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August 12th, 2009
10:51 AM ET

Congressman: Hate mail, Nazi graffiti follow health care protests

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - A Georgia congressman said Wednesday he's received death threats and found Nazi graffiti outside his office in the aftermath of heated protests about health care reform.

Rep. David Scott's staff found a swastika on a sign outside his district office in Georgia.

Rep. David Scott's staff found a swastika on a sign outside his district office in Georgia.

David Scott, a Democrat from north-central Georgia, told CNN he has received several offensive faxes and letters, including some with death threats and racial abuse.

Scott is black. His district includes part of metro Atlanta.

The congressman showed CNN a cartoon of Barack Obama, depicting the president as a clown with a swastika on his head, which Scott said he had received in the mail.

Tuesday, his staff found a swastika painted over Scott's name on a sign outside his office.

"I was just simply appalled," he said.

"This symbol represents the most heinous period in world history, indicative of man's greatest inhumanity to man, where nearly 6 million Jewish people and others were murdered purposely by Adolf Hitler," Scott said. "So when you reach that point ... this is very, very dangerous."

Local police and the F.B.I. are investigating.

Scott said he believes the swastika and hate mail are a result of the acrimonious health care debate.

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Filed under: Controversy • Politics
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Wren

    Frances I must say that it is a horrible shame how this country has taken the UK's health system and because they fear it change it into some kind of monster that lets people die.

    If they truly did research they would be shocked to know that from the "cradle to the grave" means just that with no catches. I think the health care over there does what we over here have failed to do, even in thought. That being even begin to think of the well being of someone besides one's self.

    I have listen to people hear say "why should I pay for someone who eats bad and then needs heart surgery?" "Why can't these people put money aside and get insurance for themselves without me having to fund them?" . It is the "Me" syndrome, no one thinks of the people that never have a health problem till it hits hard and fast and they have nothing, or they are born with health problems that had nothing to do with bad eating. Now because no one cared for anyone but themselves we have not just a few or hundreds of people in this country but thousands.

    Not only do they not have health insurance but they are dying from illnesses, like Down's Syndrome, Epileptics, Cancer. All because they are not elite enough to afford proper insurance.

    Back in 1912 President Roosevelt wanted and tried for Universal Health care, but there is this word that once used Americans become like senseless sheep driven over a ledge 'Communist'. It was then as it is now the furthest thing from that but once one latches onto a phrase people in the USA like pit bulls will not let go even for the benefit of their own well being.

    I want and wish for the people of this country to be and get protected health wise. I wish all age groups and money brackets, all sexes and races to be covered. But I am shown by this here and coverage across the country I am just one of a small handful that seems to care about the health, well being and lives of others.

    Every system has faults as does man, this country lost its faults long ago when it let corporations become its "real" Government and became worse than communist, socialist any of those ingrained words that as children in school we are taught are evil. We now rely on radio personalities to lead us and tell us their versions of the truth and thinking for ourselves makes us 'un-American'.

    I hope the same things you do Frances, I hope for more too that people will wake up to the real truth and learns to feel and not covet money over life.

    August 15, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  2. Frances Ower

    This is my first attempt but I have just spent an age reading comments. Our T.V. coverage of the debate about Health Reform in the U.S. is fantastic, however I am shocked at the vitriolic comments being made about conditions here in England. We have a Social Security System and it appears that in the eyes of many Americans that makes us Communist. Our system is not perfect, there is always room for improvement, but we do not have millions who, because they can't afford to pay insurance, have no health cover. Sarah Palin remarked about our treatment of children with Down's Syndrom. It would be nice if she did some honest research before making untrue statements. I have lived in the States, loved my time there, met some of the nicest people, didn't always agree with their politics, but that didn't affect firm friendships.
    I hope that President Obama and his fellow Democrats will come up with a Health Reform system acceptable to all and that those in need of health care will not have to worry about finding the cash. I wish him luck – he will certainly need it!!

    August 15, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  3. Wren

    No Bernice if they oppose I am fine with it, but when they use racial slurs and things like "Obama and his wife should go somewhere else" which is equivalent with saying. "If you do not like it here go to another country".

