Last week, Texas Democratic Congressmember Al Green became the first congressmember to call for President Trump’s impeachment from the floor of the House of Representatives. Since then, the African-American lawmaker has received a barrage of racist threats, including voicemails in which callers threaten to lynch him. For more, we speak with Congressmember Green.
AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Al Green, is it true you’ve received death threats? I want to—I want to go to a town hall meeting Saturday, where you replayed recordings of threatening voicemail messages left for you. Let’s go to these two particularly disturbing messages. I want to warn our viewers and listeners, the calls contain graphic racial slurs.
CALLER 1: Hey, Al Green. We’ve got an impeachment for ya. It’s gonna be yours. It’s actually going to give you a short trial before we hang your [bleep] ass.
AMY GOODMAN: This is another one of the phone calls left on Congressman Al Green’s voicemail.
CALLER 2: You ain’t gonna impeach nobody, you [bleep]. Try it, and we’ll lynch all you [bleep]. You’ll be hanging from a tree. I didn’t see anybody calling for the impeachment of your [bleep] Obama, when he was born in Kenya. He’s not even an American. So [bleep] you, [bleep]!
AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Green, these you got on your voice message machine?
REP. AL GREEN: We did. And they have been turned over to the Capitol Police. There will be an investigation. It is our hope that the persons who perpetrated this kind of ugliness will be caught and that they will be properly prosecuted.
But I also said at the town meeting, and I will share again now, that this type of effort to intimidate will not stop what we are trying to accomplish. It won’t thwart our efforts one scintilla. We will move forward.
And I am concerned about my staff. We have a lot of young people that work in our office. We have an intern that’s still in high school. And persons making these kinds of harmful threats, literally saying they will murder me, these things create a good deal of concern for my staff. So, we’re going to do all that we can to protect ourselves, but we assure people that we will continue to move forward.
And finally, I really want to make this point. This had to be exposed because you cannot hide hate. If you hide hate, hate will grow and fester. Hate becomes emboldened. So you have to expose it. You also have to expose it so that the American people can know that people of color live with this kind of behavior that is not something that we have to assume won’t be perpetrated upon us. These are ugly statements, but it doesn’t matter whether you are the CEO of a major corporation or a member of Congress. People in this country—some, not all—believe that they can intimidate you by threatening to lynch you.
One more thing. The calls in support far outnumber the hateful calls. They far outnumber those who would perpetrate invidious discrimination. And I want to emphasize this, because I believe in America. I really do believe that my country, the country I was born in, the country I love, I salute the flag—I believe that this country is moving in the right direction. There are some bumps in the road, but we are moving in the right direction. I believe that we still believe in liberty and justice for all. I believe we still believe that this is a country where all persons are created equal. So, I think we’ve just got to deal with these issues. We cannot hide them. They have to be exposed. But I still am grateful to be in this great country.
AMY GOODMAN: Congressman Al Green, I want to thank you for being with us.