Protesters who interrupt speeches are not engaging in free speech, they are defiling it. We can expect protesters of all sizes, shapes and colors to be interfering with campaign appearances this year, forcing candidates into a lose-lose-lose proposition of either giving the activists a platform they don’t deserve, rewarding rude and disrespectful behavior and looking weak (as Bernie Sanders did last year, allowing a Black Lives Matter group to hijack a campaign appearance), trying to ignore the disruption and thus being unfair to those who came to hear a speech without static, or being confrontational with the protesters and alienating voters who may sympathize with their cause.
This is one area in which Donald Trump has a clear advantage: since neither he nor his addled supporters care about ethical values, he can safely be abusive to protesters, and he is. At the rate his abuse is escalating, I expect him to egg on one of his mobs to burning or eating one by the spring.
Thus I must sympathize with Hillary Clinton, who just had an ironic ethics encounter. Completely unfair interference from the routinely unethical Black Lives Matter resulted in Hillary getting beat up all over social media, and spawned a new hashtag, #WhichHillary, that looks like it may haunt her for long while, and perhaps to the—one hopes—bitter end. The hashtag is fair even if the means it was delivered is not.
The sequence began as Black Lives Matter protesters crashed a private Hillary Clinton event in South Carolina. One of the protesters held up a banner that quoted Hillary in 1996 talking about “at risk youths” and “super predators” while stumping for her husband’s anti-crime initiatives.
Another protester was filming Hillary with the banner in the foreground. Hillary saw what was going on, and the woman with the banner told Hillary, “I am not a super predator.” Then she asked, “Will you apologize to black people for mass incarceration?”
There is no responsible way to respond to this trap. No, dear, nobody said you were a super-predator, and when I used that term, you weren’t born, I wasn’t referring to race, and there were, in fact, predators on the street, as there are now. Apologize to which black people? The ones who were robbed or killed by the criminals who were duly convicted of crimes? That can’t be it. The ones who committed crimes? Do I apologize for wanting to enforce criminal laws? Is it my fault that a disproportionate number of African Americans committed crimes that put them in prison, or theirs? No, I’m not apologizing for enforcing laws. Those who violate them should apologize to their communities, not I.
Not that Hillary didn’t ask for this dilemma by giving irresponsible lip service to the dubious mass incarceration issue pushed by Bernie Sanders, but the Black Lives Matter spin on it is that all law enforcement is racist, and if a disproportionate number of black men are getting locked up, it must be a racist conspiracy. When the woman kept interrupting her and saying she “called black people super predators” (No, Hillary called black super predators—and white ones too— super predators, which is completely fair and accurate, then and now), Clinton said, exasperated, “Okay, you want to hear the facts, or you want to just talk?” Then the woman, and her videographer, were escorted from the event, still demanding an apology. Good.
If you want to read a completely partisan defense of Hillary, who requires none at all, go to old reliable Tommie Christopher, Mediaite’s resident knee-jerk progressive hack, who apparently thinks Clinton should have turned the entire event into a colloquy with Black Lives Matter even as he explains why their accusations were bogus. (Why Mediaite, a more or less balanced site, tolerates such a pure partisan advocate, and such an intellectually dishonest one, is a mystery for the ages.)
Ah, but it was what came next that is most intriguing. BLM put the whole video on YouTube, and ended it with #WhichHillary. The label immediately went viral on Twitter and elsewhere, with Clinton’s critics on the left and right alike using it to highlight Clinton’s, uh, flexible positions, principles, roles and statements over the years. It’s a great hashtag, and a just one. Hillary has no integrity whatsoever, and it’s nice to have a neat way to remind people.
An incident in which someone was faultless and ethical set in motion events that call attention to her lack of ethics—a desirable, ethical result from unethical conduct. Hillary Clinton was the victim, and is now appropriately suffering as a result.
Life, and ethics, are strange and unpredictable.
8 thoughts on “Fairness To Clinton: #WhichHillary Is Fair, Black Lives Matter Isn’t”
“Okay, you want to hear the facts, or you want to just talk?”
That seems like an appropriate response to me…
Ever since Ron Kovic’s storming of Richard Nixon’s acceptance speech was declared a great heroic moment for free speech and dissent, folks have tried to replicate it. Maybe it even goes back four years to the craziness with the 1968 Democratic Convention. If I had a nickel for every speech, panel discussion, book signing , or other event involving someone even a little to the right of Noam Chomsky that got disrupted by hecklers from the left, I’d be a very wealthy man indeed.
I saw activists work together to disrupt a speech by Norman Schwarzkopf where two of them created a minor scuffle to divert security while a third yelled accusations of war crimes at him from the other side of the auditorium. You can pull up videos on youtube of Code Pink trying to pull Karl Rove out of a chair and effect a citizens’ arrest, and yell at a congressional panel chaired by John McCain that Henry Kissinger should suffer the same fate. Former UK prime minister Tony Blair only got as far as the second stop on a book tour before he had to abandon it because activists were throwing eggs and rotten tomatoes at him. Let’s also not forget Ray Kelly’s abortive attempt at a speech at Brown University, of which activists said “when the university wouldn’t cancel the event we decided to cancel it for them.”
The thing is, you look on social media, and almost no one calls these people out as the idiots, hooligans, or frankly brownshirts that they are. Instead they are hailed as heroes for “speaking truth to power” or “standing up to the man” or “having the courage to say what no one else will,” while the targets are presumed to have essentially no rights because they are on the wrong side.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the ascendant left, for now still holding a lot of important positions, is now breaking into factions and turning on its own, the same as Robespierre turned on Danton and had him and his people executed. The BLM movement has had a lot of success and has a lot of momentum. They do not want to see that dissipate with Obama out of office, replaced almost certainly by someone white. So they go after candidates on both sides, trying to force them into line. I have to say, if things go down this path, I wouldn’t be surprised if either convention, and possibly the election itself, lead to race riots and a lot of new “heroes” whose meritorious actions consist of vandalism, fighting with the police, and worse.
A bunch of people disrupted the Proclaim 16 event because they just love their buggery so much.
When was the last time alcoholics dfsrupted an Islamic religious conference?
Wait till March 17, when the same type of folks get to march up 5th Avenue for the first time.
No statement or action from any politician goes unpunished.
There are super predators. Some of them wear badges and enforce Constitution-defying gun control laws.
The wheels of justice grind slowly.
Part of what I thought made this protest interesting was the price tag attached to it. These kids put $1000.00 up for both of them to attend, knowing full well they’d be turfed. That’s about $990 more than the average slactivist is willing to put in. That it was also damaging to Clinton is… I don’t know. Amusing? Was there really anyone who didn’t know how duplicitous this woman is?