    I am all for protesting it shows our freedom is still alive and that issues hopefully will be heard and addressed. It is however how these protest are voiced and given light that I point out. The protest used with David Scott is racist and hate driven. Pure, simple and so very easy to see, unless they are of the same disposition. People who yell and scream and judge while not knowing ALL the facts, while accusing are just the same. It is why I always make sure to know all my facts, to understand fully every angel before I voice myself. That way when I do get the spotlight in my protest I will not come across an anger bitter person that is just spouting and sputtering.

    Most people have tried to read this new health care bill (that by the way has not even passed) and they latch on to ONE word and after that nothing else is taken in. One has to set aside their feelings and read it all and then let their feelings back in. But no always "one" word derails and stops one from seeing the whole picture.

    If you have a kind heart and wish all to go forward with one then maybe you should try reading this bill with your kind heart and not your feelings. See what is implied for "all" and not a select few. How it will encompass all with kind hearts and spread like the morning light as it crest the horizon. Then try to put yourself in someone else's shoes that may not be lucky enough to have coverage.

    Once you can do that then you can move forward truly forward with a kind heart. I have placed my self in your shoes, you want to protest, but for the wrong reasons, not the right and honorable ones. There is a big vast difference there.

    I know more than anyone what it is to be American, I will wait till you suffer to be American also, and not suffer from being taxed by your State or Government before you get started. I am loving your well used well worn out verses and phrases though, they are like old slippers being thrown at me. Full of holes and tattered from plenty of use and bad aiming. Keep up the good American fight Bernice and let your kind heart keep shinning through.

    August 14, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  4. Wren

    My typed statement is purely tired from people who claim one thing and say another Bernice. Let me try doing this another way with you, seeing as you stick to a tried and true old formula the other way. Can you explain just exactly these lies that have been issued by Obama?

    I hate two things Bernice "stupidity and the lack to think for one's self, as a human beings I know we are all flawed but those two are not flaws they can be corrected if desired.

    I have as yet express hateful desires and reactions as to what the President and his wife and family should do or where they should go. Unlike you Bernice who shouted it in caps. I have as yet to misquote the Constitution and the Founding Father's. I have as yet to deem anyone unworthy of breathing in this land. Your post are littered with hate and you aim it at whom ever your attention is on at the moment.

    So by your claim of not knowing "your" life to a 'T' I do not know the American people? Let me float this past you dear. I go out among the "American people" here and talk with them. Even the racist ones, and they are able to discuss and talk without explaining they have "black friends" without telling me "I HATE NO ONE" and better yet they can with great ease tell me the lies they think, believe or know are being told them. They do not rely on polls because never once has a poll been done with their opinion. Polls are elitist placating devises used to stir up and nothing more.

    Your claims to being a "LOVING MOM" and not a fighter? You need to become an actress then going by your typed word. You stir the cobra's nest time and again and yet you fail time and again to explain like a logical sane non-aggressive loving non-racist person your knowledge as to any of your proclamations to lies and wrong doings. Instead you simply mimic the masses of hate and race mongers. Then come back with weak responses like this one.

    You think your reply here hurt me? Think it was smart and filled with enlightened words and knowledge? No it was filled with and aimed like most people who want to win a battle but do not know the grounds on which they fight, so they stoop to childlike tactics. I did ask you to pull the American and go somewhere else card on me Bernice, and you have almost done it. I will tell you this I am more American than you can imagine. Why did you not become so angered with Bush and his selling of America to China and Russia and his lies? Why did you not demand your senator or congressman do something when he literally rewrote and said "screw the Constitution"? Why did you not go over the edge when he pushed this country into the recession that the present President is now having to find ways of getting us out of without getting us deeper in debt to other countries? Can you not see how one thinks you a republican and then a hater of a black man?

    It is nothing to be shamed of to fear what you do not understand, we all have areas that at some point we do not understand. Instead of swinging and striking out at others though all you need but do is educate yourself and the fear will go away. Being a mother you should know this.

