1989: Zsa Zsa Gabor, the actress, gets pulled over for a traffic violation. She gets out of the car and slaps the Beverly Hills police officer. A jury convicts her of assault, and a judge sentences her to three days in jail and fines her $13,000.
2006: Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., reportedly walks around a metal detector at a security checkpoint while entering the Longworth House Office Building. She fails to wear her congressional I.D. pin, the wearing of which is not required, although most members do. A U.S. Capitol police officer reportedly calls out to her, "Ma'am, Ma'am, Ma'am." But according to U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrence Gainer, Congresswoman McKinney failed to stop, so a Capitol police officer grabbed her. McKinney, according to the police, spun around and struck the officer in the chest.
Send in the clowns.
McKinney first puts out a statement of relative contrition, in which she calls this an "unfortunate confrontation." But the next day -- ta da! -- she pulls out the race card. Now she claims that the officer engaged in "racial profiling." "This whole incident," said McKinney, "was instigated by the inappropriate touching and stopping of me, a female black congresswoman." Her attorney called it a case of "being in Congress while black."
So add this to the long list of McKinney offenses, including many in which she used the race card as a shield or as a baseball bat. Let's go to the videotape:
McKinney accused then presidential candidate Al Gore of engaging in "Jim Crow practices" by limiting the number of black agents assigned to his Secret Service detail. Her official web page said: "Gore's Negro tolerance level has never been too high. I've never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time. I'm not shocked, but I am certainly saddened by this revelation."
McKinney accused the White House of racism when the United States threatened to stay away from a 2001 U.N.-sponsored conference on racism if the agenda included talk of reparations for slavery and colonialism or a measure equating Zionism with racism. "Given that 30 percent of the U.S. population consists of people of color and that we have all experienced racism firsthand," said McKinney, "I have to wonder if the Bush administration's position . . . is just politically dumb or if it is perhaps indicative of something more malignant. . . . I am compelled to ask the obvious question, then, that no one will ask: Is the Bush White House just full of latent racists?"