(photo: "Next time, I'll cut you.)
A grand jury has convened in the case of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney who punched a Capitol police officer that grabbed her after she repeatedly ignored his requests to stop at a security checkpoint at the Capitol building last week. Apparently, the officer didn't recognize McKinney as she strode past the metal detectors and viewed her as a potential security breach. When he tried to stop her, she clocked him, but ironically -- it's her weave that is all out of joint. The representative from Georgia is now saying this was not an incident of mistaken identity but one of racial profiling. Apparently such cases of mistaken identity between members of Congress -- whether black, white, Latino, or Amish -- and security officers are "quite common" but McKinney rather blow smoke instead of accepting any responsibility for her role in the scuffle.
Instead of just apologizing like a big girl and moving on, she is diminishing the very real problem of racial profiling with its dubious application here. This was not some routine traffic stop in Georgetown, but the Capitol Building -- the intended target of hijacked Flight 93. It seems to me McKinney is more pissed off about not being recognized than anything else. She's employing the "Don't you know who I am? defense with an arrogance that comes standard with some politicians who have been in office too long.
In an ideal world, security officers would have photographic memories and would never be in a position where they'd have to question themselves. At one time, we've all wanted to sucker punch that bumbling security guard at our office building who never remembers our faces and forces us to dig through our purses for our IDs when we're rushing to a meeting. The difference is, most people don't sucker punch their workplace security guards -- especially in a post-9/11 world.
In the world of September 10th, one would have had more leeway. For instance, when Jennifer Walsh, having been repeatedly asked for her building ID from the toothless, "blonde-profiling" security guard at One South Station, got fed up and lashed out, "My ID is upstairs with your two front teeth!" Then she jumped on the elevator and rapidly pressed the close door button. He never asked for the ID again.