    One last time though, I know truth when it is spoken and typed and I know hate when it is spoken to me and typed. They are two different unique things, with their own shadings. As of yet in this article there are but a very rare few handful that have spoken the truth and know for themselves the truth and see the hate spewing forth from common people like them and I. In truth it saddens and scares me because when you have someone who is afraid of what they do not understand and mean hateful words fail to work it is then that they then turn to violence.

    So now that you have labeled me a hater, please tell me what else am I then? I have not hidden (like you) in my post anything about me. Show me your intelligence, reason, logic and ability to interact with others without yelling at them, belittling them, and dancing around what you claim you know to be the truth. Can you do that? I will not even bring into play the possibility of you being American or not. I am not into dirty tactics and can overlook yours.

    August 14, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  5. Bernice

    And, again, there you go Wren, spreading your hate, as always. I ask everyone to go with a kind heart, hurt noone, BUT DO SPEAK UP! Seems to always be a little much for you to be able to handle! You refer to people as racist and haters if they oppose. It is hard to even imagine that you are truely a REAL American! I will speak clearly, and be heard! I have every right to, and should be able to do so without having people, like yourself, call names. How childish is this anymore? Because I take advantage of my RIGHTS as an American, does NOT make me racist (in which I am not, by far) nor does it make me full of hatred! I just disagree with all great love for my fellow Americans, no matter thier beliefs. That is what makes America a great land, and these protestors would just like to make sure that it is kept that way. Thank you for the opinion (altho a total waste) anyway. Everyone, even you, have an opinion! A shame, but one of the great things about being a citizen of such a wonderful land! Feel what it means to be an American, for a change.

    August 14, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  6. Bernice

    Feed you Wren?....hahahaha. You're so full of rubbish! I am a DEMOCRAT! I have no hate, just a dear love for my country! No racism, for my daughter is half...MINORITY! You have no clue! See? You just think that you know the American People! Maybe this is not hate that they say to you, but maybe it is the thruth! You have shut your mind to things that come from that section of America! You just seem to "think" that you kow what it is that you are babbeling about! If you knew meAT ALL....you would know that the written statement..BY YOU is plain hate. I am totally against this healthcare bill, and for very great and solid reasons, whether you agree with me, or not! I will voice my opinions no matter how hateful you become!! I'm an American, with rights, and chose to keep them! I am not a fighter at all. Just a loving mom, with not racial hatreds (considering my 2 best friends are black) ...I JUST WANT TO STOP THE OVER SPENDING!! THE LIES!! You, as an American, should, too. ...but.....

    August 14, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  7. Jerry McDonnell

    Once again the impression of the american public is revealed itself as a group that is easily led by extremists, willing to embrace old ways, prepared to listen the loudest voice and is ruled to a degree by self proclaimed religous leaders supported by groups that know money supplied to them will earn followers. Sound familiar? Lay this discription over the American impression of Islamic Extreemists. How telling of the depth of thought required to be democratic.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  8. Wren

    First I will address you Bernice, You implied to me "thinking" and then went to use as examples for "thinking". "Seeing poll view droppings", I must point out to you that this is not thinking Bernice. This is a colored chart with numbers, that requires NO thinking.

    Had you proffered up something that did require actual thinking and logic instead of the same old hate that has been pedaled by the media, racist and republicans. I would have applauded you and given you a gold star for at least once coming back with your own reason that could stand on its own strength. Instead you are trying to spoon feed me what every body and their brother that either hates democrats, blacks, helping their fellow man, truth, the real foundation and meaning of America and humanity. I am sorry but I do and can think for myself and do it ALL the time, what the news, media, polls and people like you say do not sway me. If I have to rake through lies to find the truth because I know I am being lied to I will, I did it for 8 years prior to Obama, I can do it now. If Obama has lied about anything it is his caving into whiners who want to stay barbaric and keep guantanamo bay open.

    The man has explained as best he can without drawing a colored connect the dots picture everything else he has and will do. To fix the problem we were left in due to Bush that did not just happen over night, he has to yes expand the debt some more. Unless people think he is God and has some kind of power to snap his fingers and make it all go away? I mean there were plenty of people that gave him that Godlike power prior to even being elected.

