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. Red by Choice

    Here is a novel though: the American public at large thinks that the president’s health care plan stinks, is fiscally irresponsible and is far worse than what we have. Perhaps we the people are very wary of a bunch of pandering politicians who just quadrupled the national debt and didn't even bother to read the bill. Perhaps ordinary folks who voted for Obama are seeing the US devolve to European style socialism that didn’t and doesn’t work there and won’t work here.

    As for the democrats calling people un-American who disagree with them, it reminds me of Stalin deeming those who disagreed with him to be mentally ill or Hitler labeling his dissenters as enemies of the state. Wake up and smell the civil disobedience. We the people are sick of know-it-all, out-of-touch politicians telling us what we think and need. Remember, the Boston tea party was not about tea and the dissent at town hall meetings is not all about health care.

    August 12, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Dennis

    This is the GOP at it's best, they fueled this fire of racism and it's a shame that I risked my life for over 21years for these idiot's. When I was doing this I didn't do this for just the liberals I did this for all Americans.

    August 12, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Pat - Boston

    I am not blaming the GOP for these protests, but when they say this is democracy, I just want to laugh... There is no democracy when congressmen receive a death threats if they support the bill. Is it possible to have a serious debate about serious issues without distraction?

    August 12, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. unshrub

    The republicans have done it again. They have managed to take an intelligent discussion about health care and turn it into a bunch of lies because they have nothing else to offer.

    Almost everything said negatively about Obama's health care plan are lies, lies, and more lies because that is all the republicans have to offer. Republicans spread lies to a bunch of people who apparently are not smart enough to think on their own. That is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    August 12, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Anonymous

    You know it's funny, I don't remember Democrats getting all politically correct on the left when they castigated the Bush administration as "Nazis" and Bush himself as "Hitler." I don't recall such backlash from Democrats over Senator Durbin's comments that likened GITMO to a Soviet Gulag and our troops to the Nazis and Pol Pot.

    For the left's affinity for comparisons involving evil dictatorships, I wouldn't be surprised if the congressman painted the swastika himself. We all know he can't win the argument on it's merits!

    August 12, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Astroturf This

    It absolutely INFURIATES me that the Democrats are so narrow minded that they think people opposed to this plan are all right wing terrorists.....this is OUTRAGEOUS.

    And it is the biggest mistake the Obama people are making.

    There is no fear mongering going on here. The facts are facts. Look at the people surrounding Obama who are forming this legislation and find out for yourself their beliefs. Don't believe what you read on a blog. Find out the facts. They're there. The networks are ignoring and censoring the truth and this infuriates everyone. Changing the focus from healthcare to hating the protestors and labeling them is NOT going to benefit the Democrats or this healthcare plan.

    This is a socialized medicine plan that goes along with a socialist agenda by a progressive liberal who has himself stated this fact. Look it up. Obama is lying and the far-left is trying to take over this country. That's the fact.

    August 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  7. Dave

    It's republican. It's Hate. It's the Palin/McConnell/Boehner crowd. Nothing more needs to be said.

    Don't wait for the republican or democratic leadership to come out and condemn this nonsense. This is only going to get worse. A lot of white republican members of congress are pandering to this extremist crowd and they are playing a very dangerous game.

    August 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. katiec

    I am appalled at the actions by some people in our United States of America. They have completely thrown democracy out the window with their outrageous behavior.
    I know many will disagree, but as a white, female senior citizen (have to put that in as many would point the blame in the wrong direction for my statement) I truly believe that racism is one of the biggest reasons for all these disruptions. There are many who cannot accept that a black man is leading our country, voters and politicians alike. And, how sad. Regardless of his qualifications, his intelligence, his sincere desire to bring our country back to the great nation it once was, he will not be given a chance by many.
    They refuse to acknowledge that the last eight years are responsible for the many diasters that face us. They will not even consider all the wrongs that were committed. Rather they put all their hate, anger, prejudice in trying to destroy our president and our country.

    August 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. 60's survivor

    it is a sad state of affairs. we will end up with no representative voices because of hate and terror tactics perpetuated by far right. they have no class!

