Madison Cawthorn, 25, the young GOP candidate for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, spoke Wednesday at the Republican National Convention from his wheelchair, as he has been paralyzed since the age of 18 from a car accident. At the end of his speech, Cawthorn, with the help of two men on either side of him, slowly rose to his feet to recite a brief portion of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Cawthorn standing to recite the Pledge was enough for PBS journalist Yamiche Alcindor to criticize him on Twitter, writing, “Madison Cawthorn made it a point to stand, suggesting that all Americans to (sic) should stand during the pledge of allegiance & national anthem. It was a direct rebuke of actions by ppl — including black athletes who are currently sitting out games — protesting police brutality.”
Cawthorn began by mentioning the terrible car accident that robbed him of the use of his legs, saying, “Instantly, my hopes and dreams were seemingly destroyed. I was given a 1% chance of surviving. But thanks to the power of prayer, a very loving community, and many skilled doctors, I made it.”
“My accident has given me new eyes to see and new ears to hear; God protected my mind and my ability to speak, so I say to people who feel forgotten, ignored and invisible: I see you. I hear you,” Cawthorn stated.
He continued, “In times of peril, young people have stepped up and saved this country, abroad and at home. We held the line, scaled the cliffs, crossed oceans, liberated camps, and cracked codes. Yet today, political forces want to usher in the digital dark ages.”
“A time of information without wisdom and tribalism without truth. National leaders on the Left have normalized emotion-based voting and a radicalized identity politics that rejects Martin Luther King’s dream. MLK’s dream is our dream: for all Americans to be judged solely on their character.”
“I say to Americans across the country, young and old: be a radical for freedom. Be a radical for liberty,” Cawthorn urged.
Rising to his feet, Cawthorn stated, “And be a radical for our Republic, for which I stand; one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
Conservatives across social media expressed their disgust with Alcindor’s criticism of Cawthorn:
Sean Davis Of The Federalist: “Show us on the doll where the paraplegic who managed to stand touched you. Madison Cawthorne may be paralyzed, but @Yamiche is the one who is a completely broken person, Only a deranged lunatic who worships at the altar of politics could get angry at the sight of a paralyzed person standing up. What a sad, pathetic way to go through life.”
Mollie Hemingway, also of The Federalist: “If you thought, ‘certainly nobody could attack this man in a wheelchair for standing up at the end of his speech,’ you haven’t met our completely insane White House press corps, currently viciously attacking a paralyzed man for not sharing their far-left political views.”
Katie Pavlich of Townhall: “Oh wow, hottest take of the night!”
Jeff Blehar, elections analyst for Decision Desk HQ:“How on earth could you possibly turn the rather moving act of a FREAKIN’ PARAPLEGIC rising for the national anthem into some weird BLM trip? When someone holds the door open for you, is that a rebuke of BLM too? My patience for takes like this has reached its limit.”
Video of speech below:
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