“How am I supposed to convince other African-Americans to come to Capitol Hill to participate in democracy, when Capitol Police will go so far as to jump me when I question my exclusion from a hearing that is open to the public? We all know what ‘driving while Black’ is, well I’d call this ‘democracy while Black.'”
Suddenly, there was scuffling. A clot of Capitol police coagulated in the hallway. In the middle was the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, an antiwar activist who had apparently attempted to push his way into the hearing room and was wrestled to the floor.
Or the Washington Post version:
the Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., of the D.C.-based Hip Hop Caucus, who allegedly refused to move back after jumping in front of a line of people waiting to get inside the room. He was charged with disorderly conduct and assault on a police officer, Capitol Police said.
The only two major news outlets I found in a (granted, quick and dirty) search of Google News for “Rev. Yearwood Congress” got it wrong, and not just wrong but maliciously wrong. Only independent, “liberal”, or protest news venues covered the whole thing. Democracy Now! has been covering this from the start, and had Rev. Yearwood on the program this morning. It’s really disturbing that events have progressed to the point that “public discourse” is limited – forcibly – to those members of the public and those topics of discourse that come pre-approved by government agents. We have an election coming up. It’s not the 2008 election that obsesses the news media and the popular imagination (what little of it is left after Reality TV, video games, and social networking get through), but it’s our democracy on the line even so. Americans, go vote this November. And every time your section of the country votes, go make your mark on your corner of this democracy.