    44 years ago LBJ created Medicare and Medicaid, a Government founded and funded health care system. It would take care of the elderly and disabled. For 44 years it has done its thing and NO ONE has boo hooed once about the Government controlling that. It is the one thing that these people that are blinded by their hate fail to see or understand. Where regular insurance can and often do tell your Doctor if you can have a test or not, Medicare and Medicaid DON'T. Which one is run by the Government again now children?

    If you all are so against Government run health care, call you senators and congressmen and have them veto Medicare and Medicaid. Geld your own selves in the process, stop claiming to care about the elderly, this is all about yourselves, your hate for a black man, and not wanting to see you and every other American taken care of from the cradle to the grave. No you would rather live your days in anger, hate, loathing, greed, fear, without insurance, without jobs, without homes, without hope but with bucket loads of reasons to hate.

    America the land of the Brave, so brave it has to make the "free" people scared of its own shadow and knowing the truth. Truth that would set them free, free to live with no fear, free to be healthier, happier. But then people like Bernice would not know what to do if they could not hate someone and be a racist anymore. All you so called Christian people look to the area Jesus came from, he would not have been a white man, know this also, where he to come back and to come to this country. Forgiveness would be hard fought to be on the tip of his tongue. For like his Father he too had a temper had his limits and I do believe we have pushed them all over something as simple as caring for the health of one another.

    Last but not least, the states kicking up the most fuss and creating the most hate are all the republican based ones, they are also the ones that refused to help their States and people of those States by taking the whole stimulus package. How does one who is no longer getting their way react and retaliate? Open your eyes and look around and you will see, cause it is happening now. Enjoy your wallowing those that hate and do not care for others.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  9. Loretta

    I don't know what polls you guys are quoting on that most Americans are happy with their healthcare because my friends, my family and I have not filled out a poll on healthcare so you can not say that half of Americans are satisfied because half of us didn't participate in the survey you guys keep quoting. You make people believe that half of us are satisfied when in fact the people you surveyed are happy with their insurance, the rest of us are not. The hatred being shown today is really how they felt when Obama won the election. For Republicans and big business its about the money and they are using the people to fight heath reform to keep their big business big and using hate to get the people to stand behind them. A woman that stays at home with her kids sounds like they can afford for her to be a stay at home mom when other mothers have to work two jobs to keep food on the table, let alone get healthcare. Finally CNN is investigating like they should all the stuff going on in town hall meetings. I have yet to hear you talk about the people behind the scar tatics and misinformation. I have not heard you call out any groups name and who they are associated with. Finally this morning you had an ex insurance guy on to tell the truth about what the insurance companies really stand for and about rationing healthcare. MSNBC has been on it since the beginning. You might look at them as liberal media but at least they tell the whole truth and do not have someone like Lou Dobbs that should be let go and find his friends over at FOX, because he does not add to the creditibility of CNN.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  10. Hampton VA

    When the lady stood up at Senator Grassleys town meeting and said she was a red neck from southern North Dakota, it reenforced my belief that this opposition was coming from red neck republicans bieng paid by the insrance, medical and drug industries with the presumption that a black president is about to put the stops on their
    billion dollar rip of the american people. Definitely this is racist.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  11. Wendy Dembeck

    It has already been shown that some of those people carrying Obama-as-Hitler signs were Dem plants–union people. Obviously not in all cases, but when you see those SEIU thugs in Fl. and elsewhere, you can see the possibilities. Demonize by lying. It began when Napolitano cobnsidered a different opinion a sign of home-grown terrorism. It continued when Obama attacked doctors for stealing, etc. It continued by telling people who don't buy in to an unfinished bill that has to be done "yesterday" that they are a mob.

