Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Black Congressman’s Sign Covered with a Swastika

A swastika was found Tuesday painted on a sign outside Rep. David Scott's district office, an act the Georgia Democrat said reflects an increasingly hateful and racist debate over health care and should serve as a reminder for people to tone down their rhetoric.

Scott's staff arrived at his Smyrna, Ga., office Tuesday morning to find the Nazi graffiti emblazoned on a sign bearing the lawmaker's name. The vandalism occurred roughly a week after Scott was involved in a contentious argument over health care at a community meeting.

Scott, who is black, said he also has received mail in recent days that used N-word references to him, and that characterized President Barack Obama as a Marxist.

"We have got to make sure that the symbol of the swastika does not win, that the racial hatred that's bubbling up does not win this debate," Scott said in a telephone interview. "There's so much hatred out there for President (Barack) Obama."

A moderate Democrat who represents a majority-white district near Atlanta, Scott said he thinks the racism is isolated but can't be ignored. He said the swastika probably was intended as a warning. He hopes it instead persuades reasonable people to maintain a more substantive debate over health care changes.

"We must not allow it to intimidate us," he said.


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