhall meetings. They're too stupid to realize that if they're on Medicare or Medicaid, that they're ALREADY using a government-run healthcare system. The uneducated masses have to be educated by any means necessary sometimes.

    August 12, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Travis In Colorado

    What would you have Obama do? Obama is a spineless wimp. That's why Bill Clinton had to go to North Korea because they don't take Obama seriously. They have no reason to. Obama has done NOTHING to have any one's respect or credibility. If you want something done, bring forward a health care plan that makes sense,

    August 12, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Vern

    This is just what anyone with good sense can expect from the republicants. They are so full of hate. They believe that it's their way or no way. Well they have a fight on their hands! And if they believe that the nasty tactics they are using will solve their racist, bigots, sexist problem, they are sadly mistaken. I know so many young republicans that have switch party because of the way these old white men/women are acting....showing their true colors!

    August 12, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  24. Viet.Vet

    All of the noise coming from the extremist left and hidden Republican agenda is slowly coming to the surface that the Health change debate is not their agenda its about debunking anything and their hatried for the President, to hell with the needs of the majority of Americans,I wonder is it because he is black?

    August 12, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  25. geecee

    I have no doubt that the haters out there will do anything they can to bring down our President. Nov. 4, 2008 there were 55 Million people who voted against Obama. That's 55Million people in this Country who will not accept a black man as our President. They lost the election, but they refuse to back down. These people are persistent and dangerous. I hope he remains safe throughout these troubled times. He is trying his best to put this country on the right track and to keep it from going over the brink financially. But his critics won't credit him for doing anything right. They just hate the man and always will. They are hellbent on destroying him, using such vile tactics. They are sick, vicious hooligans but won't stop because they are too filled with hate!

    August 12, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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