Barack Obama told a crowd of supporters in Philadelphia back in 2008, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” He added, “That’s the Chicago way.”
Last night in St. Louis, Missouri, a local conservative found out firsthand about the “Chicago way.” Kenneth Gladney, a black conservative from the city, was handing out “Don’t Tread On Me” flags after a Russ Carnahan town hall meeting on health care in Mehlville. This didn’t go over well with the Obama supporters and union thugs who attended the meeting. They punched him in the face, kicked him in the head, and stomped on him on the pavement. So much for hope and change.
This is my first-person account of what I saw at the the town hall meeting in Mehlville.
I was running late for the Carnahan meeting last night. The doors opened at 6:00 PM and it was around 6:20 when I arrived at Bernard Middle School in St. Louis county. The parking lot was already full. The streets next to the school were also filled up. I ended up walking about three blocks to reach the school. By the time I arrived, the line outside of the school was about 200 yards long. The line wrapped around the front of the building and halfway down the school’s driveway. I was told they had already stopped letting people inside the building. The people up front were told that they could not let anyone else in because of a fire code.
I continued up to the front of the school and a friend I ran into told me to try the media entrance on the side of the building. My friend thought it was a media entrance. It wasn’t. It was marked “handicapped,” but as I approached the side entrance, it was obvious that these were not handicapped individuals who the Carnahan staffers were letting in.
Several people entered through these doors. I pulled out my camera and filmed the action. Right before I made it to the door the staffers let a man walk right in. Two SEIU members in purple shirts walked up to the door and did not even hesitate to enter the school. It was like they knew right where to go. But by this time the crowd of tea party protesters locked outside started to notice what was going on. They began yelling, and one man stepped in front of the SEIU members and asked that he be let in, too. Enough people were screaming now that the union members backed off and moved over to the side. The Carnahan staffers decided to stop letting people in this entrance.
There must have been 1,000 tea party protesters standing outside in the 90 degree heat and they were agitated. There were now a few SEIU members outside, and they started to taunt the crowd. Not a very smart move, but they didn’t seem to care. A former marine with his young son on his shoulders told the crowd not to react to the taunting. The crowd outside started to sing “God Bless America.” This really seemed to ease the tension that was beginning to build outside the school.
Inside the school the chaos continued. The Carnahan people had roped off the gymnasium into two sides. One side was marked reserved. This was for the union supporters who arrived late for the event. The other side quickly filled up with tea party protesters. A couple of tea party taxpayers sat in the reserved section but moved after the union members arrived. They said they didn’t feel safe. There were several planned speakers who took turns talking before Rep. Carnahan took the stage.
As he spoke the crowd of union supporters continually interrupted him with their applause. A few of the tea party protesters left during this staged show by Carnahan and his cronies. After Carnahan was through speaking he said he was going to take a few questions. His staffers then pulled out a few questions and read them to him from their index cards. They said they had collected the cards beforehand, but the tea party taxpayers did not even know they were only taking questions that were written down. It was a total dog and pony show.
After the event, things got really out of control. The SEIU members were looking for trouble. They roamed the parking lot like a pack of thugs. Conservative Kenneth Gladney, who is black, was passing out “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and tea party buttons to the taxpayers at the school. Unfortunately for Kenneth, the SEIU members were not happy that a black man was passing out tea party buttons. Kenneth’s lawyer described what happened next:
The SEIU member used a racial slur against Kenneth, then punched him in the face. Kenneth fell to the ground. Another SEIU member yelled racial epithets at Kenneth as he kicked him in the head and back. Kenneth was also brutally attacked by one other male SEIU member and an unidentified woman. The three men were clearly SEIU members, as they were wearing T-shirts with the SEIU logo.
The three SEIU members were arrested at the scene. Kenneth was hurt badly and taken to the emergency room, where he was treated for his numerous injuries. We all hope that he recovers quickly from this vicious attack.
Tomorrow, Saturday, the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition is holding a rally at the local SEIU headquarters. We are going to demand justice for Kenneth Gladney, who was brutally beaten on Thursday night. The St. Louis Coalition will request that the NAACP and the ACLU come out in support of Kenneth Gladney’s rights which were trampled by the union hooligans.
What happened on Thursday night may be the Chicago way of holding a town hall meeting. But it won’t fly in St. Louis.