Tea Party Protesters Call Black and Gay Lawmakers 'Nigger' and 'Faggot'

Tea party protesters, on Capitol hill to rail against healthcare reform that will benefit them, and stoked up by speeches from Republican lawmakers, unleashed abuse and spit against black and gay members of congress.

The Huffington Post report that thousands of gathered protesters abused Representatives James Clyburn and John Lewis, both veterans of the civil rights movement. The latter had the word 'nigger' shouted at him. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was spat on. When Rep. Barney Frank, report Talking Points Memo, "rounded a corner to leave the building, an older protestor yelled "Barney, you faggot." The surrounding crowd of protestors then erupted in laughter."

"It was absolutely shocking to me," Clyburn told the Huffington Post. "Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday... I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins... And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus."

Republican Senator Jim DeMint tweeted that he was "grateful for the thousands of patriots who are storming the Capitol today protesting government healthcare and defending freedom." The tweet came at around the same time the racist and homophobic comments above were reported.

UPDATE: And here is some (non-controversial) video from earlier in the protests, just so you can get a sense of the atmosphere in DC today.

[Pic via]