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knock the shit off

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Dear MoveOn member,

Last weekend, anti-health care protesters were out in force in

Washington--and some of their behavior was deeply disturbing.

A crowd of tea partiers shouted the "n word" at Congressman John Lewis, a

former civil rights leader who marched with Dr. King. They yelled

homophobic epithets at Rep. Barney Frank, an openly gay congressman. And

one protester actually spat on a Black member of Congress.1

Then this week, Democrats who voted for reform began receiving death

threats--one had a coffin left on his lawn and another was told snipers

would kill the children of lawmakers who voted yes.2 Several Democrats had

their district offices vandalized, and a gas line was cut at a home that

tea partiers mistakenly believed belonged to Rep. Tom Perriello.3

A few Republicans have spoken out against the racism and violence, but

most are still treating them as "isolated incidents."4 They are not

isolated. They've been part of Republican-supported tea parties for almost

a year and they're a natural consequence of telling people that reform is

a totalitarian plot.5

It's an outrage, and no American should tolerate it. So we're joining with

our friends at Color of Change to stand up to the hate. Can you add your

name to this letter asking Republican leaders to unequivocally condemn

bigotry, hate, and violence among their supporters?


The letter asks the leaders of the Republican party to do two simple


1. Unequivocally condemn bigotry and hate among your supporters, and make

clear that those who embrace it have no place in your party and that

you reject their support.

2. Make clear that you will not tolerate fear-mongering and coded appeals

to racism from officials in the Republican Party, at any level.

Instead of calming the tea partiers' anger, Republican members of Congress

have stoked it. NBC reported that on Saturday, Reps. Mike Pence, Tom

Price, and Michele Bachmann all addressed the tea partiers and that

Bachmann stirred them "into a tizzy."6 Protesters from that rally then

fanned out across Capitol Hill and were behind the assaults on Reps.

Lewis, Frank, and Cleaver.7

Yesterday, Rep. John Boehner called the violence and threats

"unacceptable."8 But just last week, he referred to fellow representative

Steve Driehaus as "a dead man" if he voted for health care reform.9 And

while Boehner's office insisted his remark wasn't meant to be taken

literally, as Rep. Driehaus pointed out, "It doesn't really matter the way

you meant it, nor the way I accept it. It's how the least sane person in

my district accepts it."10

And there's more: During the debate on the floor of the House on Sunday,

Rep. Randy Neugebauer shouted "baby-killer" at Rep. Bart Stupak.11 And

after the vote, Sarah Palin told supporters "Don't Retreat--Reload," and

then highlighted specific members of Congress she thinks are politically

vulnerable using gun cross-hairs.12

The Tea Party movement has been marked by racially inflammatory and

violent outbursts since its inception a year ago. And while most

Republicans are probably disgusted by this behavior, the Republican Party

and its leaders have repeatedly tolerated it at events they support.13 But

the hateful rhetoric and the tacit acceptance of "isolated incidents" of

violence have gotten way out of hand.

Will you sign our letter to the leaders of the Republican Party telling

them they must stop it now?


Thanks for all you do.

--Justin, Nita, Kat, Daniel, and the rest of the team


                                               Look at the flowers

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