Pat Schroeder

MAKERS profile: Death Threats as a U.S. Congresswoman - March 4, 2013

Pat Schroeder
March 04, 2013
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There were many times when I wondered what I was putting my family through. Several times I came into the airport and there would be somebody from the Bureau of Firearms and Alcohol Abuse saying we found somebody with guns and they were- they had your house address. And even in Washington we had bricks thrown through the window and we had stuff like that done that people were very hostile, but mainly they were just other kids.

But one of my classic evenings when I realized, oh my goodness, I was going to a synagogue to talk about what was going to happen in the next congress, and my daughter had said she wanted to come along, and she was, like, six. So I put her in a car with me and we’re driving to the synagogue, and suddenly I see helicopters in the air, and I think, oh this is interesting. And we come over the hill and here’s the Ku Klux Klan in full regalia, picketing, you know, “Schroeder loves Jews, Jews hate America,” you know, all this stuff, “kill Schroeder.”

And the chief of police, who didn’t like me at all, came over and said, Mrs. Schroeder, we can't protect you. You're going to have to go through the back door. I’m thinking, damn, I’m not going to do that, but then I’m thinking I got this six-year-old, so what am I going to do?

So I said, OK, Jamie here's what's going to happen. Mom’s going to walk through the front door, this nice man’s going to wait in the car with you, and when I get in there,they’re going to leave because, you know, the action is over, and he'll bring you in.

And Jamie says, Mother, Mrs. Roosevelt would roll over in her grave if she knew you told me- and he says, you liberals, you ruin your kids.

So she gets out of the car, and the two of us are walking through all these guys in sheets, and she says, Mom there’s grown men in here. Anyway, we got in and got on, but you do think, how many of those things do you want to expose your children to?