By Dave Andrusko
Because his distasteful and bullying behavior was caught on video (in fact, he videotaped the exchange himself), I’m guessing the uproar over Pennsylvania Democratic State Rep. Brian Sims’ abominable treatment of an elderly pro-life woman will not blow over in a day or two. Or, at least I can hope not.
Sims’ behavior toward the unnamed woman goes beyond whether he broke state law. According to columnist Timothy Meads, Sims either didn’t know or didn’t care that he needed her permission to record her words while he badgered her outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in his 182nd district.
According to the ACLU, in Pennsylvania “You have a right to capture images in public places, but you don’t always have a right to record what people say. Pennsylvania’s Wiretap Law makes it illegal to record private conversations – which can include conversations in public places – without the consent of all parties to the conversation.”
And as the eight-minute long video makes clear, Sims, on more than one occasion, indicates he wants (actually demands) to have a conversation. Each time “the women says no and does not give permission to record,” Meads explains.
But that’s just the beginning. The Daily Caller’s Scott Morefield transcribed part of the harangue and it is not, shall we say, a flattering profile of State Rep. Sims as he is shown “repeatedly mocking and belittling her stand”:
Here’s a representative samples from Sims from Moreland’s account:
“Today’s protester, now she is an old white lady who is going to try to avoid showing you her face. But the same laws, luckily, that protect her from being out here also protect me from showing you who she is. And so my hope is that you’ll donate $100 [to Planned Parenthood] for every extra hour that this woman is out here telling people what is right for their bodies.” …
“How many children have you clothed today?” Sims shouted at the woman as she tried to keep her back turned. “How about many children have you put shoes on their feet today? Have you fed any children today or have you just stood out in front of a Planned Parenthood shaming people for something they have a Constitutional right to do.”
“Who’d have thought that an old lady would be outside a Planned Parenthood telling people what is right for their bodies,” he said. “What you are doing here is disgusting. This is wrong. You have no business being out here.”
As Meads pointed out, about half-way through the video the woman starts to leave the vicinity. Tough guy Sims taunts her
Actually let’s keep walking down the block. We can talk about this. We can talk about your Christian faith, about how your Christian faith believes in shaming people.” The woman clearly does not want to talk and says “Get out of my way” and “get your camera out of my face” indicating she does not consent to the conversation he wants to have nor to being recorded in public. Sims says, “no, no” and continues to berate the woman for nearly 9 minutes.
Just to up the ante, Sims is heard saying
“If you know who this woman is and you can give me her address, we’ll protest out in front of her home. Let’s go protest out of her house and tell her what’s right for her body.”
What you can’t miss is the more she refuses to argue with Sims, the madder he gets, the more frequently Sims says “Shame on you!”
When you go to Sims’ post, you find an introduction that reads
“Push back against Planned Parenthood protestors, PLEASE! They prey on young women, they use white privilege, & shame. They’re racist, classist, bigots who NEED & DESERVE our righteous opposition. Push back, please.”
“Righteous opposition”? A former college football player, up in the face of an elderly woman, who politely does everything she can to avoid a confrontation while he hurls every insult he can think at her.
How much more righteous can you get than that?