Thursday, August 20, 2009

The True Story About the Townhall Rosa Parks Matrons: Rosa Parks Sign Grabber

by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

James Winfrey is the Rosa Parks arrested sign grabber. Maxine Johnson had the Rosa Parks sign. Mr. Winfrey, wearing a blue t-shirt with the word "volunteer" on the back, took a sign from the seat in front of the woman, Maxine Johnson, who is said to be a serial St. Louis Liberal activist. The forum took place at Jefferson College in Lebanon, MO and the College has a policy of "no signs." See the best video available of Maxine Johnson below.

Maxine Johnson

If the video is playing automatically, I apologize. I do not know how to turn it off until ready for viewing. In the video, you'll see three woman parade down the aisle with a sign picturing Rosa Parks plastered against their mid-sections. The meeting is already underway - McCaskill is already talking. The woman walk as though they are bridesmaids making their way to the alter. The crowd begins yelling "no signs, no signs." McCaskill must stop her presentation.

Mr. Winfrey is standing just across the aisle from the woman with the sign, in his "Volunteer." He crosses the aisle, grabs the paper, crumples it and throws it on the ground as he walks back to where he was standing.

The woman comes after him and others come after them both. Mr. Winfrey is arrested and she is escorted from the room.

The controversy was on.

CNN did their usual crack reporting and got it all wrong.

In an interview with CNN's Kirin Chetry, Maxine Johnson said this:
...the security guard said have your purse checked. We had the posters opened in front of our bodies and they were to pass at two other security officers. They checked our purses, and they saw the posters open wide on our bodies and they told us going into the gymnasium. You walk down the middle aisle and sit down on the floor, and then all of a sudden the crowd start saying hey put up your signs, put up your posters, put up your signs.

And I was just curious because I knew it was a Rosa Parks sign, the highway we just got off of was called Rosa Parks, and I couldn't understand the connection between the Rosa Parks sign and the hearing. It was no relation. And finally, I just told the senator yes, ma'am, senator, we will comply and I sat down in my seat, rolled the sign up, and a reporter asked to take a picture and the gentleman to my right in the bleachers suddenly leaped from the bleachers, ran to me.
Sometimes, when you want to believe you are in the middle of fracas, your mind works quickly, as did Ms. Johnson's daughter:
And it happened so quickly my daughter said he twist my arm, pushed me on to her, snatched the sign out of my hand and as he walked away I realized that he crumbling up my sign. And before I knew it, I leaped out of my seat to go retrieve my sign. And I snatched it from him and said don't you take my sign. And before I knew it, I had four or five officers on me and one on him.
The video clearly shows that Winfrey didn't touch her, let alone twist her arm or push her anywhere. When it is played back in slow motion, you can can see Winfrey's left hand on the chair in front of Johnson and he grabs the sign on the seat of that chair with his right hand. Once you see the video, it's clear that it was probably one of the two women with her that abused her arm.

Later in the conversation, Johnson said she was able to go to the emergency room to get her arm checked out (presumable the one that Winfrey "twisted,"). She was very proud of the fact that she has good health care and she wants it for everyone, and that's why she was at this forum. Chetry didn't have the guts to ask Johnson why she believes ObamaCare will provide insurance equal to what she has today.

You'll see the difference in her story and the video below. Chetry asks Johnson why she said there was a "racial element" to the incident:
Well, they looked at me and said can't you read? Can't you read? As we looked around the room, there were several people in the room that had other signs. There was a person that had a sign that says "Nigger, Obama." Obama's like Hitler. And you know, my point is, there were signs that were not allowed, why did the officers allow this in the room? And then we complied and there were other people with signs, they were not black.

There was about 3,000 people, about 30 African Americans and then I asked another and I said, what was the problem it was Rosa Parks, a historical figure. Why was it such a threat? A woman says it wasn't Rosa Parks. You were the threat, you are a black woman. (INAUDIBLE) the people who took our report, they say, ma'am, we cannot guarantee your protection. You must leave this town. We cannot protect you. You don't know these people. They're nasty. It was clearly racial.
There was some more conversation from Johnson, something like: "McCaskill, she's not black. She doesn't know the struggle that black[s] have to... (and the rest was inaudible).

I did find a video (not posted here) of three others in the crowd holding yellow "Don't tread on me" flags. The flags were held by each corner. They looked to be the size of a piece of notebook paper. I think one man was telling a police officer that the flag said the same thing the logo on his shirt said. There are numerous wide shots of the crowd and there are no sign of signs anywhere else in the audience, let alone signs with the "N-word."

In the video, you'll hear Johnson saying "there were no Blacks or African Americans in the crowd. You see at least about 8 Blacks in the video.

McCaskill apologizes for "two people" getting involved who should not have. A question for McCaskill: could Mr. Winfrey been charged with seeing to it that no signs were visible - after all he was a volunteer, apparently for Jefferson College because McCaskill said he was not on their team.

This video is from ConservativeTVOnline. I plan to go back often. Please take a few minutes to watch this video - stick with it to the end because there is plenty of misinformation that this video debunks. This real reporting - the kind that CNN doesn't have a clue about.

James Winfrey - Maxine Johnson

A note: The above photo of Ms. Johnson was allegedly taken at a Spring protest. Ms. Johnson's home is embroiled in an eminent domain battle. If what I have read is correct, her home is slated to be taken from her to make room for a "planned redevelopment project. If this is the case, I wish her the best because I am completely opposed to homes and businesses being snatched for any reason except for a national highway - and even then...

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