    When things get out of hand and you look at the source, you've got to look at Congress and the Adminstration cause for their own unexpected problems. The fact that they're surprised that the lemmings are not just following blindly is a sign of how totally out of touch our privileged politicians are.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  12. JEZEBEL58

    The comments I agree with are from Wren,Koleta and Greg .Martyn makes a lot of sense but he has to remember that some of us who believe we are smart do lack common sense and are just followers,this is the 21st century people stop wasting all your days fighting and hating and start living.The day will come when something will happen,maybe a grim diagnosis and you are going to say "if only I had more time"when you had the time and wasted it on hatred and fighting.The Americans had their heads buried and now that someone is saying this is what's happening they are blaming someone else.I know what my government is all about and I am just trying to live.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  13. JEZEBEL58

    I agree with all three comments,but three people out of a large population...hmmmm.Man really do fear what they do not understand like the haters of the United States and I can see fear in some of these people.Even with all the plotting against their own government that has been going on for a long time and it's worse now that Barack is in the office,they are spending their lives hating instead of living.Life is short,you are in the land of the free and should enjoy every moment and as for the swastika, I do believe "that man"from way back did not only have hatred for his own people he also hated blacks,so it was for nought.

    August 13, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  14. Bernice

    It is time Congress finds thier brains!! The people want answers and it is high time they get truthful ones, for a change! Hate is not the way to go about it at all. Protest the ole fashioned American way! Just leave the ones who wish to beat up on the Americans who wish to voice thier opinions (great ones, I might add) ....home. Or, if they chose to show up and terrorize, throw them in jail and stop dropping the charges on these terrorists. Let the protestors speak. They are telling you the thruth. Hear thier cries.

    Oh, Wren, I think America is finally waking up thier brains. They are now figuring out how badly that this administration is lying to them! You can see this as daily his poll ratings are dropping (like a bomb). Education is the best brain food, isn't it? They are getting it by looking at the other sides views where they are finding out that they have been lied to. Even those who this administration said supports him, denied him! How funny is that? He should jst tell the American People the thruth, instead of wasting all of our time with these unthruths! That just might help!! You think??

    August 13, 2009 at 6:20 am |
  15. Charles L. Morse Sr.

    I hate the people that give credit to the KKK , Nazi groups and all the raciest groups . Every time one of these fools give them media and news a free ad by even make them feel feared . You feed their power to creat fear . I say find and arrest them for destroying public property . Make them pay the damage and clean public bathrooms for a year . They are cowards . Don't make them feel like men to be feared .

    August 13, 2009 at 3:28 am |
  16. Carole

    GREAT ARTICLE! GREAT COVERAGE!!!!!!

    This is not about health care. This is about the color of the country now. The expanding Latino population and a Black President.

    Where were these people the last eight years? Where were the Republicans? Why did not the Republicans get rid of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security? Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are all government programs............all these mobs should refuse that money!!!!!!!

    What kills me is most of these crowds are older White folk. Hilarious. They probably use their Social Security check money to get to these town hall meetings.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:17 pm |
  17. joe

    Wasn't it Pelosi who cast the first stone, calling those that dare to speak up Nazi's? Thank God for these town hall meetings and the internet because at least people that are angry can see there are many just like them and can't be "snowed" by this administration – more and more people are against this bill – Obama and his stubborn personality are destroying this country. Why not craft something during his Presidency that the country could support – ALL OF US, not just his ideas that he tried to bully congress into voting on without the chance to read it. Why not take time with something so vital to all of our lives?

    August 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  18. Martyn Bignell

    What really scares me most about this, is how uneducated the individual is that even begins to think that a Democrat is a Nazi. For any of those out their that fall into that catagory here are the facts, however, I do feel that I am wasting my time as it is very unlikely that they can even read.
    Still here is the lesson for today, in politics you have left wing, central and right wing, now the extreme of left wing is the old foe, Communism, extreme right wing are fascists or nazi's. Communism likes everything to be state owned and nazi's go with the private sector.

    Therefore for any possible idiot out their that may be considering either calling anyone a nazi or dawbing signs with Nazi insignia, please either go on line, or go to a book store and get educated.
    Whilst their check out the real facts on the American health care system, simply put it is run for profit, costs us 18% of our GDP and is ranked 37th in the world.

