There has been a frightening wave of threats and violence during the past several days against members of Congress who support health care reform. The Washington Post reports that at least 10 House Democrats have received 10 death threats or suffered harassment and vandalism at their district offices.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says the threats and the violence being directed at elected officials who had the courage to take a stand represent “an ugly appeal to fear and division.”
Racial and homophobic slurs, death threats and guns have no place in civil discourse.
The New York Times reports that Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.),
received a phone message threatening sniper attacks against lawmakers and their families.
According to the Associated Press, Virginia law enforcement officials are investigating a cut in the propane gas line at the home of a brother of Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.). The address had been listed in a Tea Party website as the residence of the congressman.
These incidents follow the vicious outbursts on Capitol Hill this weekend, when health care opponents hurled racial and sexual insults and rants at lawmakers making their way to the House floor. Says Trumka:
When I was at the Capitol on Sunday, I saw Republican lawmakers come out onto balconies and egg on hateful crowds like giddy teenagers, waving signs and chanting to fire up the protestors. They set the foundation for a dangerous climate, and they must take the lead in stopping it.
We call on the leaders of both political parties to join together and reject violence and vitriol with a united voice.