Charleston Shooting

Hillary Clinton Blames Charleston Shooting on Free Speech

Particularly a speech by a political adversary, conveniently enough


We'll see what she has to say if some nutjob goes postal on some rich corporation.
Credit: marcn / photo on flickr

I suppose none of us should be surprised that the presidential candidate who wants a constitutional amendment to censor criticism of her and other politicians wants to blame the racist shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, on things her adversaries have said. Behold, Hillary Clinton somehow blaming Dylann Roof killing nine people on the stupid crap that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth. Via Poitico:

"We have to have a candid national conversation about race and about discrimination, prejudice, hatred," Clinton said in an interview with KNPB's Jon Ralston. "But unfortunately the public discourse is sometimes hotter and more negative than it should be, which can, in my opinion, trigger people who are less than stable."

"For example," the former secretary of state added, "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. You don't talk like that on talk radio. You don't talk like that on the kind of political campaigns."

Here's what Trump said:

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best," Trump told the audience. "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."

Clinton here is invoking a variation of the heckler's veto—the "crazy person veto." It's holding all of culture responsible for the inability of the mentally ill to properly process their experiences. Anything dangerous or "problematic" has to be sanded away from speech, the entertainment, and the arts, because it may trigger (she actually used the word "trigger") bad responses from other people.

We see similar arguments about violent video games (Clinton has a history of calling for government intervention there, too). At least she isn't actually calling for government policing of how candidates talk about the issues—not yet anyway.