Congresswoman Cynthia "Zsa Zsa" McKinney's greatest hits

Larry Elder

4/13/2006 12:05:00 AM - Larry Elder

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?"

Shortly after September 11, 2001, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani rejected a Saudi Arabian prince's $10 million offer for the victims' families of the World Trade Center attacks, because the offer came with a lecture about the "slaughter" of Palestinians "at the hands of the Israelis." Ms. McKinney wrote the prince a letter of apology, "Your Royal Highness, the state of black America is not good." She then uncorked a litany of black America's grievances, including, but not limited to, poverty, homelessness, hunger, an unfair criminal justice system, "health disparities" with blacks less likely to receive surgery than whites, and the demise of affirmative action. Magnanimously, she offered to provide names of charities that might benefit from the $10 mil.

Just six months after the atrocities of September 11, McKinney attacked the year-old Bush administration: "We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11," she said on a radio station interview. "What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered?"

Two months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, McKinney read Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff the headline: "Nursing Home Owners Charged in Deaths," in the case of 44 patients who were not evacuated in New Orleans. "Mr. Secretary, if the nursing home owners are arrested for negligent homicide, why shouldn't you also be arrested for negligent homicide?" McKinney said. "It seems that chaos was the plan that was implemented. Leadership, Mr. Secretary, was lacking."

In December 2005, McKinney still claimed Katrina equaled racism: "Racism is something we don't like to talk about, but we have to acknowledge it," McKinney said. "And the world saw the effects of American-style racism in the drama as it was outplayed by the Katrina survivors."

McKinney suggested "many parallels" between rapper Tupac Shakur's death and the "attacks and deaths carried out by the FBI . . . against political musicians and activists since the 1950s."

Meanwhile, as McKinney held her in-Congress-while-black press conference, someone of true courage stood before 2,000 people in New Orleans. Entertainer/actor/activist Bill Cosby courageously said, "It's painful, but we can't cleanse ourselves unless we look at the wound. . . . Ladies and gentlemen, you had the highest murder rate, unto each other. You were dealing drugs to each other. You were impregnating our 13-, 12-, 11-year-old children."

Will the real so-called black leader please stand up?