Fresh off his spat with Megyn Kelly last night, Representative Al Green (D., Texas) in a speech from the House floor on Wednesday likened Ferguson protesters to the Pilgrims, participants in the Boston Tea Party, and those who marched from Selma to Montgomery.
Green also took time to praise the five St. Louis Rams players who made the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture as they ran on to the field on Sunday in response to the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. earlier this year. He called the players’ action “a seminal moment” and said he will honor them by flying flags at the U.S. Capitol.
“Washington wasn’t perfect, but we honor him; Jefferson wasn’t perfect, but we honor him,” he said in response to anticipated criticism. “I’m going to honor [the Rams players] for what they did at that seminal moment.” He compared the episode to John Carlos’s and Tommie Smith’s Black Power salute during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
In response to criticism that he and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus received for making the gesture on the House floor earlier in the week, Green said they were following in the footsteps of well known figures in pivotal movements in American history.
“The same thing that was wrong with the pilgrims and caused them to come to Plymouth Rock; the same thing that caused persons to throw tea into the Boston Harbor; the same thing that caused farmers to traverse the country on tractors and come to the United States Capitol to protest; the same thing that caused Rosa Parks to take a seat on a bus against the law; the same thing that caused Dr. King to march from Selma to Montgomery; the same thing that caused them to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge on what’s known as ‘Bloody Sunday,’” he said, adding that these individuals, like the members of the CBC, “refuse to accept injustice.”