Cross-posted at the Daily Kos.
(Updated twice below.)
There are already a couple other diaries up (at the Daily Kos) that talk about Kenneth Gladney, the African American man who claims he was attacked by SEIU “thugs” (HERE and HERE), so I won’t go into any detail on that. Those diarist have done a much better job than I could do on this.
But there’s an interesting twist to this story.
It turns out that Kenneth Gladney is a man without health insurance. And he’s asking for help with his medical bills.
In today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Georgina Gustin reports this bit of pure and awesome irony:
Kenneth Gladney sat in a wheelchair on Pershing Avenue Saturday, his knee bandaged, holding a flag that read: “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Gladney, 38, was handing out the same flags after a town hall forum in Mehlville Thursday night, when, he says, he was attacked by members of the Service Employees International Union.
Less than 48 hours later, protesters gathered Saturday in front of the union’s offices, many of them holding signs with a slightly different version of the message: “Don’t Tread on Kenny.”
Supporters cheered. [His attorney, David] Brown finished by telling the crowd that Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was recently laid off and has no health insurance.
Maybe somebody should ask Mr. Gladney why he is taking money from others. Clearly he hasn’t earned the right to health insurance. So why is he asking others to support him, people who have jobs and work hard for their money? Why should they have to give it to him? Seems almost communistic or socialist to me.
UPDATE: As some folks in the comments have noted, Mr. Gladney seemed just fine until the cameras started shining on him. Now he’s suddenly in a wheelchair with mounting medical bills. Someone should tell him that plotline is already taken.
It’s worth noting that Gladney actually went to the event with his attorney, David Brown. What are the odds???!
Also, hat tip to my brother and sister-in-law from STL who called me with this bit of hilarity.
I’m just sayin’…
UPDATE 2: I have received an email from Tim Tagaris, the New Media Director for SEIU who has these interesting links and comments:
Just saw your Daily Kos diary and wanted to send you a message this there seem to be some misconceptions about who is who in the video.
Both people on the ground during the altercation are SEIU people. The guy who starts the video on his back — dressed in purple — is the SEIU member, pastor, and blind in one eye. He’s the one that gets up holding his shoulder. That is NOT Gladney.
Gladney is the one in the khaki-ish shirt walking around just fine after the altercation. Yesterday, ironically, he was in a wheelchair, too medicated to talk. I just uploaded a picture to TwitPic with arrows showing just who is who: TwitPic Link.
Here’s Media Matters take on the incident: LINK.
Here’s Wonkette: LINK.
Here’s the video:
UPDATE 3: A frame by frame breakdown of the video is HERE.