Atlanta, GA, August 9, 2006 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed outrage over the incident last evening in which members of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's security entourage, including individuals associated with the New Black Panther Party, physically and verbally attacked members of the media, spewing racist and anti-Semitic epithets.
"It's astonishing that in a democratic election anti-Semitism still rears its ugly head. Once again some McKinney supporters have resorted to anti-Semitism and racist language and are blaming Jews for her loss to an African-American opponent," stated Shelley Rose, ADL's Southeast Region Associate Director. "The fact that she has frequently included The New Black Panther Party -- which is perhaps the largest organized anti-Semitic and racist Black hate group in America-- in her security entourage is extremely troubling."
According to reports and video coverage, as McKinney arrived at her campaign headquarters late last night, Steve Muhammad, one of McKinney's security staff scuffled with the media and was accidentally struck by a news camera carried by a television photographer, receiving a cut on the right side of his head. Muhammad then physically lashed out at the photographer. During the scuffle, another member of her entourage who wore a New Black Panther Party pin shouted expletives at the media, including calling them "crackers" --a derisive term for whites – and telling them, "You got what you damn wanted. You got your Uncle Tom, now go put your cameras on him," referring to Hank Johnson, the African American candidate who defeated Ms. McKinney. He continued to rant, "You ain't in Israel and this ain't no Lebanese people, so back up. Gonna get your Jewish [expletive]… (inaudible)…."
Following McKinney's concession speech, a reporter attempted to ask the Congresswoman why she thought she lost. The New Black Panther member interrupted, shouting, "Why do you think she lost? You wanna know what led to the loss? Israel. The Zionists. You. Put on your yarmulke and celebrate."
"This incident is reminiscent of the 2002 campaign in which Rep. McKinney's father "blamed the J-E-W-S" for her defeat," said Ms. Rose. "Rep. McKinney did not distance herself from the anti-Semitic comments then, and her service in Congress has been clouded by a perception that she also harbors such feelings."