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. Get Real

    Death threats, swastikas, hate mail....these are the tools of the fear spreading and hate inducing opponents.

    Of course the ones that do this are only a small subset of all the people that oppose this reform. Not all the opponents support or do these actions. BUT the general tenor of the groups that go out and shout and tell our representatives that God will judge them for what they are doing and take guns to the town halls ALL create an environment that makes it seem acceptable for these horrible actions. It does not help when someone like Rush says the Democrats are Nazis and puts that symbology on his website.

    ALL people, Republican, Democratic or Independent, need to loudly condemn these actions.

    August 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. canibeheard

    In my opinion sir the swastika and hate mail was not about health care it was about your attitude and your display of anger. That kind of attitude you can save for your friends, a person in public office cannot display that to the people that put him there. Most people that resent being spoken to the way you did, so a swastika and hate mail should be no surprise.

    August 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  3. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    it never stops amazing me that we actually have people in this country that will support big insurance companies petty sick lies about health reform. and that the republicans at large also support the insurance companies . we need change thats why we voted by a giant majority t elect BARACK OBAMA JOE BIDEN . so we the people need to stand up and support them in taking our rights and lowering the amount we pay for health care sickens me that some people can actually collect what i would call blood money from people as to make a large profit in the name of health care .. sick sick sick

    gary davis
    harbor oregon

    August 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  4. Lee

    Freedom of speech has limitations, when you start to purposefully destroy property, make threats against another american; you are no longer speaking; but instead are a domestic terrorist and should be dealt with accordingly. Stop the MADNESS, all they want to do is ensure ALL americans have adequate health care, it has nothing to do with killing people unless you deny health care.

    August 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  5. ran

    This should be proof enough that what President Obama is trying to do is right because it has created the kind of hate that only comes from those who are wrong and they know it and are afraid they will have to accept others and not get to be exclusive.

    Our health should not be for profit. Single payer non-profit is the only true solution. Let me say it again single payer non-profit. There is no government takeover in the non-profit and you still have to pay, but your money would go toward your health not toward multimillion $ salaries/bonuses to executives or for dividends to shareholders or for insurance companies private jets. So, if you do not have to pay for the above your premiums would be less. What part of this can you people out there get? No free rides just non-profit health care.

    August 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  6. ColoradoJay

    The GOP have become the drama queens of politics.

    August 12, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. sammieb51

    To add to this cacaphony is almost a mute point, but the point is healthy discussion in any relationship is much different than a screaming match. The GOP are looking more and more like REDNECK WIFEBEATERS to me and it makes me want to investigate why they are throwing so much smoke in the mix.

    Had the country waited for tthe GOP to "approve" of Medicare in '64, we would all be paying for Mom and Dad right now ....

    What a bunch of whiners.

    August 12, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Robin

    53% of American's don't want this and according to Obama, 53% is a landslide.

    August 12, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. rand

    To attack anyone in this manner is unacceptable. Defacing property is unacceptable. The BUSH administration was much more FASCIST than the current administration so the swastika is ignorant. SAD.

    The current "sick" care system is so broken that I don't get what is so scary about reform of ANY type. Read the proposed plan. Don't get caught up in what your neighbor says, or worse yet, what these protesters are saying. Many of them are plants and have been coached effective scare tactics. ANY one who is on Medicare should not be protesting.

    August 12, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Claudia in Houson

    Unfortunately, displays like this have nothing to do with healthcare reform, it's the hate and sickness that some people have harvest for many years. Thank God the largest majority of Americans have risen above this and don't want any part of this.

    August 12, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  11. It is any Wonder?

    This country is either showing it's true colors again, or has completely lost it's mind. What a sad, sad day for us all.

    August 12, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. Tatianna

    Oh my, lets research if Scott or any dem politicians made statements in ridiculing those painting and calling Bush as Hitler. Did any dem politician denouce dems touting waterboard and tortureTeam Bush? Was Scott outraged when his constituents called president Bush war criminal, terrorist, enemy, mass murderer? Sorry Scott, IMHO, America reached a very very dangerous period with dems and Obama in office. Perhaps you should ask Obama thug machine for protection. We will protect our nation in 2010 by voting you out

    August 12, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Paul

    typical republicans.

    August 12, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Predicta

    simply appalled? How about your constituents who are appalled by your reckless support of health care reform without considering their interests? Looks like voters will be shopping for new representatives come 2010.

    August 12, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. REGGIE

    hey stop being scared, its a new way of racism look at most of these rally and you can see is more white people, they do not like change and yes they will deny racism after they killed you, its the new kkk way of showing up their ugly head, america the babylonian , get ready it will get sicker cause of the wicked white people.

    August 12, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Drooling Liberal

    I'll bet a million dollares it was just some liberal, SEIU thugs that painted the swastika just so they could play the victim card.

    You libs are pathetic.

    August 12, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Preston

    This clarifies and exemplifies the nexus between the anti-health care reform brownshirted thugs and rabid anti-Obama racists. They are, by and large, the same people, who are clueless about the issues, but simply know that they are "against" whatever he has to offer. Then, when they are called on their behavior and their tactics, they accuse everybody else of trying to squelch their Constitutional right to protest. I suspect most of them are more familiar with the Second Amendment than they are with the First.

    August 12, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. Bev - NYC

    The Congressman should invite the coward who painted his sign to meet him face to face, guaranteed this coward would not show up. It's easier to be brave from a computer , or beneath a white hood. Fo theos calling in death threats, get caller ID congressman, most of these low iQ yokels will probably call from their home phone, file a complaint and have them arrested, bring the full weight of the law down on them, a couple of criminal and civil suits will be warning enough to the other cowards.

    August 12, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Proud Member..Party of No

    U.S. Representatives John Carter (R-TX) and Steve King (R-IA)
    had announced they would discuss Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) statement that the upcoming health care reform effort would fail if Members were required to read the legislation. House Democrats accordingly silenced floor debate on the issue by voting to close early.

    August 12, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  20. Lynne

    What a sad day when a few Americans display such hate and want to use this to hijack honest discussion of health care reform. What a stain on the country!

    August 12, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. George

    Sick wacko Republicans are doing this hate stuff. They can't stand that the country is sick of their pouting and being the party of sore losers. They lie to the people then the ignorant believe it. They are disgusting. Sarah Palin, Newt Gringrich, and Rush Limbaugh are the leaders. Also cry baby John Boehner.

    August 12, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. markus

    death threats and gotta love Conservatives...

    August 12, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. They call me "Tater Salad"

    I wish these right wing, wackjob, cowards had enough courage to step out from behind their bible's and try that crap in my home town! Where I come from people aren't big fans of outsiders trying to stick there noses in our business and are all too willing to do something about it by any means warranted! Doubt it? Be DUMB! Take a chance and find out!

    August 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    This is the GOP in a nutshell; deny it all you want right-wing swifties, but more often than not, you condone this non-sense.

    August 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. amberw

    Disgraceful behavior. Just goes to show what happens to the uneducated and bigoted in times of economic downturn.

    August 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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