Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Accuses Woman of Racism, but – Oops! — Turns Out, She’s a Human-Rights Activist

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This keeps getting better and better.  Yesterday, I wrote about how Jean-Marie Simon booked a first class flight from Houston to Washington, D.C. using her accumulated “miles.” However, when she got to the plane, she realized that United Airlines gave her seat to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat lawmaker from Texas.  United said they had no record of her ticket, though they gave her a $500 voucher and gave her a seat in the Economy section.

When Simon boarded the plane, she saw this Congressperson in her seat and accused the airlines of giving the politician preferential treatment.  On her way back to her seat, she snapped a picture of the congresswoman.  This prompted the airlines to threaten to toss her off the plane. Simon described this experience as “so completely humiliating,” reports the Houston Chronicle.

Well, the representative made this into a racial event, of course.

She tweeted, “I noted that this individual came toward me and took a picture. I heard later that she might have said “I know who she is.” Since this was not any fault of mine, the way the individual continued to act appeared to be, upon reflection, because I was an African American woman.”

Oops — turns out, you better be careful who you accuse of racism.  The Washington Times reports:

The woman Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee accused of racism is a celebrated photojournalist who helped document human-rights abuses in war-torn Guatemala during the 1980s.

Jean-Marie Simon, whose first-class seat on a United Airlines flight was given to Ms. Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat, lived and worked in Guatemala during the turbulent decade that saw the military seize control of the government in a coup. Hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans were killed or “disappeared” during the conflict.

Now a teacher, Ms. Simon, 63, is the author of “Guatemala: Eternal Spring Eternal Tyranny.” A 2012 blog post on Amnesty International saidMs. Simon donated 1,000 copies of her book to schools and universities in Guatemala “to keep the truth of what happened alive.”

In a tweet Tuesday, Ms. Jackson Lee suggested Ms. Simon was upset about her seat being given away because it was given to an “African-American woman.”

Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit wrote, “I also think that someone with Lee’s documented history of abusing her position has no business on the Homeland Security committee, much less as ranking member on the Transportation Security committee.”

Hat Tip: Instapundit

Image Credit:  (Image: Twitter, Jean-Marie Simon)

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