9:02 pm Apr. 26, 20121
Representative Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn said tonight that she notified the Capitol police force of threatening phone calls made to her office, after Glenn Beck's website posted a video that appeared to show her criticizing Tea Party protesters.
In the video, which shows Clarke talking to the Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform earlier this month, the congresswoman says members of Congress were spit on and called racial epithets during the health care debate, and that the protesters showed the "ugliest sides of the United States of America that you can imagine."
Clarke said in a release that it was "extremely disappointing" that the comments had been edited to appear out of context.
The video is a production of Breitbart TV, the outfit established by the late conservative activist Andrew Breitbart, who drew national attention when he posted an edited video of former USDA official Shirley Sherrod which appeared to show her making racist remarks.
In the video, Clarke describes underestimating the Tea Party's impact after initially dismissing them as "crazy."
"When I first encountered the Tea Party, I thought, ‘Oh these people are crazy,'" she says. "And you would hear everyone say, ‘Oh, they’re crazy.’ But you know what? Crazy showed up. And not only did crazy show up, but crazy elected 39 other members to the House of Representatives and took a lot of people out."
Clarke's explanation from the release:
“Unfortunately these actions demonstrate the volatile political environment of 2012. Within my remarks, I was referring to the effectiveness of how the Tea Party organized and made their voices heard. I also discussed how some members of the Tea Party spat on certain members of congress and made racial and bigoted remarks. These actions were indeed seen as ‘crazy’ to many people and they showed the ‘ugliest side of the United States of America.’ While I do not believe all Tea Party members subscribe to the thinking that resulted in these incidents, the bad actions of a few affected the reputation of the organization,” added U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke.
“Know that I find it extremely disappointing that my words were edited and removed from context. I stand by my statement and I will not be intimidated by those who use fear to make their point known. While I appreciate the calls from individuals who respectfully disagree with my remarks, we all have a responsibility to ensure that we change the dangerous discourse that can come from this hostile political environment,” concluded Congresswoman Clarke.
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