    Now check out France, a hybrid system that has social, (Oh my God! did I just write social, please someone give me a thousand lashes.)
    and supported by private insurance, it costs the country 9% of their GDP and you will never hear a French person denograte the system either. On top of this and again for the uneducated, in France you can call a doctor at 2am and if required will also visit your home shortly afterwards.

    Their is no co-pay, no deductible no nothing, now I have mentioned as other here have that many Americans are fairly dumb; and this is largely true, however, can they really be that dumb that they cannot see the benefits that other countries around the world give their people.

    Martyn Bignell.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  19. Leonard

    This is what it comes down to because the Republicans have no better option.(at least the conservative extremist side) There is not even a bill to be voted on yet and they are using ever mode of attack they have on it. They have no viable option so they use lies and other scare tactics like the swastika to get the uneducated and/or nieve Americans act the way they are to try and get this reform initiative killed!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  20. Wren

    You know Bill Maher pretty much summed it up when he said "America was stupid".

    The fact that these people cannot sit down and calmly talk about their dislike for a bill without linking it to a racist slur or a historic dictator and hiding their identity, sums ups Mr. Maher's statement.

    There is a huge difference between stupidity and ignorance. Stupid/stupidity choices to stay as it is and refuses to gain the knowledge to understand and know the truth.

    Mr. Scott is a very patient honorable man, who truly cares about the people in his district. He DOES take the time with those that call or go in to help and he DOES listen.

    Man fears what he does not understand will fight it and kill it, here we have a prime example of people all over the country showing their true colors and fears. Hiding behind comic strips, swastika's, hate emails. They have become Chicken Little, believing the sky is falling without a shred of evidence and all created from Chinese whispers.

    For those so opposed to Government funded health care I say "lets trash Medicaid and Medicare", seeing as people of America do not care about others in this country save themselves. Lets abolish that Government funded run program. After all IT IS the GOVERNMENT that controls WHO and WHAT can and cannot be done on Medicaid and Medicare.

    The nerve of our country to care that the whole of it's people live and are healthy!! I mean just who do they think they are? We are better off with HMO's (with no medical background) telling us if we need medicines and treatments and to even see a Doctor. I mean why would I want my new born baby to be instantly covered when it is born and know that should something happen to me that it will never have to worry about health care coverage. That is just stupid of me to want to ease my mind and my child's and husband's. I think we should all have to worry day and night about getting money up to pay for health insurance and all that it does not cover for me, my husband and my children.

    I think when something rubs me wrong I should hide behind a monster's symbol of hate and know that my true message was gotten across, because a swastika tells those I disagree with I am a racist and know how to burn a cross and wear a white sheet with a hood! So therefore that symbol says it all.

    *Those two paragraphs contain a certain amount of sarcasm on my part tinted with lies that I would even begin to put a sheet on and burn a cross. Sometimes one has to talk on the level of the ones they are trying to reach. Bleach bath should make me all better though.

    I would like to see for once these addled minded racist, these gelded clueless followers of stupidity just ONCE sit down and talk without threats and yelling and just TALK! It can happen, it happens all over the world all the time. But this is what makes the majority of American's candidates for terrorist camps instead of respected applauded human beings living in The United States of America.
    The lack of humanity and caring for anyone that is not them or who they are told to care about.

    As the Scarecrow said and I will reiterate "If American's only had a brain"

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  21. Koleta Wells

    How horrible and inexplicably sad that anyone living in this country and availing him/herself of all the freedoms our forefathers made possible for us would even consider linking our system of democratic government with that of Adolph Hitler and the atrocities he implemented during his reign of terror in Europe!

    To disagree and discuss until a compromise is reached is what I see our Congressional leaders doing at this time. And, at this time, ignorance of the facts is no excuse for behaving so inhumanely!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  22. Greg

    Law enforcement needs to be stepped up on these cases where elected officials are being threatened and intimidated. This type of criminal activity should not be tolerated in the US and the offenders need to be brought to justice. Otherwise we just another lawless banana republic.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:58 am |