    August 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Dad of a Diabetic

    Under the current health care system, when children with type 1 diabetes become young adults, and go off their parents health insurance, they become "uninsurable". Under the proposed health care reform, President Obama and Democrats say that young adults with type 1 diabetes will be able to buy health insurance, but Sarah Palin and Republicans say that the reform will create a death panel to decide if young adults with uninsurable diseases, like type 1 diabetes, live or die. Someone is telling a huge LIE!!!! Type 1Diabetes without health insurance = death!!!

    August 12, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. chad

    A black man getting racially attacked in the South? Where have I heard this before? Let the banjos continue to duel!

    August 12, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Vandalism and hoolagism do not pass bills or stop them, Legislators with spine do!

    Obama – Biden 2012.

    August 12, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Sarah 'death pannel' palin= Ossama bin ladden; they both used their influence to fuel extremists

    Thank you sarah palin and her republican colleagues; you have succeeded

    August 12, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. Esco

    Wow...What a world we live in. This kind of hatered should not be allowed, especially if it will cost someones life.

    August 12, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. B in Pittsburgh

    We have some really mentally sick individuals in this country. It is one thing to disagree with another's position or view and be able to express that disagreement–that is part of what makes this country. It is quite another thing, however, to bully, vandalize, threaten and incite violence-that is NOT what this country is about, and this is atrocious behavior that should be stopped.

    August 12, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. bern

    If these right wing nuts keep spreading the lies and promoting violence, they will be responsible for any resulting bloodshed. The GOP and "conservatives" are trying to start a race war and the media needs to call them out.

    August 12, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. Frank

    There will be some here that will say that there is no racism. Even when you see displays by people, especially people in authority they hide behind the 1st amendment – Freedom of Speech. I wish these people will just man up and stop being closet racist.

    August 12, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Kansan

    All of this hate is the result of: Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, RUSH LIMBAUGH, Ann Coulter and the numerous other hard headed hard core fear mongering Republican bullies who are out to make this administration fail at any cost. They are saying the things they do for peoples interests, they are only out to help themselves and get ratings...the feed on peoples fear of the black man in office and keep using rediculous words like Socialism, Marxist etc etc etc. Gullible people keep repeating it and you get angry ill informed screaming old people at town halls. The above loud mouths (Especially RUSH) should be held accountable for their domestic terrorism and spread of hate.

    August 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. carlo

    Okay, where are the race card people? Is he playing the race card, too? I don't know what's worse-the fact that these people think their racism is veiled when its not, or the people who play stupid and can't understand why minorities are offended.

    August 12, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. bydesign001

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

    'I was just simply appalled,' he said."

    While two wrongs do not make a right? How dare David Scott take one look at someone asking a question at last week's town hall meeting and because the doctor was white that he was not a constituent. It appears to me that Scott's jumping the gun by merely taking one look at Dr. Brian Hill was just as bigoted and disgusting as the swastika. Yet, msm has chosen not to address the issue.

    I do not condone swastikas, nor do I condone Scott's assumptions that his constituents were all black.

    August 12, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Lyn Lindstrom

    When will this country ever grow up and be civilized?

    August 12, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Independent Again

    SO WHAT?? The expansion of the govt in banking, auto, insurance and now our healthcare is like Nazi Germany! Why are you people demonizing the protestors? Why not debate the issues & contents of this Bill.

    I'm just curious. When Bush implemented the wiretapping progams that everyone was up in arms about, that Obama btw, now supports and is continuing, there were so many "organized" protests which called Bush a Nazi, portrayed on their signs pictures of Bush with swastikas on his face and name! CNN you had no problem with that!!!! Where was your outrage then? CNN never demonized those protestors.

    What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Democrats like to dish it out but cannot take it!!


    August 12, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  23. rene ohio

    do people still want to claim that this isn't a rascist country,,,it is and always will be c,,,there are alot of whites who hate the fact that there is a BLACK MAN in the WHITE HOUSE

    August 12, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  24. Torch

    Of course the Republicans will be blamed for this even though they had nothing to do with the idiot who thought this was cool.

    But hey, when you support govt takeover and control, it's a fair analogy.

    A hammer and sickle would have been more appropriate.

    August 12, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Ben

    Swastikas huh? Real mature, guys....

    August 12, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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