On Thursday, 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton blamed the Charleston, South Carolina church shootings by racist Dylann Roof on the rhetoric of 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Speaking with host John Ralston, she explained, “Public discourse is sometimes hotter and more negative than it should be, which can, in my opinion, trigger someone who is less than stable.” She continued, “I think we have to speak out against it. Like, for example, a recent entry into the Republican presidential campaign said some very inflammatory things about Mexicans. Everybody should stand up and say that’s not acceptable.”
Presumably, Hillary was referencing Trump’s comments during his announcement speech in which he said Mexico was sending people across the border: “They’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Dylann Roof murdered nine people at a historically black church. There are no reports he was a fan of Donald Trump, or that Roof shot six black women and three black men after being inspired by Trump’s rhetoric about Hispanic illegal immigrants.
But facts have no bearing on such nonsensical arguments. This hatred for the First Amendment – the European notion that freedom of speech must be curtailed in order to avoid triggering the unstable or evil – has become a hallmark of the left. Whether the left blames Pamela Geller for the violence of radical Muslims who try to murder people for drawing cartoons of Mohammed, blames Sarah Palin for Jared Loughner’s shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, or mistakenly blames the Tea Party for James Holmes, right wing speech has become their bugaboo.
Of course, the same does not hold true for the left, according to the left. When Mayor Bill De Blasio shut down New York police use of stop and frisk, sending crime skyrocketing, then followed up that botchery by blaming racist cops for the death of Eric Garner while invoking his biracial son (he said he and his wife “have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face” from police) – and when two NYPD officers were then murdered in cold blood — the NYPD turned their backs on him. The left promptly blamed the NYPD for the rift.
When Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said on national television, “We also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that” with regard to rioters, the left said she had been taken out of context. When the president of the United States spoke in the aftermath of the Ferguson verdict and railed that “there are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up… there are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in discriminatory fashion,” and when violent riots broke out, the left insisted that the president had forwarded race relations.
As for Hillary Clinton herself, the former Secretary of State is no stranger to inflammatory rhetoric. In her campaign relaunch announcement, she accused Republicans of wanting to “take away health insurance from more than 16 million Americans… sham[ing] and blam[ing] women… put[ing] immigrants who work hard and pay taxes at risk of deportation… turn[ing] their backs on gay people who love each other.” She has accused Republicans of attempting to stop black people from voting. She has insisted that religious people must be forced to abandon their religious beliefs on social issues. When she was in the Senate, Clinton screamed from the floor regarding the Bush Administration’s intelligence before 9/11, “What did Bush know and when did he know it?”
But naturally, that’s just politics. It always is, when leftists are participating in it. When right-wingers engage in First Amendment-protected speech, however, they’d best watch themselves: you never know when the next evil maniac is around the corner. Perhaps the only safe course would be to curtail the First Amendment to prevent such rhetoric. After all, if only we can save one life, is that so high a price to pay?
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.