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Sole Black Reporter Booted from McCain Event, Showing Deep Racism in GOP's "Security Concerns"
Violation of USA "Freedom of the Press," when the only black reporter at event in Florida kicked out of event while reporting for Tallahassee Democrat; Mc Cain's staff: "I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that race had nothing to do with it."
By: Stephen Fox, Managing Editor Santa Fe Sun News
Tallahassee Democrat senior writer Stephen Price was singled outand asked to leave the area reserved for media at a rally for John McCain in Panama City, Florida, on Friday. He had showed his media credentials and employee i.d. in order to enter the area when a member of McCain's security detail asked him to leave.
"I explained I was with the state press, but the Secret Service man said that didn't matter and that I would have to go," Price said.
When another reporter asked why Price was being removed, she too was led out of the area. Other state reporters remained.
Price was the only black reporter among those surrounding McCain's bus ... was he being "profiled"?
Tallahassee Democrat Executive Editor Bob Gabordi said the incident was unwarranted.
"We're deeply concerned and disturbed that our reporter â€” of all of those in that area â€” was asked to move," Gabordi said. "My understanding is that Stephen was the only reporter approached and asked to leave the area, and the only reporter in that area who is black. Another reporter who stood up for Stephen was then asked to leave."
Jonathan Block of the McCain campaign, who was not there at the time of the incident, expressed regret, but stated,
"I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that race had nothing to do with it."
Block said the area where Price was standing was restricted to members of the traveling national press corps that accompanies McCain on the campaign trail.
Wow. Really. There's this story line going around that McCain loves to be "unscripted"
UPDATE: The next line from the Tallahassee Democrat is:
"At the end of the day, your reporter was in the wrong place. I do not know why the other reporters were not moved. The rest of the local press should have been moved as well," Block said.
Which looks like the McCain campaign's excuse strategy, and typical of such things for him. OK, it was just one of those things. But why does this happen now, this way, why always something against blacks? It both excuses and points out the issues in this incident.
I'm sure McCain really needs this sort of stuff to keep those "swing voters" wondering. First, he backs a bill in Arizona that would wipe out affirmative action as "quotas", a "reverse racism"-style proposition, to coddle the right-wing racist White First bloc. Then he accuses Obama of racism for mentioning in passing something that could be construed to mean Obama is black. And if McCain infers that he is older, we're supposed to accuse him of "age-ism", right? Now, his security detail is weeding out "suspects"??
And this isn't the first weird incident with McCain's security. Here you can check out how they kicked a librarian out of a public rally for holding a McCain=Bush sign, and charged her with trespassing.
The event, at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, was billed as 'open to the public.' Yet Carole Kreck, a 61-year-old librarian carrying a 'McCain=Bush' sign, was taken away by police [on orders from McCain's security detail] for trespassing. A police officer told Kreck:
'You have two choices. You can keep your sign here and receive a ticket for trespassing, or you can remove the sign and stay in line and attend this town hall meeting.'
Kreck received a ticket for trespassing and her court date is July 23.
Security trumps free speech. Security trumps reporters' access to a candidate. Dissent and being a person of color seem to always land in the world of "security risk". One of the Republicans' biggest ticket issues is "increase Security." It plays to fear. It plays to the military. But, as this incident is a small but notable example, it doesn't play to our higher goals of fairness, openness, and actual freedom (not rhetorical "freedom" as in "freedom fries"). For McCain, it's a pattern he can't break free from. For the rest of us, it's an election we must weigh in on, in historic numbers, for the other, security-by-
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Art Gallery, but primary purpose here is our consumer protection efforts, above all, getting aspartame banned and helping precipitate New Era of International Peace during Obama's Presidency, hopefully with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as next USA Secretary of State