Via Huffington Post:
Tim Profitt, the Rand Paul supporter behind the white sneaker that notoriously stomped on a MoveOn activist's head in Kentucky, sought to play down the importance of the incident Tuesday, and went so far as to ask the victim for an apology.
"I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt told WKYT. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you."
While the victim, Lauren Valle, said Tuesday that she believed the campaign workers' violent reaction to her presence there was "premeditated," Profitt told WKYT that he thought Valle was following a strict protocol with the intent of creating controversy.
"She's a professional at what she does," Profitt said, "and I think when all the facts come out, I think people will see that she was the one that initiated the whole thing."
He then blamed the forceful downward motion of his foot on the head of Valle as a function of chronic back pain, a claim he has made before:
"I put my foot on her, and I did push her down at the very end, and I told her to stay down. I actually put my foot on her to -- I couldn't bend over because I have issues with my back," Profitt said.
She had a past. She made me do it. I was protecting myself from her. I couldn't be held responsible for what my body did. She should apologize to me. And, in case it wasn't totally clear that Profitt is trying to repaint himself as the victim, be sure to watch the video, where he asks not to have his face shown on the camera.
We've all heard this type of victim blaming before. And Ilyse Hogue, Director of Political Advocacy and Communications for MoveOn.org, the group that Valle was working with, calls it out in an email:
I am shaking as I write this. I'm not sure how many people have been following the story of our young woman organizer who got her head stomped by a Rand Paul campaign staffer. It's made a lot of news, and mostly sympathetic. The video speaks for itself, but if you haven't seen it, it's here.
Lauren is 23 years old, 110 pounds and was working on a short-term contract with us in KY on an issue that she feels strongly about--corporate money in politics.
Her attacker is at least 225 and 6 feet and he stomped on her head while she was motionless on the ground.
Now, he wants an apology from her. Why? Because since she has protested before, she was clearly a threat and deserved what she had coming. Where have we heard that before? oh, wait, i know! from every single rapist and batterer that has ever had to stand trial among his peers or in a court room.
I promised Lauren if she spoke out we wouldn't let her past become the issue. We're working on a response, but I thought you all would want to know.The ensuing campaign: "Don't Stomp On Me," is a reminder that every voice matters, and that none of us are going to be intimidated out of speaking our minds, acting on our political beliefs, or allow others to blame us for their own deplorable actions.
The Tea Party and their supporters are not police. They do not have the right to throw you to the ground and assault you in an attempt to "crowd control." They do not have the right to question your ability to vote before you go into a polling place. They do not have the right to place a "bounty" on people's head in an attempt to create fear when it comes to democracy.
They do not have the right to be bullies. They do not have the right to blame the victim when they are caught. And they do not get to simply take over the country while they scare others out of fighting them for it.
Say you won't be intimidated. Say you will speak out. Say you won't be stomped on. And say it for Lauren.