House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) received racist faxes Monday in the wake of Sunday's House vote approving health care reform legislation.
Clyburn, a veteran of the civil rights movement, told Keith Olbermann Monday that faxes sent to his office had racist images including a noose. "If you look at some of the faxes that I got today, racial slurs, nooses on gallows, and I'm telling you, some very vicious language. This stuff is not all that isolated. It's pretty widespread. I hope it's not too deep."
Olbermann read Clyburn a National Review reader's statement that racism is dead, and asked Clyburn if he could explain the logic behind it.
Clyburn: "Well, you know, I've always said that we are but the sum total of our experiences. And I think that if you have never experienced it, maybe you don't recognize it when it's there in front of you. But when you've been through this and you look into the eyes of people like we did on Saturday, you know that there's something very much alive in the hearts and minds of a lot of people in this country."
Olbermann apologized to Clyburn for the the protesters' actions.
The racist faxes sent to Clyburn's office follow a string of offensive, threatening, and destructive incidents directed at Democratic supporters of health care reform legislation.
On Saturday, Tea Party protesters in a crowd backed by Republican lawmakers called Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) a "nigger" and at least one protester spat on Rep. Emaneuel Cleaver (D-MO). The slurs and spitting came as Lewis and Cleaver joined other Democratic lawmakers in marching to the House . Lewis and Cleaver are black. Protesters in the same crowd called Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) a "faggot." Frank is one of a few openly gay members of Congress.
An anti-reform protester called Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Tex.) a "wetback" last week at a townhall meeting in his home district, according to a staffeer.
Police in Tuscon, Arizona are investigating vandalism at the office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). Early Monday morning, someone sent a message to Giffords and either kicked or shot out the glass door to her office.