In an emotional speech that heaped scorn and blame on America for failing to pass gun control measures while it supposedly perpetuates racism, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said white Americans need to “question our own assumptions and privilege.”
“We still allow guns to fall into the hands of people whose hearts are filled with hate. You can’t watch massacre after massacre and not come to the conclusion that President Obama has said, ‘We must tackle this challenge with urgency and conviction,’” she said to applause at the 83rd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco.
Clinton then outlined the steps she’d want to see.
It makes no sense that bipartisan legislation to require universal background checks fail in Congress despite overwhelming public support. It makes no sense that we couldn’t come together to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, or people suffering from mental illnesses. Even people on the terrorist watch list. That doesn’t make sense, and it is a rebuke to this nation we love and care about.
Questions of how, exactly, the U.S. government might go about restricting gun ownership from people who “hate” aside, as Breitbart News has repeatedly pointed out, background checks are ignored by the same criminals who don’t pack up their weapons and go home when they see a “gun-free zone” sign:
Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara gunman), Ivan Lopez (2014 Fort Hood gunman), Darion Marcus Aquilar (Maryland mall gunman), Karl Halverson Pierson (Araphahoe High School gunman), Paul Ciancia (LAX gunman), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard gunman), James Holmes (Aurora theater gunman), and Jared Loughner (Tucson gunman), among many others, all went through background checks to acquire their firearms.
Clinton wasn’t finished. “I know and you know there is a deeper challenge we face,” she said, praising diversity as America’s highest virtue, rather than liberty. “And yet, bodies are once again being carried out of a black church. Once again, racist rhetoric has metastasized into racist violence.”
Clinton is clearly referring to Dylann Storm Roof, the drug-addled killer who massacred nine blacks who invited him into their Bible study out of Christian charity. But Roof’s motives are far from certain.
The accused shooter “never said anything racist,” according to his black friend, Christon Scriven.
Roof did “what he said he was going to do,” said Scriven, adding strangely, “I don’t feel no different today about him today than I feel before he did this, though. Like I said, who’s to say Dylann was in his right mind?
“Everyone is making him out to be racist, but here I am in front of you today as a black man, and telling you, I don’t feel no different today than when I looked at him last week, because he never said anything racist to me, never treated me any different than he treated Justin [a white friend],” Scriven continued.
With an almost clinical detachment, Scriven told the BBC that “That church wasn’t his primary target at all. That’s why my heart goes out to those nine families, because you guys weren’t the targets! He wanted to shoot that school up, the UCA. University of Charleston. It’s three miles up the street from that church… He had no intentions on harming those people in that church.”
Strom told Scriven a week before the attack he planned to carry out a mass shooting. “He was like, he’s ‘gonna shoot the school up,’ and I was like, ‘What?’ And he just stopped talking about it. He never said anything else about it. He was just like, ‘They all got seven days to live.'”
Roof is, by all accounts, a mentally-unbalanced man taking psychotropic drugs, who wrote a neo-Nazi, anti-American screed. He clearly surrounded himself with horrifically irresponsible friends who didn’t bat an eye when he told them he planned to shoot up a school. There are many problems here, but “assumptions and privilege” aren’t among them.
Clinton soldiered on. “Now it’s tempting — it is tempting to dismiss a tragedy like this as an isolated incident,” she said. She’ll resist any such temptation:
To believe that in today’s America bigotry is largely behind us. That institutionalized racism no longer exists. But despite our best efforts, and our highest hopes, America’s long struggle with race is far from finished. I know that this is a difficult topic to talk about. I know that so many of us hoped that by electing our first black president, we thought that we had turned the page on this chapter in history. I know there are truths we don’t like to say out loud, or discuss with our children.
It’s odd that as Clinton lectures about the enduring threat of racism, she has to pat herself on the back is if she’s bravely treading new ground. Meanwhile, “racism” is blamed for almost everything in the U.S. today. Consider the warnings against “white privilege” being burned into elementary school children’s brains.
“More than half a century after Dr. King marched, after Rosa Parks sat, after John Lewis bled, after the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act, and so much else, how can any of these things be true? But they are,” Clinton went on. “And our problem is not all kooks and Klansman.”
Voters who disagree with the Democratic party’s platform are only a few Confederate flag sightings away from donning a hood and burning some crosses, apparently. Is this why the U.S. is “essentially a nation of cowards” when it comes to discussing race, as former Attorney General Eric Holder famously said?
Clinton then moves from the evils of racism to the threat of micro-aggressions.
It’s also the cruel joke that goes unchallenged. It’s the offhand comment about not wanting ‘those people’ in the neighborhood. But let’s be honest. For a lot of well-meaning, open-minded white people, the sight of a young black man in a hoodie still evokes a twinge of fear. And news reports about poverty and crime and discrimination evoke sympathy, even empathy, but too rarely do they spur us to action or prompt us to question our own assumptions and privilege. We can’t hide from any of these hard truths about race and justice in America. We have to name them, and own them, and then change them.
Here, Clinton sounds like a social justice warrior, telling America that one micro-aggression can undo all of the effort and trillions of dollars America has spent to bridge racial gaps and heal old wounds. She seems to think she could save the country by reminding us to check our privilege. And our Second Amendment rights.
Email Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org.